In this article published by the Daily Mail, Max Hastings discusses the comparisons between Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama, while considering the anniversary of D-Day:
Of course it is a challenge for any modern national leader, to stand tomorrow on the beaches of Normandy and recall the greatest days and martial triumphs of World War II.
The comparison is obvious and embarrassing, between the giants and the pygmies: Churchill and Cameron, Hollande and de Gaulle, above all Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama.
This week, however, at the D-Day Commemoration, America’s representative will be a man who has disappointed his nation and its allies as have few presidents in modern times.
From the moment of his first inauguration in January 2009, he was expected to be a healer rather than a warrior. But nobody, not even his foremost Republican foes, believed that halfway through his second term of office, Obama would be giving the world a convincing impersonation of a marshmallow.
That is nonetheless where we have got to, with the black comedy of his Administration’s exchange of five top-rank Taliban prisoners for an alleged ‘Afghan war hero’, who now appears to have been a deserter whose comrades despised him.
It is suggested by one officer that in 2009 some American soldiers were killed in vain pursuit of then Private Bowe Bergdahl, after he went walkabout one night from his post in the south-eastern mountains, leaving his belongings neatly piled behind him.
Bergdahl’s story has been compared to the great TV drama series Homeland, starring Damian Lewis, which featured a Marine sergeant hailed as a hero after returning from Al Qaeda captivity, who proves to have been turned into a would-be suicide bomber.