Less Spin, More Honest Talk About Iraq War
The American people have had enough spin. Just this week, we were reminded by President Bushâ€™s own former spokesman of how it was deception â€“ not straight talk â€“ that misled the American people into war. Itâ€™s time to cut through the tough talk so that we can be straight with the American people about a war thatâ€™s cost us thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars
There are honest points of difference about how to move forward in Iraq, just like there were honest points of difference about whether or not we should go to war.
John McCain was for the invasion of Iraq; I opposed it. John McCain wants to continue George Bush’s war in Iraq indefinitely; I want to end it. So there’s going to be a clear choice for the American people this November.
But that’s not what John McCain’s been talking about the last few days. He’s been proposing a joint trip to Iraq that’s nothing more than a political stunt. He’s even been using it to raise a few dollars for his campaign. But it seems like Senator McCain’s a lot more interested in my travel plans than the facts, because yesterday – in his continued effort to put the best light on a failed policy – he stood up in Wisconsin and said, “We have drawn down to pre-surge levels” in Iraq.
That’s not true, and anyone running for Commander-in-Chief should know better.
As the saying goes, you’re entitled to your own view, but not your own facts. We’ve got around 150,000 troops in Iraq – 20,000 more than we had before the surge. We have plans to get down to around 140,000 later this summer – that’s still more troops than we had in Iraq before the surge. And today, Senator McCain refused to correct his mistake. Just like George Bush, when he was presented with the truth, he just dug in and refused to admit his mistake. His campaign said it amounts to “nitpicking.”
Well I don’t think tens of thousands of American troops amounts to nitpicking. Tell that to the young men and women who are serving bravely and brilliantly under our flag. Tell that to the families who have seen their loved ones fight tour after tour after tour of duty in a war that should’ve never been authorized and never been waged.
It’s time for a debate that’s based on the truth, and I can’t think of anything more important than how many Americans are in harm’s way. It’s time for a debate that’s based on how we’re going to end this war – not a debate that’s based on raising a few dollars for John McCain’s campaign.
The American people have had enough spin. Just this week, we were reminded by President Bush’s own former spokesman of how it was deception – not straight talk – that misled the American people into war. It’s time to cut through the tough talk so that we can be straight with the American people about a war that’s cost us thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars without making us safer.
It’s time to end the political game-playing so that we can finally end this war. That’s what I’ll do in this campaign. And that’s what I’ll do when I’m President of the United States.
Senator Obama of Illinois is seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for presidential candidate
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