(The following is an excerpt of Richard Fernandez of Belmont Club interpreting what President Obama really said at the West Point graduation)
Thank me. Thank me so very much. Even though this is ostensibly a graduation speech it is really about me. My ratings have been slipping of late and my media advisors said a photo-op in Bagram and a speech at West Point will boost the polls by about 3 points.
Among you is the first all-female command team, which I mention as an accomplishment, since there’s nothing else I can boast of. You are the first class to graduate since 9/11 who may not be sent into combat in Iraq or Afghanistan though you will probably see action elsewhere, as everything is going to hell in a handbasket. But I mention it as another kind of fake accomplishment, the only other thing I can think of other than the all-female command team.
When I first spoke at West Point in 2009, we still had more than 100,000 troops in Iraq. They had just finished a costly campaign to establish it as a cornerstone for a stable Middle East, which I then proceeded to throw away. Because I had a new strategic idea, Afghanistan, in turn replaced by a newer idea, the Arab Spring and a yet newer — Syria and Iran. None of them have worked out, but that’s not my fault. It’s been a hard run of bad luck.
Four and a half years later, as you graduate, the Middle East is in seeming turmoil. Afghanistan will be in Taliban hands two weeks after we leave. Al-Qaida has metastized though Osama bin Laden is no more, though you’ll have to take my word for it.
In fact, by most measures America is weaker than it’s been in 70 years. But I say no! Don’t worry. We are immeasurably better off simply because you’re under me. There’s a secret plan, whose outlines will become clear in due time.
Those who argue otherwise — are either misreading history or engaged in partisan politics – or simply remember what I promised only 5 years ago and are holding me up to my promises. For its true I promised to reach out to the Islamic World, win Afghanistan, stabilize the Middle East, and reset the relationship with Russia. None of that happened, because I’m playing the Long Game. You thought success would look different. I’m saying you’re not smart enough to realize what success is.
In 1989 we were the sole superower. We had beaten the Soviet Union. Today they appear to be throwing us out of the Ukraine and we can’t even resupply our astronauts without their help. But consider: America continues to attract striving immigrants, especially from Mexico. It’s true those interpreters who worked for us at the risk of their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq or the doctor who helped us find Osama bin Laden are languishing somewhere in fear of their lives. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us, they are taking our jobs and what jobs we haven’t lost we are busy giving away because they work cheaper than you.
But what most don’t understand is we are spreading the wealth, we are spreading the power!
The world seems to be going down the tubes with accelerating speed. The Chinese are expanding in the South China Sea, the Japanese are rearming, North Korea is preparing another nuclear missile test and Iran’s supreme leaders has just said America must be destroyed. But under these appearances everything is going to plan. Power is being redistributed at rate never before known in history. And that’s how you make things better.
Read the rest of this speech at Belmont Club » Brother Rat.
H/T Grim’s Hall.