Many of us remember then President George W. Bush declaring victory in Iraq under a “Mission Accomplished” banner on the USS Abraham Lincoln in San Diego on May 2, 2003 (see: https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/mirror-mirror-on-the-wall/comment-page-14/?_r=0, which is also this picture’s source.) This week Vice President Pence chose to break protocol and, according to innumerable media, stare down the North Korean troops at the DMZ (see: http://thefederalistpapers.org/us/new-video-shows-pence-stare-down-north-korean-troops-at-dmz, which is also the photo source.) The picture is really a still taken from the CNN video. Clowning around of one type or another across the DMZ have ranged from the comical to the tragic and the Vice President’s face making is just one of the latest. On April 29, 2016 Task & Purpose ran a report “North Korea Whines In this area US Troop Faces At Its Border Guards” (see: http://taskandpurpose.com/north-korea-whines-us-troops-making-faces-border-guards/, which is that photo source.)Of course, one could also conclude that neither Mr. Bush nor Mr. Pence were posing for our adversaries but were courting the American Public. Mr. Pence’s rebellious (if you could call it that) seems to follow the pattern of the new Commander-in-Chief, that is act first and reckon later. This time there doesn’t seem to be much of a downside. But, it is honest to say that actions by Heads of State and other senior government leaders, whether attended or not, can have significant impact due to the 7/24 news cycle and social media. Metaphors can be taken out of context and used for purposes quite opposite of their original intent. A small forethought can prevent our adversaries from getting even more information bullets.
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