Posts Tagged ‘army


‘how the white house approached egyptian turmoil’

Marc Ambinder (The Atlantic): A few months after Barack Obama took office, CIA analysts monitoring the Middle East received an unusual request from the National Security Council. The president had appreciated the in-depth country profiles the intelligence community had prepared for him to read. But there was something missing. The white papers all assessed what various groups within each country didn’t like about the United States – but there was very little about what they admired. So that’s what Obama wanted to know: What do Yemenis, Qataris and Egyptians like about the U.S.?

The answer, in the case of Egypt, was the American education system. The competition for visas to study inside the U.S., particularly among those with a bent toward the hard sciences, was fierce. And it was considered a point of pride for a family member to brag about his brother studying overseas.

The National Security Council and the State Department turned this nugget of insight into policy: Obama would expand the number of educational visas available to qualified Egyptian students. The State Department would increase its direct outreach to Egyptians; it would hold entrepreneurship and science summits, and would convene gatherings of Egyptians to meet with visiting American scientists. 

As the White House’s focus turned to Egypt late last week, the aspirations of young Egyptians were very much on the president’s mind … After Tunisia, the intelligence community, the diplomatic community and the White House all anticipated that protests would spread …. Egypt was simply the most logical candidate for unrest….

Full article here

BWD posted this article on The Only Adult In The Room – and if you read it you’ll see why ‘The Only Adult In The Room’ is so appropriate. It’s absolutely fascinating, a real insight in to how the President is dealing with this crisis as carefully and thoughtfully as possible.

Meanwhile, the media bleats cluelessly, completely ignorant of just how delicate this situation is, or how far-reaching the consequences might be in the Middle East. Unless the President announces he’s nuking Mubarak and/or the Muslim Brotherhood they’ll conclude he’s not being pro-active enough. Aw, sounds, like they’re lonesome for Bush.

Did you hear them whinging today at Robert Gibbs’ press conference? The President isn’t being made available to them to answer questions on how he’s responding to the crisis! So, the most critical thing here – more critical than the future of Egypt! – is that the President reveal to Jake Tapper, Chuck Todd and their buddies the nature of the careful work being done behind the scenes? Right.


‘new education benefits for wounded warriors’

White House: …. in the last days of the Session, both the House and the Senate passed a Bill, S. 3447, that significantly enhanced and changed the Post 9/11 GI Bill and other educational benefits…. This Bill made a lot of important changes to these programs specifically for wounded warriors and disabled veterans….

Vocational Rehabilitation Program Stipend. …. a disabled veteran receiving the housing stipend under the Vocational Rehabilitation  Program …. can now opt to receive the more generous amount under the Post 9/11 GI Bill …. this will be hundreds of dollars more per month for tens of thousands of eligible beneficiaries.

Vocational School Training and Apprenticeships Now Covered. The Post 9/11 GI Bill can now be used at many more vocational schools, apprenticeships, and on-the-job-training programs, which means that you can use it to enter into almost any field that you want.

Housing Allowance for Online Learners. A housing allowance is now available for exclusively online learners, so even while you are recuperating and cannot attend class in person on a campus, you can start your education online and receive the housing support allowance you need.

Book Allowance for Active Duty. If you are still on active duty, and want to start your education, you can now receive the $1,000/year book stipend that was previously not available for active duty personnel.

Prep Courses and Test Fees Now Covered. If you have not yet applied for schools, and want to bring your SAT/ACT scores up, the Post 9/11 GI Bill can now be used to fund prep courses and the test fees themselves so you can be more competitive when you apply.

Time for Eligibility Tolled During Recovery and for Caretakers. The Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30), which has a 10-year expiration date, has been extended for wounded, injured, and ill veterans and their caretakers for the length of their recovery time…

More here


a christmas hello from jill & joe

Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden visit with troops and their families on Christmas Day at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Dec. 25, 2010. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)


christmas visit

Honolulu Advertiser: President Barack Obama took time out of a quiet Christmas with family, friends and basketball to greet servicemen and women during their Christmas dinner on the Marine Corps Base Hawaii yesterday afternoon.

The president and first lady Michelle Obama posed for pictures, shook hands, hugged children and picked up babies … “I don’t think he left before he got a chance to shake hands with everyone who was there,” said Maj. Alan Crouch, the public affairs officer for the base. “He seemed appreciative of the service members and family members. It seemed like he got a lot out of it, as well.”…

…The president and his wife spent more than an hour shaking hands and hugging service members … Obama picked up 3-month-old Jensen Lao and bounced him a couple of times. “Merry Christmas, Mr. President,” one little boy called out.

“Did you get everything you wanted?” Obama asked a little girl. She showed him a new bracelet and the president pointed to Michelle Obama, who also had a new bracelet, and the first lady and the little girl compared bracelets.

…As the president moved down a dining table, he encountered a large man, taller than the president, wearing a Dallas Cowboys T-shirt.

“We’ve got to get you on the court,” Obama quipped. “I will not get an elbow in the lip if we play with this guy.”

First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama visit the Marine Corps Base Hawaii on December 25, in Kaneohe, Hawaii


“i intend to fulfill my commitment”

Last year, Sandy Tsao, an army officer based in St. Louis, Mo, told her superiors she was gay — a violation of the Don’t ask, Don’t Tell law. Tsao then wrote to President Obama, urging him to change the policy: “I do hope, Mr. President, that you will help us to win the war against prejudice.” In May, Tsao received a handwritten letter from the President with a pledge to repeal DADT:

Promise kept.



President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta and his wife Jennifer Mueller in the Oval Office, Nov. 16, 2010. Later, the President presented the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Giunta for his courageous actions during combat operations against an armed enemy in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, in October 2007. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta receives the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama. The 25-year-old Iowan received the nation’s top military award for his heroic actions in Afghanistan, and is the first living service member to receive the award since the Vietnam war. Others have been awarded posthumously.

First lady Michelle Obama hugs a family member of Sgt. Joshua Brennan who died despite the efforts of his friend and Medal of Honor recipient Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta


home thoughts from abroad

Text of the President’s address

President Barack Obama at a Veteran’s Day event at the U.S. Army Garrison at Yongsan military base in Seoul, South Korea, November 11



First Lady Michelle Obama is briefed by Lieutenant Commander Todd Hazlett before meeting with injured service members and their families at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Md., Oct. 11, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)


signing up

President Barack Obama signs a banner hanging in a room while visiting with Wounded Warriors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Aug. 30, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


armed forces

President Barack Obama greets members of the audience following his remarks at an event with military personnel at the Pensacola Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla., June 15, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


all ears

President Barack Obama meets with U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, left, and Gen. Stanley McChrystal at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan, March 28, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


a christmas Aloha

President Obama and first lady Michelle at the Marine Corps Base in Hawaii, December 25, 2009.


flash point

President Barack Obama greets U.S. troops at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska, before he departed to Tokyo, Japan, Nov. 12, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


fox ‘news’: military clearly hate obama

President Obama with soldiers from the U.S. Forces Korea before his departure at the U.S. air base in Osan, south of Seoul, November 19, 2009.







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