In an earlier posting I remarked that Obama’s speech this past week at the National Defense University was basically a unilateral capitulation in the “global war on terror.”
In the 7,000-word speech he said “a perpetual war — through drones or Special Forces or troop deployments — will prove self-defeating, and alter our country in troubling ways,” and he outlined his plan to win the hearts and minds of people who wouldn’t mind cutting out our hearts. We’ve tried the hearts-and-mind strategy and it never ceases to fail.
But I was kind compared to Newt Gingrich, who called the speech “just stunningly, breathtakingly naïve.”
The former Speaker of the House added:
“He says at one point ‘wars have to end.’ Well, [Leon] Trotsky said, ‘you may not care about war, but war cares about you.’ I mean, right after you have somebody beheaded in London, you have a bomb go off in Boston, you have the Iranians … every day trying to penetrate our system with cyber, you have an Iranian nuclear program underway and the president announces cheerfully, ‘the war’s going to end because I’m not happy being a war president.’”
Bret Stephens at The Wall Street Journal called message delivered in the speech Obama’s “Retreat Doctrine:”
“It’s alluring to think that, merely by declaring an end to ‘continual warfare,’ we can end continual warfare; that we can define our problems as we’d like them to be, rather than take them as they are and have them define us in turn.
“Thus the operating assumption of Mr. Obama’s speech, and for that matter his entire presidency: Saying it makes it so.”
Stephens also pointed out the absurdity of Obama’s claim that war has cost us “well over a trillion dollars … exploding our deficits and constraining our ability to nation-build at home,” when the federal government has spent $31.3 trillion since 2002. The war has hardly exploded our deficits. It is the lavish spending from Washington on all those stimulus programs, entitlements, ObamaCare, green energy and so much more that is the problem.
Even the Obama-friendly New York Times pointed out a few incongruities, including the fact this Nobel Peace Prize recipient has a “kill list.”
According to the piece by Peter Baker, Obama is trying to repair his legacy:
“He wanted to be known for healing the rift with the Muslim world, not raining down death from above.
“Over the past year, aides said, Mr. Obama spent more time on the subject than on any other national security issue, including the civil war in Syria. The speech he would eventually deliver at the National Defense University became what one aide called ‘a window into the presidential mind’ as Mr. Obama essentially thought out loud about the trade-offs he sees in confronting national security threats.”
The Times tale ends aptly with a quote from South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, “At the end of the day, this is the most tone-deaf president I ever could imagine, making such a speech at a time when our homeland is trying to be attacked literally every day.”
“But this war, like all wars, must end,” Obama said Thursday. The best way to end a war, like a fistfight, is to win. Just dropping your hands to your side is an invitation for trouble.
It reminds me of a really, really old Aggie joke — with Obama playing the role of the assistant coach from Texas A&M dispatched to Austin to win the hearts and minds of the Longhorn’s coaching staff and discover the secret as to why the Longhorns kept beating the Aggies in football.
The assistant coach went straight to then coach Darrell Royal (that’s how old the joke is) and asks, “Why do you beat us every year?”
Royal replies, “Because Aggies are stupid.”
The coach asks, “What do you mean?”
“Allow me to demonstrate,” Royal answers and holds his hand up to a brick wall and says, “Hit my hand.”
When the coach obliges, Royal pulls his hand away.
Back at College Station, with his right hand in a cast, the assistant is asked by his head coach what Royal said. He replies, “He said Aggies are stupid.”
“What do you mean?”
“Allow me to demonstrate.” The assistant holds his left hand in front of his face and says, “Hit my hand.”