Washington, Nov 27 – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), released the following statement following the first Middle East peace conference convened by the Bush Administration in seven years today:
“I am hopeful that this is a good faith restart to the Middle East peace process,” Kucinich said. “If it is to be more successful than past efforts by previous administrations, the United States is going to have to play the role of an honest broker.
“I have my doubts that this Administration can do that. That is because this Administration has undermined the moral standing of the United States in the eyes of the world.
“The occupation of Iraq, the failure to hold senior officials accountable for Abu Ghraib, the equivocation over whether waterboarding is torture or not, and the U.S. pressure on Iraq to privatize its oil are all taints on our country’s international reputation.
“I think the U.S. is in a weaker position to facilitate Middle East peace now than it was before the invasion of Iraq.
“Nevertheless, a solution is not going to be achieved by any means other than talks, and the United States’ role as a facilitator is vital. So I must be hopeful that perhaps these talks will accomplish what others have not: a safe and secure Israel, and an independent and free Palestine.