Not that it was generally a pretty callous thing to do, mind you. An American journalist was beheaded by terrorists over in Iraq and Syria, an area that we have had interest in for over 20 years, and you can't wait to hit the links. Somehow I don't think it's the "optics" that are the issue here.
Especially when recent news shows President Obama getting off Marine One and not even bothering to take the coffee cup out of his hand when he salutes the Marines in charge of his safety. That, Mr. President, is bad optics. You look like a pampered prince, giving a half-hearted salute to people you obviously consider below you.
People, mind you, that have more integrity in the stuff they scrape off their boots than you have in your entire body.
I wish I could say this surprised me, but really, it doesn't. That he could have taken a fraction of a second to transfer the cup into his empty left hand - but didn't - tells me everything I need to know. The military salute is considered the pinnacle of respect:
SALUTINGGot that? That's might poor thanks you're showing our men in uniform, President Obama. It's especially ironic considering that you've recently made statements and issued orders to commit our troops to more fighting overseas - and you can't even offer a proper salute to the Marine detail charged with escorting you safely to and from your engagements.
Military courtesy is the traditional form of politeness in the profession of arms.
The Military Salute
The salute is the most important of all military courtesies. Over the centuries, men-at-arms have rendered fraternal and respectful greetings to indicate friendliness. This gesture survives as today's hand salute, which is the traditional greeting among soldiers of all nations. Regulations require that all officers be saluted by their juniors, and that they return such salutes. The salute formally recognizes the officer as a military superior, and returning the salute expresses the officer’s thanks for the junior’s support.
That is all.