Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards delivered what his campaign called a “major foreign policy address” this morning in Des Moines. Edwards spent a lot of time talking about ways to keep nuclear weapons from winding up in the wrong hands, but he began his speech by talking about Saddam Hussein. Edwards, who is a North Carolina Senator, says Hussein’s capture is a turning point in the effort to install a democracy in Iraq. But Edwards says “the way Saddam Hussein is prosecuted will either cement or fatally undermine confidence in the rule of law in Iraq.” Edwards says Saddam’s trial will either “prove once and for all to people in the Arab world that Saddam was a monster,” or “reinforce mistrust” of the U.S. Edwards says any court that tries Saddam must be seen as fair and legitimate by both the Iraqi people and the international community. Edwards says the Bush Administration is making a mistake by having the Iraqi governing council try Hussein. Edwards says “prosecuting Saddam is not like restoring electricity or picking up garbage — it is one of the most politically-sensitive and complex tasks facing a post-Saddam Iraq” according to Edwards. Edwards says letting the Iraqi Governing Council conduct the trial will diminish the chance it will be seen as legitimate since the members of the Council aren’t elected but were hand-picked by the U.S.Massachusetts Senator John Kerry will deliver a “foreign policy address” tomorrow at Drake University in Des Moines. Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean’s in California today, where he gave a formal speech on the same subject.
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