Sunday, February 04, 2007

Barak Obama

It's a Matter of Record.

As the 2002 national and congressional debate over Bush's un-provoked, unnecessary, largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (UULUIUOI) reached a crescendo, then Illinois State Senator Barak Obama delivered this speech on 26-Oct in Chicago:
Let me begin by saying that although this has been billed as an anti-war rally, I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances.

The Civil War was one of the bloodiest in history, and yet it was only through the crucible of the sword, the sacrifice of multitudes, that we could begin to perfect this union, and drive the scourge of slavery from our soil.

I don’t oppose all wars.
Obama cites his grandfather's service in World War II and continues:
I don’t oppose all wars.

After September 11th, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears, I supported this Administration’s pledge to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance, and I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such tragedy from happening again.

I don’t oppose all wars. And I know that in this crowd today, there is no shortage of patriots, or of patriotism. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other arm-chair, weekend warriors in this Administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.

What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income – to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.

That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.

Now let me be clear – I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity.

He’s a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

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.

I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.

So for those of us who seek a more just and secure world for our children, let us send a clear message to the president today. You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s finish the fight with Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, through effective, coordinated intelligence, and a shutting down of the financial networks that support terrorism, and a homeland security program that involves more than color-coded warnings.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to make sure that the UN inspectors can do their work, and that we vigorously enforce a non-proliferation treaty . . . .

You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to make sure our so-called allies . . . .

You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to wean ourselves off Middle East oil . . . .

Those are the battles that we need to fight. Those are the battles that we willingly join. The battles against ignorance and intolerance. Corruption and greed. Poverty and despair.

The consequences of war are dire, the sacrifices immeasurable. We may have occasion in our lifetime to once again rise up in defense of our freedom, and pay the wages of war. But we ought not – we will not – travel down that hellish path blindly. Nor should we allow those who would march off and pay the ultimate sacrifice, who would prove the full measure of devotion with their blood, to make such an awful sacrifice in vain.

29 Moderated Comments:

Blogger Messenger said...

Al Gore favored the 1991 Gulf War, opposed Bush's 2003 invasion. What a perfect ticket this would make. A Gore-Obama ticket would be a match made in heaven.

2/04/2007 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger Messenger said...

Here's how Obama's opposition stacks up.

2/04/2007 01:13:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Yes, an excellent, timely site!

2/04/2007 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger GetaLife-ReadUrNews said...

Don't go around nominating smart dudes. They'll either sleep around in the Oval Office or get shot.

2/04/2007 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger CityUnslicker said...

The dems don't stand a chance with these lightweight candidates.

2/04/2007 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger DB Cooper said...

Messenger, why isn't Wesley Clark listed among those "lightweight candidates"?

2/04/2007 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Coop, I don't think he's announced formally, yet. If he goes, he won't be a front runner. Good candidate for Secretary of State or Vice President, though.

Yeah, Recidivist, followed your recommendation on Meet the Press this morning. Edwards was a sincere and apologetic flip-flopper on the Iraqi invasion and occupation. Remember George Romney destroying his presidential candidacy in 1968 by saying he had been 'brain-washed' by the Pentagon while he had been visiting Vietnam three years earlier? Well that was Edwards today. I like him, but I won't be voting for him in the primaries.

If Hillary appears to be a shoo-in, I might rather re-register GOP and vote for Hagel.

2/04/2007 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Re: "The dems don't stand a chance with these lightweight candidates."


2/05/2007 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger Messenger said...

The point of this posting by Vigilante, so it seems to me, is that Senator Obama was right and outspoken on the critical issue of our times and for some time to come: Iraq-Nam. Although a state senator at the time, he was betting his political future on his judgement. He made a correct judgment about Bush's Bay of Tonkin and he stood up and spoke out. That demonstrates wisdom, truthfulness and courage; understandably hard for Cityunslicker and Hillsblogger to recognize in their life under Tony Blair, but never lightweight.

2/05/2007 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger Beach Bum said...

Saw Edward's "explaination" of his Iraq position from 2002, 2005, and now and was underwhelmed to say the least. Then I heard Russert recount Obama's position before the war and about spilled my Sunday morning coffee. Whatever revservations I had about his "lack of national experience" evaporated right then.

2/05/2007 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger Edgar Newt said...

Obama was my candidate in 2006; is my candidate today; and will be my candidate tomorrow.

2/05/2007 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Kentucky Rain said...

My post seems to have disappeared. Anyway it is what Edgar said! Secondly, dear Vigil, it would be United States Senator, not Illinois State Senator :-) Two different jobs :-) Sorry ....

2/06/2007 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger Messenger said...

Joe Biden's condescending remarks about Obama last week were surprising, but totally in character. This guy has always had a mouth on him, and it has not always connected to his brain. As refreshing as a politician who shoots from the lip is to some of us, it's not a virtue for a presidential candidate. His long tenure in the Senate qualifies him for an even longer term there. Maybe he aspires for Secretary of State. But I wouldn't want him on either end of a Presidential ticket.

2/06/2007 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

MadMike, in 2002, Obama was serving in the Illinois State Senate from Chicago's 13th District in the south-side neighborhood of Hyde Park.

2/06/2007 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Messenger, I agree totally with you on Biden, but I find him much more preferable to listen to for four years (or eight years) than the super controlled Hillary Clinton. They are both 'entitlement' candidates, and not very good ones. Unfortunately HRC has a shiite load of cash she wants to spend on herself. (Just like a Lady looking for a legacy?)

2/06/2007 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

What can possibly be more progressive than bringing back the good ol' progressive income tax. Save the middle class in America from further erosion. Universal health care. Make the two Americas, one!

Support John Edwards for president.

2/06/2007 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

As much as I like him, John Edwards is the George Romney of 2008

2/06/2007 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger J.C. said...

'Save the middle class of America from further erosion.'?
Spoken like a brainwashed zombie.

Edwards has to be about the most pathetic of all . How did the move in to his new 3and1/2 million dollar house go.?

So, you are obviously a believer in the class system, Yes.? Did Edwards talk about his Daddy again, in the mills and all.?
Wow. That guy is annoying.
The mills went away a long time ago but that lying Politicians Sstick did not.

2/07/2007 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger E said...


2/08/2007 04:30:00 AM  
Blogger Blogging4Food said...

Count me in for John Edwards, a man with a message all Americans hear or fear. It's a message that has to be delivered.

While I'm casting a vote, I vote or move to restrict Spammer Sievert to 500 words. Maybe 300 words. He never delivers content worth ten words. I'm tired of his brainless filibustering. If he were selling shoes, he wouldn't be allowed to slide as far as he goes. I think his writing would improve if he knew he was limited to fewer words. He should take a rest or take a hike.

2/08/2007 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger J.C. said...

Sorry Food Blogger. Just don`t read me in the future. That solves your problem.
For a cog you are getting kind of aggressive. Too bad it is unfocused .
Maybe you should try to get a handle on what is really happening in the world.?
Ah, too much to ask.?
Blogging for brains.?
All Politicians are crooks. Obama,Edwards, etc. It just goes with the territory.

2/09/2007 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Los Angeles Times Sunday Current asked potential and declared presidential candidates: "Where should we go from here in Iraq?"

Rep. Dennis Kucinich responded:

The U.S. should announce it will end the occupation, close military bases and withdraw our troops, which will help dampen the insurgency and set the stage for negotiations; use $70 billion in already-appropriated funds to bring the troops and necessary equipment home; order all U.S. contractors home and their work turned over to the Iraqi government; convene a regional conference to develop a security and stabilization force for Iraq under the auspices of the United Nations. Attendees should include the five permanent members of the Security Council, representatives of the European community and all Arab nations, and delegates from Iran; ask the U.N. to establish an international security and peacekeeping force and replace U.S. troops, a process likely to take at least three months; develop and fund national reconciliation in Iraq, beginning with a national conference, with the assistance of the U.N., to air grievances and create pathways toward open, transparent talks; restart the failed reconstruction program in Iraq; establish a program of significant reparations to Iraqis; stop all initiatives to privatize Iraqi oil interests or other national assets and establish an Iraqi National Oil Trust to guarantee the oil assets will be used to create a fully functioning infrastructure and to protect the oil wealth for the people of Iraq; stabilize Iraq's cost for food and energy to preinvasion levels; work with the world community to restore Iraq's fiscal integrity; and establish a policy of truth and reconciliation between the people of the United States and the people of Iraq.

There were 9 respondents. Hillary Clinton was not among them.

2/11/2007 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Bush's #2 Poodle, Australian PM John Howard, interferes in domestic American politics and takes a push back from Senator Barak Obama. The Kid from Chicago will punch back. Read about it or, even better, Watch it now on BBC.

2/12/2007 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Who the 'ell is this bloody Aussie and what the 'ell does he think he is buttin into our politics? Kick his freakin' arse, Obama!

2/12/2007 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger Etzel Pangloss said...

Hi Vigil,

I know your very serious,

And this is well away from English politics.

So any chance the rest of us world will not have to 'suffer' American electoral politics until you have chosen our new masters?

Wink, and I wish my comments were
cleverer. cheers.

2/13/2007 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Etzel Pangloss said...

Your, instead of you're: sorry.

2/13/2007 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Kentucky Rain said...

I know that Vigil. I have studied the man's history. I must have misunderstood your meaning.

2/13/2007 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger Pink Liberty said...

I'm pretty much in Obama's camp right now, but I can't see how attacking Edwards for living in an expensive house means that he's a hypocrite. Where do YOU THINK he should live? That's none of our business. What is our business is what he does publically; what he cares about, advocates and administers. When we can get to a place as a society where we are alertly critical with politicians (and neighbors) public actions and tolerant of the private ones, we'll be a much healthier, happier, peaceful nation.

2/18/2007 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Obama on 25-Nov-02, thanks to SwiftSpeech!

2/23/2007 10:11:00 PM  

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