|This documentation appears in the December 12, 2003 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Where They Stand
The following is the first of a series of documentary comparisons of the views of the 2004 Democratic Presidential contenders. The topics are those raised by Lyndon LaRouche's candidacy since Jan. 1, 2001, and therefore we place him first. The other candidates are listed, by topic, in the order of the number of their itemized campaign contributions. (LaRouche is number two by this count.) Future installments will deal with other foreign policy matters, economic policy, and related issues. [See also Part 2, "The Collapse of the World Economic System, and What To Do About It," Part 3, "Military Policy: Defense of the Nation in a Time of Global Economic Crisis," Part 4: "Threat of Police-State Rule by `Emergency Decree," Part 5: "How to Reverse the Infrastructure Breakdown and Restore the Economy," and Part 6: "The Middle East Crisis: What the President Must Do."]
1. Cheney's Strategic
Policies and Iraq War
A. Cheney's Neo-Conservative War Policy
Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
LaRouche warned at the outset of the Bush Administration, of the danger of thosein the circle of Dick Cheney, John Ashcroft and otherswhose reaction to the worsening economic/financial crisis, would be for rule-by-emergency as a pretext for war and repression; namely, fascism. He repeated those warnings, in particular at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001 attack, and to the point of calling for the resignation of Vice President Dick Cheney in September 2002.
"Reichstag Fire" warning, Jan. 3, 2001 webcast:
"If the Bush team occupies the Presidency, and sticks to the policies which it has stated it's firmly committed to, the United States will very soon be destroyed as a nation; not years down the line, but perhaps in a very short period of time....
"We are not only in the worst financial crisis in modern history, the biggest one; we're also in, globally, a potential global economic breakdown crisisthat is, something qualitatively worse than a depression....
"If the Democrats in the Congress capitulate to the Ashcroft nomination, the Congress is finished.
"This is pretty much like the same thing that Germany did, on Feb. 28, 1933, when the famous Notverordnung [emergency rule] was established....
"Everyone said, no, Hitler's not going to make it, because the majority of the population is against him. Then, on Feb. 28, 1933, the Notverordnung act was passed, on the pretext of the Reichstag Fire. And this established a dictatorship, which Germany did not get rid of until 1945.
"Now, I'm not suggesting that the case of Ashcroft is comparable to the Reichstag Fire. But, it's a provocation, a deliberate provocation. And if the Democratic Party and decent Republicans do not combine to throw that nomination back in the face of the nominator, this Congress isn't worth anything. That is, because it will have surrendered its dignity....
"What you're going to get, with a frustrated Bush Administration, if it's determined to prevent itself from being opposed, its will, you're going to get crisis management. Where members of the special warfare types, of the secret government, the secret police teams, will set off provocations, which will be used to bring about dictatorial powers and emotion, in the name of crisis management.
"You will have small wars set off in various parts of the world, which the Bush administration will respond to, with crisis management methods of provocation. That's what you'll get....
Response to Sept. 11, 2001 attacks:
LaRouche was the only one of the Presidential candidates who was being interviewed even as the terrorist events were ongoing on Sept. 11, 2001. Speaking on a live radio talk show in Salt Lake City, Utah, LaRouche said:
"First of all, the first suspicion that's going to be on this is Osama bin Laden. That name is going to come up prominently, whether as suspicionor just suspicion.... So, now you can blame Osama bin Laden. At some point, you go in and kill him, and you say the problem was solved. But you never considered who sent, who created Osama bin Laden, and who protected him, and deployed his forces and name for these purposes.... Somebody wants this thing to go out of control. That's why they're doing this. This is not an attack; this is a provocation. It's a provocation with an intention behind it. To create a programmed reaction from the institutions of the United States. This is not some dumb guy with a turban some place in the world, trying to get revenge for what's going on in the Middle East. This is something different."
On Sept. 20, 2002, following the White House release of its draft declaration of war on Iraq, and the document "The National Security Strategy of the United States," LaRouche pointed to fraud, and called for the resignation of Vice President Dick Cheney. LaRouche wrote ("Iraq Is a Fuse, But Cheney Built the Bomb"):
"The following three, crucial sets of facts concerning these two wretched documents are most notable.
"Fact #1: The existing proof is, that neither of these two documents has been prompted in any way by factually defined, recent developments within the Iraq-controlled portions of the area within that nation's borders, nor the fraudulent claim by the Administration, that the U.S. 'war on terrorism' is a reaction to the attacks on the U.S.A. by any of the nations or organizations fingered as 'rogue states,' since Sept. 20, 2001.
"The fact is, that the policies contained within those two fraudulent documents, were first surfaced during Spring 1990, as emissions of a task force directed by then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, a task force then headed by Paul Wolfowitz, Lewis Libby, and Eric Edelman. Although unsuccessful until now, they represent the persisting, mad obsession of Dick Cheney and his Chicken-hawk accomplices over the course of no less than the past dozen years.
"Fact #2: The evidence since 1992 is, that the policy uttered in those documents, is not a reflection of 2001-2002 developments, but is merely but another of many rewarmings of the previously failed work product embodied in a September 2000 revival of the previously suppressed Cheney doctrine of 1990. This was a policy of Vice Presidential candidate Dick Cheney, designed as a global strategic doctrine intended to govern the foreign policy of a 2001-2005 Bush Administration.
"Fact #3: This doctrine, pushed repeatedly by Cheney and his Chicken-hawk accomplices since 1990, had no notable success in securing adoption until the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Although no actual proof of the authorship of the Sept. 11, 2001 physical attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., has been presented by any government, without those attacks, the previously unsuccessful policies of Cheney and his Sharon-allied Chicken-hawks could not have been brought forth as the two new Bush Administration doctrines now. Solely as a result of the psychological impact of Sept. 11, 2001, Cheney, his Chicken-hawks, and Ariel Sharon, are now being given the war they have desired so passionately, so obsessively, over a dozen years to date.
"In summary, Vice President Dick Cheney's recurring wet dreams of a U.S. worldwide Roman Empire are, in and of themselves, the world's greatest single threat to the continuation of civilization in any part of this planet today. These facts demand that Cheney's prompt resignation be sought, and accepted."
On June 7, 2003, Lyndon LaRouche demanded a full investigation of Vice President Cheney. The campaign release stated, "The charges against Cheney are centered on the fact that the Vice President repeatedly used documents, allegedly from the government of Niger, purporting to show Iraqi government efforts to purchase large quantities of uranium precursor 'yellow cake' from that African nation, long after he learned that the documents were forged.
"On June 2, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee, sent a letter to President George W. Bush, demanding a full explanation from the Administration, as to why senior Bush Administration officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and the President himself 'cited forged evidence about Iraq's attempts to obtain nuclear materials.'
"LaRouche said, 'Let there be no mistake about it. The nature of these charges constitute hard grounds for impeachment. The question has to be taken head on. It is time for Dick Cheney to come clean. I want to know exactly what Dick Cheney knew and when he knew it. The charges are grave and specific and leave no wiggle room. Determining who knew what and when is, at this time, an urgent matter of national security.' "
Concerning the $87 billion Administration supplemental budget for Iraq, LaRouche has characterized it as "the Halliburton Relief Act."
On July 6, 2003, four days after LaRouche's July 2, 2003 international webcast again demanded Cheney's ouster, former Amb. Joe Wilson went public with the story that he had been sent to Niger, at Cheney's insistence, to investigate the "yellow cake" allegations against Iraq, and found no basis for the charges. With the appearance of that "smoking gun," the stench of Watergate was in the air, and remains so to this day.
Over 2003, the Dean campaign and website compiled a list of what were called ""Howard Dean's Sixteen Questions"the number chosen to reflect the "16 words" referencing supposed Niger uranium supplies to Iraq, which were inserted into President Bush's January 2003 State of the Union Address. Dean blames the "White House": "If you can't or won't answer these 16 questions, Mr. President, I call on the Republicans in Congress to stop blocking efforts to create an independent, bipartisan committee to investigate what is a matter of the highest importance: whether your decision to go to war was sound and just."
Some of the "Dean Sixteen" questions:
"13. Mr. President, we need to know why you said on May 1, 2003, that the war was over, when U.S. troops have fought and one or two have died nearly every day since then and your generals have admitted that we are fighting a guerrilla war in Iraq. (Abizaid, Gen. John, 7/16/2003)...
"15. Mr. President, we need to know what you were referring to in Poland on May 30, 2003, when you said, "for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong. We found them." (The Washington Post, Mike Allen, 5/31/2003)"
Dean's website cites his speech to the Council on Foreign relations on June 25, 2003, in which he said:
"Last October, four of the major contenders for the Democratic nomination supported the President's pre-emptive strike resolution five months before we went to war without, as we now realize, knowing the facts.
"I stood up against this administration and even when 70% of the American people supported the war, I believed that the evidence was not there and I refused to change my view. As it turned out, I was right. No Democrat can beat George Bush without the same willingness that John F. Kennedy showed in 1962. A President must be tough, patient, and willing to take a course of action based on evidence, and not ideology..
"I question the judgment of those who led us into this conflictthis unfinished conflict that has made us, on balance, not more secure, but less. Although we may have won the war, we are failing to win the peace."
The website said he did not "back away" from this position after the war began. But the Washington Post quoted him on March 21, 2003: It "calls for a change in how you campaign. I'm going to say what I think ... but I am going to support the troops and then I'm going to campaign without criticizing the President by name."
Senator Kerry's campaign has been characterized by what LaRouche called a "Hamlet-like" wavering on the vital issue of Cheney's neo-conservative war policy.
At first, he supported the war, and in Fall 2002, he voted for the Senate resolution authorizing military force in Iraq.
Then on March 12, 2003, Kerry, at his Boston campaign kickoff, called the Bush Administration's handling of Iraq, "the weakest diplomacy in our history." He said then, that that war was still avoidable: "I believe a great nation like ours should only go to war as a matter of last resort....
"We voted to go to the UN in order to avoid war, if possible, not to permit it. We voted to go to the UN as the best hope of holding the administration responsible. I still believe there is time to hold them responsible and do this right."
In a stump speech in Lebanon, N.H. on June 18, 2003, Kerry charged that President Bush had "misled" the American people around the Iraq war, saying that Bush broke his promises to build an international coalition against Saddam Hussein, and then waged the war based on questionable intelligence. Kerry cited two pieces of dubious intelligence: the claim that Iraq sought to purchase nuclear material from Africa (referring to Niger), and the claim that Iraq had aerial weapons capable of attacking the United States with biological agents. Kerry said that there should be a Congressional investigation, because it was not clear whether Bush acted on poor, distorted, or politicized intelligence.
In a July 13, 2003 CNN interview, Kerry said that he did not consider that the Iraq intelligence question had been settled by making Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet the fall guy. While noting that some people wanted war with Iran, Syria, North Korea, he did not name names. He said that he had voted for war with Iraq expecting that the Bush Administration would not act unilaterally, but seek support from Russia, Germany, and France.
On Sept. 29, 2003, Kerry called for the creation of a special counsel to investigate the Administration's actions concerning Amb. Joseph Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame. Kerry said, "This is more than another example of politics driving the Bush Administration. The bottom line is that outing a CIA agent endangers lives, threatens national security, and breaks faith with those who put their lives on the line to protect this county.... This investigation should be immediately removed from the politics of the Department of Justice. Too many serious questions exist to risk allowing any potential for political intervention. The track record of John Ashcroft and this Justice Department do not adequately assure Americans that legitimate questions will be answered fully without any political bias. A special counsel should be appointed immediately so that we can find out how George Bush let this happen and hold those responsible accountable."
Response to 9/11: On Sept. 14, 2001, as a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Edwards proposed the Airport and Seaport Terrorism Prevention Act to improve security.
Buildup for war: Edwards supported the Senate resolution authorizing military force against Iraq in Fall 2002.
Cheney's role: On Sept. 30, 2003, Edwards called on Bush to crack down on former administration officials lobbying for sweetheart government contracts and proposed a new independent panel to oversee the nearly $20 billion in funds to rebuild Iraq. "Vice President Cheney's Halliburton receives more than $2 billion in Iraq reconstruction contracts," he said, and Bush's campaign manager, Joe Allbaugh, has started his own consulting firm to profit from the war in Iraq.
Senator Lieberman (R.I.) is the leading Democratic spokesman in the Senate for the Cheney neo-conservative war policy.
In 1998, according to his campaign website, "he and Sen. John McCain cosponsored the Iraqi Liberation Act, whichwhen signed by President Clintonmade a change of regime in Baghdad official United States policy and provided assistance to forces within Iraq seeking to depose Saddam's brutal dictatorship."
Response to 9/11: On Oct. 11, 2001, Lieberman and Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) jointly proposed the creation of a Cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security.
Buildup for war: In 2002, Lieberman was the lead Senate sponsor of the resolution giving the President the authority to use military force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam.
On Jan. 13, 2003, in Stamford, Conn.: "I felt from the end of the Gulf war that the U.S. made a mistake in not going to Baghdad and taking out Saddam Hussein while his military was in disarray." He added that, since 9/11, he has fully supported what President Bush has done, up until now, but that "there was some uneasy news out of the administration, last week, which seemed to have raised some questions about whether President Bush was going to stay the course with regard to Saddam."
The New York Post, Feb. 25, 2003, reported: Speaking at an Iowa event organized last week by a local labor leader who opposes the war, Lieberman said that the 1991 Persian Gulf War, which he had co-sponsored a resolution to conduct, had left Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in power. Lieberman added, "I worried then and throughout the '90s that we were allowing Saddam to become a ticking time bomb. I'm not going to oppose a policy [of regime change] that I've supported for 12 years just because the person who happens to be the Commander in Chief of the United States today is a Republican."
On March 17, 2003, Lieberman embraced the war drive. "It's time to come together and support our great American men and women in uniform and their commander-in-chief," he said. "If military action is necessary, the fault will clearly be Saddam Hussein's."
Gephardt, then the House Majority Leader, in Fall 2002 voted in favor of the resolution authorizing the use of military force in Iraq. When criticizing Administration policy, he has focussed his fire against Bush, letting Cheney off the hook.
On June 18, 2003, Gephardt jumped on the neo-con bandwagon and blamed the Saudis for 9/11, in a speech to the Silicon Valley Manufacturers Group. "Oil profits from Saudi oil families literally helped to fund the ungodly attacks on Sept. 11," he said. "Is that where we want to send our hard-earned cash?" Dependence on Saudi oil, he said, "is the reason the [Bush] administration never spoke out about the clear evidence that Saudi citizens were funding Al-Qaeda."
In a July 8, 2003 campaign press release on the incorrect intelligence statement about Iraq and Niger, in Bush's State of the Union address: "President Bush's factual lapse in his State of the Union address can not be simply dismissed as an intelligence failure. The President has a pattern of using excessive language in his speeches and off-the-cuff remarks. This continued recklessness represents a failure of presidential leadership."
The former NATO Supreme Commander and retired four-star general has blown hot and cold on Iraq policy.
Response to 9/11: In an interview with NBC "Meet the Press" on June 15, 2003, Clark revealed that on 9/11, while he was doing television interviews, people around the White House asked him to blame Saddam Hussein for the attacks. "There was a concerted effort during the Fall of 2001, starting immediately after 9/11, to pin 9/11 and the terrorism problem on Saddam Hussein. It came from people around the White House. I got a call on 9/11I was on CNN, and I got a call at my home saying, 'You've got to say this is connectedthis is state-sponsored terrorism. This has to be connected to Saddam Hussein.' And I said, 'but I'm willing to say it, but what's [the] evidence?' And I never got any evidence. And these were people who were Middle East think-tanks and people like this. I mean, there was a lot of pressure to connect this, and there were a lot of assumptions made. But I never personally saw the evidence, and didn't talk to anybody who had the evidence to make that connection."
Clark did not expose this Administration pressure on him until long after 9/11, indeed after the war against Iraq was (supposedly) over.
In Clark's 2002 book Winning Modern Wars, he says that in November 2001, "one of the senior military staff officers [told me] .... we were still on track for going against Iraq.... This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, ... and there were a total of seven countries ... Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia, and Sudan.... I left the Pentagon that afternoon deeply concerned. I moved the conversation away, for this was not something I wanted to hear. And it was not something I wanted to see moving forward, either."
The website www.blackcommentator.com points out, "If Wesley Clark is to be believed, he kept this Pentagon conversationand his deep concernto himself for nearly two years, going public only when it suited his purposes as a purveyor of books and newly-hatched Democratic candidate for President."
On Nov. 12, 2003, Clark was asked, "What about Cheney?" at a campaign event at Plymouth State College in New Hampshire. He replied, "Oh, Cheney, don't pick on him. There are people who tell me we should fire Rumsfeld; I am not going to get into that. I think we should blame it on the President's policies and defeat him in the next election."
Kucinich has been a consistent opponent of the war, and has gone further than any candidate except LaRouche, in putting a spotlight on Cheney's role.
On March 21, 2003, after the war against Iraq began, he said: "This is a sad day for America, the world community, and the people of Iraq. Tonight, I hope and pray for the safe return of our troops and the end to this unjustified war.
"President Bush has launched an unprovoked attack against another country. Iraq does not pose an imminent threat to the U.S. or any of its neighboring nations. Iraq was not responsible for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. Tonight, President Bush has commanded U.S. forces to go to war in violation of American traditions of defensive war that have lasted since George Washington. This war is wrong; it violates the Constitution and international law."
On April 1, 2003, in a speech on the House floor, Kucinich said: "Stop the war now. As Baghdad will be encircled, this is the time to get the UN back in to inspect Baghdad and the rest of Iraq for biological and chemical weapons.... This war has been advanced on lie upon lie. Iraq was not responsible for 9/11. Iraq was not responsible for any role al-Qaeda may have had in 9/11. Iraq was not responsible for the anthrax attacks on this country. Iraq did not tried to acquire nuclear weapons technology from Niger. This war is built on falsehood...."
During floor debate on June 26, 2003 in the House on the 2004 Intelligence Authorization bill, Kucinich offered an amendment to require the CIA Inspector General to audit all telephone and electronic communications between Vice President Dick Cheney and the CIA regarding Iraqi weapons. Kucinich cited a Washington Post story about Cheney travelling often to the CIA to review Iraq intelligence and putting pressure on CIA analysts to make their assessments meet Administration policy objectives.
Kucinich stated that "we now know that there were not vast stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when the U.S. invaded and that, therefore, Iraq did not pose an imminent threat to the United States, as the administration claimed before the war."
"The question remaining," he continued, "is whether the administration compelled the Central Intelligence Agency to release raw, undisseminated information they knew to be unreliable" in order to try to make the case that "that Iraq posed an imminent threat to the United States."
"Did the Vice President play a role in making false information become the public reason the President went to war in Iraq?" Kucinich asked.
From a July 9, 2003 press release: "It is clear, that the time has come for a full and public investigation into the role the Vice President played in the lead-up to the war in Iraq." The title of the press release is, "What Else Was the Vice President Hiding? Vice President's Office Knew Niger Evidence Was Unreliable Almost a Year Before the State of the Union."
On July 15, 2003, Kucinich sponsored a briefing at the Rayburn House Office Building, featuring experts from the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). Kucinich criticized President Bush and his National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice for putting the blame on CIA Director George Tenet for the infamous "16 words," and omitting that Vice President Cheney's office learned of the forged Niger evidence back in February of 2002. Kucinich also pointed out that Bush and Rice "have refused to divulge what happened during Vice President Cheney's multiple 'unusual' visits to meet personally with CIA Iraq analysts, in which they reportedly felt 'pressured.' "
Sharpton's website has nothing on any of the issues here under discussion.
Carol Moseley Braun
A consistent opponent of the war, Moseley Braun has been short on policy specifics, and has had nothing to say about Cheney.
At a Sept. 19, 2003 press conference she said: "In the rush to war, the Administration has obscured the goals, dissimulated the costs, disparaged our friends and allies and branded as unpatriotic ordinary Americans who pose legitimate questions. It has squandered the universal credit and sympathy American received after 9/11, and it has damaged our alliances and the United Nations."
From Sept. 8, 2003, remarks on CNN's Crossfire: "I opposed this war. I thought that the Congress missedabdicated its Article I, Section 3-Section 8 authority under the Constitution by giving a President who had not gotten the popular vote of the American people unilateral authority to go in with a pre-emptive war in Iraq. I didn't think it had anything to do with the war on terrorism. I've called it a misadventure. So we shouldn't be there, in my opinion. But having beennow that we're there, we've got young men and women in the field. We cannot abandon them. We have to give them the support they need to get the job finished. Americans do not cut and run."
B. Who Are the Neo-Cons?
Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
LaRouche "wrote the book" on the neo-conservative war faction, including the circulation by his campaign of millions of copies of the pamphlet The Children of Satan, and numerous articles providing the historical background necessary to understand why the Cheney clique would launch a foolish and unnecessary war against Iraq. In a webcast on July 2, 2003, "We Are Now at a Turning Point":
"In the recent period, we've had something like the Versailles system [economic relations based on unpayable reparations and debts], or worse: the floating-exchange-rate monetary system, which is now disintegrating. This system has inspired some peoplelike the fascists, the Synarchists of the late 1920s and 1930s, who launched the Hitler effortto launch a similar effort inside the United States. The effort is centered on those we call the 'neo-conservatives.' Not only the neo-conservatives inside the Republican Party, gathered around Dick Cheney, the Vice President; but the neo-conservatives, also, who are their buddies, inside the Democratic Leadership Council, and those corresponding sections of the Democratic National Committee...
"Now, this group has two levels: It has a political level of agents, and people like Cheney, the followers of Leo Strauss, the so-called neo-conservatives in the United States, todaywhether in the Republican Party or in the leadership of the Democratic Party. The DLC [Democratic Leadership Council], for exampleare Synarchists, of this category, U.S. official category: 'Synarchist/Nazi-Communist,' dating from the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s. They still exist.
"Behind the people like the Cheneys and so forth, who are the tools of this group, are groups of bankers, financial interests, dating back from the 14th-Century fondi of the famous Lombard bankers, that caused the crisis of that period. These small groups of people, faced with a financial crisis, and with great power leverage from behind the scenes, will say, that in a crisis of this type, such as the Versailles system collapse, or the present collapse, that they know that governments, pressed, will tend, under pressure of the people, to take measures which are consistent with the general welfare of the people and the sovereignty of nations. Therefore, they say, 'we have to prevent that.' And the way to prevent that, is to install a dictatorship, which will control the situation, under those kinds of financial conditions.
"That was the case in 1928-1933. That is the case today. Small groups of financier interestsand I know many of them by name, and they're in New York and elsewhere, todaythe same groups, that were behind the Hitler campaign then. And these are the groups whom the neo-cons represent."
The Dean campaign gives no recognition of the existence of neo-con networks and menace either today, or historically. Moreover, the Dean website explicitly advocates a return to the principles of Harry Truman, a toady-figure installed in office by the utopian forbears of today's neo-con war faction, who deliberately, and needlessly dropped the atomic bombs on Japan as a "shock and awe" act.
The Dean website states, "Fifty-five years ago, President Harry Truman delivered what was known as the Four Point speech. In it, he challenged Democrats and Republicans alike to come together to build strong and effective international organizations, to support arrangements that would spur global economic recovery, to join with free people everywhere in the defense of human liberty, and to draw upon the genius of our people to help societies who needed help in the battle against hunger and illness, ignorance, and despair. Harry Truman believed that a world in which even the poorest and most desperate had grounds for hope would be a world in which our own children could grow up in security and peace not because evil would then be absent from the globe, but because the forces of right would be united and strong."
None of the other candidates' websites carry any statements, analyses, or policies for dealing with the neo-conservative faction gripping the Administration.
C. Foreign Policy: Getting Out of Iraq
Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
A Nov. 24, 2003 campaign press release, "LaRouche: 'I'm for the Immediate Withdrawal of U.S. Forces From Iraq,' " was the opening of his answer to a question at his Nov. 20 campaign event in Detroit, Mich. LaRouche said: "First of all, U.S. troops in Iraq are now absolutely useless, because of the crimes that have been committed by our government. That we have lost all credibility in the situation. So I wouldn't want a single American in that area, at this time....
"Now ... I would go to our friends in Europe, in particular, and our friends in the Arab world, around Iraq, especially Egypt, Syria, and so forth, and I would propose that, through the United Nations Security Council, we establish the arrangements, under which Iraq was restored as a nation, rebuilt as a nation. Chiefly with Iraqi labor, and whatever facilities are required to assist that. This would be taken over by people who are not the United States, because I don't think we should be there. Our very presence there, is going to incite reaction from the hatred we have incurred by the way we've handled the situation since 1991...."
On Nov. 28, 2003, the candidate issued a statement on the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the deteriorating situation in Iraq, titled, "Restore Iraq's Constitution" (see EIR, Dec. 5, 2003). The statement was prompted by the "continued floundering of my putative rivals on the matter of U.S. military disengagement from Iraq ... and is also intended to signal to President George W. Bush, Jr., some of his immediate options for liberating the President from the sucking quagmire into which Vice-President Cheney's brutish, anti-constitutional blundering and fraudulent interventions have plunged the nation and its military forces."
The statement gives three steps: 1) how to withdraw, and bring in the assistance of the United Nations Security Council; 2) to restore "the outstanding, historically rooted constitution:" of Iraq, and foresee the establishment of a provisional government under that constitution as rapidly as possible; and 3) "Free the notable Tariq Aziz from captivity immediately, that he might assume his obvious, and internationally respected role of influence as the most typical representative of the ecumenical spirit of Iraq's constitutional sovereignty."
The Dean campaign website as of Nov. 25, provided no new statement on the situation in Iraq, while in mid-November the guerrilla resistance escalated against U.S. occupation there. On Nov. 2, Dean responded to an incident of attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq, by vowing to bring the perpetrators "to justice."
The specifics offered for Iraq policy on the Dean campaign website include:
- A NATO-led coalition should maintain order and guarantee disarmament. Civilian authority in Iraq should be transferred to an international body approved by the UN Security Council.
- The UN's oil for food program should be converted into an Oil for Recovery program, to pay part of the costs of reconstruction and transition.
- The United States should convene an international donors' conference to help finance the financial burden of paying for Iraq's recovery.
- Women should participate in every aspect of the decision-making process.
- A means should be established to prosecute crimes committed against the Iraqi people by individuals associated with Saddam Hussein's regime and a democratic transition will take between 18-24 months, although troops should expect to be in Iraq for a longer period.
Dean said, "I believe that we need a very substantial increase in troops. They don't have to be American troops. My guess would be that we would need at least 30,000-40,000 additional troops."
As of November 2003, Kerry wants to turn the country over to the Iraqis, and bring U.S. troops home "as soon as possible," and affirms that his leadership would be superior to Bush's.
Edwards, who voted for the war, reiterates that fact on his website, in November 2003, along with a general statement about wanting international "help."
On Oct. 14, 2003, Edwards announced that he would vote against Bush's $87 billion supplemental request: "Our troops will not be safe and this mission will not succeed until this President does three things: first, put forward a credible plan for the rebuilding and self-governing of Iraq; second, engage our allies in a meaningful way; third, take steps to assure the American people that the rebuilding of Iraq will not be exploited as a means to give insider sweetheart deals to Bush's friends....
"Ridding the world of Saddam Hussein was the right thing to do, and I stand by my vote."
Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations on Sept. 10, 2003, Lieberman gave Bush "60 days" to remove occupation viceroy Paul Bremer, and replace him with "an international administrator." He said, "I didn't support the war in Iraq so that America could control post-Saddam Iraq. I supported it to overthrow Saddam and to turn control of Iraq over to the Iraqis." He said the Bush Administration has squandered its victories, where "every step forward has been matched by a stumble," and that the Administration "has hoarded authority ... bungled diplomacy ... pushed allies to the margin, and has divided rather than multiplied the strength we need to win the war on terrorism."
On Oct. 5, 2003, on "Fox News Sunday," Lieberman beat the drum for the neo-con campaign against Syria, comparing the Israeli strike against Syria to the U.S. strikes against al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan after 9/11. Calling Israel "our most steadfast ally in the region ... an ally in a new way since September 11we're both the victims of terrorism," he said, "Unfortunately, the Syrians have continued to refuse American demands that they break up terrorist bases and headquarters in their country. And what the Israelis appear to have done in attacking Syria is not unlike what we did after September 11 in attacking training camps of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan."
From a July 22, 2003 campaign press release: "Dick Gephardt warned that the U.S. has 'won the war in Iraq, but we're in serious danger of losing the peace.'... Gephardt, an early supporter of the war in Iraq, slammed Bush's go-it-alone approach to foreign policy. 'It's as if the Bush-Cheney crowd never met an ally they didn't want to turn into an adversary,' Gephardt said. 'If I were President, I'd ask NATO to join with us immediately, to secure peace and stability in post-war Iraq. I'd go to the UN right now and ask for a Security Council mandate, so countries like India and Russia and France and Germany will join us.' "
On Oct. 15, 2003, Gephardt supported the Bush Administration's $87 billion supplemental budget request for Iraq, "because it is the only responsible course of action. We must not send an ambiguous message to our troops and we must not send an uncertain message to our friends and enemies in Iraq."
Gen. Wesley Clark
Clark's detailed "program" on Iraq can be summarized with his oft-repeated phrase "Early exit means retreat or defeat." Clark calls for considering sending more troops, as well as counterinsurgency measures, etc. Clark calls for "transforming the military operation in Iraq into a NATO operation." His website states, "General Abizaid, commander of US forces in the Middle East, would remain in charge of the operation, but he would report to the NATO Council, as General Clark did as commander of NATO forces in Kosovo."
In a Newsweek interview, July 14, 2003, Clark said: "On what to do now in Iraq, I would define it politically. Put in place some kind of Iraqi government that [has] some semblance of democracy. The first thing I'd be doing right now [is] calling provisional national, regional and local councils together from all parties before elections are held ... I'd try to get the Iraqis increasingly involved in taking responsibilities. Put an Iraqi face on all the actions that you can and as much of the decision making as possible."
* "[T]he United Nations should have been involved. You need the UN for legitimacy, to get nations to cough up forces ... they want some credit for it from their electorate. And they're not going to get any credit by saying, 'Hey, we're really good friends with George W. Bush.' It has to be the United Nations."
* "Seek the strongest possible linkage with Europe. I see a strong transatlantic alliance as the key fulcrum for all else America does in the world. I'm not sure the Administration sees it that way."
When he announced his candidacy, on Sept. 17, 2003, Clark said: "We need to be changing the regional framework in the Middle East. Otherwise, we will certainly end up going into Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Libya, Sudan, and Somalia. We don't have the forces to do it. It's not where the terrorist threat is.... I wouldn't [sign on to a threat] to strike Iran at this point.
"We may need some more [troops in Iraq]. It may not beideally it wouldn't be American. We'd like to get some international troops, bring the Iraqi security forces up as rapidly as possible...."
On Sept. 18, 2003, Clark said that he would "probably" have voted for the war authorization, and compared his position to that of Kerry and Lieberman in wanting to put maximum pressure on Saddam. But he corrected that on Sept. 19: "I would never have voted for this war. I've got a very consistent record on this."
In a Nov. 25, 2003 campaign press release, Kucinich said: "While various candidates posture and pretend to have opposed the war on Iraq more consistently than they did, they are missing the opportunity to oppose the occupation. Holding a debate months from now over who supported the occupation more than another will do nothing for the lives that will be lost in the coming days and weeks. The time to begin the end of the occupation is now."