Foreign and Defense Policy

Obama blasts Bush at Air Force Academy commencement

Speaking to the graduating cadets at the United States Air Force Academy this week, President Obama took several not-so-veiled swipes at his predecessor, George W. Bush:

Four years ago, you arrived here at a time of great challenge for our nation… Al Qaeda, which had attacked us on 9/11, was entrenched in their safe-havens. Many of our alliances were strained, and our standing in the world had suffered…. Around the world and here at home, many questioned whether the United States still had the capacity for global leadership. Today, you step forward into a different world. You are the first class in nine years that will graduate into a world where there are no Americans fighting in Iraq. For the first time in your lives—and thanks to Air Force personnel who did their part—Osama bin Laden is no longer a threat to our country. We’ve put al Qaeda on the path to defeat. And you are the first graduates since 9/11 who can see clearly how we’ll end the war in Afghanistan.

While it’s nothing new for Obama—even three-and-a-half years into his term—to attack his predecessor in this way, it is a bit unseemly for the commander in chief to stand before men and women he is about to send to war, and lash out at a previous commander in chief like this.

It is certainly the president’s right to tout his perceived achievements. But his description of the world he inherited is fanciful at best. The fact is, al Qaeda was already on the “path to defeat” when Obama took office. From escalated drone strikes, to terrorist surveillance, indefinite detention, Guantanamo, and military commissions, Obama simply continued most of the counter-terrorism policies Bush put in place. As for killing bin Laden, that operation was made possible by intelligence from detainees in the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program which Obama shut down. Bush had gotten the ball to the 90 yard line—Obama carried it into the end zone and then spiked the football.

But imagine the hue and cry that would ensue if, four years from now, President Romney gave a speech like that at the Air Force Academy. He could certainly do it. Romney could say:

•    When I took office, we had set in motion defense cuts so deep that we were on the path to no longer being a superpower—with the smallest ground force since 1940, the smallest Navy since 1915, and the smallest Air Force in history.

•    When I took office, Iran had made more progress toward a nuclear weapon in the four years before I took office than it had in the previous thirty years—with more centrifuges spinning, more stockpiles of high enriched uranium, and more hardened enrichment facilities in place than it had four years before.

•    In Afghanistan, the Taliban were eagerly awaiting America’s pre-announced retreat, so they could retake the country and invite al Qaeda back—and the White House bragged about how they had cut the military out of military decisions because they could not understand or accept that our goal was not to defeat the Taliban.

•    In Syria, the Assad regime was massacring innocent men, women, and children by the tens of thousands while America stood on the sidelines doing nothing.

•    And America had put our global leadership at risk by racking up as much debt in the previous four years than every president from George Washington to George Bush combined.

Romney could say all that and more. But he’s a classy guy so he probably won’t.

18 thoughts on “Obama blasts Bush at Air Force Academy commencement

  1. So he should have stuffed history and context in the back pages, just so as not to hurt the sensitivity of conservatives. When did we become such cry babies?

  2. To use my hero Ron White’s famous saying-On any dealings with Obama, we don’t deal with stupid.
    Obama doesn’t have a clue and if the media wasn’t so far left we’d know immediately how incompetent he is. All he can run is his mouth.

  3. I’d like to think the AF Cadets have more maturity than the creepy left and readily recognize BO’s pathological cowardliness and total lack of leadership.

  4. Please.
    Bush is lucky the country just wants to clean up and move on from his drunken frat party.
    Personally, I’d rather we went after the money trail from the financing and construction of the house where bin Laden was sequestered… my guess is that it was ultimately paid for with proceeds from drug sales facilitated by the CIA who have turned the USA into a narco state.
    Bush and Cheney deserve to hang for what they have done to this country.

    • Mike, you r a typical Liberal…how far do you want to go back? to FDR & turning Europe over to Russia, to JFK & the Bay of Pigs debacle? Afghanistan, Pakistan go back to Clinton, we did help through the CIA to rid Afghanistan of the russians who killed so many Afghans…You don’t have a clue as to what is rights…Oh, yes, how about Vietnam which took 56,000 of our young men & women? We didn’t discuss Korea under a Democratic POTUS…The Atomic Bomb in Japan…you see how crazy what you say is…the history lesson is that America is needed to support nations who cannot defend themselves!!! God bless America!

  5. It’s been three and a half years. Should he get re-elected, I really woudn’t be surprised if after seven years he still blames George W Bush.

    • Considering the damage done to the US economy and future by GW Bush and hsi dad and Regan , the Bush bashing should go on for the next 50,000 years+/- 300 years. Seriously Bush had no debt on paper SINCE HE BORROWED IT ALL FROM CHINA AND EXTENDED OUR DEBT TO 20 TRILLION (principle plus intrest).

      He also Started a war to steal oil(it failerd), he did NOT GET OSAMA BIN LADEN. He said that finishing up in Afghanastan and Iraq would be up to some one else.

      So he took a crap on the world and us and he left others clean it up.

      And he did this all while he was praying to jesus. When his father said DO NOT REMOVE Sadam Hussein, he said”I ANSWER TO A HIGHER FATHER.

      Obviously he never heard of separation of church and state.

      Keep cartoon like politico out of office and jesus firmly nailed to the wall on the cross, in the appropriate walls (maybe yours).

      I do not follow any religion they are all scams, and like in Ancient Rome, it is being used globally to control people. The Marx and the communists were WRONG in how to run economies, it is eventual death, but they were correct on the idea that “religion is the opium of the people”. It will contribute with arrogence to kill our country!

  6. The author of this blog is an idiot if he believes the garbage he just wrote. I really cannot understand how middleclass america refuses to support political views which are in their best interest.

  7. lmmediatly after his self indulgent speech to some of the finest of their generation , he motored up l 25 to Denver on the public dime for yet another fundraiser. Yes sir in you lefties book , that counts as the epitomie of class. Of course since you all have your hand in the public pocket up to your elbow also , to you that seems right.

  8. If Bush is any kind of man, he will cancel his scheduled appearance at Obama’s house party coming up. Obama is a travesty. A college commencement is no place for partisan attacks on a former president. Here, here.

  9. It’s unthinkable that a current C-in-C would use a Service Academy Graduation ceremony to criticize a previous one. Unthinkable, that is, to anyone but an overbearing egotistical, self-absorbed person like President Obama. It’ frightening what he’ll do to the country if re-elected.

  10. Our nation is spending almost half of what the entire world combined spends on armaments while our infrastructure deteriorates, lacking investment, into something akin of what you would find in the third world . Medical care is by far the most expensive globally while tens of millions of citizens lack any medical care at all, packing emergency rooms with the fees paid by our defacto socialized medical system…… those that dutifully pay their health care premiums.
    Republicans refused to budget even 1 cent for 2 concurrent wars and and a multi trillion dollar prescription plan, refused to raise taxes to pay for the wars and even pushed through tax cuts.
    Who then is calling whom irresponsible?

  11. Obama is quotesd saying, “There’s a new feeling about America,” Obama said. “I see it everywhere I go, from London and Prague, to Tokyo and Seoul, to Rio and Jakarta,” Obama said. “There’s a new confidence in our leadership.”

    He better hope they find a way to vote for him as the ones footing his bill are tired of his arrogance, and disrespect to the Country and the servicemen. They won’t say it ’cause they may get in trouble.

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