Thursday, February 14, 2008

Where are my beads?

So can you tell which of our presidential candidates might have said the following?

“I do not want -- as I believe most Americans do not want -- to sell out American interests, to simply withdraw, to raise the white flag of surrender. That would be unacceptable to us as a country and as a people. But I am concerned -- as I believe most Americans are concerned -- that the course we are following at the present time is deeply wrong. I am concerned -- as I believe most Americans are concerned -- that we are acting as if no other nations existed, against the judgment and desires of neutrals and our historic allies alike. I am concerned -- as I believe most Americans are concerned -- that our present course will not bring victory; will not bring peace; will not stop the bloodshed; and will not advance the interests of the United States or the cause of peace in the world.”

“I am concerned that, at the end of it all, there will only be more Americans killed; more of our treasure spilled out; and because of the bitterness and hatred on every side of this war, more hundreds of thousands of … slaughtered; so that they may say, as Tacitus said of Rome: "’They made a desert, and called it peace.’"

“We are entitled to ask -- we are required to ask -- how many more men, how many more lives, how much more destruction will be asked, to provide the military victory that is always just around the corner, to pour into this bottomless pit of our dreams?

“But this question the Administration does not and cannot answer. It has no answer -- none but the ever-expanding use of military force and the lives of our brave soldiers, in a conflict where military force has failed to solve anything in the past…Instead, the war will go on, year after terrible year -- until those who sit in the seats of high policy are men who seek another path. And that must be done this year.”

“For it is long past time to ask: what is this war doing to us? Of course it is costing us money … but that is the smallest price we pay. The cost is in our young men, the … thousands of their lives cut off forever. The cost is in our world position -- in neutrals and allies alike, every day more baffled by and estranged from a policy they cannot understand.”

Fooled ya. The above excerpts are from a speech made by Bobby Kennedy almost 40 years ago at Kansas State University. The war he was talking about was Viet Nam. We just don't seem to learn, do we?

(At the end of the movie Bobby, I cried my eyes out listening to his City Club of Cleveland speech on violence, given the day after Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, while reconstructed scenes of the aftermath of RFK's own assassination flashed on the screen.)

6 comments:

mamadama said...

But it does sound like something Obama would say, don't you think?

"Bobby" is one of my all time favorite movies!

Katharine said...

Got me on that one!

Katharine said...

I've been trying to get the connection with the title.

Pam said...

Yeah, I remember that speech at the end of the movie Bobby too. It was a pretty powerful moment in the movie.

No, we don't seem to learn. Ugh.

Pat said...

Jen - yeah, I was thinking a combination of Obama and Edwards. I'm rooting for that duo these days!

Kath - remember love beads?

Pam - I've been thinking a lot about how my generation (flower children, war protesters, etc.) has turned into as big sellouts as our parents' generation was. Do you suppose it's written in our genes?

Kappa no He said...

That was beautiful and true and I am going to see if they have Bobby in the video stores here. It sounds great.