Two of the four democratic presidential candidates who spoke last night at the Iowa Federation of Labor convention oppose war with Iraq, while the other two support action to ensure Saddam Hussein doesn’t obtain nuclear weapons. Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean says “it’s the wrong war at the wrong time.”Dean took a shot at rival candidate John Edwards, the North Carolina Senator who voted in favor of the President’s resolution on Iraq.Dean says candidates can’t say they oppose Bush’s foreign policy objectives while they’re in Iowa, then vote to support ’em when they go back to Washington. Dean says it’s time for democrats to stand up for what they believe in. Edwards defends his stance.Edwards says he believes Saddam Hussein is a serious threat who must be disarmed and the U.S. should be willing to use military force, if necessary. Edwards says that doesn’t mean he believes the President is doing the right thing with the rest of his foreign policy.Edwards says if Bush is allowed to continue on this course, the whole world will hate us, and he says Americans are safer in a world where America is respected than in a world where America is hated. Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich says it’s time to “stop this war before it starts.” Kucinich says Iraq was not responsible for 9/11 or for the anthrax attacks on the U.S. nor does Kucinich believe there’s evidence Iraq has “usable” weapons of mass destruction. Kucinich says he’s the only candidate in the race who voted against going to war with Iraq.Kucinich says “this war is wrong” and if we kill thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, “anger against America will arise and we’ll be less safe here at home.” Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman supported the Gulf War and supports present-day action against Iraq because he says Saddam is a “ticking time bomb.”Lieberman says he hopes we don’t have to go to war, but we’ve given Saddam a “lot of last chances.” Lieberman says he’s confident the U.S. military will achieve success quickly.Lieberman says it’ll be “the dawn of a new day in the Middle East” if Bush is willing to stay in Iraq and create a democracy. Mark Smith, the president of the Iowa Federation of Labor, says union members are concerned about the drumbeats of war. Smith says union members wonder why the U.S. has billions to “retire” Saddam Hussein, but no money to provide for the retirement security of Americans.
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