I am quickly coming to the conclusion that all there has ever been to Barack Obama is symbolism and grandiloquent speeches. There is the symbolism of him as the (potential) first black president. And there is his ability to give portentous speeches in high-flown Harvard rhetoric, perfectly pitched to sound thoughtful to college-educated liberals--without actually saying anything.
And here we go again, with another one of Obama's patented Big Speeches, this time on Iraq. It is pitched to sound sincere and intellectual, and to sell us on his allegedly superior foreign-policy judgment--so long as we drift through it and don't start asking any questions.
The speech has two purposes. One is to artfully evade Obama's massive misjudgment of the "surge," which he unequivocally opposed. Thus, while he half-acknowledges the enormous turnaround in Iraq, here is how he describes its cause: