Kucinich On Bhutto: U.S. "Must Stop Adding Fuel To The Fire" Rudy: "It’s Personal To Me. I Lived Through 9/11"
The reactions of the various candidates are telling. What do they say about how each would approach foreign policy and “TGWOT”?
Thompson, Giuliani, Romney, on H&C tonight; Kucinich on radio.
“This is a very dangerous moment for the world. Benazir Bhutto represented a courageous effort to bring principles of liberty to Pakistan. She was truly dedicated to the people of Pakistan. The United States must change its policy direction in the region. It must stop adding fuel to the fire.”
”The terrible violence surrounding Pakistan’s upcoming election stands in stark contrast to the peaceful transition of power that we embrace in our country through our Constitution. On this sad day, we are reminded that while our democracy has flaws, it stands as a shining beacon of hope for nations and people around the world who seek peace and opportunity through self-government.”
“We are still learning the details of today’s tragic events in Pakistan, but this is a stark reminder that America must not only stay on high alert, but remain actively engaged across the globe. Pakistan has long been a key part in the war against extremism and radical jihadists. For those who think Iraq is the sole front in the War on Terror, one must look no further than what has happened today. America must show its commitment to stand with all moderate forces across the Islamic world and together face the defining challenge of our generation – the struggle against violent, radical jihadists.”
“The assassination of Benazir Bhutto is a tragic event for Pakistan and for democracy in Pakistan. Her murderers must be brought to justice and Pakistan must continue the path back to democracy and the rule of law. Her death is a reminder that terrorism anywhere — whether in New York, London, Tel-Aviv or Rawalpindi — is an enemy of freedom. We must redouble our efforts to win the Terrorists’ War on Us.”
“And I think this should be seen from the point of view from the national security of Pakistan, the national security of the United States…I think as to how to respond to this, I suspect that there will be complete unanimity behind what the president and the administration decides to do…It leads us to the conclustion that we have to remain on offense against terrorism. That we have to be on alert. That we have to use our military in the way in which we have used our military. We have to look at Afganistan now and see, ‘do we need to redouble our efforts to make sure things dont move back to the way they were before’…And it reminds us that the pres’s decisionon on sptember 20, 2001 to put us on offense against islamice terrorism and against terrorism is absolutely necessary…For me, this is a particularly personal experience because i lived through September, 2001, and I lived thru the attack in London a few years later.”
“The death of Benazir Bhutto underscores yet again the grave dangers we face in the world today and particularly in countries like Pakistan, where the forces of moderation are arrayed in a fierce battle against those who embrace violent Islamic extremism.
“Given Pakistan’s strategic location, the international terrorist groups that operate from its soil, and its nuclear arsenal, the future of that country has deep implications for the security of the United States and its allies. America must stand on the right side of this ongoing struggle.
“In my numerous visits to Pakistan – to Islamabad, to Peshawar, even to the tribal areas of Waziristan – I have seen first hand the many challenges that face the political leadership there, challenges so graphically portrayed by today’s tragedy. There are, in Pakistan, brave individuals who seek to lead their country away from extremism and instability and into the light of a better day. America, I believe, must do all we can to support them.”
“Pakistan is our ally in our war against the Taliban in Afghanistan. I think you know that Pakistan is a nuclear armed state. That there has been an area of Pakistan which I have been to called Waziristan which is now a safe-haven for some Taliban. I think you also know that there has been a lot of domestic upheaval going on in that country….I’ve been to Waziristan, I knew BB, I know Musharaff very well. If I were president of the United States, I would be on the phone right now, and I would be meeting with the national security council, and I would be seeing ways that we could restore order, or maintain order, or restore order, whichever is the case in Pakistan. I know the players I know the individuals, and I know the best way to address this situation.”
“As we recognize the loss of a leader today, we must also recognize the implication of today’s tragedy to the security of the region and to that of the United States.
“At this critical time we must do everything in our power to help Pakistan continue the path toward democracy and full elections. Our first priority must be to ensure stability in this critical nuclear state.
“The United States should also stand ready to provide assistance in investigating this heinous act. And as Pakistan perpetrators to justice, it should also demonstrate that it will not allow such violence to derail democracy and proceed with elections in a timely manner.”
“This fall, I twice urged President Musharraf to provide better security for Ms. Bhutto and other political leaders – I wrote him before her return and after the first assassination attempt in October. The failure to protect Ms. Bhutto raises a lot of hard questions for the government and security services that must be answered.
“I know that Benazir’s followers will be tempted to lash out in anger and violence. I urge them to remain calm – and not play into the hands of the forces of destruction. I urge Pakistan’s leaders to open a fully accountable and transparent investigation. We must find out who was behind this and bring those responsible to justice. And the United States should offer any assistance necessary, including investigative teams, to get to the bottom of this horror.
“The way to honor Benazir Bhutto is to uphold the values for which she gave her life: democracy, moderation and social justice. I join with the Pakistani people in mourning the loss of a dear friend.”
“We have a war to end. We have another war to try to come to grips with in Afghanistan. We have many nations and their leaders as well as networks of extremists around the globe who do not share our values or share the freedoms we want for ourselves, children and grandchildren…Picking a president who is ready on day one, who is ready to deal with the myriad of problems .”
“The United States government cannot stand by and allow Pakistan’s return to democracy to be derailed or delayed by violence.
We must use our diplomatic leverage and force the enemies of democracy to yield: President Bush should press Musharraf to step aside, and a broad-based coalition government, consisting of all the democratic parties, should be formed immediately. Until this happens, we should suspend military aid to the Pakistani government. Free and fair elections must also be held as soon as possible.”
Edwards On Richardson’s call for Musharraf to step aside:
“I don’t think that now is the
time to talk about things like that. I think the important thing for america to show that we continue to stand behind the principles of democracy that we’ve always stood behind and the presidential of the Unites States, the presidential candidates be a calming influence, not a disruptive influence.”
Edwards On Bhutto:
“Benazir Bhutto was a brave and historic leader for Pakistan. Her assassination is a sad and solemn event, and our hearts go out to her family and to the Pakistani people. But we will not let this contemptible, cowardly act delay the march of progress in Pakistan for a single second.
“I have seen firsthand in Pakistan, and in meetings with Prime Minister Bhutto and President Musharraf, the instability of the country and the complexity of the challenges they face. At this critical moment, America must convey both strength and principle. We should do everything in our power to help bring the perpetrators of this heinous act to justice and to ensure that Bhutto’s movement toward democracy continues.”
“I have a call into president musharraf who I also know, I want to talk to him about continuing onto the path of dmeocratization. I spoke with the ambassador earlier this morning and I intend to speak with the former prime minister’s family.
I think it’s very important under these circumstances in these kind of times for America to show both strength and principle to be a calming influence to be a reassuring influence and continue to promote demcratization in Pakistan, which is important to the Pakistani people and important to the world.”
“…we have to make sure that we are clear as americans that we stand for democracy and that we will be steadfast in our desire to end the kinds of terrorist acts that have blighted not just pakistan, but other parts of the world.”
Obama from December 18:
“We have made a mistake that we have consistently made which is to confuse our alliance with a particular leader to our alliance with a country. And when that leader then starts engaging in human rights violations or non democratic practices, we become tethered to him and that hurts america’s long term interests…The idea that we have to have to have this particular military leader or this particular preident now in order to stop islamic extremism in pakistan is simply incorrect. If anything, because of his anti democratic practices, that has strengthened the capacity of Islamic extremists in Pakistan to use that anti-Musharraf sentiment and translate into anti-American sentiment. So I would absolutely condition much of our military aid on better democratic practices in Pakistan.”
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