Chris Matthews of MSNBC, commenting on Obama’s choice of a West Point venue for his Afghanistan speech:
“He went to–maybe–the enemy camp tonight)”
(video clip here)
Does Matthews himself consider the U.S. Military Academy to be “the enemy camp?” If a commentator with a strong reputation for neutrality had said something like the above, then we might believe he was stating a conclusion about the beliefs of others, rather than an opinion he himself necessarily agreed with. But it would be hard for anyone to argue that Matthews is “a commentator with a strong reputation for neutrality.”
Whatever Matthews’ personal beliefs may be, I think his comment reflects the belief of a substantial part of the “progressive” movement which represents Obama’s core support. These people are very reluctant to use words like “enemy” in talking about America’s terrorist adversaries. They are primarily concerned with instigating conflict within American society itself, and in achieving victory in such conflict–and the American military, along with many other important parts of American society, does indeed in their view constitute an enemy.
Here are some relevant thoughts from Neptunus Lex, which I’ve previously quoted because they are so insightful:
The innate character flaw of the political right, with its thrumming appeals to the logic of blood and soil, is its lamentable tendency to go in search of enemies abroad. The left, on the other hand, with its own appeals to the politics of envy and class warfare, is content to find mortal enemies closer to hand.