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Impeach Bush

Patriots Act calls for Bush's impeachment
OfficialSpin.com
An Impeachable Offense

Washington, D.C. -- (OfficialSpin.com) -- 13/06/03 -- H. R. 3162, enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress was intended to deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world, to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools, and for other purposes, shortly after the tragic events of 9/11, on 24 October 2001.

According to the Act, which was ushered through Congress by the Bush Administration, it is a violation of the Act, "Whoever willfully ...conveys or causes to be conveyed false information, knowing the information to be false, concerning an attempt or alleged attempt being made or to be made, to do any act which would be a crime prohibited by this..."

It is a violation of U.S. federal criminal law, including the broad U.S. federal anti-conspiracy statute, which renders it a felony "to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose." Manipulation or deliberate misuse of national security intelligence data, if proven, could be "a high crime" under the Constitution's impeachment clause.

Let's try to put matters into perspective. President Bill Clinton was impeached (although not convicted) based on allegations that he lied about having sex with a White House intern. Serious stuff.

President Bush and his lieutenants are alleged to have lied about facts which have caused the death of many thousands of people, including American citizens, the attempted assassination of the leader of Iraq (whose fate is still unknown), the unwarranted attack against another sovereign nation, the unlawful detainment of thousands outside the reach of the U.S. justice system, all of which has cost U.S. taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. Given that Afghanistan was not recognised by many countries, what was and continues to be done there in the name of Freedom, is left to your own description.

For the record, Bush's statements, in chronological order, were:

"Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons." -- United Nations address, September 12, 2002

"Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons."

"We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons -- the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have." -- Radio address, October 5, 2002

"The Iraqi regime . . . possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons."

"We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas."

"We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas. We're concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVS for missions targeting the United States."

"The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. Saddam Hussein has held numerous meetings with Iraqi nuclear scientists, a group he calls his "nuclear mujahideen" -- his nuclear holy warriors. Satellite photographs reveal that Iraq is rebuilding facilities at sites that have been part of its nuclear program in the past. Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminium tubes and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons." -- Cincinnati, Ohio speech, October 7, 2002

"Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent." -- State of the Union Address, January 28, 2003

"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised." -- Address to the nation, March 17, 2003

Bush's let-me-mince-no-words delivery was convincing to many Americans. Rumsfeld, Cheney and Powell are guilty of assisting in the dissemination of the false information both before and after the act. However, the rest of the world, and many other Americans, doubted them.

Now, we know the truth and Americans must take the appropriate action. All we are saying, is give impeachment a chance.

© 2002-2003 - OfficialSpin PLC - All rights reserved. Unauthorised duplication or distribution is prohibited.

Commentary:
The number of lies, broken promises and violations of law are massive. We know Bush lied about WMD because he didn't give UN weapons inspectors intelligence to find his so called weapons. If you or I were president we'd want to be right about an issue as important as this, so we'd give the inspectors our BEST evidence. On the first day of inspections, I knew Bush hadn't done that because they couldn't find anything. That was about six months ago but it was only after the war that some started asking questions about Bush's statements. Bush is clearly in violation of the Patriot Act and has defauded the government and should be impeached.

There still are a parade of journalists and politicians who say we'll find the WMD someday. But, that was never the point. A US President should have his proof before he goes to war. The problem is Bush provided the Congress and the American people HIS evidence and every word of it was a lie. Why isn't the dysfunctional media hammering him around the clock? Because they bought into his propaganda.

 
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Is the Neoconservative Moment Over?
The American Conservative
by Pat Buchanan
June 16, 2003 issue

The salad days of the neoconservatives, which began with the president's Axis-of-Evil address in January 2002 and lasted until the fall of Baghdad may be coming to an end. Indeed, it is likely the neoconservatives will never again enjoy the celebrity and cachet in which they reveled in their romp to war on Iraq.

While this is, admittedly, a prediction, it rests on reasonable assumptions. But why should neoconservatism, at the apparent apex of its influence, be on the edge of eclipse?

Answer: the high tide of neoconservatism may have passed because the high tide of American empire may have passed. "World War IV,' the empire project, the great cause of the neocons, seems to have been suspended by the President of the United States.

While we still hear talk of "regime change' in Iran and North Korea, U.S. forces not tied down in occupation duties by the anarchy and chaos in Iraq, are returning home.

The first signal that the apogee of American hegemony in the Middle East has been reached came as U.S. soldiers and marines were completing their triumphant march into Baghdad. Suddenly, all the bellicosity toward Syria from neoconservatives and the Pentagon, stopped, apparently on the orders of the Commander in Chief.

Secretary of State Powell announced he would go to Damascus to talk with President Assad. U.S. ground forces halted at the Syrian border. Our carriers began to sail home from the Gulf. All the talk of Iraqi war criminals hiding out in Syria and Saddam's weapons of mass destruction being transferred there suddenly ceased. "Mission Accomplished' read the huge banner on the Abraham Lincoln, as the president landed on the carrier deck to address the nation.

When Newt Gingrich, before an audience at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), launched his tirade against Powell and the Department of State, accusing them of appeasing Syria, no echo came out of the Pentagon. Reportedly, Karl Rove gave Newt an earful, and the president himself was prepared to blast Newt, for he saw the attack on Powell as an attack on his own policy. A few editorials and columns praised Newt, but the neocons could sense that they were no longer in step with the White House. So, too, did every other Kremlinologist in this city.

Why did Bush order an end to the threats to Syria? The answer is obvious. He is not prepared to carry them out. With the heavy fighting over in Afghanistan and Iraq, the American people have had enough of invasions and occupations for one presidential term. The United States is now deep into nation building in both countries.

Moreover, Syria is not under any UN sanctions. Its leader did not try to assassinate the president's father. There is no evidence Damascus is working on nuclear weapons. Assad has not threatened us. A war on Syria would have no Security Council endorsement, no NATO allies, no authorization from Congress. Such a pre-emptive war would be unconstitutional and be seen abroad as the imperial war of a rogue superpower. For all the talk of unilateralism and of our "unipolar moment' President Bush clearly feels a need for allies, foreign and domestic, before launching such a war.

Finally, having assumed paternity of 23 million Iraqis, few Americans are anxious to adopt 17 million Syrians. Damascus is a bridge too far for Bush and Rove, and with two wars and two victories in two years, why press their luck? The re-election that the president's father did not win—and not an empire—appears to be what they are about.

Therefore, for the foreseeable future, the glory days—of Special Forces galloping on horseback in the Afghan hills, of Abrams tanks dashing like Custer's cavalry across the Iraqi desert, of statues of Saddam toppling into the streets of Baghdad, and presidents landing on carrier flight decks in fighter-pilot garb —are over, behind us, gone.  

And ahead? Like all empires, once they cease to expand, they go over onto the defensive. Like the Brits before us, we must now secure, consolidate, protect, manage, and rule what we have in the tedious aftermath of our imperial wars. And as we have seen in the terror attacks in Casablanca and Riyadh, al-Qaeda and its allies, not Tommy Franks, now decide the time and place of attack in the War on Terror.

With 25 U.S. soldiers dead and counting since Baghdad fell, what the empire now entails is a steady stream of caskets coming home from Afghanistan and Iraq and tens of billions of American tax dollars going the other way to pay the cost of reconstruction of countries we have defeated and occupied.

Victory has brought unanticipated headaches. Having smashed the forces that held Iraq together—Saddam's regime, the Ba'ath Party, the Republican Guard, the army—we must now build new forces to police the country, hold it together, and protect it from its predatory neighbors. And there are Islamic and Arab elements in and outside of Iraq determined that we should fail.

Where Tehran and the mullahs colluded in our smashing of a Taliban they hated, and of their old enemy Saddam, they no longer welcome America's massive military presence in their region.

Most important, it appears the president has shifted roles from war leader to peacemaker. While the neocons are adamant in rejecting the road map to peace, drafted by the "quartet'—the U.S., the EU, the UN, and Russia—as a threat to Israel's survival, Bush has endorsed it and evidently means to pursue it. The neocons are already carping at him for pressuring Sharon to "negotiate with terrorists' and "creating a new terrorist state in the Middle East.' Where White House and neoconservative agendas coincided precisely in the invasion of Iraq, they are now clearly in conflict.

While it has not happened yet, there is the possibility that our effort at nation building in Iraq will falter and fail, that Americans will tire of pouring men and money into the project, and will demand that the president bring the troops home and turn Iraq over to the allies, the Arabs, or the UN. As one looks at Afghanistan, Iraq, and a Middle East where al-Qaeda is avidly seeking soft targets, it may be that all the good news is behind us and that only bad news lies ahead.

If we have hit the tar baby in Baghdad, the president may be seeking to extricate us before we go to the polls 17 months from now. And should the fruits of victory start to rot, Americans will begin to ask questions of the principal propagandists for war.

It was, after all, the neocons who sold the country on the notion that Iraq had a huge arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, that Iraq was behind 9/11, that Saddam had ties to al-Qaeda, that the war would be a "cakewalk,' that we would be welcomed as liberators, that victory would bring democratic revolution in the Middle East. Should the cream go sour, the neocons will face the charge that they "lied us into war.'

Moreover, for a movement that is small in number and utterly dependent on its proximity to power, the neocons have made major mistakes. They have insulted too many U.S. allies, boasted too much of their connections and influence, attracted too much attention to themselves, and antagonized too many adversaries. In this snake pit of a city, their over-developed penchant for self-promotion is not necessarily an asset.

By now, all their columnists and house organs—Commentary, National Review, the New Republic, the Weekly Standard—are known. Their front groups—AEI, JINSA—have all been identified and bracketed. Their agents of influence—Perle, Wolfowitz, Feith, Libby, Bolton, Wurmser, Abrams, et alia—have all been outed. Neoconservatives are now seen as separate and apart from the Bush loyalists, with loyalties and an agenda all their own.

If Americans decide they were lied to, that the Iraqi war was not fought for America's interests, that its propagandists harbored a hidden agenda—as they decided after World War I and exposure of the "merchants of death'—they will know exactly whom to blame and whom to hold accountable.

The weakness of the neocons is that, politically speaking, they are parasites. They achieve influence only by attaching themselves to powerful hosts, be it "Scoop' Jackson, Ronald Reagan, or Rupert Murdoch. When the host dies or retires, they must scramble to find a new one. Thus, they have blundered in isolating themselves from and alienating almost every other once-friendly group on the Right.

Consider the lurid charges laid against all three founding editors of this magazine and four of our writers—Sam Francis, Bob Novak, Justin Raimondo, and Eric Margolis—by National Review in its cover story, "Unpatriotic Conservatives.' Of us, NR writes,

They … excuse terror. They espouse … defeatism. … And some of them explicitly yearn for the victory of their nation's enemies. …

Only the boldest of them … acknowledge their wish to see the United States defeated in the War on Terror. But they are thinking about defeat, and wishing for it, and they will take pleasure in it should it happen.

They began by hating the neoconservatives. They came to hate their party and their president. They have finished by hating their country.

This screed does not come out of the National Review of Kirk, Burnham, and Meyer we grew up with. It is the language of the radical Left and Trotskyism, the spawning pools of neoconservatism. And rather than confirm the neocons as leaders of the Right, such bile betrays their origins and repels most of the Right. One wonders if the neocons even know how many are waiting in hopeful anticipation of their unhorsing and humiliation.

"There is no telling how far a man can go, as long as he is willing to let someone else get the credit,' read a plaque Ronald Reagan kept in his desk. The neocons' problem is that they claim more credit than they deserve for Bush's War and have set themselves up as scapegoats if we lose the peace.

Having enjoyed the prerogative of the courtesan, influence without accountability, the neocons may find themselves with that worst of all worlds, responsibility without power.   

June 16, 2003 issue
Copyright © 2003 The American Conservative

Commentary:
Read this line again, it's what republicans are saying about republicans; "They began by hating the neoconservatives. They came to hate their party and their president. They have finished by hating their country."

In their very small world, everyone must blindly follow their dictator or he's un-American--someone who hates his party, his president and his country. Isn't it equally possible they hate the lies provided as evidence to go to war?

 
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Lies, Damned Lies, and Military Intelligence
Counterpunch.org
By WILLIAM S. LIND
June 14, 2003

It is now evident that Saddam Hussein's possession of vast quantities of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) is about as likely as Mars having canals, complete with gondolas and singing gondoliers. Remember, it wasn't just a couple of stink bombs we accused him of possessing. According to data compiled by columnist Nicholas Kristof, the governments of the United States and (once) Great Britain told the world that Saddam had 500 tons of mustard and nerve gas, 25,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum, almost 30,000 banned munitions and the tornado that abducted Dorothy. So far, all we have found is two empty trailers. Presumably, American troops had sufficient time to paint over the "Allied Van Lines" logos.

Since Saddam's WMD were one of the principal stated reasons for this strategically curious war, their absence is something more than a social faux pas. Were the American and British publics, as Pat Buchanan puts it, lied into war? If they were, it would not be the first time. In Britain, the practice goes back at least as far as the 18th century and the War of Jenkin's Ear. Americans were lied into World War I by cartoons of German soldiers bayoneting Belgian babies and into Vietnam by a Tonkin Gulf torpedo boat attack that never happened.

There are, of course, other possibilities. It may have been simply an intelligence failure. That is the least disturbing possibility, because the others are worse.

One is that someone in the chain of military intelligence deliberately cooked the books. If they did so, it was probably to curry favor with their political and budgetary masters, who let it be known what "findings" they wanted. This sort of corruption is now endemic in Washington. Virtually every Federal agency, including the armed forces, have accepted the rightness of doing and saying anything to get money. Budget size is the universal measurement of success, and whatever pleases those who allocate funds is wholesome and good. What John Boyd said of the Pentagon is now universal: "It is not true they have no strategy. They do have a strategy, and once you understand what it is, everything they do makes sense. The strategy is, `Don't interrupt the money flow; add to it.'"

Another possibility is more disturbing still, and regrettably I have to say I think it is a certainty. Those who use military intelligence do not understand what it is.

Throughout history, in virtually every conflict, a universal law has applied. That law says that when it comes to military intelligence, whatever you think you know is incomplete, and some of it is wrong. You don't know what you don't know, you don't know how much you don't know, and you don't know what part of what you think you know is wrong.

As part of the so-called "Revolution in Military Affairs," which promises to turn war into a video game, many intelligence users, both military and civilian, have come to think of military intelligence as "hard data." RMA touts have long and loudly promised perfect information, on both your own side (in war, just knowing what your own forces are doing is difficult) and the enemy. The military talks about "information dominance" (for just a few more billions), which somehow suggests one of our attractive female officers, dressed in a natty leather outfit, serving as the G-2SM, the Information Dominatrix.

It may be -- though I doubt it -- that our intelligence agencies really believed Saddam had all that stuff. But even if that is what they reported to the decision-makers, the decision-makers should have known better to swallow it. If they did not know that, they are not fit to be making military decisions. They lack the most basic understanding of the nature of military intelligence, a nature no technology can alter (and can easily make worse, by making the errors more convincing).

The upshot is that we went to war and wrecked a country over something that, barring an unlikely revelation, was not true. The American people don't seem to care. Perhaps they expect to be misled by their government, or, more likely, they have just changed the channel.

But the rest of the world does care. The international credibility of American assertions based on military intelligence is now zero. When we make claims about other countries -- as we are now doing about Iran -- not a soul will believe them, even when they happen to be true. At this point, Americans should not believe them either.

Footnote: The U.S. is now moving rapidly to relocate its forces in South Korea well to the south of the DMZ. I suspect the real reason is to move them out of range of North Korean artillery. At present, if we launch airstrikes on North Korea, Pyongyang can respond with a massive, World War I-style artillery bombardment of U.S. ground troops that could kill thousands. The sudden withdrawal of Americans to positions south of the Han river reveals our intention to go after North Korea's nuclear and missile facilities. A possible North Korean riposte: demand Japan expel all American forces or kiss Osaka goodbye.

William S. Lind is Director of the Center for Cultural Conservatism at the Free Congress Foundation.

Commentary:
I like this line; "Throughout history, in virtually every conflict, a universal law has applied. That law says that when it comes to military intelligence, whatever you think you know is incomplete, and some of it is wrong. You don't know what you don't know, you don't know how much you don't know, and you don't know what part of what you think you know is wrong."

If Bush wants his to return to his "first strike" doctrine he better get his crap together. Never before in our history has a president lied to us so often about something so important.

Why isn't Fox News running Bush's per-war statements around the clock, proving he was lying to us? Because Fox News, like CNN and MSNBC don't really care what the truth is. They push the republican agenda around the clock. Each cable network had its own version of "Countdown on Iraq." War was inevitable, but based on facts, but based on unverified words by an president and administration who are pathological liars.

North Korea figured out how to whomp Bush at his own game. Within days of proposing "first strike" N. Korea called Bush's bluff and said they had nukes. Bush coward as expected and did nothing. However, he did go to war with defenseless countries. He knew Iraq had no WMD, why else would he risk war?

 
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Rise of the Bush Apologists
Antiwar.com
Alan Bock
June 17, 2003

When I was younger I used to imagine that the natural function of "public intellectuals" – not necessarily people who are smarter than the average Joe, but reasonably intelligent people with a bent for policy analysis and thinking large thoughts on matters of public consequence – was to speak truth to power, or, in the well-loved old journalistic saw, to "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."

I'm afraid I was wrong. Apparently the more natural function of public intellectuals, at least most of them, is to explain the ways of power to the uninformed and perhaps unthinking public at large – or in more cynical terms, to serve as apologists for those in power. In the wake of a certain amount of criticism of the Bush administration over the issues of "weapons of mass destruction" – a misnomer from the get-go in that it lumps nuclear weapons with chemical and biological weapons that are difficult to use tactically and create less actual mass destruction than some artillery barrages – Bush apologists are coming out of the woodwork.

One of the saddest is Byron York, who during the Clinton years acquired a reputation, mostly fairly well deserved, as a dogged investigative reporter rather concerned about following the evidence where it leads rather than to a predetermined destination. In a recent piece for National Review he offers a fullblown defense of George W. Bush's veracity against some of his establishment-oriented critics.

PARTISAN INTELLECTUALS

Before dissecting the York Defense, it is worthwhile to note that he is facilitated in his self-assigned task by the fact that most public intellectuals turn out to be partisans. That is, their general inclination, as has been the case with countless courtiers down the centuries, is to defend or to provide respectable-sounding justifications for the regime (or permanent power-structure, the "two-party system," established procedures, even the permanent bureaucracy) in general, but they tend to choose up Democratic-Republican sides.

Thus some columnists and commentators are more inclined to find fault with one party (and its leaders) than another, while bending over backwards to find justifications for the more egregious. This is hardly surprising or even especially scandalous, and most reasonably well-informed readers have a certain capacity to don mental filters when reading such commentators, distinguishing between the occasional fact and the arguments that amount to (though usually stated with a little more elegance) "so's your old man."

This phenomenon makes Byron York's task a lot easier, since several of the critics he takes to task are the sort who wanted to spin Bill Clinton's multifarious examples of stretching the truth as nothing more consequential than "lying about sex." In focusing narrowly on the specific claims of a few "Bush is a liar" critics and comparing Bush to Clinton, however, Mr. York ignores any number of more respectable (or more accurate) critics and bypasses a wealth of significant information, especially on the key question of the administration's many statements on "weapons of mass destruction."

MALLEABLE FACTS

York first goes after an October story by Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank. Milbank starts with an October 7 address by Bush on Iraq "in which the president warned that Saddam Hussein had a growing fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that could be used, in Bush's words, 'for missions targeting the United States.'" Milbank says the statement was wrong because a recent CIA report said the Iraqi UAVs didn't have sufficient range to threaten the U.S. York reprimands him because Bush's statement was more nuanced, saying Iraq "was exploring ways of using these UAVs for missions targeting the U.S." and Ari Fleischer later "clarified the comment to say it referred to 'being launched from a ship or a truck or by their being smuggled into the United States.'"

York's criticism of Milbank is fairly well-grounded if a bit nit-picky. But it ignores the larger context of those UAVs. It turned out that the only UAV the weapons inspectors found looked more like a model airplane or a poor imitation of the Wright Brothers plane than a sleek and dangerous-looking drone. And the occupying troops haven't found any more of them, leading to the possible conclusion that this was an experimental prototype rather than one of dozens or hundreds.

So Dana Milbank used a nit-picky reading to make Bush out to be more of a deceiver (or a different kind of deceiver) than the text of the speech supports, and Byron York calls him on it. But York ignores the obvious – that drumming up fears about these UAVs was one of the many ways Bush and other administration spokespeople used to exaggerate the threat Saddam Hussein posed to the United States. Like many of the specific examples the administration and its apologists brought to the fore in speeches and statements, this "threat" turned out to be nothing Iraq's neighbors had to worry about, let alone the mighty United States.

Does this make Bush a liar? Posing the question that way ignores the fact that most political deception, if done reasonably well, is not so much a matter of outright verifiable falsehoods as exaggerations, projections of facts into a putatively frightening future ("the only 'smoking gun' will be a nuke dropped on the U.S. Are you willing to wait for that?"), and interpretations of facts to create a big picture that might have some of the little details right but that in the end creates a misleading impression radically at variance with the facts on the ground.

York himself notes that a former administration official told him that "What 9/11 did was teach a generation of policymakers to interpret things in an alarmed rather than a relaxed way." He seems oblivious to the possibility that interpreting things in a perpetually "alarmed" manner carries any dangers of its own or can lead, step by step, to an ultimately inaccurate picture of the threats a country faces.

MISSING TEAM B

Like most Bush apologists, York chooses not to engage the article Seymour Hersh did for the New Yorker in May on the "Team B" group of analysts that Asst. Sec. of Defense Paul Wolfowitz put together in the Pentagon under the name Office of Special Plans, headed by Abram Shulsky. The OSP did not collect intelligence itself, but gathered intelligence collected by other agencies as well as information from the Iraqi National Congress and other exile groups. The CIA and the State Department tended to dismiss the INC and its head, Ahmad Chalabi, as unreliable or dubious sources, but the OSP tended to believe most of what the INC fed American intelligence as quite reliable.

The Office of Special Plans has gained enough notoriety that it is now mentioned from time to time in the general media, sometimes even as an example of administration tendencies to give credit to exaggerations. My inclination is to believe it was extremely important, not only as an example of the Pentagon's willingness to set up a brand new agency specifically to massage intelligence to give higher officials what they wanted to hear, but as an example of the willingness of the administration – perhaps most notably Mr. Bush himself, though I have no inside information to confirm this – to believe the most extreme and exaggerated accounts of the Iraqi threat despite doubts expressed in respectable branches of the government itself.

It seems reasonably certain now that the OSP was set up precisely because the administration wasn't getting an alarming enough picture of the dire threat posed by Iraq from the usual sources – the CIA, the DIA, the State Department. Intelligence is hardly ever the kind of cut-and-dried proof most humans would prefer, but sometimes scattered bits of information that makes sense only when put together knowledgeably and creatively by informed analysts. What the standard intelligence sources were giving the administration last fall and summer was to some extent ambiguous or ambivalent because of the nature of intelligence work, but all the standard sources were presenting a picture of a fairly puny threat from an exhausted and weakened regime — despite, as several anonymous and a few named intelligence community sources have testified, fairly severe direct and indirect pressure to produce more compelling evidence. They weren't even sure Iraq had those dreaded WMDs.

This would hardly do as a justification for war. So the hawks in the administration set up an agency in the Pentagon to reinterpret the evidence. The best evidence to date (government always classifies much more information than is remotely justifiable so it's hard to be sure) is that the OSP consistently and on every issue interpreted the evidence in the most alarming way possible. That was more like it. More and more the Bush administration took to parroting the briefings from the OSP. Quite possibly they came to believe themselves that this was the real scoop, the result of bold and imaginative analysis rather than the tepid stuff those stodgy old sticks-in-the-mud in the traditional "intelligence community" had been preparing. Red meat was preferable.

A META-DECEPTION

In part because it is still impossible to know all the motivations involved, it is difficult to analyze all this in straightforward, black-and-white lie-versus-truth terms, if only because it is hard to know what to do with a mistake or falsehood that the speaker sincerely believes is the truth. Perhaps Dubya and Condi and Colin really did believe all the unequivocal statements they made during the run-up to the effect that there was simply no question at all that Saddam possessed those dread WMDs. Perhaps they were deceived by intelligence spun slickly and didn't go to the raw data. Perhaps, like most of us, they wanted to believe and with whatever degree of self-consciousness internally validated the apparent intelligence that seemed to support what they wanted to believe and discounted or ignored information that didn't fit into or called into question the preferred belief system.

Here are a few fundamental facts, however. War advocates were willing to go through elaborate and expensive procedures to set up bureaucratic institutions and mechanisms that would reliably feed "friendly" information into the White House with a certain stamp of authenticity. Was it just Wolfowitz, or did Bush directly or indirectly ask him to set up a shop to massage intelligence to make it look more threatening? Whatever the details, the result was an elaborate exercise in what we night call meta-deception on a grand scale.

For whatever weapons sites or evidence of destroyed weapons might eventually be found (the military, having already checked into the sites cited as most likely by the OPS crowd and found nothing, is moving on to other missions, especially in light of the burgeoning resistance to U.S. occupation), there is simply no questions that those weapons were not ready to be deployed with any rapidity (let alone at a moment's notice). They posed no particular threat, let alone an imminent threat, to Iraq's neighbors, to the United States itself, or even to American "interests," using the broadest interpretation possible.

So that justification for war – and it evolved into the main justification in part because it evoked the most actual fear or uncertainty on the part of the general public – was simply deceptive. Was it an outright conscious lie? It might be impossible to know. The top Bushies might have actually believed what they said. If that's the case, however, we have an instance of incompetence at analyzing complex data, and/or massive problems in the U.S. intelligence system. And that might actually be more troubling in the long run than the likelihood that like most politicians several of the Bushies lied along the way.

MORE LAME EXCUSES

The best poor Byron York can do on the WMD issue is the increasingly frequent assertion that before the war just [about] everybody, including Germany, France and multiple war crtitics, believed Saddam did have WMDs. "Such a consensus," York claims, "makes it extremely difficult to argue that the president lied about Iraq and WMD; if the administration's case was a lie, then everybody, including much of the political opposition, was in on it.."

Sorry, but that's more than a bit lame. For starters, much of the opinion of others about WMD was based on informastion and leaks from the administration which, as we understand in retrospect, were systematically and probably consciously spun in the direction of finding maximum feasible threat. And in the case of most critics, acknowledging that Saddam probably had nasty weapons was more of a fallback position, a way of deflecting future criticism if and when weapons were found, than a firm conviction. "Everybody knew," people kept saying, that Saddam had weapons, but the people with possibly countervailing evidence in the intelligence community and the administration weren't making their doubts public. So the apparently safe and respectable thing was to acknowledge that it was probable.

DID IT JUSTIFY WAR?

The important question was never whether Saddam Hussein actually had this or that weapon. The important question was whether the possession of this or that weapon ever justified what was a war of choice rather than necessity in which the United States openly and unabashedly assumed the role of aggressor against a country that had not threatened its neighbors for more than 11 years.

Byron York wisely does not choose to engage this question. Instead he engages in nit-picking against a few specific critics, including some who had a different attitude toward the lies of Bill Clinton and are therefore vulnerable. He therefore is able to ignore more substantial and responsible critics of the administration and its inexorable path to war. However (although I was hardly the only critic making good points) I would suggest that my Antiwar columns of September 10 and October 8 on the differences between pre-emptive and preventive war, and my September 3 and October 15 on the flimsiness of the justifications for war hold up rather well.

It matters little whether Dubya told this or that specific lie. What he and his subordinates did was to organize a large-scale, systematic program, including the creation of new bureaucracies, to create a groundswell for war with Iraq that included a great deal of deception on an almost awesome scale.

I've heard conflicting reports as to whether Dubya himself and some of his top people in the White House are angry about this and disinclined to trust Wolfowitz and his merry neocons the next time they beat the war drums. But the American people should remember, and perhaps they will if we keep reminding them in a systematic, intelligent and non-hysterical fashion.

– Alan Bock

Commentary:
It still comes down to a few basic very clearly answerable questions. Why didn't Bush give his evidence to the UN inspectors? Why couldn't our forces on the ground prior to the war (Task Force 20) verify a single word Bush was saying? Why couldn't the CIA or military intelligence provide a single piece of solid evidence to the American people, to Congress, to the UN?

When Kennedy was confronted with a small country arming itself with WMD, he gave us absolute proof on day one. Bush had over a year and couldn't provide a single piece of verifiable proof. Is it our fault he lied? Yes. We're smarter than that.

 
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What's up with France?
By ERIC TEO CHU CHEOW
Sunday, June 15, 2003
Special to The Japan Times

SINGAPORE -- One of the most notable moments at the Group of Eight summit (June 1-3) in Evian, France, was the bilateral meeting between U.S. President George W. Bush and his French counterpart, Jacques Chirac, the first such encounter following their dramatic falling out over Iraq.

Although the two leaders sat down and talked for 25 minutes, patting each other on the back, there were palpable signs, especially in body language, that the rift is perhaps far from over and that Franco-American relations have not completely mended. Until this meeting, there was clearly an anti-French triumphalism in the United States; senior Bush administration officials and Congress had vowed to "punish" France for its opposition to the Iraq war and threatened to reduce its international relevance.

This French-bashing mood contrasts with a more serene one of fence-mending with the other two permanent members of the U.N. Security Council that opposed U.S. military intervention in Iraq -- Russia and China. Russian President Vladimir Putin remains publicly defiant and critical of the war, while China, though more subdued in opposing the war, has never accepted the fait accompli.

Nevertheless, Washington has been sending conciliatory messages of cooperation to both Moscow and Beijing. The bilateral summits earlier this month of Bush with Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg, Russia, and with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Evian, were highly significant diplomatic moments.

So why is Washington pursuing two different approaches toward the three critics of its military intervention in Iraq? Washington's differing attitudes can best be explained by how the administration evaluates the importance or usefulness of each country. This is none other than realpolitik, as encapsulated by 19th-century British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston, who said the country had no permanent allies -- only permanent interests.

A similar situation arose in the early 1990s, when China came down much harder on France for its sale of Mirage fighter planes to Taiwan than on the U.S. for its continued military cooperation and exchanges with Taipei. Paris understood the harsh realities at the time. France must acknowledge the same reality in facing the Bush administration today.

The neoconservative lobby in Washington has clearly been angered by the way France led international opposition to U.S. military intervention in Iraq, if not made to feel betrayed by an historic ally. It was particularly piqued by France's veto in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to assist Turkey, although the French were probably delighted that the Turkish Parliament later voted against letting American ground troops assemble and open up a second front into Iraq from Turkey.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell was infuriated by the way his French counterpart, Dominique de Villepin, went all out to steal the thunder in the Security Council and to sabotage American diplomacy, especially with respect to African nations. Villepin lobbied hard to prevent nonpermanent council members from voting for the U.S.-backed resolution on Iraq. Washington has probably assessed that France is, at best, a medium-size power that no longer holds court anymore across the Continent, especially with new members due to join the EU's existing 15 by 2004.

Furthermore, unlike China and Russia, which wield much more strategic influence in crucial regions of Asia, France has only diminishing diplomatic and economic pre-eminence in Africa. The Americans probably also figure that French contributions to their global strategy and perspective does not match those of Moscow and Beijing, despite France's permanent seat on the Security Council. Washington can rely on London to lead and mold the EU.

Still, the U.S. has taken a softer reconciliatory approach in functional cooperation with France when national interests converge. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick pledged not to unduly "punish" French business in America. U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft promised to work with France within the Group of Eight on developing new biologically based technologies to prevent forgeries of passports and other travel documents. But tensions apparently remain, as hardliners in the administration contemplate and push for "punitive action" against Paris.

Meanwhile, Washington has shown more leniency toward Moscow, as it needs Russian assistance to respond to threats of terrorism in volatile regions such as Central Asia and the Middle East, and also wants to keep Russian nuclear material from falling into the wrong hands.

The U.S., though, may have underestimated the usefulness of a Franco-American alliance against international terror, given the sound network of French intelligence in the Middle East. France, with its sizable Muslim population, also has intrinsic links with the Middle East and North Africa.

Oil is another reason for future U.S.-Russian cooperation, which is not the case with France. The U.S. must strategically placate Russia over changes to the Antiballistic Missile Treaty. Washington needs Russian good will vis-a-vis NATO as the alliance expands into Central and Eastern Europe. France, on the other hand, is perceived to be systematically thwarting American attempts to expand its influence into this region. Finally, Bush has nurtured a personal relationship with Putin, but never had one with Chirac.

Washington's hand is also clear with regard to Beijing, although China is viewed as a competitive rival and not a strategic partner. China had cool ties with Washington when the Bush administration began, but relations were then tactically built up, culminating in Bush's invitation to then-Chinese President Jiang Zemin to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, last October.

Because of realpolitik, Washington needs Beijing's cooperation on some crucial issues. North Korea heads the list, as Chinese cooperation is believed necessary to diffuse Pyongyang's nuclear brinkmanship. Washington also needs calm across the Taiwan Strait.

China's cooperation in fighting against international terror and in dealing with "rogue states" in the Middle East and Africa would be precious, just as curbing China's expanding influence in Asia would be. Both will require active U.S. engagement with Beijing. Lastly, American business needs to be well positioned in the world's largest emerging market.

The Bush administration has evaluated its need to seriously cooperate with Russia and China for its own strategic interests. Realistically speaking, Washington also seems to believe that it does not need France as much as it needs Moscow or Beijing for managing international affairs. And it is just as convinced that France needs American cooperation and benevolence even more.

It is thus instructive that countries need to create situations that make relations mutually beneficial, so that national interests can ultimately prevail. So goes the game of realpolitik!

Eric Teo Chu Cheow, a corporate consultant based in Singapore, is council secretary of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs.

The Japan Times: June 15, 2003
(C) All rights reserved

Commentary:
If you like geo-political stuff this is a very good article, but I believe the author is seriously wrong. France is a power to reckon with because it has the votes necessary to do whatever it wants in the UN Security Council. If a country can put the UN back together again, it will be France. To solidify their superpower status all they have to do is lead the world in war. Besides, no one in the world trusts China or Russia, everyone in the world (except the US) trusts France and few trust the US.

The author falsely assumes France isn't trying to take super-power status away from the US and/or Great Britain. They are. France has far more power now than at any time in modern history. To be a leader you have to have countries willing to follow. France has proven it can get others to follow. Bush's inability to get the votes he wanted in the UN Security Council shows the US is very vulnerable and weak.

Bush needs China to help fix the debacle he created in North Korea. China is more than willing to go along. Bush also needs Russia's support or at least not strong opposition to missile defense. Bush is the one who is very weak. He needs!

 
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'Propaganda' effort reflects U.S. image
Japan Times
By BRAD GLOSSERMAN

HANOI -- I just wrapped up a 10-day speaking tour for the U.S. State Department after participating in the department's Public Diplomacy (PD) program, which sends folks to speak to universities, think tanks and public forums. The trip took me to the Russian Far East (Vladivostok and Sakhalin) and Hanoi, where I delivered two or three lectures a day to various audiences, totaling more than 500 people.

Public diplomacy is one of the lesser known options in the foreign-policy tool kit. That is unfortunate because PD can play a key role in foreign policy by helping shape public opinion in foreign countries. Public diplomacy is defined as "the cultural, educational and informational programs, citizen exchanges or broadcasts used to promote the national interest of the United States through understanding, informing and influencing foreign audiences."

Crudely, it is, as one of the students in Russia bluntly put it when asking why I was addressing his class, "propaganda."

According to the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy (ACPD), in the short term, PD seeks to influence opinion in ways that support U.S. interests and policies. In doing so, it usually focuses on issues. Over the long term, however, PD focuses on values by promoting dialogue, the sharing of ideas and the promotion of institutional and personal relationships.

Real PD is a two-way process. A country doesn't just send out its message. Listening is also required since that's the best way to gauge opinion in the host country. I've discovered that the questions and answers that follow a speech are always the most interesting part of the program as it zeroes in on the audience's concerns. Some of the sessions can get hot, but even my most hostile questioners have been friendly afterward. I like to think that taking their concerns seriously and answering their questions with respect helps.

The U.S. hasn't appreciated its PD program. In fact, it was pretty much gutted a few years ago, courtesy of Sen. Jesse Helms. In 1998, the State Department absorbed the U.S. Information Agency, the principle agency responsible for PD. It has been a rocky marriage, with USIA fitting poorly into State Department bureaucracy. ACPD attributed the difficulties "to a culture that did not traditionally value public diplomacy."

Funding makes that clear. The U.S. spends about $1 billion on PD, 4 percent of the country's international affairs budget. This contrasts with some $25 billion spent on traditional diplomacy and more than $30 billion on intelligence and counterintelligence. From 1993-2001, funding for educational and cultural exchange programs fell more than 33 percent (from $349 million to $232 million, adjusted for inflation), and from 1995 to 2001 the number of participants in exchange programs dropped from some 45,000 to 29,000. (All figures are provided by ACPD.)

The Council on Foreign Relations Independent Task Force on Public Diplomacy noted that "the U.S. government spends only $5 million annually on foreign public opinion polling. This amount does not cover the research costs of an average U.S. Senate campaign and it is a tiny fraction of the $6 billion spent by the U.S. private sector to gauge overseas opinion."

The cost of this indifference became appallingly clear on Sept. 11, 2001. The Pew Survey of Global Opinion that was published shortly after the terrorist attacks showed widespread resentment of the U.S. the world over, underscoring the yawning gap between America's image of itself and that held by most everybody else. Understanding those perceptions and shaping them has become a priority item for U.S. foreign policy. At the same time, there have been a number of reviews within government and outside to assess U.S. public diplomacy; all agree there is much to be done.

Pacific Forum CSIS, the Honolulu-based policy-research institute where I work, participates at both ends of the PD process. We host a steady stream of visitors -- politicians, journalists, academics and policy professionals -- as they travel through the U.S. Those tours take them from Washington, D.C., to Des Moines, Iowa (and places in between, depending on their interests). The programs are designed to provide a range of views of the U.S., from both big-city and small-town perspectives. At the end of their visit, visitors usually remark that what they hear in Honolulu is very different from opinion in Washington -- an indication that they appreciate (or at least understand) the diversity of opinion in the U.S.

In the speakers program, the speech depends on the audience and the speaker's specialty. I talked about U.S. foreign policy, Northeast Asian security issues and U.S. relations with East Asia. While the government makes the arrangements and provides the audiences, they don't tell us what to say. I like to think that the willingness to question the official foreign-policy line -- when it deserves criticism -- earns the speaker, the program and the country credibility.

I drew two lessons from this recent trip: First, there is considerable skepticism about the motives driving U.S. foreign policy. This isn't new, but it seems to be intensifying. At some point in every Q&A session, someone asked if the Iraq war was really about oil. Others wanted to know where the weapons of mass destruction were. "Who's next?" was a regular question.

The audiences were well informed -- although they had been fed a steady diet of slanted news and opinion. For example, Russian students figured that economics dictated U.S. decision-making, but few of them knew that Russia had its own economic interests to protect in Iraq.

The second lesson was more striking. A number of people in each audience worried about U.S. foreign policy -- not because the U.S. was domineering, hegemonic or evil but because recent behavior undercut U.S. authority. They saw the U.S. as a force for good but they felt that recent U.S. actions eroded its credibility and its capacity to lead.

Those comments were especially heartening (nor were they minority views). It is important to recognize the reservoir of good will toward the U.S. that exists -- and, more importantly, that we understand how we are damaging it. That is one of the most frustrating elements of public diplomacy: It provides a useful mirror on the U.S. image abroad, but it cannot fix the policies that mar that image.

Brad Glosserman is director of research at Pacific Forum CSIS, a Honolulu-based think tank. He can be reached at bradgpf@hawaii.rr.com

The Japan Times: June 15, 2003
(C) All rights reserved

Commentary:
No, Iraq was not about oil. It was about politics. Bush needed war to distract us from his ballooning budget deficits, failures during 9/11 and an economy in shambles. He needed the media to portray him as a war-time president even though he went to war with defenseless countries based on fabricated evidence.

 
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Why the Bush White House Should Be Prepared for Impeachment
By Paul M. Weyrich
CNSNews.com Commentary
June 23, 2003

The late John Connally, former Governor of Texas, and Secretary of the Treasury in the Nixon Administration, told me a story back in 1975 when I was a guest at his ranch. The governor had been indicted and, although he was later vindicated, he was fixated on the question of who was responsible for his indictment.

He related to me an episode that he was convinced lay at the heart of his indictment. He said that one day he had been asked to testify before a House Committee. He was confused about the location. He opened a door and there off in a corner was then-Defense Secretary Mel Laird and with him was Father Robert Drinan, the extreme leftist Congressman and a half-dozen other leftists. Since he had not been seen, he thought he'd listen to what Laird was discussing with those left-wingers.

Connally found to his utter shock and amazement, Laird was discussing the impeachment of President Nixon. This was early on, when Drinan and the other leftists had just introduced impeachment articles in the House. Most everyone thought this was a frivolous joke on Drinan's part. Supposedly impeachment had no chance.

Anyway, to hear Connally tell it, Laird suddenly looked up and saw Connally there. The governor said Laird was obviously embarrassed and Connally excused himself, saying he was in the wrong place. He didn't give it much thought at the time, he told me, although the sight of Laird together with those left-wingers really troubled him.

Then, when the governor was indicted, he began to think of who would want him out of the way and he recalled the meeting. The governor went to his grave convinced that fellow cabinet Secretary Mel Laird was responsible for his indictment so he would not be credible if he fingered Laird as being in on a plot to get President Nixon.

Now I have known Mel Laird for many years and while I am no fan of his, I find the notion that he would be plotting against President Nixon a bit hard to believe. But I mention the story for this reason.

When Father Drinan said that Nixon should be impeached, the president was at the height of his popularity. Drinan was regarded even by most of his Democratic colleagues as a far-out crazy. Drinan was not taken seriously.

Well, there is a little weasel tripping around now, insisting that there might well be grounds to impeach President George W. Bush. I have heard three different interviews with him on the subject. He sounds plausible. His name is John Dean. He once was White House counsel under President Nixon. He blew the whistle on Nixon and for weeks, he was a matinee idol when Senator Sam Ervin's hearings into Watergate were televised.

Perhaps Dean misses fame and thinks he can be a star once more. Who knows? Right now, only the fringes in the media and politics are taking him seriously. But if I were the administration, I would take him seriously. I would listen to every argument he is making and I would be prepared to counter it.

I am assuming, of course, that President Bush and Vice President Cheney didn't attempt to alter the data produced by the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and other agencies in regard to Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. I still believe they may be found or at least we may learn how they were disposed of. I can also believe that the CIA and even the DIA gave Bush very bad information.

It was Bush's father, when he was president, who told me, based on CIA information, that if Gorbachev was deposed, then a Stalin-like figure would take his place. I told President Bush that the CIA could not have been further from the truth. Which of us was correct?

So it is entirely possible those agencies were dead wrong. What I find impossible to believe is that the current President Bush and the Vice President told these agencies the conclusions they wanted when they knew that these conclusions were far removed from the truth.

To believe that is to believe that our President and Vice President have absolutely no integrity. Whatever you think of their politics, I believe President Bush and Vice President Cheney are both men of character who would not take our country to war based on false information they helped to manufacture.

Obviously, if they did engage in such illegal practices they would be impeached. There is no way that will happen. But even if Dean is way out in orbit, he should not be allowed to plant doubts in the minds our citizens.

The administration should put the truth out there. Otherwise you never know how a far-out plot by someone who is not taken seriously will turn into something red-hot and blown way out of proportion by the media. Lord knows enough people hate George Bush in this town that they will take any scrap of "evidence" they can find and will turn it into a dozen articles of impeachment.

I know the White House has competent counsel. But they have been busy trying to get good federal judges confirmed and many other matters. If you see them, urge them to add this to their "to do" list. We wouldn't want them to find themselves unprepared in the unlikely event the left is able to make something out of nothing.

(Paul M. Weyrich is chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation.)

All original CNSNews.com material, copyright 1998-2003 Cybercast News Service.

Commentary:
I compare this scandal to McCarthyism more than Watergate. Watergate was about a few corrupt people, not an entire nation falling for the goof-ball antics of an insane president (or senator). Both McCarthyism and Iraqgate couldn't have happened without a complacent media or a media that was part of the problem. Bush couldn't push his war around the clock but cable news could.

 
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Europeans Ambivalent About America, Poll Finds
By Mike Wendling
CNSNews.com London Bureau Chief
June 18, 2003

London (CNSNews.com) - Europeans love American pop culture but are more ambivalent when it comes to U.S. military might and foreign policy, according to the results of polls commissioned by the BBC.

What the World Thinks of America, broadcast Tuesday night, brought together politicians and writers from several countries, including the United States, to discuss the results of an 11-nation survey.

Worldwide, opinion favored American policy on stopping the spread of AIDS and international terrorism, but it opposed U.S. policy on poverty, global warming, nuclear proliferation and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Included in the poll were Britain, the closest U.S. ally in the Iraq war; and France and Russia, two of the most staunchly anti-war countries.

Overall, respondents in both Britain and France said they supported U.S. policy against terror and the spread of AIDS. But the balance of opinion in both countries was against America in the other policy areas mentioned.

The Russians polled said they were against American policy in all of the areas questioned, although only 3 percent disapproved more than they approved of U.S. anti-terror measures.

In every country polled besides the United States, more people agreed than disagreed with the statement: "America is reaping the thorns planted by its rulers in the world" - a quote attributed to Saddam Hussein.

Seventy-six percent of French respondents said that their country was more cultured than the United States, and 78 percent of Britons said the same.

Alain de Chalvron of France Two television explained that France has a "love-hate" relationship with American culture and government.

"We do think we can like American on one hand and disagree with American policy on the other hand," de Chalvron said.

Since the Iraq war, French public opinion has markedly turned against American foreign policy. Two-thirds of French respondents said they trusted the United States before the war, de Chalvron said, while a similar number said they distrusted American policy afterwards.

Indeed, it was questions about the war in Iraq that showed up the major differences between the countries surveyed. Eighty-one percent of Russians said the U.S. was wrong to invade, as did 63 percent of French respondents.

But in Britain, 54 percent approved of the war along with 74 percent of Americans and 79 percent of Israelis.

Vladimir Pozner of Russia's Channel One said that the Cold War had "tainted the views of Russians" towards the United States.

"Most Russians say Americans live by the motto 'might makes right,'" he said.

The discussion was hosted by Andrew Marr, the BBC's political editor. In an article for Newsweek magazine on the poll, Marr said that "President George W. Bush has a terrible global image" but "it's also clear that many people have only the haziest idea of America."

Excluding American respondents, 60 percent worldwide said they had an unfavorable view of Bush.

"Americans, I conclude, need to think harder about how they want to be known in the rest of the world," Marr wrote.

After the debate, the chairman of Republican Abroad UK, Colleen Graffy, and Democrats Abroad UK leader Jamey Dumas squared off in a debate broadcast on the internet and cable television.

Dumas suggested that Americans should travel more and encourage more exchange programs with other countries, while Graffy responded: "We're the most cultural flexible society in the world."

One of the most contentious arguments came over the Iraq war.

"We're certain that we didn't do it in the right way," Dumas said. "We have started to handle Afghanistan in the right way. We don't have that kind of (international) support in Iraq ... if this poll would have been done a year ago, the respondents from Russian and France would have been much more positive."

Graffy contended that by initially trying the United Nations route, America had gained legitimacy for military action.

"What people need to think about is that the role of the U.N. Security Council is to sometimes use the threat of force or force in order to ensure peace and international stability," she said. "We all know that those weapons inspectors would not have been back in Iraq were it not for the threat of force by the United States."

In response to a question asked by a viewer, Dumas argued that President Bush had made several missteps after the Sept. 11 attacks.

"I don't think Bush squandered everything, that would be too simple. I do think that he made mistakes, by saying, 'you're either for us or against us,'" he said. "That didn't help us find a better solution for fighting terrorism."

Graffy said that were it not for the United States, Europe would not even exist in its modern form, and that there was still widespread respect for U.S. power.

"The European Union was able to evolve because of the security through the military power of the United States," she said.

"One of the bottom lines of this poll is that there is not a coalition of nation-states rising up against America," Graffy said. "The fact remains America is seen as a benign power, a power that sometimes gets it wrong but is trying to do the right thing."

All original CNSNews.com material, copyright 1998-2003 Cybercast News Service.

Commentary:
A majority of Europeans want a foreign policy that is independent of the US. The article says; "One of the bottom lines of this poll is that there is not a coalition of nation-states rising up against America." That's simply wrong. According to the poll, the US has lost support on foreign policy, and losing support on this issue means trouble down the road. Nations of Europe may not be rising up against the US, but they're heading away from US foreign policy, US leadership and Bush's policies.

 
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Poll Reflects Widely Divergent Asian Views of America
By Patrick Goodenough
CNSNews.com Pacific Rim Bureau Chief
June 18, 2003

Pacific Rim Bureau (CNSNews.com) - People in Australia, South Korea and Indonesia have widely differing opinions about America, according to the Asian component of an international survey. Poll respondents generally had a more favorable view of America and Americans overall than they did of U.S. foreign policies.

As part of a British Broadcasting Corp.-coordinated program called What the world thinks of America, more than 11,000 people in 11 countries around the world were asked a range of questions on political, cultural, economic and military issues relating to the U.S.

Participating countries included the U.S., Brazil, Canada, Britain, France, Russia, Israel, Jordan, Australia, South Korea and Indonesia.

The Asian representatives are three very different countries, all regarded as friendly toward the U.S., but with differing levels of cooperation with and goodwill towards it.

Australia (pop. 19.5 million) is a Western country and a close military ally whose government shrugged off strong domestic opposition and sent forces to fight alongside the U.S. and Britain in the Gulf earlier this year.

Prime Minister John Howard and his cabinet hold the U.S. and President Bush in high regard, and are regularly ridiculed by their critics as a result.

South Korea (pop. 48 million) is also a military ally of the U.S., but one that has been moving to redefine its relationship 50 years after the Korean War. Thirty-seven thousand American service personnel are stationed there to help protect the country from the communist North.

New president Roh Moo-hyun was elected on a platform of achieving a more balanced relationship between Seoul and Washington.

Indonesia (pop. 232 million) is the world's most populous Islamic state, a vast archipelago split by ethnic, religious and separatist differences.

After Islamist bombers killed more than 200 people in an attack on the island of Bali last October, Indonesia began to clamp down on terrorism. It has also improved counter-terror cooperation with its neighbors and the U.S., although unhappiness with many U.S. policies persist.

Results in the survey showed wide differences between the respondents in the three countries.

Some of the results follow:

In general, would you say you feel favorably or unfavorably about America?

Australia +35 points (0 is average, so positive numbers are "favorable")
South Korea +22
Indonesia - +27
11 country average +18

Do you feel favorably or unfavorably about President Bush?

Australia - 4
South Korea - 20
Indonesia - 48
11 country average - 22

Do you agree or disagree with U.S. policies on terrorism?

Australia +29
South Korea +49
Indonesia - 15
11 country average +9

Do you agree or disagree with U.S. policies on nuclear non-proliferation?

Australia -8
South Korea +32
Indonesia -75
11 country average -24

Do you agree or disagree with U.S. policies on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Australia -4
South Korea -19
Indonesia -47
11 country average -27

Do you agree with the statement "America is a force for good in the world"?

Australia +20
South Korea -10
Indonesia -34
11 country average -6

Which is more dangerous - the U.S. or North Korea?

Australia (% U.S.) 25 (% N. Korea) 66
South Korea (% U.S.) 48 (% N. Korea) 39
Indonesia (% U.S.) 66 (% N. Korea) 19
11 country average (% U.S.) 43 (% N. Korea) 43

Which is more dangerous - the U.S. or al-Qaeda?

Australia (% U.S.) 21 (% al-Qaeda) 71
South Korea (% U.S.) 40 (% al-Qaeda) 41
Indonesia (% U.S.) 60 (% al-Qaeda) 27
11 country average (% U.S.) 32 (% al-Qaeda) 54

Which is more dangerous - the U.S. or Iran?

Australia (% U.S.) 38 (% Iran) 50
South Korea (%U.S.) 56 (% Iran) 24
Indonesia (% U.S.) 71 (% Iran) 9
11 country average (% U.S.) 46 (% Iran) 40

Does American military power make the world a safer place?

Australia (% safer) 42 (% more dangerous) 39 (% no difference) 14
South Korea 20/ 67/ 8
Indonesia 13/ 72/ 8
11 country average 29/ 28/ 18

Was America right or wrong to invade Iraq?

Australia (% right) 54 (% wrong) 38
South Korea 21/ 71
Indonesia 15/ 75
11 country average 37/ 56

Should the way America runs its economy be copied by your home country?

Australia (% yes) 8 (% no) 92
South Korea 35/ 51
Indonesia 24/ 66
11 country average 23/ 67

Generally speaking, do you tend to like or dislike: - American movies?

Australia +60
South Korea +9
Indonesia +45
11 country average +36

- American popular music?

Australia +31
South Korea -9
Indonesia +12
11 country average +13

- American food?

Australia -16
South Korea -53
Indonesia +18
11 country average -17

If you had the chance, would you like to live in America?

Australia (% yes) 16 (% no) 82
South Korea 24/ 75
Indonesia 23/ 72
11 country average 19/ 79

Over time, is your home country becoming more or less like America?

Australia (% more) 81 (% less) 3 (% neither) 15
South Korea 72 / 19/ 6
Indonesia 20/ 42/ 22
11 country average 47/ 17/ 31

'Mix and match'

In the various countries involved in the survey, national broadcasters are airing tie-in programs, with local panels discussing the issues raised.

Australians will see the results in a special Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) program on Thursday.

ABC journalist Tony Jones, who will present the program, argued in a preview article that the difference in opinions between conservative and left-wing Australians when it comes to the U.S. is not clear-cut.

"The divide is not simple," he says. "Australians mix and match from an assortment of feelings about America depending on the time and subject."

In Indonesia, the poll results are to be presented on Metro TV by journalist Fifi Aleyda Yahya.

Yahya said many Indonesians opposed U.S. polices, but at the same time enjoyed American products and popular culture.

"During the U.S. attack on Iraq there were never-ending conversations on the arrogance of President George W. Bush and his government, even while we were drinking Starbucks' frappuccinos or having a quick lunch at McDonald's."

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks in the U.S., she said, Indonesians came to realize that most Americans had very little idea about Indonesia.

"We are a secular nation, but we were very much portrayed as Islamic radicals. This triggered a negative feeling towards the U.S."

In South Korea, the poll results are being presented on KBS television by journalist Young Lee.

He said two key events in recent months had triggered a "radical change in sentiments towards the U.S."

The first was the deaths of two schoolgirls, knocked down in a highway accident involving a heavy U.S. Army vehicle last year. Two GIs were court-martialled for their roles in the affairs, and both acquitted. This triggered protests and demands for changes in an agreement governing the legal status of U.S. forces in Korea.

The other event was the Iraq war. Although President Roh backed the U.S. and agreed to dispatch Korean troops to Iraq, there was widespread public opposition to the war, Lee said.

"The present moment is a critical juncture for both the U.S. and South Korea, at which point both sides need to re-establish and mature their existing ties."

Surveys in the three countries were carried out by Roy Morgan Research in Australia; ORC International in Korea; and Synovate in Indonesia.

All original CNSNews.com material, copyright 1998-2003 Cybercast News Service.

Commentary:
Talk about depressing numbers. The 11 country average numbers are very disappointing. On almost every foreign policy question the US is seen as part of the problem not the solution. Even the US military took a beating, just 1% point difference between safer and less safe. The question was; "Does American military power make the world a safer place?" One percent is well within the margin of error.

 
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BBC Global Poll: Bush viewed unfavorably by majority of world
CNSNews
By Patrick Goodenough
CNSNews.com Pacific Rim Bureau Chief
June 16, 2003

Pacific Rim Bureau (CNSNews.com) - Fifty-seven percent of the more than 11,000 respondents in an international opinion poll view U.S. President George W. Bush in an unfavorable light

A majority also felt that the U.S. was wrong to go to war against Iraq earlier this year, although the figures varied widely in the different countries surveyed.

In that and other questions, substantial differences in opinion were evident in countries allied to the U.S. on the one hand and countries that opposed the Iraq war on the other.

As part of a British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC)-coordinated program called What the World Thinks of America, polling organizations surveyed people in 11 countries around the world, including the U.S. itself.

Respondents were asked their views on questions relating to America's military, political, cultural and economic influence in the world.

What the World Thinks of America will air on British television on Tuesday evening and include a 90-minute debate involving a panel of "thinkers, movers and shakers" and national broadcasters from the participating countries.

The BBC released some figures ahead of the broadcast.

Fifty-six percent of the total pool of respondents felt the U.S. was wrong to attack Iraq, although national breakdowns painted a more subtle - and not especially surprising - picture.

In Russia, 81 percent of respondents opposed the U.S. attack, as did 63 percent in France. But in Britain, 54 percent agreed with the war, and that figure rose to 74 percent in the U.S., with an even higher 79 percent in Israel.

The 11 countries participating were the U.S., Britain, France, Canada, Russia, Brazil, Israel, Jordan, Indonesia, Australia and South Korea, and the polling was carried out during May and June, the BBC said.

Respondents in Jordan and Indonesia regarded the U.S. as a bigger threat than the al Qaeda terrorist group.

The U.S. was considered more dangerous than Iran by those polled in Jordan, Indonesia, Russia, Brazil and South Korea - and more dangerous than Syria by respondents in all of the participating countries except the U.S., Australia and Israel.

Iran and Syria are on Washington's list of terror-sponsoring states.

The BBC said attitudes toward America overall were considerably more favorable than those relating to its government and policies.

Fifty percent expressed fairly or very favorable views, as opposed to 40 percent expressing unfavorable ones. That figure excludes respondents in the U.S. itself.

All original CNSNews.com material, copyright 1998-2003 Cybercast News Service.

Commentary:
Since Muslims either hate or fear us, it seems this war on terrorism is having the opposite effect that some would have expected. Hate and fear caused 9/11 and both have grown considerably since Bush's silly wars. If you want more terrorism, reelect Bush.

 
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