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Plus ca change...

"proliferation may increase the risk of catastrophe. Terrorism has long been a tactic, but modern technology allows a few small men with outsized rage to murder innocents on a horrific scale....

"We must begin by acknowledging the hard truth that we will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. There will be times when nations – acting individually or in concert – will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.

"But as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation,...I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake: evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda’s leaders to lay down their arms.

"So yes, the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace....

"But it is also incumbent upon all of us to insist that nations like Iran and North Korea do not game the system. Those who claim to respect international law cannot avert their eyes when those laws are flouted. Those who care for their own security cannot ignore the danger of an arms race in the Middle East or East Asia. Those who seek peace cannot stand idly by as nations arm themselves for nuclear war.”

-- President Barack Obama, Nobel Peace Prize speech, Oslo, Norway, Dec. 10, 2009

--

"Our second goal is to prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction....

"North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens.

"Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people's hope for freedom....

"States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic.

"We will work closely with our coalition to deny terrorists and their state sponsors the materials, technology and expertise to make and deliver weapons of mass destruction....

"We'll be deliberate, yet time is not on our side. I will not wait on events while dangers gather. I will not stand by as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons.”

-- George W. Bush, State of the Union speech, Washington, D.C., Jan. 29, 2002

By William Kristol  | December 10, 2009; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  Kristol  | Tags:  William Kristol  
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Next: Obama may grow into his Nobel speech

Comments

Wow, eerie. Maybe the President finally "gets it". Let's hope so, for America's sake.

Now if he would just expend as much energy on the economy as he has on what is turning out to be a monstrous and overly instrusive health care bill, we might actually be able to move forward...

Posted by: wearedoomed1 | December 10, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

exactly. delivery and the perception of the deliverer is everything.

Posted by: jollyboy | December 10, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

So in this exercise, Mr. Kristol demonstrates the speech by President Obama is clear, concise, well written, and having recognized from past oratories, delivered with honesty and sincerity.

While reading the excerpts that Mr. Kristol gives us from what appears the numerous blatherings of George W. that are ill conceived, are rather difficult to understand the intent of, and border on neurotic, a rather clear message comes across to the reader.

George W. really didn't have a clue to the meaning of strategy for his "War on Terror!"


Posted by: 1776Patriot | December 10, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Similar and should be. The primary difference is that Bush then went and invaded Iraq, took his eyes off the ball in Afganistan, which actually made Iran stronger, and lowered our standing with the world.

Posted by: jjj141 | December 10, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Oh, Billy, Billy, Billy. You rascal you. Think yourself clever to simply post what you believe to be parallel speeches as self-evident proof that Bush was right all along. Your pathological cognitive dissonance has reached new heights of dysfunction. The only thing obvious about these two excerpts is the Obama's stands out as well-reasoned, free of jingoism, and accepting of both our moral imperatives and limitations in a multi-national security context, while Bush's stands out as red meat for the neo-cons.

A new low for the intellectually barren and one-note contrarian avatar of the right. There are more informed and better reasoned offerings from other conservatives out there than what this partisan hack dishes out as "insight". When will the Post wake up to this fact?

Posted by: lloydamy | December 10, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

the only thing I see is that Obama's approval rating at the time of this speech is near 50% and George W Bush's was hovering around 90% at the time of his SOTU speech. Bush's undoing was his failure to effectively capitalize on his defined mission presented in the 2002 SOTU speech primarily by instead focusing on Iraq a short time later and improperly selling that misconceived veture to the American while Obama, though his history is not yet written, displays the sense that his vision is sharp and objectives clearly defined.

Posted by: jbrady84 | December 10, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

OK, you're so very obviosly trying to compare Obama to Bush, so if that's the case in your mind and you seem to feel that Bush's and Obama's policies are so similar, then why is everything that Obama does is so wrong? You seemed to like these same policies when Dubya was in office.
Big problems with this argument; Bush was not at all deliberate and as you can see from these examples, with Dubya it was always "I", as in "I will not permit..." Obama with his use of "we" and "us" invests other nations into what is a common goal and has already gotten more commitments for more troops, more aid, a more positive response from our allies than Bush had gotten in his 8 years... It's called psychology, Bill.

Posted by: PeterPamZ | December 10, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

What's your point?

Posted by: Notaneconomist | December 10, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Point taken - Obama's policies are not that different from GW Bush's. You're correct.

Why, then, is the right wing so face-flushed with anger at anything Obama does? He can't wake up in the morning and yawn without Fox News enlisting five pundits to tell the country that we now see the signs of the communist apocalypse. If Obama's not so different, then what is Glenn Beck crying about? What exactly are you all opposing?

What I suspected all along is that it's not about policy, it's about power. You had it, and you lost it, and you want it back. No matter how rational and reasonable the policies, the Republican tantrum will not stop until you get your bottle back.

Posted by: Buddydog | December 10, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

...plus vouz comprenez rien.

Posted by: chuckholden | December 10, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Wow. The sputtering outrage and near homicidal fury that some liberal readers feel toward this columnist never ceases to amuse. His opinions aren't that different from other conservative commentators and he argues as well as most of them do, so what's up? Something in the personality of these inflamed critics?

Posted by: Roytex | December 10, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Wow. The sputtering outrage and near homicidal fury that some liberal readers feel toward this columnist never ceases to amuse. His opinions aren't that different from other conservative commentators and he argues as well as most of them do, so what's up? Something in the personality of these inflamed critics?

Posted by: Roytex | December 10, 2009 11:42 AM
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
No!

Just read Krystol's own article and then attempt to comprehend what he was trying to prove.

A word of advice! If you've read the article again and still come up with the same conclusion, find an intimate and quiet place, and read it again and again.


Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | December 10, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

And the difference? Bush was all talk. Once launching his war on terrorism, he did it half-assed, dropped the ball in Afghanistan, under-manned Iraq, lied continuously, changed the reason for going in constantly, then dumped it on the next guys lap. Save it, Bill.

Posted by: jckdoors | December 10, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

The Four Rights of a Repubby Entitlement Brat

1. War

2. Cheap Labor

3. Govt Bailouts

4. Low Taxes

Posted by: 76yourfriend | December 10, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Mr Kristol being paid for cut and paste now?

Posted by: slim2 | December 10, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else notice what that ellipsis is omitting at the end of the sentence on Iran in Bush's speech? It's the entire paragraph where he went on about the false threat from Iraq and its WMD programs: http://transcripts.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/01/29/bush.speech.txt/. Nice edit job, Bill. Tell those guys at East Anglia you can offer your services in how to spin straw into gold. What a joke!!

Posted by: AloysiusJenkins | December 10, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

That the two sets of excerpts are not analagous would be obvious to a 1st year history student. That Mr. Kristol will grasp at any false analogy he can to justify his support for Pres. Bush's incompetance is equally clear.

Posted by: kchses1 | December 10, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh my! Angry Angry Obots!

Posted by: sold2u | December 10, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

SEXY BLACK
10:07AM Dec 10th 2009
sorry beck, Busch beat him to it. He's just in the middle of a mess that was laid out before him.
-------------------------------------------
What's he doing, then? If Bush left him minus 10, he's now at minus 30 and still digging deeper. Don't give the sob a spade, he'll be in China, by next year.
If you can't spend your way to prosperity, or borrow yourself out of debt, neither can O'bama. Even Gomer Pyle, with an eighth grade education knew that. Wouldn't you think that O'bama's "almost as smart?"
Dennis

Posted by: Shadowsmgc | December 10, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Obama is now, officially;

A Hawk... on international policy,

lets hope his dwindling poll numbers
make him a fiscal conservative, SOON!

Posted by: simonsays1 | December 10, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Is Obama using Bush speechwriters? Gerson, Wehner and Theissen were seen leaving the White House.

Posted by: lure1 | December 10, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't surprise me at all.

Obama said he'd step it up in Afghanistan and in his election campaign. He said he'd violate Pakistan's sovereignity if it meant keeping American safer against terrorists.

So, none of this is a surprise to me. I never thought he was an extreme lefty unlike a lot of my conservative and liberal brethren.

In fact, in the end, the results will not be that much different than Bush.

Which is fine by me.

Posted by: toshiro1 | December 10, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately Mr. Bush was ramping up the folly known as Iraq, While Obama is ramping up the war against the real enemy (the ones that facilitated attacks against this nation) in Afghanistan.

If Obama uses sweeping hyperbole to preemptively attack a different nation under false pretenses, then you can begin to make the comparison. A war speech is a war speech. Being in the same political corner doesn't assume the decision making process is identical.

Kristol could have stepped up like Gerson and said something nice. Instead, he attempts to demean the president by comparing him to his darling disaster. If Bush had finished the Afghan war instead of leading us on a wild goose chase with no goose, he could have altered his history. Each President has the opportunity to do what they feel is right, and stand by their decisions. How it all plays out decides their fate, not some arbitrary speech comparison that neglects context.

Posted by: trident420 | December 10, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Blogger writes "Obama finally gets it". I believe Obama got it right all the time. Even when campaigning for President he clearly stated a need for the US to increase its presence in Afghanistan. Bush didn't get it. Instead of fighting the real enemy located in Afghanistan and Pakistan Bush took our army out of these two areas and sent them into a totally unnecessary war in Iraq. For those who didn't get the memo....no Iraqis were involved in 9/11 and no Al Queda were in Iraq. Obama had it right all along, Bush never quite got it right.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | December 10, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Blogger writes "Obama finally gets it". I believe Obama got it right all the time. Even when campaigning for President he clearly stated a need for the US to increase its presence in Afghanistan. Bush didn't get it. Instead of fighting the real enemy located in Afghanistan and Pakistan Bush took our army out of these two areas and sent them into a totally unnecessary war in Iraq. For those who didn't get the memo....no Iraqis were involved in 9/11 and no Al Queda were in Iraq. Obama had it right all along, Bush never quite got it right. Matter of fact Bush got it terribly wrong.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | December 10, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Yes, there are similarities in the speeches, but there are also major differences between the two presidents. One, for example, believes thinking things through before committing is a good idea. The other went from his gut. Look where the latter one got us.

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | December 10, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

These obama supporters are rich. During the Bush years it was 'war is bad, get us out'. Now they go the distance to rationalize this one. I guess cuz Obama has blessed it, we now have a 'good' war.

War is war.

Iraq = Afghanistan = Pakistan

But if you disagree, do whatever it takes to keep up the fantasy.

Posted by: toshiro1 | December 10, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

"North Korea starving its people." How does
this guy know this when no one knows what the
North Koreans are doing about the bomb. It
sure got us quaking in out boots, especially
Kristol.

Constitution (Single-payer)

Posted by: leeincoltsneck | December 10, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Come on Bill
Do you really think you're achieving anything with this little exercise in re posting parts of two different speech's.
Weak- in fact very weak. Do you pay the post when you simply paste stuff up here ? Does W and O get any cut ?

Posted by: dcperspective | December 10, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Geo Bush's statements are full of accusations. The closest Obama comes to a direction accusation is to say that Iran and N Korea might game the system.

Bush's context was a bellicose call to war. Obama's speech was a philosophical and abstract dissertation on the intertwined problem of war and peace.

Bush's purpose seemed to be to generate fear. Obama's call was to resolve.


Sorry, I don't see much parallel.

Posted by: LeeTaylorEMT | December 10, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Plus sa change, plus que vous ne comprenez rien

Posted by: houston123 | December 10, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Mr Kristol being paid for cut and paste now?

Posted by: slim2 | December 10, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

------------------------------------------
He could be. Are you sufficiently informed, enlightened, and entertained? He's doing what he gets paid to do.
Dennis

Posted by: Shadowsmgc | December 11, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

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