Des Moines, IA) Democrat presidential candidate Bill Bradley Thursday said land mines are a hazard which should no longer be visited upon innocent civilians entering what used to be a war zone.
“Our military advantage is that we are mobile. Land mines are stationary,” Bradley told about 75 people who waited over an hour in an airport hanger to see the candidate. “Our military advantage is high tech…there’s no lower tech weapon in the world than a land mine.”
An international treaty, which calls for a global ban on anti-personnel land mines was crafted in 1997 and has the signed support of 136 countries. Bradley said he would push to add the U.S. to the list.
Some U.S. military officials say land mines planted along the border between North and South Korea need to remain in place, but Bradley said the ban will not compromise the country’s military options. The treaty exempts mines which are detonated by a remote device.
“I’ve talked with military officials, many of whom agree with me that this is an appropriate thing to do,” Bradley said.
During an interview with Radio Iowa after the rally, Bradley said while the issue is not a major topic on the campaign trail, there are some Iowans who follow it closely.
“I think that it’s an issue for some Caucus-goers who care desperately about where we’re headed with the defense of our country,” Bradley said.
Bradley’s arrival in Iowa on Thursday marked a new phase of the campaign as he and his wife, Ernestine, take up residence in a Des Moines hotel for the remaining days of the campaign for support in Iowa’s Caucuses, a kick-off event in the 2000 Presidential campaign.
In addition to the candidate’s own investment of time and money in the state, 400 “Friends of Bill” will canvas the state leading up to January 24 on Bradley’s behalf, including some former basketball stars.
“We hope that they will convey to Iowans that their decision could have national impact on that night, not because it’s me per se, but because the things I want to do they agree with and they see me as a vehicle to achieve them,” Bradley said.
Bradley campaigns Friday in Des Moines. His rival, Al Gore, campaigns in Dubuque, Cedar Rapids and West Des Moines as both men prepare to face-off Saturday in a debate in Johnston