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Gore Assails Bush's Iraq Policy
September 23, 2002 9:17 PM   Subscribe

Gore Assails Bush's Iraq Policy The text of former vice president Al Gore's speech before the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco.
posted by semmi (42 comments total)

 
And the Washington Post's report on the speech, with a new photo of Gore looking wildly outraged.
posted by semmi at 9:22 PM on September 23, 2002


Thank god someone finally said it out loud. We've been hurtling headlong to this ridiculous war and the everyday people in this US and elsewhere look on nervously, disempowered. Gore took advantage of his position to actually speak out.
posted by Nelson at 9:40 PM on September 23, 2002


I feel nervous and disempowered the longer we wait to go after Saddam and his WMD's... A smallpox outbreak, a nuclear weapon... what's the point in waiting for casualties in order to say "Well, you know, it looks like we should have gone after him after all."
posted by gelatinouscitizen at 9:43 PM on September 23, 2002


Afghanistan is now male:

"not to stabilize the nation of Afghanistan after driving his host government from power"

Wish I had something more interesting to add. I just nod my head and let everyone else do the talking for me.
posted by fatbobsmith at 9:44 PM on September 23, 2002


Wow- he does look wildly outraged! And rather craggy and ragged as well, like he needs sanded and polished.

My question- why are we supposed to really care what Mr. Gore thinks about anything? It's like being forced to listen to Geraldine Ferraro's opinion of school vouchers- fine, fine, I'm glad they have an opinion, but there are scores of political commentators, not to mention bloggers, who have far more to say about things and do it so much more gracefully than these hoardes of has-been politicians and ex-presidents.

The question is: is Gore perhaps reconsidering running for president again?
posted by evanizer at 9:45 PM on September 23, 2002


Go home Gore. Now.

We aren't giving up on Osama. And we haven't abandoned Afghanistan. We are not building an empire. If we were, we'd be way more involved in Afghanistan than we are. We have simply put people in power who are Democratic, and we will protect them as best we can, but it is up to THEM to get their country working again.

Iraq needs to be dealt with. They have not lived up to the UN agreements. Therefore, some action needs to be taken. What good is a UN without any bite? I think that is what Bush is trying to say. We need to REMIND Iraq that the UN means business.
posted by ericdano at 9:49 PM on September 23, 2002


The funny part is that if we don't go to war with Iraq, there's going to be some horrific attack in a few years, and all the anti-Bushies are going to point at the evidence that he's been talking about lately and say, "See!? They knew about it all along! They covered it up! Failures in the intelligence community! Why weren't they doing their jobs???"

...Just like they did with September 11. Bush is damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. Poor guy.
posted by oissubke at 9:56 PM on September 23, 2002


from msnbc:
A senior White House official called the former vice president “irrelevant,” saying that “no one around here is remotely concerned about what he has to say” on the subject of war with Iraq, NBC’s Campbell Brown reported. “He is out of the mainstream with his own party,” the official said.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said, “The president has unified the nation. People are rallying to the president’s position. And the president will continue to try to unify the nation even if it appears there are splits forming in the Democratic Party.”</blockquote
posted by Mick at 9:58 PM on September 23, 2002


We aren't giving up on Osama
When was the last time George Bush said the word "Osama"? I forgot. We have a new guy to demonize, until we can't find him, then we'll pick a new one... As long as you vote GOP and never mind the economy we'll be a-ok.

Guy wins the popular vote, and "loses" an election on the slimmest legalities and he's "irrelevant"? Hoookay.
posted by owillis at 10:03 PM on September 23, 2002


Iraq needs to be dealt with. They have not lived up to the UN agreements.

Of course, you realize that Iraq is far from the first nation to go against UN resolutions. To use failure to comply with UN resolutions as a mandate to go after another country is to apply a delightful double standard.

Turkey has been in violation of Security Council resolutions 353 and 354 for almost thirty years. Let's get those fuckers out of Cyprus once and for all.

Israel continues to violate Security Council resolutions 446 and 465 by not withdrawing their settlers from arab lands. Since we're in the neighborhood, we might as well jump in there as well... (Don't forget 242, 262, 267, and 338 while we're at it.)

We need to REMIND Iraq that the UN means business.

The UN needs to remind the US that the UN charter is very clear that "no member state has the right to enforce any resolution militarily unless the Security Council determines that there has been a material breach of its resolution, decides that all nonmilitary means of enforcement have been exhausted and specifically authorizes the use of military force." For the US to act unilaterally against the wishes of the SC is a clear indication of how little regard we really have for the UN.

You can't call on the UN to act and then not abide by the UN's rules in action.
posted by warhol at 10:06 PM on September 23, 2002


ericdano

Iraq needs to be dealt with. They have not lived up to the UN agreements.

I don't understand. The UN counts when condemning your enemies yet is an irrelevance when condemning your friends.

What good is a UN without any bite?

Exfuckingexasperatingactly! What good is the UN when the worlds richest country dictates policy to it? America launching a full scale war without UN approval.... yup, that'll give the UN some teeth.


We need to REMIND Iraq that the UN means business.

There you go again. So you're fighting the good fight on behalf of the world are you?

Just be honest. Fuck the UN, America doesn't have to takes orders from that little place called the rest of the world..... the 'why do they hate us?' phase is so 2001.
posted by The Great Satan at 10:07 PM on September 23, 2002


Of course Gore is considering running again....He is just testing the waters with the anti war crowd. I for one agree with the majority of what he said. Why do we want to set this sort of precedence? The world order we have been trying to establish for the last 50 years will be destroyed.

For example, if I believed my next door neighbor was a serious threat to my home and life. Even if I had heard a rumor from my other neighbor that he had plans to destroy my house with me in it. Even if he had been previously convicted of arson. Even if I saw him with cans of gasoline. If I called the police with this information, what would happen?. Right....nothing because the police would say there was no crime yet committed against me personally. If I decided to take matters in my own hands with this neighbor what would happen?...Right I would be arrested. So you tell me...where is the logic behind this war?
Don't get me wrong I believe Saddam is an evil dictator and it would be in our best interest to get rid of him (just like all the past and present evil dictators). In this case I don't trust the motivations behind starting a war in Iraq. Like Al Gore said our first priority should be defending ourselves against those who have been proven to have struck us first namely Al Queda. If I was shown clear cut proof that Saddam Hussein was directly involved in the operations, funding or other aid to Al Queda, I would get behind this war plan. For now I still feel that the motivation for this war is oil, plain and simple.
posted by SweetIceT at 10:12 PM on September 23, 2002


A senior White House official called the former vice president "irrelevant," saying that "no one around here is remotely concerned about what he has to say . . . "

Amazing. Is there enough hubris there? That's the kind of talk that almost always precedes a fall.
posted by raysmj at 10:14 PM on September 23, 2002 [1 favorite]


I hate Gore but I am glad there are people giving alternate opinions. A better plan to deal with real problems will come out of debate.
posted by chaz at 10:22 PM on September 23, 2002


A fascinating and humorous commentary by some of our right wing friends in "The Conservative Caucus", about the possibility of an attack on Iraq because of "UN violations" during the Clinton years, can be found under the interesting title "Wag the Dog?"

My question- why are we supposed to really care what Mr. Gore thinks about anything....there are scores of political commentators, not to mention bloggers, who have far more to say about things and do it so much more gracefully than these hoardes of has-been politicians and ex-presidents.

Another pertinent, well thought out, and cogent commentary on the issue. Executive summary:

Get your own weblog, fuckwit Gore.

~guffaw-and-a-wink~

posted by fold_and_mutilate at 10:25 PM on September 23, 2002


"I'm going to go denounce Saddam on my blog!"
"That will show him we mean business!"

posted by homunculus at 10:37 PM on September 23, 2002


When was the last time George Bush said the word "Osama"? I forgot.

I don't know myself, probably awhile. But, if I recall correctly, there was a lot of talk of finding Osama bin Laden as not being a primary goal. The primary goal was to render Al Qaeda and the Taliban useless. And many people mention bin Laden wasn't needed for Al Qaeda to continue to function, although they will probably miss his money. Except for what I think are a high number of casualties due to friendly fire, I would say the effort in Afghanistan is going as well as can be expected. There's my two cents and a bag of chips. Am I blowing up anyones skirt?
posted by Ron at 10:48 PM on September 23, 2002


Ok Gore took a firm position on Iraq, but what about the rest of the Democratic leadership in Washington, who have been riding the fence for months on this issue. I just want our public leaders to go on record, so history can judge accordingly.
posted by Beholder at 11:23 PM on September 23, 2002


My question- why are we supposed to really care what Mr. Gore thinks about anything....there are scores of political commentators, not to mention bloggers, who have far more to say about things and do it so much more gracefully than these hoardes of has-been politicians and ex-presidents

I thought Gore had a pretty well-reasoned argument; even his humor wasn't too terribly stale. And frankly, I'll take the comments of a guy who's been there himself over those of bloggers and political ommentators, who are concerned with little more than looking good for the camera (or the hit counter.)
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 11:24 PM on September 23, 2002


Beholder: That may be the point of the whole speech; to give Gore some distance from the (impotent) Demcratic leadership.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 11:42 PM on September 23, 2002


I feel nervous and disempowered the longer we wait to go after Saddam and his WMD's... A smallpox outbreak, a nuclear weapon...

I'm just hoping we can get that space-based pipeline between ANWR and Houston operational by November 5th.

The clock is ticking, America!
posted by spudnuts at 11:44 PM on September 23, 2002


We have simply put people in power who are Democratic

LOLOL Good one!
posted by rushmc at 11:46 PM on September 23, 2002


But, if I recall correctly, there was a lot of talk of finding Osama bin Laden as not being a primary goal.
Actually, this talk didn't start until Tora Bora and we lost sight of where he may be.

Al Qaeda may have been scattered due to the operation in Afghanistan, but they still have tons of money. Factor in that Al Qaeda/Bin Laden is gambling on the fact that we'll get distracted and drop the whole search to "b" level, then he'll hit again.

Right now it looks like Advantage: Osama.
posted by owillis at 1:20 AM on September 24, 2002


The question is: is Gore perhaps reconsidering running for president again?

No, the question is, will they give him enough money to win the primaries?
Who else is there, come on... Kerry? Edwards (guffaws)? Lieberman (shakes head sadly )?
That nice small-state New England governor kown only to the New Republic editorial staff, the name now escapes me?
Gore is certainly a lame duck, but, was Dole a stronger candidate in '96?
Looks like Gore has decided to bet on the "we're fucking sick of the fucking war, let's talk about the economy" sentiment in 2004, who knows.
And, he won the last time he ran, maybe -- if he'll get nominated of course -- he'll win again, even it's not likely imo.

On the Osama issue: I remember all that "there's an old saying out west, ", and "He's running", "We'll smoke him out of his cave".
Maybe he died in Tora Bora. But he's probably in Pakistan somewhere, ready to film his next message to the world, to be broadcast after the next 9-11-like attack
Better to change the subject

posted by matteo at 3:35 AM on September 24, 2002


But, if I recall correctly, there was a lot of talk of finding Osama bin Laden as not being a primary goal.
Actually, this talk didn't start until Tora Bora and we lost sight of where he may be.


Actually, it's sort of both. I looked back at the infamous "dead or alive" comments that Bush made about a week after 9/11, and noticed that, as usual, Bush was pretty unclear about whether or not finding Osama was necessary.

On the one hand, he said "The focus right now is on Osama bin Laden, no question about it. He's the prime suspect and his organization ... I want justice. And there's an old poster out west, that I recall, that said, 'Wanted, Dead or Alive.'"

On the other hand, he said "Osama bin Laden is just one person. He is representative of networks of people who absolutely have made their cause to defeat the freedoms that we take--that we understand, and we will not allow them to do so ... our mission is not just Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda organization. Our mission is to battle terrorism and to join with freedom-loving people."

It's actually kind of interesting to read that transcript and marvel at Bush's horrible grammar. For a few weeks after 9/11, everybody forgot about what a wretched speaker Bush is, but there are some real gems in this one:

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) You say you want him dead or alive, sir?

BUSH: Just remember, all I'm doing is remembering when I was kid. I remember that I used to put out there in the old West a "wanted" poster. It said, "Wanted, Dead or Alive."

Wow. I had no idea that Bush was a sheriff in the Old West when he was kid.
posted by textureslut at 3:41 AM on September 24, 2002


If he is alive, surely Osama is just waiting for war on Iraq (preferably non UN sanctioned).

While we're at war: a few domestic western targets, some comments on the US's Israeli/Iraqi hypocrisy and before you know it his picture is on the wall of every barbers shop from Tripoli to Karachi. There's only one group who want a war more than Bush and friends, and that's Al Quaeda.
posted by niceness at 4:02 AM on September 24, 2002


Is Gore trying to muster himself irrelevant? He's doing a good job of it. Maybe he should speakup about breaking federal laws instead of stirring up the Democratic Party base.

I'd like to know what his take is on The Federal Election Commission imposing a record- setting $719,000 in fines against participants in the 1996 Democratic Party fund-raising scandals involving contributions from China, Korea and other foreign sources.
posted by ZupanGOD at 5:24 AM on September 24, 2002


This is probably the best thing I have ever heard come out of Al's mouth. Finally, a stand that I would have to considered "principled" instead of purely political.

Thank you, Al. This was a big step toward winning back a Nader Democrat.
posted by norm29 at 5:57 AM on September 24, 2002


A senior White House official called the former vice president irrelevant, saying that no one around here is remotely concerned about what he has to say on the subject of war with Iraq, NBCs Campbell Brown reported.

When I heard this yesterday I got pretty red in the face. How short of a memory the president and his administration have of the election. The majority of the American people voted to have Al Gore in office. Why doesn't he say that nobody here is remotely concerned with what any democrat has to say.
posted by LouieLoco at 6:13 AM on September 24, 2002


This is probably the best thing I have ever heard come out of Al's mouth. Finally, a stand that I would have to considered "principled" instead of purely political.

Don't hold your breath. If this is an another run at the executive office, and that is what it looks like, this will be the high point of his "principled" arguments. Gore is counting on military action failing. Not that he wants our servicemen and woman to die, but he is counting on it becoming a snafu, so he can wave his finger and say "Told you so!" On the other hand, if the upcoming military action goes with out a hitch, watch for Gore to forget this speech ever happened, and throw his full support behind the invasion.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:06 AM on September 24, 2002


steve,

if Gore runs again and again gets the nomination and if he wins again, but if this time he actually manages to get to the White House, Iraq will be his problem too

I doubt that, in case of invasion, everything will be smooth (i.e., new Sunni government, Saddam dead or in exile on at the Hague playing cards with Slobo) in Iraq by January 2005. It could also be President Gore problem too, just in case
posted by matteo at 8:53 AM on September 24, 2002


actually manages to get to the White House

Really having a hard time understanding this denial over who won... Don't you think if Gore had a case, the DNC would have fought it? Drop it already...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:43 AM on September 24, 2002


"We have maintained sanctions in the face of rising criticism, while improving the oil-to-food program to help the Iraqi people directly. We have used force when necessary. And we will not let up in our efforts to free Iraq from Saddam’s rule. Should he think of challenging us, I would strongly advise against it. As a Senator, I voted for the use of force.

As Vice President, I supported the use of force. And if entrusted with the Presidency, my resolve will never waver."

Al Gore: May 23, 2000


At least he didn't lie. His resolution didn't waver, it simply shrivelled up and blew away in the winds of political expediency. Gotta oppose Dubya at all costs - including any shred of credibility or honor you may have Al...
posted by RevGreg at 11:07 AM on September 24, 2002


Gotta oppose Dubya at all costs - including any shred of credibility or honor you may have Al...

"Now, back in 1991, I was one of a handful of Democrats in the United States Senate to vote in favor of the resolution endorsing the Persian Gulf War, and I felt betrayed by the first Bush administration's hasty departure from the battlefield even as Saddam began to renew his persecution of the Kurds in the north and the Shiites in the south, groups that we had, after all, encouraged to rise up against Saddam...

...We are proposing to cross an international border. And, however justified it may be, we have to recognize that this profound difference in the circumstances now compared to what existed in 1991 has profound implications for the way the rest of the world views what we are doing, and that in turn will have implications for our ability to succeed in our war against terrorism. "

His point being that the Cowboy-in-Chief's unilateralist course of action will sabotage the anti-terrorist coalition that should be our first priority.

You didn't actually read the transcript, did you, RevGreg?
posted by norm29 at 12:33 PM on September 24, 2002


Of course he didn't read it, he's fawking retarded. People get the government they deserve; apparently the RevGregs and evanizers among others are far more interested in the cheap entertainment value of bald-faced lies and petty, trivial attacks to worry about the real-world costs of voting for or supporting hate-mongering sociopaths in "elected" office. Gee-Dubya Uber Alles...
posted by hincandenza at 12:43 PM on September 24, 2002


fine, fine, I'm glad they have an opinion, but there are scores of political commentators, not to mention bloggers, who have far more to say about things and do it so much more gracefully than these hoardes of has-been politicians and ex-presidents.

<delurk>
This may be the single dumbest thing I have ever heard a human being say.
</delurk>
posted by solistrato at 1:28 PM on September 24, 2002


It's not so much what was said, but rather who said it- and that we are, apparently, to care more about the jaded opinion of one guy in new york than a 20+ year political veteran with experience in 2 of 3 branches of federal government and 8 years holding the second highest elected office in the nation.
posted by hincandenza at 2:53 PM on September 24, 2002


"Now, back in 1991, I was one of a handful of Democrats in the United States Senate to vote in favor of the resolution endorsing the Persian Gulf War, and I felt betrayed by the first Bush administration's hasty departure from the battlefield even as Saddam began to renew his persecution of the Kurds in the north and the Shiites in the south, groups that we had, after all, encouraged to rise up against Saddam...

So, in essence, in 1991 Gore supported scrapping the international coalition, defying the UN and world opinion and using military force to eliminate Saddam. Now in 2002 he claims that obeying an international coalition, adhering to UN mandates and garnering world opinion is the only way to apply military force to eliminate Saddam.

His point being that the Cowboy-in-Chief's unilateralist course of action will sabotage the anti-terrorist coalition that should be our first priority.

And, as of yet, NONE of the actions have been taken. What is wrong with actually goading the UN into enforcing it's own resolutions? If they are not going to do so, and do it in a timely manner, they are less than worthless as is the world opinion that leans on their judgement. 10+ years of Saddam jerking them around is far too long and the impotent missile attacks of the Clinton era accomplished little more than a superficial illusion of action.

But he is right, the circumstances are very different. The only possible political gain he can make this time is by opposing the administration in power whereas the political gain in 1991 was in supporting action. He has not lost his knack for self-aggrandisement and self-promotion...
posted by RevGreg at 2:58 PM on September 24, 2002


jaded opinion of one guy in new york

Hicandenza, your mad skillz of research are staggering. Click my name at the bottom of the post and you will find that I am located in Pennsylvania. I hope the rest of your statements are investigated with more care.
posted by RevGreg at 3:03 PM on September 24, 2002


Um, hello RevGreg! I was clearly responding to sjc's quoting of evanizer's basic sentiment: "Why should we listen to a former two-term vice president with more than 20 years experience in two branches of the Federal government when we could be listening to random bloggers?" as among the "single dumbest thing[s]" sjc had ever heard. I noted that it (evanizer's statement) wasn't so much stupid that it was said at all as that it was said by a poster infamous at MeFi for his knee-jerk hipper-than-thou cynicism, his self-important "been there, done that" tone. My impression was that evanizer was essentially suggesting that he had, in his embittered myopia, more to offer on the subject of Iraq than, say, a recent vice-president of the United States.

And RevGreg, you'll no doubt notice that evanizer is from Brooklyn, New York. Ka-zam!
posted by hincandenza at 5:56 PM on September 24, 2002


My bad hincandenza, my bad. It wasn't staggeringly clear who you were replying to but I'll definately take the lumps for this one!
posted by RevGreg at 6:17 PM on September 24, 2002


No biggie. I've actually said much worse than what you thought I did, so it's a rare pleasure to be able to stand up for what I didn't say. Er, something like that... :)
posted by hincandenza at 8:59 AM on September 25, 2002


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