Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Obama’s Speech At Fort Hood: Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Yesterday Obama gave a pretty good speech to the grieving soldiers at Fort Hood. It was good because it wasn’t Obama’s standard fare of self-references and he came damn close to actually stating the cause behind the attack.

Marc Ambinder from The Atlantic says it was Obama’s best speech ever.

Marc Ambinder:
Today, at Ft. Hood. I guarantee: they'll be teaching this one in rhetoric classes. It was that good. My gloss won't do it justice. Yes, I'm having a Chris Matthews-chill-running-up-my-leg moment, but sometimes, the man, the moment and the words come together and meet the challenge. Obama had to lead a nation's grieving; he had to try and address the thorny issues of Islam and terrorism; to be firm; to express the spirit of America, using familiar, comforting tropes in a way that didn't sound trite. An excerpt from the elegiac address, below, and the full text, after the jump.
This is beyond absurd. The speech was good, and it had to be to make up for the “shout out” moment. However to rave on about it like Ambinder does only serves to whitewash the disconnect between Obama’s words and his deeds.

The things that Obama said in his speech don’t really seem to match the actions that he and his administration are taking. Here are some examples I found:
It may be hard to comprehend the twisted logic that led to this tragedy. But this much we do know - no faith justifies these murderous and craven acts; no just and loving God looks upon them with favor. And for what he has done, we know that the killer will be met with justice - in this world, and the next.
These are trying times for our country. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, the same extremists who killed nearly 3,000 Americans continue to endanger America, our allies, and innocent Afghans and Pakistanis. In Iraq, we are working to bring a war to a successful end, as there are still those who would deny the Iraqi people the future that Americans and Iraqis have sacrificed so much for.
Bravo to Obama for coming this close to actually saying Islamic fascism killed these soldiers, but let us not forget that this administration is incapable of uttering the words “War on Terror”. This administration, despite tons of daily evidence, seems loathed to label this attack a terrorist attack.
We are a nation that endures because of the courage of those who defend it. We saw that valor in those who braved bullets here at Fort Hood, just as surely as we see it in those who signed up knowing that they would serve in harm's way.
Where is that courage as Obama dithers with General McChrystal’s request for more troops in Afghanistan?
We are a nation of laws whose commitment to justice is so enduring that we would treat a gunman and give him due process, just as surely as we will see that he pays for his crimes.
Where is this commitment to law and justice as Obama and his party uses every trick in the book to force massive unread liberty-stealing legislation down the throats of the American people?
We are a nation that is dedicated to the proposition that all men and women are created equal. We live that truth within our military, and see it in the varied backgrounds of those we lay to rest today. We defend that truth at home and abroad, and we know that Americans will always be found on the side of liberty and equality. That is who we are as a people.
This administration clearly was not on the side of liberty and equality when they sat back and watched Iranians take to the streets over their stolen election. The administration certainly was not on the side of liberty when they came rushing to the aid of the ousted Honduran dictator.

As I said before, this was a good speech because the words fit the moment. It could be a great speech if Obama, his administration and his party would actually live up to the words behind it.

Via: Memeorandum
Via: The Atlantic


Fuzzy Slippers said...

I, too, thought it was a good speech, especially for BO. However, like you, I'm skeptical; he spends a great deal of time saying one thing and doing another. I'll take President Bush's post-9/11 speeches over anything BO says any day of the week. President Bush may not have been the most eloquent person in the world, but he damn sure felt what he said at times like these.

Anonymous said...

Great analysis. If his policies and actions matched the rhetoric, I'd be much less critical of him. Unfortunately, as they say in Texas, he's "all hat, no cattle".

Janelle said...

It always feels like he is playing the role of President and the uplifted gaze and jaw is so annoying.

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