(CNSNews.com) – Democratic presidential hopeful Rep. Dennis Kucinich criticized President George W. Bush, claiming that he is trying to start World War III.
Kucinich took issue with comments Bush made on Wednesday. For instance, the president said: “I take the threat of Iran with a nuclear weapon very seriously. I’ve told people that if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from have (sic) the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.”
But in a statement released Thursday, the congressman from Ohio said that by raising the specter of a possible World War III predicated on Iran’s nuclear energy ambitions, “the White House rodeo cowboy has gone dangerously too far and precipitously too close to igniting the war he claims to be trying to avoid.”
“You can worry about the apocalypse, or, you can ensure it by manipulating intelligence and, with pre-meditation, put your finger on the trigger that will make Iran the next deadly domino in the President’s irresponsible and irrational approach to the complex and sensitive political issues that make the region a more volatile tinder box than ever before,” Kucinich said.
White House Press Secretary Dana Perino responded to questions about the president’s remarks during her daily briefing by saying the president was focusing on the consequences of Iran having a nuclear weapon.
“This is a country that has a leader who says that his goal is to wipe Israel off the face of the earth,” she said.
“It is a country that is sending its foreign fighters into Iraq that are targeting our troops, killing our troops and killing innocent Iraqis. They are a state sponsor of terrorism – especially Hizballah – and the world community through the United Nations Security Council has said that Iran should not be allowed to have a nuclear weapon,” Perino added.
Kucinich, a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq, noted that it’s not the first time Bush has “invoked the potential of another world war to bolster support for his monumentally failed foreign policy.
“If the President continues policies that fuel the extremists in Iraq because of our continued occupation, and if he continues rallying support in Congress for possible aggression against Iran, he is purposely fulfilling his own prophesy and sentencing this nation and its brave sons and daughters to a war that never ends and a newer, bigger war that will be even more horrific,” he said.
The invasion and occupation of Iraq, Kucinich said, “provide overwhelming evidence that the President and his cohorts in the administration and in the Congress deceived the American people, lied to them, and violated their Constitutional oaths of office.”
“Using that wholly fraudulent proposition to springboard to an attack on Iran is not only constitutionally impeachable, it is patently criminal under the laws of this nation,” he added.
But Perino said, “We are going to continue to work this issue diplomatically, we believe it can be resolved diplomatically, we’re tightening the financial sanctions on the country, and that is having an impact.”
“What the President was making was a point that Iran with a nuclear weapon would have very negative consequences for the region,” she clarified.