Rocky Anderson on War & Peace
Justice Party challenger for President; former mayor of Salt Lake City
STEIN: It's very clear that there is blowback going on now across the Middle East, not only the unrest directed at the Libyan embassy. 75% of Pakistanis actually identify the US now as their enemy, not as their supporter or their ally.
Q: Did the Embassy killings reflect a policy failure?
ANDERSON: The policy failure has been in the way the US has treated so many nations in the Middle East. We're like the bully that never got counseling, and we keep wondering, why don't they like us? We invaded Iraq and occupied that country. It was completely illegal. Two United Nations secretaries-general declared that it was illegal. It was a war of aggression, and it was all done on a pack of lies. That is the policy failure: our belligerence.
ROMNEY: The right course is to identify responsible parties within Syria, organize them, bring them together, and then make sure they have the arms necessary to defend themselves.
ANDERSON: The premises under which both of these candidates are operating--the constricted debate does such a disservice to the people of this country. What do we hear? We hear President Obama say we've got to do everything we can to help the opposition, and Mitt Romney is saying we ought to be shipping them heavy arms. This is a call for a bloodbath in Syria. Many in the internal opposition in Syria are associated with al-Qaeda. Is this really what we want as a country? We have no business doing anything other than working with Russia and helping to bring about a peaceful resolution. And it can be done.
OBAMA: As long as I'm president, Iran will not get a nuclear weapon. A nuclear Iran is a threat to our national security, and it's a threat to Israel's national security.
ANDERSON: This repeats the lie that President Ahmadinejad in Iran stated that he wanted to wipe Israel off the map. He never said it. He referred to the regime in Israel one day being in the dustbin of history. It was a misinterpretation, and it is so warmongering of both of these candidates to talk about how they will basically blow Iran away. Romney wants to impose crippling sanctions. Who would he be crippling? He'd be crippling, among others, some of the hundreds of thousands of people who stood in Tehran in a candlelight vigil in sympathy for the victims of the 9/11 attacks on the United States.
ANDERSON: I think the important issue here is that we went into Libya, joined with our allies, without any authorization from Congress. This is the real long-term question that ought to be addressed, is: do we allow one person to act as a dictator and determine whether our country goes to war, or do we, in compliance with the War Powers Clause of the United States Constitution, seek a determination from Congress that there is reason for our country to engage in acts of war? And this is an ongoing problem with the drone attacks, creating more hatred, more hostility toward the United States in sovereign nations. We need to get back to the fundamentals. This is the important question that we should all be addressing, and Congress needs to live up to its constitutional responsibility.
A: Strongly Support
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Mayor Rocky Anderson(J)