to “take responsibility for their country and for their sovereignty”
President Obama is now in Iraq. We read in today’s Times that while addressing hundreds of troops gathered at a military base the president said that it was time for Iraqis to “take responsibility for their country and for their sovereignty,” winning thereby enthusiastic applause.
President Obama greeted military personnel at Camp Victory in Baghdad on Tuesday.
(Charles Dharapak/Associated Press)
The right thing to say. It probably was the right thing to say years ago. It wasn’t said as a threat. Let’s hope that he meant what he said, and that our troops will complete their withdrawal from Iraq within two years.
His critics, mostly know-nothing Republicans led by the talk-show entertainer, Rush Limbaugh, accuse the President of being all smooth talk, and that up until now the talking, such as in Turkey yesterday and Iraq today, will lead to nothing.
It is true that all the talk has not yet led to a single positive outcome. It’s true that all the cases, GM, the bank bailouts, Afghanistan, Iraq, and any number of others, are still wide open, not even close to being closed. It’s true that for the time being we need to believe in our President.
In any case this President’s talk is reassuring, as opposed to that of our previous president of eight years, George Bush. Bush may have understood this or that issue or problem, but his talk never revealed an understanding, a sensitivity, and we were left following his talk, usually only a brief comment, quite unreassured.
Obama’s words have always showed a clear understanding of the background of the subject matter, a confident command of the issues and problems at stake, an admirable sensitivity to the positions of the peoples and countries involved, as yesterday in Turkey, and any number of times during the recent European trip.
We are fortunate to have an intelligent, reasonable, and sensitive man at the helm. These qualities while they ought to have been the rule in all our presidents, in too many have not been.
For the moment there has not yet been enough time to know that these qualities will lead to positive outcomes in one or more of the problem areas that confront us. In Iraq in the present instance Obama’s words, encouraging the Iraqis to take control of their own destinies, may not have that power, no more than the wise words of a parent to a child, a teacher to a student. We can only hope that they will.Explore posts in the same categories: Current Affairs