Al Sharpton on War & Peace
Reverend; Civil Rights Activist; Democratic Candidate for President
How did we squander this opportunity to unite the world for democracy and to commit to a global fight against hunger and disease? We did it with a go-it-alone foreign policy based on flawed intelligence. We were told that we were going to Iraq because there were weapons of mass destruction. We’ve lost hundreds of soldiers. We’ve spent $200 billion dollars at a time when we had record state deficits. And when it became clear that there were no weapons, they changed the premise for the war and said: No, we went because of other reasons.
If I told you tonight, “Let’s leave the FleetCenter, we’re in danger,” and when you get outside, you ask me, Reverend Al, “What is the danger?” and I say, “It don’t matter. We just needed some fresh air,” I have misled you and we were misled.
A: First, I would immediately move to bring the troops home by appealing to Kofi Annan and the United Nations to convene as a world body to oversee, without United States control, the redevelopment and rebuilding of Iraq and would submit to that as a partner but not as a dominant force in terms of our contractors or in terms of military.
A: We must go back to the United Nations. I would say that Bush was wrong and that we are willing to submit to a multilateral redevelopment plan. That will set the tone for the world community to come in. The reluctance of the world community is that we insist they come in under our directives and under our coordination with our sweetheart deals in place. If we took a different attitude we would get a different result and take our troops out of harms way.
SHARPTON: Bush was wrong to go in, in the first place. To delay coming out is not going to make it right. We need to not get into another Vietnam, talking about withdrawing with honor. Mr. Bush put the honor of this nation aside when he deceived the public by putting us in harm’s way with no weapons of mass destruction.
SHARPTON: I would unequivocally vote no, because I think to continue to invest in a flawed and failed policy is not wise or prudent. It is really to try and chase bad investment with bad investment. The signal it would send the troops is that we really do love them. Real patriots don’t put troops in harm’s way on a flawed policy. We would send a signal that we’re not going to ask you to fight for health care for the children of our Iraq when you don’t have it for the children in South Carolina or New York. That’s the signal. That’s real patriotism.
SHARPTON: First of all, other attacks have taken place. But let us begin with what the Bush administration promised. They promised us bin Laden. We are almost at the second anniversary, where is bin Laden? George Bush has tried to distract us with other engagements. He has not gone after and successfully taken us out of harm’s way of the people that did this. And what they have attacked is the civil liberties of Americans. What has changed with the PATRIOT Act & the Anti-Terrorist Act is the liberties of Americans are now under attack, not the terrorists that did such a vicious and despicable act. [Let’s tell] George Bush, promises made were not kept. We still have bin Laden at large. Newsweek magazine can find him, video coverage can find him. But George Bush’s intelligence agencies can’t find him.
A: It’s a dangerous and traditionally un-American doctrine. We cannot pre-emptively attack Iraq using shaky intelligence by using “facts” and “an imminent threat theory” that was not convincing to most of the rest of the world. Within the framework of the UN, if an attack on the United States is imminent, we already have the right of preemptive self-defense under existing international law.
A: I have challenged the Bush administration-one of the most closed and secretive in our history-to explain the apparent discrepancies in its words and deeds. It said Iraq was an “imminent” threat to US national security. That appears not to have been the case. It said US intelligence “knew” that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons.
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GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader