Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Barack Obama stands up in the face of General Petraeus

The Senator was correct in October of 2002; He is correct today.

It's a Matter of Record. In Chicago, on October 26, 2002, then Illinois State Senator Barak Obama spoke out publically, in opposition to granting Bush authorization to launch an un-provoke invasion of Iraq. In light of Bush's current Iraquagmire, particularly prescient were these words:
I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the middle east, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.
Last night in Clinton [!] Iowa, Senator Obama, once again, said what needed to be said:
. . . .Conventional thinking in Washington lined up for war. The pundits judged the political winds to be blowing in the direction of the president. Despite – or perhaps because of how much experience they had in Washington, too many politicians feared looking weak and failed to ask hard questions. Too many took the President at his word instead of reading the intelligence for themselves. Congress gave the President the authority to go to war. Our only opportunity to stop the war was lost

. . . . There is something unreal about the debate that’s taking place in Washington… The bar for success is so low that it is almost buried in the sand. The American people have had enough of the shifting spin. We’ve had enough of extended deadlines for benchmarks that go unmet. We’ve had enough of mounting costs in Iraq and missed opportunities around the world. We’ve had enough of a war that should never have been authorized and should never have been waged.

. . . . I opposed this war from the beginning. I opposed the war in 2002. I opposed it in 2003. I opposed it in 2004. I opposed it in 2005. I opposed it in 2006. I introduced a plan in January to remove all of our combat brigades by next March. And I am here to say that we have to begin to end this war now.

. . . . Let me be clear: there is no military solution in Iraq, and there never was. The best way to protect our security and to pressure Iraq’s leaders to resolve their civil war is to immediately begin to remove our combat troops. Not in six months or one year – now. We should enter into talks with the Iraqi government to discuss the process of our drawdown. We must get out strategically and carefully, removing troops from secure areas first, and keeping troops in more volatile areas until later. But our drawdown should proceed at a steady pace of one or two brigades each month. If we start now, all of our combat brigades should be out of Iraq by the end of next year.

. . . . Some argue that we should just replace Prime Minister Maliki. But that wouldn’t solve the problem…The problems in Iraq are bigger than one man. . . .

. . . . The president would have us believe there are two choices: keep all of our troops in Iraq or abandon these Iraqis. I reject this choice . . .

. . . . I’m here today because it’s not too late to come together as Americans. Because we’re not going to be able to deal with the challenges that confront us until we end this war. What we can do is say that we will not be prisoners of uncertainty. That we reject the conventional thinking that led us into Iraq and that didn’t ask hard questions until it was too late. What we can say is that we are ready for something new and something bold and something principled.
The last seven years is proof that we Americans ignore consistent political foresight at our peril.


  1. He is so good, its scary. I must admit though, I have a strange feeling this Deaniac is going to see deja vu and the Democractic Party is going to go with the [un]electable choice instead of the Correct Choice(tm). The principled choice.

  2. Wow! A triangulation-free speech.

    My fingers are crossed that he gains ground on Clinton.

  3. Also spoken in Iowa, were these non-triangulated lines:

    We hear eerie echoes of the run-up to the war in Iraq in the way that the President and Vice President talk about Iran. They conflate Iran and al Qaeda. They issue veiled threats. They suggest that the time for diplomacy and pressure is running out when we haven't even tried direct diplomacy. Well George Bush and Dick Cheney must hear - loud and clear - from the American people and the Congress: you don't have our support, and you don't have our authorization for another war.

  4. The speech is pure rhetorical bullshit.
    Obama is a hollow shell of 'empty', trying for sound bites.
    Quoting M.L.King is a political ploy.
    He is appealing to the liberal religiously stilted crowd, which is another belief system special interest.
    Obama is Political scum.

  5. You want triangulation, M.D.? I'll give you some STRIANGULATION!

  6. Yes, Boris, and she never said to Code Pinkers:

    "I don't believe, given the attitude of many people in the world community today, there would be a will to take on many problems if not for United States leadership
    ... I'm talking specifically about what had to be done in Bosnia and Kosovo where my husband could not get a Security Council resolution to save Kosovar Albanians from ethnic cleansing, and we did it alone as the United States and we had to do it."

    The wind bloweth, Hillary snoweth.

  7. Thank you, M.D. for that U-Tube! (For the benefit of readers this was recorded between the vote authorizing the use of force in Oct'02 and Bush's pulling the trigger of preventive war in March '03).

    This leaves me even more Fired Up and Ready To Go. Although, in the last week of the California primary, if polls indicate that Edwards has a lead on Obama, I could switch and pull a lever for JRE. As Boris' tube indicates, HRC fell for the Bushlies, and is unapologetic. JRE, at the very least, has had the gravitas to apologize.


    For the record, I was fervently blogging in the L.A.Times forums during the 1990's for Western intervention in Bosnia and Kosovo. I don't know how M.D. feels about it. I don't mind telling anyone why I took the position I took. I do not think HRC's citing it is appropriate or germane to the current situation in Mesopotamia.

  8. Clinton and the EU did nothing for 3 1/2 years. I don't know how she turns that into a victory for his leadership.

  9. The winner here is Barack Obama. Even if he doesn't win the nomination he is still the winner. I hope I live long enough to see him elected to the Office of President of the United States. America needs his youth, his innovation, and his charisma. Camelot is not dead; only resting.