Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Aping for the audience

When a politician speaks to old warriors, he talks of war. When he speaks to the progressives, he talks of peace.

As it turned out, on the 40th anniversary of Woodstock Obama found himself in front of the Veterans of Foreign Wars annual convention...and he spoke of war.

Said he: "As I said when I announced this strategy, there will be more difficult days ahead. The insurgency in Afghanistan didn't just happen overnight and we won't defeat it overnight. This will not be quick, nor easy. But we must never forget: This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity. Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which al Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans. So this is not only a war worth fighting. This is a -- this is fundamental to the defense of our people."

As CBS News reported on March 25, 2003:
Rumsfeld also cautioned that the war had a long way to go. "We're still, needless to say, much closer to the beginning than to the end," he said.

Still, President Bush forecast victory during a visit to the Pentagon. "The Iraqi regime will be ended ... and our world will be more secure and peaceful,” he said.

And in October of 2003, Rumsfeld gave this assessment of the war:
"It is pretty clear that the coalition can win in Afghanistan and Iraq in one way or another, but it will be a long, hard slog."

It's really too bad Obama didn't address the Woodstock crowd. That would have made an interesting comparison, especially if he had talked about Vietnam or Afghanistan.

But at least in this setting (The VFW) he speaks like a warrior, a refreshing change indeed.

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