Posted by LambChop
Obama October 12, 2007 Campaign Speech in Des Moines, Iowa
EXERPTS FROM OBAMA'S SPEECH:
They don't want leaders who will bog us down in unnecessary wars; they don't want leaders who allow America to lose its standing; and they don't want leaders who tell the American people anything less than the full truth about where they stand and what they'll do.
I think the problem isn't just how we've fought the war -- it's that we fought the war in the first place… It was based on exaggerated fears and unconvincing intelligence. And it has left America less safe, and less respected around the world.
I was convinced that a war would distract us from Afghanistan and al Qaeda, and fan the flames of extremism and terrorism.
But the conventional thinking in Washington lined up for war. We were counseled by some of the most experienced voices in Washington that the only way for Democrats to look tough was to talk, act, and vote like Republicans.
But the American people weren't just failed by the President -- they were failed by the Congress. Too many members of Congress failed to ask hard questions. Too many members of Congress, including some of my opponents in this race, failed to read the National Intelligence Estimate for themselves -- an intelligence report that was so unconvincing, and so filled with qualifications, that the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee decided to vote against the war when he read it for himself.
I don't want to give this President any excuse, or any opening for war…when you give this President a blank check, you can't be surprised when he cashes it.
Five years after that vote for war, we should all have learned the lesson that the cowboy diplomacy of not talking to people we don't like doesn't work.
I don't see how we can rally the world unless we have a President who is willing to lead. I'm not afraid that America will lose a propaganda battle with a petty tyrant -- we need to go before the world and win those battles. And as President, I will.
I think the American people have had enough of politicians who go out of their way to look tough, who say one thing in a caucus and another in a general election. We've had enough of Presidents who put tough talk ahead of real diplomacy.
That's how we're going to restore our security and renew our standing in the world. Not by shifting with the political winds, but by standing strong in any storm, and standing up for what we believe.