President Obama is looking about ten years older than candidate Obama did – and about ten light years further to the right. In last night’s speech from the Oval Office, when he talked about Iraq, it was as if Obama was accidentally reading one of George Bush’s old speeches:
We have sent our young men and women to make enormous sacrifices in Iraq, and spent vast resources abroad at a time of tight budgets at home. We have persevered because of a belief we share with the Iraqi people –a belief that out of the ashes of war, a new beginning could be born in this cradle of civilization. Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the United States and Iraq, we have met our responsibility. Now, it is time to turn the page.
Then, after acknowledging his disagreement with Bush throughout the war, he turned around and praised the former president:
This afternoon, I spoke to former President George W. Bush. It’s well known that he and I disagreed about the war from its outset. Yet no one could doubt President Bush’s support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security. As I have said, there were patriots who supported this war, and patriots who opposed it. And all of us are united in appreciation for our servicemen and women, and our hope for Iraq’s future.
Without a single hint of irony, Obama drew common cause with the man and the war policy he eviscerated as recently as 2008. The speech consistently reflected neocon talking points such as the need for nation-building and the spread of democracy, and the belief that the Iraqi people will be better off because of the U.S. invasion. . . . Read the rest of this entry →