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The Obama Doctrine: A Brave New World

An excerpt from the inaugural address of President Barack H. Obama, delivered January 20, 2009.

My fellow Americans:

When I was running for this office that you have chosen to entrust with me, I pledged that I would end this foolish war in Iraq and withdraw our troops. As my first action as your president, I am honoring that commitment. First thing tomorrow morning, I will instruct the Joint Chiefs to immediately begin withdrawing our forces on as rapid a basis as possible, with the last American to be out if Iraq by Christmas of this year.

To the government of Iraq, I quote the classic film "Animal House:" "You fucked up. You trusted us." When you agreed to stand against the terrrorists and insurgents and Baathists and outside agitators and form a government with our assistance, you placed your faith and your very lives -- along with the lives of your loved ones -- in our hands.

You should have learned the lesson of the Iraqis who rebelled against Saddam in 1998. Or the lessons the Somalis learned in 1993. Or the lesson that the people of Lebanon learned in 1982. Or the lesson that the Shah of Iran learned in 1978. Or the lesson learned by the people of South Viet Nam in 1975. Or our own Native American tribes, who saw us set aside or just plain ignore almost every treaty we signed with them as we took more and more of their lands and confined them to reservations.

That lesson is simple: if you put your faith in America to stand by its commitment to stand by you, to defend you, to fight alongside you, you are a fool. We will keep that pledge as long as it is convenient and expedient, then will cut and run and leave you high and dry without a single glance back.

This should come as no surprise to anyone. It has been a bedrock principle for international politics for centuries. The word of almost every government has always had the unspoken condition: "as long as it suits our purposes, and not an instant longer." The only change was that America actually tried to convince the rest of the world that we were different, that our word was our bond, that our commitment actually meant something, and was not something that would be tossed on to the ash heap of history at our soonest convenience.

To the rest of the world, I say this: if you threaten us, our interests, or our allies, we will fight you. We will stand against you, we will unleash as much of our military force as we find politically expedient, spend enough money to run the risk of making ourselves uncomfortable, and then we will concede the battle and run back to safer places -- or run home entirely -- should you put up enough of a fight.

The era of America being "the world's policeman" is over. Should some nation or group commit some great atrocity, some crime against humanity, America will stand ready to say "tsk, tsk" with the rest, to wring our hands and wish that someone would do something, and then go back to business as usual with the butchers and the terrorists and the oppressors and the conquerors. Remember, my door is always open to any nation or quasi-nation, and my State Department is ready to negotiate with anyone about anything at any time. I know and accept that the likelihood of any of these agreements actually meaning anything are virtually non-existent, but I am ready and prepared to do whatever it takes to win a Nobel Peace Prize, just like my hero, Jimmy Carter.

To echo the words of President Kennedy, let the word go forth from this time and place that a new era of Americanism has begun. No longer do we seek to be respected and trusted. From now on, we just want to be liked. Or, at least, not disliked, and we are prepared to undo any deeds, apologize for any wrongs, renounce any pledges, betray any ally, and flee any fight if it might move us closer to that goal.

To this I pledge our nation's lives, our national self-esteem, and the very last shreds of our nation's honor.


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Comments (24)

Somehow you omitted this pa... (Below threshold)

Somehow you omitted this paragraph from his address. I'm sure by mistake:

"On behalf of the government of the United States I sincerely apologize to the families of all those wasted dead, maimed and wounded soldiers, sailors and Marines. The United States abhors the lies and the cheating of the most reviled president of the United States and his Cabinet for driving us into this unnecessary and murderous war. The government apologizes for the terrible economic impact of the waste of hundreds of billions of dollars on this war of choice. We are sincerely sorry for violating deep held American values when we acted like thugs and criminals from the past by engaging in torture and then continually lying about it.

I have yet to deliver my apologies on behalf of our government to the people of Iraq for the hundreds and thousands of dead and god knows how many maimed and wounded citizens from a war started on impulse and justified by lies and distraction. We are sorry that we have strengthened the resolve and, yes, the recruiting efforts of the vilest terrorists in the history of the world. Needless to say, despite the promise of the past president, to capture and hold responsible the two men most responsible for the 9/11 and who had no help whatsoever from Iraq, we will continue to hunt for them and hopefully capture him without using cowboy words of bravado and slang. And I promise that I will not wear a flying suit in an effort to show my package and stand under a silly banner to look and sound as utterly stupid as the last person who did that."

I truly doubt he mistakenly... (Below threshold)

I truly doubt he mistakenly omitted that bit of insane idiocy JFO. I doubt President Obama is that stupid but live the dream JFO because that is what your addition represents.

JFO is a perfect example of... (Below threshold)

JFO is a perfect example of what JT is talking about-cowards

jow66,I find it in... (Below threshold)
Sky Captain:


I find it intriguing that you consider JFO a "coward".
Partisan, yes.
Over the top, maybe.

Please enlighten us as to why he is a "coward".

Note - I have decided to have jow66 "put up or shut up".

JFO, maybe you should consi... (Below threshold)

JFO, maybe you should consider praying
for a forgiving heart, your bitterness
is palpable even on the internet.

And, it might be a good idea you study
WWII, you'll see it along with the other
major wars was fought on a variety of fronts.

JFO is spot-on. But of cour... (Below threshold)

JFO is spot-on. But of course "Barack Obama is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life"

To subscribe to any part of... (Below threshold)

To subscribe to any part of that drooling idiocy would be an irrevocable breach of the trust implicit in our acceptance of the office of the President. I also lack the vocabulary to further describe my loathing for those who espouse that crap in socially acceptable terms, so we'll just say "go park that attitude, skippy".

"Help me Obama-wan. You're ... (Below threshold)

"Help me Obama-wan. You're my only hope."

Out, out, brief candle!
[Obama's] but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by [a Chicago pol], full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Jay also left out the origi... (Below threshold)

Jay also left out the original first line: "After 8 long years, our long national nightmare is finally over."

I don't question anyone's p... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

I don't question anyone's physical courage. Perhaps they have shown it in the past or they are capable of exhibiting that in the future.

I do, at times question moral courage, it's what you think and what you say.

Mark Twain..
"It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare."

Senator McCain spent almost... (Below threshold)
Boycot Obama:

Senator McCain spent almost 6 years as a POW. One of his cell mates was a hero named Mike Christian from Alabama. Mike didn''t wear a pair of shoes until he was 13 years old. Mike enlisted at 17 and became a pilot who was shot down and captured. The Vietnamese allowed some POW''s to get boxes from home. In these boxes were handkerchiefs and clothing. Mike made a bamboo needle and over a couple of months created an American flag. Everyday, before we had a bowl of soup, we would hang up the flag and say the Pledge of Allegiance. I know being proud of America isn''t important these days but I can assure you that in that stark cell it was indeed the most important and meaningful event. One day, the Vietnamese searched our cell and discovered Mike''s flag. That evening they beat Mike severely. After the excitement died down, I looked in the corner of the room, and sitting there with a piece of red cloth, another shirt and his bamboo needle, was Mike. He was there with his eyes almost shut from the beating, making another American flag. He wasn''t making it because it made him feel better, but because he knew how important it was to us to be able to Pledge our allegiance to our flag and country. So the next time you say the Pledge of Allegiance, you must never forget Senator Obama''s anti-American comments and support of a racist church. Be proud to be an American and support the ideals that promote freedom, liberty, and racial equality to all Americans.

I'm looking forward to the ... (Below threshold)

I'm looking forward to the chickens coming home to roost for the cowards of the country. Literally thousands of terrorists attacks around the world and '0' in the U.S. or against U.S. property, since we decided to quit running and fight back. I'll bet my, strike that, your life we don't 'excape' attack around the world with a coward (aka any democrat) in the white house. Those cut and runners on here are betting the lives of they're families, hope it (being a coward) works out for the first time in history. Blowing up an abandoned tent and killing a useless old camel worked great (about as effective as destroying an asprin factory) for the last nutcase democrat in the white house. It got us 9-11, but then it missed him and his family so no big deal. The next one will be much worse and the effect last for years. The terrorist learn by failure. You can take that to the bank.

John McCain: "My fellow Ame... (Below threshold)
Lil Oldman:

John McCain: "My fellow Americans, I promise to keep pouring American money and bodies into Iraq in the hope that someday, somehow the Iraqi people will unilaterally decide to stop blowing us and themselves up and form a peaceful democratic society. Even if it means the destruction of American military and economic dominance. It's my turn, dammit!"

It has been the dream to de... (Below threshold)

It has been the dream to dems to make IRAQ just like VietNam.
With Obama they will succeed.
In 1973 The US troops left NAM.
The South Vietnamese repelled multiple attacks. In 1975 the North lunch another offensive and with the SOuth needing money and equipment to fight back the US Congress and Senate lead by Ted Kennedy turned their back on them.
This lead to the fall of Vietnam Laos and Cambodia and thousands dead. It also lead to refuges for South Vietnam coming to the US. So to all those ****er who say that those people did not want democracy I ask you why did the come to the US.

I can always tell the ones ... (Below threshold)

I can always tell the ones who know absolutely nothing about what is going on in Iraq. They all speak in the same tone as Lil Oldman.

"A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing"

None at all is deadly to many.

The only similarities betwe... (Below threshold)

The only similarities between Vietnam and Iraq are that they both were foreign policy disasters, initiated and sustained by the "military industrial complex' that Eisenhower so prophetically warned us about, and ultimately failed/will fail to achieve their objectives, resulting in little or nothing to show for the devastating costs, monetary and, most tragically, human death and suffering.

But hey, let's look on the bright side, shall we; the oil companies/Halliburton/KBR all are doing really, REALLY well. God Bless America?

That was pretty incoherent,... (Below threshold)

That was pretty incoherent, groucho. Confirms that you understand the history of neither conflict.

"A little knowledge can be ... (Below threshold)
Lil Oldman:

"A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing" - True indeed.

Since you are so well versed on the subject, MichaelC, why don't you enlighten us all. What exactly is going on in Iraq to justify the incredible expense to the U.S.?

Jay, that was mean, nasty a... (Below threshold)

Jay, that was mean, nasty and probably accurate.

So Vietnam and Iraq are for... (Below threshold)

So Vietnam and Iraq are foreign policy successes? Did the outcome in Southeast Asia justify 55,000 dead? Does the lack of success in Iraq (no WMD, no real retribution against those who perpretrated 9/11, no functioning democracy, and very little rebuilding of a country we pre-emptively destroyed justify the cost?

And can you dispute that the people who have profited consistently and well in both conflicts have been the arms merchants/manufacturers and, especially in Iraq, the privatized support companies? Time to wake up and smell the smell of your money being burned.

Jay, I appreciate the attem... (Below threshold)

Jay, I appreciate the attempt to change he subject, but I think you didn't get the memo: Wizbang is now and henceforth will be dedicated to discussing the differences between men and women and how real men and real women can find each other and have real relationships without really sacrificing their realness. Politics are fine, but if you want to discuss them , you're going to have to try to find a place that's receptive to that kind thing, k?

Swanny, I'm a 40-year-old s... (Below threshold)

Swanny, I'm a 40-year-old straight man who's never been married. I gotta stick to the stuff I at least can PRETEND I know about.


The operative word being PR... (Below threshold)

The operative word being PRETEND - just kidding JT, or was I?

Sky Cap'-I will do neither-... (Below threshold)

Sky Cap'-I will do neither-my opinion-you have yours.






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