Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Obama's Afghan Troop Surge Speech

That was painful. Moments ago I gave thanks to God for the relative brevity of tonight's presidential address to the West Point Cadets regarding Obama's "decision" to send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. I suspect the cadets are equally as grateful as am I, judging from their collective reaction to their new boss.

From the start of the speech I was struck by the obvious struggle of the audience between contempt and cordial respect. The applause at the entrance to the Commander in Chief was tepid, to be kind, and nothing resembling the raucous greetings George W. Bush enjoyed. I'm sure this will be excused by the left as somehow reflecting more on the composition of the crowd than on the character of the speaker.

From the outset, Obama couldn't have been more blatant in his attempt to supplant Nadia Komenich as champion of the balance beam. Beginning by reminding his audience of the outrage felt by Americans on September 11th, 2001, Obama proudly spoke of "his colleagues' work" in authorizing the use of force in response to that attack which emanated from Afghanistan. This quickly evolved into a cloaked attack on his predecessor, whom he blamed for the diversion of troops and funds to Iraq. If he's learned little on the job, Obama - or his writers - has learned to be more nuanced on such blame deflection.

While making the case, ostensibly to placate his weakening base, for his painstaking decision, Obama pointed out that those who have shared blood and sacrifice with us from the International Community were also on board in this endeavor. Yet as a senator, Obama joined in the chorus of "Bush went virtually alone", dismissing as irrelevant the 60 or more countries who participated in the Iraq War. To add some "street cred" with the most vitriolic of his fading supporters, he found a way to weave in the Vietnam War only to paint that as one of his younger crusades.

Meanwhile, the cadets valiantly battled slumber, treating the camera crew to some splendid shots. I think they cut away when a few fell out of their seats when Obama began complaining of the cost of Bush's wars and pointing out ways to save money with his "strategy". When he mentioned something about "nation-building" in America rather than abroad, I think more than a few awoke with a start.

The liberal red meat was tossed into the cage when Obama advocated an agenda of showing strength by "ending wars", and emphasized the need for more "finesse" in the prosecution of war. How much more finesse can we employ? He's already endorsed the mirandizing of enemy combatants. Do we now embed with the troops members of Levy, Phillips and Konegsburg? (I hate giving the Moore's such ideas).

I finally felt my revulsion at the speech change to anger and trepidation when Obama began speaking of "removing the tools of mass destruction", for he made it clear that he did not mean those of only the bad guys. (He can't differentiate between the real bad guys and us, after all). He wants all of us to drop our drawers and level the playing field. Socialized arsenals, anyone?

My final observation of this speech does bear a new wrinkle, one that I'm sure some of you may have noticed; Obama finally deployed the "Clinton Lip". He used it about three different times during his speech, and each time I fought the gales of laughter desperately fighting to escape me. I was afraid to miss a single word. During the speech he ended a cadence with the obvious expectation of the "applause line", and each time he was left to enjoy the sound of night insects. I could not help but notice his sour countenance upon his exit from the stage.

That was one ugly speech.

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Anonymous said...

Speak softly and carry a limp stick?

Woody said...

Very true, Pablo. And welcome to the outside the box area.

DaBear said...

Spot on Woody.

Strangely, I thought I was in a time warp - it sounded like here we go again with the Nam thing.

Terrible speech . Clearly Lyndon Baines Obama has no clue.

cube said...

You have a stronger constitution that I have. I can't sit through 5minutes of BO's prattle before my eyes roll up into my head and I lose consciousness ;-)

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