April 30th, 2007 by alex
By Nick Katers
One of the cornerstones of your presidential campaign is opposition to the Iraq War and the recent troop surge. You mention the use of “aggressive and skilled diplomacy” as part of the follow up to withdrawal. What does this mean exactly?

First off, you concentrate on bringing people together. Let’s take Iraq. We won’t get help from anybody because we are a superpower and we are arrogant. Whether it is personal or payback, Iraqis are not willing to help us. They are willing to sit on the sidelines and let us bleed.
If we take out our troops, now they have a different equation. We then initiate meetings with Iran, Syria, and Lebanon, even Israel—all those who have a stake in the stability of the Middle East.
Secondly, I would knock off these sanctions. Sanctions don’t work. We have been sanctioning North Korea for 56 years, 26 years for Iran. All it does is strengthen the hand of the tyrant, because all they do is blame those conducting the sanctions. That’s aggressive diplomacy to counteract the stupid diplomacy we have been using so far.

Would you support a three-state solution in Iraq?

I support what the Iraqis want. What we have done is engineered an oil agreement with their government which satisfies our corporate interests, and it’s an abomination. We went in for oil, we are there to maintain control over oil, and we are going to leave enough troops there to enforce the oil agreements we already have and to sustain some type of activity to buy people off.
Make no mistake about it, money comes through our coffers before it gets to the Iraqi people.
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In your Senate career, you fought vigorously against the extension of the military draft and for the publication of the Pentagon Papers. If you were in the Senate today, could you have done the same things as you did in the 1970s?

Very much. There are few times I would wish to be back in the Senate, but I wish I had been there on the 11th of October, 2002. I would have filibustered that bill [A joint resolution to authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq], to hell with formalities. All of the secrecy that is bought into by the members of Congress is ridiculous. As much as the Democrats and Republicans bicker at each other, they have a common interest in maintaining a central balance by avoiding major controversies.

How would the National Initiative for Democracy, which would amend the Constitution to give average citizens the right to create legislation, affect our international commitments, both humanitarian and military?

If the people were in power today to make laws, we would get out of Iraq in a week. If the people were in power to make laws, we would have a serious effort at stemming global warming and solving the energy crisis. If the people were in power, you would have a health care program right now that would cover all people.

What is the roadblock to a national initiative process or the expansion of democracy in America?

People in power do not want to give up their power. There is no way that the Congress will vote for the National Initiative. The media is in the same boat. The media acts as the mediator between the people and leadership.
Once the people have power at the state level, they would rather die than give up that power.
The political leader, just out of human nature, will put his own personal interest above the public interest. That is not pejorative, that is just human nature. Representative government cannot be changed by representative government, it can only be changed by the people.

Make the case for young people to vote for you in their state’s primary.

I am not politics as usual.
Hillary is on the Armed Services Committee and Obama is on the Veterans Committee. Are they trying to tell me that Hillary for five years and Obama for two years have had no knowledge of the scandalous treatment given to soldiers when they return from Iraq? Then they have the temerity to go out and introduce a piece of legislation called the Dignity for our Warriors Act, which will do nothing.
I will call these people out. At the Democratic National Committee meetings, I made the point, to the embarrassment of the Democratic leadership, that we would not be at war with Iraq if it weren’t for the Democrats. Sure, the Republicans initiated it. But the amount of votes that it took to pass the measure in the Senate came from the majority of Democrats.
Young people should vote for somebody who is telling the truth and avoid voting for politicians who will lie to you about the state of this nation.

http://www.intmag.org/interviews.php?itemid=2712