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Obama On Rash Wars – In 2007 And 2002

From the archives of the Boston Globe:

Barack Obama’s Q&A

By Charlie Savage
Globe Staff / December 20, 2007

In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites — a situation that does not involve stopping an IMMINENT threat?)

The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

So exactly what "actual or imminent threat to the nation" did Mr. Kaddafi present? In fact, according to reports, he has helped the US and its allies identify terrorists from the eastern region of Libya who have been attacking our forces in Iraq.

And, indeed, Mr. Kaddafi is currently attacking those very elements in his own country.

As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action

Of course Mr. Obama did not bother to get "the informed consent of Congress prior" to his ordering military actions in Libya. Unlike the way Mr. Bush did before attacking Iraq.

Do you think it is important for all would-be presidents to answer questions like these before voters decide which one to entrust with the powers of the presidency? What would you say about any rival candidate who refuses to answer such questions?

Yes, these are essential questions that all the candidates should answer. Any President takes an oath to, “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." The American people need to know where we stand on these issues before they entrust us with this responsibility – particularly at a time when our laws, our traditions, and our Constitution have been repeatedly challenged by this Administration.

If it weren’t for hypocrisy, Democrats wouldn’t have any principles at all.

And speaking of the long forgotten past, here is an excerpt of Mr. Obama’s historic speech from October 2002, wherein Illinois state senator Barack Obama announced his courageous opposition to the Iraq War:

Remarks of Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama Against Going to War with Iraq

October 2, 2002

What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.

What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income – to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression. That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics

Thank goodness we can be sure that this attack on Libya isn’t a cynical attempt by political hacks to distract from our current economic problems.

And thank goodness this isn’t "rash." Even though we don’t even know who the people are that we are supporting over there.

You want a fight, President Bush?

Let’s fight to make sure our so-called allies in the Middle East, the Saudis and the Egyptians, stop oppressing their own people, and suppressing dissent, and tolerating corruption and inequality, and mismanaging their economies so that their youth grow up without education, without prospects, without hope, the ready recruits of terrorist cells.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to wean ourselves off Middle East oil, through an energy policy that doesn’t simply serve the interests of Exxon and Mobil. Those are the battles that we need to fight. Those are the battles that we willingly join. The battles against ignorance and intolerance. Corruption and greed. Poverty and despair

Well, it looks like Mr. Obama has finally gotten the fight that he was asking for. So let’s see how well he does with it.

And let’s hope he does better than he has done with the war in Afghanistan, which he also said he wanted.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, March 21st, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “Obama On Rash Wars – In 2007 And 2002”

  1. Right of the People says:

    It’s amazing how easy it is to criticize someone when you’re sitting in your ivory tower looking down at them and how hard it is to actually do the job you were hired to, isn’t it Barry?

    Barry the Impotent is discovering what it’s like to be an adult and I can tell he doesn’t like it one bit. Yo Barry, what you’re doing is the textbook definition of a “dumb war” done by a “dummy”.

  2. proreason says:

    I’ve been predicting that if things went poorly enough for the boy king, he would crank up a shooting war to distract the peasants.

    Not sure yet that this is it, but if it isn’t, there might be more in the wings.

    And if you think that’s another of proreason’s wild predictions, i’ll cite as my reference documents…world history.

    • tranquil.night says:

      Naturally. There was still plenty of ways to screw up our foreign policy after doing practically everything possible to screw up the domestic situation. A distraction and a new set of opportunities to work against our interests. A two-fer!

    • proreason says:

      Dark Conspiratist Thought of the Day: Libya is just a test case by little lenin to find out what he can get away with. So far, he has completely usurped the Constitution and made the US subservient to the UN, so they are probably thrilled. But he hasn’t yet tested the country’s reaction to casualies in a godman shootemup, so the test is probably not complete. What he really wants to know is how far he can roughshod the Constitution and whether or not the country will rally around him when he lies about a war that he claims is necessary for national security. And of course, whether or not he can get away with postponing elections or imposing martial law.

      The live ammunition round is schedule for 2 to 6 months prior to the 2012 election.

  3. proreason says:

    Ace has the photoshop visual that absolutely nails the Obamy War Policy:


  4. canary says:

    NATO is scrubbing and rewriting old documents to cover Obama in that he was mandated by NATO to bomb Libya. Not only is Libya not one of the country that NATO is to “encourage” other countries to provide aid, I don’t see any wording of “mandate”. Only words of “encourage”, and “discourage” a country from vetoing aid. What’s happening now is not the original R2P written, and scrubbing and recent media is deceiving the world into believing that NATO can choose specific countries and force them to use military defense to attack a country.


    The video of Joe Biden threatening to impeach Bush if he attacks Iran without a congressional vote has been scrubbed.

    Something isn’t right here with this new Obama’s excuse NATO mandated him to attack Libya. I don’t think so.

    This NATO can mandate is all new in the news.

    NATO picks and chooses who to mandate to attack a country. I don’t think so. Encouraging is not mandating, and since when does Obama follow any rules other than his own.

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