Gravel Take on the Take Back America Conference
Tue Jun 19, 2007 13:40
 

 
Richardson and Gravel Take on the Take Back America Conference

David Swanson david@davidswanson.org
http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=30041

June 19, 2007

Two presidential candidates, Bill Richardson and Mike Gravel, spoke Tuesday morning at the Take Back America Conference in Washington, D.C. Barack Obama and John Edwards were expected later in the day, and Hillary Clinton and Dennis Kucinich on Wednesday.

Richardson got loud applause. He focused on climate change, Kyoto treaty, a plan to reduce pollution by 20%, lower demand for oil by 50%, and raise fuel efficiency standards to 50 mpg, and require that 50% of our electricity come from renewable sources, and reduce greenhouse admissions by 80 percent. The crowd loved it. "If we can wage wars over weapons of mass destruction, we can find the will to stop the mass destruction of our planet."

Topic number 2 was Iraq: How many troops would each of us (candidates) leave behind? Other than the customary Marine contingent at the embassy, I would leave zero troops behind. [big applause] And if our embassy personnel aren't safe, then they're coming home too. With all due respect to my colleagues Clinton, Obama, Dodd, Biden, they all voted for legislation with loopholes that would leave an unlimited number of troops behind indefinitely (for training Iraqi security forces, and to protect other US troops). Troops protecting troops training other troops doesn't sound any different to me. Senator Clinton has told her military advisor that there might still be troops in Iraq at the end of her second term. At the rate we are losing American lives, over 1000 American troops will die in Iraq in this year alone. Over 60 percent of Iraqis think it's OK to kill Americans. There is not a single sign that Iraq is improving, and a smaller force will do nothing to change that. How many more Americans must die before we leave an Iraq that will be no better off than it is today. WE NEED TO BRING THEM ALL HOME [huge applause.]

We need to bring all our troops home in 6 months. Only then can dimplomacy begin. Leave troops in Kuwait. Hand security in Iraq over to an all-Muslim force. Organize a regional conference including Syria and Iran to help stabilize Iraq. Al Qaeda is tolerated in Iraq because they oppose Americans. Once Americans are gone, Iraqis will nto tolerate Al Qaeda.

Talking to your enemies can bring results. We need to bring back diplomacy. You don't make peace with your friends. You make peace with your enemies. This president broke Iraq. The next president needs to know how to use diplomacy to fix it.

STANDING OVATION.

Music: loud rock, no lyrics.

Gravel got a luke warm response after Ralph Nader received the same introducing him.

Gravel's music was "Power to the People." The loudest applause Gravel received came when he said that his proposed bill to make it a felony to continue the war would mean 5 years in prison for the President, Vice President, and Secretary of Defense. Gravel admitted that such a bill would be vetoed, but he urged endless cloture votes to pass it and endless votes to override the veto. Gravel urged action now, and suggested that the Democrats will lose in 18 months if they do no more in the meantime than they've done in the past 6. He said her wanted ALL troops home for Xmas. That got applause.

David Swanson is a co-founder of After Downing Street, a writer and activist, and the Washington Director of Democrats.com. He is a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, and serves on the Executive Council of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, TNG-CWA.

author's email david@davidswanson.org
http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=30041

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t r u t h o u t | 06.19

Elizabeth de la Vega | This Week With Libby
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/061907A.shtml
Elizabeth de la Vega writes: "One oft-repeated comment, voiced with confidence last week by MSNBC's David Schuster, among others, is that maybe now, facing imminent prison time, Libby will finally decide to save himself by testifying against Vice President Cheney. I am going to go out on a limb and predict that the likelihood of a cooperation-and-plea deal between Scooter Libby and Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald is about the same as the likelihood that Louie - my new puppy - will learn how to load the dishwasher. Much as I would be delighted if either of these events occurred, I'm not optimistic."

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