Published on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 by CommonDreams.org
Arrogance of Power
Today, I Weep for my Country...
by US Senator Robert Byrd
Speech delivered on the floor of the US Senate
March 19, 2003 3:45pm
I believe in this beautiful country. I have studied its roots and gloried in the wisdom of its
magnificent Constitution. I have marveled at the wisdom of its founders and framers. Generation
after generation of Americans has understood the lofty ideals that underlie our great Republic. I
have been inspired by the story of their sacrifice and their strength.
But, today I weep for my country. I have watched the events of recent months with a heavy,
heavy heart. No more is the image of America one of strong, yet benevolent peacekeeper. The
image of America has changed. Around the globe, our friends mistrust us, our word is disputed,
our intentions are questioned.
Instead of reasoning with those with whom we disagree, we demand obedience or threaten
recrimination. Instead of isolating Saddam Hussein, we seem to have isolated ourselves. We
proclaim a new doctrine of preemption which is understood by few and feared by many. We say
that the United States has the right to turn its firepower on any corner of the globe which might be
suspect in the war on terrorism. We assert that right without the sanction of any international
body. As a result, the world has become a much more dangerous place.
We flaunt our superpower status with arrogance. We treat UN Security Council members like
ingrates who offend our princely dignity by lifting their heads from the carpet. Valuable alliances
After war has ended, the United States will have to rebuild much more than the country of Iraq.
We will have to rebuild America's image around the globe.
The case this Administration tries to make to justify its fixation with war is tainted by charges of
falsified documents and circumstantial evidence. We cannot convince the world of the necessity