Wednesday, December 05, 2007

"Hope not fear"

The Democratic Party
Hope not fear

Dear automat,

Here we go again.

For the past few months, the Bush Administration exploited the fears of Americans to make their case against Iran. Just a few weeks ago, the President said "I believe they want to have the capacity, the knowledge, in order to make a nuclear weapon."

This week, 16 U.S. intelligence agencies published a report that "in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program." Turns out the White House was aware of this shocking assessment for a few months, but reportedly worked to delay its public release.

Distortions and manipulation to promote a narrow ideological agenda is nothing new to the Bush Administration -- it's how they misled us into Iraq. This is the worst kind of leadership: a dishonest appeal our base emotions.

Iran may pose a threat, but misleading the American people is not the way to deal with it.  All of the Democratic candidates have said that we need to have all options on the table when dealing with Iran -- Republicans seem to only consider war.

After we elect a Democratic president in 2008, the American people will once again have a leader who will be open and honest with them. But until then, it's important that every Republican presidential candidate avoids the fear-mongering that George Bush has used to so profoundly divide this country.

Back when I ran for President, I couldn't walk ten feet without seeing a "Hope not Fear" slogan on a t-shirt or a sign. And now, four years later, it's never meant more to me.

Join me and remind every Republican presidential candidate that all Americans want to be inspired by hope, not governed by fear.  Tell them to listen to the intelligence community:

If these quotes are any indication, the Republican frontrunners haven't gotten the message:

Rudy Giuliani: "Iran is nuclear threat, not just because they can deliver a nuclear warhead with missiles; they're a nuclear threat because they are the biggest state sponsor of terrorism and they can hand nuclear materials to terrorists."

Mitt Romney: "If for some reasons they continue down their course of folly toward nuclear ambition, then I would take military action if that's available to us."

Mike Huckabee: "A President has to do whatever is necessary to protect the American people. If we think Iran is building nuclear capacity that could be used against us in any way, including selling some of the nuclear capacity to some other terrorist group, then yes we have a right [to attack]. I would do it in a heartbeat. "

We don't need four more years of Bush-Cheney foreign policy in the White House. No matter your party, it's time to stop scaring Americans with doomsday scenarios -- and start talking about the positive steps our country can take to ensure a peaceful world community.

Stand up for policy based on facts, not hysteria fueled by fear:

President Bush used faulty intelligence and fear-mongering to enter Iraq. Now he's been caught using faulty intelligence and fear-mongering to engage Iran.

He's not going to get away with it. Don't let any one of our nation's presidential candidates get away with it either.


Howard Dean

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