That was the opening line from a speech given by Al Gore yesterday and it was one helluva speech to say the least. I don’t tend to listen to a lot of political speeches, but this one grabbed my attention and left me impressed. I don’t think there’s a thing he said that I disagree with and it leaves me to wonder how things might have been different had he not had the Presidency taken away by judicial fiat. You can read a transcript of it at MoveOn PAC, but here’s one section that I thought was particularly interesting:
David Kay concluded his search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq with the famous verdict: “we were all wrong.” And for many Americans, Kay’s statement seemed to symbolize the awful collision between Reality and all of the false and fading impressions President Bush had fostered in building support for his policy of going to war.
Now the White House has informed the American people that they were also “all wrong” about their decision to place their faith in Ahmed Chalabi, even though they have paid him 340,000 dollars per month. 33 million dollars (CHECK) and placed him adjacent to Laura Bush at the State of the Union address. Chalabi had been convicted of fraud and embezzling 70 million dollars in public funds from a Jordanian bank, and escaped prison by fleeing the country. But in spite of that record, he had become one of key advisors to the Bush Administration on planning and promoting the War against Iraq.
And they repeatedly cited him as an authority, perhaps even a future president of Iraq. Incredibly, they even ferried him and his private army into Baghdad in advance of anyone else, and allowed him to seize control over Saddam’s secret papers.
Now they are telling the American people that he is a spy for Iran who has been duping the President of the United States for all these years.
One of the Generals in charge of this war policy went on a speaking tour in his spare time to declare before evangelical groups that the US is in a holy war as “Christian Nation battling Satan.” This same General Boykin was the person who ordered the officer who was in charge of the detainees in Guantanamo Bay to extend his methods to Iraq detainees, prisoners. … The testimony from the prisoners is that they were forced to curse their religion Bush used the word “crusade” early on in the war against Iraq, and then commentators pointed out that it was singularly inappropriate because of the history and sensitivity of the Muslim world and then a few weeks later he used it again.
“We are now being viewed as the modern Crusaders, as the modern colonial power in this part of the world,” Zinni said.
What a terrible irony that our country, which was founded by refugees seeking religious freedom – coming to America to escape domineering leaders who tried to get them to renounce their religion – would now be responsible for this kind of abuse..
Gore repeatedly refers to Bush and his administration as being incompetent and he calls for the resignation/firing of Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Stephen Cambone, Condoleeza Rice, and George Tenet. It’s an impressive speech that hopefully will resonate with enough folks to bring about a little “regime change” of our own right here at home.