Read all of that before you read this analysis. It’s a very good speech.
Most people, Republican or Democrat, seem to have liked the speech. Of course, the Democrats like anything Obama says, so that is not relevant. But when Republicans praise him, it means we must take notice.
Of course, most Republican praise has been explained by saying that it’s exactly the kind of thing President Bush would’ve said, so it is a vindication of his policies. This is true to some extent–though Bush could never have matched Obama in terms of the quality of the presentation–but it is also true that what Obama and Bush did was the same as what any wartime President has done: say that War is necessary to achieve Peace. He says: “I know there is nothing weak –nothing passive – nothing naïve – in the creed and lives of Gandhi and King. But as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation, I cannot be guided by their examples alone. I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people.” (Italics mine)
Am I wrong, or did Obama just (a): subtly show everybody that pacifism is impractical and (b): do it front of the people who prize pacifism?
While I would wholeheartedly agree, that is surely a helluva time and place to put down pacifism.