KROFT: In your West Point speech, you seemed very analytical, detached, not emotional. The tone seemed to be, ‘I’ve studied this situation very hard. It’s a real mess. The options aren’t very good. But we need to go ahead and do this.’ There were no exhortations or promises of victory. Why? Why that tone?The superficiality of this response is mind-boggling. He has reduced the difficult issue of denying Al Qaeda a sanctuary in the historically ungovernable country of Afghanistan down to clichés about "triumph" or "kicking tail." How could he have listened to seven years of Bush speeches on Afghanistan and reduced it all down to Bush just wanting a "glorious exercise"?
OBAMA: You know, that was actually probably the most emotional speech that I’ve made, in terms of how I felt about it. Because I was looking out over a group of cadets, some of whom are going to be deployed in Afghanistan. And potentially some might not come back.
There is not a speech that I've made that hit me in the gut as much as that speech. And one of the mistakes that was made over the last eight years is for us to have a triumphant sense about war. There was a tendency to say, ‘We can go in. We can kick some tail. This is some glorious exercise.’ When in fact, this is a tough business.
Democrats are always warning about repeating the mistakes of Vietnam. Yet, here is Obama in office and, by not providing the resources that the military says they need to succeed while also scheduling a defeat in advance, he is doing his best to guarantee a Vietnam-like debacle.