Irvine, CA - How do you judge a State of the Union speech that begins with a lie?
There was any number of anecdotes or stories with which President
Obama could have begun his talk to the nation. But he decided to begin
with the most overused trick in any leader's rhetorical arsenal - to
celebrate the military.
"We gather tonight knowing that this generation of heroes has made the United States safer and more respected around the world."
Does the President really believe that the United States is more
respected around the world because of its military activities? Did no
one point out to him that the morning of his speech, the marine sergeant
who led the 2005 assault on Haditha that killed 24 Iraqi civilians
received no jail time for his action, same as the seven other American
soldiers who were part of the raid? As the LA Times reported in
the wake of the decision, "The lack of trial convictions in the Haditha
case is likely to further inflame anti-US sentiment in Iraq, as well as
fuel criticism by some legal analysts of the 6-year-long investigation
We can thank Obama for completing the withdrawal of most troops from
Iraq - he carefully said that there were no troops "fighting in Iraq",
but there are still thousands of Americans there, training Iraqis and
otherwise engaged in security-related activities. But where is the
apology for a war he owes his rise to power on condemning?