The Commission On Presidential Debates is Directly Responsible for the Deaths of the U. S. Navy Sailors in Aden

Election campaigns are not just about picking a winner. They are also about creating a mandate to govern for whoever ultimately wins.

The voters, in their wisdom, have nominated four major and several minor candidates for president. Excluding candidates from the official debates is an act of violence against the democratic process. It's the same as saying that only certain voters have the right to nominate candidates. It is the equivalent of editing the ballot in advance.

Pat Buchanan and Ralph Nader combined have $12 million of public campaign funds and 5% or 6% in the polls. That means they are supported by 5 or 6 million people.Pat Buchanan was working in the White House during the Yom Kippur War in 1973, when Al Gore was in divinity school and George W. Bush was drunk. Do you think Pat Buchanan has anything to contribute to the current debate? Even if he has only 1%, maybe it's the 1% necessary to stop the killing of Americans in the Middle East. And Ralph Nader is of Lebanese extraction. Do you think their appearance in a debate with Gore and Bush would have helped promote peace and save lives? The problem is that both Bush and Gore are killers, willing to kill, even their own people, to become president.

Excluding Pat Buchanan from the debate allowed Bush and Gore to act like Kosovo was the biggest foreign policy item on the agenda, when the truth is that it is Jerusalem. The escalating violence in the Middle East is a direct result of the violence done to the political process by the exclusion of Buchanan and Nader from the presidential debates.

If Buchanan had been included, the Palestinians and Arabs would have been reassured that not every presidential candidate or American voter is a puppet of Israel. They would have been calmed by the knowledge that their point of view, however unpopular, was being voiced in the presidential campaign. By limiting the debates to only Bush and Gore, it looks like no one in the United States understands or supports the Palestinian claim to East Jerusalem. Consequently Arabs are killing themselves in order to get their viewpoint into the presidential election campaign.

The violence in the Middle East will continue, and even escalate, until the debate in the U.S. presidential election turns to the position on Jerusalem. The proof of this thesis will be easily demonstrated by the fact that the violence will end immediately after Jerusalem becomes the dominant issue in the presidential campaign, or November 8th, whichever comes first.

Of course, Bush and Gore share equally with the Commission the responsibility for the dead sailors in Aden. That's why it's such a close race. The American voters know that neither of them are fit to be President. How can either Bush or Gore be the head of the world's last superpower if they are too chicken to spend 4 1/2 hours on stage discussing issues with Pat Buchanan and Ralph Nader?

The telephone number of the Commission on Presidential Debates is (202) 872-1020.

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Contact: Joshua Leinsdorf