Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The President's Speech Tonight

Before I state why I was underwhelmed, let me offer my congratulations and thanks to the Corps of Cadets for acquitting themselves marvelously. There were more than polite to their commander-in-chief, a man I understand isn't extremely popular at West Point.

Now, my bullet-point issues with the President's speech:
--The word victory wasn't used once. When you're addressing soldiers, especially when the subject is war, mention winning.
--The President doesn't have a firm grasp of history, especially regarding the Vietnam war. It was not a "popular uprising" by any stretch.
--The President's policy of turning the fight over to the Afghanis, while important, reeks of "vietnamization". We cut off support to the South Vietnamese too soon, and the results speak for themselves. Two words: reeducation camps.
--Timetables don't win wars. Overwhelming force wins wars.
--Based on this president's timetable, General McCrystal has about a year to win the war. I wonder if the "tolly-bahn" will have anything to say about that?
--Can you quit with the digs at your predecessor already?
--You can try to rewrite history, Mr. President, but that doesn't make it so.
--Last spring the president said, "I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future." If that's the case, why did it take him 3 months to act on his hand-picked general's recommendations? And to say that his 3 month wait didn't have any impact was disingenuous at best.
--"Years of debate over Iraq and terrorism have left our unity on national security issues in tatters, and created a highly polarized and partisan backdrop for this effort." And who is responsible for that? (Hint: it wasn't President Bush.)
--He came across as angry, or at least sternly lecturing.

What wasn't so bad:
--It seems he's begrudgingly come around to the realization that the Surge in Iraq worked, and that Iraq is now a stable country. What was it he said in July 2007? "Here's what we know. The Surge has not worked."
--He laid out a "why we fight" argument.
--He's providing the troops.

I guess we'll see what happens.


PeggyU said...

Let's see what happens. My brother is going back again. Yeah, let's see what happens. I am less than thrilled that this man is at the helm.

Darren said...

I'm glad your brother will have even more people fighting with him.

I'm not so thrilled with this guy at the helm, either. As Instapundit keeps saying, a repeat of the Carter years appears to be the *best* case scenario.

Ellen K said...

I didn't appreciate Chris Matthews suggestion that the Westpoint Cadets were "the enemy." I thought Al Quaida was the enemy, but Matthews and his cohorts at MSNBC let the comment that Obama was "taking it to the enemy" by speaking at Westpoint slide. What a shame nobody seems willing to call him on it.

Darren said...

Matthews has apologized for it.

Lilac Sunday said...

The omission of the word "victory" was striking, wasn't it?
And Donald Rumsfeld is, thankfully, publicly challenging Obama's assertion that prior requests for troop escalation were ignored.

allen (in Michigan) said...

You can't let Matthews get to you. He's an archetypal liberal in that he assumes without a second thought that the world revolves around him and hates being reminded it doesn't. Like when airliners are flown into buildings.

When the evidence of Matthews' vulnerability is rubbed in his face, like for instance when a couple of airliners are flown into buildings, the first reaction is speechless shock followed rapidly by a determined effort to put the episode into the past and out of mind.

Once the reality of the dangers of this world are firmly expelled from the consciousness of Matthews and his like they can get back to pretending fear of those who aren't quite as self-involved and can't so easily refuse to confront the dangers of this world. People like the cadets at Westpoint.