PRESIDENT OBAMA has retrenched U.S. global engagement in a way that has shaken the confidence of many U.S. allies and encouraged some adversaries. That conclusion can be heard not just from Republican hawks but also from senior officials from Singapore to France and, more quietly, from some leading congressional Democrats. As he has so often in his political career, Mr. Obama has elected to respond to the critical consensus not by adjusting policy but rather by delivering a big speech.
In his address Wednesday to the graduating cadets at West Point , Mr. Obama marshaled a virtual corps of straw men, dismissing those who “say that every problem has a military solution,” who “think military intervention is the only way for America to avoid looking weak,” who favor putting “American troops into the middle of [Syria’s] increasingly sectarian civil war,” who propose “invading every country that harbors terrorist networks” and who think that “working through international institutions . . . or respecting international law is a sign of weakness.”
Upon his introduction at the graduation ceremony at the US Military Academy at West Point, Obama, the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, received only a light smattering of applause with an aborted attempt at standing O by a small handful in the audience and none of the cadets.
Here is what the military thinks of a president who abandons a Marine held in a Mexican prison for taking a wrong turn, neglects the VA, shuts out veterans from national memorials during shut-down theater, forces suicidal RoE on the military, lies about Benghazi, takes full credit for killing Osama Bin Laden after preparing to blame the military if anything went wrong, and then leaks information that leads to Navy Seal deaths, and then sends their parents form-letter condolence notes signed with an auto-pen:
Full speech, here.
Just by way of comparison, here’s how West Point cadets reacted to President Bush when he spoke before the academy in December of 2008 – that would have been at possibly the lowest ebb of his popularity as president.
Note the cheers and the standing O by the Cadets who had to be told by their Commander in Chief to sit down.
Via the Daily Mail, here are the bullet points from Obama’s speech: I’m NOT WEAK: Obama answers critics in West Point speech and insists the US must lead the world by example – ‘If we don’t, no one else will’
- ‘I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being,’ the president insisted
- Yet he used the words ‘partner’ and ‘partnership’ 16 times in his speech at West Point, outlining a contradictory foreign policy
- Obama replaced the phrase ‘collective action’ – in his prepared remarks – with the words ‘multilateral action’ several times
- Working through NATO and the UN will dominate American foreign policy, Obama said: ‘This is American leadership, American strength
communal, uh – I mean collective, oops! uh – I mean multilateral action….”
Obama called for diplomacy and ‘multilateral action’ in the face of global threats. His prepared remarks, distributed by the White House, replaced that phrase with the words ‘collective action.’
Receiving tepid applause and a short standing ovation from less than one-quarter of the audience upon his introduction, Obama argued for a contradictory foreign policy that relies on NATO and the United Nations while insisting that ‘America must always lead on the world stage.’
‘If we don’t, no one else will,’ he insisted.
But ‘we require partners,’ he said, using the words ‘partner’ or ‘partnership’ 16 times in his speech.
Wow, his speech stunk so bad, Obama even lost the Washington Post editorial board: At West Point, President Obama binds America’s hands on foreign affairs:
Poweline: MORE MUSH FROM THE WIMP