Defending American Values - Protecting America's Interests
Drake University, February 17, 2003
There are two reasons I decided to run for President. The first is the state of our country today. On the economy, the current Administration deserves credit for accomplishing the impossible. In two years, they've turned a $200 billion budget surplus into a $300 billion deficit. Despite their extravagance, the economy is stagnant. More people have lost jobs than in 20 years. Families are losing their health insurance. Investments and retirement accounts have lost trillions of dollars. And the Administration's answer to every problem is still more tax cuts for the rich.
The Bush Administration's policies at home and abroad are reckless and just plain wrong.
We can do better.
But better stewardship at home is not the only reason I am running for President. There is a second reason, and that is what I wanted to talk to you about today.
Our country needs to have national security policies that protect the interests of the American people. To do that, those policies must keep us safe and well defended against the myriad threats we face. But they cannot succeed unless they also reflect the kind of people we are, the values we share, the hopes we have, and the ideals that hold us together as a nation.
I am worried that many of the policies the Bush Administration is pursuing today do not provide the best means of defending our interests, and do not reflect the fundamental values of our people.
In saying this, I am respectful of the pressures our leaders face. Safeguarding our national security in this era is a very complex challenge, to which there are no easy answers. The President deserves praise for rallying the spirits of our people after September 11 and for some of the measures he and others in his Administration have taken since. I know they are sincere, and that they want what is best for our country and the world.
But I would not be doing my job as a citizen if I did not state my own conviction about where I believe we could do better.
The stakes are so high, this is not a time for holding back or sheepishly going along with the herd.
I believe that the President too often employs a reckless, go-it-alone approach that drives us away from some of our longest-standing and most important allies, when what we need is to pull the world community together in common action against the imminent threat of terrorism.
I believe that the President undercuts our long-term national security interests and the established international order when he seeks to replace decades of bipartisan consensus on the use of American force with a new doctrine justifying preemptive attacks against other nation states - not because of their current action or imminent threat, but to preempt a threat that could arise in the future.
I believe that the President must do more on the most important front in the war on terrorism - our home front - through strengthened and well-funded first responders and effective security measures that go beyond calls to purchase plastic sheeting and duct tape.
And I firmly believe that the President is focusing our diplomats, our military, our intelligence agencies, and even our people on the wrong war, at the wrong time, when our energy and our resources should be marshaled for the greatest threats we face. Yes, Saddam Hussein is evil. But Osama bin Laden is also evil, and he has attacked the United States, and he is preparing now to attack us again.
What happened to the war against al Qaeda?
Why has this Administration taken us so far off track?
I believe it is my patriotic duty to urge a different path to protecting America's security: To focus on al Qaeda, which is an imminent threat, and to use our resources to improve and strengthen the security and safety of our home front and our people while working with the other nations of the world to contain Saddam Hussein.
Had I been a member of the Senate, I would have voted against the resolution that authorized the President to use unilateral force against Iraq - unlike others in that body now seeking the presidency.
I do not believe the President should have been given a green light to drive our nation into conflict without the case having first been made to Congress and the American people for why this war is necessary, and without a requirement that we at least try first to work through the United Nations.
That the President was given open-ended authority to go to war in Iraq resulted from a failure of too many in my party in Washington who were worried about political positioning for the presidential election.
To this day, the President has not made a case that war against Iraq, now, is necessary to defend American territory, our citizens, our allies, or our essential interests.
Nor has the Administration prepared sufficiently for the possible retaliatory attacks on our home front that even the President's CIA Director has stated are likely to occur. It has always been important, before going to war, for our troops to be well-trained, well-equipped, and well-protected. In this new era, it is as important that our people on the home front also be well-protected.
The Administration has not explained how a lasting peace, and lasting security, will be achieved in Iraq once Saddam Hussein is toppled.
And the Administration has approached the United Nations more as an afterthought than as the international institution created to deal with precisely such a situation as we face in Iraq. From the outset, the Administration has seemed oblivious to the simple fact that it clearly would be in our interests for any war with Iraq to occur with UN authorization and cooperation and not without it.
The Administration's reckless bluster with our allies over Iraq has caused what could be lasting friction in important relationships and has injured our standing in the world community. When rhetoric by subordinates in the Administration alienates our long-standing allies, it should be met with reprimand and not condoned by the President.
I agree with President Bush - he has said that Saddam Hussein is evil. And he is.
He is a vicious dictator and a documented deceiver.
He has invaded his neighbors, used chemical arms, and failed to account for all the chemical and biological weapons he had before the Gulf War.
He has murdered dissidents, and refused to comply with his obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions.
And he has tried to build a nuclear bomb.
Anyone who believes in the importance of limiting the spread of weapons of mass killing, the value of democracy, and the centrality of human rights must agree that Saddam Hussein is a menace. The world would be a better place if he were in a different place other than the seat of power in Baghdad or any other country.
So I want to be clear.
Saddam Hussein must disarm. This is not a debate; it is a given.
The questions are: how - when - under what circumstances - and by whom he is to be disarmed.
The Administration thinks the right answers to those questions are war, now, regardless of the circumstances, and with most if not all the fighting done by Americans.
I, for one, am not ready to abandon the search for better answers.
As a doctor, I was trained to treat illness, and to examine a variety of options before deciding which to prescribe. I worried about side effects and took the time to see what else might work before proceeding to high-risk measures.
Before going to war with Iraq, we need to explore fully and carefully what else might work.
Saddam Hussein should not mistake a debate in this country about the best way to disarm him for any lack of resolve, here or elsewhere, that he must be disarmed. We will ensure that Saddam Hussein is disarmed of weapons of mass destruction.
But we must be smart as well as tough.
In the past, UN inspections destroyed more weapons of mass destruction capacity in Iraq than were destroyed in the Gulf War.
The inspectors are now back inside Iraq.
They are interviewing scientists. Confiscating papers. Conducting surprise visits. This past weekend, the lead inspectors reported that Iraqi cooperation, while still not satisfactory, is improving. Iraq has dropped its longstanding objections to U-2 surveillance flights. And serious proposals are being made for strengthening the inspection teams, making them bigger, and shielding them from intimidation.
The President dismisses all this, calling it a movie he has seen before.
He says we don't need more inspections, because we already have enough information to justify going to war.
My question is, why not use our information to help the UN disarm Iraq without war?
Secretary Powell's recent presentation at the UN showed the extent to which we have Iraq under an audio and visual microscope. Given that, I was impressed not by the vastness of evidence presented by the Secretary, but rather by its sketchiness. He said there would be no smoking gun, and there was none.
At the same time, it seems to me we are in possession of information that would be very helpful to UN inspectors. For example, if we know Iraqi scientists are being detained at an Iraqi guesthouse, why not surround the building and knock on the door?
If we think a facility is being used for biological weapons, why not send the inspectors to check it out?
And if we believe terrorists - especially if they are terrorists linked to al Qaeda - have set up a poison and explosives training center in Northern Iraq, outside Saddam Hussein's control, why haven't we verified that information and destroyed that camp?
We know that Saddam will get away with whatever he can.
But what can he get away with as long as Iraq is inspected, under constant surveillance, surrounded, grounded because of no fly zones, and barred from receiving weapons and other strategic materials?
The CIA and Defense Department have indicated that, by far, the most likely scenario for Saddam using chemical or biological weapons - or sponsoring a terrorist attack - would be precisely if we invaded Iraq, because then he would have nothing to lose.
Neither President Bush in the State of the Union nor Secretary Powell at the UN mentioned that intelligence assessment. And it is just one of many issues the President has not yet adequately addressed.
We have been told over and over again what the risks will be if we do not go to war.
We have been told little about what the risks will be if we do go to war.
If we go to war, I certainly hope the Administration's assumptions are realized, and the conflict is swift, successful and clean.
I certainly hope our armed forces will be welcomed like heroes and liberators in the streets of Baghdad.
I certainly hope Iraq emerges from the war stable, united and democratic.
I certainly hope terrorists around the world conclude it is a mistake to defy America and cease, thereafter, to be terrorists.
It is possible, however, that events could go differently, and that the Iraqi Republican Guard will not sit out in the desert where they can be destroyed easily from the air.
It is possible that Iraq will try to force our troops to fight house to house in the middle of cities - on its turf, not ours - where precision-guided missiles are of little use.
It is possible that women and children will be used as shields and our efforts to minimize civilian casualties will be far less successful than we hope.
There are other risks.
Iraq is a divided country, with Sunni, Shia and Kurdish factions that share both bitter rivalries and access to large quantities of arms.
Iran and Turkey each have interests in Iraq they will be tempted to protect with or without our approval.
If the war lasts more than a few weeks, the danger of humanitarian disaster is high, because many Iraqis depend on their government for food, and during war it would be difficult for us to get all the necessary aid to the Iraqi people.
There is a risk of environmental disaster, caused by damage to Iraq's oil fields.
And, perhaps most importantly, there is a very real danger that war in Iraq will fuel the fires of international terror.
Anti-American feelings will surely be inflamed among the misguided who choose to see an assault on Iraq as an attack on Islam, or as a means of controlling Iraqi oil.
And last week's tape by Osama bin Laden tells us that our enemies will seek relentlessly to transform a war into a tool for inspiring and recruiting more terrorists.
We should remember how our military presence in Saudi Arabia has been exploited by radicals to stir resentment and hatred against the United States, leading to the murder of American citizens and soldiers.
We need to consider what the effect will be of a U.S. invasion and occupation of Baghdad, a city that served for centuries as a capital of the Islamic world.
Some people simply brush aside these concerns, saying there were also a lot of dire predictions before the first Gulf War, and that those didn't come true.
We have learned through experience to have confidence in our armed forces - and that confidence is very well deserved.
But if you talk to military leaders, they will tell you there is a big difference between pushing back the Iraqi armed forces in Kuwait and trying to defeat them on their home ground.
There are limits to what even our military can do. Technology is not the solution to every problem. And we can't assume the Iraqis have learned nothing over the past twelve years.
In short, America may have to go to war with Iraq, but we should not rush into war - especially without broad international support.
Now, I am not among those who say that America should never use its armed forces unilaterally. In some circumstances, we have no choice. In Iraq, I would be prepared to go ahead without further Security Council backing if it were clear the threat posed to us by Saddam Hussein was imminent, and could neither be contained nor deterred.
However, that case has not been made, and I believe we should continue the hard work of diplomacy and inspection.
We should work with the Security Council to push the UN inspection process as hard as possible, as fast as possible, and with as much help as possible from our intelligence assets. We should continue as long as there is progress toward disclosure and disarmament and the inspectors tell us credibly that there is promising work to be done. We should have the inspectors report back every 30 or 60 days, so that we can assess whether to continue on course or take tougher action.
If particular weapons of mass destruction are discovered, by the inspectors or otherwise, they must be destroyed immediately, by the inspectors or by the Iraqi government. If they are not, their destruction should be accomplished by military action under the UN. I believe that every member of the Security Council would support such an approach.
Saddam Hussein must not have weapons of mass destruction. But particular weapons can be destroyed without an all-out war to impose a change of regimes. That is a much larger step, for which the case has not yet been made.
We must remember, though, that Iraq is not the greatest danger we face today. Consider, to begin with, North Korea.
The Administration says it is wrong to draw a parallel between the situations in Iraq and North Korea, because those situations are quite different. I agree.
Iraq has let UN inspectors back in. North Korea has kicked them out.
Saddam Hussein does not have a clear path to acquiring nuclear weapons. North Korea may already have them - and is on a clear path to acquiring more.
Saddam Hussein has missiles that can go 40 miles farther than the 90-mile range allowed by the UN. North Korea has tested a three-stage intercontinental ballistic missile that might be able to reach California, Oregon, and Washington.
I marvel at the discipline of this Administration in sticking to its message -that Saddam is the greatest danger - regardless of world developments.
We have the most dangerous situation in East Asia in a decade - perhaps in five decades, and the Administration is treating it as a sideshow. The reason is that North Korea doesn't fit into any of the Administration's preconceived little boxes.
They haven't wanted to talk to North Korea because a solution requires negotiation - and sitting at the bargaining table is something Bill Clinton used to do. They do not see themselves as negotiators; they see themselves as pre-emptors. But preemption on the Korean Peninsula is a much different proposition than it is in the Persian Gulf.
In Korea, the Communist military forces are concentrated along the border with the South, less than forty miles from Seoul. Rockets and missiles, bombs and troops could strike with little or no notice. Even in the best case, a war, once begun, could take thousands of lives and seriously endanger the 37,000 American troops deployed on the Peninsula.
How did we get into this mess?
A decade ago, North Korea agreed to freeze its nuclear weapons program in return for our help in building civilian nuclear power plants.
As a result, 8,000 fuel rods containing reprocessed plutonium were sealed up and maintained under international inspection. That's enough plutonium to make half a dozen nuclear bombs.
In recent weeks, it has become clear that the North Koreans have broken the agreement. They have begun moving the fuel rods to a new location, and threatening to unseal them. They could also re-start their reactor and produce more and more plutonium.
Within months, North Korea could become a confirmed nuclear power. Unlike Iraq, it has an advanced missile program, which would make its possession of nuclear arms even more dangerous.
The result would be the certainty of heightened tensions throughout East Asia, the likelihood of nuclear blackmail, the risk of a regional arms race, and the chance that the nuclear materials will be put up for sale to the highest bidder.
The Administration's response to all this has been to say that "every option is on the table."
Now, I have been in public service for quite awhile, and I'll let you in on a little secret.
When government officials say, "every option is on the table," it's because they haven't got a clue what they intend to do.
It would be unfair for me to suggest that negotiating with North Korea is a simple matter. By all accounts, it is extremely difficult. No one can guarantee a successful outcome.
But you can guarantee failure if you do not even try. And this administration has not tried.
Instead of a serious policy, they have wasted time, alienated our allies and engaged in a pointless war of words with Pyongyang.
Even now, the Administration seems to want to avoid anything that would shift the world spotlight from the dangers of the Persian Gulf to the even greater perils of the Korean Peninsula.
I think we can do better.
We do not want to risk war. But neither do we want to run the risk of doing nothing in the face of North Korea's provocative and dangerous behavior.
A serious policy toward North Korea would be based on four principles. First, it must result in a verifiably nuclear free Korean Peninsula. Second, it must be carried out in full coordination with our allies in Seoul and Tokyo and close cooperation with Moscow, Beijing and the European Union. Third, it must include a willingness to engage in direct talks with North Korea, not as some kind of reward to Pyongyang, but as a means of doing what is necessary to prevent proliferation and the risk of war. Finally, it must be implemented now.
You would not know it from the Administration's approach, but time is not on our side.
North Korea will be far easier to contend with as a threatening power than as a declared nuclear power.
And plutonium, once it is produced, has a half-life of more than 24,000 years. It is almost impossible to get rid of.
Given the history, it will take months, if not years, to reach a comprehensive understanding with North Korea on all issues. What we need now is an interim arrangement that will contain the crisis until we can end it.
Together with our allies, and others in the region, we should challenge Pyongyang to return the fuel rods to their previous location, and allow international authorities to inspect and re-seal them. North Korea must also continue its moratorium - secured by President Clinton, I might add - on tests of long-range missiles.
In return, the U.S. can pledge to take no military action against the North and agree to resume direct, high-level talks. Both sides should agree to maintain these pledges as long as talks are ongoing. The discussions should be wide-ranging and designed to give North Korea a chance to reduce its isolation and begin moving in the direction of a normal society.
North Korea is a far greater danger to world peace than Iraq.
But there is, of course, an even greater danger. It is not, after all, because of Saddam Hussein or North Korea that our government has recommended that we prepare safe rooms in our homes sealed off with plastic sheeting and duct tape.
Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda and their allies have murdered thousands of Americans and vowed to murder more.
The threat they pose is imminent, constant and substantial. It cannot be deterred. Because it is global, it cannot be contained. It must be confronted until it is defeated.
Eliminating the threat to Americans from al Qaeda and other terrorists is not simply a goal to put on a list with a lot of others. It must be the top priority of our government and the primary focus of our President.
I ask you to think back to September 11, 2001. Remember not only our horror, but also our unity and resolve. We were unified in spirit, and willing to make common sacrifice for the greater good and safety of our nation. Al Qaeda had attacked us and we would fight back. And that unity was worldwide, as nation after nation pledged to support us in this fight. Newspapers across the globe ran headlines that proclaimed: "Today We Are All Americans."
And yet, 18 months later, a lot of that international support is gone. Surveys tell us that majorities in Europe see the United States as a major threat to world peace. Surveys tell us that regard for the United States has declined in every country and on every continent. In countries that have long been our allies, leaders are getting elected because of the fervor of their anti-America message.
This Administration squandered the world's good will toward us.
The world sees the United States, under President Bush, as a go-it-alone country. Because we are the world's only superpower, this is not of small concern to other nations.
Top officials in the Administration insult our allies, including Germany - the country now leading the anti-terror coalition in Afghanistan.
Our government has continually missed the opportunity to remind people worldwide that the struggle against terror is their struggle, too.
Last fall, the President commanded the attention of the world when he addressed the UN General Assembly. Had I been in that bully pulpit, I would have used it to rally the world in the fight against terror. I would have thanked by name the dozens of governments that have helped and urged them to do more. I would have appealed to scholars and educators and governments around the globe to agree on the basic principle that terrorism is wrong like genocide is wrong and slavery is wrong and racism is wrong. I would have reached out to people of all faiths and cultures and appealed to them to forge a grand coalition of the peace-loving and law-abiding to defeat this cancer in our midst.
President Bush didn't do that. He spoke about Iraq.
Then, last month, he again had the whole world listening as he gave his State of the Union Address.
He devoted four paragraphs to the war against terror. He devoted sixteen to Iraq.
He mentioned Saddam Hussein by name 18 times. He did not mention Osama bin Laden at all.
The President sounds like a war President, but I must ask whether he is focused on the right war.
And do not doubt; we are in a war.
More than 17 months after September 11, Osama bin Laden and most of his top associates are alive and threatening more attacks.
In recent months, American troops or civilians have been assaulted in Afghanistan, Yemen, Jordan, the Philippines and Kuwait.
A French tanker was bombed.
Nearly 200 people in Bali were murdered, with Americans as the intended targets.
Terrorists killed a dozen innocent people in Kenya and just missed shooting down a plane filled with Israeli tourists.
CIA Director Tenet has warned, "the threat environment we find ourselves in is as bad as it was in the summer before September 11." And the colors orange and red now have new meaning for all Americans.
We must deal with these threats through a relentless and hardheaded strategy that protects, prevents and responds over the long term.
We must do more - much more - to protect our water supplies, our buildings and monuments, our bridges and highways, our dams, and our nuclear power plants. It is not enough to search the handbag of every grandmother boarding every airplane. We must also search the huge cargo containers entering our ports from foreign countries. Today, we inspect just two percent before they are loaded onto trucks and driven away.
We must do more - much more - to train and equip the state and local police, fire, and public health services that will be our first responders in case of another terrorist attack.
Here, incomprehensibly, the Bush Administration stands in the way of what needs to be done. Our first responders still have not received the first dollar of the money they were promised one year ago. The President and the Republican Congress just agreed to spend $1.3 billion more for homeland security. That is one-tenth of one percent of the cost of President Bush's first tax cut. Why not more for homeland security? Democrats in Congress tried to add $5 billion for what the President's own Cabinet and security experts say is needed to meet urgent and compelling needs. The President blocked it. He says we can't afford it. For him, homeland security for all Americans must not be as important as tax cuts for the wealthy few.
Those may be his priorities, but they are not mine.
Because I will have no higher priority than the security and safety of the American people.
That's why we must double our funding for keeping Americans safe at home, from police to firefighters, from port inspections to powerplant security.
That's why our armed forces must remain the finest in the world, equipped and trained to fight 21st Century battles and defeat 21st Century threats.
We must improve leadership within the CIA, FBI and other agencies to provide the level of communication and vigilance needed to prevent another September 11.
We must redouble our efforts through the Cooperative Threat Reduction program to prevent nuclear materials from Russia and other former Soviet Republics from falling into the wrong hands.
We must follow through on our commitments in Afghanistan to prevent that troubled land from ever again serving as a base for terrorism.
Around the world, we must show an unwavering dedication to the principles of democracy, tolerance, and human rights, including the rights of women to participate as full and equal citizens in every society, including those in the Middle East.
Above all, we must be clear that no terrorist will ever intimidate the United States of America into withdrawing from the world or abandoning our allies, friends and ideals.
I do hope, however, that recent events will spur us into developing a national energy policy that puts long-term security above short-term profits.
Three decades after the 1973 OPEC oil embargo, the United States continues to consume 40 percent of the world's oil. That is a failure of American policy and an unacceptable danger to the American people. Because it means we are sending billions of dollars annually to countries financing radical educational systems that teach young people to hate Christians, Jews and Americans. That is crazy, because we know these schools are prime recruiting grounds for terrorists.
It's time we had an energy policy that will protect America by stressing conservation and renewable fuels, including solar, wind, ethanol and biomass. After two years on the job, the President finally found one sound energy idea he could support, and promised to increase funding for fuel cell research. Of course, this was nothing more than a cynical ruse to avoid taking any serious steps during his term to achieve energy independence. But we can, and must, do far more. Alternative energy sources are practical, economically viable and good for our environment. They are also essential to our national security. We need real, effective, sustained leadership to move us into a secure energy future - not a single sound-bite in one State of the Union.
I cannot leave the subject of terrorism without bringing up a subject President Bush unaccountably neglected to bring up during his recent State of the Union address - and that is the need to end the seemingly endless cycle of violence in the Middle East.
Here, I do not differ with the President's stated policy; I just wish he would actually apply it. Since taking office, the Administration has been disengaged from the Middle East, then engaged, and then disengaged once more. This is another example of the President trying to distance himself from President Clinton, even though the Clinton Administration's approach reflected decades of bipartisan support for a comprehensive Middle East peace.
When they have bothered to state them, the Administration's guiding principles in the Middle East are the right ones. Terrorism against Israel must end. A two-state solution is the only path to eventual peace, but Palestinian territory cannot have the capability of being used as a platform for attacking Israel. Some degree of separation between Israelis and Palestinians is probably necessary in light of the horrible bloodshed of the past two years. To be viable, the Palestinian Authority must become democratic and purged of corruption.
But none of this will happen naturally. The United States is the only country with the ability to give both sides the confidence to move toward a future of co-existence. Appearances matter, and if we are not engaged, it looks like we simply do not care and that we have condemned the entire Palestinian people because of their leadership. In my view, this hurts the United States, it hurts Israel, and it makes it less likely the violence and the terrorism will end.
Last month, as I watched President Bush deliver his State of the Union Address, I thought to myself, he is missing an opportunity.
He is missing an opportunity to tell the world not only what America is against, but also what America is for.
He is missing a chance to offer a long range vision that would inspire people everywhere to join us not only in waging war, but also in building a world that is more broadly prosperous and secure than it has ever been.
To me, one of the best examples of long range vision was the Marshall Plan, put in place after World War II. That Plan was based on a clear understanding that America was not an island, and that our prosperity and freedom depended on the prosperity and freedom of our friends in Europe. And so we reached out to societies that had been devastated by war and helped them recover.
The payoff was enormous. During the Cold War, those societies served as a living demonstration of the opportunities created by democracy. They helped bring down the Berlin Wall, and suddenly a continent that had been torn apart by centuries of strife came together in liberty and peace.
Now, we have a new opportunity to do on a global basis what the Marshall Plan did for Western Europe. By that, I do not mean massive new aid programs, although I do favor increased investments in fighting global poverty and disease.
I have in mind a vision that would open the door for every country on every continent to participate in a system of shared duties and benefits.
I have in mind an integrated world system in which every nation has incentives to abide by the global rules of the road - especially in such areas as fighting terrorism, respecting human rights, conducting trade, observing fair worker standards, protecting the environment and combating corruption and crime.
Now I am aware that when I talk about a system of shared duties and benefits, I run the risk of shocking the Bush Administration. Because one way to build such a system is through international treaties.
This Administration, as we know, is allergic to treaties.
Instead of looking at an agreement and saying, well, 90% of this is in our interests, so we'll work with others to try to fix the rest - they just say forget it, rip it up, shred it. They are so worried that someday, someone will do something they don't like, they are willing to forgo all the benefits that come from joint action. This is true whether the issue is reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, creating an international criminal court or controlling biological weapons. This approach undercuts our standing and our ability to lead in the world.
Our nation is the world's preeminent power. With this power comes great responsibility. Our actions are important in themselves, but also as a model for what we may expect - and demand - of other nations. As a result, no country has a bigger stake than we in establishing and enforcing the highest possible norms of international behavior. We can't do that by constantly shunning others and vowing to go it alone. We can only do it through leadership that reflects the qualities of our own country at its very best.
Make no mistake, all of this is a different vision of how to protect America's interests in today's world.
There is a great clash of ideas underway in America today.
It is being waged in classrooms and meeting halls like those here at Drake, in the op-eds of our newspapers, on talk radio, in living rooms and kitchens, and on the campaign trail.
The outcome of this debate will determine what kind of America we are here at home, whether our policies are rejected or welcomed across the globe, and how secure we and people around the world are.
The people of Iowa have an incredible opportunity to influence the answer to those questions.
I ask you to take advantage of that opportunity.
I ask you to work for change - to stop the reckless policies of this Administration - because we need economic and foreign policies that reflect both the interests and the values of the American people.
On this President's Day, I ask you to have faith with Abraham Lincoln that "right makes might," and in that faith to join me in daring to "do our duty as we understand it."
I ask you to exercise your rights as citizens and with others in Iowa to help put America on the right path to a secure and proud future.
Thank you all very much.