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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Democratic Candidates Respond to Bhutto Assasination

The tragic death of Benazir Bhutto has brought much needed attention from the American voter on foreign policy decisions being carried out by President George W. Bush and his administration.

Several of the Democratic candidates for President offered statements concerning the recent assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan and many were later interviewed by Wolf Blitzer of CNN.

Former Senator John Edwards (SC) indicated he has spoken to the Pakistan ambassador and later President Pervez Musharraf. He urged Musharraf to allow international and independent investigators into the country to help satisfy suspicions that exist worldwide concerning the assassination of Bhutto and he indicated that Musharraf said he would consider this. Senator Edwards also felt the financial aid package to Pakistan needed to be revised for there has been no accountability and a failure of the Pakistanis to go after the Taliban and Al Qaeda in the northwest portion of the country.

Senator Barack Obama (Illinois) said he would first contact the Pakistan government and make sure the nuclear weapons stockpile was secure. He would also urge Musharraf to send his condolences to Bhutto's family and supporters and ensure the upcoming scheduled elections would continue. He felt long term action was needed by the Pakistani government in pursuing Al Qaeda.

Senator Hillary Clinton (NY) continued the mantra of her experience and even accused Obama's campaign manager of issuing a statement saying that she was responsible for Bhutto's assassination. Senator Obama quickly responded with a denial saying instead the campaign staff person had spoken about how Senator Clinton had voted to support the war in Iraq. Further, this preoccupation with Iraq by the United States ultimately diverted the attention from the pursuit of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

Senator Clinton's foreign policy knowledge was shown to be lacking when she referred to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf as a candidate in the upcoming elections. As the rest of the world knows, Musharraf was recently reelected as President and the upcoming elections in Pakistan are for representatives in their Parliament.

Meanwhile, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson called on Musharraf to resign and supported the creation of a broad based coalition government. He also called for a review of U.S. financial aid to Pakistan.

Senator Biden (Vt.) stated his concern that a change in leadership caused by the resignation of Musharraf would cause a power vacuum in Pakistan and lead to further instability in the country.

Voters in Iowa and the rest of the U.S. are paying attention to these responses by the Democratic candidates for President. They understand the importance of electing a President with a strong understanding of foreign policy issues.

After seven years of failed foreign policy by the President George W. Bush administration, voters are ready for a change. The Billions spent by the U.S. supporting the Musharraf dictatorial regime while the Taliban and Al Qaeda flourish in the northwest region of Pakistan needs to come to an end.

The voters deserve a President who is dedicated to providing a safe environment for their families while also earning the respect of countries around the world. This respect is best earned by having a foreign policy based upon and dedicated to supporting human rights.

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