Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Obama at Fort Hood

We do a lot of Obama bashing around here, but if we're going to be fair, we need to give the man credit where it is due. And today, the President gave an excellent speech honoring the 13 people who were killed at Fort Hood last week. The transcript of the speech is at the link and you can watch it here if you are so inclined.

The president did two important things today: he took the time to speak about each victim by name, and he said the following:

For history is filled with heroes. You may remember the stories of a grandfather who marched across Europe; an uncle who fought in Vietnam; a sister who served in the Gulf. But as we honor the many generations who have served, I think all of us — every single American — must acknowledge that this generation has more than proved itself the equal of those who have come before.

We need not look to the past for greatness, because it is before our very eyes.

This generation of soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen have volunteered in a time of certain danger. They are part of the finest fighting force that the world has ever known. They have served tour after tour of duty in distant, different and difficult places. They have stood watch in blinding deserts and on snowy mountains. They have extended the opportunity of self-government to peoples that have suffered tyranny and war. They are man and woman; white, black, and brown; of all faiths and stations — all Americans, serving together to protect our people, while giving others half a world away the chance to lead a better life.
The president is correct about all of this. We have an extraordinary military and the men and women who serve have done extraordinary things. It's easy to take their efforts for granted as we live and work and play. Even in a time of great challenges and great disagreements about many issues, we are incredibly fortunate to be Americans. And the President said exactly the right things today in describing those who work so hard to ensure our good fortune.


Gino said...

are these the same soldiers obama said were 'just air raiding villages and bombing civilains' back in august 07?

Mr. D said...

Same soldiers. I hope that the man who said it has learned a few things since then.

Anonymous said...

The man can certainly give a good speech...

Anonymous said...

...as long as his teleprompter stays up.

Night Writer said...

In PR circles today the speech is being described as one that will be studied and used as a model for future generations of how to do it right. No mention has been made, yet, of using his "shout out" press conference from last week as a model of how to do it wrong. Both are equally instructive.

Mr. D said...

Exactly, NW. And it's also instructive in conclusively demonstrating the importance of public relations.

Anonymous said...

it was an excellent speech, and you did a nice job of highlighted two of the most salient parts. You better be careful. You keep this up and you might find yourself being censured by the South Carolina GOP.

Gino, give it a rest. I notice that you quote a sentence fragment of what Obama actually said that day. There is a good reason for that. You don't want folks looking at the full context of Obama's statement. What Obama was discussing was that he felt we needed more troops on the ground in Afghanistan and that we shouldn't rely almost entirely on air power to get the job done. Given the state of Afghanistan eight years after our invasion of the country and early successes against the Taliban, it should be apparent that Obama was right. Also add that Obama made his remarks in the wake of a series of highly publicized botched airstrikes that did kill Afghani civilians, and a few days after Defense Secretary Robert Gates had offered Afghanis "Sincere condolences and personal regrets for the recent loss of innocent life as a result of coalition airstrikes." and it becomes apparent that you are completely misrepresenting what the then Senator said.
(BTW, here is the link to Gates' full statement: http://www.defenselink.mil/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=1274)

I will even concede that it was a poor choice of words, but it is dishonest to pretend that Obama was attacking the soldiers.


Mr. D said...

Thanks, Rich. I'll take my chances with the South Carolina GOP.

Night Writer said...

Just don't go hiking with Mark Sanford.

Gino said...

rich: i was contrasting how he said what he said, which pissed off many in the military (my brother, at the time, was in afghanistan with the 82AB, and he told me how well those words flew.)
(and he's there now,dammit)...

with how he said it this time.

i find humor in the public relations contrast. i wasnt implying, intentionally anyway, what you took me to say.

but, you were right to call me out on it, and i was wrong to phrase it the way i did.

NW: hiking with sanford might be fun if you fall into the kind of bush he did.
just dont let the wife find out.

Anonymous said...

maybe that incident explains his fondness for the teleprompter;)