Did Obama say that?
Yes he did! In 2002 when Obama was busy voting “present” in the Illinois state senate he lashed out at President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. Obama made the case that being a brutal dictator was not enough to authorize his removal from power. Courtesy of CNS News here is an excerpt of Obama’s comments at a Chicago anti-war rally (emphasis mine):
“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.”
“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.
Now compare those comments with the remarks he made on Monday stating why he decided to authorize military action against Gadhafi:
“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.”
“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.”
Why the flip-flop Mr. President?