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Impeach Bush

America's Image Further Erodes
Pew Research Center
March 18, 2003

Introduction and Summary

Anti-war sentiment and disapproval of President Bush's international policies continue to erode America's image among the publics of its allies. U.S. favorability ratings have plummeted in the past six months in countries actively opposing war ­ France, Germany and Russia ­ as well as in countries that are part of the "coalition of the willing." In Great Britain, favorable views of the U.S. have declined from 75% to 48% since mid-2002.

US image plummetsIn Poland, positive views of the U.S. have fallen to 50% from nearly 80% six months ago; in Italy, the proportion of respondents holding favorable views of the United States has declined by half over the same period (from 70% to 34%). In Spain, fewer than one-in-five (14%) have a favorable opinion of the United States. Views of the U.S. in Russia, which had taken a dramatically positive turn after Sept. 11, 2001, are now more negative than they were prior to the terrorist attacks.

Among possible coalition countries, majorities oppose joining the U.S. to take action against Iraq to end Saddam Hussein's rule. Even in Great Britain, a 51% majority opposes war. Among the unwilling allies, there is also virtually no potential support for a U.S.- led military effort.

But ironically, most publics surveyed think that in the long run the Iraqi people will be better off and the Middle East will be more stable if Iraq is disarmed and Hussein is removed from power. More than seven-in-ten of the French (73%) and Germans (71% ) see the Iraqi public benefiting. Only in Russia and Turkey is there significant pessimism that war may worsen conditions in the region.

US image plummetsMore generally, criticisms of U.S. foreign policy are almost universal. Overwhelming majorities disapprove of President Bush's foreign policy and the small boost he received in the wake of Sept. 11 has disappeared. As a consequence, publics in seven of the eight nations surveyed believe that American policies have a negative effect on their country. Only the British are divided on the impact of American foreign policy on their country.

While critics of America's foreign policies mostly blame the president, rather than America more generally, the poll finds strong support for the idea that Western Europe should take a more independent approach to security and diplomatic affairs. Majorities in four of five Western European countries surveyed hold this opinion, and a 48% plurality in Great Britain agrees. In the U.S., by contrast, 62% believe diplomatic and security ties with Western Europe should remain as close as they have been.

US image plummetsThere is more of a consensus on both sides of the Atlantic about the continued importance of the United Nations. Majorities in the U.S. and Western Europe (except for Spain) think it still plays an important role in addressing global conflicts, despite the controversy over Iraq. That view is not shared in Russia and Turkey, and even in the U.S., where as many as a third see the U.N. as less important. Republicans, in particular, are divided about the continued importance of the U.N. More than four-in-ten Republicans (44%) think the Iraq crisis has shown it to be less important.

The latest survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project interviewed more than 5,500 people in the United States and eight other countries from March 10-17. See page 8 for a full description of the methodology.

© Pew Research Center

Commentary:
I lowered myself to listen to the evening news tonight and picked NBC. Needless to say there was nothing about the people of the world being against us. In the war networks, it's 100% propaganda, 24 hours a day.

The lack of support for US policy or better yet the support for it in the US can be blamed solely on the war networks. No other country in the world runs endless pro war stories. The rest of the world gets it. Only US citizens who have been spoon fed their daily dose of war propaganda still support this nonsense. We need to seriously ask how it is that the US is alone in the world and why it is that the war networks refuse to report it or do so only in passing.

If you're still a conservative and think there's a liberal media, show me where. What I see, is 100% pro-republican commercials, otherwise called War with Iraq.


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US ambassador under fire in Australia
ABC.net (Australia)
Wednesday, March 19, 2003

[When ambassador Schieffer's comments accusing the ALP of making a "rank appeal to anti-Americanism, to anti-George Bush feeling" appeared in the Bulletin, federal Labor backbencher Laurie Brereton demanded the US recalled Mr Schieffer. And a lecturer in International Relations and Strategy at the Australian National University in Canberra says Mr Schieffer's comments were totally unacceptable.]

Edited transcript of interview with Michael McKinley
Senior lecturer in International Relations and Strategy
Australian National University, Canberra

Diplomatic niceties would normally demand that the democratic politics of Australia be respected by the official representatives of another democracy and that doesn't seem to have taken place on this occasion.

What Simon Crean was doing, interestingly enough, was expressing the opposition to a war against Iraq, particularly one not led by or authorised by the United Nations, which the great majority of the people of Australia are opposed to.

And he was entirely, appropriately making the point to the Prime Minister that another and better way should be followed and that does mean that the US ambassador should have kept his silence.

It's in his area of responsibility certainly to defend his country's interests and even if he wants to defend his good friend President George W Bush. But at the same time, the points made by Mr Crean...were remarkably understated and accurate, and if the American ambassador is going to take issue with every person in Australia or every person in public life in Australia who takes exception to President Bush's statements or policies and decisions, then the US ambassador will do nothing else while he's in Canberra except appear on television denouncing Australians in public life.

I believe that Mr Crean should go on record as saying what Mr [Tom] Schieffer did was totally unacceptable.

I think it has to be made, time and time again because the United States has a record of not really welcoming decisions taken by democratic governments which they disagree with.

Just across the water in New Zealand the treatment meted out to prime minister David Lange over an extended period and to his successors, I might add, meant that the United States simply punished New Zealand for taking a democratic stand on the matter of nuclear weapons and nuclear-powered vessels.

And it's almost as though democracy is seen by the US as acceptable for only so long as it produces decisions which are agreeable to by the United States.

What the ambassador could do is first of all learn that there is a certain robustness to politics in Australia that does not exist in the United States which is more corporate and collegial and there's a different level of etiquette. And people still get stabbed in the back and get stabbed in the back badly in the US. But it's finessed in a way which it's not in Australia on many occasions.

Politics here can still be a shouting match and it can still involve some quite I suppose direct criticisms many of which are not voiced in congressional circles and that's where I think US ambassadors could achieve a great deal more if they just sat and watched for a while.

Australian politics is different. They need to come to that understanding.

The United States is very jealous of keeping its politics clean of foreign intervention and that includes activities of foreign ambassadors making public statements direct to the American people - they're not fond of that at all.

A minor outrage would have been caused if an Australian ambassador had done that.

It simply smacks overly of a partisan relationship with a political party in Australia. It should not be the position either officially or unofficially of any foreign representative in Canberra.


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Bush Clings To Dubious Allegations About Iraq
Washington Post
By Walter Pincus and Dana Milbank
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, March 18, 2003; Page A13

As the Bush administration prepares to attack Iraq this week, it is doing so on the basis of a number of allegations against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein that have been challenged -- and in some cases disproved -- by the United Nations, European governments and even U.S. intelligence reports.

For months, President Bush and his top lieutenants have produced a long list of Iraqi offenses, culminating Sunday with Vice President Cheney's assertion that Iraq has "reconstituted nuclear weapons." Previously, administration officials have tied Hussein to al Qaeda, to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and to an aggressive production of biological and chemical weapons. Bush reiterated many of these charges in his address to the nation last night.

But these assertions are hotly disputed. Some of the administration's evidence -- such as Bush's assertion that Iraq sought to purchase uranium -- has been refuted by subsequent discoveries. Other claims have been questioned, though their validity can be known only after U.S. forces occupy Iraq.

In outlining his case for war on Sunday, Cheney focused on how much more damage al Qaeda could have done on Sept. 11 "if they'd had a nuclear weapon and detonated it in the middle of one of our cities, or if they had unleashed . . . biological weapons of some kind, smallpox or anthrax." He then tied that to evidence found in Afghanistan of how al Qaeda leaders "have done everything they could to acquire those capabilities over the years."

But in October CIA Director George J. Tenet told Congress that Hussein would not give such weapons to terrorists unless he decided helping "terrorists in conducting a WMD [weapons of mass destruction] attack against the United States would be his last chance to exact vengeance by taking a large number of victims with him."

In his appearance Sunday, on NBC's "Meet the Press," the vice president argued that "we believe [Hussein] has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." But Cheney contradicted that assertion moments later, saying it was "only a matter of time before he acquires nuclear weapons." Both assertions were contradicted earlier by Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who reported that "there is no indication of resumed nuclear activities."

ElBaradei also contradicted Bush and other officials who argued that Iraq had tried to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes to use in centrifuges for uranium enrichment. The IAEA determined that Iraq did not plan to use imported aluminum tubes for enriching uranium and generating nuclear weapons. ElBaradei argued that the tubes were for conventional weapons and "it was highly unlikely" that the tubes could have been used to produce nuclear material.

Cheney on Sunday said ElBaradei was "wrong" about Iraq's nuclear program and questioned the IAEA's credibility.

Earlier this month, ElBaradei said information about Iraqi efforts to buy uranium were based on fabricated documents. Further investigation has found that top CIA officials had significant doubts about the veracity of the evidence, linking Iraq to efforts to purchase uranium for nuclear weapons from Niger, but the information ended up as fact in Bush's State of the Union address.

In another embarrassing episode for the administration, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell cited evidence about Iraq's weapons efforts that originally appeared in a British intelligence document. But it later emerged that the British report's evidence was based in part on academic papers and trade publications.

Sometimes information offered by Bush and his top officials is questioned by administration aides. In his March 6 news conference, Bush dismissed Iraq's destruction of its Al Samoud-2 missiles, saying they were being dismantled "even as [Hussein] has ordered the continued production of the very same type of missiles." But the only intelligence was electronic intercepts that had individuals talking about being able to build missiles in the future, according to a senior intelligence analyst.

Last month, Bush spoke about a liberated Iraq showing "the power of freedom to transform that vital region" and said "a new regime in Iraq would serve as a dramatic and inspiring example of freedom for other nations in the region." But a classified State Department report put together by the department's intelligence and research staff and delivered to Powell the same day as Bush's speech questioned that theory, arguing that history runs counter to it.

In his first major speech solely on the Iraqi threat, last October, Bush said, "Iraq possesses ballistic missiles with a likely range of hundreds of miles -- far enough to strike Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey and other nations -- in a region where more than 135,000 American civilians and service members live and work."

Inspectors have found that the Al Samoud-2 missiles can travel less than 200 miles -- not far enough to hit the targets Bush named. Iraq has not accounted for 14 medium-range Scud missiles from the 1991 Persian Gulf War, but the administration has not presented any evidence that they still exist.

© 2003 The Washington Post Company


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Smug President Has Painted U.S. Into a Corner
New York Observer
March 18, 2003

The sun's o'ercast with blood; fair day, adieu!
Which is the side that I must go withal?
I am with both: each army hath a hand;
And in their rage, I having hold of both,
They whirl asunder and dismember me.       —Shakespeare, King John

As the nation slouches toward war, the sentries of our democracy are whirling asunder and threatening to dismember their nation. On one hand, a callow and blustering President has assured us that his goal is right by confusing the despot in Iraq and the atrocities of 9/11. On the other hand, those political leaders who oppose going to war have failed through a shockingly craven silence that seems strange and almost calculated; never have opponents of a war seemed so lame and dumbstruck, almost as though they were watching an engineer drive a locomotive right into the side of a building.

Many politicians in their hearts, and at their dinner tables, call the war a folly, a potential disaster; their courage on the street is nil. "This chamber is hauntingly silent," Senator Robert Byrd told the Senate last month. "We are sleepwalking through history." Meanwhile, the playing field is controlled by a blustering, bullying President who—though truly committed—seems to have regressed to his Yale persona of male cheerleader at a grim pep rally, exhorting through fear and intimidation. As he said last week, "We don't need anyone's permission."

The callow, smug, inarticulate man who was the lead player in a farce called "White House News Conference" gave us no new reasons to go to war, no sense of the dangers involved and no confidence in his leadership. The television appearance itself—more a blustering tape loop than exchange with the press—could only be called a national disgrace; President George W. Bush's performance in front of a docile collection of game-show hosts posing as reporters ought to frighten all of us. We live in terrible times, dangerous times, and all this man can do is mouth platitudes and assertions put on his podium cards by his war-crazed handlers. Eight times he interchanged the war on Iraq with the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and eight times he was unchallenged.

Amazingly, in the immediate aftermath of the President's disgraceful performance, news outlets described him as "solemn" and "determined." These pieces must have been put together before the President actually spoke, because there was nothing solemn or determined about him; "clueless" and "lost" would have been closer.

It is astonishing that this mediocre President apparently has cowed the alleged opposition party, the Democrats, into reticence, as the elected officials who usually rush for the mascara for Sunday-morning talk shows have been hiding under Washington toadstools. Meanwhile, a New York Times–CBS poll showed the disgust of Americans at their elected officials: 66 percent of Democrats agreed with Senator Byrd and said the House and Senate had not done enough to challenge President Bush on the war, as did 48 percent of the country. Save for a few dissenting voices, like Senator Byrd and Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, the pusillanimous and calculating Democrats have rolled over in the face of the administration's monolithic push.

Meanwhile, New York's two Senators have acquiesced to his war policy; both Senator Charles Schumer and Senator Hillary Clinton have expressed their support. Do they know something we don't? Is there compelling intelligence that they have not shared with us? If there is, this is the time to let us know. Their responsibility is to inform their constituents, even as Mr. Bush continues to make accusations that neither the U.N. inspectors nor even our own intelligence seems to back up.

Somehow, the Bush administration's cowboys have done the unthinkable. They have alienated friends, ruined international relationships, squandered the good will and sympathy that the Sept. 11 atrocities inspired, and turned America into a global villain. All of this, while Saddam Hussein smiles and watches the world turn in his favor, inheriting the gusts of international opinion that Mr. Bush has mind-bogglingly forfeited. Rarely in modern times has such a blundering swap taken place. A poll in an Irish newspaper recently found that the majority of respondents in that America-friendly country believed that George Bush was a bigger threat to peace than Saddam. It is not just those perfumed pansies in Paris who are alarmed by our behavior. Somehow Mr. Bush has contrived to have people the world over see this nation—the nation that created the Marshall Plan and ended the Cold War—as an international menace on matters of security, on the environment, on justice and on fair trade.

With its Reagan-era bluster and frat-house machismo, the Bush administration has played into the hands of terrorists, breaking apart NATO and fracturing half-century-old relations with Europe that have persevered through all the roilings of post–World War II history. And the administration did it at just the very moment when the West has been targeted—not by that wretched despot Saddam, but by the murderous followers of Osama bin Laden. Thanks to the President and his hubristic crew of ideologues, America and Europe are not united, as they should be, in the face of global Islamic militancy. Instead, many people talk about the end of America's strategic alliance with Western Europe. Instead of France and Germany, some say, we will simply align ourselves with the post-Communist states of Eastern Europe—like, say, Bulgaria.

Osama bin Laden did not create this sad state of affairs. George W. Bush did.

Rarely in the face of war has the leadership in this country—both the executive and the opposition—served it so badly. The opposition has cynically acquiesced; they have not challenged this intellectually challenged President. There are, as Thomas Friedman has pointed out so eloquently in The New York Times, many merits to the argument for the war; the President has not made them. Mr. Bush, having painted himself into a diplomatic corner unlike any in American history, has created rationales for attack that are less in the tradition of American war Presidents like Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, even Bush Sr., and more in the tradition of William McKinley as he bumbled his way into the Spanish-American war.

These are hyperbolic and misinformed times. So it was hardly surprising to hear a television commentator report, just before the President's press conference, that Mr. Bush was not expected to use the opportunity to declare war on Iraq. It did not occur to the reporter—any more than it has to Mr. Bush and his bunch of crusaders—that no President has ever declared war, because no President has ever had that power. Congress declares war; it's in the Constitution. Yes, Congress—that reviled collection of the people's representatives—declares war in this Republic. Why? The Founders understood that the power to declare war was so awesome and so serious that it should not be one person's decision. The test of this nation at this moment may not be creating democracy in Iraq; it may be in reacquainting the American people and their institutions and President with the glory and responsibility of American democracy itself.

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The Bush Economy In a Tailspin

It's hard to believe, but there is one area of Presidential business which George W. Bush has arguably screwed up as badly as foreign affairs. We're talking about the economy. While most Americans have a peripheral awareness that the President is pushing a large tax cut which benefits mostly the wealthy, few have grasped the true consequences of Mr. Bush's foolish and unsound economic policy. There aren't hundreds of thousands of protesters marching in the streets about this issue, but maybe there should be. If Mr. Bush is making scoundrels out of Americans in the world's eyes, he's making morons out of us here at home.

Rather than worrying about what Saddam Hussein is up to, maybe we should be worrying about where people around the world are putting their money. Foreign investment in the U.S. is down 85 percent since 2000, from $300 billion to just $46 billion. And that's before Mr. Bush sends American troops into Baghdad. The tumbling foreign investment is coupled with a sharp decline in stock purchases by foreigners. Now when the U.S. needs money, anxious foreigners lend it to us instead of investing it in assets or shares. If the trend continues and foreign money keeps flooding out of this country, we're in for big trouble.

Will foreigners continue to withdraw their money? Well, look at the dollar. One could say that the dollar is the most critical litmus test of world opinion about our economy and investments in the U.S. Since George W. Bush was elected, the dollar is down 15 percent against the euro, a loud signal that foreign investors have concluded the U.S. is not where they want to invest their capital. It's foreign capital that has financed our economy for the past 20 years—stocks, bonds and real estate.

As a result of Mr. Bush's clumsy economic stewardship and the potential cost of a war, the country is facing an economic debacle which threatens to flatten us. When Mr. Bush took office, the Congressional Budget Office forecast a 10-year surplus of $5.8 trillion. Now the country may be looking at a 10-year deficit of as much as $3 trillion. If that happens, it will send interest rates to the moon. It almost seems as if this country is being run like a banana republic. Last week, the Committee for Economic Development—a nonpartisan business group—urged the administration to initiate tax increases and spending cuts, warning that if the White House does not do so, "investment, productivity and living standards will suffer." It won't be long before the return of the "misery index," that unsettling calculation of inflation plus unemployment—note that the U.S. has lost two million jobs since Mr. Bush was elected.

Our economy will be impacted for decades to come by this out-of-control fiscal policy, led by an administration that doesn't appear to have a clue.

This column ran on page 1 in the 3/17/2003 edition of The New York Observer.

COPYRIGHT © 2003
THE NEW YORK OBSERVER
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Commentary:
What can I say that hasn't already been said? I have a simple theory as to why democrats have lost their voice. First, the media is and has been anti-liberal for at least 20 years. Second, the media thinks we can only deal with one issue at a time and real debate means many issues at once. Third, conservatives have destroyed debate in this country with loud-mouths like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly. Neither of whom have a clue what facts are but instead base their entire arguments on fulminating invective. Finally, news isn't news anymore. It's opinion. Lost in this mess we call news are truth and proof. [ie: the sky is orange because I say so.]

During the Clinton years every time a republican accused Clinton of doing something it was a scandal 'pardon' the proof. Today you can turn on any TV news show and hear the exact same words, or go to their websites and read, word for word the exact same stories. The mass media regurgitate what other say without checking their facts.

What's the solution. First, don't donate any money to the democrats--with any luck these cowards will go away. Second, know that conservatives promise tax cuts but their tax cuts are really snake-oil. Tax cuts that create deficits are really tax increases so don't ever vote for a conservative republican. Third, turn off your TV's. Maybe they'll go away too.

We are becoming a nation of morons and we have a leader to prove it. I'd like to see a poll on those who support war...how much TV do you watch? I bet they watch talk-TV or listen to talk radio (tell me what to think) two or three hours a day and I'd also bet those who are 100% pro-war have only one news source.


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The Doctrine of Self-Defense is Dead
Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
March 19, 2003

The US President is risking all on a pre-emptive war, declaring that, in the new world of terrorist threats, the doctrine of self-defence is dead, Marian Wilkinson reports from Washington.

Justifying the United States' first pre-emptive war, President George Bush declared that in the new world of terrorist threats, the doctrine of self-defence was dead. It was "suicide", he said, not to strike before terrorists struck first. And he stressed the US's sovereign authority to use force to assure its own national security.

Yet it is clear that the State Department lawyers are still nervous about pre-emptive war and the Bush doctrine. Because in his address to the nation, Mr Bush also fell back on the UN Security Council's previous resolutions authorising force to disarm Saddam Hussein.

But no matter what justification Mr Bush invoked, he knows the majority of United Nations Security Council members did not accept US and British arguments that Iraq is an imminent threat to world peace that demands an immediate military response. That threat is imminent only if you believe Saddam is poised to give weapons of mass destruction to al-Qaeda.

While Mr Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, along with John Howard, are blaming French intransigence for the Security Council's opposition, US allies like Mexico and Chile also baulked at this pre-emptive war.

This was despite the enormous economic and political pressure brought to bear on both countries.

In pressing the case for war, Mr Bush has strained alliances with France, Germany, Russia and Pakistan, all critical US allies in the war on terrorism. As his Vice-President, Dick Cheney, put it, Mr Bush has set "a whole new standard about how we're going to deal with terrorist-sponsoring states". And, Mr Cheney admitted: "That's a brand new departure. We've never done that before. It makes some people very uncomfortable."

Indeed it has turned world public opinion against the US, reversing the wave of sympathy evoked by the September 11 attacks. And it has put a huge strain on the US economy. In short Mr Bush has gambled his presidency on the outcome of this pre-emptive war.

But Mr Bush and his most senior advisers are calmly confident. Mr Cheney predicted on Sunday that the US, "will be greeted as liberators" in Iraq. But if Saddam's regime can be destroyed in a matter of weeks, asked many on the Security Council, how can he be such a deadly threat?

To justify this pre-emptive war, the US military will not only need to show cheering Iraqis in the streets of Baghdad but serious stocks of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq's vaults. That, they hope, will vindicate the Bush doctrine.

Mr Bush acknowledges war against Iraq could increase the risk of a terrorist attack on the US, in the short term. But, he says: "The terrorist threat to America and the world will be diminished the moment that Saddam Hussein is disarmed."

Many in Europe and even at home are not so sure. If the war leads to more terrorist attacks, including on US soil, Mr Bush will find his gamble on pre-emptive war was a very risky strategy.

Copyright © 2003. The Sydney Morning Herald.

Commentary:
We already have a president who gave the UN forged documents in a hopeless attempt to prove Saddam had reconstituted his nuclear weapons. Can we trust this president NOT to put weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when he can't find any? When the US controls Iraq, Bush will plant his evidence. This is and always has been the problem. When Bush is proved wrong, over and over again, he simply makes things up.

So this is the "new world order" Bush Sr. was talking about. The US will dominate any country we see fit and say it's because of "national security." Let history damn this president and his supporters.

Btw, I've been asked many times if I support the troops. My answer is 'no.' I can not support an unjust war because it's immoral. The military should disobey the illegal actions of this president. He is violating the UN Charter and with any luck the UN will attempt to stop him with words if not with deeds. I'm aware the Sec. General of the UN is against an anti-American resolution, but moral people around the world have the right and duty to stand up and be counted.

The Australian Senate (this article is freon AU) has voted against this war. But that didn't stop their PM from going along anyway.


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Polls around the world
Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
March 18 2003

A look at what opinion polls say about the world's attitude to war in Iraq as at the beginning of the week.

Australia: opinion has swung more in favour of a UN-backed military operation with 67 per cent now in support

India: 88 per cent are opposed to a US unilateral military action against Iraq, 55 per cent were against under any circumstance, and only 29 per cent were in favour of a UN-backed use of force.

Japan: - 84 per cent opposed war

Britain: 75 per cent in favour of force if the UN finds proof of Iraqi weapons and if it wins UN Security Council backing. Without those two conditions, 67 per cent were against a war involving British troops.

France: 83 per cent against a war, and 70 per cent said Paris should use its veto in the Security Council to stop a resolution authorising force against Iraq.

Germany: 86 per cent of people opposed military force

Italy:85 per cent against

Lithuania: 56 per cent supported the government's pro-war stand, but 73 per cent opposed sending Lithuanian troops.

Poland: 75 per cent against military action

Russia: 87 per cent against

Spain: 93.5 per cent against, with 70.4 per cent backing calls for the UN inspectors to be given more time.

Turkey: 94 per cent against a war, and 78 per cent opposed any help from Ankara to the US if war breaks out

Canada: 74 per cent believe the US should not go to war with Iraq without UN backing. Some 65 per cent approved of the use of force if had won a UN mandate.

Peru: 77 per cent of Peruvians oppose war, but 72 per cent believe it will happen.

United States: 44 per cent of Americans believe war should only be launched with UN approval, while 31 per cent have said they are in favour of war even without a second UN resolution

Israel: 49 per cent believe the UN inspectors should be given a new mandate, while 45 per cent are in favour of immediate action.

Copyright © 2003. The Sydney Morning Herald.

Commentary:
When you hear this country or that favors this silly war, don't confuse the governments (which we buy-off) with the people.

A president who said he wasn't a divider has divided the US, our allies, and the world. Is he America's Hitler? Only time will tell.


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Text of Remarks by U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.
Iraq Foundation/New York Times
John D. Negroponte
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.
November 8, 2002

The following is the advance text of remarks by Ambassador John D. Negroponte, the United States permanent representative to the United Nations, following the vote on the Iraq Resolution by the Security Council today. It was posted on the web site of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations (un.int/usa)

Mr. President, this Resolution constitutes the world community's demand that Iraq disclose and destroy its weapons of mass destruction.

On September 12, President Bush came to the General Assembly seeking to begin to build an international consensus to counter Iraq's persistent defiance of the United Nations. Over a decade ago, after evicting Iraq from Kuwait, the Security Council determined that peace and security in the Persian Gulf region required that Iraq, verifiably, give up its weapons of mass destruction. The Council reached that decision because of Iraq's record of aggression against its neighbors and use of chemical and biological weapons. For eleven years, without success, we have tried a variety of ways, including diplomacy, inspections, and economic sanctions to obtain Iraqi compliance. By this Resolution, we are now united in trying a different course. That course is to send a clear message to Iraq insisting on its disarmament in the area of weapons of mass destruction and delivery systems, or face the consequences.

The Resolution we have just adopted puts the conflict between Iraq and the United Nations in context and recalls the obligations on Iraq and the authorities of member states to enforce them. It begins by reference to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 and the international community's response. It recalls that the cease-fire ending the 1991 Gulf War was conditioned on Iraq's disarmament with respect to nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, together with their support infrastructures, ending its involvement in, and support for, terrorism, and its accounting for, and restoration of, foreign nationals and foreign property wrongfully seized. In addition, the Council demanded that the Iraqi Government stop oppressing the Iraqi people. Iraq has ignored those obligations essential to peace and security.

The Resolution confirms what has been clear for years: that Iraq has been and remains in violation of disarmament obligations – "material breach' in lawyers' language. The Council then decides to afford Iraq a final opportunity to comply. As a means to that end, the Resolution then establishes an enhanced, strengthened inspection regime. The Resolution gives UNMOVIC and the IAEA a new, powerful mandate. Its core is immediate and unimpeded access to every site, including Presidential or other Sensitive Sites, structure, or vehicle they choose to inspect and equally immediate and unimpeded access to people they wish to interview. In other words: "anyone, anywhere, any time.' And, the Resolution gives UNMOVIC and the IAEA the power to do their work properly and to ensure the verifiable destruction of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and associated infrastructure and support programs.

Let us be clear: the inspections will not work unless the Iraqi regime cooperates fully with UNMOVIC and the IAEA. We hope all member states now will press Iraq to undertake that cooperation. This resolution is designed to test Iraq's intentions: will it abandon its weapons of mass destruction and its illicit missile programs or continue its delays and defiance of the entire world? Every act of Iraqi non-compliance will be a serious matter, because it would tell us that Iraq has no intention of disarming.

As we have said on numerous occasions to Council members, this Resolution contains no "hidden triggers' and no "automaticity' with respect to the use of force. If there is a further Iraqi breach, reported to the Council by UNMOVIC, the IAEA, or a member state, the matter will return to the Council for discussions as required in paragraph 12. The Resolution makes clear that any Iraqi failure to comply is unacceptable and that Iraq must be disarmed. And one way or another, Mr. President, Iraq will be disarmed. If the Security Council fails to act decisively in the event of a further Iraqi violation, this resolution does not constrain any member state from acting to defend itself against the threat posed by Iraq, or to enforce relevant UN resolutions and protect world peace and security.

To the Government of Iraq, our message is simple: non-compliance no longer is an option.

To our colleagues on the Security Council, our message is one of partnership: over seven weeks, we have built international consensus on how to proceed towards Iraq, and we have come together, recognizing that our collective security is at stake and that we must meet this challenge, as proposed by President Bush on September 12.

To the Secretary General, Dr. Blix, and Dr. El-Baradei: We urge you to make full use of the tools given you in this resolution, and we pledge our full support. And we urge every member of the United Nations to offer you all assistance possible.

To the governments and peoples of the Arab world, including the people of Iraq: the purpose of this Resolution is to open the way to a peaceful solution of this issue. That is the intention and wish of my government. When the Baghdad regime claims that the United States is seeking to wage war on the Arab world, nothing could be further from the truth. What we seek, and what the Council seeks by this Resolution, is the disarmament of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. We urge you to join us in our common effort to secure that goal and assure peace and security in the region.

President Bush asked the Security Council to take on the challenge posed by Iraq. He asked that it find Iraq in material breach of its ongoing obligations, that it establish an enhanced inspection regime as a means for obtaining the disarmament of Iraq in the area of weapons of mass destruction, and that it make clear that the most serious consequences for Iraq would follow continued defiance. This Resolution accomplishes each of these purposes. Moreover, it does so as a result of intense and open discussions with our Security Council partners. In this process, different views about the shape and language of a resolution were fused into the common approach our British partners and we wanted to create.

This Resolution affords Iraq a final opportunity. The Secretary General said on September 12, "If Iraq's defiance continues, the Security Council must face its responsibilities.' We concur with the wisdom of his remarks. Members can rely on the United States to live up to its responsibilities if the Iraq regime persists with its refusal to disarm.

Commentary:
Often times we have to go back and see what the Bush team says one day and compare it to what they say now. This is one of those times.

The US ambassador assured the Security Council the Resolution was NOT a trigger for war. It's with this lie Bush attempts to pass his justification for war to the American people.

The US ambassador clearly says there is no automatic trigger for war in the resolution. That's the only way it would have passed. Our ambassador also said any failure by Iraq will result in a return to the council for further discussion. "No hidden triggers," means no hidden triggers. "The matter will return to the Council for discussions" means the matter will return to the Council for discussions. Watch how the Bush spin team lie their way out of this one.

Armed with no war triggers, the Council voted unanimously for 1441. Now Bush is using 1441 as an excuse to go to war because he knows a new resolution, a resolution based on what he really wants to do would easily fail. Forget that he promised to take his resolution to the UN, forget he promised to get an up or down vote. Forget he can't be trusted. Remember the damage he's done to the reputation of the United States and remember how he's stained the presidency.

Ya know what? They probably don't have to lie because the war networks are already doing it for them.

Btw, still not convinced. How about this one? If a democrat president went to war and the people of almost every nation on earth were against him, what would Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly be saying about him?


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How Tax Cuts Trickle Down
New York Times
Editorial
March 16, 2003

In a sorry effort to protect President Bush's tax-cut mania, the Republican leaders of Congress have unveiled proposals for slashing the most basic government programs for years to come. With rationalizations running from tragic to ludicrous, House budgeters envision cuts of $470 billion in "waste, fraud and abuse" in Medicare, Medicaid, education, child care and other vital programs, from transportation to health care, the environment to science research. The regressive 10-year plan, matched by an equally hypocritical Senate version, is a triumph of ideological rant over budget reality. Government now must be drastically crimped to pay for the rolling deficits resulting from Mr. Bush's triumphalist rewards for upper-bracket Americans.

The G.O.P. leaders endorse the next chunk of detaxation despite Congressional findings that two-thirds of the deficits running through the decade will be caused by the Bush tax cuts, not simply the failing economy.

The estimated shortfall of $2.7 trillion could have been an $890 billion surplus but for the Bush proposals, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The president's next $1.4 trillion cut, geared to the affluent, will average $90,000 a year for millionaires, according to the Tax Policy Center, a research group run by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute. You would think a sense of embarrassment might strike the Republicans in blessing such a boon for a fortunate minority while taking a cleaver to programs vital for most taxpayers, notably a woeful $12 billion cut in food stamps. But they seem intent on ideology trumping responsibility.

The contradictions of the Republicans' plans are legion. They intend to somehow cut Medicare by $214 billion this decade even as the president vows $400 billion in prescription help for retirees. A $93 billion Medicaid cut is blithely ordered by lawmakers who do not have enough daring to ask the president about the missing budget costs for the looming Iraq war. The cuts, the largest in history, are mean spirited in the face of the Bush Republicans' deepening embrace of deficit spending. And deficit spending, firmly blessed by the administration, will be the rule once Congress gets beyond this period of public relations budget fantasizing.

The G.O.P. leaders are laying out what is supposed to be a fair outlook of the fiscal future — a budgetary road map for government to find its way beyond hard times. They are leaving a lesson in how to pretend to toughness while rolling the red ink over time's horizon. In the process, the national debt which the president so recently vowed to shrink will balloon from $5 trillion to $12 trillion at the end of his economic "growth" plan, years after he is gone from office.

Commendably, Senate moderates alarmed about their own constituents' reactions are vowing to halve the tax cuts. But nothing short of public furor is an adequate antidote at this point. The moderates who would split the differences of two extremes are likely to be marginalized as the president and House drive an ideological bargain no less fateful as the talk of war

Commentary:

Great Quotes: "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage." from Alexander Tyler on the fall of the Athenian Republic.

"Loose fiscal policy" can be traced back to the presidency of Ronald Reagan. During his eight years as president he created more debt than all previous presidents combined. In 1981 the US has $994 billion of debt. Eight years later Reagan accumulated another $1.6 trillion for a total debt of $2.6 trillion. Today, conservatives (or neo-liberals who call themselves conservatives) consider Reagan a good or great president. He was neither. Also today, Bush's policies will easily create more debt than any other president. He needs war to keep the ignorant distracted from the failures of his destructive policies.


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Bush to withdraw resolution--a humiliating defeat *
An Impeachable Offense
New York Times
By DAVID E. SANGER and WARREN HOGE
March 16, 2003

LAJES, Azores, March 16 — President Bush and the leaders of Britain and Spain issued an ultimatum to the United Nations Security Council today, declaring that the diplomatic effort to win support for disarming Iraq would end on Monday. They made it clear that they were ready to start a war to depose Saddam Hussein, with or without the endorsement of the United Nations.

After a hurried meeting at an air base here on lush Terceira island in the eastern Atlantic, Mr. Bush and Prime Ministers Tony Blair and José María Aznar declined to say directly whether they would force a vote on the Security Council resolution authorizing military action to disarm Iraq, or would withdraw it.

That decision, they said, would come on Monday after one more attempt to persuade some of the six swing votes on the Council to approve military action, and after last-ditch pressure on France to refrain from exercising the veto it has threatened.

But Mr. Bush made it clear today that to his mind, the outcome at the United Nations made little difference, and that military action would begin soon.

"Tomorrow is the day that will determine whether diplomacy can work," he said today, his voice rising and his jaw clenched as he punched the air with his fist. He added: "Saddam Hussein can leave the country if he's interested in peace. You see, the decision is his to make, and it's been his to make all along on whether or not there's the use of military."

Mr. Bush's two main speechwriters accompanied him on Air Force One today and were reported to be drafting an address to the nation that Mr. Bush could deliver as soon as Monday night.

A senior administration official, briefing reporters here as the leaders ate and left the air base, said, "Win, lose or withdraw, the diplomatic process ends tomorrow."

The statement came only hours after France proposed giving Iraq roughly 30 days to comply with inspections.

Vice President Dick Cheney, appearing on television at home, rejected the proposal. "It's difficult to take the French serious and believe that this is anything other than just further delaying tactics," he said.

France was the clear target today. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell openly suggested that the French government had been influenced by its long history of "commercial relationships" with Iraq, and that in the short term, the American-French relationship had been damaged.

Mr. Bush was more blunt.

"I was the guy that said they ought to vote," he said, "and one country voted — showed their cards, I believe — it's an old Texas expression."

He added: "They said they are going to veto anything that held Saddam to account. So cards have been played. And we just have to take an assessment after tomorrow to determine what that card meant."

But in private, administration officials said they had no doubt what it meant: war without the sanction of the Security Council.

Senior administration officials said that if the three leaders determined by late Monday that the resolution was doomed, it was likely that they would withdraw it. Their position won support from the host of the meeting today, Prime Minister José Manuel Durão Barroso of Portugal, which administers the Azores as an autonomous region.

Mr. Bush has said he counted Mr. Barroso as part of the "coalition of the willing," but Portugal has little to offer other than these islands as a refueling spot, the reason the American base here was created in 1943.

Mr. Hussein did not respond directly to the ultimatum today, but late on Saturday he placed one of his sons and three other aides in charge of the defense of the nation.

Iraq's official news agency quoted him as saying, "When the enemy starts a large-scale battle, he must realize that the battle between us will be open wherever there is sky, land and water in the entire world."

Before the news from the Azores, United Nations staff members had been feverishly preparing for a consultative session scheduled for Monday. The consultations were set after United Nations officials formally received a declaration from France, Russia and Germany, seeking an immediate meeting of ministers to discuss the report by Hans Blix, chief inspector for chemical and biological weapons, on how the inspectors' work should proceed.

Diplomats said today that a Security Council vote on Monday was unlikely. Britain and Spain have both echoed the United States' view that military action would be legal under existing resolutions, and their officials are reluctant to bring the question to a vote.

A defeat at the Security Council could make any military action a violation of the United Nations Charter. No vote would create a legal ambiguity — the best Mr. Bush can hope to obtain now, unless votes change. "It's a complication we don't need," a senior administration official said. "The legal authority is clear without a vote."

Mr. Blair said he had no apologies for the deadline, telling reporters here: "Without a credible ultimatum with force, in the event of noncompliance, more discussion is just more delay. You would be left with Saddam Hussein armed with weapons of mass destruction and continuing with his brutal regime in Iraq."

Asked whether Britain, United States and Spain might withdraw the resolution, Mr. Blair said that "whatever the tactics within the U.N. — and that's something we can decide," the moment has come "when we decide whether we meant it and it was his final opportunity to disarm" or "we're simply going to drag out the diplomatic process forever."

The resolution sets Monday as the deadline for disarmament. A determination to withdraw the measure would begin the countdown to war within days.

Mr. Bush seemed almost dismissive of the United Nations' role in any military action, but said that even if the Security Council chose not to enforce its own resolutions, it would be invited to assist in the rebuilding of what he called "post-Saddam Iraq." For the first time, he spoke publicly of creating an "Iraqi Interim Authority," which his aides have described in recent days as a first effort to put the control of daily life but not the "power ministries" into the hands of Iraqis.

The leaders did everything they could to tamp down talk that the session today, held in the officers' club of the air base here overlooking placid Atlantic waters, was a "war council." But it had the air of one. A communiqué issued this afternoon committed them to a "unified Iraq with its territorial integrity respected."

The communiqué continued: "All the Iraqi people — its rich mix of Sunni and Shiite Arabs, Kurds, Turkomen, Assyrians, Chaldeans and all others — should enjoy freedom, prosperity and equality in a united country."

In interviews, administration officials have said that task will be equal to rebuilding Germany or Japan in 1945, replete with a new constitution, new currencies, new institutions and heavy aid. But the plans, a senior official said on Friday, are "still just concepts," and while American officials have promised not to maintain military rule over Iraq longer than needed, they have set no timetables.

Two contractors working with United Nations inspection teams withdrew five helicopters after saying their insurers had demanded that they be removed before war was declared. It was the first sign that the inspectors were being forced to cut back on their operations because war was growing near.

In another sign, the State Department said it had ordered nonessential diplomats and their families out of Kuwait, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Damascus.

[A spokesman for United Nations observers monitoring the Iraq-Kuwait border said on Monday that they had stopped all operations in the demilitarized zone, near an area busy with United States preparations for an attack on Iraq, Reuters reported. The next step would be to evacuate, the spokesman said.]

In response to today's events in the Azores, Mr. Blix said: "I find the message from there slightly divided. On the one hand President Bush seems to be talking mainly about how to liberate Iraq and make sure they have no weapons left there, while Blair and Aznar on the other hand are giving more weight to having a last chance to unite the world and give Saddam an ultimatum." He spoke in an interview with SVT2 Swedish public service television, The Associated Press reported.

Today the inspectors in Iraq supervised the destruction of two more Samoud 2 missiles and related items. About 70 of a fleet of between 100 and 120 missiles have now been destroyed, the United Nations said.

No mention of that action was made here today. They were intent on giving at least the appearance of a final push for consensus at the United Nations, at a moment when both Mr. Blair and Mr. Aznar need credit with their skeptical publics. In both countries, debate pivots on the question of whether all political possibilities have truly been exhausted.

Sizable majorities in Britain and Spain are opposed to military action in Iraq, and protesters went into the streets on Saturday in both countries to press home that point.

Briefing reporters on his return flight to London, Mr. Blair sharpened the focus on President Jacques Chirac of France. He said he, Mr. Bush and Mr. Aznar had felt they had had enough votes in the Security Council until France declared it would exercise its veto.

"The purpose of today was to give people a chance to change their position," Mr. Blair said. If they don't, he said, "it is difficult to see how we can take this much further."

The Council members considered swing votes are Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Mexico, Pakistan and Guinea.

In Baghdad today, a sudden, sharp increase in anxieties was evident among officials. At the Information Ministry, where most of the Western media have their Baghdad offices, an emergency meeting concluded in early afternoon with a decision to replace all the government "minders" assigned to the reporters. At least some replacements were apparently drawn from the intelligence services.

Officials said the decision reflected high-level frustration with the chaotic arrangements at the ministry, rather than any determination to tighten the controls on visiting reporters. Still, officials at the ministry acknowledged that tensions were rising rapidly. After one ill-tempered exchange with a reporter, one official apologized, saying Iraqis in government jobs were becoming more nervous with every passing day.

"You are under pressure? It is nothing compared with us," he said. "We are the ones who are going to be attacked. It is our families, our jobs and our lives that are threatened."

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Commentary:
If Bush is sure 1441 gives him authority to go to war why doesn't he go the UN and see if he's right? He knows it doesn't and he knows he'll be defeated and then he'll know the US will be considered in violation on International Law. What makes Bush better than Saddam? Both invade or have invaded sovereign nations without the consent of the UN and are therefore "international criminals." Bush needs Saddam just like his father did, but Bush is willing to destroy what the US stands for to get what he wants. He wants us to be just like Iraq and the really sad part about all this is the American people support him.

The world can forgive and forget a US president who's a moron and criminal. But, they will never forget how the American people supported him.

Who will depose Bush? Why the answer is simple...we will! If we ever want to lead the world again, Bush must not be reelected.


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Rumsfeld orders freeze on new military construction *
Washington Post
An Impeachable Offense
By Dan Morgan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 17, 2003; Page A17

When Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) recently drafted a letter urging President Bush to approve a new aid package for Israel, the paragraph at the top praising the president's "vision" of a democratic Iraq didn't bother one prominent Democrat.

Minority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) signed the letter, which stated: "Last week you laid out an ambitious goal that we all share -- to build a democratic and peaceful Iraq that can in turn lead to a stable Middle East. We commend you for that vision and want to work with you to take the necessary steps to insure it becomes a reality."

That was a bit over the top for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). When Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) asked her to sign on to the same letter, she respectfully declined.

Her letter, sent separately to Bush, used most of the same language supporting the Israel aid request, but was considerably less effusive in its praise of the president.

"Congratulations for your steadfast support for Israel, and your leadership in the war against terrorism," it stated.

WHERE THE MONEY GOES: The House and Senate subcommittees that draw up the annual spending bill for military construction projects seldom find themselves in the congressional limelight -- unless it's for "junkets" that members make to U.S. bases in such exotic locales as Guam or Heidelberg.

The panels do important work, allocating funds to refurbish barracks and airstrips and build housing, commissaries and schools for military dependents. But it isn't the stuff of front page headlines.

This year could be different. Several months ago, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld ordered a freeze on most new military construction around the world while the Pentagon's regional commanders conducted a top-to-bottom review of the value of U.S. bases in light of the war on terrorism and other new factors. Only a few installations, such as the huge Ramstein Air Base in Germany, were exempt from the review, officials said.

Last month, Rumsfeld caused a stir when he said he might consider withdrawing some of the 37,000 troops stationed in South Korea. He also told the Senate Armed Services Committee that given escalating threats from North Korea, it might be prudent to pull some U.S. forces away from their forward deployments in Seoul and the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.

Pentagon sources have told friends in Congress that Rumsfeld is also open to the idea of stationing some troops in new "forward" bases in countries such as Poland or Romania. There has been speculation that some of those troops might be moved from Germany, whose opposition to war in Iraq has been a major annoyance to the Bush administration.

"Some of those things are real, but all of it is rumor right now," said Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-Mich.) in an interview. Knollenberg recently took over the chairmanship of the military construction subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.

The uncertainty is causing some headaches for Knollenberg, who hopes to start drafting the fiscal 2004 military construction bill in May.

At a congressional hearing last week, Knollenberg put some gentle pressure on Pentagon officials to get their basing plans to him as soon as possible.

"Should Congress consider a [spending] pause based on the uncertainties -- or even reprogram the money?" he asked.

Defense officials replied quickly that military construction funds would still be urgently needed to upgrade bases and improve the quality of life of military personnel overseas.

"We have a sense of where the enduring facilities will be," said Adm. Thomas B. Fargo, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command. But he provided no details.

There are about 35,000 U.S. troops in Germany and double that number of dependents, all spending money on the local economy. In addition, Congress last fall approved $288 million for new construction in Germany. But projects funded in the legislation are on hold due to the review.

The significance hasn't been lost on German officials. Already the mayor of Stuttgart has told Knollenberg how much he "appreciates" the U.S. military presence in his community.

"It's a new situation relative to things that are happening in North Korea and Iraq," Knollenberg said in an interview.

Shifting the money to other priorities is "not something I want to do," Knollenberg said. "But we're trying to get a sense of urgency about this review. We do need the information."

THE WEEK AHEAD: The Senate has scheduled a cloture vote to limit debate on the judicial nomination of Miguel Estrada, and may take up the fiscal 2004 budget resolution. The House is planning floor action on the Bankruptcy Abuse and Prevention Act and the Child Abduction Prevention Act. It may take up the 2004 budget resolution.

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

Commentary:
We have to wonder if our founding fathers wanted the White House to decide every issue of national spending. Probably not. In fact, the WH has no power whatsoever to decide when, where, or how much we spend on anything.

The republicans in Congress are shallow little men. They don't have the balls to do their jobs but instead wait for the WH to tell them what to do. Good grief. There are good reasons we have separation of powers.

On top of that, Bush is breaking another in a long string of broken promises. Not only is he NOT increasing spending on military contstruction as he promised but he's not spending the money the Congress already appropriated and is in violation of the Constitution.

President Nixon tried to do the same thing and the Supreme Court said the president doesn't have the power to decide if money can or can not be spent. Those spending bills, once signed by the president, become law and he must follow the law. But the rule of law has always been a minor inconvince for this administration.


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