Obama appeals to the figure of JFK to defend his political position and drive Congress into a corner:
“I want to thank President Kerwin and the American University family for hosting us here today. Fifty-two years ago, President Kennedy, at the height of the Cold War, addressed this same university on the subject of peace….”
“… he [Kennedy] rejected the prevailing attitude among some foreign-policy circles that equated security with a perpetual war footing. Instead, he promised strong, principled American leadership on behalf of what he called a practical and attainable peace”.
“I believe the facts support this deal. I believe they are in America’s interests and Israel’s interests, and as president of the United States it would be an abrogation of my constitutional duty to act against my best judgment”
“Let’s not mince words: The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy and some form of war — maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon… How can we in good conscience justify war before we’ve tested a diplomatic agreement that achieves our objectives?”
Aaron David Miller, from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, who has served in Republican and Democratic administrations, said that Mr. Obama’s speech was bold and left no doubt that those who oppose it are either uninformed or, in the case of the Iraq war comparison in his speech, recklessly marching to the next war in the Middle East.