WASHINGTON – Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards told New Hampshire factory workers Tuesday that he supports a role for the United Nations in rebuilding postwar Iraq.
"It's important to show the rest of the world this is not just about us controlling their oil," the North Carolina senator said while touring the Shirt Factory in Derry, N.H. "We have to turn the government back over to the people of Iraq ... as much U.N. involvement as we can have would be helpful."
The Bush administration says the U.S.-led coalition fighting in Iraq must take the lead in running and rebuilding Iraq. The European Union wants the United Nations to be a major player.
Another candidate in the Democratic race, Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, introduced legislation in Washington on Tuesday to create a cabinet-level Department of Peace that would focus on preventing armed conflict.
"The Department of Peace changes the debate from one where war is inevitable to one where war is seen as a failure of diplomacy," said Kucinich, an anti-war activist who introduced a similar bill two months before the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Separately, a potential presidential candidate, former Colorado Sen. Gary Hart, said the Bush administration has been deceptive about the goals and costs of the war in Iraq in order to hide a more ambitious agenda to reshape the Middle East. Hart also said Bush has failed to shore up the nation's defenses against the inevitable terrorist attack brought upon by the war.
Hart sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988. He said he senses that Democrats are not offering a clear alternative to Bush, leaving him to consider seeking the nomination in this election cycle.
"I would not get into this race just because I was bored," he said during a stop in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. "I do think that there's a vacuum in the Democratic party."