What Barack’s Really Saying


B. Obama has literally been smashed throughout major news media, the blogosphere, and even by Pakistan since his August 1st speech. There’s really no other way to put it. “Why the @!$%$ would you want to fight another war?” the predominant reporting on his speech has gone.

Personally, I’m just awed that the media has managed to so horrendously portray an entire speech on the basis of one oft-quoted line. “If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will,” runs the line so many have been quick to pounce on. But merely taking into consideration these words overlooks how much of the twenty minute speech is focused on foreign diplomacy.

Even the wording of this quote in particular suggests multilateral action rather than unilateral. “If… President Musharraf won’t act,” is a statement that’s been overlooked; Obama is not suggesting a head-first dive into a war of any sort. On the contrary, he’s opening the door for continued foreign diplomacy- something which virtually all analysts agree is the solution in an increasingly volatile Middle East.

Finally, another prevalent argument that has arisen concerns Obama’s “flip-flopping.” Didn’t he vote against the Iraq War? Why then does he want to apply pressure on Pakistan? One look at Obama’s now famous 2002 speech against the Iraq War speaks of his consistency. In that speech, he expressed his willingness to fight and go to war, but only given the correct intelligence. In fact, he mentioned Pakistan explicitly. “You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s make sure that… nations like Pakistan… never use the terrible weapons already in their posession…”

The most prominent opponent of the Iraq war since its onset, Obama delivered a speech that should have prompted a discussion on the foreign diplomacy the U.S. so desperately needs to practice. That the media got this speech so terrifically wrong is indeed a shame.

One Response to “What Barack’s Really Saying”

  1. 1 Josh

    We need to get the Intense Debate comment system on your blog. You have good content, but little discussion. send me an email if interested and you can be an early tester like politicalgrind. josh at intensedebate dot com.

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