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May 23, 2012

Obama at USAFA: A follow-up [Fritzworth]

Bumped by Ace. I stepped on this earlier.

As per my live-blogging link in the headlines to the right, I attended the 2012 graduation ceremonies at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs today, and the commencement speaker was President Barack Obama. The full as-prepared transcript is here. I'm just going to cite one excerpt below -- the one that caused my wife to lean over to me and say, "Does he see no irony in what he's saying?"


There are many sources of American power -— diplomatic, economic and the power of our ideals. And we’ve got to use them all. And the good news is, today we are.

Around the world, the United States is leading once more. From Europe to Asia, our alliances are stronger than ever. Our ties with the Americas are deeper. We’re setting the agenda in the region that will shape our long-term security and prosperity like no other -- the Asia Pacific.

We’re leading on global security -- reducing our nuclear arsenal with Russia, even as we maintain a strong nuclear deterrent; mobilizing dozens of nations to secure nuclear materials so they never fall into the hands of terrorists; rallying the world to put the strongest sanctions ever on Iran and North Korea, which cannot be allowed to threaten the world with nuclear weapons.

We are leading economically -- forging trade pacts to create new markets for our goods; boosting our exports, stamped with three proud words -- Made in America. We’re expanding exchanges and collaborations in areas that people often admire most about America -- our innovation, our science, our technology.

We’re leading on behalf of human dignity and on behalf of freedom -- standing with the people of the Middle East and North Africa as they seek their rights; preventing a massacre in Libya with an international mission in which the United States -- and our Air Force -- led from the front. We’re leading global efforts against hunger and disease. And we’ve shown our compassion, as so many airmen did in delivering relief to our neighbors in Haiti when they were in need and to our Japanese allies after the earthquake and tsunami.

Because of this progress, around the world there is a new feeling about America. I see it everywhere I go, from London and Prague, to Tokyo and Seoul, to Rio and Jakarta. There’s a new confidence in our leadership. And when people around the world are asked, which country do you most admire, one nation comes out on top -- the United States of America.

Those of you who think that there is "a new confidence" around the world in US leadership, please raise your hand. I think there's a definite change of opinion around the world about America, but it's not in the way that Obama says.

It is worth reading the whole thing -- it is, I think, Obama's attempt at a 'morning in America' speech. And, as with much of what Obama says, it's just hard to take seriously. ..fritz..

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posted by Open Blogger at 06:53 PM

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