From the NY Times:

Addressing critics who have likened Afghanistan to Vietnam, Mr. Obama called the comparison “a false reading of history.” And he spoke directly to the American people about the tough road ahead.

“Let me be clear: none of this will be easy,” Mr. Obama said. “The struggle against violent extremism will not be finished quickly, and it extends well beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan. It will be an enduring test of our free society, and our leadership in the world. And unlike the great power conflicts and clear lines of division that defined the 20th century, our effort will involve disorderly regions and diffuse enemies.”

In language that often echoed themes struck by his predecessor, George W. Bush, Mr. Obama cited the longstanding moral burden carried by the United States in global affairs, and he celebrated America as a nation “founded in resistance to oppression.”

Had President John McCain made this speech, half the country would have ignored it as the ramblings of a war-mongering neo-con.

As I said before the election:

But, pacifist Democrats would have to accept that the President of the United States must sometimes act in unilateral ways to achieve national security goals. Seven years after 9/11, I think it’s time a Democrat holds the responsibility for the protection of the United States. It will change the tenor of the debate dramatically.

He did.