Senator Barbara Boxer Speech at the Commonwealth Club
San Francisco July 6, 2005
It is a great honor to be back at the Commonwealth Club.
When I decided to give a speech about Iraq, I knew I wanted to give it here. That’s because of the pivotal role the Commonwealth Club has played for more than 100 years, fostering real dialogue on the critical challenges that define the times in which we live.
Today, those challenges are vast, from the Supreme Court vacancy to the attack on Social Security. But the war in Iraq is the most daunting because the status quo—of Americans dying, of Iraqis dying, of young soldiers coming home by the thousands with injuries to mind and body—weighs so heavily on all Americans.
As a policy maker, I must push as hard as I can for a strategy that can succeed in Iraq and bring our brave men and women home. That will only happen if we immediately bring credibility, accountability, and responsibility to a war that has been lacking in all three.
Last week, President Bush had a chance to regain credibility when it comes to Iraq. In my opinion, he did not.
He mentioned 9/11 five times in 30 minutes, despite the fact that there is absolutely no connection between Iraq and that tragic day.
Iraq was a war of choice, not necessity. The war of necessity was the war against Osama bin Laden that we launched after 9/11…the war that every single Senator voted for…the war that was a clear response to the vicious attack of that day.
That’s why I was incredulous when Karl Rove said: "Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war.