The Most Dangerous Sentence in Obama’s Second Inaugural Address

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obama-swearing-inBy William Kristol

In an otherwise unmemorable second inaugural speech, I was struck by one sentence: “But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well.”

obama Golfing

Two points: First, our forebears were only able to “win the peace” because they first crushed out enemies in war. But under President Obama we’re not committed to winning our wars. We’re committed to ending them. Does Obama really think we’re going to win the peace after not winning the war?

Second, think about the formulation-“and not just.” Surely President Obama should have said this: “we are also heirs to those who won the peace as well as the war…” But he didn’t say that. The formulation Obama chose-“and not just the war”-suggests that Obama believes that it’s no big deal to win a war, and the greater achievement is winning the peace. With respect to World War II, this view is ludicrous. With respect to today’s world, this view is dangerous.


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  1. There is plenty to dislike about Obama’s inauguration speech from beginning to end.No need to nitpick.

    The most disturbing parts for me were (1)His advocacy for Toeva as a public policy.(2)He mentioned entitlement programs but not jobs

  2. Well, he won the election by three percent. So he lied throughout the campaign.
    Now that he won the election by three percent he may do whatever he feels like.
    You may not point out his follies; foolish and dangerous attitudes.

  3. I would respectfully beg to differ and suggest that the open call to “our mishkav zochor brothers” is much more dangerous.
    Afrah Li’Pumeh!

  4. I also nominate the President’s mentioning his support for toeivah in the address, the first time a President brought in such shmutz to an inaugural address. Maybe he wants to go down in the history books as the toeivah-shmutz President.

    Actually, I think that might be a good idea, come to think about it. To be cited in infamy for such debasement of his office and the address. Fair and square.

  5. ” it’s no big deal to win a war, and the greater achievement is winning the peace.”

    It is neither ludicrous nor dangerous. We won WW1 and lost the peace; we won WW2 and won the peace. A comparison of what followed each makes this very clear.

  6. Dr. Hall, do you think absent of Moshiach a real peace and not just detente is possible?
    We’re living in historic times…
    (And I was very disconcerted by Stonewall too; religious people are going to be really marginalized soon.)


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