Dennis Kucinich Campaigns In The Middle East

Dennis Kucinich is spending some campaign time in the Middle East this week on a peace finding mission. He met with the leaders of Lebanon and Syria. He said he would not visit Iraq because he considers the US military deployment there illegal. “I feel the United States is engaging in an illegal occupation … I don’t want to bless that occupation with my presence,” Kucinich said in an interview in Lebanon, after visiting Syria. “I will not do it.” Kucinich said Syrian leader agreed with him on “peace through strength.” Kucinich also had praise for Syria for taking in so many Iraqi war refugees. “What most people are not aware of is that Syria has taken in more than 1.5 million Iraqi refugees,” Kucinich said. “The Syrian government has actually shown a lot of compassion in keeping its doors open, and being a host for so many refugees.” He mentioned he wanted UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to look into the cluster bombs Israel had left in Lebanon after their war. They are still laying around and people are still getting killed from them. “There has to be a commitment to cleaning up these cluster bombs,” Kucinich said. While in Lebanon Kucinich spoke with Prime Minister Fouad Siniora about the possibility of peace in the middle east. “The Prime Minister and I agree that a fair, just and equitable resolution of matters between the Israelis and Palestinians must be seen as central to establishing peace not only in the region but throughout the world,” Kucinich said. He believes it is up to the United States to take the lead in this. “America must lead the way in this regard, by taking an even-handed approach in the Middle East which includes establishment of two states, together with the protection of the social, economic and political rights of Palestinians simultaneous with mandatory, firm long-term structural security assurances for Israel,” Kucinich said. Kucinich is paying for this trip for him and his wife with campaign funding. He says since he talks about peace in the Middle East during his campaigns that it makes sense to meet the leaders from there. He is not breaking any rules with the FEC by using campaign money to fund the trip. He may not find many voters there, but he is reinforcing the fact that he is the peace candidate by going on these peace and fact finding missions.
Alan Cosgrove

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