President Obama is the greatest political speaker I've ever heard, and that includes J.F.K., whom I happen to be old enough to have heard live, and of course many times since his assassination. I found the following comments about the troops both sincere and satisfying. What do you think? Are these comments adequate? Are they sincere?
I also want to acknowledge all of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. That includes the Camp Lejeune Marines now serving with - or soon joining - the Second Marine Expeditionary Force in Iraq; those with Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force in Afghanistan; and those among the 8,000 Marines who are preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. We have you in our prayers. We pay tribute to your service. We thank you and your families for all that you do for America. And I want all of you to know that there is no higher honor or greater responsibility than serving as your Commander-in-Chief.
One of the impressions I had during the campaign was that he is sincere, at least more than your typical politician. I have had some doubts since his taking office, but I'm still holding onto hope. Whenever a politician speaks like this, naming hard dates and clear goals, he leaves himself dangerously open to failure and criticism. It's bold. If his intentions are not sincere, then saying things like this would be nothing short of foolhardy. What do you think?
As a candidate for President, I made clear my support for a timeline of 16 months to carry out this drawdown, while pledging to consult closely with our military commanders upon taking office to ensure that we preserve the gains we’ve made and protect our troops. Those consultations are now complete, and I have chosen a timeline that will remove our combat brigades over the next 18 months.After those comments he went on to talk about the "transition period" and our being "advisors" in Iraq. I thought, "Oh, brother, here we go again." But, the President went on to make it right. He continued with these remarks.
Let me say this as plainly as I can: by August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end.
Through this period of transition, we will carry out further redeployments. And under the Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government, I intend to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011. We will complete this transition to Iraqi responsibility, and we will bring our troops home with the honor that they have earned.
He told the troops they would receive a pay raise, earning an explosion of cheers and applause from the Marines in attendance. He went on to describe the heroic deaths of two young Marines who died to protect their comrades. The crowd was hushed, tears welling up. Overall, it was one of his best speeches. What's your opinion? Did you think he was sincere to name dates like that, or foolish? What was your overall impression?