Edwards: War on Terror "is a Political Frame and Political Rhetoric"
by Jonathan Singer, Wed May 02, 2007 at 01:40:30 PM EDT
This afternoon I had the opportunity to catch a speech by John Edwards, who was in Portland promoting his presidential campaign. The point that stuck out most profoundly to me came when Edwards spoke about the so-called "Global War on Terror." Below, you can listen to what he had to say and read a rush transcript:
And I don't know how many of you even noticed this or how many of you watched the Democratic presidential debate from South Carolina, but I suspect some of you did. But a question was asked whether you agree with the language - the Bush language, which is what it is - "Global War on Terror." And I did not. And I said, I took that position at the debate...
This is a political frame and political rhetoric. They use it to justify everything they do. They use that language to justify the war in Iraq. They use it to justify Guantanamo. They use it to justify torture. They use it to justify illegal spying on the American people.
It is time for us to quit kowtowing to these people. We have to say what we really believe. Now, are there really dangerous people in the world? Of course there are. We need to be smart and aggressive and intelligent, use intelligence - did I say dangerous people? - we have to use intelligence to fight them and stop them. Everybody recognizes that. But the one thing that's been proven beyond any doubt as a result of what's happened in the last six years is raw power alone will never make you a leader. You actually have to have the moral authority.
On the night of the debate last week, Matt was among the first to notice that while a number of the candidates on stage, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, responded affirmatively to the question as to whether or not they believe in the Global War on Terror, Edwards was among those who did not. This difference did not gain a ton of traction in the establishment media, aside from a few pieces (including this one from Time's Mike Allen), but it seems well worth noting.
Today's event, which drew a capacity crowd of about 600 to 700 at an International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) hall in Northwest Portland, was also notable for the fact that Edwards laid out his first television ad of the campaign in which he calls on Congress to send back legislation to President Bush that would set a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.