Monday, December 15, 2003
Dean makes major foreign policy address http://www.deanforamerica.com/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=10993
In the past year, our campaign has gathered strength by offering leadership and ideas--and also by listening to the American people. The American people have the power to make their voices heard and to change America???s course for the better.
What are the people telling us? That a domestic policy centered on increasing the wealth of the wealthiest Americans, and ceding power to favored corporate campaign contributors, is a recipe for fiscal and economic disaster. That the strength of our nation depends on electing a President who will fight for jobs, education, and real health care for all Americans.
But the growing concerns of the American people are not limited to matters at home: They also are increasingly concerned that our country is squandering the opportunity to lead in the world in a way that will advance our values and interests and makes us more secure.
When it comes to our national security, we cannot afford to fail. September 11 was neither the beginning of our showdown with violent extremists, nor its climax. It was a monumental wake-up call to the urgent challenges we face.
Today, I want to discuss these challenges. First I want to say a few words about events over the weekend. The capture of Saddam Hussein is good news for the Iraqi people and the world. Saddam was a brutal dictator who should be brought swiftly to justice for his crimes. His capture is a testament to the skill and courage of U.S. forces and intelligence personnel. They have risked their lives. Some of their comrades have given their lives.
All Americans should be grateful. I thank these outstanding men and women for their service and sacrifice.
I want to talk about Iraq in the context of all our security challenges ahead. Saddam's capture offers the Iraqi people, the United States, and the international community an opportunity to move ahead. But it is only an opportunity, not a guarantee.
Let me be clear: My position on the war has not changed.
The difficulties and tragedies we have faced in Iraq show that the administration launched the war in the wrong way, at the wrong time, with inadequate planning, insufficient help, and at unbelievable cost. An administration prepared to work with others in true partnership might have been able, if it found no alternative to Saddam's ouster, to then rebuild Iraq with far less cost and risk.
As our military commanders said, and the President acknowledged yesterday, the capture of Saddam does not end the difficulties from the aftermath of the administration's war to oust him. There is the continuing challenge of securing Iraq, protecting the safety of our personnel, and helping that country get on the path to stability. There is the need to repair our alliances and regain global support for American goals.
Nor, as the president also seemed to acknowledge yesterday, does Saddam's capture move us toward defeating enemies who pose an even greater danger: al Qaeda and its terrorist allies. And, nor, it seems, does Saturday's capture address the urgent need to halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction and the risk that terrorists will acquire them.
The capture of Saddam is a good thing which I hope very much will help keep our soldiers safer. But the capture of Saddam has not made America safer.
Addressing these critical and interlocking threats--terrorism and weapons of mass destruction--will be America's highest priority in my administration.
Full transcript is here.
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Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.