WASHINGTON - August 10 - Independent Candidate Ralph Nader today criticized John Kerry for responding to "Bush bait" and saying he would still vote for the Iraq war knowing what he knows today. Nader asked: "Is there no end to John Kerry's me-too-ism on the Iraq War?"
John Kerry and all Americans know today that we were misled by President Bush in order to justify the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. We now know:
- There Were No Weapons of Mass Destruction. It is no longer in dipute: there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. According to David Kay, President Bush's former chief weapons inspector, any weapons of mass destruction were destroyed after the Gulf War. After returning from Iraq and leading a large team of inspectors and spending nearly half a billion dollars David Kay told the president: "We were wrong." See: David Kay testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee, January 28, 2004.
- There Were No Ties Between Iraq and Al Qaeda. The 911 Commission review now indicates there were no ties between Iraq and Al Quaeda. Indeed, Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden were mortal enemies - one secular, the other fundamentalist.
- Saddam Hussein Was Not a Threat to the United States. In fact, Saddam was a tottering dictator, with an antiquated command and control-less army with Kurdish enemies in Northern Iraq and Shiite adversaries in the South of Iraq. He did not even control the air space over most of Iraq.
- Saddam Hussein Was Not a Threat to his Neighbors: In fact, Iraq was surrounded by countries with far superior military forces. Turkey, Iran and Israel were all capable of obliterating any aggressive move by the weakened Iraqi dictator.
- We Have Not Liberated the Iraqi People. The United States has installed a puppet government. We continue to have an occupying force of over 130,000 troops in Iraq, are planning on building 14 military bases in Iraq and our corporations are putting down roots in the country in order to get control of their natural resources, especially oil.
In response to President Bush's demand for clarification of Senator Kerry's position he said: "Yes, I would have voted for the authority." The authority to declare war is exclusively in the hands of Congress (Article 1, Section 8) and cannot be delegated as the Congress did in October 2002.
"It becomes more difficult every day to know what John Kerry stands for. At the Democratic Convention he says he would not send troops to war unless absolutely necessary, now he says he would have authorized troops for Iraq, despite what we now know. Prior to the Convention he said he would keep the troops in Iraq throughout his first term in the presidency, last week he said he would reduce them in the first six months, then his aides clarified his statement and said reduction was 'a best case target,' said Nader. "Why is he letting George W. Bush off the hook and letting down the widening anti-war movement and like-minded citizens in the U.S.A.?"