Here is the full text of the Reuters report on Al Gore’s speech today in San Francisco:
Former Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore came out strongly on Monday against any “precipitous” U.S. attack on Iraq, saying the Bush administration has embarked on a dangerous course that could alienate allies and derail the war on terror.
“If you are going after Jesse James you ought to organize the posse first,” Gore said in a speech to the Commonwealth Club of California.
He added, ‘We should focus first and foremost on our top priority — winning the war against terrorism.”
In one of the strongest Democratic broadsides yet launched against U.S. moves toward an attack on Iraq, Gore said such an attack would cost American taxpayers “hundreds of billions of dollars,” leave Iraq dangerously unstable and destroy the international goodwill the United States has sought to build since the Sept. 11 attacks.
Here follows an open letter to Al Gore:
Dear Mr. Gore,
I read with interest your remarks today in my old home town of San Francisco. Either you spent too long there, or there’s something in the water.
You spoke of international goodwill. Such as we get from Germany or France? Please, Mr. Gore — if goodwill is purchased at the price of 3,000 dead Americans, but taken away at a whim, then why should we want it?
Iraq today is stable, Mr. Gore; you’re right. A stable Iraq is free to build weapons of mass destruction, rebuild its conventional forces, bully its neighbors, and deprive us of a vital commodity. How is the current Iraqi stability in our interests?
Mr. Gore, you think the war is too expensive? Buddy, we can’t afford this kind of peace.
You say we need to focus on the Terror War, but ignore Iraq? Albert Jr., you know better than that. Saddam finances and supplies terror, and may well be providing it sanctuary now, as well. The Iraq War will be just a phase in the broader conflict — and a quicker, cleaner, easier effort than the others lying before us. Pick the low-hanging fruit early. Then again, you’ve never been a big fan of that, or you wouldn’t have lost your home state in the 2000 election.
We aren’t going after Jesse James, Mr. Gore. We’re going after Saddam Hussein. He is a self-declared enemy of our nation, in violation of every agreement he has signed with us, and of every UN resolution mandated against him. The proper Old West analogy would be High Noon, with the US in the Gary Cooper role.
You lost the election. Now leave the rest of the nation alone to win this new war.