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.
“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.