Charles Krauthammer: An Ambivalent Call to Arms, Daily News

Jacob Laksin is a senior writer for Front Page Magazine. He is co-author, with David Horowitz, of The New Leviathan (Crown Forum, 2012), and One-Party Classroom (Crown Forum, 2009). Email him at jlaksin@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter at @jlaksin.


We shall fight in the air, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields, we shall fight in the hills – for 18 months. Then we start packing for home.

We shall never surrender – unless the war gets too expensive, in which case, we shall quote Eisenhower on “the need to maintain balance in and among national programs” and then insist that “we can’t simply afford to ignore the price of these wars.”

The quotes are from President Obama’s West Point speech announcing the Afghanistan troop surge. What a strange speech it was – a call to arms so ambivalent, so tentative, so defensive.

via Obama’s surge speech offers two messages: one to placate the right, one to assuage the left.