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Obama's Silence on Pirates Holding American Hostage

I saw earlier today that when the media asked President Obama during a event on refinancing for homeowners about Captain Phillips being held hostage by Somali pirates, he responded by telling the press that he wanted to stay on topic and discuss only housing.

I understand if those who are working on the negotiations advised the president to not comment on the situation until it is resolved, but that does not preclude the president from making some kind of statement acknowledging the situation and offering his well wishes. Maybe he could have said something like, "I can't comment on the situation as it is still ongoing and being handled by our very best men and women expertly trained in matters such as this one, but my and Michelle's thoughts and prayers are with Captain Phillips and his family."

How would that have done anything but reassure the captain's family and the American people that President Obama was aware of the situation and that he cares about those affected? Instead, he blew off the questions in a cavalier manner, making it look like he simply didn't care enough to even acknowledge it. His bad handling of this situation shows once again his terrible lack of experience.


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Comments (48)

"Present."... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

"Present."

He wanted to stay on topic ... (Below threshold)
FG:

He wanted to stay on topic because that is all he rehearsed. He knows without the teleprompter he would be a bumbling fool trying to answer questions he knows nothing about. Besides he probably felt a bit under the weather after the usual weekly Wednesday night party bash.

If this had been Bush that ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

If this had been Bush that had done this there would have been front page headlines tomorrow about Bush dodging the question.

Hey, give the guy a break! ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Hey, give the guy a break! He can only handle one thing at a time, and besides, he probably wasn't even briefed on it.

Obama can't say that he put... (Below threshold)
kbiel Author Profile Page:

Obama can't say that he put his best men and women on the job because he isn't even using the right department to handle the situation. Can anyone explain to me why the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, is in charge of this instead the Secretary of Defense? Are the pirates a sovereign nation?

Hey, give the guy ... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:
Hey, give the guy a break! He can only handle one thing at a time, and besides, he probably wasn't even briefed on it.

He can't handle more than 1 thing at once and he STILL ran for president?!?! And won?!?!

And they called Bu... (Below threshold)
marc:

And they called Bush "uncaring," what a complete asshole.

read his response regarding... (Below threshold)
epador:

read his response regarding staying on topic:

Hey, I won and I'm the only one who is allowed to distract, not you guys!

kbiel - "Can anyone exp... (Below threshold)
marc:

kbiel - "Can anyone explain to me why the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, is in charge of this instead the Secretary of Defense? Are the pirates a sovereign nation?"

Not entirly true guy. With the USS Bainbridge on station Gates is not only aware, but in charge, along with the SecNav and Task Force 151.

Barry does this stuff becau... (Below threshold)
glenn:

Barry does this stuff because at the end of the day he knows he can get away with it. As long as the pres stays with him he's gold and he knows it. And the press is waiting for that day when the public coffers open and all their current financial troubles end.

Great post! Too funny!!</p... (Below threshold)

Great post! Too funny!!

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www.commoncts.blogspot.com

He can get away with this c... (Below threshold)
kevino:

He can get away with this crap because the MSM is more than willing to cover for him. The NYT and other media outlets are burying the story in the back pages. CNN is leading with other stories.

You should check out Sec. of State Clinton's comments. She talks about the history of piracy, and proceeds to start laughing. Yes, Hillary, this is funny: a US ship taken on the high seas, and American crew taken hostage, and the US acting like a helpless country in old-Europe like France or Spain. Yeah, cackle away. This is a barrel of laughs.

Remember the commercial from the campaign where the President gets a phone call at 3am to deal with some international crisis? We have a President who can't deal with the challenges, so he leaves the phone off the hook.

marc,Of course Gat... (Below threshold)
kbiel Author Profile Page:

marc,

Of course Gates is calling the shots militarily, but why is Clinton delivering the message? The only message that should be delivered to these fools is, "give us our man or we're sending in the marines."

A man who thinks live-born ... (Below threshold)
Pat:

A man who thinks live-born babies from botched abortions should be thrown unceremoniously into the trash room can hardly be expected to give a fig about a living man, especially one in the service.

The democrats cannot govern... (Below threshold)
tomcat:

The democrats cannot govern. Obama cannot lead. When he should be standing tall for the greatness of America, he is instead subjugating himself to a foreign monarch. The pirates, like all enemies of this country, will get a pass.

America is a lesser nation under the tyranny of Obama. The silent majority must be heard, and soon.

Better to have some Obama... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Better to have some Obama careful deliberation, than a return to the typical GOP 'shoot from the hip' foreign policy, such as the rash, US heavily supported military intervention of Ethopia, in 2006, into Somalia, with one of the unintended consequences of more anarchy.. and piracy on the high seas. From The Times of London, November 18, 2008:

How the War on Terror pushed Somalia into the arms of al-Qaeda. It has been the forgotten debacle of the Bush years. But anarchy in the Horn of Africa may soon haunt the West.

I am referring to the Bush Administration's intervention in Somalia in the name of the War on Terror. It has helped to destroy that wretched country's best chance of peace in a generation, left more than a million Somalis dead, homeless or starving, and achieved the precise opposite of its original goal. Far from stamping out an Islamic militancy that scarcely existed, the intervention has turned Somalia into a breeding ground for Islamic extremists and given al-Qaeda a valuable foothold in the Horn of Africa.


steve,The Somalia ... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

steve,

The Somalia was 100% Clintons fault.
He put our troops under UN control. He allowed those UN Cowards to slaughter women and children with US Hardware.
He drew down troops then sent then sent Rangers and Delta on a seek and capture mission without the proper support.
We needed armor and the UN Cowards did not provide it to our men.
They were most likely too busy raping women (i mean girls) women fight back to hard, and holding children over fire pits


We got 4 Pirates in a boat, I think it is time for 50 Cal rounds or good old 7.62 to reach out and touch some people. Followed by the sound of heavy ordnance taking out the homes of these creeps.


Steve Crickmore are you an ... (Below threshold)
Oldflyer:

Steve Crickmore are you an idiot? Don't quote the Times of London in that phony indictment of Bush and expect anyone to do more than laugh at you.

Have you forgotten "Black Hawk Down"? Guess where that happened? Guess who was backing those Somali warlords that Clinton decided to take down, before he changed his mind?

Somalia has been an ungoverned cesspool for many years and is exactly the sort of place you might expect terrorists to choose as a base of operations.

But, apparently you and the Times of London believe, along with Obama, that if we were just nicer, the Islamic Fascists who wish to dominate a large portion of the world would love us. Shame on Bush. He should have understood that 9/11 and all of the attacks that preceded that date were just reactions to our perfidy. He should have engaged Bin Laden in meaningful dialogue--made some concessions; and all would have been just peachy.

Don't insult us with that foolishness.

I take exception with one statement in the basic article. This is something deeper on Obama's part than inexperience. An American ship was attacked and the Captain is held hostage and he can't spare a word or two? He just doesn't give a damn.

Hmmm, Somalia had been a fa... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

Hmmm, Somalia had been a failed state for 15 years according to the article. Didn't someone try and do something in Somalia within that time? Pretty sure it wasn't Bush and I distinctly remember something with a helicopter...
Hmmm, must have been relegated to the memory hole. Anyone seen any good movies lately?

he responded by telling ... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

he responded by telling the press that he wanted to stay on topic and discuss only housing.

He didn't have the Somali responses loaded into the teleprompter yet.

Hmmm, Somalia had ... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:
Hmmm, Somalia had been a failed state for 15 years according to the article. Didn't someone try and do something in Somalia within that time? Pretty sure it wasn't Bush and I distinctly remember something with a helicopter... Hmmm, must have been relegated to the memory hole. Anyone seen any good movies lately?

Actually, it WAS President Bush that sent them in. George H. W. Bush, shortly before he left office.

Obama can't walk and chew g... (Below threshold)

Obama can't walk and chew gum at the same time. If you wanted a president who could multitask, you shouldn't have voted for BHO.
http://tinyurl.com/cymzqz

k, you shouldn't have vo... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

k, you shouldn't have voted for BHO.

See that's where the problem is.... I sure most people say that and thought, "Sure, he's got my vote. They've got the Sopranos and a boxing and a few other good show"... but then now they're realizing that was HBO not BHO. Man, I bet they feel stupid now...

The silence of the lambs... (Below threshold)
914:

The silence of the lambs

Now I am waiting for the po... (Below threshold)
epador:

Now I am waiting for the post entitled:

Obama Pirates Silence America and Hold it Hostage

George Obama is so jealous ... (Below threshold)
914:

George Obama is so jealous Hes thinking about asking the teleprompter for a date.

"Arms"... (Below threshold)
914:

"Arms"

Where are the enemys of Ame... (Below threshold)
914:

Where are the enemys of America? sorry, My bad. I meant where are all of the trolls with all of their bombastic vitrolic venemous theif in chief pavlovian defense responses?

.

Kbiel - "Of course Gate... (Below threshold)
marc:

Kbiel - "Of course Gates is calling the shots militarily, but why is Clinton delivering the message? The only message that should be delivered to these fools is, "give us our man or we're sending in the marines."

Um... that's already happening, about 3000 of them to be precise, and should be on station in about 12-18 hours.

As for hillary, who the hell do you think should be out front talking?

99.99999% sure the pirates of Somoli nationals soooooo it stands to reason this is not only a criminal action by them but a breach of protocol between two sovereign nations.

Well, he couldn't very well... (Below threshold)

Well, he couldn't very well say his prayers were with the families, now could he? That would be a religious statement. And we can't have THAT.

As to his appalling lack of concern or leadership on this issue? I'm with the first commenter: "Present!"

Hello!!... the teleprompter... (Below threshold)
914:

Hello!!... the teleprompter is in for a lube job!! give its significant other a break.

I hate to say it, but I'm g... (Below threshold)

I hate to say it, but I'm going to stick up for Obama's non-response on this issue.

This is, essentially, an armed standoff with four criminals (and one hostage) who are completely cut off from the outside world except for the US Navy and some borrowed FBI hostage negotiators. This is not a confrontation between two sovereign nations, as marc put it, as Somalia simply isn't a sovereign nation -- it's a failed state that's only a "nation" in the most loose definition.

In a case like this, there is already a ton of attention focused on one tiny lifeboat. For Obama to address it publicly, even in passing, would do absolutely no good.

I am no fan of this administration, but I can't believe that they are completely ignoring the captain's family -- I'm sure that there is at least one government official somewhere whose sole job is to keep them up to date.

Oh, and hcddbz: have you SEEN the lifeboat they're in? It's a completely enclosed capsule. There's no way the Navy can hit the pirates with any degree of certainty that the captain will be spared.

J.

It's ok - Kerry is going to... (Below threshold)
JAT:

It's ok - Kerry is going to hold hearings on this matter.

Jay,The President ... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

Jay,

The President could have stated that full rescources of the Fedral goverment are enaged to seek solution to this problem.

I was speaking of snipers with with 50 Cal or Navy SEALs with M-14 bording the boat.

Got to say though the crew and the captain keep showing true grit.

Martin reports that Phillips jumped off the lifeboat to swim away but was recaptured.
hcddbz, it's pretty obvious... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

hcddbz, it's pretty obvious that the US government is taking it seriously -- no need to state the obvious. And again, have you SEEN the "lifeboat" in question? I've seen videos of identical ones -- it's a covered-over capsule with two rows of facing seats along the sides. I don't see any way any kind of rescue operation could work.

J.

Perhaps what we should do i... (Below threshold)
24usmcr Author Profile Page:

Perhaps what we should do is let Barry know the pirates are running against him in the next election. He'll then bring all the wrath and fury the Democrat party has to bear and "eliminate" his political opponents.

JWe will have to, ag... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

J
We will have to, agree to disagree.


no need to state the obvious

At times leaders need to do exactly that. They need to reassure the Public. One of Presidents bush's biggest mistakes, was that he did not state the oblivious often enough, or in a timely maner, and because of that he allowed himself to be defined by others.

Furthermore, BHO's response was just to dismissive. While overseas he was waxing poetic on how bad this country is but he cannot find a few words to comfort an American Family, that as head of state and of government all necessary action is being taken?

As for attack vectors I have utmost faith in our operator and their equipment.
The Only Easy day was yesterday
Swift Silent Deadly

President Obama again de... (Below threshold)

President Obama again demonstrated his mastery of domestic topics and a laser-like focus on details, facts, and figures which continue to sweep through the halls of power like a welcome breath of fresh air in a musty tomb after the flailing incompetence and verbal confusion of the past eight years. When a partisan, off-topic question was raised about an unrelated and insignificant matter, the president kept the interview moving and on focus, refusing to be distracted from his display of intelligent, leadershipylike amazingness on the economy, which was destroyed over the course of the last eight years of wanton deregulation, cronyism, and tax cuts for the rich.

In unrelated news, pirates, presumably angry at the policies of ex-President Bush, sank two cruise ships killing 890 people and militants of unidentified religious persuasion caused a man-caused disaster in Afghanistan, slaughtering 45 women and children at a school reopened three years...ummmm...that must be a misprint...let's say reopened sometime after the end of January of this year. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel implied that Rush Limbaugh was likely inflaming tensions where the US continues to conduct overseas contingency operations.

In other news...

(color me shocked if this all comes out in italics...)

I would let the air out of ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I would let the air out of the dingy with a single shot. ww

There is probably a SEAL te... (Below threshold)
Hornet Author Profile Page:

There is probably a SEAL team less than 100 feet away from the lifeboat.

Don't be too hard on Barak.... (Below threshold)
Burke:

Don't be too hard on Barak. He's trying to figure out who will accept his surrender.

I agree with Jay Tea comple... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

I agree with Jay Tea completely, but to hedge my bet, I will add that the lives of merchant seamen might have to be sacrificed. Then the insurance scamming can end and the merchantmen can be fitted with appropriate tools for self-defense in future.

We can all criticize the set-up that Obama is leading the nation into, viz. Afghanistan, Iraq, killing the dollar, etc. But Obama apparently isn't to keen to heed the call to publicly kvetch from certain "conservative" outlets who wish to Carterize this administration, and who can blame him. Talk about (salt water) crocodile tears from "concerned" quarters!

I say sink 'em all, if necessary. That should shuffle the deck.

It has nothing to do with a... (Below threshold)
OLDPUPPYMAX:

It has nothing to do with a lack of experience. Hussein simply has no time for anything which doesn't involve his plan to turn the US into a Marxist dictatorship. In short...he couldn't care less.

For God's sake. Let's get r... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

For God's sake. Let's get rid of Obama, and just make Soros President. Eliminate the middleman.

Obama should start pounding... (Below threshold)
SkyBlue:

Obama should start pounding the war drums right now. A new war would rally the country. It would also change the subject from the economy. But a war would need to be strategically planned to maximize its political impact during the next election.

All of your critisisms of O... (Below threshold)
SkyBlue:

All of your critisisms of Obama is undermining the rescue effort. A shameful display of the most un-patriotic kind.

If we had a real president ... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

If we had a real president like GEORGE WASHINGTON we would send in the navy sink the pirate ships and hang them from the yard arm

I wonder how many of the an... (Below threshold)
Justin:

I wonder how many of the anti Obama blowhards above will post an apology?




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