Obama In 2002: Toppling Brutal Dictator A ‘Dumb War’


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President Barack Obama, as an Illinois state senator in 2002, said that using military force to topple a murderous dictator amounted to a “dumb war” and should be opposed.

The “dumb war” Obama was criticizing was the planned invasion of Iraq and the murderous dictator was its leader, Saddam Hussein. Obama, speaking at an anti-war rally in Chicago on Oct. 2, 2002 said that while Saddam was a brutal tyrant, that was not enough to justify using military force to remove him from power.

“Now, let me be clear – I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein,” said Obama in his speech. “He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied U.N. resolutions, thwarted U.N. inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He’s a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.”

“… After September 11th, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears, I supported this administration’s pledge to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance, and I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such tragedy from happening again,” said Obama. “I don’t oppose all wars.  … 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 Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz 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.”

Obama argued that deposing Saddam militarily was not necessary, because Iraq posed no “direct threat” to the United States. Obama also cited Iraq’s weakened economy and the fact that it was still possible to contain Saddam’s aggression, repudiating the Bush administration’s rationale that Saddam posed too great a threat to American interests and his own people to be left in power.

“But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military is 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,” said Sen. Obama.

However, as president of the United States, Obama has discounted those same arguments he once made against using military force against brutal dictators.

In his March 28, 2011 speech justifying his decision to attack the government of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, Obama cited Gadhafi’s record of brutality, saying that allowing Gadhafi to continue his brutality was not an option.

“Qaddafi declared he would show ‘no mercy’ to his own people,” said President Obama.  “He compared them to rats, and threatened to go door to door to inflict punishment. In the past, we have seen him hang civilians in the streets, and kill over a thousand people in a single day.

“Now we saw regime forces on the outskirts of the city,” Obama said. “We knew that if we waited, if we waited one more day, Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.”

Gadhafi, apparently unlike Saddam, needed to be stopped because he would kill his own people to maintain his own power, an act that this time posed a threat to America’s “interests and values,” Obama said.

“But when our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act,” said Obama. “That’s what happened in Libya over the course of these last six weeks.”

Obama, in his 2002 speech, said that instead of deposing Saddam through force, America should “fight” for democratic reforms in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, stronger international nuclear safeguards, and energy independence.

“Those are the battles that we need to fight,” Obama said in 2002. “Those are the battles that we willingly join – the battles against ignorance and intolerance, corruption and greed. Poverty and despair.”

By 2011, however, Obama had come to endorse the use of military power to enforce America’s “responsibility as a [global] leader” arguing that the United States was “different” and therefore had no other choice but to attack Libya.

“To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and, more profoundly, our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are,” he said. “Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different.”

(Source: CNS News)


  1. We can point out how horribly inept and how unAmerican this president is, all day long. It doesnt matter unless an elected official brings about a motion to do will of many people, and being to build a case for impeaching Obama before America dips further into being beyond repair.

  2. It is very funny, but there is one argument to be made: Now we are talking about a mass murder, not just a ruthless leader. I’m taking that from the words of this article. That being said, I didn’t think this war is justified. And once we are doing it, it should have been NATO. Sure, the US would supply technology and intelligence, but not directly. With this, we only emboldened our Arab enemies to be able to point to American empirealism.

  3. Obama seeks Israels and the Jewish peoples destruction,The facts as reported on Debka.com that thousands of missiles containing mustard and nerve gas was acquired by the so called rebellion leaders, ie Hamas etc.Paid for in cash. It is impossible to say that Obama had no knowledge of this and his only reason for attacking when he did was to protect his friends in Iran and at Hamas his fellow Muslim Brotherhood member’s.
    Let us not be blinded by the facts, the Jews of Nazi Germany said it could not happen “here” Germans are too civilized, learned all too well, albeit too late that it can happen here and IT CAN HAPPEN HERE TOO, THE UNITED STATES with its current leaders is not safe here either.

  4. So now what? Should he apologize to Bush? Or should he apologize to the American People? Both, maybe he should just admit he was never qualified for the job and step down.

  5. Commenter no. 1: What crime or misdemeanor has President Obama committed that would provide the grounds for impeachment? From your failure to name one, I infer that you cannot think of one.

    Commenter no. 4 states in part: “Let us not be blinded by the facts ….” You certainly practice what you preach. What facts support your conclusion that Obama seeks the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people? None? Well, if you do not allow yourself to be blinded by facts, I suppose your conclusion is reasonable.

  6. Kadaffi is a smoke screen for Obama using the United States to create a united religious arab world.

    The fact is there are other parts of the world America should step in to help first.

    1. arab assaults on Israeli citizens
    2. arab muslim massacres on black muslims in Darfur in the Sudan
    3. Chinese abuse forcing their people to donate organs (kidneys) against their will.
    4. arab muslim slave trade and human trafficking of women and children
    5. arab muslim abuse of forced marriages of female children to grown men
    6. North Korean abuse where citizens are shot in the back leaving the countries borders

    Impeach Obama for being the psychotic liar that he is.

  7. #7 I would add Iran and Syria to your list. Is there a pattern? Was Mubarak pressured to resign because he was a peace partner with Israel? Is he trying to oust Gadhafi so that al qaida or the Muslim Brotherhood can replace him? And is he treating Iran and Syria with kid gloves because they are sworn enemies of Israel committed to its destruction? Bibi has pleaded with obama to enforce crippling sanctions on Iran. He is convinced it would be effective -with no bloodshed-but no- rather go to war with Libya and back stab Mubarak. And of course have some dialog with Achmadinajad.

  8. once again an article is posted from a news agency with a headline that is a lie. The headline is a lie because it leads the reader to believe Obama said ” Toppling Brutal Dictator a ‘Dumb War’”. Obama didn’t say that.

    The readers should know that the news outlet from which this article came is an internet only web site that is self proclaimed to be a goyyish conservative web site created to write articles against liberals. It says it on their web site.

    So let’s proceed to see some of the further lies and misleading statements from CNS news. The main lie in this pundit’s article is that it claims there is a hypocrisy on the part of Obama because Saddam Huseein and Ghadafi are both bad who kill and torture their own civilians.

    Actually the relevance and the facts cause the argument to fall short. Obama isnt a hypocrit at all and anyone with simple reasoning skills and who simply reads the NY Times or the Washington Post knows what is happening in Libya and what happened in Iraq.

    [1] Bush invaded a sovereign country in 2003 that was not attacking or threatening another country.
    Saddam Hussein at the time wasn’t even killing his own people ( any more than China or every Arab state or many African states). It wasnt the poorest state and had the best food distribution system of any government run food program of a government in the middle East. Saddam Hussein wasn’t engaged in anything of mass murder against his own citizens from 1994 through the eve of the war in march 2003 on account of his weak hold on the country and aims of keeping it together. He didn’t control 2/3 of his country on account of the no fly zone. He was even letting prisoners out in clemency campaigns for part of his post Gulf War public relations campaign. Therefore on this ground alone it is incomparable since he wasn’t mass killing his peeps.
    Obama on the other hand started bombing with a Security Council Resolution aimed at those military targets that were IN PROCESS OF MASS MURDER of their own citizens.

    [2] The Security Council members were going to veto any Bush sponsored resolution for invasion and takover by a UN coalition. Bush wouldnt even call for a vote becasue he knew ahead of time he would lose. So his war violated the UN Charter and therefore the Conctitution of the United States. The opposite is the case with Obama.

    The President swears an aoth to uphold the Constitution, and since the UN Charter is a treaty, and since the Constitution requires ( in the Supremacy Clasue) the government of the U.S. to uphold all treaties it has entered into…beyond and trumping all other United States laws, Bush violated the Constitution while Obama is fulfilling the Conctitution in abiding by the Security Council Resolution. ( btw the only part of the government that there is a complex argument with is whether the Supreme Court needs to take into account international law or not on account of the Supremacy clause).

    [3] the next relevant difference is that Obama is keeping out ground troops, and Bush sent in regular ground forces, and when you do that in a war you consign the people you send in to their deaths. That act of sending a group in to harms way knowing that a portion of them will die requires the greatest justification to legally and morally engage in it. Bush didnt do that with a threat to the U.S. lives. So without justification and in violation of the Constitution he sent 4,000 Americans to death, permanently maiming 30,000 americans ( not including the ones with permanent PTSD and other mental illnesses) and all the concomitant hell and pain Bush condemned tens of thousands of Americans to ( troops, mothers fathers sons daughters widows orphans etc…).

    Obama has not sent ground forces in.

    BTW Bush gave the order to send all those Americans to die- not congress. Congress’ resolution was signed 4 months prior to the war and no intepretation of the resolution allows that Congress was telling bush he was free to violate the contitution 4 months later and go to war when Iraq was not a threat. Read the resolution. Aside from that, Congress cant violate the UN charter either.

    [4] Finally, Obama has targeted the current military forces and resources of Ghadafi currently used by him to commit mass murder, which SCR 1973 is designed to stop. And it worked and was a success regardless of what goes on now.

    That is why CNS news is a freak show.

  9. Iraq was indeed never a direct threat to the US. Libya. On the other hand, has carried out terrorist attacks against Americans. This action should have been done 25 years ago.

    It is interesting that the Obamahaters complain that his opposition to terrorism is insufficiently strong. But now they complain that he has committed to removing a terrorist from power, they still complain. The truth is, they will complain no matter what he does. It isn’t about his policies at all!