Now is the time

Get out of my way! I want to bitch slap SOMEBODY! I recall the line that led so many of us to typing skills: “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.”

A good man spoke to Americans – and the world – last night. With great aplomb he delivered an address which must have filled him with mixed emotions. When Barack Obama was sworn in as president of the United States of America, he became commander-in-chief of our military forces and inherited two wars in which they were actively engaged.

Last night he acknowledged the sacrifices of our troops and their loved ones – those returning home and those who will never step upon our shores again. He pledged to honor them.

With more graciousness than I could muster in a lifetime, he paid homage to former President George W. Bush.

He bravely pointed this country toward a new course for this new century – one hindered by a decade of not only a horrific terrorist attack, but of a pre-emptive, unilateral and unnecessary war. In looking to the future – beyond war - he wisely did not bring up mistakes of the past.

He continues to be conciliatory toward the half of those he leads who are determined to destroy his dream – our dream – of a revitalized America.

He spoke with forward vision:

“Ending this war is not only in Iraq's interest; it's in our own. The United States has paid a huge price to put the future of Iraq in the hands of its people. We have sent our young men and women to make enormous sacrifices in Iraq and spent vast resources abroad at a time of tight budgets at home.

“We've persevered because of a belief we share with the Iraqi people, a belief that, out of the ashes of war, a new beginning could be born in this cradle of civilization. Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the United States and Iraq, we have met our responsibilities. Now it's time to turn the page.”

Before any of President Obama’s words were made public, the leadership of the Grand Old Party proudly announced its opposition to them.

CNN’s Dana Bash wrote an outstanding lede paragraph in an article about their opposition:

“In twin speeches laced with heavy doses of 'I-told-you-so,' Republican leaders in the House and Senate tried to convince voters Tuesday that America's success in Iraq is not because of President Barack Obama, but in spite of him.”

House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio addressed the Americn Legion convention in Milwaukee. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell spoke in his home state of Kentucky. You may read their criticism of President Obama HERE, but essentially they attributed any "success" in Iraq to former President George W. Bush.

Billy Joel’s words go through the head of this liberal Democrat: “We didn’t start the fire …”

Anyone who kept abreast of events as they unfolded in the spring of 2003 knows how we got into the “long, hard slog” in Iraq. Millions of words have been written about the lies – I’ll never call them “misinformation” – which exacted such a price in blood and treasure.

Have Americans – all Americans – learned a lesson from Iraq?

“Indeed,” our president said, “one of the lessons of our effort in Iraq is that American influence around the world is not a function of military force alone. We must use all elements of our power - including our diplomacy, our economic strength, and the power of America's example - to secure our interests and stand by our allies. And we must project a vision of the future that is based not just on our fears, but also on our hopes, a vision that recognizes the real dangers that exist around the world, but also the limitless possibility of our time.”

So, now we pray our sacrifices were not in vain – that Iraqis will unite to secure a better country for themselves.

If only that could happen here.


Bill Sumrall said...

After listening to the President's speech, I agree with how he handled capping off what has been a "a long hard, slog" of a war.
IMHO, he hit all the right notes and I agree with you: "In looking to the future – beyond war - he wisely did not bring up mistakes of the past."
Now, it is over to the Iraqis and the only advice I submit is what Benjamin Franklin said when the Constitutional Convention of 1787 ended:
Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Franklin, "Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?"
With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, "A republic, if you can keep it."
That is up to the Iraqis now. Turn the page.

tnlib said...

The criticism from the left is almost as disheartening as that on the right, the latter which is to be expected. I guess I feel the deed, the action is more important than the words.

The same progressives are always the first to bitch and they're just as unyielding and inflexible as the extremists on the right.

B.J. said...

Bill: Good comment! Franklin is my favorite in history, so thanks for the quote!

tnlib: DemWit readers know I supported Hillary, then voted for Obama. The so-called progressives – his big supporters - have been on his case since Day One when Rick Warren was invited to participate in his inaugural. A number of posts have reflected my aggravation with the far left. Neither end of the political spectrum understands the give-and-take.

Tiny said...

Tiny agrees that our president delivered an excellent message with grace, dignity and civiltry. At the same time he instilled hope for the future for all those who are willing to work toward that goal.

He did the same this evening with his hopes to broker peace in the Middle East. Again, the quote of Benjamin Franklin can be applied to this situation also.

As for the far left and far right, bitchers are always going to bitch. They can't help themselves, it seems. Apparently they only see the glass half empty.

Being a peace loving soul, Tiny is going to hang onto the words of hope and peace. And she will continue to sing the song, "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me..." Until there is peace within self, there can be no peace in the outer world.

And you're right, "We didn't start the fire...," we tried to prevent it. Thanks to BJ and Mr. Sumrall for excellent quotes to remind us that each has a part to play on the world stage to keep a republic by putting out all the fires we encounter.

As Tiny Tim said, "And God bless us all."

B.J. said...

Tiny: You are and evermore will be The Gray Panther! Love you, girlfiend!

I wish Frodo could be in on this discussion. Sincere sympathy to him in the death of his mom this morning.


Nance said...

It was a glorious speech, an honorable speech. Have we ever had a president who comported himself more perfectly or expressed himself more beautifully?

And--don't slap me--we desperately need that jobs incentives speech right now! In fact, we needed both; back-to-back Presidential addresses.

And, of course, when he makes the economic plan speech, they'll rip him to shreds.

B.J. said...

Nance, you will believe this because you, too, live in this Red State. A friend and I went to lunch today. A relative of her late husband came to our table to chat. I swear the man had the IQ of a garden slug. When he left, I asked her what he did for a living, and she said, “He’s on the police force.” OMG. The point: do you suppose there are people in this country who wouldn’t know comportment, beautiful speech and graciousness if it hit them between the eyes?

I agree with your comment on tnlib’s recent post asking where the young folks who supported Obama are. I owe you! I remembered a quote about this in a previous DemWit post, went back and found it and decided to run it again! Look for the new post, “Obama, America will prevail.”

Thanks, BJ