US Audio Analysis: Obama’s Hits and (Big) Misses in State of the Union Address


I spoke with BBC Radio Wales on Wednesday afternoon about President Obama’s last State of the Union address.

The soundbite? While Obama hailed his solid accomplishments, such as the righting of a troubled economy and improved relations with some countries, there were some big omissions and distortions.

Domestically, gun control was all but absent from the address, indicating that the President will probably avoid the tough task of getting significant measures before he leaves office.

Then, as he launched a new “War of Terror” on the Islamic State, Obama avoided the causes of the Islamic State, such as Syria — where he seemed to say that the US had improved the situation — Iraq, the wider Middle East, and North Africa.

So was this a legacy speech?

Listen from 1:49.55

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  1. Scott, mark this down………….
    When Obama writes his autobiography he will point out that he inherited the crises in Syria from the GWBush admin’s CIA with Robert Ford running the show.

    • It’s not likely that Obama will be seeking to blame himself for the war in Syria. And he is not to blame: he has made very little difference one way or another.

      Given the combination of Sykes-Picot nation-state boundaries and tyrannical rule by a minority group, a civil war was inevitable sooner or later. And as in Spain, the involvement of outsiders made it worse. So did the involvement of religious extremists (as in the English civil war) — a belief in predestination seems to go with a determination to change the course of history, which is not very logical.

      But war has been a regular part of Middle Eastern history for thousands of years, and nothing happened in the 20C to change this.

      • The “game” has changed.
        Agreement between Putin and Obama……….
        Russia has Syria, US has Iraq. US wants that because they don’t want Russian influence in Iraq.

        Don’t expect many complaints about Russian action in Syria from Obama.

        Dan, and don’t forget what Jews/Israelis have done in Palestine for the past several decades.

        • “don’t forget what Jews/Israelis have done in Palestine”

          Set up a Jewish democratic state in their homeland, beaten off many attempts to destroy them, and failed to placate the local Muslims. Set up Gaza as a de facto independent state. Provided health treatment and electricity for Gaza.

          I would like to see similar homeland states for the Kurds, the Balochs and the Basques.

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