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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Fringe Candidates

There are seven candidates for president on the Michigan ballot. Five of them support withdrawing US forces from Iraq as fast as possible. Only two fringe candidates support maintaining a military presence in Iraq for years. Here are statements from the candidates web sites (Note: For some reason, Peroutka's Constitution Party is called "US Taxpayers" on the ballot, and Brown's Socialist Party is called "Natural Law.")

Michael Peroutka, US Taxpayers (Constitution) Party:
As President, I would move immediately to withdraw all our troops from Iraq in a way that would provide for the safety of those Iraqis who worked with us during this illegal, wrong-headed war.

"I, like President Bush, hope that the Iraqi people, and all people, will be free from tyranny. But, unlike President Bush, I realize that, Constitutionally, as President, it would not be my job to use our military to spread 'freedom' everywhere in the world. Unlike President Bush, I, as President, would realize that I had been elected President of the United States, not President of the World.

Michael Badnarik, Libertarian Party:
The War in Iraq is a failure, and the U.S. government should never have waged it. As your president, one of my first tasks will be to begin the orderly process of bringing our troops home as quickly as can safely be accomplished.

More and more Americans are coming to oppose the war, the war hawks and high government officials are beginning to distance themselves from the president, and the U.S. seems more willing than ever to pull out of Iraq.

But this is not enough. We need to learn how this disaster happened, so we can prevent future disasters from happening.

First, allow me to dispel a myth. People in the Middle East do not hate us for our freedom. They do not hate us for our lifestyle. They hate us because we have spent many years attempting to force them to emulate our lifestyle.

Walter Brown, Natural Law (Socialist) Party:
We stand in total opposition to U.S. imperialism. We call for an immediate withdrawal of all U.S. military and paramilitary forces stationed outside the borders of the United States. In particular we call for the United States to immediately and unconditionally withdraw its forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

David Cobb, Green Party:
The unjust, illegal and immoral war in Iraq must be brought to an end now. David Cobb and Pat LaMarche call for an immediate withdrawal of US military from Iraq and will work towards the eradication of the military-industrial complex which necessitates war as a corporate profit-making scheme. We oppose the very real prospect of a military draft under the guise of adding more troops for the so-called "war on terror."

Ralph Nader, No Party Affiliation:
Independent Presidential candidate Ralph Nader put forward a three-step approach to rapidly remove US military forces, civilian military contractors and US corporate interests from Iraq. "Every day the US military remains in Iraq we imperil US security, drain our economy, ignore our nation's domestic needs and prevent democratic self-rule from developing in Iraq, nor does the belligerent rhetoric of the Bush regime help the cause of moderates in Iraq." Nader said.

George W. Bush, Republican Party:
Supported by coalition allies, the men and women of our Armed Forces have brought Saddam Hussein a declared enemy of America and supporter of terrorism who had the capability and a proven willingness to produce and use weapons of mass destruction to justice. The brutal regime of Saddam Hussein is gone. An interim government is leading the Iraqi people to freedom.

John Kerry, Democratic Party:
We must change course in Iraq. Having gone to war, we cannot afford to fail at peace. The United States must take immediate measures to prevent Iraq from becoming a failed state that inevitably would become a haven for terrorists and a destabilizing force in the Middle East.

John Kerry and John Edwards will make the creation of a stable and secure environment in Iraq our immediate priority in order to lay the foundations for sustainable democracy.
By the way, Green candidate David Cobb and Libertarian Michael Badnarik had a debate last week; I haven't watched it yet, but I'm guessing that it was a much more informative and hopeful debate than the Bush-Kerry strongest-man contest. Two candidates who agree on following the constitution and staying out of wars--that's a great starting point.