Saturday, April 28, 2007

Mike Gravel for President anyone?

Mike Gravel's responses taken from the transcripts of
last night's Democratic Presidential Debate in South

Williams: Senator Gravel, for those who may not be
familiar with your past, two-term U.S. Senate from
Alaska. You played a role in the fight to cut off
money for the Vietnam War. What would be your advice,
Senator, for the elected officials on this stage who
are at a conflict, opposed to the conflict, but also
feel the need to keep on funding the conflict?

Former Sen. Mike Gravel: Well, first off, understand
that this war was lost the day that George Bush
invaded Iraq on a fraudulent basis. Understand that.

Now with respect to what's going on in the Congress,
I'm really embarrassed. So we passed -- and the
media's in a frenzy right today with what has been
passed. What has been passed?

George Bush communicated over a year ago that he would
not get out of Iraq until he left office. Do we not
believe him?

We need to find another way. I really would like to
sit down with Pelosi and with Reid, and I would hope
the other senators would focus on, how do you get out?
You pass the law, not a resolution, a law making it a
felony to stay there. And I'll give you the text of

And if you're worried about filibuster, here's what
you do tactically. They can pass it in the House.
We've got the votes there. We've got the votes there.

In the Senate, let them filibuster it. And let Reid
call up every -- at 12:00 every day to have a cloture
vote. And let the American people see clearly who's
keeping the war going and who's not.

And that's just the beginning of the tactic, if
they're tough enough to do it.


Williams: Senator Gravel, at a forum earlier this
year -- I want to get this right -- you said it
doesn't matter whether you are elected president or
not, so then, why are you here tonight? Shouldn't
debates be for candidates who are in the race to win
the race?

Gravel: You're right. I made that statement. But
that's before I had a chance to stand with them a
couple or three times. It's like going into the
Senate. You know, the first time you get there, you're
all excited, "My God, how did I ever get
here?" Then, about six months later, you say, "How
the hell did the rest of them get here?"


And I got to tell you, after standing up with them,
some of these people frighten me -- they frighten me.
When you have mainline candidates that turn around and
say that there's nothing off the table with respect to
Iran, that's code for using nukes, nuclear devices.

I got to tell you, I'm president of the United
States, there will be no preemptive wars with nuclear
devices. To my mind, it's immoral, and it's been
immoral for the last 50 years as part of American
foreign policy.


Williams: Let's use a little moderator discretion
here. Senator Gravel, that's a weighty charge. Who on
this stage exactly tonight worries you so much?

Gravel: Well, I would say the top tier ones. The top
tier ones. They've made statements. Oh, Joe, I'll
include you, too. You have a certain arrogance. You
want to -- you want to tell the Iraqis how to run
their country. I got to tell you, we should just
plain get out -- just plain get out. It's their
country. They're asking us to leave. And we insist on
staying there.

And why not get out? What harm is it going to do?
Oh, you hear the statement, "Well, my God, these
soldiers will have died in vain." The entire deaths of
Vietnam died in vain. And they're dying in vain right
this very second. And you know what's worse than a
soldier dying in vain? It's more soldiers dying in
vain. That's what's worse.


Williams: Senator Gravel, same question: Other than
Iraq, the three most important enemies to the United

Gravel: We have no important enemies. What we need to
do is to begin to deal with the rest of the world as
equals. And we don't do that.

We spend more as a nation on defense than all the
rest of the world put together. Who are we afraid of?
Who are you afraid of, Brian? I'm not. And Iraq has
never been a threat to us. We invaded them. I mean, it
is unbelievable.

The military industrial complex not only controls our
government, lock, stock and barrel, but they control
our culture.


Williams: Senator Gravel, your two terms in the
Senate representing Alaska have sat on top of, of
course, a huge reserve of oil. With the French system
as the model, is the United States, in your view,
woefully behind in its use of nuclear energy?

Gravel: No, not at all. I think there had to be a
maturation process. And I'm the one that started the
nuclear critique in this country.

I'm also the one that denied the boots on the ground
for George Bush today, when I filibustered the end of
the draft.

And I'm also the one that brought about the Alaska
pipeline by one vote in the Congress. So when you ask
about the energy issues or the other issues, let me
just tell you -- I wanted to answer the question on
the war and on what's going on.

We are mischaracterizing terrorism. Terrorism has
been with civilization from the beginning. And it will
be there to the end.

We're going to be as successful fighting terrorism as
we are fighting drugs with a war. It doesn't work.
What you have to do is to begin to change the whole
foreign policy.

The Republicans, who are charging Democrats about not
going for the defense of this country, my God, this
invasion brought about more terrorists. Osama bin
must have been rolling in his blankets...

Williams: Senator...

Gravel: ... how happy he was over our invading Iraq.


Obama: I just got some time and I wanted to respond
to this. I think it would be a profound mistake for
us to initiate a war with Iran. But, have no doubt,
Iran possessing nuclear weapons will be a major threat
to us and to the region.

Kucinich: (OFF-MIKE)

Obama: I understand that, but they're in the process
of developing it. And I don't think that's disputed
by any expert. They are the largest state sponsor of

Kucinich: It is disputed by...

Obama: ... Hezbollah and Hamas.

Kucinich: It is disputed.

Obama: And there is no contradiction, Dennis,

Kucinich: It is disputed.

Obama: Let me finish.

There is no contradiction between us taking seriously
the need, as you do, to want to strengthen our
alliances around the world -- but I think it is
important for us to also recognize that if we have
nuclear proliferators around the world that
potentially can place a nuclear weapon into the hands
of terrorists, that is a profound security threat for
America and one that we have to take seriously.

Williams: Way, way over on time. Senator Gravel, 30
seconds, please.

Gravel: No, with respect to Iran, we've sanctioned
them for 26 years. We scared the bejesus out of them
when the president says, "They're evil."

Well, you know something? These things don't work.
They don't work. We need to recognize them. And you
know something? Who is the greatest violator of the
non-proliferation treaty? The United States of
. We signed a pledge that we would begin to
disarm, and we're not doing it. We're expanding
our nukes.

Who the hell are we going to nuke? Tell me, Barak.
Barak, who do you want to nuke?

Obama: I'm not planning to nuke anybody right now,
Mike, I promise.


Gravel: Good. Good. We're safe then, for a while.

{Editor's Note: But for how long?...}


1 comment:

RoseCovered Glasses said...

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

Politicians make no difference.

We have bought into the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). If you would like to read how this happens please see:

Through a combination of public apathy and threats by the MIC we have let the SYSTEM get too large. It is now a SYSTEMIC problem and the SYSTEM is out of control. Government and industry are merging and that is very dangerous.

There is no conspiracy. The SYSTEM has gotten so big that those who make it up and run it day to day in industry and government simply are perpetuating their existance.

The politicians rely on them for details and recommendations because they cannot possibly grasp the nuances of the environment and the BIG SYSTEM.

So, the system has to go bust and then be re-scaled, fixed and re-designed to run efficiently and prudently, just like any other big machine that runs poorly or becomes obsolete or dangerous.

This situation will right itself through trauma. I see a government ENRON on the horizon, with an associated house cleaning.

The next president will come and go along with his appointees and politicos. The event to watch is the collapse of the MIC.

For more details see: