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Kennedy on IWR: the best vote Ive cast in my 44 years in the United States Senate. [View All]

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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-09-07 08:40 PM
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Edited on Tue Jan-09-07 08:41 PM by WilliamPitt
Kennedy at the National Press Club today:

This Congress cannot escape history or its own duty. If we do not learn from the mistakes of the past, we are condemned to repeat them. We must act, and act now, before the President sends more troops to Iraq, or else it will be too late.

The legislation that we will introduce today is brief but essential. It requires the President to obtain approval from Congress before he sends even more American soldiers to Iraq. And it prohibits the President from spending taxpayer dollars on such an escalation unless Congress approves it.

Our proposal will not diminish our support for the forces we already have in Iraq. We will continue to do everything we can to make sure they have all the support they truly need. Even more important, we will continue to do all we can to bring them safely home. The best immediate way to support our troops is by refusing to inject more and more of them into the cauldron of a civil war that can be resolved only by the people and government of Iraq.

I will seek a Senate vote on this proposal at the earliest realistic date. I hope that instead of escalation without end and without authorization, the President will follow through on his words last week, when he said, We now have the opportunity to build a bipartisan consensus on Iraq. If he truly means those words, he will ask Congress for our approval.

Kennedy today on Iraq and Vietnam:

Listen to this comment from a high-ranking American official: It became clear that if we were prepared to stay the course, we could help to lay the cornerstone for a diverse and independent AsiaIf we faltered, the forces of chaos would scent victory and decades of strife and aggression would stretch endlessly before us. The choice was clear. We would stay the course. And we shall stay the course.

That is not President Bush speaking. It is President Lyndon Johnson, forty years ago, ordering a hundred thousand more American soldiers to Vietnam.

Here is another quotation. The big problem is to get territory and to keep it. You can get it today and it will be gone next week. That is the problem. You have to have enough people to clear itand enough people to preserve what you have done.

That is not President Bush on the need for more forces in Iraq. It is President Johnson in 1966 as he doubled our military presence in Vietnam.

Those comparisons from history resonate painfully in todays debate on Iraq. In Vietnam, the White House grew increasingly obsessed with victory, and increasingly divorced from the will of the people and any rational policy. The Department of Defense kept assuring us that each new escalation in Vietnam would be the last. Instead, each one led only to the next.

At the end of his speech, Kennedy turned to one of his favorite 19th-Century poets, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and the poem Ulysses.

The casualties are high. The war is long. The time is late. But as Tennyson said, Come, my friends. Tis not too late to seek a newer world.

Those words speak clearly to all of us today. And we are inspired anew to wage this battle by the concluding line of that great poem: To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/news_theswamp/2007/...
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