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Sweet blog column: Obama says he would "take up arms" to prevent another 9-11. And no trouble "going down low" to fight rivals.

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PORTSMOUTH, N.H.—White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) never served in the military. But at a town hall meeting, Obama said he would “take up arms myself” to prevent another 9-11 from happening.

The comment came during a wide-ranging question and answer session in Dover, N.H. where Obama also said he would have no trouble “going down low and throwing elbows” if opponents went after him.

Obama’s taking up arms remark came after woman, who said she was a Republican, told Obama that it is easy to criticize President Bush “but you’re not in office. How would you have handled that? What would you have done that was so different?”

Obama said Bush handled the first months after the attacks well and he has tried to imagine what he would have done if president in the same situation.

“Listen, I’m not just a backseat driver, Monday morning quarterback. I mean thought to myself at the time, imagine the enormous pressures that a president is under when something like that happens. I mean it’s just a huge shock to the system and you feel responsible and you’re thinking that maybe you’re thinking that maybe other attacks are going to be happening at any moment.

“So In the initial months, his response, I thought, was perfectly reasonable. I supported the invasion of Afghanistan because the Taliban had been supportive and the base camp for Al Queda. So I had no problem with that. I would take up arms myself to prevent another 9/11 from happening,” Obama said.

Obama had a strong comeback after a another woman asked how Obama would avoid being “swiftboated”—a reference to negative attacks against the military record of 2004 Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.)-- and being “turned by the Republicans into a ministrel show.” If elected, Obama would be the first African-American president.

“Everybody’s still traumatized by 2004 because it was an ugly scene,” Obama said. “Look, I have a couple of things I want to tell you about me. First of all, I played basketball and I’m really skinny but the people I play with will tell you I don’t mind going down low and throwing elbows.”

Obama said the “swiftboating” started after he announced for president and Fox News “started saying, ‘“well this guy went to schools in madrassas.’” He revealed that his campaign urged CNN to pursue the story.

“And we had to send CNN to this school in Indonesia where everybody’s in short pants with their Ipods and playing video games. You know and I was like, come on. But so we’ve already seen this. And I think when Romney starts saying this stuff - sometimes it may be honest mistakes, sometimes not. You don’t know. But I have no doubt that there will be some of that - trying to make me into this foreign, you know, odd clearly black person.”

The free-wheeling questions touched more than once on GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney calling Obama “Osama” recently as Obama was asked to describe the differences between himself and Osama bin Laden.

“Well you know Mitt Romneys’ been very confused about this. I have, a lot of trouble growing a beard, I don’t have a lot of facial hair. So I guess that’s a good place to start. He lives in a cave.”

35 Comments

Allow me to make a suggestion, Senator Obama....I survived the WTC attacks on 9.11 and enlisted in the Marines and fought in Iraq. When you lose the election to Rudy as the VP candidate, be a man, join the Marines (you will do well, by the way), learn how the world really works, and then you have my vote.


I remain, Semper Fidelis,

Mark Finelli, sole 9.11 WTC Survivor to enlist in the Marines and fight in Iraq....

This isn't anything different from what Obama said five years ago in his initial speech opposing the war.

From the speech:
"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. I don't oppose all wars. And I know that in this crowd today, there is no shortage of patriots, or of patriotism."

Allow me to make a suggestion, Senator Obama....I survived the WTC attacks on 9.11 and enlisted in the Marines and fought in Iraq. When you lose the election to Rudy as the VP candidate, be a man, join the Marines (you will do well, by the way), learn how the world really works, and then you have my vote.


I remain, Semper Fidelis,

Mark Finelli, sole 9.11 WTC Survivor to enlist in the Marines and fight in Iraq....

You mean you wouldn't sit in a classroom and read about a pet goat?

I don't think September 11th was preventable on our side of the question. As to any subsequent ones, the best thing he could do is remove us from Iraq and to refrain from being a neo-con idiot determined to reshape the world single-handedly.

They're really coming at this guy with all they've got. AND HE'S TAKING THEM ON! SENATOR BARACK OBAMA...FINALLY A GROWN-UP IN THE WHITEHOUSE.


Obama has a very big problem....
Its simply that he's too smart, too honest, a man who isnt
corrupted 'yet' and might just be too good for America.
Look around.. Look at the hell this country has become.. the lies,
hypocracy's and manipulation of so much of the truth. He has
little chance against all that.. and the american people will
get exactly what they deserve. Again.

I KNEW IT WAS A MATTER OF TIME THAT ROMNEY WOULD BEGIN THE PERSONAL ATTACKS. HE BEING A MORMON, (THEY HAVE HAD AN ANTI BLACK RACIST POLICY), He HAS DEMONSTRATED HOW HE CARRIES ON THE RACIST MENTALITY OF HIS RELIGION. HE CLEARLY WOULDN'T BE A PRESIDENT FOR ALL AMERICANS.

CALLING SEN OBAMA "OSAMA" INTIMATES THAT THE SENATOR IS A PRO TERRORIST. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE BUT THERE IS THE INTENT BY ROMENY TO CALL IN TO QUESTION OBAMA'S LOYALTY. PERHAPS ROMNEY, BEING A MINORITY HIMSELF IS ABSENT MINDED OF THE SITAUTION HE CONFRONTS BY BEING A MORMON. THIS MAN IS DEFINETELY A REPUBLCAN
WHO USES THE PROCESS THAT HIS PARTY CONSTANTLY USES, THE POLITICS OF PERSONAL ATTACK.

I HAVE MET SEN OBAMA ON HIS CAMPAIGN TOUR. HE SAYS NOTING PERSONAL ABOUT ANY OPPONENT AND HAS HEAVILY ATTACKED THE RECORD OF PRESIDENT BUSH AND RIGHTLY SO, WITH PUBLIC EVIDENCE.

BASED ON THESE ACTIONS OF ROMNEYS, I WOULDNT BE OPEN TO EVEN HEARING HIS PLATFORM IF HE HAS ONE. i ONLY WISH HIS SLANDEROUS WORDS WERE NOT REPEATED IN TEH MEDIA.

Senator Obama is a rare breed. We have a once in a lifetime chance to change politcs for the better. It's our last hope.

I can't believe a GOP candidate would stoop to name calling, or worse, some kind of teasing based on the name a man was born with. How far can this process sink? The GOP must be scared of an Obama victory. If he can beat Hillary, there's no stopping him. We should all get behind this man and start taking a higher ground.

Considering Hillary will no longer put herself in front of question and answer sessions, I think that Obama wins in this forum no matter what is said. At least he is confident enough to hold these kinds of forums. Her avoidance reminds me of all of W's friendly audiences (that still happen to this day) and that she must have some data that doesn't gel with all the national polling that's taking place.

Considering Hillary will no longer put herself in front of question and answer sessions, I think that Obama wins in this forum no matter what is said. At least he is confident enough to hold these kinds of forums. Her avoidance reminds me of all of W's friendly audiences (that still happen to this day) and that she must have some data that doesn't gel with all the national polling that's taking place.

Obama says he would take up arms to prevent another 9/11. But would it not be easier for him to just ask the CIA not to hide the very information from the FBI criminal investigators that they could use to prevent another 9/11 attack. The CIA knew about Mihdhar and Hazmi for 21 months prior to 9/11, and even knew they would be found at the location of the next al Qaeda attack, as one CIA manager, Tom Wilshire, stated in email to his CTC managers on July 23, Cofer Black, and likely George Tenet, when he requested permission to transfer this information over to the FBI in that same email, and in mail he sent them on July 13, 2001. Yet Black and Tenet forbid him from sending this information to the FBI, the very information that the FBI could have used to prevent the attacks on 9/11. During this very same time period, Tenet and Black held extremely urgent meetings with Rice and Clark in the White House, on July 10, and Ashcroft and Rumsfeld a week later, meetings that described a huge al Qaeda attack that would kill thousands of Americans. So we know they knew about the attacks on 9/11 and even knew by withholding the information on Mihdhar and Hazmi from the FBI, thousands of Americans would perish. So Obama get real, just ask the CIA not to deliberately allow terrorists attacks that they know would kill thousands of Americans, and please, don't take up arms, you will just probably get the guy next to you killed. See www.eventson911.com for additional information about this.

I survived the WTC attacks on 9.11 and enlisted in the Marines and fought in Iraq.


Except that Iraq actually wasn't behind the blessed raids on New York and Washington

I respect our military for putting themselves in harm's way. However, Mark Finelli's comments are rediculous. How can you be proud, being a survivor of 9/11, invading a country that had nothing to do with that attack?

How can you justify spending what will be a Trillion dollars on that redicuous war instead of finding Osama? Don't defend what you do, just because you do it.

Obama is the most intelligent, open and honest candidate in this race.

I pray that Americans will see through all the BS flying out there and make the right choice for once.

And to Mark Finelli...good for you. I am sure with Sen. Obama as your Commander and Chief you and the mission of the US military will be better served on all fronts.

I am glad you would fight to defend your nation from foriegn enemies. Now tell us if you are equally willing to defend the constitution against domestic threats. Are you willing to defend teh civil liberties, freedoms, rights and protections of the people of the united states against all who threaten it? Give that some honest thought

Obama is so superior in every way to most candidates, this election cycle and previous cycles, that he might truly be too good for a lot of people to understand that he IS as good as those who believe in him think he is!! Study him if you are not impressed yet and if you open your mind you will see someone who can bring on the real change that is needed!

I am an independent, and will never vote Republican. After what I have witnessed over the past 6 years, it just turns my stomach. I am so distressed about where we are in our country today.

I thought I would vote for Hillary if nominated, and have been watching her actions closely. Although I have never disliked her, but to be honest, I JUST DO NOT TRUST HER! She seems very Repug-like to me.

If not Obama, then nobody! I believe in HOPE, and also that we ALL need to heal from what we have had to endure thus far.

How dumb do we think all our senators and congressman are..they know politics and they know 9/11 was an inside job! anyone who has a brain does. When will they all stop issuing the fera card...I'm sick of Giuliania doing it..he's the worst..then McCain...now Obama......they all pretend that there are really terrorists just waiting to invade us with their non existant armies terrorists...............please!!! sick of it! and Giuliani...stop saying "I was the one" so much....the only thing you were the one about was getting firefighters to hate you for not getting them the benefits for their medical problems after your (Giuliani's)beloved 9/11.

All you have to do to understand how invading Iraq has made us safe since 9.11 is read www.americassecretwar.com.

ITS THAT SIMPLE.


I remain, Semper Fidelis,

Mark Finelli, sole 9.11 WTC Survivor to enlist in the Marines and fight in Iraq....

www.myspace.com/draftfinelli

What a misleading title. Obama said much more than that. He spoke about Bush's initial response to the 9/11 attacks and spoke of his support for the war in Afghanistan. He assured the crowd of his ability to fight back against probable Republican dirty tactics and told them he was a tough fighter.

The header is just an attempt to make Obama sound as crazy as John McCain with his shooting-bin-Laden-in-hell comment.

Obamma and Hillary don't get it. The public cannot afford another war......Period. Financially the Iraq war has bankcrupted our country. I dont' care how republicans want to paint it, we are in a recession. If we have a war with Iran, aside from the fact we will be out numbered, we will have a full on depression. Fighting isn't the answer here, impeachment is the answer, cutting our ties to Israel is the answer, our dependance on oil from the middle east, those are answers. Both candidates deserve to lose as they are not putting the needs of the American people first. First is taking our troops out who have hit tilt, been maimed, left for dead, that is a first. First is affording healthcare that is socialized medicine for all, not just those who can afford it. When we begin to rob kids of the fundementals, something is badly wrong in our priorities. If they won't put us first, don't run, walk to the nearest exit and don't ask for my vote. You won't get it.

I am a long-term victim of 9/11/07, breathing down that filth the EPA said was clean air for the three months it took for debris to be cleared. I may not die next year, but those of us who lived within that mile to two mile radius downwind have been exposed just as much as those who were at the site. I don't know whether the WTC attacks were on inside job or a true terrorist attack. All I know is that any other previous President, even W's daddy, would have gone into Afghanistan the next day or soon after, instead of waiting so damn long. We have the greatest military machine ever assembled, don't we. I mean, it's where the majority of our tax dollars go, right? If our so-called experts knew it was Bin Laden and Al-Queda, and I remember the news footage aring within hours of the attacks stating it was, why in the hell did GW wait to attack? Oh, wait, was it to get the Bin Laden family assets secured or to get the Bin Laden family safely out of the country? The last time I toured the White House I thoght I saw Osama Bin Laden sleeping in Lincoln's bedroom. If this wasn't an inside screw job, it has become one, and you and me and the rest of this country are bending over for it. Guiliani was in the NYC crapper before 9/11 occurred. He married his cousin for chrissakes! He publicly announced he was going to investigate the strange financial going's on at the Fulton Fish Market and the next day in conveniently burned down. C'mon, he was once a Democrat! And if you remember Reagan, those are the worst kind of Republicans. Obama, you Republican idiots, OBAMA. Remember it. It's the changing face of America. Unless Al Gore runs.

@ Susan: "..and they know 9/11 was an inside job! anyone who has a brain does" - WHAT? There are so many holes in that conspiracy story that it isn't even funny. As for "pretending that there are terrorists", there ain't nothing to pretend about. Terrorists are real. Just like militiamen, bounty hunters, and guerrilla fighters. Just because it sounds like a Hollywood concept, doesn't mean that they don't exist.
As for their "non-existent armies", I definitely agree that the current Administration is keeping the American people in a perpetual state of panic and fear. It's very 1985-ish and only suits those who want to overextend the reach and power of the Executive. But to go the opposite route and say that terrorists are "pretend" and that they don't want to invade America is just plain naive. There are millions of people in this world who hate America. I'm putting forth no ideology of my own nor making any assumptions as to the ideologies of those who hate America - just pointing out that they do exist.
Just because the Bush Administration has used the "War on Terror" (which can never end, btw) to pursue their own agenda, we can't go the opposite path and claim that there are no terrorists. Both of these routes can only end in disaster.

Obama is "honest, smart, incorruptible", "our last great hope"? Get real, this guy is timid, placating, and sold out to AIPAC as is Hillary. He has no backbone to stand up to this corrupt administration, hold them accountable to the rule of law, and do the will of the American people. He follows the line of the timid Democratic party leaders and their corporate sponsors. When will he bring our troops home? Does he support bombing Iran when they have offered peaceful solutions? When will he restore our constitutional rights? Does he dare open the door to what really went down on 9/11, the elephant in the room no one will acknowledge?

Forget taking up arms, Barack.
Just stand up, put your hand over your heart whenever you hear the National Anthem, OK?
I mean, for crying out loud, is that too much to ask for of someone who wants to be president?
Hillary even did it! At least . . . . she put her hand where her heart would be . . . . .

Obama has a problem. Over 50% of the people in the United Sates were too stupid to see what an idiot George Bush was before they voted for him twice. He is counting on a majority of Americans to not be idiots. I think that will be tough for him.

How can Obama have the courage to fight when he has never showed courage even to vote on something contravercial in the Senate! (He escaped several important votes, then started to criticize others who did vote)

"'and they know 9/11 was an inside job! anyone who has a brain does" - WHAT? There are so many holes in that conspiracy story that it isn't even funny.'"

...in my experience, the only people who do not "believe" the 9/11 events were at least in part an "inside job" are those who have NOT examined the voluminous mountain of public record evidence - and NOT used common sense about means-motive-opportunity, as we would do for any crime ("crime" - which requires evidence and police work, was tellingly the one word almost never used in the mass media - which parroted the bush administration's "act of war" from minute one)...those who so offhandly mention the "many holes in that conspiracy theory" should check first the many holes in the government's Official Story conspiracy theory - since that's what it is, the conspiracy about 19 arabs (not one iraqi) armed with boxcutters (about half of whom have been interviewed since they died), who could hardly fly piper cubs, led by a deathly-ill fanatic from the remotest cave on earth, who succeeded in performing impossible jumbo-jet piloting, easily penetrating the Pentagon, toppling the towers in violation of simple physics, all while leaving no plane or passenger parts in at least the last two flights...when You've examined the evidence, calmly and coolly, and realize it's not the "conspiracy theory" You've been knee-jerkingly programmed to spout, but a common-sense conclusion that, whatever did happen, the government's conspiracy theory explanation is impossible - then come back and tell us about...the holes...

Check out this YouTube video of Obama
http://youtube.com/watch?v=1s-mEfhVELM

Evidently the closest Obama ever got to a fight was under the basket throwing elbows. Wow, what a guy!

to understand how invading Iraq has made us safe since 9.11


The point is that killing people over nonexistent WMD is wrong,
and your attempt to justify it by invoking the unrelated event of 9/11 is disgusting. Maybe you can't tell "Ay-rabs" apart,
but an operative involved in planning 9/11, and an Iraqi farmer are not the same person.

Mark, thank you for your service to our country. No matter how people feel about the justification of war, it is gratifying to know that there are people like you willing to stand in the gap between us and our enemies.

..the post on October 25, 2007 11:48 PM - it says it was posted by "Wendy"...but i was the one who posted it...what gives?...someone's mistake, or do we get fake names to protect us (my name is from Arabic)...?

ok i get it nevr mind beginner's error

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on October 25, 2007 10:43 AM.

Sweet column: Obama asks gay minister to open gospel show. Balancing act with black evangelicals, gays. Obama: "I want to make sure that we are communicating the inclusive nature of this campaign." was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet column: Obama/Clinton Iran dispute building. Memo war. (Memos at end) is the next entry in this blog.

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