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December 01, 2009


Dennis Mansfield

You may be correct. It will be interesting to watch the Ds react to the war as 30K more soldiers enter in...

Tom von Alten

There are certainly Ds who aren't sanguine with escalating the war. The Democratic Party has never been about unanimity.

Dennis Mansfield

Tom, what do you think of my most recent posting/observation that the 30K new soldiers may well cause a fracture within the Ds?

Tom von Alten

Thanks. I think we probably agree on a significant number of things, Dennis. Doesn't look like this is going to be one of them, though.

Bush's landing and speech on the USS Abraham Lincoln was perhaps the epitome of political theater, and with the benefit of hindsight, an utter debacle. I find no basis for comparison to Obama's speech tonight.

We may look back at this speech and say that Obama was wrong. We will not look back at it and say that it was an embarrassment and a cynical political maneuver.

In spite of my outspoken opposition to the war in Iraq, and what seemed even then to be a premature conclusion, I did hold out some hope that the mission, however misguided, might have been "accomplished," as it had been so quickly (but not that quickly) in the first Gulf War. It was pretty much all a lie.

Dennis Mansfield

Thanks, Tom, for your perspective. I always enjoy hearing from you, although we probably have never agreed (have we?). Am I feeling what you were feeling when President Bush landed on the aircraft carrier in his flight suit? Maybe...

I wonder how many other Presidents have used West Point or any of the other service academies for a press backdrop, when it wasn't a graduation service.

Anyone know? My call is that this may well be the first time. If that's the case, where will this elected official (or any other elected official) go next, to make a policy point on our fight against another politically dividing issue

Again, some backdrops fail to make effective and appropriate stages. I stand by my comments.

Tom von Alten

I have to disagree, for a simple reason: this is not a political speech. This is a speech by our President in his capacity as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.

It is absolutely appropriate for him to give it at West Point.

While everything the President does can be analyzed from a political angle, the fact of the matter is that he's doing his job, and this is an essential part of that work.

Dennis Mansfield

Thank you, Priscilla. Please feel free to let others know of this posting. I would be honored.


Class Preesident
USMA Class of 1978


This is a wonderful comment on West Point and Obama's speech.I, and many other Americans, do not approve. You have expressed my feelings.

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