By lex, on March 29th, 2011
So yeah, I watched the president’s speech last night. One that one wag on Twitter said he should have given 10 days ago, but never mind.
There’s a curious feature of President Obama’s speechifying: While it’s ongoing, you find yourself pursing your lips, wanting to give the nice young man a fair shot, willing to hear him through. Hoping for him, almost. After all, he is our president and our military’s commander-in-chief. He matters.
For my own part, I kept waiting to find the anchor point I could seize on, positive or negative, in his mellifluous tones of fire and death in far places. When it all wound up with the by-now obligatory “and God bless the United States of America”, I found myself trying to remember any specific point of the speech. Like an aspartame laced soft drink, the president’s speeches are sweet but leave no lingering traces.
Oh, there’s “values” and “allies” to last until Sunday. There are even “national interests,” even if they dare not speak their names.
I just found myself, having turned the TV off, wondering precisely what he had said of substance. I couldn’t find anything, at least not in the sense of a unifying theme or foreign policy prescription, that makes Libya different from Syria or the Ivory Coast, for that matter. Apart, you know: From the TLAM strikes and battle area interdiction.
Bottom line: If you’re waiting for some sort of “Obama Doctrine” on the use of US military force to synthesize out of last night’s speech, you’ve got some more waiting to do.
We ain’t there yet.