“What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Perle & Wolfowitz [Samantha Power and Susan Rice] and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.”
“What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove [David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett] to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income – to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression. That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics. Now let me be clear – I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein [Bashar Assad]. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He’s a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi [Syrian] people, would be better off without him.”
“But I also know that Saddam [Assad] poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi [Syrian] economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi [Syrian] military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.”
Except for those parts bracketed for updating, all of the above are the words of Barack Obama in 2002.