Sanders opposes action against Iraq

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(Host) Vermont Congressman Bernard Sanders says an attack on Iraq would jeopardize the U.S. war on terrorism. Speculation has been growing that President Bush intends to take military action against Iraq to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Speaking Thursday at a news conference in his Burlington office, Sanders said he does not think the United States should try to remove Hussein. Sanders warned that a new war would endanger international support for the United States:

(Sanders) “There are many international problems now. I regard our war on terrorism as our most serious problem. And I think if you go to war against Iraq now, that coalition – that difficult coalition that we have put together with Pakistan, with other nations in the Arab area – would fall apart and make it much, much harder to focus on terrorism.”

(Host) Sanders also discussed the implications that a U.S. invasion would have on international law. Sanders said that a U.S. attack would set a dangerous precedent:

(Sanders) “If the United States says we have the right at any time we want to overthrow any government we want, then why do we have a United Nations? Why do you have an international community? And if you do that, if you go to war unilaterally – whatever you wanna go – you cannot have from moral authority criticize China. China invaded Taiwan. What moral authority would we have to say, ‘Boy, that’s wrong. You can’t do that. You’re in violation of international law.’ They say, ‘Oh really? That’s what you did when you invaded Iraq.'”

(Host) Sanders is one of 75 members of Congress who have demanded that President Bush seek Congressional approval before taking military action in Iraq. According to Sanders, the U.S. policy on Iraq with be at the forefront of debate when Congress returns from its summer recess.

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