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Posted at 1:01 PM ET, 12/ 3/2010

Obama's surprise troop visit at Bagram

By Jonathan Capehart

There's something about November -- right around Turkey time -- that has president's sneaking off to the Middle East. President George W. Bush shocked troops in Iraq and stunned Americans back home with his surprise Thanksgiving Day visit in 2003. And today, President Obama continues the tradition with an unannounced visit to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Bringing holiday cheer to servicemembers separated from their families is an unwritten, yet vital presidential duty. No matter your party or what you think of the occupant of the Oval Office, a visit to the men and women on the battlefield by the commander in chief should fill one with pride.

Obama's first surprise jaunt as president happened in April 2009. He popped over to Baghdad after visiting Istanbul. Getting to Kabul today took a bit longer from Washington. But now as then the trip was cloaked in secrecy for security reasons. The president visited wounded soldiers, five of whom were awarded Purple Hearts. And then he addressed a hangar filled with cheering troops.

The president's arrival coincides with an ugly November jobs report out this morning and as his administration assesses the current Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy. Said assessment is expected the week of Dec. 12. That last point is key because while folks here at home just endured an election where jobs, the economy and deficits took center stage, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan barely registered, if at all, as a campaign issue. Obama's visit is a reminder of how central those conflicts are to the national interest -- or at least they should be.

By Jonathan Capehart  | December 3, 2010; 1:01 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

OK, republicans what is wrong with the President visiting the troops in Afghanistan? I know there must be something, what is the gripe? Personally, I am a really proud American, because we have a man in office who cares deeply about our military men and women. Remember, the trip to Dover AFB in the middle of the night, to meet the planes with our deceased soldiers? This too, is personal.

Posted by: janetal2004gmailcom | December 3, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

1-2-3-4
what the heck
are we fighting for?
Osama Bin Laden has been dead for years.

Posted by: daysman | December 3, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Um, ok... but its December, not November. President Obama didn't visit on Turkey Day, did he?

I believe there was a basketball game that weekend.

So... the holiday cheer he is spreading would be ... Hannukah? There was always something special about the third night. What a guy, so ecumenical. As much as I am trying to buy into whats written above, if just because I need to feel better about this guy, I am glad the troops were able to make it into the President's tour, this year, even if they weren't able to book the popular Thanksgiving holiday.

Respect.

Posted by: lailahel | December 3, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

I wrote on July 27, 2010:-
I am India's expert in strategic defence and the father of India's strategic program, including the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program. I have shown in my blog titled 'Nuclear Supremacy For India Over U.S.', which can be found by a Yahoo search with the title, that all terrorism and insurgencies in the Indian subcontinent and in much of the rest of the world is sponsored by the C.I.A. Both Pakistan's ISI and India's RAW function as branches of the C.I.A. and participate in terrorism and insurgencies throughout the Subcontinent, under direction of the C.I.A. Yes, the ISI secretly supports the Taliban but it does so under direction from the C.I.A. whose modus operandi is support for ALL sides of a conflict to control the course of the conflict in service of its own goals. The goal of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and partial occupation of Pakistan is eventual occupation and overt colonial rule over the Subcontinent as a whole. This will not be permitted and all those participating in this enterprise, including the U.K., will be duly punished; see my blog. The document leak currently in the news has been made in preparation for abandonment of this goal and withdrawal from Afghanistan because of steps I have already taken for the nuclear destruction of New Delhi and then the coast-to-coast destruction of the United States by India with 5,000 thermonuclear warheads and extermination of its population; see my blog. Satish Chandra

Posted by: SatishChandra | December 3, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

President visits troops and assures them we're "winning." Right. The only ones "winning" are government contractors and the corrupt Karzai government who are "winning" tax dollars....

Sigh....

Posted by: abbydelabbey | December 3, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

President visits troops and assures them we're "winning." Right. The only ones "winning" are government contractors and the corrupt Karzai government who are "winning" tax dollars....

Sigh....

Posted by: abbydelabbey | December 3, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

President visits troops and assures them we're "winning." Right. The only ones "winning" are government contractors and the corrupt Karzai government who are "winning" tax dollars....

Sigh....

Posted by: abbydelabbey | December 3, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Karzai is a dog.

Posted by: SmallBusiness | December 3, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

.
Satish Chandra wrote on July 27, 2010:-

Blah, blah, blah, nuclear annihilation of the USA, blah, blah, blah.

That was more than 4 months ago, my friend. So what ? Tell us what’s happening RIGHT NOW.
.

Posted by: BrianX9 | December 4, 2010 3:45 AM | Report abuse

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