Breaking Down the Inaugural Address — Obama on Foreign Policy and Human Rights

America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe.  And we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad. For no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation.  We will support democracy from Asia to Africa, from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom.  And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice.

Not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes; tolerance and opportunity, human dignityand justice.

Is the president right? Does he not sound just a shade like President Bush in his second inaugural? And who was the crypto-Republican speechwriter who managed to get the President to utter the phrase “Peace in our time”?

  1. Schrodinger
    Ricochet Editor’s Desk

    peace in our time

     

    Is he channeling 1938 Neville Chamberlain?

    How did that work out again?

     

    stuka.jpg

  2. The Mugwump
    America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe.  Even as we slash our defense budget?  And we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad.  Perhaps we could we start with the Department of Defense? For no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation.  I think the weaker nations have a greater stake in peace, but I’m just logical like that.  We will support democracy . . . like you did in Honduras, for example.  Remember that one?  And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice (like we do for women and gays in the Middle East, right?)

    Peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes; tolerance and opportunity, human dignity and justice.

    Before you get any more ambitious, Mr. President, can I request a restoration of the rule of law at home?  What?  What do you mean I’m being silly?

  3. JVC1207
    Schrodinger’s Cat

    Ricochet Editor’s Desk

    peace in our time

     

    Is he channeling 1938 Neville Chamberlain?

    How did that work out again?

      · 4 minutes ago

    My thoughts exactly…

  4. Frederick Key

    “Tolerance,” like “justice,” has gone from being an ideal to being a stick to beat people you don’t like.

    I hope someone can explain how a broke nation that’s already stabbed its allies in the back (while being stabbed in the back by the pseudo-allies it has tried to cultivate) is going to be the anchor of any alliances. I’ll grant you that, like an anchor, we are completely underwater. In fact, we’re half buried in the sea floor.

  5. C. U. Douglas

    All he has to do is say the right things about foreign policy that his enthusiasts want to hear and they will call his foreign policy a success.

    Actually, they’ll do that with any of his policies.  It doesn’t matter what he actually accomplishes.  All that matters is that he spouts liberalism and declares conservatism wrong.

  6. DrewInWisconsin

    “We will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad.” Is he talking about the military? For what other institution extends our capacity to manage crisis abroad? And what does he mean by “renewing” it?

    What does this even mean? Like most academic-speak, these are words strung together for their cadence and their sound, but do they mean anything? In particular, do they mean anything when coming from the President?

  7. KC Mulville
    Ricochet Editor’s Desk

     … peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes; tolerance and opportunity, human dignity and justice.

    Most of these statements make perfect sense if … and only if … everyone wants peace and has a happy devotion to it and no one could possibly want to do anything that anyone else would object to.

    Obama’s constant theme, borne out in his words and his behavior, is that when there are conflicts, he’s convinced that they’re because others don’t understand things as well as he does. If we would all just drop opposition to the things he believes in, things would all be wonderful.

    He doesn’t understand conflict. He doesn’t respect conflict. He doesn’t understand or respect that others think differently. And because he doesn’t understand it, he doesn’t know how to address it coherently.

  8. Paul A. Rahe
    C

    This deserves mockery — when it comes from the man who sucked up to the mullahs in Iran and paid homage to Assad of Syria. Bush could say the better lines in this with a straight face. Obama cannot do so without appearing two-faced.

  9. JoBeth Gerrard

    What happens AFTER the Second Coming of the Messiah?

    Peace, of course. 

  10. Sandy

    The man does not care about foreign policy.    Nor, so long as we withdraw from everywhere, do his followers.  He seems uninterested even in defending our own soil abroad.  So he can say anything he wants.  In addition, he doesn’t appear to  know anything, so he can speak a phrase like “peace in our time” without blinking.   What DrewinWisconsin points out about a few sentences is true of the entire section and, as Professor Rahe says, this deserves only mockery.  

  11. Man With the Axe

    I’m surprised he didn’t reprise his best line:  “The future does not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

  12. BlueAnt
    Ricochet Editor’s Desk

    And who was the crypto-Republican speechwriter who managed to get the President to utter the phrase “Peace in our time”?

    I don’t think the GOP has fielded a brilliant evil mastermind since 2004-era Karl Rove.  Which is a shame, they’ve badly needed a Machiavellian genius over the last 4 years.

  13. Edward Smith

    His words do not deserve to be responded to. 

    But I would go with “Boo Shi!  Boo shi!”

  14. Lavaux

    I don’t have any creeds in common with Obama. Tolerance and opportunity? Tolerance for what – evil? Opportunity for whom? The slackers, takers, leeches, and slobs who reelected Obama? Human dignity. Does that mean we can’t call a slacker a slacker? And justice? Justice can mean anything from lining the rich up against a wall and shooting them to stoning rape victims, and I trust Obama less than anyone else I know to give justice definitions I would support.

    Tell you what, fellow Americans: We’ve lost our country, but there’s a big world out there where plenty of opportunity still exists. First come, first served.

  15. SteveS

    America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe.  And we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad. For no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation.

    We - will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe – which in Obama speak means never to lead or advance true American freedom but anchor democracy of the kind that recently blossomed in the “Spring” of the Middle East.

    -I can only think of - institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad - such as the United Nations, not our military which he fails to mention at all.

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