On Fifth Anniversary of Speech Opposing Iraq War, Obama Again Challenges Conventional Washington Thinking

MANCHESTER, NH—Senator Barack Obama delivered a foreign policy address at DePaul University in Chicago yesterday, the five-year anniversary of his original speech opposing the war in Iraq, where he challenged the same Washington thinking that first led us to war and unveiled a plan for a new beginning to Washington’s failed foreign policy.

“There is a choice that has emerged in this campaign, one that the American people need to understand. They should ask themselves: who got the single most important foreign policy decision since the end of the ColdWar right, and who got it wrong,” Obama will say. “This is not just a matter of debating the past. It’s about who has the best judgment to make the critical decisions of the future.”

At a 2002 rally at Chicago’s Federal Plaza, Obama warned that the then-popular war could lead to “a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.” His remarks came just a week before the U.S. Senate’s October 11, 2002 vote to give the President authorization to go to war in Iraq.

“I don't oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war.What I am opposed to is a rash war,” said Obama in his October 2nd speech. “…A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.”

Obama’s plan to challenge Washington’s conventional thinking and create a new beginning in U.S. foreign policy includes:

  • Ending the war in Iraq
  • Ensuring there is no safe haven for Al Qaeda
  • Securing loose nuclear material and renewing our efforts towards eliminating nuclear weapons and stopping the threat of nuclear terrorism
  • Talking directly to friend and foe
  • Strengthening the State Department to make diplomacy a priority
  • Reversing Washington’s reliance on secrecy by establishing a National Declassification Center
  • Getting politics out of intelligence by giving the Director of National Intelligence a fixed term
  • Uniting America behind a non-partisan foreign policy

The plan can be viewed in full HERE.