Der Spiegel has a scathing review of last night's Afghanistan speech by Barack Obama...some of the highlights:
Just minutes before the president took the stage inside Eisenhower Hall, the gathered cadets were asked to respond "enthusiastically" to the speech. But it didn't help: The soldiers' reception was cool.
One didn't have to be a cadet on Tuesday to feel a bit of nausea upon hearing Obama's speech. It was the least truthful address that he has ever held. He spoke of responsibility, but almost every sentence smelled of party tactics. He demanded sacrifice, but he was unable to say what it was for exactly.
It was a dizzying combination of surge and withdrawal, of marching to and fro. The fast pace was reminiscent of plays about the French revolution: Troops enter from the right to loud cannon fire and then they exit to the left. And at the end, the dead are left on stage.
But in this case, the public was more disturbed than entertained....
A stunning turnaround from those who pined for the election of Barack Obama. Have they also realized they were duped? Or is this just more reflexive anti-Americanism from people who Obama swore would heel to him once he was elected?
I think Der Spiegel is being honest here. And I think, in the future, they will be less harsh on the next shoot-from-the-hip, ten-gallon-hat-wearing unilateralist cowboy that saunters into the White House.
Because now they know what the alternative looks like. And methinks their nausea is based in fear; fear of what kind of unravelling the world is facing in the next three years, and how alone they are without a resolute America.
Sicker, but wiser, I suppose....