Has the “War on Terror” simply been expanded to include the “War on Error?”
On the one hand, it’s encouraging to see Obama — the Commander-in-Chief — deploying the National Guard for domestic and humanitarian purposes. As he cited in his speech at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, guardsman and the base are serving in multiple ways in responding to the crisis.
On the other hand, it’s troubling to see the President militarize the oil spill. After telling an assembly of troops that “within weeks, some of you may find yourselves serving on a carrier deck in the Arabian Sea or working a busy flight line in Afghanistan,” Obama couches the spill as “an assault on our shores.” As marginalized as the Afghan and Iraq engagements are in the U.S. mind, using the troops as a backdrop for an assault on BP reinforces the message that these wars we happen to be fighting really don’t deserve singular attention.
Finally, as the crisis drags on, what I’d really hate to see is Obama — like Bush did the last two years of his tenure — turning more to military audiences for some love.