Remarks of Senator Barack Obama to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Audio here; sorry, no video -- you'll have to swoon to Obama's mellifluous voice only. However, you may gaze upon his Doryphorian form as you listen.

Not bad, and I may end up voting for him if Kucinich isn't in the RI primary, or if he gets the nomination -- can't think of a Republican I would even dream of voting for.

However, I think it reads so well only because of the horror of the past 6 years, to say nothing of the hypocrisy of the Clinton admin before it. It's a pretty good liberal-Republican speech from pre-Reagan years. Some good stuff on the nearly 20-year-old proposal to buy up and lock down WMDs in the former Soviet Union. Good grasp of the interconnectedness of the world; but we had that after WWI. Hardly needed 9/11 to drive it home. Good on global warming, but again, pretty much in the mainstream on that.

I can do without the "we are the greatest" and "I still believe" bullshit that seems to pollute virtually every speech, and rings very false here.

Missing from the speech:
  • Dismantling of bases around the world. We need to choose empire or republic
  • Full withdrawal ASAP from Iraq, including the dismantling of bases there, and payment of reparations
  • America's time as an empire has indeed passed, or should
  • Making aid to Israel contingent on dismantling the settlements and dealing with the Palestinians, no matter who they elect
  • Stop demonizing Hamas and Hezbollah and start dealing with them
  • Admit that Iran is not a big problem, which it isn't
  • Democracy in Latin America is arguably stronger than in the US; narco-trafficking is a product of our insane drug war; how about canceling that?
  • Changing WTO and IMF rules to stop choking off the South
  • Afghanistan is not "backsliding" into instability; it's there, and has been for ages. I don't like the Dem notion that "those people" in Iraq and Afghanistan just can't stand up, so we have to stand down. That's ridiculously a-casual and immoral.
  • Perpetual instability has at least partially been achieved in the Mideast by US actions supporting Israel.
  • What military programs will he cut? I see none. Obama wants to expand the already bloated military budget. That's how you make yourself "electable."
  • Again, with the "no military option off the table." We cannot invade or strike NK or Iran, especially the former. Without a global climbdown from nukes, which means a radical leveling of power, and a new balancing of power (and a democratized UN), we, the species, are eventually screwed.
  • Harry Truman pretty much launched us on our empire with NSC-68; Obama must know that. Not one I'd quote...but he's popular, of course, so...Dean did the same thing in '04
  • Biofuels have negative environmental impacts, including increasing famine. Popular in the midwest, though.
  • I think he gets the causes of terrorism half-right; some of it is outrageous reaction to US actions. We ought to look at that, if only out of self-interest.
  • I would like to see "a society that is supported by the pillars of a sustainable democracy – a strong legislature, an independent judiciary, the rule of law, a vibrant civil society, a free press, and an honest police force" in this country! This hypocrisy is not lost on those we preach our innate superiority to.