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Ralph Nader on War & Peace

2008 Independent for for President; 2004 Reform nominee; 2000 Green nominee


Rapid and responsible withdrawal of US military from Iraq

Q: Briefly describe Nader's position on the following issue: Middle East Policy, including Iraq.

A: On Iraq, Ralph Nader supports the rapid and responsible withdrawal of US military forces, civilian military contractors, and US corporate interests fro Iraq. Ralph Nader has put a major focus of his time and energy into the Stop the War Campaign of Democracy Rising, which provides grassroots antiwar activists across the country with fact sheets, information, and tools they need to be effective.

Source: Green Party 2008 Presidential Candidate Questionnaire Feb 3, 2008

Stop saber rattling against Iran; start negotiating

Q: Briefly describe Nader's position on the following issue: Middle East Policy, including Iran.

A: Ralph Nader believes the US must stop saber rattling and take up Iran's serious proposal in 2003 to negotiate all outstanding issues between the US and Iran.

Source: Green Party 2008 Presidential Candidate Questionnaire Feb 3, 2008

Bush should never have invaded Iraq

Retired Army Maj. General Paul D. Eaton said the post-invasion effort in Iraq is about 60,000 troops short of what it needs for success and that the Army "is in terrible shape," lacking proper equipment and resources.

President Bush should never have invaded Iraq, but whenever troops are deployed they should be at levels which are necessary to protect the civilian population--an obligation military occupiers are required, under international law, to fulfill.

Source: Open letter by Ralph Nader and Kevin Zeese Nov 2, 2006

Responsible six-month withdrawal from Iraq occupation

We want to have a responsible six-month withdrawal of the US military and corporate occupation, and an internationally supervised election, so that the Iraqi people don't feel that they're facing a permanent military occupation and the control of their oil resources and of public government. If they feel that, the majority of the Iraqis are going to support the insurgency. They're not going to distance themselves from the insurgency.
Source: NPR, "Justice Talking" Dean-Nader Debate Jul 9, 2004

Impeach Bush & Cheney for 5 falsehoods on Iraq war

Manipulation or deliberate misuse of national security intelligence data, if proven, would be [an impeachable offense. Nader lists 5 such] falsehoods that led to the Iraq quagmire:
  1. Weapons of Mass Destruction:The weapons have still not been found. After spending nearly half a billion dollars searching, David Kay told Bush, "We were wrong."
  2. Iraq Ties to Al Qaeda: The White House made this claim even though the CIA and FBI repeatedly told the Administration that there was no tie
    Source: Press Release, "Iraq an Unconstitutional, Illegal War" Apr 13, 2004

    Bush is acting as a selected dictator

    The war in Iraq was developed from a messianic militaristic determination turned by a closed mind, facilitated by a cowering Congress and opposition Democrat Party and undeterred by a probing press. Bush is acting in effect as a selected dictator, [and is] not listening to any of the many retired admirals, generals and foreign-policy experts who have warned against the war.
    Source: Arab News, "Ralph Nader Says Bush Impeachable on Iraq War" Jul 13, 2003

    US oil companies & Bush Admin eye Iraqi oil

    National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice is a former director of Chevron. Bush took more than $1.8 million in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industries in the 2000 election. All told, 41 members of the administration had ties to the oil industry. US oil companies, banned from Iraq for more than a decade, would like nothing more than to control the production of Iraqi oil. With reserves of 112.5 billion barrels, Iraq sits on top of 11% of the world's oil.
    Source: In the Public Interest, "Ignoring the caution signs" Feb 14, 2003

    US deserves to know the influence of the oil industry

    The American people have a right to know what role the oil industry is playing in Bush's increasingly frenetic drive to war. The American people also have a right to know what was discussed in the numerous secret meetings Cheney's national energy task force held with oil and gas executives. Cheney has been adamantly secretive about these meetings, despite repeated attempts by Congress and public interest groups to learn what was discussed.
    Source: In the Public Interest, "Ignoring the caution signs" Feb 14, 2003

    Americans don't believe in Bush on Iraq

    In spite of polls (as well opinions expressed by military experts, like retired General Anthony Zinni) showing that a large majority of the American people do not believe that Bush has made the case that Iraq threatens the US nor do they want him to commit our troops unilaterally, Bush is willing to spend at least $150 billion and incur casualties pursuing this obsession while ignoring life-saving needs in our country.
    Source: In the Public Interest, "Overspending on the Military" Jan 17, 2003

    Palestinian statehood and security for Israel

    Nader weighed in on the escalating tensions between the Israelis & the Palestinians. Due to his Lebanese ancestry, Nader had been dogged by occasional charges of anti-Semitism throughout his career, with whispers that Nader had an innate Arab bias. Never mind that his forbears were Lebanese Christians, a group historically persecuted by Muslims. Furthermore, Nader's campaign position was thoroughly plain vanilla: "It's very simple. Palestinian statehood and security for Israel. Those are the two pivots."
    Source: Nader: Crusader, Spoiler, Icon, by Justin Martin, p.253 Sep 1, 2002

    Afghanistan: Bush burned down haystack to find needle

    Taking issue with the war in Afghanistan, Nader said, "Bush burned down a haystack to try to find a couple of needles. He didn't find the needles, but there have been 1000s of innocent deaths." Nader says he would have organized a modest multinational force and sent them into Afghanistan to arrest Osama bin Laden, a kind of police raid. Then he would have tried him at The Hague. "Sept. 11 was an international crime, a massacre," Nader said in 2002. "We should have gone forward with international law."
    Source: Nader: Crusader, Spoiler, Icon, by Justin Martin, p.278 Sep 1, 2002

    Wage peace and anticipate conflicts abroad

    When to use American military power abroad? His would be a foreign policy that focused more energetically on preventing war, said Nader: “We’re not waging peace with rigorous energy, mediation, anticipating conflicts abroad.”
    Source: Scot Lehigh, Boston Globe, page D1 Oct 8, 2000

    Should have anticipated Yugoslav breakup by “waging peace”

    Q: Your views on the Balkans and the bombing of Serbia?

    A: Our foreign policy is often too little too late, and then too brutal. Everyone could foresee Yugoslavia deteriorating after Tito. We need a policy of “waging peace” to anticipate problems. And we need a multilateral “peace force” ready to go.

    Q: UN or NATO-US or what?

    A: With heavy regional content depending on which continent.

    Source: National Public Radio, “The Connection” Jul 11, 2000

    Forget “hot spots”; ask “How did we get into this?”

    What’s really amazing is that any discussion of foreign policy is usually about current hot spots, instead of asking, how did we get into this situation in the first place? What could we have done to avoid it? For example, how many years did we prop up the dictatorship of the former Belgian Congo? Now look how it’s all falling apart over there, right? Well, we had no preventive diplomacy, no preventive defense. It’s always, who’s in charge, and, go out and support then as long as they’re anticommunist.
    Source: VoteNader.com: A Conversation with Robert Kuttner Jun 25, 2000

    Iraq: Trade sanctions strengthen Saddam

    On trade sanctions against Iraq: “The way a dictator gets power is by convincing the people there is an enemy [as US trade sanctions have helped him do]. If Saddam Hussein were in charge of American foreign policy towards Iraq, he would do exactly the same thing as we have.”
    Source: Campaign Speech, Hartford Public Library, Hartford CT May 16, 2000

    Bosnia: Force acceptable to help against mass slaughter

    Q: Foreign policy, the Middle East, Bosnia: your general view in that area?

    A: Well I think when there’s mass slaughter going on or about to go on, as in some countries, there should be a multinational expeditionary force to help those people. Burundi is an example.

    And second, I think we should be very careful about getting into foreign difficulties, because we’re protecting big business, investments like oil in the Persian Gulf, which led us into that whole morass to begin with.

    Source: Interview on “Larry King Live” Oct 6, 1996

    Other candidates on War & Peace: Ralph Nader on other issues:
    Nominees:
    GOP: Sen.John McCain
    Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
    Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

    GOP V.P. Possibilities:
    Gov.Haley Barbour(MS)
    Gov.Charlie Crist(FL)
    Mayor Rudy Giuliani(NYC)
    Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
    Sen.Joe Lieberman(CT)
    Gov.Tim Pawlenty(MN)
    Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
    Gov.Mark Sanford(SC)

    Third Parties:
    Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
    Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
    Libertarian: Sen.Mike Gravel
    Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
    Liberation: Gloria La Riva
    Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
    Socialist: Brian Moore
    Independent: Ralph Nader
    Libertarian: Rep.Ron Paul
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    Page last updated: Oct 01, 2008