Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Obama's Iraq Speech

I didn't hear it live, but I read the transcript. I was prepared to offer a translated version of his remarks as I've done with prior speeches, but I don't think that's necessary this time. It's not full of lies, highly partisan or outright laughable. In other words, it was a decent speech for a change. I think its a sham to pretend that our combat operations in Iraq are done when we still have 50,000 troops in the country, but most people seem willing to indulge that fiction. My expectations for Obama are extremely low, but he exceeded them with this speech. I was impressed by what he said about former President Bush and those who supported the war.
I am mindful that the Iraq War has been a contentious issue at home. Here, too, it is time to turn the page. 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 could doubt President Bush’s support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security. As I have said, there were patriots who supported this war, and patriots who opposed it. And all of us are united in appreciation for our servicemen and women, and our hope for Iraq’s future.

The greatness of our democracy is grounded in our ability to move beyond our differences, and to learn from our experience as we confront the many challenges ahead.
That should drive the Bush Derangement Syndrome crowd crazy. I know Obama will get criticism from the right for not mentioning the surge, but I think he deserves significant credit for the passage I quoted. When you consider the raving, lunatic hatred for George Bush and for so-called "neocons" still present amongst much of the Democratic base, Obama's statement is greater than it might seem to those wanting something more substantive. Overall I found Obama's speech unobjectionable, and actually generally positive.


  1. Honestly, the surge was a battle for improving a War, not winning it. Thank God we are getting out, what a waste of our Youth and Treasury set on a bed of lies.

  2. I want to give President Obama for the passage you quote, but for me, too many other parts of the speech undercut that same passage. Not to mention his call to move beyond our differences by, essentially, supporting his spending plans on the domestic priorities of his choice.

  3. Well, as I said my expectations were pretty low. I think it's too much to ask that a politician avoid being political. And I guess I'm used to his constant attempts to pretend that support for his domestic agenda is the only thing to do.