Monday, July 31, 2006

Imus Quotes of the Day: John Kerry

John Kerry was on Imus in the Morning today to discuss his new healthcare plan that he laid out in a speech at Faneuil Hall today. Imus and Kerry discussed a myriad of issues including the crisis in the Middle East. Here's the Imus Quotes of the Day...

Imus speaks with Senator John Kerry (D) MA about the crisis in the Middle East:


Imus: "And you said that, if you were President, this Israeli/Lebanon conflict would not have happened."

Senator John Kerry: "Ah, what I said--what I was really referring to was the whole Middle East. Look, I know it stunned some people because, you know, half the country can't imagine there'll ever be peace in the Middle East, the other half can't imagine there'll ever be a Democratic President, so, it surprised people, but, the bottom line is this, ah--I'm really referring to the chaos of America's current perception in the Middle East, and ability to get things done. Did you happen to see--I don't know if you saw, Meet the Press yesterday?"

Imus: "No, I did not."

Senator John Kerry: "Well, Tim Russert, had Tom Friedman on, and I know you respect Tom Friedman, I think he's one of the best observers and one of the smartest people around. This is--this--there's a quote that Tim read to Tom, here's what he said. This is what Tom wrote last week; 'America should be galvanizing the forces of order - Europe, Russia, China, India - into a coalition against these trends. But we can't. Why? In part, it's because our president and secretary of state, although they speak with great moral clarity, have no moral authority. That's been shattered by their performance in Iraq. The world hates George Bush more than any U.S. president in my lifetime.' This is Tom Friedman speaking. 'He is radioactive - and so caught up in his own ideological bubble that he is incapable of imagining or forging alternative strategies.' Now, Tim said to him, you know, that's pretty strong language, and Tom said, it is strong, but it was meant to be strong, and he explained what happened. And, really what I'm talking about, I think a lot of us are, is that--I mean for three and a half years we weren't even involved in trying to work with our allies, Britain, France, Germany to stop Iran from getting Nuclear weapons. Three and a half years we were absent. But for a whole period of time we're not involved in the Palestinians and the West Bank trying to help them become a legitimate partner so that Hamas doesn't rise to power in an election. If you look at Egypt or Saudi Arabia, sixty percent of the population is under the age of twenty-five, fifty percent under the age of eighteen, and forty percent under the age of fourteen, they don't have jobs, they're uneducated if they go to Madras, all they learn is how to hate people and blow people up. There is such a culture of this, and I don't think this Administration, has done anything near the things that Republican presidents, and Democrat presidents have done historically to address these kinds of issues. That's what I'm saying."


Sen. John Kerry: "Well, what's happened is obviously is Hezbollah is, to a certain degree, a surrogate for Iran in this effort, and because Hezbollah is standing up to Israel and, therefore, to the United States, there is this perception. And what's terrible about it is Israel has every legitimacy in the world to be defending itself, to not have 10,000 rockets aimed at it. You know, I was once up in that Kiryat Shmona, which is this settlement up right near--It's a Kibbutz actually--up right on the border of Lebanon. And I went down into one of these shelters, which the Israeli kids had to go into periodically because of ketusha rockets coming in. That was their life, and that's been their life. In 1993, [Former Secretary of State] Warren Christopher became involved in trying to help stop Hezbollah. In 1996, we became involved trying to stop Hezbollah. Hezbollah, you know, needs to be stopped. But there are different ways of doing it. And I think while one way is obviously to take them out, and you got to do that, and I'm all for it, with special forces, with specials operations, etcetera you also need to be pursuing an alternative track that provides alternatives for people, and there's been an absence of that."


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