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OCTOBER 17, 2003
8:49 AM
CONTACT:  Kucinich.US
David Swanson 202-329-7847
Kucinich Calls on Candidates to Oppose $87 Billion, Questions Shift from Moral Issue to “Budgetary Discussion,” Says the Occupation is the Issue
WASHINGTON - October 17 - With a vote imminent on the President’s request for another $87 billion for the Iraq occupation, Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich called on his fellow presidential candidates, those in and out of Congress, to strongly oppose the request:

“We must end the occupation. Seventy-seven percent of these funds would go for an occupation that is unjust and counterproductive. The Iraq occupation destabilizes an already turbulent region, and we should not risk the death of a single additional American soldier to perpetuate it.

“Those who make the issue where the money comes from obscure the moral question of whether to fund the occupation. If you end the occupation, more than saving money, you’re saving the lives of the men and women who bravely serve our country. If you bring the troops home, you don’t need money for the occupation.

“Some candidates for the presidency have said they would support the administration’s request for funding as long as the money comes from repealing tax cuts for the wealthy. By this logic, if you use rich people’s money to pay for the occupation, it’s OK to put the lives of the sons and daughters of working people at risk in Iraq.

“Those tax cuts should be repealed, and the money should be used for pressing domestic needs. Let’s not forget that $87 billion is more than all the states’ deficits combined. But a debate over the source of funds should not be used to avoid a debate over the occupation of Iraq.

“I ask my fellow presidential candidates, both in and out of Congress, to oppose this occupation on moral grounds, and to join me in support of a plan to bring our troops home and put the UN in control of the transition to Iraqi self-determination.”

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