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Al Sharpton on War & Peace

Reverend; Civil Rights Activist; Democratic Candidate for President


Bush misled us on Iraq

We went from unprecedented international support and solidarity on September 12, 2001, to hostility and hatred as we stand here tonight. We can’t survive in the world by ourselves.

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.

Source: Speech to the Democratic National Convention Jul 29, 2004

The premise for the Iraqi war was changed after our losses

How did we squander the opportunity to unite the world for democracy & to commit to a global fight against hunger & disease? We did it with a go-it-alone foreign policy based on flawed intelligence. We were told 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.
Source: Primetime speech to the Democratic National Convention Jul 28, 2004

Day 1: Bring the troops home

Q: After the inauguration, what would be your first action as president?

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.

Source: Associated Press policy Q&A, “DAY 1” Jan 25, 2004

UN-based multilateral redevelopment plan for Iraq

Q: What is your Iraq exit strategy?

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.

Source: Concord Monitor / WashingtonPost.com on-line Q&A Nov 5, 2003

Bush wrong to wage war in Iraq-bring troops home now

Q: You said it was time to bring the US troops home right now. Would that not be an admission of defeat, and would it not throw Iraq into chaos?

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.

Source: Democratic Presidential 2004 Primary Debate in Detroit Oct 27, 2003

No on $87B for Iraq-don’t chase bad investment with more

Q: [Bush has asked for] $87 billion for the ongoing war on terrorism. Your vote, yes or no, and if no, what signal would you send to the troops who are there today?

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.

Source: Debate at Pace University in Lower Manhattan Sep 25, 2003

Bush has failed at promised task of capturing bin Laden

Q: It’s now been two years since the September 11th attacks on America. No other attacks have taken place. Is this proof that the Bush administration policies have been effective?

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.

Source: Congressional Black Caucus Institute debate Sep 9, 2003

Bush has still not presented evidence for Iraq war

This president sent the secretary of state to the UN with alleged evidence of imminent danger. We are now several months after he says the war is over and we have not seen any of that evidence. And members of Congress should have asked him before they gave him entrance what the exit was. As president, I would become involved only if there were American lives at stake. I would not run around trying to be the world’s bully.
Source: Congressional Black Caucus Institute debate Sep 9, 2003

Bush doctrine is dangerous and un-American

Q: Will you repeal Bush’s pre-emptive war doctrine?

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.

Source: MoveOn.org interview Jun 17, 2003

Challenge Bush on the war on Iraq

Q: How will you demand the truth and an end to this conspiracy of deceit of Bush on the war?

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.

Source: MoveOn.org interview Jun 17, 2003

Bush’s unilateral foreign policy is short-sighted

Bush’s imperialistic go-it-alone military-oriented foreign policy is shortsighted, unworkable & will be too costly -- in money, lives, good will, & sound international relations. A U.N.-ignored, but U.S.-led, pre-emptive policy of invasion in Iraq has weakened the United Nations, the structures of collective security & international law.
Source: Interview with TheState.com May 2, 2003

Focus on 50 states we already occupy before occupying Iraq

The problem I have with the occupation of Iraq is if we’re going to spend billions of dollars in the occupation of Iraq, we have 50 states we occupy that all have state deficits.
Source: Interview on FOX Apr 16, 2003

Bush failed to find WMD, Hussein, Bin Laden

I don’t know where bin Laden is, I don’t know where Hussein is, and I still don’t know where all of these weapons of mass destruction are -- I’m going to put George Bush in the Bureau of Missing Persons because he keeps missing everything he goes after.
Source: Interview on FOX Apr 16, 2003

Would work with allies to avoid war

I would work with the Security Council. I would work with allies. I would not be telling Americans let’s get ready for war, I’ll be warning reporters and families and others to get out of Iraq, but, at the same time, I’m going to engage in dialogue in North Korea.
Source: Interview on FOX Mar 6, 2003

Would go after those who attacked us, not Hussein

I don’t know of anyone that thinks Saddam Hussein is a great head of state. I think that we have to establish what is meant when we say that he is an imminent danger to the United States that would warrant military action. My priority as president would be to capture bin Laden and al-Qaida who has already attacked us.
Source: Interview on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer Mar 4, 2003

Other candidates on War & Peace: Al Sharpton on other issues:
Nominees:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

Third Parties:
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
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Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010