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What We Didn’t Hear at the Debate

Neither President Bush or Senator Kerry have an exit strategy for the war in Iraq and both of them say we’re going to win the war in Iraq-which means an endless occupation, which breeds resistance, and which does not cut the bottom out of the insurgency, because mainstream Iraqis are given no light at the end of the tunnel that they’re going to get their country back with a set schedule under a US military and corporate (i.e. oil company) withdrawal from their nation.

Eisenhower, when he was running for president in 1952, promised the American people that he would get us out of the Korean War. It was a harder war to get out of because behind North Korea was Communist China and the Soviet Union, but he got us out of the Korean War. These two gentlemen can’t even get us out of this quagmire war that we were plunged into, unconstitutionally, on a platform of fabrications, lies, and deception-and, one might add, against the better judgment of retired diplomatic, military, and intelligence officials.

Other points on the debates, Bush said it was going to be an all-volunteer army; he didn’t quite say he was opposed to the military draft, but he moved a little closer to that. Bush still promotes this total boondoggle, un-workable missile defense system. ‘Star Wars’ has been condemned as unworkable by the leading physicists in the United States, many of them consultants to the Pentagon, but that doesn’t stop Bush from spending ten billion dollars a year on that boondoggle.

Kerry seems to be much stronger on the non-proliferation of nuclear materials issue, especially from former countries of the Soviet Union. Both of them were very weak on Darfur and the Southern Sudan and the genocide that’s going on there. They expressed sympathy and mentioned something obliquely about the African Union, but really indicated they had no plans to support the African Union with the necessary means to preserve those people from further slaughter.

All in all, I think the people got a longer look at John Kerry than they ever have. They’re used to George W. Bush. I would say that within the narrow confines of the so-called debates there was the edge to Kerry over Bush. However, having said that, Jim Lehrer really narrowed the range of subjects to the debate. We didn’t hear anything about the Israel/Palestine conflict; we didn’t hear anything about global arms control in the broader sense; we didn’t hear anything about the global trade treaties-WTO and NAFTA-nor did we hear anything about the need to do something about the military budget of the Pentagon, which is so wasteful.

 

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Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! 

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