Is Terrorism Our Fault?
Mike Gravel is a former Democratic United States Senator from Alaska, who served two terms from 1969 to 1981, and a former candidate in the 2008 presidential election. He is chiefly known for his efforts in ending the draft following the Vietnam War and for putting the Pentagon Papers into the public record in 1971.
Born in 1930 to immigrant parents in Massachusetts, Gravel enlisted in the Army in 1951 and served in West Germany. A self-stated dyslexic, Gravel was educated at Columbia University%u2019s School of General Studies in New York, where he drove a taxi to support himself. Gravel's first steps into politics were in the Alaska House of Representatives, before he won his party's nomination to the U.S. Senate in 1968. During the 1980s, after Gravel lost his senate seat, he worked as a real estate developer, consultant and stockbroker.
Gravel is a strong supporter of direct democracy, and specifically, the National Initiative, which refers to proposals to allow for ballot initiatives at the federal level.
Question: Is terrorism our fault?
Mike Gravel: We sure do need to understand that issue, and we need to understand that George Bush is a fool. And I . . . and I say that to him as a person. I respect the office, but he’s using that office to lie to the American people. He’s using that office to bring about death and destruction to millions of people. He’s a fool. And so he tells us that God made him President and God told him to invade Iraq. I don’t know what kind of god he believes in. I believe in the God of love. And so those people who carry their religions up front, and who have no problem inflicting violence on other people – whether it’s with war on drugs, whether it’s invading other countries, whether it’s genuflecting before the military industrial complex – that is not the kind of religion I want to be involved with. I become President of the United States, I’ll be guided by one thing – love. And this is not naïve. Love is what permits you to put in place courage. Had we had a president who wasn’t a fool on 9/11, he would have called upon courage in the American people rather than calling upon fear. We’ve been drugging the American people for the last 50 years on fear so that we could sustain our resources to the military industrial complex at the price of educating our youth, at the price of healthcare for all of our people – I could go through a litany – and that has to change. And so I as President will have the moral timber to all day long make decisions informed by the importance of human life, and informed by the fact that we must love. If Jesus carried anything to humanity, it was love. And it’s easy to love your friends. You’ve got to learn to love your enemies. And you’ll find that they will respond if you do that and begin to treat the people around the world . . . That is the kind of leadership I will provide with a moral timber to value human life. And these people who are trying to take us to another war are fools and immoral.
Recorded on: 10/23/07
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