During his recent visit to China, President Obama spent 30 minutes after his official business was concluded touring China’s most well-known attraction, the Great Wall. 30 minutes isn’t that much time to spend on the Great Wall: it was built almost five hundred years before Christ and stretches on for roughly 6,000 miles. It is visible from the moon and from a low Earth orbit, reputedly the only man-made object to claim such distinction.
President Obama’s Great Wall tour is understandable, and since it isn’t something anybody can see without travelling to China, it’s perfectly reasonable that most visits to China, Presidential or otherwise, include a stop along it. The opportunity is just too much to pass up.
Media-hounds may recall that, weeks ago, President Obama also toured an historic American destination: Arlington National Cemetary. In remembrance of Veterans’ Day, President Obama silently toured the graves of America’s fallen service-men and -women, thinking and paying his respects. For 15 minutes.
President Obama spent half as much time touring the graves of fallen American soldiers, on a day set aside in their honor while we are again engaged in violent military conflict, than he did touring the Great Wall of China. Most likely, extenuating circumstances dictated the time alotted to each tour: scheduling constraints, travel arrangements, etc. Surely, there were reasons for the disparity in times.
And yet, the fact remains.