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Al Gore on Iraq :: May 28, 2004: 11:39 AM

I got this emailed to me from moveon.org yesterday. The bit in
parentheses is mine.

Yesterday, we sponsored a powerful speech by former Vice President Al Gore (you know the guy the American people elected President 4 years ago...) on the fallout from the war in Iraq. In the speech, Mr. Gore took on the Bush administration, arguing that the "abuse of the prisoners at Abu Ghraib flowed directly from the abuse of the truth that characterized the Administration's march to war and the abuse of the trust that had been placed in President Bush by the American people in the aftermath of September 11th." To sustained applause, he then called for the architects of the Bush foreign policy Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, George Tenet, Paul Wolfowitz, and others -- to resign, arguing that "the current team is making things worse with each passing day."

You can read a full transcript of the speech and watch a great five-minute video of the highlights at: http://www.moveonpac.org/gore/

Mr. Gore began the speech by focusing on the policy of domination which pervades the Bush Administration:

"An American policy of dominance is as repugnant to the rest of the world as the ugly dominance of the helpless, naked Iraqi prisoners has been to the American people. Dominance is as dominance does."

"Dominance is not really a strategic policy or political philosophy at all. It is a seductive illusion that tempts the powerful to satiate their hunger for more power still by striking a Faustian bargain. And as always happens -- sooner or later -- to those who shake hands with the devil, they find out too late that whatthey have given up in the bargain is their soul."

This policy, he explained, is making us less safe as a country:

"The unpleasant truth is that President Bush's utter incompetence has made the world a far more dangerous place and dramatically increased the threat of terrorism against the United States. Just yesterday, the International Institute of Strategic Studies reported that the Iraq conflict " has arguable focused the energies and resources of Al Qaeda and its followers while diluting those of the global counterterrorism coalition." The ISS said that in the wake of the war in Iraq Al Qaeda now has more than 18,000 potential terrorists scattered around the world and the war in Iraq is swelling its ranks."

To sustained applause, he then called for the resignation of the Bush foreign policy team:

"One of the strengths of democracy is the ability of the people to regularly demand changes in leadership and to fire a failing leader and hire a new one with the promise of hopeful change. That is the real solution to America's quagmire in Iraq. But, I am keenly aware that we have seven months and twenty five days remaining in this president's current term of office and that represents a time of dangerous vulnerability for our country because of the demonstrated incompetence and recklessness of the current administration."

"It is therefore essential that even as we focus on the fateful choice, the voters must make this November that we simultaneously search for ways to sharply reduce the extraordinary danger that we face with the current leadership team in place. It is for that reason that I am calling today for Republicans as well as Democrats to join me in asking for the immediate resignations of those immediately below George Bush and Dick Cheney who are most responsible for creating the catastrophe that we are facing in Iraq."

"We desperately need a national security team with at least minimal competence because the current team is making things worse with each passing day. They are endangering the lives of our soldiers, and sharply increasing the danger faced by American citizens everywhere in the world, including here at home. They are enraging hundreds of millions of people and embittering an entire generation of anti-Americans whose rage is already near the boiling point."

"We simply cannot afford to further increase the risk to our country with more blunders by this team. Donald Rumsfeld, as the chief
architect of the war plan, should resign today. His deputies Paul
Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith and his intelligence chief Stephen Cambone
should also resign. The nation is especially at risk every single day
that Rumsfeld remains as Secretary of Defense. Condoleezza Rice, who
has badly mishandled the coordination of national security policy,
should also resign immediately."

And, at the end, he called for us to hold Bush accountable in

"I want to speak on behalf of those Americans who feel that President
Bush has betrayed our nation's trust, those who are horrified at what
has been done in our name, and all those who want the rest of the world
to know that we Americans see the abuses that occurred in the prisons
of Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo and secret locations as yet
undisclosed as completely out of keeping with the character and basic
nature of the American people and at odds with the principles on which
America stands."

...and I say Yay!



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