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Archive for the ‘Kucinich (D)’ Category

Presidential candidates John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul respond to the War and Law League’s presidential questionnaire.

All presidential candidates were invited to respond.

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Statement: “The best and fastest way to end the war in Iraq is to adopt my plan which is embodied in H.R. 1234. It’s a plan to end the war in Iraq and it begins with an understanding that the insurgency in is being fueled by the United States occupation, and that once the United States declares its intentions to withdraw United States troops and close military bases, that’s the point at which we can engage the world community. We need to take a new direction in Iraq, and that direction is out…”

Click here to finish reading Kuchinch’s response

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Kucinich said for a candidate to say they would have opposed the war if they knew then what they know now, but then to vote now to keep funding the war – that lacks integrity. I have been a political leader of integrity.  I led the stand against the war from early on.  People want a president of vision.  You cannot send children to war and say ‘I believed the grounds for war were there.’ You have to know.  If someone was deceived by President Bush and voted for the Iraq war, does that show that that candidate has the judgment to be president?  If you continue to support the war after it’s been proven to have been started on false premises, does that recommend you as president?

My plan (Kucinich’s 12 point plan for peace in Iraq, see http://kucinich.us/iraqplan) evolved from conversations with people at the U.N., with members of the military, with diplomats.  I have given 200 speeches on the floor of Congress about Iraq, 50-60 speeches on Iran.

Our country must be a nation among nations, not a nation above nations.  We need to affirm human unity.  We have to recognize the imperative of abolishing war, the imperative of abolishing nuclear weapons.  We need to talk to Iran.  We need to talk to the Palestinians and the Israelis.  We need to advance a positive message.  Instead of “Stop the War,” the signs could read “Start Peace – Elect Kucinich.”

I proposed a Department of Peace two months before 9/11.  We need to advance the vision of King, the principles of Gandhi and King.  The January 2009 presidential inauguration could be a commencement, a transformation.  In the 2004 election I stayed in the race until the end of the campaign, to raise the message of peace.  Peace is practical.

Some believe war is inevitable.  But if we believe in peace, and set in place the structures for peace, that belief helps call forth that which we believe in.  As Shelley said in Prometheus Unbound, hope creates itself from its own wreckage.  Envisioning a world of non-violence is a precondition for bringing that world into being.  “All things are possible to she or he who believes.”

In 1999 in Congress, I sat with others beginning to discuss an attack on Serbia.  Clinton had given Milosevic a non-negotiable demand at Rambouillet.  I saw normally placid people, members of Congress, getting excited about the idea of war.  It was like watching a virus spread through a body of people.  The idea of war was taking hold of people’s psyches.

One hundred million people perished in war in the 20th Century, most of them civilians.  To understand this I began to read Margaret Mead.  Mead discounts aggression as innate.  Aggression is learned.  Aggression is socially constructed and culturally affirmed.  Suppose we could teach peace.  Benjamin Rush way back had the idea for a Department of Peace, to ‘expand the felicity of nations.’

I began looking at the roots of violence in domestic violence.  Experiences of child abuse are common.  There is a potential for this in each of us, but also the capacity for love.  We could start with our children and teach principles of peace, peer mediation, conflict resolution.  “Peace on Earth” is easy to advocate, but try practicing it in your own relationships.

In July of 2001, two months before 9/11, I proposed a cabinet level Department of Peace.  It was supported by 75 members of Congress and many community groups.  I will reintroduce this bill this week.  This sets a higher tone for our nation.  We could see the phenomenon of “entrainment,” where a lower vibration begins to follow higher vibrations.  In evolution there are leaps, this is the theory of punctuated equilibrium.  We are on the threshold of a new phase (of human evolution).  We could create the “beloved nation” and then create the “beloved world.”  We have the capacity to create a heaven on earth, so to speak.  Government can be an agent of transformation, of protection of the environment, of creating affordable housing . . . Government is a neutral vehicle.

I’m a practical politician.  I worked at the local level.  I know government can do good things.

Question:  Will you reduce weapons spending?

Answer:  I will lead a worldwide effort to eliminate nuclear weapons.  We could reduce the Pentagon budget by $60 billion a year, enough to fund universal pre-kindergarten programs for our children.  Right now we are building weapons for war in space, the so-called Vision 2020 program, to “control the ultimate high ground.”  We need to reinstate the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty tenets to end nuclear weapons.  I’d see the bioweapons treaty enforced.  I’d make sure that land mine and small weapons treaties were signed.  I’d have us rejoin the International Criminal Court and sign the Kyoto treaty (on global warming).

Question:  Will Congress use the power of the purse to stop escalation of the Iraq war?

Answer:  A year ago, the U.S. began to send special forces across the border into Iran.  Our government has sent 24-25 nuclear-tipped bunker busters to the region.  We have picked 1500 targets for bombing.  Bush has announced his intention to assassinate Iranians (who take certain actions).  The Administration is doing everything it can to create a provocation.

Iran in 2003 sent a message to the U.S. proposing a resolution of U.S.-Iranian differences, including the nuclear issues and Israeli issues.

The stage is being set for war (with Iran), in part to distract from the Iraq war.  U.S. policy has been malignant non-engagement and preparation for war.  If this President and Vice-President keep moving forward with plans to attack Iran, there will be constitutional consequences.

Congress appropriated $70 billion (for the Iraq war) in October 2006.  If the new supplemental appropriation goes through, that could mean as much as $230 billion appropriated for the Iraq war in one year.  It will mean an acceleration of the war.

I’ve met with ambassadors from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, Azerbaijan.  The Saudi ambassador said, ‘The U.S. makes a move, and we pay the consequences.’

Congress needs to say we are not going to fund this war.  There’s money in the system to bring the troops home.  That will cost perhaps $5 – 7 billion.

The occupation is fueling the insurgency.  We need to prepare an international security force to come in.  We need real reconstruction, not a Halliburton-style reconstruction.  We need a program of reparations to Iraq, that is our obligation.  There are 650,000 dead according to the Lancet study.  That’s the equivalent of 7 – 8 million dead in the U.S.

The Baker-Hamilton plan (the Iraq Study Group plan) is to change Iraqi oil laws to allow U.S. oil companies to get Iraqi oil.

It is just not credible to say you oppose the war and then vote to fund it (as other candidates have done).

New Hampshire can create the president you want.

<i>Note: exact date  unknown. It was late March.</i>

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Statement:  Kucinich was a co-sponsor of the Common Sense Budget Act, showing his commitment to reducing our nuclear weapons stockpile from ten thousand to one thousand weapons.

<i>Note: exact date is unknown</i>

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