Dennis Kucinich's Response To President Bush's Speech

WASHINGTON, D.C – Congressman and Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) issued the following statement tonight in response to President Bush's nationally televised address to the American people.

"President Bush appears to be setting the stage for a wider war in the region. He has blamed Iran for attacks on America. The President is vowing to disrupt Iran. He is going to add an aircraft carrier to the shores off the coast of Iran. He has promised to give Patriot missiles to 'our friends and allies.' Isn't one war enough for this President? It is time the media and the Congress began to pay attention to this President when he talks aggressively about Iran and Syria.
"It is imperative that Congress step up to its constitutional responsibility to restrain this abuse of executive authority by notifying the President that we will no longer agree to fund the war in Iraq. The supplemental budget request of up to $100 billion would enable the president not only to continue the war against Iraq through the end of his term. It would give him the resources to attack Iran, in the name of defending Iraq and the region."

"In Iraq, his new plan is a plan for more door-to-door fighting, more civil war, more civilian casualties, more troop deaths, more wasted money, more destabilization in the region and more separation from the world community. The President wants to send more troops to Baghdad, where they will work to quell a civil war. Only a small portion - less than 20 percent - of the new effort will be spent in al Anbar, to fight al-Qaeda. Does anyone in this Administration have any sense left at all? They are sending more US troops into the middle of a civil war!

"Congress needs to take a stand against the President and take the necessary steps to bring our troops home. We need to begin talks with Iran and Syria -- and not blame them for our misguided war in Iraq. Diplomacy is the only way to avoid a widening war. If we follow the President's path of war, we will get . . . more war."

On Monday, Kucinich announced a 12-point plan ( to withdraw troops from Iraq, establish an international security and peacekeeping force under the auspices of the United Nations, and take steps to begin the political reconciliation process, shore up Iraq’s economy, re-start reconstruction efforts, and institute reparations for Iraqis.

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Mr. Kucinich is a proponent of using diplomacy as the primary tool to deal with our adversaries. However, he failed a huge test in a recent interview with Hugh Hewitt. Mr. Kucinich did not even know who the Supreme Leader of Iran is. How can someone in his position be so shockingly ignorant?

HH: Congressman, do you know what the Quds forces are?

DK: (pause) I'm sorry?

HH: Do you...are you aware of the Quds forces?

DK: What are you talking about?

HH: The Quds forces from...they're an arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Are you familiar with them?

DK: (pause) Go ahead.

HH: Are you? Because I don't want to pursue it if you're not.

DK: Well, go ahead. I want to hear what you have to say.

HH: Well, they're operating in Iraq. Does that concern you?

DK: I think that we need to get the region involved in stopping the insurgency. And the way you do that, the first step you take, is to take away the energy that the insurgency is gaining from the occupation. Look, know, we should be concerned about any nation feeling that they can advance their interests through the chaos and civil war of Iraq. And the way that you do it, you have to have a political settlement. We cannot solve this militarily. Most...and many generals who believe that.

HH: Pop quiz, Congressman. Do you know who the supreme leader of Iran is?

DK: (pause) You're talking about the religious leader?

HH: Yes.

DK: I can't tell you the name off-hand.