Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Senator Kerrey Discusses Iraq Policy at Wilson Center

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Senator Kerrey Discusses Iraq Policy at Wilson Center

Article excerpt

SENATOR KERREY DISCUSSES IRAQ POLICY AT WILSON CENTER

Senator J. Robert Kerrey (R-NE) addressed an audience at the Woodrow Wilson Center Sept. 29 on the topic of "Are Freedom and Democracy Possible in Iraq?" Senator Kerrey feels that the current air of resignation and depression over U.S. Iraq policy is misplaced. While he agrees that current policy has not succeeded, he sees cause for hope -- and for a new policy.

It is Kerrey's view that "the liberation of Iraq is inevitable." The current situation in Iraq, he said, must be changed because it is "intolerable": for the Iraqi people on humanitarian grounds; for the surrounding Arab states for the stresses and strains put on their economies and social systems by the sanctions and the American military presence; for Israel due to the threat of missile attack; and for Iran because Iraqi President Saddam Hussain's presence "gives Iranian hard-liners another excuse not to liberalize."

Kerrey said it also is intolerable for the U.S., because American military forces are engaged in almost daily strikes against Iraqi targets and the U.S. has suffered casualties as a result of the crisis. Senator Kerrey links both the attack on U.S. Air Force personnel housed in the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia and on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania to anger at American policy and U.S. military presence in the Gulf.

Elaborating on what he described as a moral necessity to bring about a change of regime in Baghdad, Senator Kerrey said the Iraqi people are suffering because the aid due them from the oil-for-food program is not being delivered. …

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