“The Tree Is Safe, Your Excellency”

| March 21, 2013

This is . . . sad.  Just sad.

The POTUS arrived in Israel yesterday for his first state visit to that nation.  He and the Israeli President, Shimon Peres, planted a US magnolia tree as part of the arrival ceremony.

Accounts vary on what happened later.  According to Israeli accounts, the tree was dug up later that day.  A White House spokesman denied this, saying that the tree’s roots were “wrapped in plastic mesh”.  My guess is that both are correct – e.g., the tree was unearthed, then plastic-wrapped and put back in place.

Why?  Well, it seems any plants brought from abroad require a check by the Israeli Agricultural Ministry before they can be planted in Israel.  And it also appears that the POTUS’s staff was made aware of that fact beforehand by officials in the Israeli government, but elected not to send the tree ahead of time to allow inspection.

I’m not joking.  See the entry for 19:54 yesterday in the article.

I mean, really.  For crying out loud:  the state where the POTUS grew up (Hawaii) has some pretty strict quarantine requirements.  The US has pretty stiff restrictions on foreign plants and agricultural products entering the US, too.  So figuring out that import restrictions on plants might exist in other countries shouldn’t exactly be rocket science.

(sigh)  First they don’t plan ahead regarding the POTUS’s food “taster” at a recent Capitol Hill luncheon. Here, they didn’t bother perform the due diligence necessary to prevent a major international faux pas (or simply didn’t care).  Suppose the Israelis had told the POTUS at the ceremony, “Um, no . . . you can’t plant that; it goes to quarantine first”?

What’s next?  Are they going to forget to tell British authorities ahead of time that they’re coming and just show up at Buckingham Palace’s front door one evening expecting to see the Queen?

It also looks like someone forgot what kind of fuel the POTUS’s limo uses during his latest trip, too.

Our nation deserves better than this.  It’s one thing to look foolish at home.  This time, we’re looking foolish in front of the whole world.

Category: Foreign Policy, Reality Check, Who knows

Comments (29)

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  1. UpNorth says:

    Cue Sippy, to show up shortly and upbraid you for being a racist, Hondo.
    Don’t you know, yet, that Obama is above mundane, everyday things like common sense and logic, and that protection covers all who labor in his name? Except whoever is about to be thrown under the bus.

  2. Hondo says:

    It’s a free country, UpNorth. If Sippy the Pinhead wants to show up and prove once again his nickname is apropos, it’s his right to do so.

    Freedom includes the freedom to be a fornicating idiot in public.

  3. malclave says:

    It’s undoubtedly the fault of the Republican sequester.

  4. LCDR M(Ret) says:

    Either these guys think the rules don’t apply to them or…

    They’re the Keystone Kops…

    Hmmm, maybe a little of both.

  5. MCPO Not Anonymous USN (Ret.) says:


    The answer is your article.


    This plan was hashed after the first of the year.

    It took him 5 years to get there.

    Geeze …………….

    If he had planned to go there, They would have shipped that nasty ugly ass tree over a year ago and allowed it the acclimate.

  6. DaveO says:

    At least it wasn’t an iPod filled with live recordings of all of Obama’s speeches, or an iPad with all of Obama’s favorite halal meals.

  7. Devtun says:

    Just shocking…The shovel ready tree, not as shovel ready as they thought. Really, planning Barry’s NCAA bracket picks on ESPN and the golf outing w/ Tiger Wodds must have really worn out the WH staff. Move on over J. Carter, A. Johnson, and M. Fillmore…Emperor Barry looking for his seat.

  8. GruntSgt says:

    Well Hell he is King after all, he makes the rules he doesn’t follow them. shit, I’m still trying to absorb the whole food taster thing.

  9. OWB says:

    I’m with those who are wondering just why he is there.

  10. Ex-PH2 says:

    I think I can solve this problem for all of you very easily.

    This mindset — not thinking about the consequences, just go ahead and do it — is a behavior pattern that seems to apply to almost everyone in Bodaprez’s generational span. It isn’t just him, it’s all of them.

    Why do I say this? Consider the following events:

    A woman from NYC goes to Istanbul, Turkey alone, because friend could not go on the trip with her. She’s an amateur photographer. She wanted to get photos of certain places. She hired a guide, ended up missing, and was finally found dead of a severe head injury (blunt trauma) by the Turkish Police.

    A married couple on a bike trip in India were attacked while camping in a forest. The man was severely beaten and the woman was gang-raped.

    These are two incidents. There a plenty more. There is no consideration of the possibility of crime or danger by any of these people. They cannot conceive of the idea that anyone could or even would possibly do such a thing to them. It must be perfectly safe. It’s a free world, right?

    The same kind of thoughtlessness is what you see coming out of WDC and the current administration. It’s this dimwitted idea that people can go anywhere they want to and do anything they want to (remember Code Pink going to Afghanistan?) and no bad things will happen to them. They can do whatever they want to and no one will be offended. They don’t have to even think about planning ahead (proper fuel for the vehicle) because there have to be gas stations everywhere. They’re everywhere in the US, right?

    When I was still working, the boss’s assistant(secretary) decided that she wanted to go to Egypt. If you know anything about the Middle East and Egypt, you know that single, unaccompanied women are not allowed to enter Egypt. She threw a fit and sat in it because she was told her trip was going to be cancelled because someone else was cancelling. She went anyway, and almost did not get back to the US because she was an unaccompanied female and the passport office in Cairo wasn’t going to let her into or out of Egypt. This was in 1999.

    If Bodaprez wanted to plant a tree, an olive tree of local origin would have made more sense and been less idiotic.

    What you see in that entire generation on the liberal side of the political fence is this dumbfoundingly stupid idea that they can do whatever they want to, go wherever they want to, and act however they want to, and no one can tell them they can’t. They DO NOT have a clue about anything.

    It isn’t even about Bodaprez thinking he’s the king. It’s more about the fact that none of those people have the slightest understanding of anything outside the bubbles they live in. And yeah — golf scores and bracket picks ARE more important than having a good relationship with a long-time ally anywhere in the world.

    I’m quite glad that I did not vote for that clown. Whatever happens, whatever goes wrong, it’ll be his fault because he had the helm offered, but doesn’t have a clue how to sail the boat.

  11. Devtun says:

    Yeah, I saw the article yesterday about the President’s limo getting topped off w/ the wrong fuel. I believe the Army is tasked w/ management of the Presidential limo fleet…few other details though(a replacement vehicle was flown in), and it’ll probably stay that way. Almost certainly some behind the scenes royal ass chewing…just for starters.

  12. DaveO says:

    #10 Ex-PH2: Think you’re close, but the reality is not that complicated – this is incompetence. Like the so-called Russian “Reset” button and so many other protocol gaffes.

    In most organizations, Protocol folks are pros, regardless of party or philosophy. The Protocol Office should never be subject to the Spoils System.

  13. Ex-PH2 says:

    @12 – DaveO: Incompetence, dumbfoundingly stupid, whatever label you slap on it, it’s all the same thing: people who have no clue and can’t see past the ends of their noses.

    Neither you nor I would go into a foreign country without doing a bit of research on local customs and laws, would we? No. I certainly would not go to Egypt unless I had an escort of some kind, even if I couldn’t find anyone except my obnoxious bother. I wouldn’t rent a car without looking up costs and availability of gas and what kinds of roads there are, and whether or not I’m actually allowed to drive a car over there. I’m not that stupid. Neither are you.

    But THESE people are exactly that stupid. I completely agree with your choice: incompetence. Stupid, incompetent, dimwitted, mindnumbingly clueless — whatever you choose, it all applies.

  14. Ex-PH2 says:

    But gee whillikers, it was fun getting that rant out of my system. Now I can attend to other, more important matters.

  15. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    @13 These folks are undereducated, and from day one every one of these little wienies is told how special they are. Nobody loses a game, the kids that go 0-14 get the same trophy as the 14-0 team does because we don’t dare damage their precious self image. They can’t ride a bike/rollerblades/skateboard without more body armor than I wore in my entire (short) military existence. They have classes designed to boost their self-esteem so no one ever feels “bad” about anything…it’s no wonder they think the whole world awaits the pleasure of their company.

    I coach competitive, tryout based youth athletics as part of giving back to my community. I have been nationally licensed for over 20 years now. I can assure you nobody gets a trophy playing for me that they didn’t earn. You should see the faces of the parents when I point out that if they don’t fulfill their obligations to the team and the sporting club with assistance in volunteering to line fields, put up nets, assemble goals etc…they and their child will be quickly removed from the program and replaced with someone who understands the concepts. It is a case of clear culture shock for many of them, they are not used to someone pointing out that their “special” darling will play less because he has not bothered to work on fundamentals on his own time, and consequently he is not at the same technical athletic ability as my top players. There are always stars and there are always guys who are not. When folks see that their child is behind, they start to understand. The kids themselves get it immediately and either they work hard to fit in and become successful because they want to play, or they learn the lesson their parents have taught them to quit anything they can succeed at immediately and they self cut themselves from the program.

    Those who quit are the very ones you are talking about and their parents are the ones I despise for their weakness their acceptance of it in their children. Quitters are not always life’s losers, but they are almost always life’s whiny little turds…

  16. ROS says:

    Incompetence and no grasp of reality may be part of it, but it all boils down to the fact that they’re naïve assholes who think every country is as free as we, thus their taking for granted of and disdain for the military, their constant displays of the “me” mentality, and refusal to accept that for every action – positive AND negative – there must be accountability.

    In essence, they really just don’t give a flying fuck.

  17. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    “can succeed at immediately” should read “can’t succeed at immediately” too late and too unfocused…

  18. FatCircles0311 says:

    It is hilarious that the President of the United States of America comes into officer to quickly go to Egypt as his first trip anywhere to apologize and condemn the country. 4 years later it’s government is toppled and Islamic radicals come to power while the West’s only legitimate ally in the entire region of 7th century murderous madmen is ignored for 5. When he does finally show up he addresses college kids because he see’s the youthful ignorant which helped him obtain and keep his office as the only worthy cause for that nation.

  19. A Proud Infidel says:

    Like Secretary of State John *F-ing* Kerry said, “Everyone has the right to be stupid..”, but B. Hussein 0bama & Co. ABUSE THAT PRIVILEGE 24/7!!

    Ex=PH2, “Bodaprez”, good one! Everyone here knows I prefer to refer to him as “B. Hussein Øbama”, but how about a creative use of his initials, and we refer to him as B-HO?

  20. Twist says:

    I’ll give him a pass on the limo. It’s not like his majesty fills his own tank.

  21. Setnaffa says:

    0bama is not incompetent: he acts that way to intentionally disgrace the nation he hates worse than any other. Us…

  22. Hondo says:

    Twist: this article isn’t targeting the POTUS directly. Here, it’s clearly his staff that fornicated Fido (a PC/polite way of saying “screwed the pooch”).

    However, at some point the boss has to take the blame for tolerating repeated incompetence. If we’re not there, IMO we’re getting close on that score.

  23. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    “Our nation deserves better than this.” I wish I could agree. The nation got what it asked for last election.

  24. Twist says:

    Hondo, got it. I posted that before I went to PT. My reading comprehension skill are not quite up to par that early in the morning.

  25. MAJMike says:

    One year at Annual Training at Ft. Hood, some of our deuce and halfs (gassers, yeah we TXARNG guys had the pick of the litter)got fueled with diesel. Our Battalion Motor Tech (a CWO4) was super pi$$ed.

    Guess the Pivot-2 with the POTUS’ fuel didn’t get the memo/e-mail/text regarding Lard A$$ One’s fuel preferences. Maybe he/she thought it was a multi-fuel beast like the M-1.

    THE WON’s tree was suspected of having bugs and got dug up. The world laughs at us.

  26. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    @26. “The world laughs at us.” Can’t blame the world. If I weren’t in a rage about this subversive POS (that would be the current President of the United States I’m referring to, to be clear), I would be laughing too.

  27. H1 says:

    Has he actually staffed the protocol office?
    I remember an article during the first term that most of the international travel fails were because effects of “not needing” a protocol office.

  28. David says:

    you mean custom limos don’t fuel on MOGAS?
    Whodda thunk it.