Thursday, March 20, 2008

Obama Delivers Speech on 5th Anniversary of Iraq War

FAYETTEVILLE, NC—On the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq, Senator Barack Obama offered a clear contrast between his foreign policy vision and that of John McCain, emphasizing the need to end the war in order to confront the emerging national security challenges of the 21st Century. Obama spoke at Fayetteville Technical Community College, a short distance from Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base. Fort Bragg is home to the 82d Airborne Division and the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, members of which have seen multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

In his remarks, Senator Obama drew stark distinctions between the leadership and judgment he offers and the kind of leadership that led us into Iraq—and fails to comprehend the consequences of our involvement there:

"Just yesterday, we heard Senator McCain confuse Sunni and Shiite, Iran and al Qaeda," Senator Obama said. "Maybe that is why he voted to go to war with a country that had no al Qaeda ties. Maybe that is why he completely fails to understand that the war in Iraq has done more to embolden America's enemies than any strategic choice that we have made in decades."

Obama was introduced and endorsed at the event by Paul "Bud" Bucha, a former Army captain awarded the Medal of Honor in 1970 for heroism in Vietnam.

Senator Obama outlined the threats that have festered while the U.S. has remained mired in Iraq, a war he opposed from the start. Obama will immediately begin to bring an end to the war and refocus our military and diplomatic efforts on 21st-Century security challenges. As President, Obama will:
  • End the war in Iraq, removing our troops at a pace of 1 to 2 combat brigades per month;

  • Finally finish the fight against the Taliban, root out al Qaeda and invest in the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan, while making aid to the Pakistani government conditional;

  • Act aggressively to stop nuclear proliferation and to secure all loose nuclear materials around the world;
    Double our foreign assistance to cut extreme poverty in half;

  • Invest in a clean energy future to wean the U.S. off of foreign oil and to lead the world against the threat of global climate change;

  • Rebuild our military capability by increasing the number of soldiers, marines, and special forces troops, and insist on adequate training and time off between deployments;

  • Renew American diplomacy by talking to our adversaries as well as our friends; increasing the size of the Foreign Service and the Peace Corps; and creating an America's Voice Corps.
Watch a video excerpt:

For a complete transcript of speech click here.

Click Here for a full fact sheet.

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