Obama’s Iraq Speech

by Ryan on September 1, 2010

in Election 2010,International Relations,Politics,The Iraq Front,War on Terror

Last night, President Obama decided to give a speech on the day “Operation Iraqi Freedom” was to end.  Going forward, it will be known as “Operation New Dawn,” where we’ll train up and send small special ops forces around Iraq in training exercises and for small operations/skirmishes, respectively.

I watched the speech live last night and listened to much of the commentary afterward.   I thought the President lived up to his “No Drama Obama” reputation by giving more of a “glad it’s over” than a “Hey, we’re leaving with honor!” vibe.  It was a yawner.  Though, I was glad to hear him acknowledge President Bush:

This afternoon, I spoke to former President George W. Bush. It’s well known that he and I disagreed about the war from its outset. Yet no one can doubt President Bush’s support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security.

I kind of wish it was Dubya who gave that speech last night — it just didn’t feel right with cut-and-run Obama touting a victory that wouldn’t have happened had he gotten his way.

Another thing that would have been different had Bush given the speech is that Bush wouldn’t have turned an Iraq War speech into this (my bold):

But we have also understood that our nation’s strength and influence abroad must be firmly anchored in our prosperity at home. And the bedrock of that prosperity must be a growing middle class.Unfortunately, over the last decade, we’ve not done what’s necessary to shore up the foundations of our own prosperity. We spent a trillion dollars at war, often financed by borrowing from overseas. This, in turn, has short-changed investments in our own people, and contributed to record deficits. For too long, we have put off tough decisions on everything from our manufacturing base to our energy policy to education reform. As a result, too many middle-class families find themselves working harder for less, while our nation’s long-term competitiveness is put at risk.

Huh?  Using this Oval Office speech on Iraq to blame the war for the poor economy, to hock cap-and-trade/union bailouts under the guise of “education reform” and to infer a class warfare message?

The facts on the Iraq War’s deficit spending tell a different story.  Nonetheless, this digression turned a speech where I was about to give Obama a C for showing up and not doing any damage into a typical failed attempt at gravitas and rising to a moment like effective President’s do.  It fell flat and made him look smaller.

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