Friday, February 27, 2009

Good speech to Marines by Obama

By Donald Sensing

I've been listening to President Obama's speech to the Marines at Camp Lejeune, NC, and I have to say, this is Obama's rhetorical skills at their best. His reception at entrance and introduction by the Marines was subdued and surprisingly, they did not applaud at the end, although I don't think that is necessarily indicative of any ill feeling on their part. Generally, subordinates in the military services are very reluctant to appear to be paying compliments to a higher rank - and you can't get any higher than the commander in chief. OTOH, I seem to recall that the troops were pretty wildly enthusiastic about President Bush when he spoke to such gatherings.

As for Obama's plan to withdraw all combat troops from Iraq by the end of August next year, I can't really find much fault with it. We can nit pick over another month or two, but at this point, there are two major factors that have to be acknowledged. First, except for maybe two lingering trouble spots, we've won militarily. Second, the Iraqi government and people have to have a deadline to work toward when they will need to stand up all the way.

There will also be left in the country a robust support base that will maintain the capability to receive large numbers of US combat units very rapidly if it proves necessary. I'm surprised no one has picked up on that; instead commentators parrot the president's line that the support troops will remain to support the Iraqi government. And so they will, but that's just half the story.

All US troops out of Iraq by the end of 2011? Well, it's almost three full years, but I'll believe it when I see it. It seems a deadline driven by the 2012 presidential campaign rather than strategic analysis.

Overall, though, a good speech well delivered, and one with very obvious, extensive input by the military commanders concerned.

Update: Ralph Peters said the speech was "all flash, no bang."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Were you there? I was! And there was NO Applause for this Kenyan born Impostor!

We Marines can spot a"phony" a mile away, and this Marine will leave the Corps before he salutes this "pretend" Commander-in-Chief!

Chesty Puller Lives....Semper Fi!