war in Iraq
This was sent me by Yousef Osman, a Bangladeshi friend who
supported our Diplomats and Commanders in 2004. (Assuming
authenticity) it is truly impressive. Note the date. We can forgive
the immature oratorical flourishes when the substance is so solid.
Subject: *Earlier comments of Senator Barack Obama against going to war
*Remarks of then Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama Against Going to War
**| October 26, 2002
*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. My grandfather signed up for a war the day
after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton's army. He fought in the
name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that
triumphed over evil.
I don't oppose all wars. After September 11, 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. 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 armchair, 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
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.... 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...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 U.S.
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
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.
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...we
vigorously enforce a nonproliferation treaty, and that former enemies
and current allies like Russia safeguard and ultimately eliminate their
stores of nuclear material, and that nations like Pakistan and India
never use the terrible weapons already in their possession, and that the
arms merchants in our own country stop feeding the countless wars that
rage across the globe.
You want a fight, President Bush? Let's fight to make sure our so-called
allies in the Middle East, the Saudis and the Egyptians, stop oppressing
their own people, and suppressing dissent, and tolerating corruption and
inequality, and mismanaging their economies so that their youth grow up
without education, without prospects, without hope, the ready recruits
of terrorist cells.
You want a fight, President Bush? Let's fight to wean ourselves off
Middle East oil through an energy policy that doesn't simply serve the
interests of Exxon and Mobil.
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.