Credit Where Credit Is Due
For those who don’t know, I rarely agree with our erstwhile savior on much of anything. I have been known to call him silly names like “Dear One,” ” Messiah” and other such veiled epithets. However, one cannot be critical of somebody’s policies, without sometimes admitting that, on occasion, the person in question actually did something well. To do otherwise would be nothing more than demonstrating what a snickering baboon one is (Rush).
So it came to pass that Barack Obama gave a pretty decent speech on the occasion of his acceptance of a Nobel Peace Prize awarded for what one presumes is possible future action. Much printer ink has been spilt on the vagaries of how such an unaccomplished man (at least at the point he was nominated in late January) won such a prestigious honor and I am not going to rehash it here. Rather, in focusing on Obama’s remarks we see a man that actually admits the necessity for war. Obama, waxing on the imperfections of man, states that in some instances, it behooves the good people of the Earth to destroy those forces of evil that seek to enslave and terrorize the innocent. Needless to say, it was a welcome change of pace from his continual bashing of the US insofar as he also recognized the need for the US to step in and fight evil from time to time (presumably when it is not tyrannizing Native Americans and African Americans).
Obama further counseled that the US must use its great power wisely, and that though we do have the power to obliterate, we should guard against such wanton use of power ensconced in blatant moral chauvinism. We are not always right, and I suppose we shouldn’t always act as if our proverbial shit doesn’t stink.
As leaders of the free world, it is incumbent upon us to actually walk the walk as well as talk the talk. Why on Earth the Bush administration never fully disavowed torture is beyond me. It is common sense that leaders set an example. Why should others follow us when we can’t even forgo a practice that is abhorrent, vile and mostly ineffective? Even from a RealPolitik standpoint it is much wiser to assert a no-torture policy and lie about it than spend years denying water-boarding is torture (it is).
So what does this all mean? Has Obama actually turned the corner and come down from the heights of cloud cuckoo land? Or should we take the more cynical approach and snidely remark that he was simply trying to throw starch into his poorly received, and defeatist speech given at West Point? Who really knows at present.
So, like Josey Wales, our beloved Dear One gave the world our words of life and our words of death. But will those words, like his vacuous promises of Hope and Change, ring hollow by his lack of action?