Obama remembers what JFK said

Excerpts from Obama’s 2/19/08 speech in Houston, quoted from the Washington Post:

But part of keeping you safe is also deploying our military wisely. And the war in Iraq was unwise.

Not a war, but a battle.

It distracted us from the fight that needed to be fought in Afghanistan against Al Qaida. They’re the ones who killed 3,000 Americans. It fanned the flames of anti-American sentiment. It has cost us dearly in blood and in treasure.

The geographical borders of Afghanistan have clearly proved inadequate in containing terrorists, most of all in the instance you cited.

I opposed this war in 2002. I will bring this war to an end in 2009. It is time to bring our troops home.

You would disengage the USA from the war. You are quite naive if you think you (or any President) could end the war in 2009. Your implication is that our enemy has no vote in that matter.

But I don’t want to just end the war; I want to end the mindset that got us into war.

I want to end a politics based on fear that uses 9/11 as a way to scare up votes instead of a way to bring the country together against a common enemy. I want to rediscover the power of our diplomacy.

I said early in this campaign I would meet not just with our friends, but also with our enemies. And there were those in Washington who said “You can’t do that.” And I said, “Yes, I can”…

… because I remember what John F. Kennedy said. He said we should never negotiate out of fear, but we should never fear to negotiate. Strong countries and strong presidents talk to their adversaries, and tell them where America stands, and try to resolve differences without resort to war.

You correctly quoted JFK’s Inaugural. However, you should go back and consider the whole text. Nowhere in there did he say or imply that we could end war by unilaterally declaring peace.

I also believe that you might “resolve differences” with Ahmadinejad (for example) in much the same way that Chamberlain brought “peace with honour” from Hitler in the Munich Agreement of 1938.

What qualities would you seek in “our enemies” to negotiate in good faith? How would you avoid being snowed by a Stalin-esque crony as Henry Wallace was in 1944?

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