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Obama Says Candidates Must Openly Discuss Foreign Policy Vision with the American People

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Location: Council Bluffs, IA


Obama Says Candidates Must Openly Discuss Foreign Policy Vision with the American People

U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) today said that to truly turn the page on the failed foreign policy of the last seven years, presidential candidates must challenge conventional Washington thinking and openly and honestly discuss their foreign policy visions with the American people. Obama said that he is the only candidate in the race that has put forward a comprehensive strategy to fight terrorism.

"My call for a new foreign policy is based on the same thing that informed my opposition to the war in Iraq: common sense not conventional Washington thinking," Obama said. "We need to restore our standing in the world to combat common enemies. We need to end the war in Iraq and focus on the fight against the terrorists. We need to take out Osama bin Ladin if we have him in our sights. We need to talk directly to our adversaries if we want our tough talk to amount to anything."

Obama outlined his vision for keeping America safe. Obama said his anti-terrorism strategy has five elements: end the wrong war in Iraq and focus on the terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan; strengthen our military, intelligence, and diplomacy to take down terrorist networks and secure nuclear weapons; dry up support for extremism; restore our values; and protect our homeland. But what's even more critical, Obama said, is electing leaders with good judgment.

"I'm running on my judgment and I'll tell the American people where I stand," Obama said. "But I'll need your help to challenge Washington so we can change America. After all, the war in Iraq wasn't cooked up by folks in Council Bluffs. It was authorized by politicians in Washington who said they knew better. And if that's what conventional thinking on foreign policy amounts to, conventional thinking has to change."

"Think of what we can achieve together if we change the conventional thinking that's squandering America's reputation in the world," Obama said. "We can stand up for our values and stand against torture. We can keep America safe and extend peace and opportunity abroad. We can have a foreign policy that the American people are proud of, and set an example of leadership that inspires not hate â€" but hope â€" in forgotten corners of the world.

Obama's comments in Council Bluffs came on the second day of a five-day "Road to Change" tour through Iowa.


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