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The Most Dangerous Sentence in Obama’s Second Inaugural Address

6:06 PM, Jan 21, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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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 our 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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