As I listened to President Obama deliver the commencement address to the graduating class of 2010 from West Point, all I could think of was that the audience must have felt short-changed. The speech was delivered by a liberal with no clue about the military. That was painfully obvious. The speech was poorly written - the fault of speech writers, not the president - and tossed in everything but assurances from a supportive commander in chief. Passion was absent and emotion was non-existent.
HERE is the text.
Among the lines delivered, Obama continued the far left lie that the U.S. decided to 'go it alone' in Iraq. This completely re-writes history. After 17 U.N. resolutions were ignored and the newly minted war on terror became the issue to the day, The U.S. entered Iraq but we had a small coalition of partners. To write off the contributions of Great Britain, Australia, Poland, Italy, Germany, and other partners is just wrong. Many nations have sacrificed for Iraq's freedom from Saddam. His slap at the previous administration - "In the past, we've always had the foresight to avoid acting alone."
"We must develop clean energy that can power new industry and unbound us from foreign oil and preserve our planet. We have to pursue science and research that unlocks wonders as unforeseen to us today as the microchip and the surface of the moon were a century ago." Liberal pap.
And, more jabs - "But this is a different kind of war. There will be no simple moment of surrender to mark the journey's end - no armistice, no banner headline. Though we have had more success eliminating al Qaeda leaders in recent months than in recent years..." Really?
An interesting recap was written by a parent in the audience. The author uses a pen name to remain anonymous but his child graduated from West Point yesterday.
His assessment of the audience's lukewarm reception - polite applause included - was apparent through the television lens, too. There were several awkward pauses as the president waited for applause that was not forthcoming. For a man who is heralded as the best speech deliverer, ever, he was halting and clumsy. He was not in his comfort zone.
President Obama did, however, show promise. This speech was noticeably absent of his standard insertions of "I" into each sentence.
I couldn't help but reflect back to previous speeches since the current wars began by former President Bush and Secretary of Defense Gates. Obviously the West Point audience did, too.