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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:33 PM
Original message
transcript: Byrd's Senate Floor Remarks
I didn't see this posted in GD yet, hope it's not a dupe..


http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0407-15.htm

Published on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 by CommonDreams.org
A Call for an Exit Door from Iraq
by Senator Robert Byrd
Senate Floor Remarks
April 7, 2004


I have watched with heavy heart and mounting dread as the ever-precarious battle to bring security to post-war Iraq has taken a desperate turn for the worse in recent days and hours. Along with so many Americans, I have been shaken by the hellish carnage in Fallujah and the violent uprisings in Baghdad and elsewhere. The pictures have been the stuff of nightmares, with bodies charred beyond recognition and dragged through the streets of cheering citizens. And in the face of such daunting images and ominous developments, I have wondered anew at the President's stubborn refusal to admit mistakes or express any misgivings over America's unwarranted intervention in Iraq.

During the past weekend, the death toll among America's military personnel in Iraq topped 600 -- including as many as 20 American soldiers killed in one three-day period of fierce fighting. Many of the dead, most perhaps, were mere youngsters, just starting out on the great adventure of life. But before they could realize their dreams, they were called into battle by their Commander in Chief, a battle that we now know was predicated on faulty intelligence and wildly exaggerated claims of looming danger.

As I watch events unfold in Iraq, I cannot help but be reminded of another battle at another place and another time that hurtled more than 600 soldiers into the maws of death because of a foolish decision on the part of their commander. The occasion was the Battle of Balaclava on October 25, 1864, during the Crimean War, a battle that was immortalized by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, in his poem, "The Charge of the Light Brigade."

"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Someone had blunder'd:
Their's not to make reply,
Their's not to reason why,
Their's but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Tennyson got it right -- someone had blundered. It is time we faced up to the fact that this President and his administration blundered as well when they took the nation into war with Iraq without compelling reason, without broad international or even regional support, and without a plan for dealing with the enormous post-war security and reconstruction challenges posed by Iraq. And it is our soldiers, our own 600 and more, who are paying the price for that blunder.

In the run up to the war, the President and his advisers assured the American people that we would be greeted as liberators in Iraq. For a brief moment, that outcome seemed possible. One year ago this week, on April 9, 2003, the mood in many corners of the nation was euphoric as Americans witnessed the fall of Baghdad and the jubilant toppling of a massive statue of Saddam Hussein. Less than four weeks later, the President jetted out to an aircraft carrier parked off the coast of California to cockily declare to the world the end of major combat operations in Iraq.

..lots more...

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Catfight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
1. President Top Dumb. n/t
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ewagner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
2. sigh....
Wonderful eloquence from a Senator....falling on ears deafened by partisanship and minds filled with lobbyist gold..........

(sigh)
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
3. I hope to see something of this on network news tonight
but I won't hold my breath. :-(
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Ganja Ninja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Yup we'll just get more of the same crap.
"People gotta understand. There are some people who would rather kill people then let freedom take hold in Iraq." I'm so sick of hearing this warmed over cold war rhetoric.
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
4. Thank Heaven for Byrdie
One of the few voices of reason
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Kanary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
5. Thanks, G_j!
I appreciate your effort in posting this.

I'm completely overwhelmed at STILL being in the minority, and hearing his words helps soothe.

Sure wish there were more listening to him!!!

Kanary, depressed beyond belief..

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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. even though
I feel I've a done lot to try to prevent this. I somehow feel very ashamed today. :-(
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Kanary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. Yes, G_j, that's because we have both conscience and sensitivity
What happens to others matters to us... what is said to others matters to us, what is inflicted on others matters to us.

That's because we see the interconnection of us all.

Those of us who see that interconnection suffer greatly. IN both large and small ways.

It's hard to make with through that suffering without the support of others. This isn't the place for that, unfortunately.

Kanary
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
8. Then John McCain got up with his version of watch what you say n/t
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
9. Thanks! That's why Rush and the Rest are going after him today. They
can't stand his words because they have to run from them like vampires who see the cross in the daylight! He speaks the truth which they refuse to acknowledge. :-(
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theHandpuppet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
10. A favorite excerpt
"This Republic was founded in part because of the arrogance of a king who expected his subjects to do as they were told, without question, without hesitation. Our forefathers overthrew that tyrant and adopted a system of government where dissent is not only important, but it is also mandatory. Questioning flawed leadership is a requirement of this government. Failing to question, failing to speak out, is failing the legacy of the Founding Fathers. "

-- Robert Byrd, addressing the Senate, April 7, 2004
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Veggie Meathead Donating Member (999 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #10
20. Senator Byrd is a national, no international ,treasure.
His lone and courageous dissent during the Iraq War Resolution
should be enshrined in Profiles in Courage and taught to our kids
as mandatory reading material.
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
11. kick
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JohnOneillsMemory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
12. 'War is how Americans learn geography.' Maybe now some can find Iraq
on a map.

Welcome to the United States of Amnesia.

That study just released saying TV is harmful to an infant's developing brain?

It's just as harmful to the adult brain. And tends to kill those outside of 'the advertising market area.'
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Cuban_Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
13. What a magnificient speech!
:thumbsup:
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thebaghwan Donating Member (998 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:58 PM
Response to Original message
15. Senator Byrd is a great Democrat and an outstanding American!
n/t
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AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:17 PM
Response to Original message
16. Wolf Blitzer showed a few seconds of Byrd ...
... reading Tennyson on the Senate floor. This was about 15 minutes into his program Wednesday evening.
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peace4all Donating Member (428 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:19 PM
Response to Original message
17. stirring speech, Byrd is a great American nt
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yellowcanine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:31 PM
Response to Original message
18. New slogan - "Bush blundered and lied, six hundred died."
Byrd's use of the Tennyson poem is pure genius.
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 05:09 PM
Response to Original message
19. kick
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. kick
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 01:54 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. kick for the night owls
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Stone_Spirits Donating Member (586 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 02:22 AM
Response to Original message
23. Senator Byrd
:yourock:
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