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Barack Obama's Visionary Peace Plan for Iraq

"Turning the Page in Iraq"

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Barack Obama's Visionary Peace Plan for Iraq

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

We Must Finish the Fight in Afghanistan

When we end this war in Iraq, we can finally finish the fight in Afghanistan.

That is why I propose stepping up our commitment there, with at least two additional combat brigades and a comprehensive program of aid and support to help Afghans help themselves.

When we end this war in Iraq, we can more effectively tackle the twin demons of extremism and hopelessness that threaten the peace of the world and the security of America.

U.S. Must Spread Hope, Not Hate

That is why I have proposed a program to spread hope - not hate - in the Islamic world, to build schools that teach young people to build and not destroy, to support the rule of law and economic development, and to launch a program of outreach to the Islamic world that I will lead as President.

When we end this war in Iraq, we can once again lead the world against the common challenges of the 21st century.

  • Against the spread of nuclear weapons and climate change.
  • Against genocide in Darfur.
  • Against ignorance and intolerance.
  • Corruption and greed.
  • Poverty and despair.
When we end this war, we can reclaim the cause of freedom and democracy. We can be that beacon of hope, that light to all the world.

When we end this war, we can recapture our unity of effort as Americans.

The American people have the right instincts on Iraq. It's time to heed their judgment. It's time to move beyond Iraq so that we can move forward together.

I will be a President who listens to the American people, not a President who ignores them.

And when we end the war in Iraq, we can come together to give our full attention to advancing the cause of health care for every American, an energy policy that does not bankroll hostile nations while we melt the polar ice caps, and a world class education for our children.

Unity as Americans, Not Divisions as Republicans and Democrats

Above all, we can turn the page to a new kind of politics of unity, not division; of hope, not fear.

You know, I welcome all of the folks who have changed their position on the war over these last months and years. And we need more of those votes to change if we're going to change the direction of this war.

That is why I will keep speaking directly to my colleagues in the Congress, both Republican and Democratic. Historically, we have come together in a bipartisan way to deal with our most monumental challenges. We should do so again.

We have the power to do this - not as Republicans or Democrats, but as Americans. We don't have to wait until George Bush is gone from office - we can begin to end this war today, right now.

But if we have learned anything from Iraq, it is that the judgment that matters most is the judgment that is made first.

Martin Luther King once stood up at Riverside Church and said, "In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late."

We are too late to stop a war that should never have been fought; too late to undo the pain of battle, the anguish of so many families, or the price of the fight; too late to redo the years of division and distraction at home and abroad.

But I'm here today because it's not too late to come together as Americans.

Time to Reclaim U.S. Foreign Policy

Because we're not going to be able to deal with the challenges that confront us until we end this war.

What we can do is say that we will not be prisoners of uncertainty. That we reject the conventional thinking that led us into Iraq and that didn't ask hard questions until it was too late.

What we can say is that we are ready for something new and something bold and something principled.

It's time for us to breathe again. That begins with ending this war - but it does not end there.

It's time reclaim our foreign policy. It's time to reclaim our politics. And it's time to lead this country - and this world - again, to a new dawn of peace and unity.

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