We gather tonight knowing that this generation of heroes has made the United States safer and more respected around the world.
The President celebrates the accomplishments of the US military as a basis upon which to build his larger argument: that the success of the military is due not to dog-eat-dog individualism, but to cooperation and teamwork. The country must work as a team to pull ourselves out of the mire of recession and decline.
It’s worth mentioning, however, that despite the great courage and selflessness of the soldiers themselves, the imperial project does not, in fact, make the country “safer and more respected around the world.” It is precisely the United States' meddling in other countries which arouses anger.
The current “threat” of Iran, for example, can be drawn back to a fifty-year history of Washington’s meddling in that country’s affairs and an obsessive support of Israel’s regional aggression.
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