I have a question for those anti-war folks who always preface what they have to say with, "Well, of course Saddam is a bad guy, but...". Of course he's not just a "bad guy", but a ruthless, brutal, savage despot...but anyway.
If he's so bad, why aren't you in favor of regime change? And if you are in favor of regime change, how's it going to happen without force?
Here's the transcript to Meet the Press
a couple of weeks ago, when Tim Russert posed the very same question (three times!) to Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who is also a presidential candidate.
MR. RUSSERT: Let me start, Congressman Kucinich, by showing you the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998. I’ll show it to you on the board: “...It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq...”
October 5, 1998, that passed by a vote of 360-to-38. You voted for it. President Clinton signed it. Isn’t that exactly what President Bush is trying to do?
Good question. Kucinich's answer?
REP. KUCINICH: Well, I want to thank you for pointing out I’m not here as a friend of Saddam Hussein. At the same time it doesn’t follow that we should conduct what is, in effect, a pre-emptive war, making an effort to try to seize Iraq. I think the United Nations inspection process can work.Containment has worked. We should continue on that path. This war is not necessary and, furthermore, this administration has not made a credible case for war.
His answer is that he's not a friend of Saddam Hussein. Whew.
Tim tries again:
MR. RUSSERT: But the Iraq Liberation Act that you voted for says “support efforts to remove the regime.” Is containment removing the regime?
REP. KUCINICH: Well, I think...
MR. RUSSERT: How would you remove Saddam Hussein?
REP. KUCINICH: I think the way that the international community can best function today is to make sure that Saddam Hussein is contained.
So here we finally get the answer. Kucinich voted in 1998 to support efforts to remove Saddam Hussein, but he apparently didn't really mean it. Now he just wants to "contain" him. Which means leaving him in power, allowing him to continue to smuggle oil out and money for illicit weapons in, allowing him to continue to oppress and torture his own people. Lovely.
REP. KUCINICH: I don’t—I stand for the security of the United States. But you know—or, rather, you may know, that if the United States goes ahead and attacks Iraq, it’s sure to make this country less secure. It’s sure to create more terrorism in this country and make this country a focal point of terrorist attacks. That’s why the code orange was brought up by the administration. I think we need to continue on the path of containment, continue on the path of inspections and avoid this war. That resolution that passed in 1998, as you know, was not a declaration of war; it was a statement of intent of the Congress to support efforts to thwart the administration of Saddam Hussein, but it wasn’t a call for war against the Iraqi people.
Ah, Tim...he realizes this isn't an answer, so he valiantly tries, yet again, to nail jello to the wall.
MR. RUSSERT: It wasn’t “thwart”; it was “remove the regime.” Are you still in favor of removing Saddam Hussein from power?
REP. KUCINICH: Oh, Saddam Hussein should be removed from power.
Huh? I thought you just said the best way to deal with him was to contain him? But wait...it gets better.
MR. RUSSERT: How would you do it?
REP. KUCINICH: But not by military force.
MR. RUSSERT: How would you do it?
REP. KUCINICH: I think the way that you do it is continue to use sanctions which thwart his efforts to grow. We’ve contained him. He doesn’t have nuclear weapons. We do not know if he has biological and chemical weapons. That’s going to be up to the U.N. inspectors to be able to determine if they’re usable. The idea of Saddam Hussein continuing in power is something that I think most Americans support—can be removed. The question is: What is the most effective way to thwart Hussein? And I don’t believe the most effective way is war. I think that will only make him a martyr and will cause the United States to be a target of terrorist attacks.
Is this not pathetic? You remove him by "thwarting his efforts to grow". Yeah...I want this bonehead to be the next President.
Can anybody else out there tell me exactly how to remove Saddam Hussein from power without force?
If you want to be intellectually honest at least admit that you're not in favor of removing him...at least admit that you're advocating leaving a ruthless, despotic regime in power.