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No Surprise: Obama Can’t Pronounce Khe Sanh

by Keith Koffler on November 12, 2011, 2:08 pm

It spooks you a little when the commander in chief doesn’t seem to know much about military history, or the military itself.

Who can forget this treasure from February 2010. He’d already been president a year.

And now yesterday, we got this:

How do you, especially if you are running our armed forces, not recognize Khe Sanh and know how to pronounce it? Goodness, you need only have listened to Bruce Springsteen’s anti-America diatribe, “Born in the USA,” to have known how, since he mentions the Battle of Khe Sanh in the song.

Look at the veterans at the end of the video. They almost look like they’re scratching their heads. “Key-san? Like, ‘I left my keys on the counter?’”

Well, some may think I’m picking on Obama, but I think not.

I believe we have elected the first truly peacenik president. I don’t think he understands war, I don’t think he’s studied it, and I don’t think he believes it is particularly important or perceives its ramifications, beyond that it causes death and destruction.

I think his dovish sensibility is what caused him to conduct a half hearted “surge” in Afghanistan that featured an explicit alert to the Taliban about how long they would have to hang on before we left. I think it is what caused him to remove all our troops from Iraq before it was safe to bring them home. And I believe it’s what prompted him to “lead from behind” in Libya, resulting in a far longer war that caused more death and destruction than needed occur.

His policies may well lead to a reassertion of Taliban control over Afghanistan and the squandering of the victory won by George W. Bush.

Because the only thing he gets about war is that he wants to get out of it. Beyond caring for our soldiers, the military means nothing to him

And that’s why he can’t pronounce corpsman or Khe Sanh.

{ 6 trackbacks }


Star November 12, 2011 at 2:31 pm


Lady Fingers November 12, 2011 at 2:48 pm

“I believe we have elected the first truly peacenik president. I don’t think he understands war, I don’t think he’s studied it, and I don’t think he believes it is particularly important or perceives its ramifications, beyond that it causes death and destruction.’

You hit the nail on the head, Keith!
I bet Obummer doesn’t know a thing about George S. Patton.

Keith Koffler November 12, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Hasn’t even seen the movie.

Lady Fingers November 12, 2011 at 6:22 pm


AFVET November 12, 2011 at 6:29 pm

I would give real money to watch Obama and Patton in the same room for 1 hour.

Janice/Granny Jan November 12, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Good catch. Were you the first to catch it?

Keith Koffler November 12, 2011 at 3:59 pm

A reader caught it.

William November 12, 2011 at 4:18 pm

But you’re the only journalist with the sack to point it out…

Keith Koffler November 12, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Thanks William.

srdem65 November 12, 2011 at 3:18 pm

re: BruceSpringstreen’s “Born in the USA” lyrics
I’m still trying to get the lyrics to “Louie, Louie”.

re: MrO’s lack of military knowlege
We can add that to his lack of understanding economics, legislating, or the American way of life.

Keith Koffler November 12, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Does Louie Louie have lyrics srdem?

Lizzy November 13, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Of course it does and I can sing them! I’m an old girl of the sixties may
not know what day of the week it is but do remember Louie, Louie:)

Robin November 12, 2011 at 3:33 pm

It’s not just him, it’s everyone he’s surrounded himself with also. His speech writers should be doing their utmost to help him with his pronunciation, unless they don’t know what it should be either.

Star November 12, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Way before their time–Springsteen aside.

Willdit November 12, 2011 at 3:37 pm

I think he only supports our troops because it is politically incorrect not to. Look what he does not what he says. He wants to cut the do-do out of the military budget.

Susan November 12, 2011 at 3:41 pm

He doesn’t even try to fake it any longer. He is void of any hint of emotion or sincerity. He is just reading words off the screen. In my opinion, he may have been born in Hawaii, but that doesn’t make him an American.

AFVET November 12, 2011 at 6:34 pm

You think it’s bad now, watch what he becomes if he wins the election.

Anonna November 12, 2011 at 3:51 pm

What makes you think he cares about our troops?

Even with MoochMORE working like a dog to convince us that she LOVES military families, it’s plenty obvious that all this pair cares about truly is their votes.

William November 12, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Ever had a boss you just really wished would go away?

Dbb November 12, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Oh bullshit. In supposedly honoring the sacrifice of our fallen, you couldn’t sacrifice the few seconds to clean up your trite screed. “the noblest and MORE self sacrificing fighting men and women in history.” ?!! And that’s bullshit too. Ever been to the Menin Gate in Ypres, the Luytens Arch in Thiepval on the Somme, Keith? There are over 100,000 names inscribed on those two WWI memorials, not of the dead which totals over a million, but those with no known grave. Obama’s mispronunciation is imperceptible, if it was one. You’re a hack. You’re in the White House Press Pool. Big deal, so was Jeff Gannon.

Keith Koffler November 12, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Thanks for helping – made the correction.

Dbb November 12, 2011 at 4:55 pm

You’re welcome

KansasGirl November 12, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Mr. Koffler, your parents raised you well.

Keith Koffler November 12, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Nice of you KG.

Susan November 12, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Hey dbb, just because you’ve been to all those places does not make you any better than Keith. The article was an expression of his personal admiration for our military members, not a political statement. Besides, why doesn’t an elite world traveler like you know the difference between Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day? Probably just another day off of your government job to you…

Knothead November 12, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Keith is not hack, unless he’s a horse for hire or drives a taxicab.

He definitely doesn’t fit the definitions below.

hack (hak) n. [[contr.<HACKNEY]]
*2 a person hired to do routine, often dull, writing; literary drudge.

*3 a worker for a political party usually holding office through patronage and serving devotedly and unquestioningly

n8 November 12, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Chill out. The russians lost more than anyone. I don’t see you crying a river for them.

Slobyskya Rotchikokov November 12, 2011 at 11:45 pm

n8 – that is because most people always assume that anyone living in Russia or in old Soviet Union, must have been Marxist / Leninist or communist. Which of course is wrong, but since there was no Second Amendment in Russia, most working class people were afraid to fight the government and the secret police with only bare hands, shovels, fireplace tools. But it would be akin to saying, anyone who lives in USA now must love Obama, and must be supporter i of American environmental communism because he is the leader.

No – the hatred of the people of both countries for tyrants and traitors was / is strong. But only here now, in America, do the people have the means to resist the tyrants, IF they have also the courage.
God be with us all and give us courage to do what is needed to be free.

Dbb November 13, 2011 at 5:48 am

Good point, and another example that puts bullshit to Keith’s provincial jingoistic claim that our troops, praiseworthy as they are, are the noblest and most self-sacrificing in the history of mankind. I would love to what in his background privileges him to claim that he “understands” war more than Obama. Or whether he thinks the previous WH occupant from his cushy stay-home reserve detail understood it better.

Scullman November 13, 2011 at 9:56 am

Where’d you serve Dbb, since you got such a wild hair up your ass about George Bush?

Star November 13, 2011 at 11:00 am

I believe one point in this thread, my dear Dbb, was that our fighting men are great no matter what the war, I even cited my ex’s ancestor Charles Edwards at Gettysburg… I also cited two people who were draftees… This is not to take away from the suffering of Russian troops, etc. Why the high horse?

ArnoldLayne November 13, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Dbb – the D must stand for Dick.

Lizzy November 12, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Lord how I wish Patton was still around. Remember the incident when he slapped a soldier can you imagine the punishment he would deal out to
Obama? It would be a wonder to behold!

sablegsd November 12, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Sorry, he gets no credit for “caring for our soldiers.” And he had no qualms about getting into Libya and now what African hell hole our people are going to die in for nothing?

I think his first language was not English, plus he is as dumb as a stump.

Slobyskya Rotchikokov November 12, 2011 at 11:46 pm

NO, his first language was Kenyan, and his second, Marx.

Lizzy November 13, 2011 at 10:10 am

I don’t think he cares about our troops except for photo-ops. Hate to say it but I believe he and MO are both anti military.

Mr. T. November 12, 2011 at 7:39 pm

A little off topic, but I just saw on Fox News that Barry’s up to his old tricks again…I didn’t catch the whole thing, but he said American businessmen have become “lazy” the last 20 years or so, by thinking companies from around the world are going to automatically flock here to do business with us. So, once again, I guess it’s all our fault!

First we’re soft, now we’re lazy. Will it ever end??

Here’s a link with more details:

Susan November 12, 2011 at 8:18 pm

I get it now. It is all our fault that business isn’t booming and unemployment isn’t at 3%. We’re all soft and lazy. Not him though, no siree. He’s been working hard jetting around the country telling school children how greedy we taxpayers are. He’s been working hard destroying our relationship with every ally America has. Selling guns to the enemy of the Mexican government and causing the death of Agent Brian Terry. Halting a pipeline with Canada that would have generated thousands of Canadian and American jobs. Talking smack about PM Netanyahu when Israel is in a perilous position because of his meddling in the affairs of the Middle East. Playing venture capitalist with taxpayer money so he can pay off his bundlers and campaign donors. I could go on, but that is enough for one post. To add insult to injury, the loafer doesn’t roll out of bed before 9:00 A.M. unless it is to hop on a plane to take him to his next campaign stop or vacation.

n8 November 12, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Did anyone else feel this was a campaign speech? How aout his lame attempt to equate service in the military to service at home? A more inappropriate speech for Veterans Day? Hmmm, don’t think so.

Mountainaires November 12, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Remember the fiasco over billing private insurance for veteran’s care? Only a woefully inexperienced neophyte would even consider such a proposal while we were in two wars. It was handled ham-handedly and the WH had to rescind the proposal altogether two days after announcing it, because veterans’ organizations reacted so vehemently to the idea. He didn’t invite veteran’s groups to help craft it; and he didn’t anticipate anyone complaining about it: WHILE WE WERE IN TWO WARS. It takes a real rookie on military affairs to make such a blunder.

Rucker, Phillip. “Obama’s Turnabout on Vets Highlights Budget Nuances.” Washington Post, 21 March 2009.

“Veterans Groups Blast Obama Plan for Private Insurance to Pay for Service-Related Health Care.”, 17 March 2009.

bettyann November 12, 2011 at 10:46 pm

All I can say, as a vet, retired army spouse, long military family traditon going back to the revolution: if Obama only knew what the military, active and retired, actually think of him? He’d faint.


Star November 13, 2011 at 11:03 am

Kind of a rude term, bettyann…

sablegsd November 13, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Does he deserve any better? Hell no!

Peterk November 12, 2011 at 10:48 pm

but what in the L is saying after Khe Sanh?

eaglewingz08 November 12, 2011 at 11:34 pm

There was another song that Obama could remember how to say Khe San:

Over hill, over dale
We have hit the dusty trail,
And the Khe Sans go rolling along.
In and out, hear them shout,
Counter marching and right about,
And those Khe Sans go rolling along.

For it’s hi! hi! hee!
In the field artillery,
count out your numbers loud and strong,
two three for hut two three
And where e’er you go,
You will always know
That the Khe Sans go rolling along.

LTC8K6 November 13, 2011 at 2:20 am

What is “the corregal”

A bash of Corregidor?

Keith Koffler November 13, 2011 at 8:39 am

The Korangal. It is a valley in Afghanistan where much fierce fighting occurred.

jpeditor November 13, 2011 at 4:11 am

“Well, some may think I’m picking on Obama, but I think not”

Pick at him like a blood-sucking tick.


sportinlife10 November 13, 2011 at 9:19 am

“Peacenik” or not, the O simply has no grasp of History, American or otherwise. Is not War is an unmistakeable piece of History, regardless of whether one approves?

Scullman November 13, 2011 at 10:27 am

Who knows where Obama learns the pronunciation of important moments in U.S. military history, like the siege of U.S Marines at Key-san, vital military ranks, like a Navy Corpse-man?
Maybe if he gave as much thought, as he gives to never missing a chance to impress all of us with his Ivy league pronunciation of Paaahk-e-staaahn, we’d understaaaaand.

Justavet November 13, 2011 at 11:04 am

As a disabled Vietnam vet, Obama can Keees my butt! I normally appreciate Veteran’s Day wishes, not from this piece of debris.

Lizzy November 13, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Sadly I can pronounce it when my ex was there 70/71 I had a big map of
Vietnam so I could see where he was at least when he was able to tell me.

BigWhtPony November 13, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Definitely elected the most marxist/communist, anti-American, anti business president in the history of the country. The fact that he hates the military is just a bonus to the left.

Keith Koffler November 13, 2011 at 9:04 pm

She couldn’t work a doorknob twice?

Star November 14, 2011 at 10:11 am


Mike Lester November 14, 2011 at 8:56 am

BHO defenders like to point out his forward thinking policies that sometimes ignore our history of war and sacrifice and liberation of entire continents and if he mispronounces Khe-San, -so what, (remember: Rick Perry’s stupid) it only underscores his single minded focus toward the future.

Here’s the problem. President Keys on the Counter’s “future” looks like this: world bank, homogenous populations w/ the kids moving back home, borderless AMERICA, electric lawnmowers w/ seats and airbags, apple slices in every pot, gov. required sexual assault prior to boarding, “green” investments, a criminal running DOJ, the Fed, and the Treasury, beet garden in the WH lawn, demonizing LAS VEGAS, etc., 72 degree thermostats, stupid police and his latest…supporting the conscription of public lands by the rioting OCCUPY urban settlers.

You can forget “flying cars”. We’re ‘going back to the country’. (-apologies to Canned Heat)

Please note: Che Guevara Ave., and Malcom X Ave. conveniently located near the Rape Free Zone:
/Users/mlester101/Downloads/Occupy DCer.jpg

Star November 14, 2011 at 10:18 am

Don’t forget how my Medicare plan wants to send a doctor to my house to “assess” me–I mildly bitched about this at the WaPo story today on the Supremes and Obamacare and a charmer suggested my fat ass should die–so I guess under Darwin, the really mean people will live and those of us who don’t want to take very drug on the market shall die, die, die… Why do I sit here and do this–someone remind me. (Well, it is fun…)

IOpian November 14, 2011 at 10:03 am

To mispronounce Khe Sahn is like calling Gettysburg, Gattlingsburg, Some names are etched into our public conscious via our daily media bombardment. Well, at least into the minds of an American experience.