Friday, January 19, 2007

Obama on the war

Speaking on the floor of the Senate, Obama said US troop strength should not exceed the 132,000 troops in Iraq on January 10, when Bush announced his plan to deploy 21,500 additional troops there.

The Illinois senator also said his measure would also call for the gradual redeployment of US troops from the region "within two to four months."

"We've been told that we would be greeted as liberators. We're been promised that the insurgency was in its last throes. We've been assured again and again that we were making progress, and that the Iraqis would soon stand up so we could stand down," Obama said.

"Now, after the loss of more than 3,000 American lives, after spending almost 400 billion dollars, after Iraq has descended into civil war, we have been promised once again that the president's plan to escalate the war in Iraq will this time be well-planned, well-coordinated, and well-supported by the Iraqi government," he said.

"None of this seems to be the case," said Obama, citing news reports that found no clear chain of command between US and Iraqi military leaders on the ground there.

"In the end, no amount of American forces can solve the political differences that lie at the heart of somebody else's civil war."
Obama was not around for the vote in the Senate to authorize the war in Iraq.  He did not have to make the call in what was clearly a tough political environment at that time.  In 2002, however,  Obama called a war to topple Saddam Hussein "dumb" and "rash." You can access his whole October, 2002 speech here
He does appear to be one of the few major political figures in America who has had it right the whole time.

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