Obama's 2002 speech

“Those are the battles that we need to fight. Those are the battles that we willingly join. The battles against ignorance and intolerance. Corruption and greed. Poverty and despair.

“The consequences of war are dire, the sacrifices immeasurable. We may have occasion in our lifetime to once again rise up in defense of our freedom, and pay the wages of war. But we ought not — we will not — travel down that hellish path blindly.”
—Barack Obama, Illinois State Senator speaking at Chicagoans Against the War in Iraq, 2002

Brent Budowsky reminds us of Barack Obama’s 2002 speech opposing the war.

The speech is classic. The constant use of word pairs (“Auschwitz and Treblinka,” “Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz,” “Pakistan and India,” “the Saudis and the Egyptians,” “Exxon and Mobil.” “ignorance and intolerance” “corruption and greed,” “poverty and despair”), the sentence repetition an and counterpoint (“I don’t oppose all wars.” and then “I oppose dumb wars” followed by, “You want a fight, President Bush?”), the use of quick powerful sentences (“A dumb war. A rash war.” and then “He is a brutal man. A ruthless man”); it even ends, in the final sentence with three references to another Illinois politician’s reference to the greatest American speech of all time.

Truly impressive word play and well worth a read.

Read the full text here.

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