Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Searching in Vain for the Obama Magic
By Gabor Steingart | 12/02/2009 | SPIEGEL ONLINE
Never before has a speech by President Barack Obama felt as false as his Tuesday address announcing America's new strategy for Afghanistan. It seemed like a campaign speech combined with Bush rhetoric -- and left both dreamers and realists feeling distraught.
One can hardly blame the West Point leadership. The academy commanders did their best to ensure that Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama's speech would be well-received.
Just minutes before the president took the stage inside Eisenhower Hall, the gathered cadets were asked to respond "enthusiastically" to the speech. But it didn't help: The soldiers' reception was cool.
One didn't have to be a cadet on Tuesday to feel a bit of nausea upon hearing Obama's speech. It was the least truthful address that he has ever held. He spoke of responsibility, but almost every sentence smelled of party tactics. He demanded sacrifice, but he was unable to say what it was for exactly.