Yes, I watched U.S. President Barack Obama give the commencement speech at West Point yesterday and the response from the cadets was all the commentary I needed. There was very little applause and that applause was tepid, hesitant, scattered. There was no yelling, whopping it up, no shout-outs from the cadets to support what the Commander in Chief was saying. He basically belittled them and touted the role of diplomats in the future peace of this nation. You can do a search and find articles from far left and far right and everywhere in the middle dissecting the speech down to the last word, but watch it for yourself, watch the cadets, listen for the applause.
As The Drudge Report notes, "Tepid applause from cadets: Cuts 'That's a lot of cheering' line
from prepared remarks..." That's right, because there was no cheering during Obama's speech. Obama's handlers have him on the teleprompter and don't want him giving any off-the-cuff answers to questions or comments, because he will surely stick his foot in his mouth and speak what he truly believes. And even when he is on the teleprompter, reading remarks written for him, we see the true way those around him feel about this nation. (see below re Daniel Pearl)
But the president's [Obama] clever. He hits enough of the right notes to convince even some conservatives that it was a good speech. Perhaps it was good, yet not great. Compare President Barack Obama's West Point commencement address to President George W. Bush's in 2002. President Bush embodied exceptionalism, even messianism, in stressing the forward role of America in guaranteeing "a peace that favors human liberty":
We cannot defend America and our friends by hoping for the best. We cannot put our faith in the word of tyrants, who solemnly sign non-proliferation treaties, and then systemically break them. If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long.
Homeland defense and missile defense are part of stronger security, and they're essential priorities for America. Yet the war on terror will not be won on the defensive. We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt his plans, and confront the worst threats before they emerge. In the world we have entered, the only path to safety is the path of action. And this nation will act ....
At West Point, in front of the newest military officers we have, Obama set forth his new security strategy not based on strength of military or nation, but on ... diplomacy. Obama puts forth a strategy that is "not Bush", or that is anti-Bush, just like the Democrat campaign strategy for 2010 will continue the theme of 2008 - we're not Bush. Isn't that getting a little old?
And by the way, how's that "I'm not Bush" foreign policy working out for the United States? Iran will go nuclear in a few months. North Korea still has nukes and recently shot a South Korean ship out of the water killing several on board. The Taliban are attacking us on U.S. soil using naturalized U.S. citizens. Al-Qaeda still has safe havens in Pakistan, Afghanistan and even in Iran.
The Commander in Chief of the United States of America said about Daniel Pearl who was decapitated on video by jihadist Muslims in Karachi on Feb. 1, 2002:
"Obviously, the loss of Daniel Pearl was one of those moments that captured the world's imagination because it reminded us of how valuable a free press is."
Now Obama's off the prompter, when his silver-tongued rhetoric invariably turns to sludge. But he's talking about a dead man here, a guy murdered in public for all the world to see. Furthermore, the deceased's family is standing all around him. And, even for a busy president, it's the work of moments to come up with a sentence that would be respectful, moving and true. Indeed, for Obama, it's the work of seconds, because he has a taxpayer-funded staff sitting around all day with nothing to do but provide him with that sentence.
Instead, he delivered the one above, which in its clumsiness and insipidness is most revealing. First of all, note the passivity: "The loss of Daniel Pearl." He wasn't "lost." He was kidnapped and beheaded. He was murdered on a snuff video. He was specifically targeted, seized as a trophy, a high-value scalp. And the circumstances of his "loss" merit some vigor in the prose. Yet Obama can muster none. [snip]
Notice how reflexively Obama lapses into sentimental one-worldism: Despite our many zip codes, we are one people, with a single imagination. In fact, the murder of Daniel Pearl teaches just the opposite – that we are many worlds, and worlds within worlds. Some of them don't even need an "imagination." [snip]
.... The man who actually did the deed was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who confessed in March 2007: "I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi." But Obama's not the kind to take "guilty" for an answer, so he's arranging a hugely expensive trial for KSM amid the bright lights of Broadway. (Mark Steyn)
Read all of Mark Steyn's "Obama's Lazy Tribute to Daniel Pearl" and get an earful of our president who mocks the military, appeases the enemy, ruins our economy, whose answer to every tragedy is to form another Blue Ribbon committee or government agency, and who has clearly told the world our new security strategy is basically "can we talk?"
As I said before, God help us all.