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by Jesse L. Szymanski, staff writer


The 2008 presidential election came to Hawai‘i in person of candidate, Dennis Kucinich, who spoke at Kaimuki High School on Sept. 15. Kucinich urged, “Strength through peace.”

In his address, Kucinich spoke on the need for national unity as the key to save and protect the children of the future. He calls his program, “Strength through Peace,” and a keystone of it is his bill, H.R. 1234: To End Occupation of Iraq Immediately.

The bill went to the House of Representatives this past February and has been reviewed by the Committee of Foreign Affairs and the Committee of Armed Services. Kucinich’s plan, he said, is to “End the occupation, close the bases, bring the troops home, demand and require that the mercenaries and U.S. contractors come home.”

“ My plan will not only enable us to bring our troops home, but will also stabilize Iraq,” he said.
“ We must realize that war takes us in the direction of destroying our future. When we believe that war is inevitable, war then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. But if you believe that peace is inevitable, and you set in place a structure to create peace, then peace becomes inevitable and you’re not stuck with war,” he told the audience, many of whom were young people.

Privately, Kucinich talked to the Kalamalama staff about issues of concern to college students, especially those who are financially burdened by high loan interest rates. “My approach is free college at all public colleges and universities,” Kucinich said, “for every young person, for anyone who wants to go.”

“We need to lift up this nation, and education is the direct path to doing that,” he continued. “Our Government is borrowing maybe perhaps as much as a trillion dollars for this war against Iraq, a war that’s based on lies. If we so desired, we have the capacity to spend money for the purpose of education, which is constructive not destructive, which is an investment, a tremendous investment, in our young people,” Kucinich said.

Kucinich also wants to see America’s youth civically involved and supports the idea that everyone does, “two years of national service, not necessarily in the military, but working in schools, hospitals, elder care, tutoring, or environmental projects.[It’s] a program that will be productive for not only the person who is working, but for the nation as well,” he said.

Kucinich talked about the aloha spirit, and his belief that its essence of compassion must spread to the rest of America.

“ My candidacy for President of the United States responds to those rhythms of compassion, of hopefulness, of love, of vision, of insight, of seeing the America that can be and calling it forward,” he exclaimed to an applauding crowd.

Kucinich’s efforts to bring unity and prosperity to America have labeled him the democratic candidate for peace, and for him there won’t be any slowing down. “I want democrats to stand for peace, stand for alternative energy. I’ve been around the track with my party, and I’m going to go around the track with them again.”




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