MOSELEY BRAUN: Well, removing the genocidal gangster-that's over, he's captured. But it had little to do with keeping the American people safe. We should have continued to search for bin Laden. We should have continued to break up Al Qaeda. We should have continued to work on breaking up the terrorist cells, some of which, operating out of northern Iraq right now, continue to threaten us.
The fact is, fear is power. We've seen a lack of focus on dealing with the fears of the American people, dealing with the real threats that we face, dealing with our domestic security in ways that will give us the ability to work with others around the world, with international organizations, to give us the law enforcement capacity to go after these criminals wherever they may be. We've lost focus on that while going off on a misadventure in Iraq.
MOSELEY-BRAUN: I opposed this war. Having said that, we have to do what we can to give troops support. Some are out there without basic supplies. And those who are injured are not getting the support they need when they come home. They're not supporting the troops, they're supporting their friends with big contracts to rebuild Iraq and make more money.
MOSELEY BRAUN: I stand with the mothers of the young men and women who are in the desert in Iraq and who right now are in the shooting gallery without even sufficient supplies to sustain themselves. It is absolutely critical that we not cut and run, that we provide our troops with what they need and that we just not blow up that country and leave it blown up. That responsibility means we will have to vote some money.
A year ago, I called on this president not to go into Iraq and I called on the Congress not to give him the authority to go into Iraq, and at the same time asked how much is this going to cost? He didn't answer the question then, he's not answering the question now. But I believe that it's going to be important for us to come up with the money to make certain that our young men & women and our reputation as leaders in the world is not permanently destroyed by the folly of preemptive war.
BRAUN: This problem was caused in the first place when Congress abdicated its Article 1, Section 8 authority under the Constitution and gave a president the right to go on a free-for-all with a preemptory attack in Iraq. But that's behind us. Bush frittered away international goodwill, our international institutions, our friends around the world. So now we're in a position of having to go back to those allies that that this administration thumbed its nose at and asked for help and burden-sharing. We need to go back and make up. We don't have to relinquish command and control. But at the same time, we have every responsibility to engage a multinational force to help us out of the quagmire in Iraq.
Strength in my mind would have been represented by a singular focus on getting the criminals who violated every American on 9/11, by working with others to hunt out these criminals wherever they might be found. And that's not what's happened under Bush.
However, Americans don't cut and run. We have to support our troops in the field. So we are in a position now in which this administration has frittered away the goodwill of the international community, failed to go after Al Qaida and bin Laden, and left our troops in the field without the resources they need.
So I welcome the international community. I hope that it will allow us to extricate ourselves with honor but continue a viable war on terrorism that gets bin Laden and his pals and all the people who would do harm to the American people.
A: Since WWII the Congress has essentially abdicated the power to declare war by passing resolutions authorizing the President to decide. The Congress erred in giving Bush that authority. Repealing the resolution is a bit like closing the barn door too late, but I believe that Bush's claim of a right to start a war based not on aggression but on suspicion is dangerous and ought to be rejected by the American people.
[The war has cost] in excess of $200 billion dollars the last time we looked. And the American people are hurting. So I think the question in this race is whether or not Democrats can steer a course for America that is more in keeping with America's interests and America's values: Building our relations, working well with others in the world, building international institutions, trying to address those problems that cause war in the first place and undermine our security in the first place.
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George W. Bush
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