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Impeach Bush

US Risks NATO Breakup Over Iraq

Clinton Criticizes Tax Plan

Buying WH Patriotism

CIA says Iraq has no control over al-Qaida

Japanese Americans Demand Resignation

Real Religions Oppose Bush's War

Two More Irresponsible Republicans

NATO Stops War-Monger Bush

GOP Plays Down Massive Federal Deficits

US Risks NATO Breakup Over Iraq
Washington Post
By BARRY SCHWEID
The Associated Press
Tuesday, February 11, 2003; 5:23 PM

Addressing a historic rift within NATO, Secretary of State Colin Powell said Tuesday the future of the 53-year-old military alliance is at risk if it fails to confront the crisis with Iraq.

Distressed by the refusal of three U.S. allies to agree to bolster Turkey's defenses, Powell told the Senate Budget Committee that it is not the United States that is fracturing NATO by seeking support for the option of war to disarm Iraq.

"The alliance is breaking itself up because it will not meet its responsibilities," Powell said in response to a suggestion by Sen. Ernest Hollings, D-S.C., that the Bush administration was "barreling in" to get Iraqi President Saddam Hussein over the objections of allies, Russia and China.

Reflecting widespread skepticism among members of Congress, Hollings said Iraq "is not an immediate threat" and advised Powell "to be a little bit more deliberate" in dealing with other nations about Iraq.

Powell rebutted that "this is the time to deal with this regime, once and for all," as he said it strengthens its ties to al-Qaida and other terror groups.

He told the committee that what appeared to be a new statement from al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden shows why the world needs to be wary of Iraqi ties to terrorists.

Powell said he read a transcript of "what bin Laden - or who we believe to be bin Laden" was saying on the al-Jazeera Arab satellite station Tuesday. "Once again he speaks to the people of Iraq and talks about their struggle and how he is in partnership with Iraq," Powell said.

Al-Jazeera chief editor Ibrahim Hilal told The Associated Press Tuesday night, hours after Powell read the transcript at the hearing, that al-Jazeera had just received an audio tape with bin Laden's voice.

As broadcast, the voice purporting to be bin Laden's urged Iraqis to confront any U.S.-led invasion with camouflaged trenches and suicide bombings.

"We stress the importance of martyrdom operations against the enemy, these attacks that have scared Americans and Israelis like never before," the speaker said.

"With all the might of the enemy, they were unable to defeat us" in Afghanistan, the speaker said. "We hope that our brothers in Iraq will do the same as we did."

Al-Qaida and Iraq, the speaker indicated, are bound by a common hatred of the United States.

On another front, President Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, met in New York with chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix. They discussed the inspection process, a senior U.S. official said.

Blix and atomic weapons inspector Mohamed ElBaradei are to report to the Security Council on Friday on their search for weapons of mass destruction.

Powell, in his testimony to the Senate committee, said, "This nexus between terrorists and states that are developing weapons of mass destruction can no longer be looked away from and ignored."

At a separate hearing, CIA Director George Tenet said he, too, knew of a new communication from bin Laden. But Tenet told the Senate Intelligence Committee he had not been briefed on the statement's contents.

The split between the United States and its trans-Atlantic allies widened Monday when France, Germany and Belgium blocked a U.S.-backed measure to authorize NATO to make plans to protect Turkey if Iraq were to attack. Russia then joined France and Germany in demanding strengthened weapons inspections.

Powell told the committee the United States was engaged in intensive diplomacy to reverse the three nations' action. In any event, he said, the Bush administration and other NATO members would help Turkey with defensive equipment.

He said he hoped NATO "would do the right thing in the next 24 hours."

At NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, the administration suffered another setback Tuesday when France, Germany and Belgium held to their positions. And Chinese President Jiang Zemin, in a telephone call to French President Jacques Chirac, backed extending U.N. weapons inspections as the preferred way to deal with disarming Iraq.

Powell said the United States would maintain pressure on the U.N. Security Council to back the use of force as an option. "It is clear a moment of truth is coming for the Security Council," he said.

Meanwhile, Sen. John W. Warner, R-Va., chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said Congress may consider reducing financial support for NATO.

"I can see where Congress could begin to take note of this and say all right if that's your attitude, then perhaps we'd best put our dollars elsewhere," Warner said.

Bush, meanwhile, continued on a path of intensive diplomacy, urging support for his hard line against Saddam in telephone conversations with Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Angola is a member of the Security Council and shares Bush's view that Saddam must disarm, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said.

© 2003 The Associated Press

Commentary:
Since the NATO Treaty requires member states to follow the UN, the US is attempting to destroy the NATO Treaty. Don't be fooled by who is violating the "rule of law."

NATO: Article 1 reads as follows; "The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations."


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Clinton Criticizes Tax Plan
Washington Post
The Associated Press
Tuesday, February 11, 2003; 6:15 PM

Former President Clinton told college students Tuesday that their votes could have made the difference in past elections - enough to put Democrats securely in charge of Congress today.

"If, in this country, people under 30 voted in the same percentages as people over 55, we would have a different Congress and a different Senate," Clinton said during a speech at his alma mater, Georgetown University.

Clinton avoided foreign policy in his address. Instead, he repeated criticism of President Bush's economic stimulus plan, which proposes a new round of $1.3 trillion in tax relief over the next decade. Bush has said the cuts would benefit everyone by encouraging investment and spending that boost businesses, which in turn would create more jobs.

Clinton said the plan would mostly benefit the wealthy. He said Americans, rich and poor, need low interest rates and more money for education and health care.

Clinton dismissed Bush administration accusations that Democrats who opposed the tax cuts were engaging in class warfare.

"When I was president, we had more millionaires and billionaires than ever before, but we took 100 times as many people out of poverty as were taken out in the previous 12 years," Clinton said.

"So I'm all for people getting rich - and I've enjoyed it," said Clinton, referring to the millions of dollars he has been paid in speaking fees since leaving office. "But I think we ought to pay our fair share. I'm telling you, we wouldn't have these policies if people under 30 voted in the same percentages as people over 55."

© 2003 The Associated Press

Commentary:
When Americans figure out that deficits are future taxes they'll understand there is no Bush tax cut, just as there was no Reagan tax cut. Both presidents gave us huge deficits and massive debt. Deficits and debt are future tax increases, plus interest, they are not cuts.

President Clinton had the character needed to lead this nation. Too bad republicans can't find such a person.


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Buying WH Patriotism
Washington Post
By Dana Milbank
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 12, 2003; Page A27

Patriotism has a cost. Just over $23,000, to be exact.

In the anxious days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the White House swung into action. It prepared for war in Afghanistan. It began a nationwide dragnet. And it ordered thousands of pieces of jewelry.

According to a White House document provided to The Washington Post, the administration determined that as part of its response to the terrorist attacks it needed flag-shaped lapel pins for the president, his staff and White House visitors. Using government Visa cards, purchasers in the White House Office of Administration charged to the Treasury more than $23,000 worth of patriotic handouts.

Such items -- like other trinkets White House officials give as gifts -- are virtually always purchased by the president's party, the Republican National Committee or the Democratic National Committee, to keep the government out of the business of bestowing goodies. But, according to the White House document, the flag pins were part of a White House effort to boost national resolve, so the Executive Office of the President picked up the tab.

Immediately after the attacks, the White House scrambled its procurement experts, ordering them to get samples of flag pins. White House officials then chose from among 20 and 30 samples -- varying by size, flag shape and number of stars -- and settled on a waving-flag version that President Bush and his staff still wear.

The purchasers then bought the entire inventory of flag pins from several vendors -- the pins were a hot commodity at the time -- to keep up with the ravenous White House demand. At the government-negotiated rate of nearly $2, the $23,000 would have bought about 11,500 pins.

Standard practice is for the political parties to buy the trinkets given to White House visitors -- lapel pins with the White House logo, cufflinks with the presidential seal, pens, golf balls, key chains and playing cards. People familiar with government buying said they did not recall other cases of federal purchasers buying such items.

A White House spokeswoman, whom the press office does not allow to be identified, confirmed that the federal government made the purchase. The White House changed its policy, however, when it came time for the one-year remembrance of the Sept. 11 attacks. At that time, she said, the RNC bought the pins for the White House.

Because the jewelry was part of the White House response to the terrorist attacks, it is likely that the purchase was made with money from the Sept. 11 emergency supplemental spending request Bush made after the attacks. The White House spokeswoman said she could not confirm the source of the money.

"Several federal, state and local entities, including the Department of Defense and the Secret Service, purchased and distributed similar items," she said.

But Brian Marr, a spokesman for the Secret Service, said, "We do not purchase those with government money." Such purchases, he said, are made with employees' "personal funds."

Of course, few would begrudge the White House its impulse to put out more flags. Millions of Americans displayed them. "Flags are flying everywhere -- on houses, in store windows, on cars, on lapels," Bush remarked in an address Nov. 8, 2001.

Still, intermingling official and party functions can be tricky. The White House provoked protests last year when it allowed the RNC to use an official photo of Bush on Air Force One on Sept. 11 as part of an incentive for donors who gave at least $150.

Larry Noble, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics and a former general counsel at the Federal Election Commission, said it is legal but unusual for the government, instead of the party, to pay for presidential trinkets. "The tradition is the parties pay for these generic political-type items," he said. "It's just a question of whether it's something taxpayers should be paying for."

Noble said that with the McCain-Feingold law banning unlimited donations to parties, "we may see more of this, because a party doesn't have the soft money anymore and is going to be reluctant to use hard money."

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

Commentary:
This White House is so cheap your tax dollars have to buy their pseudo patriotism buttons and pins. Good grief. What will they want you to buy next, their patriotic underwear?



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CIA says Iraq has no control over al-Qaida
Washington Post
.By JOHN J. LUMPKIN
The Associated Press
Tuesday, February 11, 2003; 6:29 PM

Intelligence information suggests al-Qaida attacks may occur as early as this week in both the United States and on the Arabian peninsula, CIA Director George J. Tenet told Congress on Tuesday.

The information led to last week's raising of the national terror alert level to "orange," the second highest level of five. The information came from "multiple sources with strong al-Qaida ties," Tenet said without providing details.

"The intelligence is not idle chatter on the part of terrorists and their associates," Tenet said. "It is the most specific we have seen, and it is consistent with both our knowledge of al-Qaida's doctrine and our knowledge of plots this network - and particularly its senior leadership - has been working on for years."

The information pointing to imminent attacks was gathered both in the United States and overseas, said FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, who joined Tenet and other intelligence chiefs to brief the Senate Intelligence Committee in an annual public session on threats to national security.

The CIA director said the information suggests the attack may involve a "dirty bomb" - a weapon that spreads radioactive material over a wide area - or chemical or poison weapons. Officials last week worried the attack was timed to coincide with the hajj, a Muslim holy period this week.

But Mueller and Tenet said the U.S. government has no specific information pointing conclusively to where, when, or how terrorists would strike. They said raising the national alert level - and taking security measures at government and business centers - makes it more difficult for the terrorists to carry out an attack.

Tenet had little information Tuesday morning on a new audio message attributed to Osama bin Laden, which aired later in the day. Some previous recordings of the al-Qaida chief have served as a prelude to terrorist attacks.

The CIA chief also repeated many of Secretary of State Colin Powell's statements last week to the United Nations regarding Iraq's efforts to acquire chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, and linking al-Qaida supporters to the Iraqi government. Tenet said the key link between Baghdad and al-Qaida is Abu Musab Zarqawi, a senior associate of bin Laden.

About two dozen of Zarqawi's followers remain in Baghdad, where Zarqawi spent two months last summer. All are members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, a terrorist group that has merged with al-Qaida, Tenet said. But he said he has no evidence suggesting Iraq has any operational control over Zarqawi's group or al-Qaida.

Echoing Bush administration policy-makers, Tenet and the other intelligence chiefs offered little hope that U.N. inspections would prompt Iraq to disarm, saying Saddam is intent upon and capable of circumventing the inspections.

Tenet also said U.S. intelligence has given U.N. inspectors all of its information on what it believed were Iraqi weapons sites. CIA officials declined to say how many of those sites the inspectors have visited.

Vice Adm. Lowell E. Jacoby, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, predicted Saddam would lash out in many directions if attacked.

"I expect him to pre-emptively attack the Kurds in the north, conduct missile and terrorist attacks against Israel and U.S. regional or worldwide interests - perhaps using WMD (weapons of mass destruction) and the regime's links to al-Qaida," Jacoby said in prepared remarks. "Saddam is likely to employ a scorched-earth strategy.... We should expect him to use WMD on his own people."

Tenet and Jacoby also raised the dangers of renewed nuclear weapons efforts in North Korea.

"Kim Jong Il's attempts this year to parlay the North's nuclear weapons program into political leverage suggest he is trying to negotiate a fundamentally different relationship with Washington, one that implicitly tolerates the North's nuclear weapons program," Tenet said.

As for al-Qaida, Mueller and Tenet said the terror organization is damaged but still dangerous. Mueller called it "clearly the most urgent threat to U.S. interests." It has a strong presence in Pakistan and Afghanistan and is developing a presence in Iran and Iraq, Tenet said.

The FBI suspects there are "several hundred" Muslim extremists in this country who focus mainly on fund raising, recruitment and training, Mueller said. But he said the greatest threat to Americans at home are "al-Qaida cells in the United States that we have not identified."

Some of these cells have probably been in the United States since well before the Sept. 11 attacks, he said.

"The enemies we face are resourceful, merciless and fanatically committed to inflicting massive damage on our homeland, which they regard as a bastion of evil," Mueller said.

---

Associated Press writers Ken Guggenheim and Curt Anderson contributed to this report.

© 2003 The Associated Press

Commentary:
Here's the line that you NEED to read again; "But he said he has no evidence suggesting Iraq has any operational control over Zarqawi's group or al-Qaida." So, here we have it. Iraq has no control over al-Qaida. Why are we going to war with Iraq again? Oh yeah, because they're connected to al-Qaida and terrorism, but the CIA says that's simply not true. Another Bush lie bites the dust.



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Japanese Americans Demand Resignation
Washington Post
By DEBORAH KONG
The Associated Press
Tuesday, February 11, 2003; 4:01 PM

Asian-American groups rankled by a North Carolina congressman's remarks suggesting Japanese-Americans were interned during World War II for their own protection want him to resign his subcommittee chairmanship.

Activists are circulating online petitions calling for Rep. Howard Coble to step down from his post as chairman of the House Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security subcommittee. Others are making similar demands in fax and e-mail campaigns.

The groups say the Republican's comments are a reminder of a dark chapter in American history, when 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry were forced into 10 U.S. internment camps after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Some say Coble's comments could have political repercussions for Republicans, who were criticized after GOP Sen. Trent Lott made remarks deemed racially insensitive last year.

"The psychological damage of the internment had lasting effects," said John Tateishi, national executive director of the Japanese American Citizens League. "We don't intend to just let this one go."

Last week, Coble indicated on a radio show in Greensboro, N.C., that Japanese-Americans were interned for their own safety, but disagreed with a caller who said Arab-Americans should be confined.

"We were at war. They (Japanese-Americans) were an endangered species," Coble said. "For many of these Japanese-Americans, it wasn't safe for them to be on the street."

"Some probably were intent on doing harm to us," Coble said, "just as some of these Arab-Americans are probably intent on doing harm to us."

On Monday, Coble released a statement saying the internment was "the wrong decision and an action that should never be repeated."

"I regret that many Japanese and Arab-Americans found my choice of words offensive because that was certainly not my intent," he said. The congressman has said he won't resign from the subcommittee post.

On Tuesday, a petition being circulated by Yellowworld.org, an online Asian-American advocacy group, had attracted more than 1,000 signatures demanding Coble apologize and resign from the subcommittee.

Coble's comments are an example of how Asians are "portrayed as constantly the outsiders," said Yellowworld.org president Elbert Oh.

On Feb. 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed an executive order authorizing the internment. Japanese-Americans were allowed to bring only what they could carry, and some were given as little as 24 hours to sell or store their possessions.

Between 1942 and 1946, they were kept behind barbed wire at the camps, under the watch of armed guards in towers. Tateishi, now 63, recalls seeing a teenager who tried to leave the camp get shot and killed by guards.

Tateishi called Coble's comments insulting and inaccurate, noting that historical records show there were no widespread incidents of violence against Japanese-Americans before their detention, and that no Japanese-Americans in the United States were accused of espionage against America during World War II.

A U.S. government study later called the internment "a grave personal injustice" to people of Japanese ancestry that was the result of "race prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership." Starting in 1990, the government began paying survivors $20,000.

Kimberly Chen, 30, is among those who signed the online petition.

She recalled skipping school on Pearl Harbor Day because teachers would "point to me, 'You're the Japanese one, you be the representative,'" said Chen, of Portland, Ore.

She signed the petition out of "fear that something like this can happen again."

S.B. Woo, president of the nonpartisan Asian political action committee 80-20, said the group is urging people to fax Republican leaders demanding Coble's resignation from the subcommittee. Republican National Committee officials declined to comment Tuesday on Coble's remarks.

"If we don't get satisfaction, then I think very few of us will be voting for Republicans," Woo said.

© 2003 The Associated Press

Commentary:
Republicans just can't keep their mouths shut. If the didn't talk they wouldn't get into trouble. I'm in favor of them minding their own business and leaving Washington so the grown-up's can run things again.



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Real Religions Oppose Bush's War
Washington Post
By Bill Broadway
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 28, 2002; Page B11

The invasion of Afghanistan was swift, directed at likely perpetrators of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and bolstered by emotional support from most Americans.

U.S. religious leaders debated such issues as whether centuries-old "just war" principles applied to high-tech air assaults against military targets that might house noncombatants. But most agreed it was necessary to attack Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network and the Taliban government harboring it.

No such consensus exists for the planned next stage of President Bush's war on terrorism -- a military assault to destroy Iraq's weaponmaking capabilities and remove Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. And there has been more time for reflective thinking reminiscent of the debates preceding the Persian Gulf War, said Brian Grieves, director of peace and justice ministries for the Episcopal Church.

Religious leaders are divided over whether an attack against Iraq would meet the conditions for a just war, including the assurance that nonviolent means have been exhausted, that military action will be strictly defensive and that few innocents will die as a result.

Broad Spectrum of Opinion

Thus far, the religious community has tended to be critical of Bush's war rhetoric.

Several major U.S. religious organizations have written letters to the White House opposing the president's call for a preemptive military strike against Iraq, citing insufficient evidence of Iraq's involvement in the Sept. 11 attacks, concerns about the impact of renewed war on the Iraqi people and the potential for further destabilization of the Middle East.

But the president also has received support from leaders of the fastest-growing segment of religion in the United States -- evangelical Christianity.

"In this instance, the president has articulated a faith much like our own," said Richard Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs at the National Association of Evangelicals. That faith includes a stated belief in Jesus Christ and the existence of "evil" in the form of people like Hussein, Cizik said.

"This isn't preemption but another step in responding to the continuum of terrorism, of evildoers" in the world, said Cizik, whose association represents at least 10 million charismatics, Pentecostals and other evangelicals in 51 denominations.

Cizik stopped short of supporting unilateral action by the United States. Bush should continue a "good-faith effort" to obtain the support of Congress and the United Nations and "exhaust thoroughly" alternative means to military action, he said.

Richard Land, president and chief executive of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the 16 million-member Southern Baptist Convention, offered no such qualifier.

"There's no doubt in my mind Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction, is seeking more and, when he gets them, he will use them against our military forces, our embassies and against our allies," said Land, whose commission speaks for the denomination on public policy issues.

Land called religious leaders who oppose Bush's stance "well-intentioned and naive" and said he supports whatever military means are necessary -- unilateral or otherwise -- to overthrow the Iraqi regime.

Why invade now? "My educated surmisal is that the president and intelligence community believe Saddam is much closer than we know he is to getting these weapons," Land said. "Time is on Saddam's side, not ours. I'd rather be safe than sorry."

Opponents of an invasion have been more vocal. Opposition began in earnest last month, when the World Council of Churches' central committee, meeting in Geneva, called on the United States "to desist from any military threats against Iraq" and urged U.S. allies "to resist pressure to join in preemptive military strikes against a sovereign state under the pretext of the 'war on terrorism.' "

On Aug. 30, the public policy office of the 8.3 million-member United Methodist Church issued a statement opposing military action as "reckless" and saying that "United Methodists have a particular duty to speak out against an unprovoked attack [because] President Bush and Vice President Cheney are members of our denomination."

On Sept. 12, the day following the anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, the ecumenical Churches for Middle East Peace faxed a letter to Bush, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, national security adviser Condoleezaa Rice and other members of the White House staff.

An Ecumenical Consensus

The letter, signed by 49 Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Christian leaders, praised Bush for his leadership since the terrorist attacks, "bringing peoples of disparate faiths together to worship, to mourn and to move on boldly with our lives."

But this attitude of peace and reconciliation "could be damaged by actions contemplated by our nation . . . for the express purpose of toppling the regime of Saddam Hussein," the leaders wrote. "Rather than attacking Iraq, we urge that your priority in the Middle East be an Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire and peace settlement."

On Sept. 13, Catholic and Protestant bishops raised concerns about military action against Iraq in a meeting on the Middle East with Rice. They also left copies of statements from their respective denominations: the Rev. Wilton D. Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, representing 63 million Catholics; the Rev. Frank T. Griswold, presiding bishop of the 2.3 million-member Episcopal Church; and the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, with 5 million members.

"Given the precedents and risks involved, we find it difficult to justify extending the war on terrorism to Iraq, absent clear and adequate evidence of Iraqi involvement in the attacks of September 11th or of an imminent attack of a grave nature," Gregory said in a letter drafted by the 60-member administrative committee of the Catholic bishops conference.

"Our great nation . . . has the opportunity to express leadership in the world by forging a foreign policy that seeks to reconcile and heal the world's divisions," Griswold said in his statement. "It is becoming ever more clear this is the way to proceed, rather than choosing a course that will immediately endanger the Iraqi civilization and our own United States forces."<.p>

Hanson, in his statement, said he was "fully aware of the potential threat posed by the government of Iraq and its leader." But he said overthrowing Hussein would be morally unjustifiable because of the consequences a war would pose for the Iraqi people, "who have already suffered through years of war and economic sanctions."

This week, the National Council of Churches led a religious assault on Capitol Hill, with participants gathering each day to pray for peace and then fanning out to visit members of Congress, urging them to consider the consequences of war and to reject legislation that would give the president carte blanche to attack. Participants included Catholics, Quakers, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, Brethren and others.

Bob Edgar, the council's general secretary, said he hopes the effort will convince senators and representatives that "there is not blind support across the country" for a military strike, that unilateral action would set a dangerous precedent in international affairs and that bombing Iraq could result in the deaths of noncombatants, including children.

Jewish leaders, for the most part, have been quiet on the issue. On Wednesday, the executive committee of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, which represents 1.5 million Reform Jews in 900 synagogues, offered conditional support for the president.

The committee expressed "uneasiness . . . about the policies being articulated by various government officials," but it endorsed unilateral military action if certain conditions are met. It said the United States first "must explore all reasonable means" to gain international support for military action against Iraq, seeking out nations individually if Bush's U.N. initiative fails.

The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism have taken no position.

Muslim advocacy groups issued statements in support of U.N.-led action against Iraq but warned that a unilateral strike by the United States would inflame anti-American sentiment abroad.

Religious leaders on both sides agree on one thing: that the president and Congress are obligated to listen to religious leaders, whatever their point of view.

"Given the moral gravity of the situation, I assume any leader would think through the moral dimension of using military force," said Gerard Powers, director of the office of international justice and peace at the Catholic bishops conference.

Of religious leaders, he said: "We are not military experts. We are people of goodwill who disagree but want to contribute to that moral reflection."

The White House has not responded to letters or statements, religious leaders said.

© 2002 The Washington Post Company

Commentary:
Evangelicals have leaders like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. If there's still anyone who thinks this is a religion sorry, but you're being dupped. Evangelicals are a political organization just like Southern Baptists. A few years ago Jimmy Carter left the Southern Baptist Political Party because they fail to follow the teaching of Christ. He was right. Southern Baptists and Evangelicals are mouthpieces for the Republican Party



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Two More Irresponsible Republicans
Washington Post
By Brian Faler
Monday, February 10, 2003; Page A05

Two Republican House members from North Carolina -- Howard Coble of Greensboro and Sue Myrick of Charlotte -- drew fire recently after making comments deemed insensitive by some colleagues and minority groups.

On a radio talk show last week, Coble said he believes President Franklin D. Roosevelt was right to send Japanese Americans to internment camps during World War II. Coble rejected a caller's suggestion that President Bush do the same with Arab Americans. But he said FDR's now-controversial decision helped protect Japanese Americans from a fearful, often intolerant public.

Although most Japanese Americans posed no threat at the time, Coble said, Roosevelt's decision helped ensure national security. "Some [Japanese Americans] probably were intent on doing harm to us," Coble said, according to the Associated Press. "Just as some of these Arab Americans are probably intent on doing harm to us."

Floyd Mori, president of the Japanese American Citizens League, called the comments "outrageous" and "uneducated." "The government has recognized and apologized for their error of 60 years ago, and we expect Representative Coble to do so as well," he said.

In the late 1980s, the U.S. government apologized for the camps and offered compensation to about 60,000 survivors.

On Friday, three Asian American members of Congress -- Reps. Robert T. Matsui (D-Calif.), Mike Honda (D-Calif.) and David Wu (D-Ore.) -- requested a meeting with Coble.

"Incarcerating citizens and legal resident aliens solely because of their ethnicity is neither compatible with the Constitution nor an effective way to make our nation more secure," they said in a letter. "So that you may better understand our concerns for the appropriate balance of homeland security and constitutional civil rights, we would like to meet with you."

Myrick, in a recent talk on domestic terrorism, referred to Arab Americans and said, "Look who runs all the convenience stores across the country."

The Washington-based Council on Islamic-American Relations urged the Republican Party to condemn both lawmakers' remarks about Arab Americans. Myrick and Coble later said they had not intended to insult any ethnic group.

Myrick said she simply wanted to remind communities of the threat of terrorism, including "the illegal trafficking of food stamps through convenience stores for the purpose of laundering money to countries known to harbor terrorists."

Staff writer Juliet Eilperin contributed to this report.

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

Commentary:
Out comes the race card again, this time against Japanese and Arab Americans. One question--what part of American don't these idiots understand?

Besides, during WW2, the US was at war with Germany's Hitler also. Why didn't we put German Americans into internment camps? Was it because German Americans have white skin and Japanese Americans don't? Sure it is.



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NATO Stops War-Monger Bush
Washington Post
By WILL LESTER
The Associated Press
Monday, February 10, 2003; 6:50 AM

President Bush says the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks redefined America's approach to international affairs and increased the urgency of dealing with growing threats abroad.

Secretary of State Colin Powell meanwhile warned that if Saddam Hussein doesn't quickly begin cooperating fully with U.N. weapons inspectors, the White House will seek a U.N. resolution authorizing a U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Speaking Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Powell said that if the U.N. inspectors' report, which is due Friday, shows Iraq is still not cooperating, "then the Security Council will have to sit in session immediately and determine what should happen next" and "start considering a resolution that says Iraq is in material breach and it is time for serious consequences to follow."

But the administration suffered a setback Monday when Germany joined France and Belgium in blocking the start of NATO military planning to protect Turkey against the threat of an Iraqi missile attack.

The announcement came after France and Belgium blocked the move at the NATO alliance in Brussels, Belgium. NATO officials said France formally blocked the move an hour before NATO procedures would have automatically started the military planning at 4 a.m. EST. The United States has been counting on Turkey for cooperation in the event of war against Saddam.

The president, at a policy conference of Republican members of Congress at a West Virginia resort, explained his reasoning for expanding the war on terrorism to Iraq.

"Prior to September the 11th, there was apparently no connection between a place like Iraq and terror," he said. There were concerns about terrorists in Iraq, but no fear about a threat to the American homeland. "... We were confident that two oceans could protect us from harm."

But, Bush added, "the world changed on September the 11th."

"Obviously, it changed for thousands of people's lives for whom we still mourn. But it changed for America, and it's very important that the American people understand the change. We are now a battleground. We are vulnerable."

That, he said, is the reason "we cannot ignore gathering threats across the ocean."

"It used to be that we could pick or choose whether or not we would become involved," the president said, but the direct potential of an attack on the United States has changed that philosophy.

Iraq has fooled the world for more than a decade about its banned chemical and biological weapons and the United Nations now faces "a moment of truth" in disarming Saddam Hussein, he said.

"It is clear that not only is Saddam Hussein deceiving, it is clear he's not disarming," he said. "And so you'll see us over the next short period of time working with friends and allies and the United Nations to bring that body along."

Bush spoke as chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix said in Baghdad that he saw a beginning of Iraq's understanding that it must seriously observe demands for disarmament. U.N. nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei said he expected the Security Council to give the inspectors more time "as long as we are registering good progress."

Asked later about Blix's statement, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer noted that Bush has said that "given the fact that Saddam Hussein is not disarming, time is running out."

Blix and ElBaradei are to make their next report to the U.N. Security Council on Friday.

Earlier Sunday, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice dismissed movement toward compliance by Iraq as another attempt at "cheat and retreat."

"We have seen this game with Iraq many times before, throughout the '90s," she said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

Powell said a reported French-German proposal to increase the number of weapons inspectors in Iraq in hopes of averting U.S. military action is "a diversion, not a solution" to disarming Saddam.

"The issue is not more inspectors. The issue is compliance on the part of Saddam Hussein," he added.

The plan would call for the deployment of thousands of U.N. soldiers, reconnaissance flights and a tripling of the number of weapons inspectors, according to the German news magazine Der Spiegel.

Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, senior Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, was more receptive to the reported plan.

He told "Fox News Sunday" that "it seems to me we ought to be welcoming efforts to forestall war, even if we disagree with those efforts after we read them. We should not treat the U.N. Security Council as some kind of a stumbling block."

© 2003 The Associated Press

Commentary:
Bush's propaganda plays heavy in this article, but the real headline is how NATO is opposed to this war-mongering president and is stopping him. I'm not sure, but I think this is the first time in NATO's history that it has openly opposed a US president. That should be the headline, not Bush's endless rants, which are neither new or historic.



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GOP Plays Down Massive Federal Deficits
Washington Post
By ALAN FRAM
The Associated Press
Monday, February 10, 2003; 1:59 AM

Republicans from the White House to Capitol Hill are playing down the return of huge federal deficits, after years of touting a balanced budget as a paramount goal with economic, fiscal and even moral consequences.

The shift in emphasis comes as President Bush's new budget is projecting deficits of $304 billion this year and $307 billion next year, easing only to $190 billion by 2008. Those figures exclude the costs of a war with Iraq and are viewed as optimistic by many private analysts. The record $290 billion shortfall occurred in 1992.

Republicans say that with the weak economy and the terrorist threat, the world has changed and a balanced budget remains an important goal - eventually. For now, they say, the government and the $10.5 trillion U.S. economy can cope with currently projected deficits.

"There are times when it is necessary for the federal government to borrow in order to address critical national priorities. These are such times," White House budget chief Mitchell Daniels told the House Budget Committee last week.

Contrast that with the GOP's predominant budget message, from President Reagan to House Republicans' 1994 "Contract with America" and beyond. Republicans spoke relentlessly then about eliminating the string of deficits that was unabated since 1970 - coupled with their goals of cutting taxes and trimming federal spending.

"We must have a balanced budget if we are to achieve a stable, productive national economy," Reagan declared during his 1980 election campaign, in which he helped elevate the issue to prominence.

Democrats say that with Republicans controlling the White House and Congress and unable to shift blame, the GOP has decided to minimize the significance of deficits as they surge out of control.

"Where have the Republican budget hawks gone? They've become the endangered species," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat.

The GOP's tone also has caught the ear of conservative advocates of lower government spending.

"You're kind of stuck with it, so what are you going to say," Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, said of the bleak deficit forecast. "I just wish they'd talk a little bit more about, 'We know it's a problem.'"

Administration officials and congressional Republicans said last week that deficits will eventually shrink, thanks to Bush's proposals to curtail spending and stimulate the economy with tax cuts. For now, they said, the priorities are correct.

"This budget reflects two realities. First, we have a responsibility to defend our nation from enemies who want to attack it. Second, in order to get back to a balanced budget, we must grow the economy," said House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill.

Treasury Secretary John Snow told the House Budget Committee that rising deficits were not disrupting financial markets. "The level we're at today is manageable and is not an undue burden," he added.

GOP lawmakers and White House officials also insisted that Bush's projected deficits were smaller than many past shortfalls when compared with the inflation or economic growth since then.

Without such comparisons, "the use of the word 'record' is meaningless," said new Senate Budget Committee Chairman Don Nickles, R-Okla..

But for years, Republicans did not equivocate.

In his second month as president in 1989, Bush's father sent Congress a budget-balancing plan "to reduce the burden placed on the backs of future generations. ... That is the moral dimension of the deficit problem."

Five years later, House Republicans led by speaker-to-be Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., included a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget among the promises in their campaign document, the "Contract with America." It allowed exceptions for times of war.

The GOP long battled President Clinton over their plans to cut taxes, restrain spending and erase deficits. They compromised with him in 1997, but the issue dominated the period's debate.

"By the year 2002, we can have a federal government with a balanced budget or we can continue down the present path towards total fiscal catastrophe," Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, now the House majority leader, said in 1995.

"Passing the balanced budget amendment is the single most important thing we can do to ensure the nation's economic security and to protect the American dream for our children and grandchildren," Senate Majority Leader and GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole, R-Kan., said in 1996.

The current de-emphasis on deficits has not come without internal GOP strains. There have always been clashes between advocates of a balanced budget and those whose greater goals are tax cuts and lower spending, and the differences were on display last week when Daniels testified to the House Budget Committee.

"This is a tough pill to swallow," Rep. Gil Gutknecht, R-Minn., told Daniels of the big deficits in Bush's budget.

Unexpectedly, the strong economy and financial markets turned deficits into surpluses from 1998 through 2001. But shortfalls returned in 2002 when the red ink hit $158 billion.

© 2003 The Associated Press

Commentary:
When will the press and the American people come to understand this simple and basic truth. There is no Bush tax cut, just as there was no Reagan tax cut. Deficits represent a tax increase, an increase that hasn't been billed to you yet. It is NOT a tax cut. When the press and the republican party stop lying conservatism will cease to exist.



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