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View Full Version : Int'l Issues Obama's Hawkish Nobel Prize Speech. Already calling it the Obama Doctrine.


BigRedChief
12-10-2009, 09:26 PM
As delivered today at Oslo City Hall, in Oslo, Norway.
Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, distinguished members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, citizens of America, and citizens of the world:
I receive this honor with deep gratitude and great humility. It is an award that speaks to our highest aspirations -- that for all the cruelty and hardship of our world, we are not mere prisoners of fate. Our actions matter, and can bend history in the direction of justice.

And yet I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the considerable controversy that your generous decision has generated. (Laughter.) In part, this is because I am at the beginning, and not the end, of my labors on the world stage. Compared to some of the giants of history who've received this prize -- Schweitzer and King; Marshall and Mandela -- my accomplishments are slight. And then there are the men and women around the world who have been jailed and beaten in the pursuit of justice; those who toil in humanitarian organizations to relieve suffering; the unrecognized millions whose quiet acts of courage and compassion inspire even the most hardened cynics. I cannot argue with those who find these men and women -- some known, some obscure to all but those they help -- to be far more deserving of this honor than I.
But perhaps the most profound issue surrounding my receipt of this prize is the fact that I am the Commander-in-Chief of the military of a nation in the midst of two wars. One of these wars is winding down. The other is a conflict that America did not seek; one in which we are joined by 42 other countries -- including Norway -- in an effort to defend ourselves and all nations from further attacks.
Still, we are at war, and I'm responsible for the deployment of thousands of young Americans to battle in a distant land. Some will kill, and some will be killed. And so I come here with an acute sense of the costs of armed conflict -- filled with difficult questions about the relationship between war and peace, and our effort to replace one with the other.
Now these questions are not new. War, in one form or another, appeared with the first man. At the dawn of history, its morality was not questioned; it was simply a fact, like drought or disease -- the manner in which tribes and then civilizations sought power and settled their differences.
And over time, as codes of law sought to control violence within groups, so did philosophers and clerics and statesmen seek to regulate the destructive power of war. The concept of a "just war" emerged, suggesting that war is justified only when certain conditions were met: if it is waged as a last resort or in self-defense; if the force used is proportional; and if, whenever possible, civilians are spared from violence.
Of course, we know that for most of history, this concept of "just war" was rarely observed. The capacity of human beings to think up new ways to kill one another proved inexhaustible, as did our capacity to exempt from mercy those who look different or pray to a different God. Wars between armies gave way to wars between nations -- total wars in which the distinction between combatant and civilian became blurred. In the span of 30 years, such carnage would twice engulf this continent. And while it's hard to conceive of a cause more just than the defeat of the Third Reich and the Axis powers, World War II was a conflict in which the total number of civilians who died exceeded the number of soldiers who perished.
In the wake of such destruction, and with the advent of the nuclear age, it became clear to victor and vanquished alike that the world needed institutions to prevent another world war. And so, a quarter century after the United States Senate rejected the League of Nations -- an idea for which Woodrow Wilson received this prize -- America led the world in constructing an architecture to keep the peace: a Marshall Plan and a United Nations, mechanisms to govern the waging of war, treaties to protect human rights, prevent genocide, restrict the most dangerous weapons.
In many ways, these efforts succeeded. Yes, terrible wars have been fought, and atrocities committed. But there has been no Third World War. The Cold War ended with jubilant crowds dismantling a wall. Commerce has stitched much of the world together. Billions have been lifted from poverty. The ideals of liberty and self-determination, equality and the rule of law have haltingly advanced. We are the heirs of the fortitude and foresight of generations past, and it is a legacy for which my own country is rightfully proud.
And yet, a decade into a new century, this old architecture is buckling under the weight of new threats. The world may no longer shudder at the prospect of war between two nuclear superpowers, but proliferation may increase the risk of catastrophe. Terrorism has long been a tactic, but modern technology allows a few small men with outsized rage to murder innocents on a horrific scale.
Moreover, wars between nations have increasingly given way to wars within nations. The resurgence of ethnic or sectarian conflicts; the growth of secessionist movements, insurgencies, and failed states -- all these things have increasingly trapped civilians in unending chaos. In today's wars, many more civilians are killed than soldiers; the seeds of future conflict are sown, economies are wrecked, civil societies torn asunder, refugees amassed, children scarred.
I do not bring with me today a definitive solution to the problems of war. What I do know is that meeting these challenges will require the same vision, hard work, and persistence of those men and women who acted so boldly decades ago. And it will require us to think in new ways about the notions of just war and the imperatives of a just peace.
We must begin by acknowledging the hard truth: We will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. There will be times when nations -- acting individually or in concert -- will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.
I make this statement mindful of what Martin Luther King Jr. said in this same ceremony years ago: "Violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones." As someone who stands here as a direct consequence of Dr. King's life work, I am living testimony to the moral force of non-violence. I know there's nothing weak -- nothing passive -- nothing naοve -- in the creed and lives of Gandhi and King.
But as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation, I cannot be guided by their examples alone. I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda's leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism -- it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.
I raise this point, I begin with this point because in many countries there is a deep ambivalence about military action today, no matter what the cause. And at times, this is joined by a reflexive suspicion of America, the world's sole military superpower.
But the world must remember that it was not simply international institutions -- not just treaties and declarations -- that brought stability to a post-World War II world. Whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this: The United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms. The service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform has promoted peace and prosperity from Germany to Korea, and enabled democracy to take hold in places like the Balkans. We have borne this burden not because we seek to impose our will. We have done so out of enlightened self-interest -- because we seek a better future for our children and grandchildren, and we believe that their lives will be better if others' children and grandchildren can live in freedom and prosperity.
So yes, the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace. And yet this truth must coexist with another -- that no matter how justified, war promises human tragedy. The soldier's courage and sacrifice is full of glory, expressing devotion to country, to cause, to comrades in arms. But war itself is never glorious, and we must never trumpet it as such.
So part of our challenge is reconciling these two seemingly inreconcilable truths -- that war is sometimes necessary, and war at some level is an expression of human folly. Concretely, we must direct our effort to the task that President Kennedy called for long ago. "Let us focus," he said, "on a more practical, more attainable peace, based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions." A gradual evolution of human institutions.
What might this evolution look like? What might these practical steps be?
To begin with, I believe that all nations -- strong and weak alike -- must adhere to standards that govern the use of force. I -- like any head of state -- reserve the right to act unilaterally if necessary to defend my nation. Nevertheless, I am convinced that adhering to standards, international standards, strengthens those who do, and isolates and weakens those who don't.
The world rallied around America after the 9/11 attacks, and continues to support our efforts in Afghanistan, because of the horror of those senseless attacks and the recognized principle of self-defense. Likewise, the world recognized the need to confront Saddam Hussein when he invaded Kuwait -- a consensus that sent a clear message to all about the cost of aggression.
Furthermore, America -- in fact, no nation -- can insist that others follow the rules of the road if we refuse to follow them ourselves. For when we don't, our actions appear arbitrary and undercut the legitimacy of future interventions, no matter how justified.
And this becomes particularly important when the purpose of military action extends beyond self-defense or the defense of one nation against an aggressor. More and more, we all confront difficult questions about how to prevent the slaughter of civilians by their own government, or to stop a civil war whose violence and suffering can engulf an entire region.

I believe that force can be justified on humanitarian grounds, as it was in the Balkans, or in other places that have been scarred by war. Inaction tears at our conscience and can lead to more costly intervention later. That's why all responsible nations must embrace the role that militaries with a clear mandate can play to keep the peace.
America's commitment to global security will never waver. But in a world in which threats are more diffuse, and missions more complex, America cannot act alone. America alone cannot secure the peace. This is true in Afghanistan. This is true in failed states like Somalia, where terrorism and piracy is joined by famine and human suffering. And sadly, it will continue to be true in unstable regions for years to come.
The leaders and soldiers of NATO countries, and other friends and allies, demonstrate this truth through the capacity and courage they've shown in Afghanistan. But in many countries, there is a disconnect between the efforts of those who serve and the ambivalence of the broader public. I understand why war is not popular, but I also know this: The belief that peace is desirable is rarely enough to achieve it. Peace requires responsibility. Peace entails sacrifice. That's why NATO continues to be indispensable. That's why we must strengthen U.N. and regional peacekeeping, and not leave the task to a few countries. That's why we honor those who return home from peacekeeping and training abroad to Oslo and Rome; to Ottawa and Sydney; to Dhaka and Kigali -- we honor them not as makers of war, but of wagers -- but as wagers of peace.
Let me make one final point about the use of force. Even as we make difficult decisions about going to war, we must also think clearly about how we fight it. The Nobel Committee recognized this truth in awarding its first prize for peace to Henry Dunant -- the founder of the Red Cross, and a driving force behind the Geneva Conventions.
Where force is necessary, we have a moral and strategic interest in binding ourselves to certain rules of conduct. And even as we confront a vicious adversary that abides by no rules, I believe the United States of America must remain a standard bearer in the conduct of war. That is what makes us different from those whom we fight. That is a source of our strength. That is why I prohibited torture. That is why I ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed. And that is why I have reaffirmed America's commitment to abide by the Geneva Conventions. We lose ourselves when we compromise the very ideals that we fight to defend. (Applause.) And we honor -- we honor those ideals by upholding them not when it's easy, but when it is hard.
I have spoken at some length to the question that must weigh on our minds and our hearts as we choose to wage war. But let me now turn to our effort to avoid such tragic choices, and speak of three ways that we can build a just and lasting peace.
First, in dealing with those nations that break rules and laws, I believe that we must develop alternatives to violence that are tough enough to actually change behavior -- for if we want a lasting peace, then the words of the international community must mean something. Those regimes that break the rules must be held accountable. Sanctions must exact a real price. Intransigence must be met with increased pressure -- and such pressure exists only when the world stands together as one.
One urgent example is the effort to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, and to seek a world without them. In the middle of the last century, nations agreed to be bound by a treaty whose bargain is clear: All will have access to peaceful nuclear power; those without nuclear weapons will forsake them; and those with nuclear weapons will work towards disarmament. I am committed to upholding this treaty. It is a centerpiece of my foreign policy. And I'm working with President Medvedev to reduce America and Russia's nuclear stockpiles.
But it is also incumbent upon all of us to insist that nations like Iran and North Korea do not game the system. Those who claim to respect international law cannot avert their eyes when those laws are flouted. Those who care for their own security cannot ignore the danger of an arms race in the Middle East or East Asia. Those who seek peace cannot stand idly by as nations arm themselves for nuclear war.
The same principle applies to those who violate international laws by brutalizing their own people. When there is genocide in Darfur, systematic rape in Congo, repression in Burma -- there must be consequences. Yes, there will be engagement; yes, there will be diplomacy -- but there must be consequences when those things fail. And the closer we stand together, the less likely we will be faced with the choice between armed intervention and complicity in oppression.
This brings me to a second point -- the nature of the peace that we seek. For peace is not merely the absence of visible conflict. Only a just peace based on the inherent rights and dignity of every individual can truly be lasting.
It was this insight that drove drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights after the Second World War. In the wake of devastation, they recognized that if human rights are not protected, peace is a hollow promise.
And yet too often, these words are ignored. For some countries, the failure to uphold human rights is excused by the false suggestion that these are somehow Western principles, foreign to local cultures or stages of a nation's development. And within America, there has long been a tension between those who describe themselves as realists or idealists -- a tension that suggests a stark choice between the narrow pursuit of interests or an endless campaign to impose our values around the world.

BigRedChief
12-10-2009, 09:26 PM
Cont.

I reject these choices. I believe that peace is unstable where citizens are denied the right to speak freely or worship as they please; choose their own leaders or assemble without fear. Pent-up grievances fester, and the suppression of tribal and religious identity can lead to violence. We also know that the opposite is true. Only when Europe became free did it finally find peace. America has never fought a war against a democracy, and our closest friends are governments that protect the rights of their citizens. No matter how callously defined, neither America's interests -- nor the world's -- are served by the denial of human aspirations.
So even as we respect the unique culture and traditions of different countries, America will always be a voice for those aspirations that are universal. We will bear witness to the quiet dignity of reformers like Aung Sang Suu Kyi; to the bravery of Zimbabweans who cast their ballots in the face of beatings; to the hundreds of thousands who have marched silently through the streets of Iran. It is telling that the leaders of these governments fear the aspirations of their own people more than the power of any other nation. And it is the responsibility of all free people and free nations to make clear that these movements -- these movements of hope and history -- they have us on their side.
Let me also say this: The promotion of human rights cannot be about exhortation alone. At times, it must be coupled with painstaking diplomacy. I know that engagement with repressive regimes lacks the satisfying purity of indignation. But I also know that sanctions without outreach -- condemnation without discussion -- can carry forward only a crippling status quo. No repressive regime can move down a new path unless it has the choice of an open door.
In light of the Cultural Revolution's horrors, Nixon's meeting with Mao appeared inexcusable -- and yet it surely helped set China on a path where millions of its citizens have been lifted from poverty and connected to open societies. Pope John Paul's engagement with Poland created space not just for the Catholic Church, but for labor leaders like Lech Walesa. Ronald Reagan's efforts on arms control and embrace of perestroika not only improved relations with the Soviet Union, but empowered dissidents throughout Eastern Europe. There's no simple formula here. But we must try as best we can to balance isolation and engagement, pressure and incentives, so that human rights and dignity are advanced over time.
Third, a just peace includes not only civil and political rights -- it must encompass economic security and opportunity. For true peace is not just freedom from fear, but freedom from want.
It is undoubtedly true that development rarely takes root without security; it is also true that security does not exist where human beings do not have access to enough food, or clean water, or the medicine and shelter they need to survive. It does not exist where children can't aspire to a decent education or a job that supports a family. The absence of hope can rot a society from within.
And that's why helping farmers feed their own people -- or nations educate their children and care for the sick -- is not mere charity. It's also why the world must come together to confront climate change. There is little scientific dispute that if we do nothing, we will face more drought, more famine, more mass displacement -- all of which will fuel more conflict for decades. For this reason, it is not merely scientists and environmental activists who call for swift and forceful action -- it's military leaders in my own country and others who understand our common security hangs in the balance.
Agreements among nations. Strong institutions. Support for human rights. Investments in development. All these are vital ingredients in bringing about the evolution that President Kennedy spoke about. And yet, I do not believe that we will have the will, the determination, the staying power, to complete this work without something more -- and that's the continued expansion of our moral imagination; an insistence that there's something irreducible that we all share.
As the world grows smaller, you might think it would be easier for human beings to recognize how similar we are; to understand that we're all basically seeking the same things; that we all hope for the chance to live out our lives with some measure of happiness and fulfillment for ourselves and our families.
And yet somehow, given the dizzying pace of globalization, the cultural leveling of modernity, it perhaps comes as no surprise that people fear the loss of what they cherish in their particular identities -- their race, their tribe, and perhaps most powerfully their religion. In some places, this fear has led to conflict. At times, it even feels like we're moving backwards. We see it in the Middle East, as the conflict between Arabs and Jews seems to harden. We see it in nations that are torn asunder by tribal lines.
And most dangerously, we see it in the way that religion is used to justify the murder of innocents by those who have distorted and defiled the great religion of Islam, and who attacked my country from Afghanistan. These extremists are not the first to kill in the name of God; the cruelties of the Crusades are amply recorded. But they remind us that no Holy War can ever be a just war. For if you truly believe that you are carrying out divine will, then there is no need for restraint -- no need to spare the pregnant mother, or the medic, or the Red Cross worker, or even a person of one's own faith. Such a warped view of religion is not just incompatible with the concept of peace, but I believe it's incompatible with the very purpose of faith -- for the one rule that lies at the heart of every major religion is that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us.
Adhering to this law of love has always been the core struggle of human nature. For we are fallible. We make mistakes, and fall victim to the temptations of pride, and power, and sometimes evil. Even those of us with the best of intentions will at times fail to right the wrongs before us.
But we do not have to think that human nature is perfect for us to still believe that the human condition can be perfected. We do not have to live in an idealized world to still reach for those ideals that will make it a better place. The non-violence practiced by men like Gandhi and King may not have been practical or possible in every circumstance, but the love that they preached -- their fundamental faith in human progress -- that must always be the North Star that guides us on our journey.
For if we lose that faith -- if we dismiss it as silly or naοve; if we divorce it from the decisions that we make on issues of war and peace -- then we lose what's best about humanity. We lose our sense of possibility. We lose our moral compass.
Like generations have before us, we must reject that future. As Dr. King said at this occasion so many years ago, "I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the 'isness' of man's present condition makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal 'oughtness' that forever confronts him."
Let us reach for the world that ought to be -- that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls. (Applause.)
Somewhere today, in the here and now, in the world as it is, a soldier sees he's outgunned, but stands firm to keep the peace. Somewhere today, in this world, a young protestor awaits the brutality of her government, but has the courage to march on. Somewhere today, a mother facing punishing poverty still takes the time to teach her child, scrapes together what few coins she has to send that child to school -- because she believes that a cruel world still has a place for that child's dreams.
Let us live by their example. We can acknowledge that oppression will always be with us, and still strive for justice. We can admit the intractability of depravation, and still strive for dignity. Clear-eyed, we can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace. We can do that -- for that is the story of human progress; that's the hope of all the world; and at this moment of challenge, that must be our work here on Earth.
Thank you very much. (Applause.)

Read more: http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2009/12/10/barack-obamas-nobel-prize-speech-transcript/#ixzz0ZLkrVvMM (http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2009/12/10/barack-obamas-nobel-prize-speech-transcript/#ixzz0ZLkrVvMM)

petegz28
12-10-2009, 09:29 PM
The sad part is, there is no doctrine there.

BigRedChief
12-10-2009, 09:30 PM
The sad part is, there is no doctrine there.Huh? Limbaugh, Palin, Grinrich, Hannity, Rove all liked the speech and some of those called it an Obama doctrine.

Whatever. jjeeeezzz

petegz28
12-10-2009, 09:38 PM
Huh? Limbaugh, Palin, Grinrich, Hannity, Rove all liked the speech and some of those called it an Obama doctrine.

Whatever. jjeeeezzz

Actually Rush was saying the samething I just said....

Taco John
12-10-2009, 10:12 PM
I wonder if the Nobel Prize committee members are going to be found hanging by their shower rods. How embarassing for them.

Reaper16
12-10-2009, 10:17 PM
That reads like a pretty good speech. I wish Carcetti would have given as good a one when talking about healthcare.

Direckshun
12-10-2009, 10:22 PM
Phenomenal speech. Took balls, that's for sure.

Taco John
12-10-2009, 10:55 PM
http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/9844/editorial20090212c.jpg

Reaper16
12-10-2009, 10:57 PM
http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/9844/editorial20090212c.jpg
LMAO

BigRedChief
12-11-2009, 06:30 AM
Phenomenal speech. Took balls, that's for sure.Just a stupid empty suit airhead speech. Nothing to see here.

/pete

HonestChieffan
12-11-2009, 06:34 AM
Nobody can deny he gives a great speech. The issue isn't what he says, it is what he does. Or doesn't do.

BigRedChief
12-11-2009, 06:48 AM
Nobody can deny he gives a great speech. The issue isn't what he says, it is what he does. Or doesn't do.
Yeah, this speech was a pacifist liberal apologetic socialist speech.
The European elitist are going to love it, talk for years about it while they sip their wine. Nothing of substance in this speech.....

Wars are morally justified. No president has ever said that, evah:
We must begin by acknowledging the hard truth: We will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. There will be times when nations -- acting individually or in concert -- will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.

We live and act in the real world:
I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda's leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism -- it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.

War is sometimes neccesary:
So part of our challenge is reconciling these two seemingly inreconcilable truths -- that war is sometimes necessary, and war at some level is an expression of human folly.

Reserve the right to act unilaterally
To begin with, I believe that all nations -- strong and weak alike -- must adhere to standards that govern the use of force. I -- like any head of state -- reserve the right to act unilaterally if necessary to defend my nation. Nevertheless, I am convinced that adhering to standards, international standards, strengthens those who do, and isolates and weakens those who don't.

War is justified on humanitarian grounds
I believe that force can be justified on humanitarian grounds, as it was in the Balkans, or in other places that have been scarred by war. Inaction tears at our conscience and can lead to more costly intervention later.

when we go to war we will keep the moral high ground.
Where force is necessary, we have a moral and strategic interest in binding ourselves to certain rules of conduct. And even as we confront a vicious adversary that abides by no rules, I believe the United States of America must remain a standard bearer in the conduct of war. That is what makes us different from those whom we fight. That is a source of our strength.

Peace isn't just the absense of war
the nature of the peace that we seek. For peace is not merely the absence of visible conflict. Only a just peace based on the inherent rights and dignity of every individual can truly be lasting.

Balance isolation and war
There's no simple formula here. But we must try as best we can to balance isolation and engagement, pressure and incentives, so that human rights and dignity are advanced over time.
Third, a just peace includes not only civil and political rights -- it must encompass economic security and opportunity. For true peace is not just freedom from fear, but freedom from want.

Religion can't be used to justify war
And most dangerously, we see it in the way that religion is used to justify the murder of innocents by those who have distorted and defiled the great religion of Islam, and who attacked my country from Afghanistan. These extremists are not the first to kill in the name of God; the cruelties of the Crusades are amply recorded. But they remind us that no Holy War can ever be a just war. For if you truly believe that you are carrying out divine will, then there is no need for restraint -- no need to spare the pregnant mother, or the medic, or the Red Cross worker, or even a person of one's own faith. Such a warped view of religion is not just incompatible with the concept of peace, but I believe it's incompatible with the very purpose of faith -- for the one rule that lies at the heart of every major religion is that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

S T F U and sit down. You owe us. We don't owe you.
the plain fact is this: The United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms. The service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform has promoted peace and prosperity from Germany to Korea, and enabled democracy to take hold in places like the Balkans. We have borne this burden not because we seek to impose our will. We have done so out of enlightened self-interest -- because we seek a better future for our children and grandchildren, and we believe that their lives will be better if others' children and grandchildren can live in freedom and prosperity.

petegz28
12-11-2009, 06:50 AM
So, define the Obama Doctrine....

BigRedChief
12-11-2009, 07:02 AM
So, define the Obama Doctrine....
I'm not a historian. I didn't call it that, the talking heads did. I see no point in debating this with you. You think this speech had no substance, fine and dnady, your entitled to your opinion. But the majority of the rest of the world thinks it was a significant and substantive speech.

NewChief
12-11-2009, 07:10 AM
http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/9844/editorial20090212c.jpg

That's actually not half bad.

memyselfI
12-11-2009, 07:12 AM
Bush Lite.

petegz28
12-11-2009, 07:15 AM
I'm not a historian. I didn't call it that, the talking heads did. I see no point in debating this with you. You think this speech had no substance, fine and dnady, your entitled to your opinion. But the majority of the rest of the world thinks it was a significant and substantive speech.

Sorry, I am just going by his track record. His speech may have sounded good but it stops about there.

Chief Henry
12-11-2009, 08:04 AM
Phenomenal speech. Took balls, that's for sure.



For a liberal, maybe ?

patteeu
12-11-2009, 08:12 AM
And it will require us to think in new ways about the notions of just war and the imperatives of a just peace.

When George W. Bush said this, he was roundly condemned by many who now support Obama (as well as many of the neo-isolationists of the right). In fact, outdated ideas of just war are still at the root of most of the criticisms of Bush's decision to invade Iraq.

patteeu
12-11-2009, 08:12 AM
Where force is necessary, we have a moral and strategic interest in binding ourselves to certain rules of conduct. And even as we confront a vicious adversary that abides by no rules, I believe the United States of America must remain a standard bearer in the conduct of war. That is what makes us different from those whom we fight. That is a source of our strength. That is why I prohibited torture. That is why I ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed.

Up until this point, I thought he had a decent speech going. This is a major non sequitur. There is no rule of conduct against having an offshore prison like Guantanamo Bay. And Obama does the country a disservice by feeding the misconception that we used torture before he "prohibited" it.

His speech is too vague to know one way or the other, but my worry here would be that Obama would be inclined to subordinate the US to international tribunals like the International Criminal Court. I hope not and I'll give him the benefit of the doubt until the point that he actually articulates a disastrous position like that.

patteeu
12-11-2009, 08:12 AM
But it is also incumbent upon all of us to insist that nations like Iran and North Korea do not game the system. Those who claim to respect international law cannot avert their eyes when those laws are flouted. Those who care for their own security cannot ignore the danger of an arms race in the Middle East or East Asia. Those who seek peace cannot stand idly by as nations arm themselves for nuclear war.
The same principle applies to those who violate international laws by brutalizing their own people. When there is genocide in Darfur, systematic rape in Congo, repression in Burma -- there must be consequences. Yes, there will be engagement; yes, there will be diplomacy -- [B]but there must be consequences when those things fail. And the closer we stand together, the less likely we will be faced with the choice between armed intervention and complicity in oppression.

And what will the consequences be when the community of nations refuses to go along with Obama's ideas for international solidarity against rogue nations? None are apparent. This is just blather dressed up to sound good.

BigRedChief
12-11-2009, 08:52 AM
And what will the consequences be when the community of nations refuses to go along with Obama's ideas for international solidarity against rogue nations? None are apparent. This is just blather dressed up to sound good.uhhhhhh I believe he said what will happen....

-- like any head of state -- reserve the right to act unilaterally if necessary to defend my nation.

Taco John
12-11-2009, 08:58 AM
When George W. Bush said this, he was roundly condemned by many who now support Obama (as well as many of the neo-isolationists of the right). In fact, outdated ideas of just war are still at the root of most of the criticisms of Bush's decision to invade Iraq.


I can't imagine how anybody could be a critic of Bush, but applaud that speech. It shows a true dedication to style over substance to be able to do that.

War is peace.

Taco John
12-11-2009, 08:59 AM
The way this speech is being reported is dumbfounding... (http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jj1XLAUPWhZi-QtsWVh8bZ5XI29A)

NewChief
12-11-2009, 09:02 AM
I can't imagine how anybody could be a critic of Bush, but applaud that speech. It shows a true dedication to style over substance to be able to do that.

War is peace.

Agreed. This is basically a more eloquent version of Bush's war justifications.

BigRedChief
12-11-2009, 09:07 AM
I can't imagine how anybody could be a critic of Bush, but applaud that speech. It shows a true dedication to style over substance to be able to do that.

War is peace.
I was surprised by the "tone" of the speech also, especially while accepting a peace prize. But that being said.....

We were lied to about the reasons for a war in Iraq. We are getting out asap.

The invasion of Aghanistan was a morally righteous war. They were harboring the very people that plotted, trained and supported the people who killed 3,000 americans and did trillions of $'s in damage to us econimically. They had it coming.

War is never good. Evah. but sometimes neccessary. Are we just suppose to sit back and wait for Al-Quaeda to strike again, allow them to operate out in the open? We need to hunt down and kill every last Al-Quaeda SOB that swore to take up arms against us. There is no diplomacy, there is no negoiation. We will have to kill them or they will kill us. Self preservation is a strong motivating factor.

What would you do about Al-Quaeda?

Taco John
12-11-2009, 09:08 AM
The invasion of Aghanistan was a morally righteous war.




ROFL

Taco John
12-11-2009, 09:14 AM
What would you do about Al-Quaeda?




I've answered this question about a hundred times. I'd issue Constitutional Letters of Marque. I wouldn't involve my nation in an open-ended policing excersize where victory relies on a revolution of culture for the people we're invading.

There is nothing "morally righteous" about this war. What a hyperbolic thing to believe.

vailpass
12-11-2009, 09:14 AM
Big Red Chief gets some obama handout $ and he is now on the tip of the little potus that could(n't).

BigRedChief
12-11-2009, 09:21 AM
There is nothing "morally righteous" about this war. What a hyperbolic thing to believe.
I was talking about the initial invasion. I think we shoulf GTFO of there now and fight Al-Quaeda globally.

We had a moral right to invade the country that habored, provided aid and comfort to the terriosts that killed 3000 americans. We have a moral right to defend ourselfs from those whose seek to destory us.

You think I'm stupid for believing that, so be it.

BigRedChief
12-11-2009, 09:22 AM
Big Red Chief gets some obama handout $ and he is now on the tip of the little potus that could(n't).I was on the Obama bandwagon before he won the Iowa cacus.

vailpass
12-11-2009, 09:24 AM
I was on the Obama bandwagon before he won the Iowa cacus.

As Potus is he everything you thought he was, hoped he would be back then?

BigRedChief
12-11-2009, 09:29 AM
As Potus is he everything you thought he was, hoped he would be back then?of course not, I started a thread listing the BS that I thought was wrong.

mlyonsd
12-11-2009, 09:31 AM
I can't imagine how anybody could be a critic of Bush, but applaud that speech. It shows a true dedication to style over substance to be able to do that.

War is peace.

That's what I was thinking. Take out the big words and the speech could have been given (for the most part) by Bush. And now all of a sudden Obama is praised for having nads. Too funny.

fan4ever
12-11-2009, 09:35 AM
I was on the Obama bandwagon before he won the Iowa cacus.

So was my cousin...who couldn't even tell me which state Obama was from after he declared "I'd vote for the guy".

fan4ever
12-11-2009, 09:37 AM
Liked a majority of the speech...whoever wrote it got most of it right.

vailpass
12-11-2009, 09:46 AM
So was my cousin...who couldn't even tell me which state Obama was from after he declared "I'd vote for the guy".

His state is BLACK fool, isn't that enough?

vailpass
12-11-2009, 09:47 AM
of course not, I started a thread listing the BS that I thought was wrong.

I commend you for your candor and your ability to hold out hope that obama can turn into an effective Potus in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

fan4ever
12-11-2009, 09:52 AM
His state is BLACK fool, isn't that enough?

Must have been.

"Look how unracist I am; I'll vote for this guy and I don't know sh*t about him...aren't I openminded? Golly I feel good about myself...screw what happens to the country...oh, what a burden of white liberal guilt off my back...whew!"

Reaper16
12-11-2009, 10:46 AM
I don't think that it is necessarily hypocritical for Iraq War critics to think that this was a good speech. FWIW, I don't have much of a problem with the Bush doctrine itself. But there needs to be a good fucking reason to attack preemptively and that reason wasn't there for Iraq.

jjjayb
12-11-2009, 12:22 PM
His state is BLACK fool, isn't that enough?

I thought he was from New Hopenchange?

patteeu
12-11-2009, 09:02 PM
I was surprised by the "tone" of the speech also, especially while accepting a peace prize. But that being said.....

We were lied to about the reasons for a war in Iraq. We are getting out asap.

Good grief, not this again. :facepalm:

We're getting out because under GWBush's leadership, we got the new Iraqi government on their feet.

patteeu
12-11-2009, 09:06 PM
I don't think that it is necessarily hypocritical for Iraq War critics to think that this was a good speech. FWIW, I don't have much of a problem with the Bush doctrine itself. But there needs to be a good ****ing reason to attack preemptively and that reason wasn't there for Iraq.

That's refreshingly reasonable. I'll even go so far as to say that the last part is something that a reasonable person could believe even though I think it's wrong.

scott free
12-11-2009, 09:47 PM
As a speech, its very hard to see how much more defensive of American war policy & role in the world the man can be... all while accepting the worlds leading Peace Prize. What do some want, John Wayne up there replete with side-irons?

BigRedChief
12-11-2009, 10:06 PM
Good grief, not this again. :facepalm:

We're getting out because under GWBush's leadership, we got the new Iraqi government on their feet.No one is buying your BS. Bush lied to get us into war. Whether on purpose of he wasx lied to. Doesn't matter. The president said this country has WMD and is an imminent threat to us. Which we now know is BS.

Iraq got better because we paid people to quit killing us. And then they decided to quit killing each other.

Bush gets no credit. We shouldn't have been there in the first place. Thousands of Americans are dead because we invaded a nation to rid it of WMD that it didn't have.

Taco John
12-11-2009, 10:59 PM
The thing that I find the most amusing is that he's executing the Bush Doctrine, and they want to call it the Obama Doctrine as though he came up with it or added anything unique to it.

I can't understand why Bush didn't win this award, in light of this.

AustinChief
12-12-2009, 02:49 AM
Bush Literate.
Fixed your post :D

NewChief
12-12-2009, 06:51 AM
Great piece from Glen Greenwalk on the speech. I bolded the meat of it.

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2009/12/11/obama/print.html
The strange consensus on Obama's Nobel address
Why did so many liberals and conservatives both find so much to cheer in the president's foreign policy speech?

Glenn Greenwald

Dec. 11, 2009 |

(updated below - Update II - Update III)

Reactions to Obama's Nobel speech yesterday were remarkably consistent across the political spectrum, and there were two points on which virtually everyone seemed to agree: (1) it was the most explicitly pro-war speech ever delivered by anyone while accepting the Nobel Peace Prize; and (2) it was the most comprehensive expression of Obama's foreign policy principles since he became President. I don't think he can be blamed for the first fact; when the Nobel Committee chose him despite his waging two wars and escalating one, it essentially forced on him the bizarre circumstance of using his acceptance speech to defend the wars he's fighting. What else could he do? Ignore the wars? Repent?

I'm more interested in the fact that the set of principles Obama articulated yesterday was such a clear and comprehensive expression of his foreign policy that it's now being referred to as the "Obama Doctrine." About that matter, there are two arguably confounding facts to note: (1) the vast majority of leading conservatives -- from Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich to Peggy Noonan, Sarah Palin, various Kagans and other assorted neocons -- have heaped enthusiastic praise on what Obama said yesterday, i.e., on the Obama Doctrine; and (2) numerous liberals have done exactly the same. That convergence gives rise to a couple of questions:

Why are the Bush-following conservatives who ran the country for the last eight years and whose foreign policy ideas are supposedly so discredited -- including some of the nation's hardest-core neocons -- finding so much to cheer in the so-called Obama Doctrine?

How could liberals and conservatives -- who have long claimed to possess such vehemently divergent and irreconcilable worldviews on foreign policy -- both simultaneously adore the same comprehensive expression of foreign policy?

Let's dispense first with several legitimate caveats. Like all good politicians, Obama is adept at paying homage to multiple, inconsistent views at once, enabling everyone to hear whatever they want in what he says while blissfully ignoring the rest. Additionally, conservatives have an interest in claiming that Obama has embraced Bush/Cheney policies even when he hasn't, because it allows them to claim vindication ("see, now that Obama gets secret briefings, he realizes we were right all along"). Moreover, there are foreign policies Obama has pursued that are genuinely disliked by neocons -- from negotiating with Iran to applying some mild pressure on Israel to the use of more conciliatory and humble rhetoric. And one of the most radical and controversial aspects of the Bush presidency -- the attack on Iraq -- was not defended by Obama, nor was the underlying principle that produced it ("preventive" war).

But all that said, it's easy to understand why even intellectually honest conservatives -- including neocons -- found so much to like in "the Obama Doctrine," at least as it found expression yesterday. With the one caveat that Obama omitted a defense of the Iraq War, the generally Obama-supportive Kevin Drum put it this way:

I really don't think neocons have much to complain about even if Obama didn't use the opportunity to announce construction of a new generation of nuclear missiles or something. Given that he was, after all, accepting a peace prize, it was a surprisingly robust defense of war and America's military role in the world. Surprisingly Bushian, really . . .

Indeed, Obama insisted upon what he called the "right" to wage wars "unilaterally"; articulated a wide array of circumstances in which war is supposedly "just" far beyond being attacked or facing imminent attack by another country; explicitly rejected the non-violence espoused by King and Gandhi as too narrow and insufficiently pragmatic for a Commander-in-Chief like Obama to embrace; endowed us with the mission to use war as a means of combating "evil"; and hailed the U.S. for underwriting global security for the last six decades (without mentioning how our heroic efforts affected, say, the people of Vietnam, or Iraq, or Central America, or Gaza, and so many other places where "security" is not exactly what our wars "underwrote"). So it's not difficult to see why Rovian conservatives are embracing his speech; so much of it was devoted to an affirmation of their core beliefs.

The more difficult question to answer is why -- given what Drum described -- so many liberals found the speech so inspiring and agreeable? Is that what liberals were hoping for when they elected Obama: someone who would march right into Oslo and proudly announce to the world that we have a unilateral right to wage war when we want and to sing the virtues of war as a key instrument for peace? As Tom Friedman put it on CNN yesterday: "He got into their faces . . . I'm for getting into the Europeans' face." Is that what we needed more of?

Yesterday's speech and the odd, extremely bipartisan reaction to it underscored one of the real dangers of the Obama presidency: taking what had been ideas previously discredited as Republican or right-wing dogma and transforming them into bipartisan consensus. It's not just Republicans but Democrats that are now vested in -- and eager to justify -- the virtues of war, claims of Grave Danger posed by Islamic radicals and the need to use massive military force to combat them, indefinite detention, military commissions, extreme secrecy, full-scale immunity for government lawbreaking, and so many other doctrines once purportedly despised by Democrats but now defended by them because their leader has embraced them.

That's exactly the process that led former Bush DOJ official Jack Goldsmith to giddily explain that Obama has actually done more to legitimize Bush/Cheney "counter-terrorism" policies than Bush and Cheney themselves -- because he made them bipartisan -- and Yale Law Professor Jack Balkin made the same point to The New York Times' Charlie Savage back in July:

In any case, Jack Balkin, a Yale Law School professor, said Mr. Obama’s ratification of the basic outlines of the surveillance and detention policies he inherited would reverberate for generations. By bestowing bipartisan acceptance on them, Mr. Balkin said, Mr. Obama is consolidating them as entrenched features of government.

"What we are watching," Mr. Balkin said, "is a liberal, centrist, Democratic version of the construction of these same governing practices."

Most of the neocons celebrating Obama's speech yesterday made exactly that point in one way or another: if even this Democratic President, beloved by liberals, announces to the world that we have the unilateral right to wage war and that doing so creates Peace and crushes Evil, and does so at a Nobel Peace Prize ceremony of all places, doesn't that end the argument for good?

Much of the liberal praise for Obama's speech yesterday focused on how eloquent, sophisticated, nuanced, complex, philosophical, contemplative and intellectual it was. And, looked at a certain way, it was all of those things -- like so many Obama speeches are. After eight years of enduring a President who spoke in simplistic Manichean imperatives and bullying decrees, many liberals are understandably joyous over having a President who uses their language and the rhetorical approach that resonates with them.

But that's the real danger. Obama puts a pretty, intellectual, liberal face on some ugly and decidedly illiberal polices. Just as George Bush's Christian-based moralizing let conservatives feel good about America regardless of what it does, Obama's complex and elegiac rhetoric lets many liberals do the same. To red state Republicans, war and its accompanying instruments (secrecy, executive power, indefinite detention) felt so good and right when justified by swaggering, unapologetic toughness and divinely-mandated purpose; to blue state Democrats, all of that feels just as good when justified by academic meditations on "just war" doctrine and when accompanied by poetic expressions of sorrow and reluctance. When you combine the two rhetorical approaches, what you get is what you saw yesterday: a bipartisan embrace of the same policies and ideologies among people with supposedly irreconcilable views of the world.



UPDATE: Obviously quite related to all of this, if I had to recommend one article for everyone to read this month, it would be Matt Taibbi's new, masterful account in Rolling Stone of how the Obama administration has aggressively ensured the ongoing domination of our government by Wall Street. I don't want to excerpt any of it because I want to encourage everyone to read it in its entirety; suffice to say, it makes many of the same arguments as those made here in the context of Obama's decisions in the financial and economic realms (though several people, such as Tim Fernholz and Salon's Andrew Leonard, have voiced what appear to be serious objections to some of Taibbi's claims; hopefully, he'll respond).



UPDATE II: One of the most recurring features of the Bush-follower mindset was the claim that the President's supreme duty -- one which the Constitution requires him to swear to -- is to "protect the country," a rhetorical sleight-of-hand suggesting that the Constitution somehow venerates national security above other values. As 23skiddo points out, Obama featured this exact claim in an even more misleading form yesterday when -- in explaining why King and Gandhi were too restrictive for him -- he described himself "as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation."

But as this Constitutional scholar surely knows, that is not what he swore to protect and defend when he took his oath of office. Article II of the Constitution actually requires that he swear or affirm that he "will to the best of [his] Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.'' That's a critical difference, now almost always overlooked/ignored/distorted, as it was yesterday.



UPDATE III: Andrew Sullivan praises Obama's speech and Obama himself as a shining example of Niebuhrian complexity. Again, I think the speech, like Obama himself, was intellectually skillful -- even more so politically -- though, personally, I think Chris Hayes is much closer when he says the speech was Obama's typical "wearying," too-clever "on the one hand on the other, I reject false choices, needle-threading 'pragmatism,'" which Hayes said worked well for Obama's campaign speech on race (I agreed) but does not work in matters of war and peace or for much else with Obama any longer.

In a separate post, Sullivan -- referencing what I wrote here -- says that "Obama's foreign policy positions should have been clear to anyone playing attention during the campaign." I agree. The moment when I was convinced Obama would win the election was when, during the second presidential debate, McCain virtually accused him of being a warmonger -- or at least reckless -- for advocating further strikes on Pakistan. That Obama was defending himself from charges of being too eager to threaten military force -- voiced by McCain of all people -- was a shrewd political move. I don't find anything about Obama's foreign policy positions surprising; as opposed to his civil liberties positions, which he has routinely violated, he outlined these broad foreign policy sketches during the campaign (though added much more detail, and I'd suggest much more receptiveness to war generally, during yesterday's speech). I don't agree at all with the criticism that his escalation in Afghanistan (as opposed to his civil liberties positions) is a "betrayal." This is who Obama is and that has been clear for quite awhile.

Still, the question remains: why did so many Bush-loving neocons and progressives alike react the same way to Obama's comprehensive foreign policy speech yesterday? What could explain that? Does Sullivan have an answer?

patteeu
12-12-2009, 07:17 AM
As a speech, its very hard to see how much more defensive of American war policy & role in the world the man can be... all while accepting the worlds leading Peace Prize. What do some want, John Wayne up there replete with side-irons?

I thought the speech would have been better without the incoherent reference to Gitmo and without the naive yearning for nuclear disarmament, but other than that it was decent. The problem, as with most of what Obama says, is that it's vague enough that it could mean something I mostly agree with or something that I mostly disagree with.

patteeu
12-12-2009, 07:25 AM
No one is buying your BS. Bush lied to get us into war. Whether on purpose of he wasx lied to. Doesn't matter. The president said this country has WMD and is an imminent threat to us. Which we now know is BS.

Iraq got better because we paid people to quit killing us. And then they decided to quit killing each other.

Bush gets no credit. We shouldn't have been there in the first place. Thousands of Americans are dead because we invaded a nation to rid it of WMD that it didn't have.

Future historians will be buying it and that's enough for me. Your lack of understanding of Iraq is shameful.

Being wrong about WMD stockpiles is different than lying about them.
The Bush administration never said Iraq was an imminent threat, they called it a gathering threat, which it was.
WMD stockpiles were only a small part of the reason we invaded Iraq so their absence doesn't invalidate the overall rationale at all.
Saddam's repressive, terrorist-sponsoring, anti-US government is gone and has been replaced by a friendly, freedom-oriented government. Bush did that.

BigRedChief
12-12-2009, 08:54 AM
Future historians will be buying it and that's enough for me. I think you are wrong. But, that will be decided long after me and you are gone. Your lack of understanding of Iraq is shameful. I have enough to know the war should never have been started in the first place.


Being wrong about WMD stockpiles is different than lying about them. Maybe, but they should have known, and its still yet to be determined if they questioned the data or since the BS info matched their goals just said go for it. We know thatthey were told it was BS information and they ignored that advise.
The Bush administration never said Iraq was an imminent threat, they called it a gathering threat, which it was. BS. Cheney, Powell all said it was an immienet threat.
WMD stockpiles were only a small part of the reason we invaded Iraq so their absence doesn't invalidate the overall rationale at all. BS. The WMD was the reason we invaded. Immenient threat to our safety. There is video. It's too early to be re-writing history.
Saddam's repressive, terrorist-sponsoring, anti-US government is gone and has been replaced by a friendly, freedom-oriented government. Bush did that.So? Syria, Iran and even our buddies, Saudi Arabia funnel more money and support to Al-Quaeda than Saddam ever did. We are suppose to invade the country of every tin horn dicator? Every country that hates us? Thats not a justification for war.
comments in bold.

Taco John
12-12-2009, 12:30 PM
Great piece from Glen Greenwalk on the speech. I bolded the meat of it.


In any case, Jack Balkin, a Yale Law School professor, said Mr. Obama’s ratification of the basic outlines of the surveillance and detention policies he inherited would reverberate for generations. By bestowing bipartisan acceptance on them, Mr. Balkin said, Mr. Obama is consolidating them as entrenched features of government.

"What we are watching," Mr. Balkin said, "is a liberal, centrist, Democratic version of the construction of these same governing practices."

Most of the neocons celebrating Obama's speech yesterday made exactly that point in one way or another: if even this Democratic President, beloved by liberals, announces to the world that we have the unilateral right to wage war and that doing so creates Peace and crushes Evil, and does so at a Nobel Peace Prize ceremony of all places, doesn't that end the argument for good?

Much of the liberal praise for Obama's speech yesterday focused on how eloquent, sophisticated, nuanced, complex, philosophical, contemplative and intellectual it was. And, looked at a certain way, it was all of those things -- like so many Obama speeches are. After eight years of enduring a President who spoke in simplistic Manichean imperatives and bullying decrees, many liberals are understandably joyous over having a President who uses their language and the rhetorical approach that resonates with them.

But that's the real danger. Obama puts a pretty, intellectual, liberal face on some ugly and decidedly illiberal polices. Just as George Bush's Christian-based moralizing let conservatives feel good about America regardless of what it does, Obama's complex and elegiac rhetoric lets many liberals do the same. To red state Republicans, war and its accompanying instruments (secrecy, executive power, indefinite detention) felt so good and right when justified by swaggering, unapologetic toughness and divinely-mandated purpose; to blue state Democrats, all of that feels just as good when justified by academic meditations on "just war" doctrine and when accompanied by poetic expressions of sorrow and reluctance. When you combine the two rhetorical approaches, what you get is what you saw yesterday: a bipartisan embrace of the same policies and ideologies among people with supposedly irreconcilable views of the world.





That's great stuff. I'm embarassed for a lot of people showing their true braindead quality, spending so many years bashing Bush and now applauding this. Lot of people taking serious credibility hits around these parts.

Mr. Kotter
12-12-2009, 01:20 PM
Gosh, Teddy really was way ahead of his time:

"Speak softly, and carry a big stick."

Too bad liberals mistake resolve and determination for being a bully, while conservatives mistake intellectual idealism and rationalizing for being weak.

Maybe both sides have learned something here. :hmmm:



Nah......

Mr. Kotter
12-12-2009, 01:25 PM
No one is buying your BS. Bush lied to get us into war. Whether on purpose of he wasx lied to. Doesn't matter. The president said this country has WMD and is an imminent threat to us. Which we now know is BS.

Iraq got better because we paid people to quit killing us. And then they decided to quit killing each other.

Bush gets no credit. We shouldn't have been there in the first place. Thousands of Americans are dead because we invaded a nation to rid it of WMD that it didn't have.

For whatever reason, Doug, you have lost the ability to judge Bush objectively.

Obama has, in effect, confirmed the Bush doctrine--and his supporters are attempting to somehow point to distinctions which do not exist. Flowery rhetoric and idealistic platitudes do not change what it was then, or what it is now. It is what it is. There will, once they realize it, be a whole lot of very perplexed and befuddled Obama supporters wondering if they really agree with this. The beautiful irony of all this is truly priceless.

OTOH, I say....Bravo!

patteeu
12-12-2009, 07:25 PM
comments in bold.

We have had more than enough investigation to know that the intelligence was bad. Anyone who understands intelligence knows that you're going to get all kinds of divergent views and that after-the-fact, it will be easy to cherry-pick (as you are doing) those minority voices that got it right when the consensus got it wrong.

No one of any significance (including Cheney and Powell) said there was an imminent threat. The only time that it's even arguable that anyone said it was when Ari Fleisher responded inartfully to a question that included the term "imminent threat" in it. They weren't his words, they were words that he didn't avoid having put in his mouth. Of all the opportunities that they had to call Iraq an imminent threat, this slip up on Ari Fleisher's part is pretty trivial. Your insistence on this exposes your ignorance of the facts.

Your insistence that WMD was THE reason we invaded is a bit more understandable given the amount of hype it got at the time, but you're still wrong. It was one of many reasons.

BigRedChief
12-12-2009, 07:45 PM
We have had more than enough investigation to know that the intelligence was bad. Anyone who understands intelligence knows that you're going to get all kinds of divergent views and that after-the-fact, it will be easy to cherry-pick (as you are doing) those minority voices that got it right when the consensus got it wrong.

No one of any significance (including Cheney and Powell) said there was an imminent threat. The only time that it's even arguable that anyone said it was when Ari Fleisher responded inartfully to a question that included the term "imminent threat" in it. They weren't his words, they were words that he didn't avoid having put in his mouth. Of all the opportunities that they had to call Iraq an imminent threat, this slip up on Ari Fleisher's part is pretty trivial. Your insistence on this exposes your ignorance of the facts.

Your insistence that WMD was THE reason we invaded is a bit more understandable given the amount of hype it got at the time, but you're still wrong. It was one of many reasons.
Your attempt to rewrite history is not going to work. Too much evidence.



"There's no question that Iraq was a threat to the people of the United States."
• White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan, 8/26/03
"We ended the threat from Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction."
• President Bush, 7/17/03
Iraq was "the most dangerous threat of our time."
• White House spokesman Scott McClellan, 7/17/03
"Saddam Hussein is no longer a threat to the United States because we removed him, but he was a threat...He was a threat. He's not a threat now."
• President Bush, 7/2/03
"Absolutely."
• White House spokesman Ari Fleischer answering whether Iraq was an "imminent threat," 5/7/03
"We gave our word that the threat from Iraq would be ended."
• President Bush 4/24/03
"The threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction will be removed."
• Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 3/25/03
"It is only a matter of time before the Iraqi regime is destroyed and its threat to the region and the world is ended."
• Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke, 3/22/03
"The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder."
• President Bush, 3/19/03
"The dictator of Iraq and his weapons of mass destruction are a threat to the security of free nations."
• President Bush, 3/16/03
"This is about imminent threat."
• White House spokesman Scott McClellan, 2/10/03
Iraq is "a serious threat to our country, to our friends and to our allies."
• Vice President Dick Cheney, 1/31/03
Iraq poses "terrible threats to the civilized world."
• Vice President Dick Cheney, 1/30/03
Iraq "threatens the United States of America."
• Vice President Cheney, 1/30/03
"Iraq poses a serious and mounting threat to our country. His regime has the design for a nuclear weapon, was working on several different methods of enriching uranium, and recently was discovered seeking significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
• Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 1/29/03
"Well, of course he is.”
• White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett responding to the question “is Saddam an imminent threat to U.S. interests, either in that part of the world or to Americans right here at home?”, 1/26/03
"Saddam Hussein possesses chemical and biological weapons. Iraq poses a threat to the security of our people and to the stability of the world that is distinct from any other. It's a danger to its neighbors, to the United States, to the Middle East and to the international peace and stability. It's a danger we cannot ignore. Iraq and North Korea are both repressive dictatorships to be sure and both pose threats. But Iraq is unique. In both word and deed, Iraq has demonstrated that it is seeking the means to strike the United States and our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction."
• Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 1/20/03
"The Iraqi regime is a threat to any American. ... Iraq is a threat, a real threat."
• President Bush, 1/3/03
"The world is also uniting to answer the unique and urgent threat posed by Iraq whose dictator has already used weapons of mass destruction to kill thousands."
• President Bush, 11/23/02
"I would look you in the eye and I would say, go back before September 11 and ask yourself this question: Was the attack that took place on September 11 an imminent threat the month before or two months before or three months before or six months before? When did the attack on September 11 become an imminent threat? Now, transport yourself forward a year, two years or a week or a month...So the question is, when is it such an immediate threat that you must do something?"
• Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 11/14/02
"Saddam Hussein is a threat to America."
• President Bush, 11/3/02
"I see a significant threat to the security of the United States in Iraq."
• President Bush, 11/1/02
"There is real threat, in my judgment, a real and dangerous threat to American in Iraq in the form of Saddam Hussein."
• President Bush, 10/28/02
"The Iraqi regime is a serious and growing threat to peace."
• President Bush, 10/16/02
"There are many dangers in the world, the threat from Iraq stands alone because it gathers the most serious dangers of our age in one place. Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists."
• President Bush, 10/7/02
"The Iraqi regime is a threat of unique urgency."
• President Bush, 10/2/02
"There's a grave threat in Iraq. There just is."
• President Bush, 10/2/02
"This man poses a much graver threat than anybody could have possibly imagined."
• President Bush, 9/26/02
"No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq."
• Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 9/19/02
"Some have argued that the nuclear threat from Iraq is not imminent - that Saddam is at least 5-7 years away from having nuclear weapons. I would not be so certain. And we should be just as concerned about the immediate threat from biological weapons. Iraq has these weapons."
• Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 9/18/02
"Iraq is busy enhancing its capabilities in the field of chemical and biological agents, and they continue to pursue an aggressive nuclear weapons program. These are offensive weapons for the purpose of inflicting death on a massive scale, developed so that Saddam Hussein can hold the threat over the head of any one he chooses. What we must not do in the face of this mortal threat is to give in to wishful thinking or to willful blindness."
• Vice President Dick Cheney, 8/29/02

patteeu
12-12-2009, 10:01 PM
Your attempt to rewrite history is not going to work. Too much evidence.



"There's no question that Iraq was a threat to the people of the United States."
• White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan, 8/26/03
"We ended the threat from Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction."
• President Bush, 7/17/03
Iraq was "the most dangerous threat of our time."
• White House spokesman Scott McClellan, 7/17/03
"Saddam Hussein is no longer a threat to the United States because we removed him, but he was a threat...He was a threat. He's not a threat now."
• President Bush, 7/2/03
"Absolutely."
• White House spokesman Ari Fleischer answering whether Iraq was an "imminent threat," 5/7/03
"We gave our word that the threat from Iraq would be ended."
• President Bush 4/24/03
"The threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction will be removed."
• Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 3/25/03
"It is only a matter of time before the Iraqi regime is destroyed and its threat to the region and the world is ended."
• Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke, 3/22/03
"The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder."
• President Bush, 3/19/03
"The dictator of Iraq and his weapons of mass destruction are a threat to the security of free nations."
• President Bush, 3/16/03
"This is about imminent threat."
• White House spokesman Scott McClellan, 2/10/03
Iraq is "a serious threat to our country, to our friends and to our allies."
• Vice President Dick Cheney, 1/31/03
Iraq poses "terrible threats to the civilized world."
• Vice President Dick Cheney, 1/30/03
Iraq "threatens the United States of America."
• Vice President Cheney, 1/30/03
"Iraq poses a serious and mounting threat to our country. His regime has the design for a nuclear weapon, was working on several different methods of enriching uranium, and recently was discovered seeking significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
• Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 1/29/03
"Well, of course he is.”
• White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett responding to the question “is Saddam an imminent threat to U.S. interests, either in that part of the world or to Americans right here at home?”, 1/26/03
"Saddam Hussein possesses chemical and biological weapons. Iraq poses a threat to the security of our people and to the stability of the world that is distinct from any other. It's a danger to its neighbors, to the United States, to the Middle East and to the international peace and stability. It's a danger we cannot ignore. Iraq and North Korea are both repressive dictatorships to be sure and both pose threats. But Iraq is unique. In both word and deed, Iraq has demonstrated that it is seeking the means to strike the United States and our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction."
• Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 1/20/03
"The Iraqi regime is a threat to any American. ... Iraq is a threat, a real threat."
• President Bush, 1/3/03
"The world is also uniting to answer the unique and urgent threat posed by Iraq whose dictator has already used weapons of mass destruction to kill thousands."
• President Bush, 11/23/02
"I would look you in the eye and I would say, go back before September 11 and ask yourself this question: Was the attack that took place on September 11 an imminent threat the month before or two months before or three months before or six months before? When did the attack on September 11 become an imminent threat? Now, transport yourself forward a year, two years or a week or a month...So the question is, when is it such an immediate threat that you must do something?"
• Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 11/14/02
"Saddam Hussein is a threat to America."
• President Bush, 11/3/02
"I see a significant threat to the security of the United States in Iraq."
• President Bush, 11/1/02
"There is real threat, in my judgment, a real and dangerous threat to American in Iraq in the form of Saddam Hussein."
• President Bush, 10/28/02
"The Iraqi regime is a serious and growing threat to peace."
• President Bush, 10/16/02
"There are many dangers in the world, the threat from Iraq stands alone because it gathers the most serious dangers of our age in one place. Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists."
• President Bush, 10/7/02
"The Iraqi regime is a threat of unique urgency."
• President Bush, 10/2/02
"There's a grave threat in Iraq. There just is."
• President Bush, 10/2/02
"This man poses a much graver threat than anybody could have possibly imagined."
• President Bush, 9/26/02
"No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq."
• Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 9/19/02
"Some have argued that the nuclear threat from Iraq is not imminent - that Saddam is at least 5-7 years away from having nuclear weapons. I would not be so certain. And we should be just as concerned about the immediate threat from biological weapons. Iraq has these weapons."
• Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 9/18/02
"Iraq is busy enhancing its capabilities in the field of chemical and biological agents, and they continue to pursue an aggressive nuclear weapons program. These are offensive weapons for the purpose of inflicting death on a massive scale, developed so that Saddam Hussein can hold the threat over the head of any one he chooses. What we must not do in the face of this mortal threat is to give in to wishful thinking or to willful blindness."
• Vice President Dick Cheney, 8/29/02

That's a lot of barrel scraping that someone's done to prove me right. The Ari Fleischer response is the only statement in your whole list that can arguably be said to have called Iraq an imminent threat and in that case he didn't use the words himself. Of all the thousands of comments on Iraq made by Bush and the senior members of his administration, you can only come up with one instance and it's the one I told you about. Given the context and the fact that it's unique, I think it's fair to say that it was an unintentional statement rather than a clear articulation of the administration's position.

BTW, that Scott McClellan comment wasn't even about Iraq being a threat to the US. You should use better sources for your cut and paste hack jobs.

Mr. Kotter
12-12-2009, 10:10 PM
BRC...

Scraping the bottom-of-the-barrel....DNC and liberal website talking points, cut-and-paste?

I've come to expect more. Tsk-tsk. :shake:

Love,
Another "Obama-voter"--but one with 'eyes-wide-open.'

BucEyedPea
12-12-2009, 10:40 PM
So, define the Obama Doctrine....

Same as the Bush Doctrine.

NewChief
12-12-2009, 10:54 PM
Same as the Bush Doctrine.

This...

Mr. Kotter
12-13-2009, 12:38 PM
This...

Far too many Obama groupies will refuse to see this--but, tis true. Very true, indeed.

Those of us OTOH who were merely Obama voters, whether reluctant or enthusiastic....will see it for what it is, as you do.

The only difference is...it disappoints you, while it delights me.

Walk softly and carry a big stick....is still the way of the world. Whether we are honest about it, or whether we choose to dress it up in flowery rhetoric and lofty platitudes. It is, what it is.

:toast:

Saul Good
12-13-2009, 12:49 PM
Far too many Obama groupies will refuse to see this--but, tis true. Very true, indeed.

Those of us OTOH who were merely Obama voters, whether reluctant or enthusiastic....will see it for what it is, as you do.

The only difference is...it disappoints you, while it delights me.

Walk softly and carry a big stick....is still the way of the world. Whether we are honest about it, or whether we choose to dress it up in flowery rhetoric and lofty platitudes. It is, what it is.

:toast:

I agree with most of this post, but the US doesn't walk softly. We pretty well stomp around wherever we go.

Mr. Kotter
12-14-2009, 06:36 AM
I agree with most of this post, but the US doesn't walk softly. We pretty well stomp around wherever we go.

I understand what you are saying, but I grew up during the Cold War. There isn't nearly the saber-rattling and posturing that I remember during the 70s and 80s, or read about from the 50s and 60s.