Tuesday, August 24, 2004

TUESDAY COUNTDOWN TO THE ELECTION: THE IRAQ WAR

Every Tuesday from now until the election we will focus on a different issue of importance in the Nader/Camejo Campaign. This Week's Issue Is: THE IRAQ WAR.

To remind readers of what they know too well, Nader/Camejo points out the five falsehoods that have led to the Iraq War:

1. Weapons of Mass Destruction. The weapons have still not been found. Nader emphasized, "Until the 1991 Gulf War, Saddam Hussein was our government's anti-communist ally in the Middle East. We also used him to keep Iran at bay. In so doing, in the 1980s under Reagan and the first Bush, corporations were licensed by the Department of Commerce to export the materials for chemical and biological weapons that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney later accused him of having." Those weapons were destroyed after the Gulf War. President Bush's favorite chief weapons inspector, David Kay, after returning from Iraq and leading a large team of inspectors and spending nearly half a billion dollars told the president :We were wrong." See: David Kay testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee, January 28, 2004.

2. Iraq Ties to Al Qaeda-9/11. The White House made this claim even though the CIA and FBI repeatedly told the Administration that there was no tie between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. They were mortal enemies - one secular, the other fundamentalist.

3. Saddam Hussein was a Threat to the United States. In fact, Saddam was a tottering dictator, with an antiquated, fractured army of low morale and with Kurdish enemies in Northern Iraq and Shiite adversaries in the South of Iraq. He did not even control the air space over most of Iraq.

4. Saddam Hussein was a Threat to his Neighbors: In fact, Iraq was surrounded by countries with far superior military forces. Turkey, Iran and Israel were all capable of obliterating any aggressive move by the Iraqi dictator.

5. The Liberation of the Iraqi People. There are brutal dictators throughout the world, many supported over the years by Washington, whose people need "liberation " from their leaders. This is not a persuasive argument since for Iraq, it's about oil. In fact, the occupation of Iraq by the United States is a magnet for increasing violence, anarchy and insurrection.

The campaigns of George Bush and John Kerry will continue to ignore the Iraq issue because both George Bush and John Kerry support the illegal and unconstitutional invasion. The Nader/Camejo campaign is the only one calling for an immediate withdraw of all US Troops and corporations and has a plan to facilitate such an exit strategy.

For those Democrats fond of the "lesser of two evils" propaganda, we do well to recall that John Kerry has told The WallStreet Journal that he will keep troops in Iraq longer than President Bush will and that he will put more troops there than the President has. Apparently, when Senators Kerry and Edwards voted for the war, their plan was "if troops are killed, they are replaceable."

And as though Kerry were not already as destructive as George W. Bush, he recently confessed he would still vote for the war, even today, knowing what we do now, namely that Iraq had no Weapons of Mass Destruction. Kerry wishes to distance himself as far as possible from the peace movement without having to loose their vote. But those who favor peace should realize that Kerry does not favor them.

"It becomes more difficult every day to know what John Kerry stands for. At the Democratic Convention he said he would not send troops to war unless absolutely necessary; now he says he would have authorized troops for Iraq, despite what we now know. Prior to the Convention, Kerry said he would keep troops in Iraq throughout his first term in the presidency; last week he said he would reduce them in the first six months?then his aides clarified his statement and said reduction was 'a best case target,'" Ralph Nader has responded.

Forty years ago there was a Peace Revolution among American Students. Where has this Revolution gone? Even when the students protested, there was still a draft, still years of war, and still civil discord for generations. Today, when students refuse to speak out, refuse to become active in the peace movement, do they honestly expect to avoid another draft, another war? While John Kerry has attacked President Bush, many people are failing to realize that he is not providing an alternative. Students who oppose the war and oppose the draft should not let themselves be treated like sheep by the pro-war candidates, but instead should declare their political independance in the Ralph Nader Campaign.

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