Kucinich: ‘Our moral standing in the world is at risk’
Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich took the stage enjoying the fact he was one of the few in Congress who voted against authorizing the Iraq war.
“It must be tough to come before the American people and say they were tricked, deceived, misled by George Bush,” he said to laughter form the crowd. “Well, here’s one person who wasn’t.”
He said to be president, a candidate “must have the clarity, the judgment.” He said Bush doesn’t.
Kucinich an international peace-keeping force should be brought together to help Iraq but that the U.S. occupation should end.
“We need to recognize that it’s time to end the occupation,” he said.
“Congress must cut off the funds.”
He said his plan includes “honest reconstruction ” we have to get Halliburton and all those other contractors out of Iraq because they are cheating the U.S.
“Our moral standing in the world is at risk here,” he said.
And he charged that Iraq’s oil reserves are at the core of the Bush Administration’s resistance to withdrawal.
“We have to stop trying to steal the oil that belongs to Iraq,” he said.
Health care, he said, “is one of the biggest frauds.” He said the problem is more than 30 percent of health-care costs go to rich insurance providers.
“”My plan doesn’t provide a role for for-profit insurance companies,” he said.
“If all that money went for care for people, we would have enough to cover everything,” he said.
Kucinich said to do that, the American people need a president “who doesn’t have strings attached.”
He said he is that man.
Kucinich was followed by Mike Gravel, the former Alaska congressman, who said Congress has the constitutional right to declare war and “the right to end it.”
If Congress uses that power and sticks to its guns, he said the U.S. can be out of Iraq in six months.
Gravel also urged repeal of the income tax system.
“I think we ought to wipe out the income tax. It’s the most unfair, regressive system of tax in the world.”