None of this matters in the long term (or, for that matter, the short term). The fact that the White House now has a particularly cack-handed inhabitant, on the other hand, matters to everyone.
Phyllis Chesler points out that President Obama's address at Fort Hood
did not pronounce the following words: “Jihad.” “Terrorism.” “Islamist terrorism” or “Islamic terrorism.” Early on, President Obama said that “this is a time of war,” (followed by many platitudes). Towards the end, he said something unscripted, something not contained in the speech transcript. Obama said that “these soldiers could not escape the horror of war even at home”– but he failed to name what that war might be and who might be fighting it.We've come a long way from "Mr President, tear down that wall". And talking of that Wall, it seems that President Obama was there for the twentieth anniversary celebrations, after all. Well kind of. He sent a video of himself, that Secretary of State Clinton introduced. They were lucky. He could have sent an iPod with all his speeches.
As it is, there was only one speech. Powerhouse has the video and a link to Secretary Clinton's introduction. Surprise, surprise, both speeches were about .... no, not about the fall of Communism .... no, try again ..... yes, that's right, they were about Obama.
Both Secretary Clinton and President Obama emphasized Obama's world-historic story. Clinton likens Obama's election to the fall of the Wall. Obama draws the moral of the story. "Few would have foreseen ... that a united Germany would be led by a woman from Brandenburg or that their American ally would be led by a man of African descent. But human destiny is what human beings make of it."This is a good deal more disturbing than even the suggestion that Sir John Major is thinking of returning to "active" politics (not that he ever disappeared, being always ready to pronounce sapiently on many issues that he himself had failed on as Prime Minister). But then again, Barack Obama twice told the world that his uncle had helped to liberate Auschwitz.
Obama's brief remarks are an exercise in bowdlerization, circumlocution, evasion. Omitted from the remarks, among other things, is any mention of the Soviet Union or Communism, Harry Truman or Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher or Pope John Paul. Obama neither decries the villains nor salutes the heroes of the story. Rather, Obama celebrates himself. He is an agent of destiny. He is the fulfillment of history.