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Thu Jul 16, 2015, 12:04 PM

Candidate Speech Series: Lincoln Chafee

Thank you for inviting me. Mixing foreign policy and politics is an invitation I couldn't pass up! It's a pleasure to be here at George Mason University -- which is named for one of the many great contributors to the best form of government on Earth.

As prescribed by our Constitution, which George Mason helped write, we will be electing a new President in 2016. I enjoy challenges and certainly we have many facing America.

Today I am formally entering the race for the Democratic nomination for President.

If we as leaders show good judgment and make good decisions, we can fix much of what is ailing us.

We must deliberately and carefully extricate ourselves from expensive wars. Just think about how better this money could be spent.

For instance, our transportation network is deteriorating and becoming dangerous. We should be increasing our investment and priority in public schools and colleges. This is especially important in some of our cities where there is a gnawing sense of hopelessness, racial injustice and economic disparity.

We can and should do better for Native Americans, new Americans and disadvantaged Americans.

Let's keep pushing to get health care coverage to more of the uninsured.

We can address climate change and extreme weather while protecting American jobs.

I believe that these priorities: education, infrastructure, health care, environmental stewardship, and a strong middle class are Americans' priorities.

I am also running for President because we need to be very smart in these volatile times overseas.

I'd like to talk about how we found ourselves in the destructive and expensive chaos in the Middle East and North Africa and then offer my views on seeking a peaceful resolution.

There were twenty-three Senators who voted against the Iraq war in October 2002. Eighteen of us are still alive and I'm sure every one of us had their own reasons for voting "NO." I'd like to share my primary three.

The first reason is that the long painful chapter of the Viet Nam era was finally ending. This is my generation and the very last thing I wanted was any return to the horrific bungling of events into which we put our brave fighting men and women.

In fact we had a precious moment in time where a lasting peace was in our grasp. Too many senators forgot too quickly about the tragedy of Viet Nam.

A second reason was that I had learned in the nine months of the Bush/Cheney administration prior to September 11th, not to trust them at their word. As a candidate, Governor Bush had said many things that were for the campaign only -- governing would be a lot different. For example a campaign staple was, "I am a uniter, not a divider." He said very clearly that his foreign policy would be humble, not arrogant. And he promised to regulate carbon dioxide, a climate change pollutant. These promises were all broken in the very first days of his presidency.

Sadly, the lies never stopped. This was an administration not to be trusted.

My third reason for voting against the war was based on a similar revulsion to mendacity. Many of the cheerleaders for the Iraq war in the Bush administration had been writing about regime change in Iraq and American unilateralism for years. They wrote about it in the 1992 Defense Planning Guide, in the 1996 Report to Prime Minister Netanyahu, in the 1997 Project for a New American Century and in the 1998 letter to President Clinton.



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Reply Candidate Speech Series: Lincoln Chafee (Original post)
Capt. Obvious Jul 2015 OP
Autumn Jul 2015 #1
merrily Aug 2015 #2

Response to Capt. Obvious (Original post)

Thu Jul 16, 2015, 12:36 PM

1. I don't know how deep in centimeters support for him is but his

support can only grow. He was very smart not to trust Bush and Cheney prior to 9/11 and vote against the IWR, I like that about him.

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Response to Autumn (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 3, 2015, 10:31 AM

2. Good, positive way to look at it, Autumn!

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