State Directed Media Sees Shakespeare’s Henry V In Obama’s Speech To His Troops

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Yes, the troops in Afghanistan have been inspired or at least lectured, by a vainglorious president, a man of little note and record, President Obama. In a speech hailed by Obama’s most outspoken sycophant and pimp, Chris Mathews, as being reminiscent of Henry V’s address to his troops on the eve of a critical battle, in which they faced almost certain annihilation at Agincourt, France.

Chris Mathews,

“I imagine being a soldier over there — this is what you want to hear.”

It was right out of Henry V actually, a touch of Barry, in this case, in the night for those soldiers risking their lives over there.

The troops are backed up by the people at home and there you have your Commander-in-Chief there with you personally. It’s great stuff.

Well that’s great stuff. I was so proud of the President there, I must say. This has nothing to do with partisanship; this is the Commander-in-Chief meeting with the troops.

In his typical style, Mathews continued to praise Obama, making up for a lack of meaningful content with enthusiasm and adolescent puppy love.

Jim Moran, Democrat from Virginia, seemed to read from the same script writer, he also joined the chorus praising Obama:

“He is our Commander-in-Chief and not just by claiming to be, but by acting as a Commander-in-Chief should act. This was a Commander-in-Chief’s speech. It was not political. It was motivational; it was just exactly what the troops needed to hear and [just] as important, what their families need to hear back home.”

Moran claimed that the president was “acting” like a commander “should act” and not just by claiming to be a commander, that the speech was not about politics and that Obama was not going to make this into a campaign issue. One of the most remarkable things about Moran’s remarks is that he said them with a straight face.

We must remember that no one knows exactly what Henry V said on the eve of that fateful battle. We tend to romanticize about him and the battle because of Shakespeare’s play.

Henry’s position was more tenuous than Obama, he faced not only the destruction of his army, but his own death. There was no question as to the courage of the war time commanders in the days of Henry V. He needed to inspire his men to fight beyond their abilities and he was willing to fight alongside them.

The genius of Shakespeare and the speech writers of Obama are hardly worthy opponents, but Mathews has stressed the similarity of Obama and Henry. Of course the Henry that everyone visualizes is a fictional character, but the fill in the blank president is primarily a fictional character, since we don’t really have the facts concerning his murky past.

Shakespeare’s Henry had to convince his troops that their smaller numbers would be an advantage, that battles were more than mathematical formulas; they had the opportunity to fight for honor, for justice, and for glory. The upcoming battle was an honor and a chance to accumulate more honor than anything else they would face for the rest of their lives. Henry was careful in noting the bond between king and commoner, in Act III, scene 1, he skillfully unites himself with his men.

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition….

Thus Henry reassures the commoner that he will be forever linked to royalty by fighting in the glorious battle.

Although, Shakespeare has inspired the speeches of many commanders before battle, most have been careful to delete the nuances of class distinctions and leave out the “I” word, but it is too hard to resist for our Narcissist. He wants desperately to be perceived as a great war strategist and leader, to be identified with our warriors, and unless he sounds as if he is actively involved like Henry was, his image suffers.

Good evening from Bagram Air Base. This outpost is more than 7,000 miles from home, but for over a decade it’s been close to our hearts. Because here, in Afghanistan, more than half a million of our sons and daughters have sacrificed to protect our country.

Today, I signed a historic agreement between the United States and Afghanistan that defines a new kind of relationship between our countries — a future in which Afghans are responsible for the security of their nation, and we build an equal partnership between two sovereign states; a future in which war ends, and a new chapter begins.

Tonight, I’d like to speak to you about this transition. But first, let us remember why we came here. It was here, in Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden established a safe haven for his terrorist organization. It was here, in Afghanistan, where al Qaeda brought new recruits, trained them, and plotted acts of terror. It was here, from within these borders, that al Qaeda launched the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 innocent men, women and children.

And so, 10 years ago, the United States and our allies went to war to make sure that al Qaeda could never again use this country to launch attacks against us. Despite initial success, for a number of reasons, this war has taken longer than most anticipated. In 2002, bin Laden and his lieutenants escaped across the border and established safe haven in Pakistan. America spent nearly eight years fighting a different war in Iraq. And al Qaeda’s extremist allies within the Taliban have waged a brutal insurgency.

But over the last three years, the tide has turned. We broke the Taliban’s momentum. We’ve built strong Afghan security forces. We devastated al Qaeda’s leadership, taking out over 20 of their top 30 leaders. And one year ago, from a base here in Afghanistan, our troops launched the operation that killed Osama bin Laden. The goal that I set — to defeat al Qaeda and deny it a chance to rebuild — is now within our reach.

Still, there will be difficult days ahead. The enormous sacrifices of our men and women are not over. But tonight, I’d like to tell you how we will complete our mission and end the war in Afghanistan.

First, we’ve begun a transition to Afghan responsibility for security. Already, nearly half of the Afghan people live in places where Afghan security forces are moving into the lead. This month, at a NATO Summit in Chicago, our coalition will set a goal for Afghan forces to be in the lead for combat operations across the country next year. International troops will continue to train, advise and assist the Afghans, and fight alongside them when needed. But we will shift into a support role as Afghans step forward.

As we do, our troops will be coming home. Last year, we removed 10,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Another 23,000 will leave by the end of the summer. After that, reductions will continue at a steady pace, with more and more of our troops coming home. And as our coalition agreed, by the end of 2014 the Afghans will be fully responsible for the security of their country.

For those of you who read Obama’s speech, I commend you for your dedication and patience. Our troops could zone out, but they were ordered to listen to the inane political commentary. Shakespeare’s speech is still being recited four hundred years later, I doubt if any teachers will be requiring students to read or recite Obama’s speech after the election in November; unless, the Progressives can assert their control over the country and in Orwellian and Maoist fashion, the insipid remarks of Obama are celebrated as great classical literature.

In response to Mathews and Moran, the speech was an example of poor and boring theatrics being used to score cheap political points. The troops were bored to tears and so is America. Your comparison of Obama’s speech writers to Shakespeare is hilarious, but entertaining. May I suggest you keep these fictionalized accounts in the forefront, we have come to expect nothing less from the fill in the blanks president.

A professional horseman for over 40 years, Skook continues to work with horses. He is in an ongoing educational program, learning life's lessons from one of the world's greatest instructors, the horse. Skook has finished an historical novel that traces a mitochondrial line of DNA from 50,000 years ago to the present. The book Fifty-Thousand Years is awaiting me to finish a final proofread and it should be sent to the formatter in a matter of days. I am still working, so it is not easy to devote the time I need to finish the project. The cover is a beautiful wok of art. I would put it up here if I could figure out how to make it work.

36 Responses to “State Directed Media Sees Shakespeare’s Henry V In Obama’s Speech To His Troops”

  1. 2


    More like: The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

    Half a league half a league,
    Half a league onward,
    All in the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred:
    ‘Forward, the Light Brigade!
    Charge for the guns’ he said:
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.

    ‘Forward, the Light Brigade!’
    Was there a man dismay’d ?
    Not tho’ the soldier knew
    Some one had blunder’d:
    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do & die,
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon in front of them
    Volley’d & thunder’d;
    Storm’d at with shot and shell,
    Boldly they rode and well,
    Into the jaws of Death,
    Into the mouth of Hell
    Rode the six hundred.

    Flash’d all their sabres bare,
    Flash’d as they turn’d in air
    Sabring the gunners there,
    Charging an army while
    All the world wonder’d:
    Plunged in the battery-smoke
    Right thro’ the line they broke;
    Cossack & Russian
    Reel’d from the sabre-stroke,
    Shatter’d & sunder’d.
    Then they rode back, but not
    Not the six hundred.

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon behind them
    Volley’d and thunder’d;
    Storm’d at with shot and shell,
    While horse & hero fell,
    They that had fought so well
    Came thro’ the jaws of Death,
    Back from the mouth of Hell,
    All that was left of them,
    Left of six hundred.

    When can their glory fade?
    O the wild charge they made!
    All the world wonder’d.
    Honour the charge they made!
    Honour the Light Brigade,
    Noble six hundred!

    In Obama’s mind, all should honor him as he blunders along destroying the lives of so many heroic men and women both here and abroad.

  2. 3



    CharlieG, this is a powerful sentence:

    In Obama’s mind, all should honor him as he blunders along destroying the lives of so many heroic men and women both here and abroad.

  3. 4



    Ivan, seven thousand miles is a long way to travel to deliver a campaign speech. You’d think Obama would have hired some new speech writers, but rarely do lackeys come with actual talent. We can either expose the sublime hypocrisy of comparing Obama to Henry V or we can ignore it and let the propaganda machine roll on unopposed. No one knows how utterly devoid of content Obama’s speech is and of how much it cost to deliver its oh so important message to our warriors, better than me, and I refuse to let Mathews and Moran blow off like drunks in a whore house about their hero.

  4. 5

    oil guy from Alberta

    All that’s missing is a pansy pirouette that should have been done at the end of the speech.
    Do you see the wordsmithing where we, is used, instead of the usual me, myself and I? When I hear we, i think of intestinal worms or some other parasites, he may host.

    As far as Mathews is concerned, I picture him, on his knees, with his lips planted firmly on the Bamster’s posterior.

    Let me play with Henry V. I call it Henry, part five, a poor sequel.

  5. 6


    Another important distinction. Henry V was not an effete metrosexual who had others pay his way through Ivy League colleges.

    Also, Henry V was a warrior king, Obama’s never had to fight for anything in his life except maybe to get a fellow toker to stop bogarding the joint…

  6. 7


    The President of the United States makes a surprise trip to a war zone. While there, he speaks to the troops. The unfailingly “patriotic” right uses this as yet another occasion to belittle and vilify the Commander in Chief, and to insult any American who supports him.

    What’s wrong with this picture?

  7. 8



    Why go all the way to Kabul to sell us out to the “Tolley Bon?” Could Obama not have done that from the comfort of the Oval Office that he disrespects so much he puts his damn feet up on the Resolution desk as if it was just something Michelle Antoinette picked up at Good Will?

    How much did it cost us to send him there to give a 15 minute speech that was more of the same hyperbole that we have been subject to for the last 3 years? Did Obama insist that our military disarm this time like he did last time he was there, although as you say, he was in a “war” zone?

    Wake up. The only way you can begin to approve of this current President is if you have completely adopted the socialist/Marxist philosophy.

  8. 9

    Nan G

    I guess I’ll wait for the speech Obama gives in light of the threat from Russia today.
    Obama wanted to wait until after the election when he’d be more flexible.
    BUT Russia is saying act (at the negotiating table) now or else!

    Russia’s most senior military officer said Thursday that Moscow would preemptively strike and destroy U.S.-led NATO missile defense sites in Eastern Europe if talks with Washington about the developing system continue to stall.

    “A decision to use destructive force preemptively will be taken if the situation worsens,” Russian Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov said…..

    The threat comes as talks about the missile defense system, which the U.S. and its allies insist is aimed at Iranian missiles, appear to have stalled.

    Obama’s girl Ellen Tauscher, the U.S. special envoy for strategic stability and missile defense,simply says we are NOT stalled in our talks.
    Neither Obama, Hillary or the Pentagon has a thing to say.
    We NEED a good speech from Obama and soon.

  9. 10

    MOS 8541

    Henry V is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to be written in approximately 1599. Its full titles are The Cronicle History of Henry the Fifth (in the First Quarto text) and The Life of Henry the Fifth (in the First Folio text). It tells the story of King Henry V of England, focusing on events immediately before and after the Battle of Agincourt (1415) during the Hundred Years’ War.
    The St. Crispin’s Day Speech is a famous motivational speech from the play, delivered by Henry V before the Battle of Agincourt (Act IV Scene iii). It is so called because 25 October is the feast day of Saints Crispin and Crispinian. The St. Crispin’s Day Speech is a famous motivational speech from the play, delivered by Henry V before the Battle of Agincourt (Act IV Scene iii). It is so called because 25 October is the feast day of Saints Crispin and Crispinian.
    Poster for Olivier’s 1944 Henry V This day is call’d the feast of Crispian. He that outlives this day, and comes safe home, Will stand a tip-toe when this day is named, And rouse him at the name of Crispian. He that shall live this day, and see old age, Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours, And say, “To-morrow is Saint Crispian.” Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars, And say, “These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.” Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot, But he’ll remember with advantages What feats he did that day. Then shall our names, Familiar in his mouth as household words, Harry the King, Bedford, and Exeter, Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester, Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red. This story shall the good man teach his son; And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by, From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remembered- We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition: And gentlemen in England now a-bed Shall think themselves accursed they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.”
    does any oneremembers how Henry V dies?

  10. 11


    MOS 8541, I thought there were but a few, who read these cyber pages, so well versed in the Bard’s scribbling. Soothsayer has the advantage of a vast knowledge of Shakespearean lore and learning over me, a poor boast that he would never make, but one that I am more than willing to concede. If my memory is not playing tricks, he has a son in the Marine officer corps and thus he has earned a special consideration on these matters, because of that particular situation. I anxiously await his response on this crime against common sense and this travesty of literature. He is an off the wall type, a script writer actually , who writes just beyond the horizon; a place I must be careful not to linger overly long, lest I interfere with the necessity of making a living.

    Please contribute your knowledge of literature on certain occasions, I will guarantee that you will have one at least one reader. Thanks for the background commentary.

  11. 12

    MOS 8541


    Read and write greek , read, write, and speak latin. Speak french and russian, hold two doctorates. Educated by the Jesuits, tempered by the Corp: I am a marine officer

  12. 14


    @MOS 8541: @MOS8541
    I’m duly impressed. Really. I struggle with Latin online at About Henry, how does he die? Save me the trouble of going to WikiP. I’m an old man…and does a job notated as MOS8541 exist, or would you have to kill me if you told me?…and I second Skookum’s salute. I only made it to SP-3, Ordnance, but I did try my best…France, before De Gaulle kicked us out .

  13. 16


    @Skook: Lest anyone forget, the strength of our nation as with Henry V lies in our valiant warriors. Forgive me, but for the ‘one’ to “fundamentally change us”, our strength of character and arms must of necessity be diminished and hence our warriors will continue to be abused on the pyre of his planned losing effort. We must get them home immediately, if not yesterday, and out of his clutches.

  14. 17


    @Greg: BOHICAman, welcome to the spirited discourse. I tried to think of something insightful to provide in response to your failed missive, Oops! I must have had a spiritually directed Senior Moment. Thanks for so very little.

  15. 20



  16. 21



    which belong to INDIANS

  17. 23


    we are in good company tonight
    we have the MARINES, WITH US,

  18. 24

    Hard Right

    I work with an Afghanistan/Iraq veteran. He complained of how when obama visited they were required to lock away their firearms.

    Folks, when the loony left praises obama, they are really praising themselves. He is merely the representation of their egos.

  19. 25


    Chris Matthews (does anyone still time their lives watching that jerk) with Barry O’BabyCakes: “Once more into the breach of perfidy!” There exists nothing there-there assuming any form of honor to fly that Air Force One flying cocaine crack house, at taxpayers expense, five hours minus Zulu to give his plastic Christy Brinkley smile speech to legitimate and honorable members of the United States Armed Forces. Military men by the magnum know O’BasketCase is an empty suit usurper of the public trust.

  20. 30



    Well, not only is he a year or so overdue.. having been there only twice, both times in 2010… but technically he wasn’t there *just* to deliver a UBL anniversary photo op speech. He did multitask since he did meet with Karzai, and sign the the “Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States of America” – sort of a promise to do a SOFA soon, so to speak.. and sans all the important details.

    Then again, considering the big stuff really isn’t hammered out in this framework – most especially that all important troop immunity – one could suggest that it would have been more cost effective for them both just to scan and email it, instead of having a meet a greet.

    I linked the text to the framework agreement above, but the Las Vegas Sun sums it up this way:

    Highlights of the strategic partnership agreement signed by President Barack Obama and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai outlining the relationship between their countries after the U.S.-led war ends in 2014:

    _ U.S. commits to support Afghanistan’s social and economic development, security, institutions and regional cooperation for 10 years, through 2024.

    _ Afghanistan commits to strengthen government accountability, transparency and oversight, and to protect the human rights of all Afghans, both men and women.

    _ U.S. does not seek permanent military bases in Afghanistan, but Afghanistan will provide U.S. personnel access to and use of Afghan facilities beyond 2014.

    _ Allows U.S. possibility of keeping forces in Afghanistan after 2014 for purposes of training Afghan forces and targeting al-Qaida.

    _ Does not commit the U.S. to any specific troop levels or funding levels in the future, an acknowledgement that those decisions will be made in consultation with Congress.

    _ Commits the U.S. to seek funding from Congress on an annual basis to support the Afghan Security Forces, as well as for social and economic assistance.

    _ Designates Afghanistan as a “major non-NATO ally” of the U.S. to provide a long-term framework for security and defense cooperation.

    _ Requires written notification by either side to amend or terminate the agreement, which would take effect a year after that notification, and establishes that it may be renewed by mutual agreement in 2024.

    I’m pretty mixed about this. I always think it’s good for the CiC to visit troops in the theater… even if there are ulterior motives. As to Obama’s inspirational nature, well I guess that’s a personal thing for the troops. Certainly one doesn’t get to meet the POTUS every day… whether you like him or not. And it’s not the run-of-the-mill combat day when the top dog comes down off the porch steps.

    And there is certainly the need for a SOFA post US withdrawal. Bush also traveled to Iraq in Dec 2008 to say farewell, and to sign the security pact. Both of these are expected tasks of a war time POTUS.

    A notable difference may that the US-Iraq agreement had a time deadline that had to be met, prior to the new inaugural year beginning. Not so sure that’s the case with any such current agreement with Afghanistan. But then, that all depends upon what Obama’s troop withdrawal plans are, and if they have been changed in light of the tanked relationship and increased tensions post the soldier shooting spree.

    But a SOFA will be necessary, and this won’t be the first written “intent to structure a SOFA agreement” in history. If Obama’s planning to step up the Af/Pak withdrawals prior to the election to score points with his anti-war base, he’ll have to get one in place sooner as opposed to later.

    So I have no problem with his presence there, nor the agreement. I guess the fact that he timed it to be politically expedient – and that a gushing media bozo like Matthews picks up on it to re ignite that dwindling leg tingle – doesn’t surprise me in the least.

  21. 32


    @Marine72: Thanks for the chuckle, re: Greg. Its back to bed. Tee off 7 AM scramble. Its a blind mix and match. They always grimace when they get me. I can only drive it 150. Not good, but its fun.

  22. 33



    You won’t get an argument from me. While I obviously have disdain for Obama, said disdain is only exceeded for those who put him in office.

    They mock our war dead and those who left arms, legs and eye-sight in those hallowed grounds of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    I say urinate on the American public who mocked those who sacrificed for them.

  23. 35


    WOW, NICE, dang, I have clouds here, cannot find it,
    but that’s good you have seen it.
    you will never be sure what a GIGANTIC MOON

  24. 36


    hi, I like that poem, it make me think of what endurance the WARRIORS go in this long AFGHAN WAR,
    HE don’t want to end, it doesn’t make sense, HE HAS BEGUN THE TALK TO ENEMIES,

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