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====== FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ======

America First Party
1630 A 30th Street #111
Boulder, Colorado 80301
http://www.AmericaFirstParty.org

Monday, May 24, 2004

President Bush Still Doesn't Get It

Boulder, CO - This evening, President Bush gave a speech to a handpicked audience at the US Army War College regarding Iraq. In response, America First Party National Chairman Dan Charles issued the following statement:

"It is about time that President Bush made an effort to level with the American people about Iraq. It is about time the President let us know his plans for our tax money, our armed forces, our national honor, and our impatient wards in Iraq. Unfortunately, he failed yet again.

"While he made a strong case that his field commanders have learned from their mistakes, it is clear that the President has failed to learn from his, and still refuses to own up to his own mistakes.

"Pre-invasion Iraq may have been a threat to its neighbors. Its government was clearly a threat to its own people, but the facts on the ground, both then and now, show that Iraq was only a threat to the United States in the imagination of the President and key members of his administration.

"Tonight, the President claimed that the current fighting in Iraq makes it the central front in the War on Terrorism. If that is so, then it is only so because the President's policies toward Iraq have made it so. Despite his claim again this evening, there is no credible evidence of any link between Iraq and 9-11. There was no Iraq-Al Queda connection, until we invaded Iraq.

"We were hopeful that the plan laid out tonight would be a success, and that this policy mistake would soon be over and our troops would be home, protecting our borders, not Iraq's. But all we got was a 'stay the course' plan that is flawed--both as policy and philosophy.

"Central to the President's plan is the handover of 'sovereignty' on June 30th. He says that this will show the Iraqi people that we are not occupiers. This belief is wrongheaded and mistaken. So long as American troops are patrolling Iraqi streets, manning checkpoints, and conducting military operations on Iraqi soil, we will be seen as occupiers.

"President Bush bragged tonight that he goes to the UN at every opportunity. When he wrongly believed that our national security was at stake, he went to the UN to ask permission to defend our nation. This was a mistake. Now, his plan creates an interim government, appointed by the UN. This is another mistake. The UN should never be in the business of choosing the leaders of any nation.

"President Bush's plan is predicated on the proposition that the US government and/or the UN can and should decide the fate of other peoples and nations. These policies (which Senator Kerry may or may not endorse based on the direction of the wind and who proposes them) are naive and wrongheaded and contribute to the perception that we are an arrogant and selfish people.

"For the benefit of the American people, the American taxpayer, and the brave men and women of our armed forces who are being misused, the America First Party calls for as rapid and rational an exit from Iraq as is possible. Our goal should be to hold Iraqi elections in September and have our troops home in time to vote at their local precincts this November. Any other course is based on hubris and self-delusion. It is time the Iraqi people were given control of their own fate.

"After all this time, after all the opportunity for common sense to sink in, it is clear to us: President Bush still doesn't get it. He has a policy problem, not a perception problem."

Contacts:
Dan Charles, National Chairman, 1-866-SOS-USA1, ext. 4
Romelle Winters, Press Secretary, 1-866-SOS-USA1, ext. 2

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