The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


September 13, 2007

Obama delivers national policy speech in Clinton

CLINTON — Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama made a major announcement right here in Clinton on Wednesday.

Obama came to Ashford University to outline his ideas for ending the war in Iraq. Obama's plan includes immediately beginning to remove American troops from the region.

“There is no military solution in Iraq, and there never was,” Obama said to a standing-room-only crowd in Ashford's Durgin Center. “The best way to protect our security and to pressure Iraq's leaders to resolve their civil war is to immediately begin to remove our combat troops. Not in six months or one year, but now.”

Obama added the stated purpose of the recent surge of troops sent to Iraq was to aid that country's leaders in reconciliation, but noted those leaders have only fallen deeper into their centuries-old sectarian conflicts.

Obama's four-step plan would include a new constitutional convention in Iraq, which would not adjourn until that country's leaders reach reconciliation, and a surge of U.S. diplomacy to the region.

Obama would then work on confronting the humanitarian disaster in Iraq.

“It's time to form an international working group with the countries in the region, our European and Asian friends, and the United Nations,” Obama declared. “We can and must do more to expand access to social services for refugees in neighboring countries, and to ensure that Iraqis displaced inside their own country can find safe haven.”

Obama reiterated the fact that he was against the war from the beginning.

He also worked to set himself apart from President George Bush, claiming if he was elected, he would be more responsive to the public.

“I will be a President who listens to the American people, not a President who ignores the American people,” Obama stated. “It's time to move beyond Iraq so that we can move forward together.”

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