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Helen Clark Wrong About Al Gore

Helen Clark Wrong About Al Gore

Helen Clark's political gaffe - the suggestion that war in Iraq would not have happened under an Al Gore presidency - was not only extremely inappropriate but was also ill-informed, ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Ken Shirley said today.

"Al Gore served on the Senate Armed Services Committee and was known to be considerably more hawkish than most members of his Democratic Party. He had run as a hard-liner on the Middle East in his ill-conceived and abortive 1988 race and he had voted for the Gulf War authorisation.

"In a speech delivered on September 23 2002, Al Gore stated the following:

In fact though a UN resolution might be helpful in building international consensus, the existing resolutions since 1991 are sufficient from a legal standpoint.

"Joe Lieberman, Gore's 2000 running mate, is a strong supporter of the current Bush war action.

"Leon Fuerth, Gore's National Security Advisor, wrote in the Washington Post on March 24, 2003:

The US had the right to resume military operations against Iraq under existing Security Council resolutions because Saddam Hussein was patently in breach of his commitments.

"I am pleased that the Prime Minister has shown the grace to apologise for her gaff but the damage is done and her succession of insults delivered to our traditional allies will long be remembered.

"From published information it is clear Al Gore would have adopted a very similar stance to George Bush. What is also bleeding obvious is that if Helen Clark's Labour Government had not been elected, New Zealand would be standing alongside our traditional allies," Mr Shirley said.

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