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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-31-08 11:52 PM
Original message
Full text of Barack Obama's 2002 Speech Against the Iraq War
Edited on Fri Feb-01-08 12:00 AM by Stephanie


Delivered on 26 October 2002 at an anti-war rally in Chicago by Barack Obama, Illinois Senator.

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Barack_Obama\'s_Iraq_Spee...

Good afternoon. 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 dont oppose all wars.

My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Pattons army. He saw the dead and dying across the fields of Europe; he heard the stories of fellow troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil, and he did not fight in vain.

I dont oppose all wars.

After September 11th, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears, I supported this Administrations 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 a tragedy from happening again.

I dont 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.

Thats what Im 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.

Hes 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. Im 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? Lets 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? Lets fight to make sure that the UN inspectors can do their work, and that we vigorously enforce a non-proliferation 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? Lets 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? Lets fight to wean ourselves off Middle East oil, through an energy policy that doesnt 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.

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.



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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-31-08 11:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. Was he psychic? Did he have a crystal ball?
NO. He saw exactly what WE saw, and he had enough courage to SAY it.
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angie_love Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-31-08 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. ...
He was dead on in that speech, great intuition
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Unsane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-31-08 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Do you want a candidate who sided with Bush's war of choice, or a candidate who had the foresight
to oppose it?


THAT is the question.
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 01:12 AM
Response to Reply #3
12. We ALL had the foresight. Millions of us. Certainly all of us here on DU.
Obama had the foresight AND the courage to make that speech. How can Clinton claim she was misled? Oh, because she wasn't. She knew exactly what she was doing.
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1corona4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 01:11 AM
Response to Reply #1
10. Did he take any action...
I mean, did he get on the phone with Bush? Did he get with the senate and share his concern? Other than that speech, what else did he do?

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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 01:13 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. He was an Illinois state senator. I don't think Bush was taking his calls.
He protested, like the rest of us did. He spoke out publicly against it. What did you do?
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1corona4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 01:14 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. One speech?
That's going to get some attention from Washington...not.
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 01:17 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. Honey, I don't have the record of all of Obama's acitivities in 2002.
He wasn't in a position to wield power with Washington. Mrs. Clinton was.
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1corona4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 01:19 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. Well, surely, if he had done anything significant to stop it....
Edited on Fri Feb-01-08 01:19 AM by 1corona4u
you'd remember it....
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 01:37 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. Darling, I wasn't following Obama's career in Illinois
He was busy protesting the war there, I was busy protesting it here. Hillary Clinton was busy covering her ass so the Republicans wouldn't slam her as a peacenik in 2008.
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TriMetFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #13
32. But he could have called his
Illinois Senators. I called mine. Its really was not that hard. You just pick up your phone and dial the number and talk.
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Adelante Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #32
35. He was in touch with Durbin
Durbin has confirmed that Obama was against the war in 2002 to his personal knowledge. Barack has said he would have voted as Durbin did. Durbin voted NO.
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TriMetFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 11:06 PM
Response to Reply #35
46. But you see I'm not and have never been a State Senator but.......
Obama was. He could have done much more then just speak at a anti-war rally. For one he could have gotten more State Senators to join him and gone to The United State Senate. But he didn't. Also it really doesn't matter what any-one tries to say to Obama supporters about what the man could have done.
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 02:07 AM
Response to Reply #10
23. He ran for national office, and won, and is now running for President of the United States.
What did you do?
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #10
39. Still no response? What did you do?
Obama ran a successful campaign to join the Senate and is now running for President. What did you do?
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #39
45. So many crickets...
...the silence is deafening.
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jasmine621 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 12:00 AM
Response to Original message
4. It was a good speech. But this could be said of most wars.
War is not the answer!
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dailykoff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 12:05 AM
Response to Original message
5. "The consequences of war are dire."
Doesn't take 35 years of "experience" to figure that one out does it?


:thumbsup:
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 01:04 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Nope. It just takes the courage to tell the truth.
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usregimechange Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 01:05 AM
Response to Original message
7. Thanks for posting
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 01:10 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. You're welcome.
It's the first time I've read it. He's very prescient.
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cooolandrew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 01:09 AM
Response to Original message
8. It's worth posting, the spin would almost lead people to believe he made it up. Also 2002...
..interview on youtube.
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agdlp Donating Member (363 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 01:12 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. Obama March 2, 2007: My plan allows for a limted number of troops to remain in Iraq
Le me remind you of what he said in March 2007

That is why I advocate a phased redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq to begin no later than May first with the goal of removing all combat forces from Iraq by March 2008.

In a civil war where no military solution exists, this redeployment remains our best leverage to pressure the Iraqi government to achieve the political settlement between its warring factions that can slow the bloodshed and promote stability.

My plan also allows for a limited number of U.S. troops to remain and prevent Iraq from becoming a haven for international terrorism and reduce the risk of all-out chaos.
------------------------------

http://usliberals.about.com/od/extraordinaryspeeches/a/...

------------------------------
But what is a limited number ?
What kind of forces ?
What kind of situations should US forces engage ?
How long should they be there ?

--------------------------------

what a flipp flopper
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 01:17 AM
Response to Reply #11
16. As careful getting out as Hillary was reckless getting in
We know. He has credibility. She doesn't.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 01:15 AM
Response to Original message
15. "shove their ideological agendas down our throats"
What other major politician spoke out against PNAC in Oct 2002? Who? I don't even think Wes Clark was challenging the ideology of this war at that time. That is what makes that speech so phenomenal.
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 01:19 AM
Response to Reply #15
19. PNAC
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 01:49 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. Seriously, who else called out Wolfowitz & Perle
and their ideology. You can barely get any Senators to take it seriously now, and he was calling it before most of the country even knew it existed. I don't understand why that isn't a bigger issue.
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 01:51 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. I know!
I'm watching a re-run and I'm thinking, just mention the neo-cons! Please Barack, tell them now what you knew then.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 02:40 AM
Response to Reply #22
27. Wow, look at this speech
Very different from Hillary's blather about "winning and concluding the war" that she was spewing at the same time.

Another great speech that doesn't give the Bushies a pass the way the Clintons have.

"However, I think what is also true is that the Administration launched the Iraq war without giving either Congress or the American people the full story. This is not a partisan claim - you don't have to take my word for it. All you need to do is to match up the Administration's statements during the run-up to the war with the now declassified intelligence estimates that they had in their possession at the time. Match them up and you will conclude that at the very least, the Administration shaded, exaggerated and selectively used the intelligence available in order to make the case for invasion.

The President told the American people about Iraqi attempts to acquire yellow cake during the State of the Union. The Vice-President made statements on national television expressing certainty about Iraq's nuclear weapons programs. Secretary Rice used the words "mushroom cloud" over and over again.

We know now that even at the time these unequivocal statements were made, intelligence assessments existed that contradicted these claims. Analysis from the CIA and State Department was summarily dismissed when it did not help the Administration make the case for war."

http://obama.senate.gov/speech/051122-moving_forward/
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 02:45 AM
Response to Reply #27
29. He's one of US.
I admit I didn't know all this about him before now. I had not read the OP speech, or the one you linked. I thought he was preferable to Clinton but I was holding out for Gore, and then Edwards. Reading these speeches, I can fully support him.
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Tweed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 02:20 AM
Response to Reply #15
25. Certainly wasn't going with the windsock of public opinion
We need a President who won't get wrapped up in poll testing everything and govern from good judgment.
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 02:23 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. He was with US, the protesters.
The MILLIONS of us who marched against this war, wrote letters, called our Senators. WE knew. Can anyone seriously believe she didn't know?
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 02:11 AM
Response to Original message
24. K&R - everyone should keep this kicked and recommended.
This is called leadership.
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hayu_lol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 02:44 AM
Response to Reply #24
28. For comparison with Obama's pithy speech at the anti war gathering,
here is Hillary's speech in the Senate clearly showing what she thought of the matter at the time. It is quite a comparison.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

This is a clear statement from her about her IWR vote.
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #28
31. It's meaningless..
She didn't even read the NIE.
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #31
33. it's not meaningless
and, if you want someone to accept Obama's WORDS as genuine, you should also be prepared to accept Clinton's as sincere. Otherwise, it's just a ridiculous argument based on uncorroborated opinion from critics.
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #33
36. But I don't believe she was sincere
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. as a poster told me, that's a judgment we have to make.
but, political considerations underly EVERYTHING these politicians do. Are all votes susceptible to charges of political calculation, or, just votes in favor of the IWR?

And, if Clinton is guilty of everything Bush did in disregard of the mandates for restraint in that resolution, then Obama should be held accountable for everything Bush did behind the subsequent funding bills. Those funding bills were the most important lever Congress had in opposing Bush's occupation (according to most of the anti-occupation folks criticizing our recent Democratic majority), especially immediately after Bush disregarded the provisions in the resolution and preemptively and unilaterally invaded.
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 03:36 AM
Response to Original message
30. Kick
:kick:
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Neecy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 11:48 AM
Response to Original message
34. thanks for posting this
Nice that he recognized that an occupation would most certainly follow an invasion - and this at a time when no one from the administration would admit as much. We were told it would be a 'cakewalk' and a short war - didn't Cheney say one or two months, tops?

THIS is the main issue for me. I remember before the IWR I wrote one of my Senators, Dianne Feinstein, begging her to vote against it. A few weeks after she voted for it, I received a snotty, condescending "I know best" letter from her and her justifications for voting for it were exactly the ones Hillary uses now.

In case anyone forgets, when they talk about inspectors or 'giving the administration a tool for diplomacy' that Bush and Cheney were doing nothing but ramping up the war fever - no talk of diplomacy, NONE. It was all war, war, war and the media was helpful in whipping up the war frenzy. This is the context in which the IWR was passed. There is simply no excuse for voting for it, unless one was covering one's political ass for a presidential run (Hillary) or if one's husband is a war profiteer (Dianne).

I have no more tolerance for the fake excuses or for politicians who think we're stupid.
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Adelante Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
38. October 2, 2002 is the correct date, Stephanie
The Wiki has the wrong date.
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #38
40. Ok thanks
I didn't fact check the Wiki. :hi:
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Bread and Circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 12:59 PM
Response to Original message
41. Thanks for posting this. How do you make your quotes have the light
blue box?
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. When you hit reply, you'll see the HTML lookup table link
Edited on Fri Feb-01-08 01:07 PM by Stephanie
It's right above the Subject field when you're writing your post. Click that and you'll see the code to use for formatting your post. The blue box is blockquote.
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Bread and Circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. thanks
like this
I'm cookin' w/ gas now!!
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. you got it!
:hi:
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