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RUSH: Here is Jeff in Grand Junction, Colorado. I’m glad you called. Great to have you on the program. Hi.

CALLER: Thanks, Rush. Dittos. I called to ask you about our troops in Afghanistan, like specifically how you think Obama’s speech the other day at the Naval Academy would affect, let’s say, a Marine on the ground in Afghanistan right now.

RUSH: Well, that’s kind of… It’s a challenging question because I’m not one, and I really have such respect for military. The discipline… You know, they follow orders. He is the commander-in-chief. As far as public perception goes, he is the commander-in-chief and they’re gonna act accordingly. I’m telling you, I’m in awe, as I grow older, of the military. Kathryn and I… I’ll just share you something.

The best way to describe this is to give you an actual example. We watched Captain Phillips, the movie on TV the other day, which was about the Somali pirates hijacking the Maersk Alabama. I have to tell you, at the point in the movie where the Navy shows up to deal with the situation, we’re standing up and cheering. There’s not a whole lot in America right now…

I’m gonna shoot you straight: There’s not a whole lot of that happens in this country that makes me stand up and cheer, not nearly as much as there used to be. But the US military does. Every time. I stand up and cheer when I see it portrayed, such as in a movie or when I know when it happens for real. When they show up, the forces of good have arrived. I mean, the essence of the good guys are on the scene. I swell with pride.

That’s why when I listened to the president’s speech at West Point, I cringed, but I’m not active duty military or retired. I’m not military, period. So all I can do is judge it the same way you did. That is, I saw tepid applause. I didn’t see a whole lot of enthusiasm. I didn’t hear a lot of inspiration. In the sound bites that we had and the portions of the speech I heard, it sounded like the president was making excuses for the country’s past again.

It did. It really sounded like a self-conscious, defensive speech. And the things the president was proud about, obviously, I couldn’t imagine the cadets or other military people who heard the speech being proud of. For example, early on — very proudly, as though this is a serious achievement, a grand accomplishment — he said, “You are the first graduating class that I will not be sending into battle!”

We had a caller yesterday who made the point, “Well, fine and dandy, but this is what they’re trained for.” They come out of there lieutenants, if I’m not mistaken. They’re officers-in-waiting, and they are trained for this. They’ve committed to a number of years of active service in exchange for attending the academy. So for the commander-in-chief… Look, nobody wants war. Don’t misunderstand.

It’s not that everybody can only judge the effectiveness of the military by virtue of how they do in combat. I know full well the power of deterrence. I know, for example, that you have a large force hoping you’ll never have to use it; that you build giant weapons systems as deterrents, hoping that you don’t have to use them. Just the fact that you have them will deter enemies.

That’s what’s missing.

We’re not deterring anybody.

We’ve got the ability to project more power than the world has ever known, but it is apparent to everybody that we don’t have the will to project that power. In fact, to more and more people, it is apparent that projecting that power is not good. It’s almost immoral. It’s almost the cheap and the easy way out. So I don’t know how they hear that. We’d have to ask them.

Some of them, if they have anonymity, would probably tell us the truth about how all of this affects them. But remember their oath and what they’re sworn to do. They are sworn to defend and protect the country no matter what. No matter who the president is, he’s the commander-in-chief. The discipline, the commitment, the training they all get means they do their jobs, whatever the circumstances.

I think they will triumph and sustain regardless of the various regimes or administrations that pass through Washington, DC. He said, for example, “I would betray my duty to you and to the country we love if I sent you into harm’s way simply because I saw a problem somewhere in the world that needed fixing.” So no troops to Syria, Nigeria, Chad, the Congo. I mean, what are our national interests there? We’ve sent troops to those places.

Well, not Syria. The argument right now is boots on the ground. A lot of the anti-Obama military people that are speaking about it are trying to go to great pains tell everybody, “Look, we’re not saying we need to send military troops everywhere. We’re not saying we need to have boots on the ground.” So even the people disagreeing with Obama’s foreign policy are trying to make it clear that they’re not just talking about sending the military everywhere.

What they’re talking about is an attitude that’s missing.

Cheney called it weakness, and it is. I think it’s lack of interest! I really think it really boils down to lack of interest. He’s not there for that. He’s there to reform this country domestically and fix whatever he thinks the problems are since it was founded. He’s there to make the Democrat Party a permanent majority no matter what else, and the heck with all this other stuff. All this is is a distraction, and he’s gotta act like he cares — and he’s just not that good at faking it, folks.

That’s my assessment, when you get right down to it.

I appreciate the call, Jeff. Thanks much.

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