Dick Gephardt on War & Peace
Democratic Representative (MO-3); Former Democratic Candidate for President
GEPHARDT: I will always do what I think is right to keep the people of this country safe. And I became convinced that taking that action was the best thing to keep the people of this country safe. I didn't [just] listen to George Bush. I went to the CIA. I said [to the CIA director], "I want to know if we're worried about weapons, or the components of weapons, or the ability to quickly make components that can wind up in the hands of terrorists." He said emphatically yes. And it was on the basis of that and talking to other people that had been in the Clinton administration in the security apparatus that this was a great worry.
Now, the president has not followed the right advice. He has not gotten the help of NATO or the UN. It's inexplicable to me that he has not done the things that I told him and many people told him from the beginning he should have done.
A: I think a two state solution is viable and I believe President Bush has made a mistake by not engaging in the Middle East peace process from the beginning of his presidency.
A: I supported the resolution because I gained information from the CIA and other former Clinton security officials that Iraq either had weapons or components of weapons of mass destruction. I have been severely critical of President Bush's inability or unwillingness to get more international UN help in Iraq. Getting that help is the only way we can succeed.
GEPHARDT: In the end you're presented in Congress with a vote, up or down on the $87 billion. And I can't find it within myself to not vote for the money to support our men and women who are over there protecting us. I agree with the view that this president has failed. He hasn't gotten us the international help we need. He hasn't gotten the troops and money that should have been there from the beginning. We've got differences in opinion about this war. But I think it's an abomination for this president to call people who disagree with him as lacking patriotism. I think the highest act of patriotism is saying what we believe.
GEPHARDT: I don't think you can negotiate with terrorists. If we're going to defeat terrorism, we've got to fight against poverty, we've got to fight against bad governance, and we've got to say to people that are supporting terrorists, "This behavior cannot stand."
GEPHARDT: We've got to get answers to very important questions. What's the money go for? Are we going to just pay for the rehabilitation of Iraq? And who's going to help? Bush still doesn't have the help. Bush is not leading on this issue. He needs to come to the Congress with answers to a lot of our questions before Congress can make that decision.
GEPHARDT: We need the help of the international coalition. It is incomprehensible to me that five months after the conflict ended, we still have not gotten any money from any other country. Bush's foreign policy is a miserable failure. We've got people over there being injured and killed. It's costing a billion dollars a week. He needs to get the help from the international coalition that he should have gotten months ago.
GEPHARDT: I am going to vote to support the troops. But for the rebuilding of Iraq, I want to see international help.
Q: So if the president says, "I need $87 billion to protect the troops," you're ready to say yes to that?
GEPHARDT: We've got to break it down. We've got to get the rebuilding help that we need and we've got to get appropriations for homeland security.
GEPHARDT: We cannot cut and run. We've got to see that this situation is left in a better place. We have to form an international coalition to get it done. This president is a miserable failure. This president doesn't get it. He's a unilateralist. He thinks he knows all the answers. He doesn't respect others. You got to respect other leaders. They didn't agree with us. You got to work with them, put together the coalitions that we need. That's what I would do.
Q: But you said we can't pull out now. So do we send more troops, or do we keep the ones that we have there?
GEPHARDT: No, we get help, we get the help that we should have gotten from the beginning. We go to the Turks, to the Chinese, the Russians, the French, the Germans and we work out a resolution consistent with all the traditions of the American military. We're not going to turn our troops over to UN command. We've done this in Bosnia and Afghanistan, we can do this.
A: I helped write the resolution language that said that Bush should go to the UN. Unfortunately, Bush's diplomatic efforts have been a dismal failure, and we did not get the UN to join us in the most important foreign policy effort our country has made in this new century. The US needs allies to rebuild Iraq - sadly, we have lost support from our friends. This is a failure of foreign policy and a failure of diplomacy that I intend to reverse.
A: I believe that Congress can and should serve a valuable role by leading an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the war. It is the role of Congress to ask questions and find the truth. Only when we have all the facts can we then decide how best to proceed.
To our enemies, we say with one voice, no act of violence, no threat will drive us apart or steer us from our course, to protect America and preserve our democracy. And make no mistake about it. We’re going to hunt you down and make you pay.
As Americans, we need to put partisanship aside and work together to solve the problems that face us. On the day after the attacks, I went to the Oval Office for a meeting with the president. I said, “Mr. President, we have to find a way to work together.” I said, “We have to trust you, and you have to trust us.” Since that day, there’s been no daylight between us in this war on terrorism. We’ve met almost every single week and built a bipartisan consensus that is helping America win this war.
In a close vote, the motion to invade passed. And immediately thereafter, we passed a unanimous resolution declaring that the Congress fully supported our troops in their mission to expel the Iraqis from Kuwait. I hate to think of the second guessing that would have resulted had the president launched an invasion without the consent of the Congress-particularly if the war had proven to be lengthy or unsuccessful.
Title: Condemning bigotry and violence against Sikh Americans in the wake of terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001.
Summary: Declares that, in the quest to identify, locate, and bring to justice the perpetrators and sponsors of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, the civil rights and liberties of all Americans, including Sikh-Americans, should be protected.
|Other candidates on War & Peace:||Dick Gephardt on other issues:|
George W. Bush
Third Party Candidates:
Carol Moseley Braun
|Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts|