Thank you and good night.
Oh, you want more?
Fine, I wish I’d heard that speech, oh, about eight years ago.
I wish to hell that about eight years ago we’d had a president who put the same amount of deliberation and actual consideration into sending this nation into war.
The man outlined an actual plan. An actual fucking plan. With specific objectives, benchmarks, and an end. A plan actually based on ground truth as determined by the commanding general – who also took his time to get it right. That ground truth is unpleasant and worse than we wanted to hear, a lot worse, and yet it is the situation we must face if we are to succeed. The president gave the military commander exactly what he wanted, 30,000 more troops – despite the fact that giving the military what it wanted cost Obama personally with his own base and liberal supporters, an act of moral courage that you never, ever saw from the previous occupant of the office – and he outlined a very specific use for those forces. He spoke to the troops like an actual goddamned commander in chief – he didn’t sugar coat it, he didn’t blow smoke up our asses, and he very specifically reminded the nation what the bill has been so far and what it is likely to be in the future. He didn’t try to scare the nation into forming up some halfbaked wild west posse and he never used the word “emboldened” once.
His speech reminded me of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s address before Congress in the days after Pearl Harbor.
His voice rang with confidence and pride in the forces before him, he sounded like he knew what he was talking about because he’d taken the time to educate himself and consult with experts and not party hacks, he sounded like the man in charge - as opposed to the last eight years where the man giving the speech sounded like he was scared shitless.
He very specifically addressed the partisan divide in America, he reminded all of us about our resolve after 911 to stand together, and he reminded us who we are and who the actual enemy is.
I think that the course of action President Obama outlined is exactly right.
What proof do I offer?
Well, first it’s what General McChrystal asked for.
Second, it pissed off the far right – who can’t stand the fact that Obama…uh…ooooh…socialism! Liberals! Ooooh!
Third, It pissed off the far left – because they want us out of Afghanistan and Obama…uh…ooooh…Vietnam! Quagmire! Oooh!
And it pissed off the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and was condemned by the folks at Al Jezeera.
I find no little irony that the far left, the far right, and Al Jezeera are all on the same side here.
No little irony at at all.
Was there nothing I took exception too?
Well, OK. I hate the way Obama says Tallyban and Pokkastan. What the hell is that all about? It freaked me out a little, like when Tina Turner showed up with that weird European accent.
But other than that I think his speech was right on.
I look forward to seeing how the pundits will spin it.
I really do.