President Bush's State of the Union Address





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  President Bush rehearsing his State of the Union address

 

 President Bush delivering his State of the Union address, February 28, 2003

 


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FELIX E. ASIBOR - 2/5/2006

I consider myself an advocate of positive mindset. I also make a consious effort to be an optimist. I believe strongly in power of positive thinking and positive confession. I am further conviced that to a large extent, man has a great deal of input to make in determining his destiny. To this we can now draw straws that the future of a Country depend on the vision of the leader or the political wheel of governance



John Lederer - 1/25/2004

"No war for oil? Until recently (I am, after all, an historian) wars were almost always fought for gain, material or strategic."

Hmmm. This is a somewhat confusing statement. 'Strategic gain" would be a method not an end -- a strategic gain might be the destruction of an Islamic fleet at Lepanto, or the acquisition of a strategic island such as Malta in WWII.

Material gains are certainly the prinipal motive for many wars (at least for one side, the other side's purpose may be merely to hold on to what they have, or simply to survive), but in a fair number of wars they seem to be secondary. Religion and ideology are often factors, and sometimes seem primary factors.


Our own civil war certainly suggests the mix of factors that might be present. Material gains were a factor, but arguably not a major one.

Were oil the major factor for the Iraq war the war seems to have been poorly implemented. We have a brilliant military victory-- but the price of crude is up, and our oil supplies more threatened by the post-war instability of Saudi Arabia and Iran . Moreover we ticked off Russia a major oil producer and haven't done anything in Venezuela-- a much more convenient place to invade were oil the purpose of our bellicosity.


John Lederer - 1/25/2004

"No war for oil? Until recently (I am, after all, an historian) wars were almost always fought for gain, material or strategic."

Hmmm. This is a somewhat confusing statement. 'Strategic gain" would be a method not an end -- a strategic gain might be the destruction of an Islamic fleet at Lepanto, or the acquisition of a strategic island such as Malta in WWII.

Material gains are certainly the prinipal motive for many wars (at least for one side, the other side's purpose may be merely to hold on to what they have, or simply to survive), but in a fair number of wars they seem to be secondary. Religion and ideology are often factors, and sometimes seem primary factors.


Our own civil war certainly suggests the mix of factors that might be present. Material gains were a factor, but arguably not a major one.

Were oil the major factor for the Iraq war the war seems to have been poorly implemented. We have a brilliant military victory-- but the price of crude is up, and our oil supplies more threatened by the post-war instability of Saudi Arabia and Iran . Moreover we ticked off Russia a major oil producer and haven't done anything in Venezuela-- a much more convenient place to invade were oil the purpose of our bellicosity.


Rod S - 1/24/2004

We are really heading down a dangerous path when you suggest morality should be legislated.

Why is it that people who oppose gay marriage talk about 'traditional values' as if it is anything other than a legal debate? Our country has a host of legal rights afforded to married couples that we currently deny gay couples. Plain and simple... it is discrimination.

Would we, as a nation, stand for any other minority being denied the right of hospital visitation when their life partner is dying? That is just one example of the incredibly unjust treatment gays and lesbians endure in America today.

Giving gay couples the same rights as straight couples is not going to ruin your Ozzy and Harriet images, they were never real to begin with. Ask Britney and Jason... the new spokespeople for heterosexual marriage and traditional values.


Anna Napoli - 1/23/2004

I believe that homosexuals are just like everyone else. People have no right to discriminate against homosexuals. We are all different which is what makes us unique. In American we believe in equal justice. Our morals say that we should not discriminate against races, why is sexuality any different? I am disgusted with Bush's address. As my mom said, "after hearing 3 min. of the presidents speech, I became a democrat" Marriage is for people who are in love, no matter what the circumstances.


Anna Napoli - 1/23/2004


charles whitehead - 1/22/2004

President Bush not only delivered an address regarding the state of current world events and the improving economy, he also passed the gauntlet to the Congress to be responsible with citizen's money and to follow through with promises and temporary bills presented by Congress since 2001. Although Senator Kennedy portrayed disdain for President Bush's address, the fact remains that Senator Kennedy, along with the rest of the US government has an obligation to this country and that they need to do more than collect PAC money and sit in an ivory tower separate from the "real" America.
This is not a partisan issue, but an American issue-where both republicans and Democrats need to drop their biases and egos and actually work for their constituents.


Travis Dover - 1/21/2004

I find it disgusting that most Americans are so narrow minded as to think homosexuality is a sin. What makes heterosexuality so much different from homosexuality: heterosexuals account for the majority of people. Like most of history, the minority is treated sorely and without justice. Homosexuality is not a disease. Recent studies on homosexuality may suggest that people are born naturally as homosexuals; that it has something to do with the brain. When I hear the comment, "Our children need to know that homosexuality is a sin," I am sickened by the ignorance. Our children could be homosexuals. Saying that homosexuality is a sin is the kind of doctrine that makes our homosexual children commit suicide.


Kathy Haizmann - 1/14/2004

I am a Bush supporter, BUT WILL NOT BE if he continues to discriminate against gays and single heterosexuals. Gay couple should DEFINITELY have a right to be married and enjoy the same priviliges hetero couples enjoy in our society, AND I will not have MY HARD EARNED TAX MONEY go toward "marriage counseling" of married couples. THIS IS REDICULOUS!!! What about counseling for single people who are lonely??? What about counseling for gays who are depressed because of discrimination??? What about counseling for depressed teens???? COME ON!!! Bush is letting his religious views mix with his political policies, AND THIS IS NOT SEPERATION OF CHURCH AND STATE!!!


Mr. Felix Asibor - 12/21/2003

I must congratulate Mr.President Bush for the captured of Saddam honestly speacking, President Bush is the hero of the global ages.

Yours truely

Felix


Mr. Felix A - 12/21/2003

I must congratulate Mr.President Bush for the captured of Saddam honestly speacking, President Bush is the hero of the global ages.

Yours truely

Felix


Martha Bachelor - 8/11/2003

I vote NO! for Gay Marriages. Marriage is one man married to one woman.


younan sleiwa younan khamis - 8/9/2003

Dear mr Bush
I am american citizn I am born in U.S.A. in 11-mar-1984
i have any thing is prove i born in the united state's
please help me because i dont have the mony to back to the state ane i still in i raq since 1985 and untel now my passport no. is 050562392date of issue.10-oct-1984 see page : 24the name of hospital vally presbyterin van nuys calfornia i send you anather massage to tell you more
thank for your help
baghdad iraq
e-mail address : younanmarusa@yahoo.com


Michelle - 8/4/2003

Thank You President Bush!!!!!!

I am so thankful that we finally have a President who places importance on morals and family values. Our children need to know that homosexuality is a sin. They need to know the diseases and the cold hard facts about it. The media is trying to place it as a normal part of everyday life. It is not. Instead of running the funny ads for shows llike Will and Grace, run an add showing someone dying from aids, a child who has no friends because a parent is gay or the child who thinks its worng but a parent is homosexual and tries to convince a child otherwise. I hope that more people like the President stand up and let the children today know there is a traditional family and it is a loving mother and father. Yes, one of each gender where children can learn and do things that they shoudl that are gender appropriate.


Richard - 7/30/2003

It is about time we had a president that stands up for his values. I would hope he will continue to stand up for the values of the majority as well. I too think that hetrosexual marriages should be supported legally as well as morally.

Although homosexual relationships may have a lot of "love" in them there is no substitute for the influence of the male and female mind. They simply think differently, react differently, love differently, and can bear children. The extremely tight bond one feels toward their offspring cannot be felt without the experience. It is true people that adopt infants can feel a very strong bond, hoever it is not the same.


u moron - 7/16/2003

dear mr. bush i'd like to congragulate u on ur recent success in iraq by kiling thousand u accomplished more oil. now mr. bush i don't believe saddam was a good man but u must understand that violence is not the only way but i guess thats how daddy taught u but u see ur daddy wasn't a saint either. but the real reason im talking to u is the fact that u have not wiped out all governments that propose a threat cause you see your still in power and um well u have proved that u don't mind killing innocent people just for oil and if u ask me thats almost as bad as saddam.


TODAY - 7/15/2003

ALL BLACKS IN AMERICA LOOK AT YOU AS A EVIL PERSON THAT IS UP TO NO GOOD EVEN TO YOUR ON KIND YOU SOULD GO TO HELL YOU ARE IN HELL
WITH AMERICA WELL I WAS SENT HERE TO TELL YOU THIS BUSH JESUS IS COMEING FOR YOU AND HE IS GOING TO SAVE HIS PEOPLE BABYLON IS HERE BUT NOT FOR LONE IT WAS IN A NIGHT VISION ONE LIKE THE SON OF MAN CAME WITH THE CLOUDS OF HEVEN,


TODAY - 7/15/2003

Dear president

Why are aids taking heavy toll of children?
Acquired immune deficiency sndrome is striking many more children than previously thought, the World Health Organization reported. The U.N. agency said in Geneva that HIV virus that causes AIDS would probably infect 10 million children by year 2000. Already about 400,000 cases, or a third of AIDS worldwide to date, are belived to have occurred in children under age 5.


I’m confused. Are we to belive that these 400,000 children are practicing homosexuals or an IV drug user? Or that =400.000 (1/3) of their mothers transmit the disease? Or is it more likely that they are neither part of the high-risk group nor born of mothers with AIDS (meaning, of course, that 1/3 babes +1/3 moms = 2/3 of total AIDS population… No one is making this claim!) These data, if valid, come close to proving that AIDS is transmissible by casual contact and/or insects.

(Bush praised for efforts to help blacks in Africa)

WHAT A BIG LIE YOU ARE TO THE BLACKS IN AMERICA .


jeff mbeki - 7/8/2003

nice site


I DONT CARE TO PUT IT - 7/4/2003

You know whats funny i just received and email telling me about freedom and indepence that we received in 1776 from BushCheney04@GeorgeWBush.com
and I've got something on my mind to say. please read any and all.



INDEPENCE, let me tell you how local laws have infringed on our indepent rights to celebrate our nations greatest day. we use to beable to set off fireworks any and all kinds, then ALOT of places go and say nothing that makes explosions, and NOW there are alot of cities and towns that have banned our fun ways on this day. your hear people talk about the bill of rights the FREEDOM for this and for that. then why is this 230 year old document that gives us these rights being slowly over come by LOCAL laws we are still a nation and as a nation we should beable to go by NATIONAL laws and regulations on days like this i can understand that it being illegal all year round (with exceptions) like that of JULY 4th, and New Years and i dont find it unreasonable for any other kind of event to need a permit wether from town or state to beable to use these. but with these laws inplace our FREEDOMS we hear so much of are being stripped away little by little. and todays people DO NOT want to bother with looking at this like i do that or they are afraid to stand up for their rights to party on this our nations greatest day. but i cant sit around anymore and ignore the facts that ive lost freedom within the UNITED STATES of AMERICA the land of the FREE. without asking how can this be??? well how can this happen mr. bush, cheney or whoever important MIGHT receive this? stated in our nations laws better yet the bill of rights we have the right to do pretty much what we want.... UNLESS IT INFRINGES ON THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS.... well if you think about it all these little laws that state and local government have come up with over the years some of them INFRINGE on our rights. well thats all folks.


Rocky Bass - 5/17/2003

Where is what he SAID and not your "take on it"?
You guys just have a viceril (pardon my spelling but you will use it to say I am an idiot non the less) hate for our current honorable president. I am HIV+ and feel alot safer with Mr Bush at the reins than I ever would have with Mr Tax and Spend and Lie and get BJ's while purgering myself and killing innocents to cover it Clinton. You guys need to face reality.


Jeffery Thomas - 2/10/2003

Steve,
Idi Amin lives comfortably (presumably) in the bosom of an important 'ally' of the United States, Saudi Arabia, and if that isn't evil, I mean the very idea of giving asylum to such a grotesque abuser of human rights, I don't know what is. Over the long term, it is only in the United Nations that a forum on good versus evil among and within the nations of the world can carry on a discussion leading to international solutions. The United Nations has called attention to evil in our world, and has taken on the task of feeding, housing and educating the millions of refugees that are the result of failed attempts at military solutions to political problems. You must be intentionally facetious and didactic to suggest that Libya holding the chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights is tantamount to a dead Khmer monster leading UNICEF. Your argument doesn't follow from the thread, and also doesn't challenge the basic premise I presented concerning principle.
Now, as to the Republican Party, you have exactly made my point by suggesting that the majority are right, the majority du jour, that is. The majority preferred Al Gore. By framing the world in black and white, as conservatives are wont to do, of course this is a good sell for the 'average' American in a time of global terror, when someone has to step up and distinguish good from evil. So-called liberal politicians have decided to a great extent to either follow the Clinton Conservative-Light approach, or to wait out the cycle. This atmosphere plays into the hands of extreme elements in the, I think bizarre, Christian-corporate-freedom-fighter Right, and there you have it. "I'll Fight For Freedom" say bumper-stickers these days. In what way, exactly, we might ask. I think France and Germany might have something to say about how well war solves political problems, while the average American bumper-sticker warrior is likely not to have much to say at all, but knows he likes it when our government sticks up for freedom and democracy, and won't be pushed around, or held hostage, or black-mailed... What a crock. The most powerful nation in the world must behave like a bully instead of a compassionate brother, like a paranoid schizophrenic instead of a humble follower of the Prince of Peace. No one has veto power over us, except us.


Steve Brody - 2/8/2003


Jeffery, first you argue the US, under the Republicans, doesn't participate enough in "UN missions" and now you appear to acknowledge that the US provides the lion's share of the support and that is as it should be. I not sure I'm following your argument. But I do agree that the US should support the UN military missions. If we didn't, who would?

I can't agree that Libya should be chairing the UN commission on human rights. That turns logic on its head. What's next, Idi Amin as the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights? How about Pol Pot in charge of UNICEF. Maybe we can get Saddam to chair the IAEA. Not to put too fine a point on it, but it is precisely the inability of the UN to call evil, evil that threatens its relevance. And pretending that there are no good guys and no bad guys breeds cynicism and mistrust.

Look, Jeffery, bureaucracies being wasteful is one thing, but UN spending is out of control. Comparing the UN to the IRS is really a stretch.

The Republican Party hasn't been "hijacked and terrorized into submission". I hope that was intentional hyperbole. Fact is, the Republican Party must have looked pretty good to the majority of voters. I believe that is why they gained seats in both houses.


Bush may not have wanted arms inspections in Iraq initially. Frankly, I tend to think they're a waste of time, except as a concession to multi-lateralism. And I think that multi-lateralism is important. But the real question is whether we are going to give France and Germany veto over our national security. I point out that France and Germany are increasingly isolated among their European neighbors on this question.


Jeffery Thomas - 2/7/2003

Steve, it is only natural that the United States carry the greatest burden in carrying out the mission of the United Nations, as we are the greatest beneficiary of the world's resources, and, I would argue, have the most to gain or lose from the UN's success.

Yes, I can take Libya serving as chair of the Commission on Human Rights, as Libya is a country where humans live. This speaks precisely to my point concerning principles. There is no nation on earth without human rights problems, and that the world community should approach this problem in an inclusive way is the potential genius of such an appointment. Or, shall we just do away with the farcical UN and pretend that the reality of our planet is fairly easily defined by good guys and bad guys (in the person of entire nations)and sally forth under the pretense of some of us having arrived, while the worst cases of having failed to arrive are cast out from the world community, isolated to stew in their juices until finally coming around and begging the favor of enlightenment.

I couldn't agree more that bureaucracies are wasteful, but try not paying your taxes by using the same argument.

Oh, how I want to believe that you are right about Sean, et al, but the Republican Party has been hijacked and terrorized into submission by the conservative wing, and wouldn't it be wonderful if it were to be rescued somehow, since, for better or worse, we do have a two-party system.

Don't you think that the arms inspection option was not one the Bush Administration wanted at all? No matter who was to be appointed or not? I see that as a fundamental of this whole question of unilateralism. Bush and Cheney spent the first nine months going out of their way to thumb their noses at the world community, then wasted the goodwill generated by the terroist attacks. France was the sine qua non of our revolution. Amen.


Steve Brody - 2/7/2003


Jeffery, I'm still trying to discern the factual basis for your last posting. Are you really suggesting that the US, under either party, has not carried more than its share of the burden of UN missions? If that's so, please humor me and identify which nation has carried more.

You complain that Republicans view the UN with cynicism and mistrust. Is it just possible that the UN earns this cynicism by stunts like having Libya chair the UN Commission on Human Rights? How can you take something like that seriously?

As for not paying our dues, that has a lot to do with the UN's unwillingness to exercise fiscal responsibility. Our pledge to the fiscal needs of the UN is not a blank check.

Your reference to Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh as somehow personifying the Republican Party is a real stretch. Does Alan Colmes personify the Democratic Party? These people are media types. They speak for no one but themselves.

Jeffery, I have to admit a certain cynicism about the Chief Arms Inspector and the General Secretary who appointed him. Hans Blix appears to have a mixed reputation at the IAEA and I wonder why he was selected for this job. Further, the fact that none of the previous weapons inspectors were selected for this team makes me suspicious as to how serious the UN is about this round of inspections. Why no experienced inspectors? This country's contribution to the team includes a man whose main qualification for the job seems to be that he was fired from the US Secret Service for misconduct and was president of a Sado-masochistic wife-swapping group. No background checks were conducted on any of the inspectors.

I know you believe that Bush is a unilateralist. Perhaps. But he has lined up 18 European countries as well as all the Arab nations that we are likely to need. He also went to Congress and got a resolution authorizing force. Where's the unilateralism in that? After Powell's presentation at the UN, most countries seem to be getting on board. I predict that even France will ultimately agree to the use of force. If not, so what. The reality is that France is a relatively unimportant country, with a totally amoral foreign policy. Does anyone believe that France ever does anything not in its own self-interest?

I don't know what your experience in "diplomatic solutions" is, Jeffery, so I won't comment on your suggestion of how Bush should have handled this. I must say, however, that in the end, I believe that Bush will have a broad coalition of allies in our fight to disarm Saddam.


Steve Brody - 2/7/2003


Jeffery, I'm still trying to discern the factual basis for your last posting. Are you really suggesting that the US, under either party, has not carried more than its share of the burden of UN missions. If that's so, please humor me and identify which nation has carried more.

You complain that Republicans view the UN with cynicism and mistrust. Is it just possible that the UN earns this cynicism by stunts like having Libya chair the UN Commission on Human Rights?
How can you take something like that seriously.

AS for not paying our dues, that has a lot to do with the UN's unwillingness to exercise fiscal responsibility. Our pledge to the fiscal needs of the UN is not a blank check.

Your reference to Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh as somehow personifying the Republican Party is a real stretch. Does Alan Colmes personify the Democratic Party? These people are media types. They speak for no one but themselves.

Jeffery, I have to admit a certain cynicism about the Chief Arms Inspector and the General Secretary who appointed him. Hans Blix appears to have a mixed reputation at the IAEA and I wonder why he was selected for this job. Further, the fact that none of the previous weapons inspectors were selected for this team makes me suspicous as to how serious the UN is about this round of inspections. Why no experienced inspectors? This country's contribution to the team includes a man whose main qualification for the job seems to be that he was fired from the US Secret Service for misconduct and was president of a Sado-masochistic wife swapping group. No background checks were conducted on any of the inspectors.

I know you beleive that Bush is a unilateralist. Perhaps. But he has lined up 18 European countries as well as all the Arab nations that we are likely to need. He also went to Congress and got a resolution authorizing force. Where's the unilateralism in that? After Powell's presentation at the UN, most countries seem to be getting on board. I predict that even France will ultimately agree to the use of force. If not, so what. The reality is that France is relatively unimportant country, with a totally amoral foreign polcy. Does anyone believe that France ever does anything not in its own self interest.

I don't know what your experience in "diplomatic solutions" is, Jeffery, so I won't comment on your suggestion of how Bush should have handled this. I must say, however, that in the end, I believe that Bush will have a broad coalition of allies in our fight to disarm Saddam.


Jeffery Thomas - 2/4/2003

Steve, I thought Mr. Bush's speech to the United Nations was the best of his Presidency, and correct to challenge that body to live up to its founding principles. I will stick, however, to my contention that the Bush Administration is unilateralist and does not sincerely believe in the U.N.'s mission, reflecting the views of a large part of the administration's constituency. If you want to get the pulse of the Republican Party these days, I recommend the Sean Hannity version of our world, where he gives full vent to what would be impolitic for the administration to say so explicitly. Being only an irregular listener, it is still apparent to me that he can get a lot of major players on his show, so I can't dismiss him, or Rush, or any of the others as easily as I would like to, as merely playing for market share. Their contempt for anyone associated with the United Nations bureaucracy, including the General Secretary and the Chief Arms Inspector, speaks volumes about the 'real feelings' of the Right in general as regards the world body. As you know, resolutions regarding Israel have been consistently seen, by adminstrations of either party here, as problematic. Any suggestions of Americans serving in peacekeeping operations in blue helmets has been seen by this crowd as an unthinkable violation of our exceptional role in the world. The litany of possible ways in which our national sovereignty would be compromised by U.S. participation in, or cooperation with, various aspects of U.N. missions and activities is long, and revealing of the conservative view of the United Nations as an entity not to be trusted, kept at arms length, and otherwise vilified for real or imagined 'conspiracies' of those who would defy the American worldview. Forget about not paying our dues and withdrawing from agencies as suits the mood. Democracy does not suit us when it is suggested that small nations might have the ability to really shape our world. Interesting, isn't it, in light of the fact that Mr.Bush would never have been elected had small, underpopulated states of our union not determined the outcome in his favor. But that is the point of their opposition, isn't it? They know that such things really do happen when the process takes its course. The principle of diplomatic solutions is that you keep trying, never losing patience, relentlessly pursuing the goal. You don't start out by proposing a war, and then falling back on Plan B only when there is dissension, and then impatiently seeking to 'get it over with' so you can go ahead with your original purpose, no matter what. Principles are not principles if you don't practice them all the time. Let us practice what we preach and then preach what we practice, to quote Confucius, someone who lived in dangerous times and eschewed pragmatic compromise of principle in favor of leaving a legacy that future generations would admire and seek to live up to in their own times, with their own dangers, and their own descendants to be judged by.


Steve Brody - 2/4/2003


Gus, you're a great one for demanding proof from others but never providing any yourself. You say that the people of the nations surrounding Iraq oppose the war "in the 90% range".
Is this from the latest USA Today pole in Syria? This is a very specific figure. What's your source?

The fact of the matter is that all of the governments I cited have pledged material support. You have provided no evidence that any of these countries were "cajoled, threatened or frightened" into joining the coalition.

I never said that resolution 1441 authorized force, Gus. What I did say is that Syria voted for 1441. Everyone knew (except you, apparently) that passage of 1441 put the UN on a colision course with Iraq. No one expected Iraq to cooperate with the inspections. Thus my statement that ultimately , when Syria voted for 1441, "it probably meant war with Iraq".


Gus, you have described Clinton as an "honest broker" in the Middle East. Actually, wasn't it appalling of Arafat to turn down the deal that Clinton brokered and start the Intifada again?



Steve Brody - 2/4/2003

Gus, your analysis of possible casualties during an invasion of Japan is shallow. If you know anything about the war in the Pacific you may have heard of Okinawa. More people died during the 82 day battle for Okinawa than were killed by the bombing of Nagasaki AND Hiroshima combined. Are you really questioning the fact that many more people would have died in an invasion of Japan itself?

Your speculation as to the identity of the anthrax mailer is interesting, but absent any evidence, merely a conspiracy theory.

Actually, comparison to the Hitler era is spot on, in my opinion.
I'm not thrilled by our allies. But we allied ourselves with Stalin during WWII and France during our Revolutionary War and both of those regimes were totally despotic. Was that wrong?

Actually if we do go to war with Iraq, it won't just be the US.
A broad coalition of allies have agreed to help.


Steve Brody - 2/4/2003


Jeffery, BY "peaceful resolution" I assume you're referring to the initiative offering Saddam peaceful exile in another country. I think that would be great. The US government thinks that would be great. The problem is, it's highly unlikely to happen. Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and all the other countries bordering Iraq know that it's unlikely, but worth a try. In the mean time, all of those countries have offered their support in the event that Saddam refuses exile. You characterize this as being "resigned to their fate". I believe that it is being resigned to the neccesity.

Jeffery, I can't accept your discription of the 12 years of dithering that the UN has done about Iraq's WMD as "democratic process". That is just an excuse for inaction. There has to be some finiteness to debate, or it becomes meaningless and irrelevant. Bush challenged the UN to regain its relevancy and they responded. Now that Blix has declared the Iraqi's to be in material breech of relevant UN resolutions and openly uncooperative with the current inspection regime, what is the UN to do? Shall we have another debate? To what end?


James Thornton - 2/3/2003

Mr. Moner,

You did get the name right. Thank you for the concern. I have never posted an opinion on whether the US is justified in waging war on Iraq. I have simply pointed out the benefits of regime change. An invasion of Iraq has nothing to do with oil or imperialism. Regime change in Iraq is paramount to winning the war on terror. With a friendly government in power in Iraq the US could lessen the power and influence of Saudi Arabia and compel other Arab states to establish real peace with Israel. The Palestinian-Israeli peace process will be jump started, and we could see real progress here. Without Saddam bankrolling Hamas and the violent Fatah movements, and greater pressure brought to bear on Syria to do the same a lasting peace in the Middle East could be attained. I want peace, I just don't see how it can be negotiated when we don't have a serious partner.


Gus Moner - 2/3/2003

Mr Brody, its disingenuous to say “almost all of the countries bordering Iraq are supportive of our efforts in this matter. Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have all pledged support when we go to war.” The people of those nations oppose the war by overwhelming margins in the 90% range, the very people Mr Bush claims to defend. Its disingenuous to say the governments support the US, when they are being cajoled, threatened and frightened into support. So, let’s get it straight. Turkey does NOT want US troops to be there or launch an attack from there, however, due to its high debt and dire political needs, it is being inveigled into support. Turkey has NEVER said it supports the policy. Neither have the other mentioned nations.

Then you said that “even Syria voted for Resolution 1441, knowing full well that it probably meant war with Iraq.” What of it? Syria was led to understand that it did not mean authority to attack. NOWHERE does 1441 give the US authority to determine an attack.

Sorry, but Bush hasn’t much credibility when his pals have been trading with Iraq and up till 9/11 suggesting more of the same. His former party leaders and some current members of his cabinet have swept chemical weapons under the rug when it suited them. Now, its urgent. Name one proven reason Iraq is a threat to us. If it has had them since the 80’s why has it not attacked us directly or through surrogates? That is the supposed threat.

Most others in the region consider Israel’s appalling behaviour in Palestine as the real destabilising force, not Saddam’s decrepit army and run-down nation. Why not make them go through the hoops at the same time, at least it would appear less biased. That would help solve your identified UN credibility problem.


Gus Moner - 2/3/2003

It might or might not be PR, it may or may not be compassion. It might or might not be enough, and it may or may not include Christian-based sexual mores being imposed. However, as anyone who knows African tribal and social customs will tell you, they won't work.

What it is without any conditional phrase is a dreadful and appalling human situation that has required immediate attention for over a decade, and if Mr Bush wants to win votes helping people, well, it's better than raining missiles and bombs on them, as he is selecting to do with the destitute Iraqis.


Jeffery Thomas - 2/3/2003

Steve, the Turkish Foreign Minister just last week was able to bring together his counterparts from Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and other states in the region, to seek a peaceful resolution to the problem Saddam has posed for all of them for years. There is quite a difference between being resigned to your fate and lending support to something.

As for the United Nations, it is only as effective as its member states make it. Since it practices democratic processes, this naturally entails debate. Having lived in an authoritarian country, I have heard it said only too often that democracy amounts to no more than a debating society, and that things only really get done when someone decides and tells everyone how it will be. Not my idea of the future, but popular around the world with those who haven't the patience for process. Mr. Bush would be one of the latter.


Gus Moner - 2/3/2003

“True, the US is the only nation to ever use ATOMIC weapons in war.”
I assume sir that the civilians killed in those two attacks were worth killing, by your reasoning, to save an unspecified number of soldiers. Never could the figure have been as high as you claim, for USA war deaths during the ENTIRE period of WWII were around 600,000 deaths on all fronts in 4 years, thus requiring that an equal number be killed in ONE invasion, that of a prostrate Japan that was already asking intermediaries for peace. Killing and terrorising the civilian population with nuclear weapons is a gross misdeed.

Moreover, I’ll assume that you capitalised ATOMIC to differentiate between it and chemical warfare. Might I draw your attention to Napalm and Agent Orange? The anthrax mailer was probably a US chemical weapons expert that the US government does not want to divulge so as to keep hidden the extent of its chemical arsenal.

Comparisons to the Hitler era are worthless in my opinion, we are dealing with different beasts and threats, and as Bush says, each threat requires its own response. “Turkey has waged a brutal war against and continues to repress its Kurdish minority” … “Iran and Syria support terrorism directly. Saudi Arabia does so indirectly and is a repressive monarchy.” So, do you like our allies?

I believe that the nations that voted for the UN resolution did so with the understanding that there would be an on-going UN process that would see the crisis through to the end. Nowhere does the resolution say the US is authorised to attack if it deems Iraq in non-compliance.

Well, that's all for now, must get to work!!!!


Gus Moner - 2/3/2003

Point taken Mr Catsam. It was all hypothetical in your comment, however I must admit it did not seem so on first read, as you were making a case for going to war for a commodity, it misled me. If that was not your intent, I'll place you right back on Planet Earth and request your chivalrous forgiveness.


Derek Catsam - 2/3/2003

I never said that we should or that the situation required us to go to war (nor have I said the opposite). So once one acknowledges that, your attacks on me (ie that I am on Saturn, that I learned nothing from 9-11, etc.) are irrelevent. All I said was simply that oil is not in and of itself an illegitimate strategic imperative. I stand by that. Read more closely before going on the attack.


Gus Moner - 2/3/2003

Mr Catsam, you have made a good point when stating that “it seems to me that while going to war to protect profits of oil companies is a bad thing, and while not developing alternative sources of fuel is a bad thing, the reality is that we need access to oil for pretty fundamental strategic and social reasons”. However, you are in Saturn when you say it requires a war to do it, or that it wouldn’t be such a bad thing. You show a frightening level of comprehension, disregard and frivolity for the right to life of innocent civilians and today’s international order, which took 70 million deaths in 30 years to sort out.

If China, India, well, all the nations of the world, amnage to obtain their oil requirements without needing to go to war, why does the US have to resort to controlling Iraq? Really, have a think about it. What are we doing wrong that we have reached this point?

What is truly short-sighted is that after all is said and done you have learned nothing about innocent lives being lost from the WTC attacks.


Gus Moner - 2/3/2003

Well, you may have a doctorate in whatever, however you fail to demonstrate you learned how to express an opinion decently. Nevertheless, you have proven that you never got past kindergarten in civility and manners.


Gus Moner - 2/3/2003

THE MORE $ YOU MAKE, THE MORE TAXES YOU PAY--THEREFORE THE MORE A TAX CUT BENEFITS YOU!

Well, Mr Furnish, the point is just that. It ought not. Get it?


Gus Moner - 2/3/2003

Either I misunderstood you or Mr Huisler. In any case my reply to your short comment was based on the misunderstanding. Sorry.


Gus Moner - 2/3/2003

My respect to you and your heartfelt plea.


Gus Moner - 2/3/2003

...but not yet eating crow, Mr Huisler. My apologies for what you consider disparaging remarks, if it has really offended you. However, I was not trying to disparage per say. I was trying to make a point. OK? Having looked at them again, I do not feel I was disparaging, just reciting what is in the public record. It may have been disparaging to some, so the above apologies hold.

Statistics can be made to work depending on the argument and how they are used. That is their bedevilling aspect. You may or may not be right about what you say and, I reckon you understand my views by now. I reiterate that I am right about what I have meant to say, that cutting taxes and increasing spending causes deficits. That is Son Bush’s budget. Your silence about the comment regarding the reality of Father Bush raising taxes was deafening.

The point you have chosen to overlook is that the likes of Clinton and a few million others will benefit most remains true. Perhaps using Clinton has riled you, I admit with hindsight it was not a good example given the passions his figure raises. Pun intended. For humour, not to disparage or offend.

I beg to differ, why does a 6 million income not matter or count? I have never, nor in my lifetime will I ever, earn that kind of cash. Plenty of Mr Clinton’s income is now from private sector work, speeches, books. So, authors and think tank type people don’t count under your accounting procedures? We’d really be losing revenues under your presidency. In this “knowledge technology and service” economy there are millions of Clinton types scratching out a living.

Contrary to your assertion, deficits are NOT caused by spending. Deficits are caused by NOT BALANCING income and revenues, as anyone over 20 should be able to tell you if they have studied. Lowering revenues and increasing spending, well, you try it at home. Then tell me what happens to your finances. By the way, I was alive then, and it was Reagan who went on a toot with weapons spending, as Son Bush is now.

I am unsure about why you said: “And Bush? Has 9/11 slipped your mind? Have you any economics savvy at all? Does "fiscal year" ring a bell? The first year of the Bush Presidency was under a Clinton budget. The second year was 2001.” Bush had discretionary spending and 9/11 was too. The going overboard afterwards is his. You aren’t trying to tell me the 9/11 caused 160,000,000,000 federal deficit, are you? Is that the excuse the conservatives plans to use?

However, this year is his, and the next three and their aftermath. What are the numbers? You read the White House comments about increasing deficits. Where is the doubling and tripling of revenue, then? Has he doubled spending? NO. So, where is the success of the tax cut scheme if it leads to 5 years of deficits that add up to 15,000,000,000,000? You have read the White House actually refute your theory.

Later you added that: “By the way, disparaging remarks about Conservatives don't change opinions and just make you look bad”. I agree and regret that Mr Kellum has chosen the style you described above to address me. I guess I am not a conservative. As far as rehashing old dogma, have I missed something or is that not what you are doing Mr Huisler?


Rafael Gomez - 2/2/2003

You seem to be a religious person, while I'm not (although I got 12 years of catholic schooling by the Opus Dei), and therein lies the core of our disagreement. And we would have to discuss what exactly you and I consider moral and inmoral to see if we can understand each other's position better. Although, based on my extensive and very conservative religious education at school, I think I know what's at the core of your position on this issue.

I don't base my morality on any religious considerations, only on what makes it posible for us to live as harmoniously as possible in a society, where each person's actions have an impact on others.

When I talk about sexual freedom I refer to the right that I think we all have to exercise our sexuality in any way that makes us happy, as long as that exercise does not, in any way, harm others. You probably cannot accept that, given christianity's views on sexuality, which I completely reject. And that's a a rift that will always divide us.

What bothers me, and what is at the core of this argument about sexual education and the fight against AIDS, is not that you and I have totally different views on this issue, but that religious or "conservative" people want to impose their beliefs and their morality on everybody, especially regarding something so private and personal as sex. I'm not interested on making you change your views on this, and I totally respect your right to lead your life acording to your beliefs. I expect others to respect my views and exercise of sexuality. And I especially don't want any government regulating the way anybody lives their sexuality. A good example of this horrible government intrusion on people's private lives are the laws in some states that prohibit oral sex. It's ridiculous! And totally unenforceable.

To tackle problems like AIDS, we need objective and open discussion and education on sex, so that people can freely choose their best course of action. As I said before, keeping kids in the dark about the "mechanics" of sex, and limiting sexual education to saying "Don't do it!", is very disingenuous, dangerous, and counterproductive. And you will never be able to stop people from being sexually irresponsible, even with the best education. The same way you will never be able to keep some people from being irresponsible or reckless in many other aspects of life.

It's the same with the debate on abortion. I don't like abortion and I will never encourage a girlfriend, wife, daughter or friend to get an abortion. I will try to disuade them. But in the end, the decision is theirs and I think they should be free to choose abortion. If they end up "going to hell" for doing it, that's their decision.

In summary, I don't like when governments like Mr. Bush's try to impose by law or decree their narrow views of morality on very personal and private aspects of life, such as sex.


Gus Moner - 2/2/2003

Well, based on your choices and presentation, I'd have to fall into the former and you into the latter. The deficits created by lowering taxes are evidence enough for me.


Tom Kellum - 2/2/2003


Bless your heart...and all of your other vital organs, too.

Sometimes, it's hard to know whether some of the folks are plain stupid and ignorant, or just think that we are.


Bill Heuisler - 2/2/2003

Gus, Last things first. Clinton has not ever held a private-sector job or made a profit. His six-figure speeches don't really count and money he received from teas, Buddhist monks, Chinese Generals and pardon-recipients doesn't count.

Don't preach about economics until you check the CBO, Treasury and Fed. figures for the Reagan years. Over the eight-year Reagan presidency Income Tax revenues more than doubled after factoring in population increases and inflation. Revenues after the JFK tax-cut nearly tripled for the next two fiscal years. It's simple math - reduce the tax rate, the base increases. Deficits are caused by spending. Check appropriations and other Congressional spending during the eighties. The Dems went on a toot and blamed Reagan.

And Bush? Has 9/11 slipped your mind? Have you any economics savvy at all? Does "fiscal year" ring a bell? The first year of the Bush Presidency was under a Clinton budget. The second year was 2001.

By the way, disparaging remarks about Conservatives don't change opinions and just make you look bad (see the Kellum's post and cringe). But refute the multiplyer; refute the Laffer Curve; tell me about all those high-tax success stories around the world. Look at the CBO numbers for 1983-1988. Face reality rather than reciting old, tired dogma.
Bill Heuisler


Gus Moner - 2/2/2003

Mr Thornton,
I have finally got the name right, I hope...

I'd like to quote from 2nd February editorials that clearly express my opinion on the war issue, perhaps better than I can.

As a military man, surely you know the seriousness of bombing people, destroying their homes and infrastructure, the impact of the maimed, dead and missing. We needn't rush in when the threat was not even raised by the VP when doing business there a mere 25-30 months ago, nor in their plans to develop Iraqi oil resources even more recently.

Please read them carefully.

"The administration owes the American people and the rest of the world a more careful and consistent approach.
Even the rationale for war seems to change from day to day. Mr. Bush ticked off a litany of accusations against Iraq in his State of the Union address, some more compelling than others. Few Americans would quarrel with Mr. Bush's assertion that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a liar. The question that needs answering is whether he poses such an urgent danger to international peace that an American invasion is required, even without the explicit approval of the Security Council.
Mr. Hussein is a sadistically brutal dictator, but that scarcely justifies an American invasion. He has a history of aggression, to be sure, but his military is now badly degraded. The administration accuses Iraq of links with Al Qaeda, but the connections are indirect and the evidence not definitive. Mr. Bush's best argument is that Iraq most likely possesses biological and chemical weapons, in defiance of U.N. prohibitions and warnings of serious consequences. But even here the case seems largely circumstantial, based on unaccounted-for stocks of anthrax, nerve gas and other ingredients. The United States also says Iraq is trying to build nuclear bombs, a view not shared by U.N. inspectors."

Where is the compelling case for war? Where is the deadly threat to us all. Why, if he is such a danger, has he not yet sent off terrorists to annihilate us with chemical weapons? If it is about complying with resolutions and the prickly details, best to be fair and make all non-compliers comply, not just Iraq. Then, we’ll have some credibility.

The media need to be more inquisitive when interviewing administration officials on this last point.

Another editorial points up the following:

“Colin Powell finally has the goods on the evil dictator.
He has spy satellite photos of trucks pulling up to buildings in the outlaw regime when inspectors aren't around, lots of bustling activity around those metal rods for the nukes threatening civilization.
Mr. Powell has all the evidence he needs to convince the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday that we are justified in making a pre-emptive strike on North Korea.
Only one hitch: President Bush doesn't want to attack North Korea; he wants to contain North Korea. He doesn't want to contain Iraq, he told reporters on Friday, because "after September the 11th, the doctrine of containment just doesn't hold any water, as far as I'm concerned."

“Except when it comes to North Korea, where Condoleezza Rice has proposed a tailored containment that can "check Kim Jong Il."

Brilliant foreign policy coordination if I ever saw any. Moreover, what has 9/11 got to do with containment? Does the President really believe this rubbish he speaks? He sounds idiotic or suffering from what I suffer, dyslexia. Mine manifests itself with the mixing up of numbers and letters in reading and writing. However his seems substantially graver than mine, it affects every reasoning process, frequently confusing disparate items that have no relation whatsoever.

A definition of the term: Dyslexia is a disorder that affects millions of people all over the world. It is one type of specific learning disability that affects a person's ability to read.
Some of their experiences include difficulties with concentration, perception, memory, verbal skills, abstract reasoning, hand-eye coordination, social adjustment, poor grades, and underachievement. Clearly someone should deal with this man’s problem. He’s leading us to a hellish future. I have nothing against Mr Bush the person, however as our leader, he seems rather keen to send other people's children where he never dared rush in when he was war age- to war.

Continuing with the editorial:

“The Bush administration has made fuzzy evidence against Saddam Hussein sound scarier than it is, and scary evidence against Kim Jong Il sound fuzzier than it is.”(…) “Mr. Bush shouldn't reach for strained rationales. We're going to war against Saddam because we can. (If we go after Kim Jong Il, he could destroy Seoul.) We're going to war because conservatives will be happy only when they have a John Wayne ending to Desert Storm and make U.S. foreign policy less about real-politick and more about muscularity and morality. We're going to war because we're a nation with a short attention span; we want to strike back at some enemy, and it is too hard to find Osama. (The Brits now say they and the U.S. knew Al Qaeda was working on a dirty bomb even before 9/11.)

No one will miss Saddam. But as the administration inflates Iraq, it should not deflate other threats: North Korea, Al Qaeda, the deficit, the freaked economy and the woeful failure to secure the ports, skies and borders of America from attack.”

I might add the mess in Latin America, where failed economic policies and a lack of attention and resources have left Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela reeling and Columbia continues to disintegrate. The editorial ends by saying:

“After Mr. Bush defenestrates Saddam and detangles Iraq's tribal chaos, Kim Jong Il and his six-pack of nukes will still be craving the American president's attention.”

I’ll add that the other world problems such as poverty, lack of drinking water, agricultural under development and wastage on military resources will also be there.





Gus Moner - 2/2/2003

I am not worried about misspelt names, but apologies accepted. About the remark, Mr Heuisler, that lower taxes increase revenues. What happened then during the Reagan-Bush dynasty? Lower taxes eventually led to such an enormous deficit that Mr Read My Lips No New Taxes was forced to swallow his pledge and raise them. No need to go back any further in history to disprove the claim, as we are now facing his son, an obvious low-grade earner at higher studies, who, it seems, didn’t learn that lesson either. Clinton spent nearly a decade getting us back to fiscal stability. It has taken Mr. Bush a mere two years to ratchet us back to deficits. Lovely. The other points raised seem moot in light of this recent history, Laffer curve included, which seems a good lesson learned by you from a Reagan speech where he used it to con us economics-challenged humanoids. I admit to the initial con, but fool me twice, shame on me.

The NY Times informed us today, the 2nd of February that “Not since the early days of Ronald Reagan's presidency has an administration harboured such bold ambitions and such a lack of concern about red ink. White House officials concede that deficits could top $300 billion this year and next, and the budget will probably not project a return to surpluses in the next five years.” The article quotes administration officials they may be asking for more money for weapons and war. Read it.

Of course, you know what they’ll be saying in 5 years. By then, we’ll have such enormous amounts of deficit that it will take draconian measures, likely to again fall on the poor as they did in the 90’s, to get into balance.

If you want to put more money into private hands, give it to the less well off, and make sure the rich who have had their way with tax laws for the better part of this nation’s history, pay plenty. For, regardless of the official tax rates, most of the deductions and write-off that go to the rich end up leaving them plenty of spare cash to invest as it is. Why more? Even Clinton, a six million dollar a year income earner was bemused that they wanted to give him more money.

It is unpatriotic to put us in this mess.


Tom Kellum - 2/2/2003

Mr. Heuisler makes arguments using Rush Limbaugh logic.

Most hard-right wing conservatives crow about Bill Clinton's proposal to raise taxes on the greedy rich. Yet, unemployment was much lower than it is for the millions of people who can't find decent jobs since "President" Bunnypants reduced taxes on the same greedy bunch. Yet, Heuisler has the nerve to claim, as though he were some authority on the subject, that people lose their incentive to work. Sounds like the kind bullshift you hear on Rush Limbaugh.

Tax avoidance? "President" Happycracks cuts taxes on those fine plutocrats who helped him get installed in the White House, despite not being the choice of most voters. And, what has been the result? One is the record number of those rich "patriots" rushing to demonstrate their lack of appreciation for the logic of the Bill Heuislers of this world...they move their money offshore, incorporate in Bermuda, and who knows what else. Some demonstration of the economic consequences of lowering taxes!

Bill - are you a writer for Mr. Limbaugh's show?


Steve Brody - 2/1/2003


Jeffery, you need to check your facts about who supports and who opposes the war with Iraq. In point of fact, almost all of the countries bordering Iraq are supportive of our efforts in this matter. Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have all pledged support when we go to war. Even Syria voted for Resolution 1441, knowing full well that it probably meant war with Iraq.

As for "leading the world to a peaceful solution", that's fine as far as it goes. Unfortunately, with a brutal dictator like Hussein, it doesn't go very far. For 11 years he has laughed at the world's peaceful attempts to deal with this problem.

And as for Bush "having no credibility" with the UN, I must disagree. It's the UN that has no credibility. Many people believe that the UN has become nothing more than a debating society, issuing resolutions that are widely ignored and almost never enforced. Bush challenged the UN to regain a modicum of relevance


Karen Abramczyk - 2/1/2003

I look at the world thru eyes that have seen, up close, what war and it's aftermath, does to Nations and our fellow human beings. I lived thru WW II.

This is a letter I have sent to President George Bush, after his state of the union address 2003.
From an American. To President George W.Bush, Wasnington, D.C.
You must not "Make" war on the people of Iraq!
You think you "can't" be wrong! Power corrupts in a very particular way. You have enormous power over our military. You think you can't be mistaken, as if you are "devine", as God.
You sound like, you don't have to listen to other voices; the rest of us out here in America.
To be sure America is a most powerful nation, but it isn't our moral nature to "start" wars, or to approve of our President "starting" a war.
Lately, each time I see you stand before the American people, the United Nations, or last night, giving The state of the union address, on T.V., I hear you continue to threaten to "start" a war on Iraq, it has the taint of wanton arrogance. How devastating to hear this attitude from the mouth of our President.
You sound like, you, and whoever is advising you, are lacking in respect for the lives of our fellow human brothers and sisters, and their children living in Iraq, and have forgotten what our nation believes about the value of a human life, who will end up in the line of fire of your guns and bombs. "Might does not always make right"!
No one wants Iraq's evil dictator to remain in power.
This dictator has a horribly sick, evil and arrogant mind, but is not stupid. He will probably escape, without a scratch, while your war destroys thousands of innocent human lives, as well as their country.
What a terrible price to the innocent ones, their neighbors, and America's world image, and our safety, here at home!
Why this way?! Why now?!
Sincerely, Karen Abramczyk


Bob Harper - 1/31/2003

Well, your first sentence tells it all, and I respectfully disagree. As the late Cardinal John O'Connor said, "Good morality is good public health policy." It was true when he said it, and it remains true today. I am sorry that you are unable or unwilling to accept that.


Derek Catsam - 1/31/2003

Thanks for the etiquette lesson, Ms.Watkinson. I'm sure we all appreciate the scolding from such a prominent scholar.

What I wonder is this: what if this were a war just about oil? I do not think that it is, and I think that such accusations are simplistic and reductionist, but let's go with that argument for a second anyway. Would that be the worst thing America has ever done? I mean, it seems to me that while going to war to protect profits of oil companies is a bad thing, and while not developing alterna=tive sources of fuel is a bad thing, the reality is that we need access to oil for pretty fundamental strategic and social reasons. Unless one is a subsistence farmer growing all of your own food, I can assure you that your food did not get to market in a rickshaw or by horse and buggy. Millions drive to work and school every day, especially in places where there is little or no public transportation. Millions rely on oil to heat their homes in the winter. There are thousands of other examples obvious and not so of how we rely on oil for some pretty fundamental things. To simply dismiss conflict because it might involve oil to some degree or other seems pretty shortsigthted to me.


Bill Heuisler - 1/31/2003

Mr. Moner,
First, I apologize for criticizing you for misspelling while doing the exact same thing on a far less difficult name.

Second, to answer your question:
"Finally, where’s the money for the guns and the medicines and all the rest going to come from, with falling revenue from tax collections?"
What falling revenue? History proves the exact opposite.
Every Twentieth Century tax reduction (JFK & RR for example) has resulted in higher revenues to government. The Laffer curve has proven to be a true reflection of economic reality. Above a low base level of taxation, increasing rates produce diminishing returns and an eventual negative cash flow. The reasons are human nature and basic economics.
1) Free people lose incentive to work or produce above a specific tax rate. 2) High taxes remove money from commercial circulation. 3) Money diverted to government has a drastically reduced commercial multiplyer and no points of further taxation. 4) Tax avoidance becomes increasingly cost-effective and enforcement becomes more expensive as rates increase.

Historically, above a certain base-level of taxation, money remaining in private hands purchases goods, invests in commerce and creates businesses and jobs. Each of these free market functions multiplies the dollar and produces more direct and indirect tax revenue at all levels of government.
Again, sorry about the stupid remark.
Bill Heuisler


Jeffery Thomas - 1/31/2003

Only someone without personal, intimate experience with the politics of who fights and dies would call reference to personal concerns about who fights and dies a red herring. It is, in fact, the most salient point I can think of in the context of the Bush Dynasty's ongoing struggle to put the vexation of Saddam, at long last, behind them. Did George H.W. Bush take such great pains to keep his son, George, away from Vietnam because he knew the horror of war, and wished to spare him its deleterious effects? Maybe he had a premonition that young George would one day be President of the United States, and be the only One who could rise to the occasion when a future calamity struck? Those of us who lacked the family connections and wealth that determined who fought and died, or didn't, in Vietnam, are rather inclined to believe that there is an inherent hypocrisy in asking of others and not of oneself, and Bush and Cheney have that hypocrisy, along with their full immersion in fossil fuels, undermining their credibility with many Americans.

As to the United Nations, the Bush Administration has no credibility in this area. Their core constituency includes, prominently, the U.N.-haters and U.N.-underminers of the so-called Conservative Revolution of the Reagan Years. The President only made his speech at the U.N. when, unbelievably, there were so many nay-sayers to his first plan: just start a war. First, have genuine regard for the United Nations and its mission, then start enumerating the ways in which enemies of our country have behaved in violation of U.N. resolutions. First, cut the United Nations the same slack as regards its imperfections as conservatives are wont to do in regard to our own struggle to live up to the Founders ideals, and the rule of law, and then, like our country itself, the U.N. will have a greater chance in succeeding in it great mission.


Patricia Watkinson - 1/31/2003

Why can't y'all knock it off and stick to the issues of the Iraq situation or the economy?

No war for oil? Until recently (I am, after all, an historian) wars were almost always fought for gain, material or strategic. The idea of war as a moral imperative is a product of nineteenth century Romantic and Nationalist ideals (to be as simplistic as possible). Which doesn't mean it's wrong; I just want people to remember that there are at least two reasonable ways to view the issue.

To that end, do we need to go to war with Iraq to defend our present or foreseeable national interests? I've thought about it a lot, and I'm not sure. If the gov't will not give us more info on exactly how Iraq is aiding and abetting our enemies in the "war on terror," and in what ways the Iraqi regime now constitutes a more clear and present danger than it has in the last ten years, then it looks a little like a Bush family vendetta rather than "realpolitik."

On the other hand, "appeasement" developed a bad name in the late 1930s for a reason, and the attitudes I see in some of my undergraduate students and the public at large that "anything (any loss, any degradation of freedom), is better than a war" or that "nothing is worth dying for" frightens me for the future of our republic.

I study war. I hate war. I lost family members in Viet Nam. But I am not opposed to all war. I just don't want our blood and treasure used frivolously.

Some run-on sentences composed in the heat of the moment, but that's my two cents. Is everyone else so positive she/he is right? Doesn't anyone else have questions? Let's turn down the volume and talk.


edith young - 1/31/2003

The state of the union is dire because the man in the White House does not understand history. Hitler and Stalin were not raised to power or sustained in power by "small groups of men" but by millions of people believing that their basic identity was membership in their nation state and that their nation state deserved political dominance and access to all the world's wealth, a philosophy which still enthralls George Dubya and Dick Cheney. Someone in Washington must know that we belong to a larger unit, and that an international economy requires international law.


Tom Kellum - 1/31/2003

Mr. Moner speaks for me, too.

I would just add that I don't understand what difference it makes if Iraq DOES have WMD. After all, Dick Cheney's co. did millions of dollars in business with Iraq right up until when he became a candidate for VP (an unconstitutional act that had to be rationalized away, like so much else with the gang of thieves he belongs to). Iraq didn't use any WMD (which the U. S. and some Europeans supplied, anyhow) on Dick's boys, and there is not even a claim that Iraq used WMD in dickering with Dick's interests in doing business over there.

Regarding the other war announcements by the deserter-"President"; the on-going class warfare waged by the rich against the rest of us, I wasn't surprised by what he said. Disgusted, but not surprised.

This country is not in good hands. And hasn't been, in a long time.


Rafael Gomez - 1/31/2003

Mr. Harper:
First, I think sexual freedom is as important as any other freedom. So I don't see how you can justify curtailing it in order to keep people from getting sick.
I'm not at all against abstinence, and I'm sure it works pretty well when people choose it *freely* and after receiving full and objective information about all their options and the risks and benefits of each option.
But based on what this administration is doing here in the US about sexual education (or I should say sexual "un-education") I would assume it would try to do the same abroad as part of the HIV/AIDS initiative.
The Government is trying to restrict all sexual education to one phrase: "don't do it!". This administration is not in favor of providing kids with a complete and objective sexual education that will let them freely choose the course of action based on full knowledge of the risks and responsibilities. They want to keep kids totally ignorant of anything sexual, which I think is a very disingenuous, dangerous, and counter-productive course of action. Those that decide not to heed the call for abstinence (because of rebelliousness or any other reson) will do it without full knowledge of what sex is and what it's risks and rewards are, and how to engage in it responsibly. These kids (which will be many, based on the latest statistics) will end up in more danger from deseases and unwanted pregnancies that if they had received a full and open sexual education.

I predict that the same will happend with the HIV/AIDS programs that Bush is proposing for Africa. It will be all about zero real education and lots of "abstinence is the only solution" slogans.


Derek Catsam - 1/30/2003

You wrote:

"Ah, ad hominems attacks--the first refuge of the leftist."
and
"something you might want to get through your thick skull."

Apparently not just the first refuge of the leftist, because these are, in and of themselves, ad hominem attacks.

(PS -- the phrase is ad hominem, no "s" at the end. But then with your "vast erudition and knowledge" and your doctorate in history, I am sure you knew that.)


Bob Harper - 1/30/2003

The AIDS infection rate in Uganda has been dropping in recent years, primarily because of the emphasis on abstinence. Mr. Gomez seems more concerned, in the above comment, with any restraints on sexual 'freedom' than with what will work to bring this plague under control. For further information, see

http://www.nationalreview.com/dreher/dreher013003.asp

Bob Harper


Isabel Weimar - 1/30/2003

I think that he was very thoughtless because,1 he never acknowledged his wife Laura or or the special guests that he invited such as the firemen and the students. I think he just uses people for his own political gainand tjhen forgets them . remember hor he had his arm around the N.Y. fireman after 9-11 but now ignores their monetary needs for homeland security Bush talks a lot and says nothing.


James Thornton - 1/30/2003

True, the US is the only nation to ever use ATOMIC weapons in war. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, terrible as it was, brought a swift end to the Pacific War. Thus, an invasion of Japan was avoided, which probably would have cost hundreds of thousands of American lives and millions of Japanese lives. All of the belligerents during the First World War used chemical gas on the battlefield, and the use of plague as a weapon stretches back to ancient times.

Furthermore, Nazi Germany's neighbors were thoroughly against war, and knew Hitler much better than the American government or public at the time. I also wouldn't characterize the nations bordering Iraq as enlightened or peace loving. Iran and Syria support terrorism directly. Saudi Arabia does so indirectly and is a repressive monarchy. Kuwait and Jordan are also monarchies, albeit with improved human rights records. Turkey has waged a brutal war against and continues to repress its Kurdish minority. Not allowing Kurds to speak their own language is an example of this repression.


Tim Furnish - 1/30/2003

Mr. Davis,
Ah, ad hominems attacks--the first refuge of the leftist. For your information, sir, I have a doctorate in history and one thing I have learned is not to let ideology get in the way of facts--something you might want to get through your thick skull. But my vast erudition and knowledge still cannot keep me from the jejune phrase "bite me."


Rafael Gomez - 1/30/2003

I just have two questions related to these "compassionate" proposals:

With a rising budget deficit combined with large tax cuts, how is Bush going to pay for all those wonderful proposals? He is not even helping states pay for his education initiatives. I want to see if he delivers on what he promised.
One more example: Afghanistan has only received about 25% of the aid that the US promised would be delivered by now.

Oh! And rest assured that the money for HIV/AIDS will be spent on all sorts of indoctrination campaigns (abstinence only, condoms are an invention of de devil, etc.) and "faith-based" initiatives, instead of providing meaningful and complete sexual education plus easy access to medicines. Somebody in your african hospital has ever pronounced the word "abortion"? Sorry, no money for you.

Why are Bush & Co. always deriding "liberals" for wanting "Big Government" and big spending, while at the same time they are radically expanding the size and reach of government (Homeland Security Dept., plus very intrusive anti-terror legislation) and coming with all sorts of proposals on how to spend even more money? I think their rethoric is very hypocritical. When government grows and spends with their proposals is OK, but if it's with somebody else's proposals then "Big Government" and "Big Spending" become dirty words.
The same hypocrisy displayed when he setup or increased import taxes on some steel products, while at the same time preaching the wonders of free trade.


Gus Moner - 1/29/2003

In a thread here Inupiaq made a detailed, compelling case for Iraq’s WMD danger- even better than the US government has made so far, at least based on evidence he or she presented. It is not for me to debate the assertions. I’ll need to hear the nations of the world agree that this is such a danger to us all and to propose how to deal with it.

However, all this Iraq business begs the question. If Saddam has had all these weapons all these years, and he’s such a relentless enemy, why has he not used them or given them to others to use before? Why the hullabaloo now? Could it be that the hate campaign started might now trigger their use? Moreover, what precedents are we setting that future unforeseeable events might turn against us? Just one example, what if Taiwan became a perceived threat to China and they used this precedent to invade Taiwan?

It is essential to have the evidence out on the table for all to see. It is vital that there be an international consensus. A veritable Pandora’s box of nastiness is awaiting if we raise the point of acceptable, wanton violence to this level.

Regarding the President’s economic and social priorities, without debating the individual aspects of each, a general question comes to mind. If as Mr Bush says, tax relief is better today than in 7 years, is not clean air better today than in 15 years? Are not clean cars and energy independence better in 5 years than 20? Additionally, I am concerned at the research money becoming another big-business subsidy while the less well off have ever less to lean on.

Finally, where’s the money for the guns and the medicines and all the rest going to come from, with falling revenue from tax collections? Where’s the help for local government, the one government that directly affects people’s daily welfare? How much of a debt and a budget deficit is this man going to bequeath us?


Robert R. King - 1/29/2003

The more I watch the son, the respect I have for the father. 12 years ago I chanted "no blood for oil," However, 12 years ago Hussein posed a legitimate threat to Kuwait and the US had international backing for its position. Today we have neither. 12 years ago Hussein had already gassed his own people and we left him in power - yet now we feel that is time to remove him. Nancy Pelosi was correct in giving support to the President in placing pressure on Iraq and she is also right in stating that Bush seems to be rushing to war - is there at this time something else that could be done to improve our position internationally?

Regarding Bush's text cut - you need to watch the math and wonder who the average tax payer is. In a recent issue of the Economist it was pointed out that when the lower income Americans are averaged with the multimillionaires our average tax cut looks pretty healthy. In reality the bulk of the cut goes to the multi-millionaire. Now the rich do pay more in taxes to begin with - but they are less likely to spend the additional money. Thus very little stimulus is created.

I agree with Bush's cut of the marriage penalty - my wife and I saw a huge difference in what we paid in taxes after we got married - passing this should be a no brainer.


Tony Luke - 1/29/2003

What is it with the name-calling in this forum? What do HIV/AIDs drugs really cost? Is the $300 figure President Bush cited really out-of-line? What makes you think President Bush is lying or isn't serious about this? Are you saying you'd rather there not be any additional money to fight this problem in Africa and the Carribbean? It sounds like a pretty serious commitment to me and founded on compassion.


Inupiaq - 1/29/2003

Are ad hominems the strongest arguments you can adduce, Mr. Davis, in support of your apparent disagreement with Mr. Furnish?

"Learning" may not be a remedy for bad manners, but one might expect it to furnish its possessors with a better sense of logic and a wider stock of evidence in support of contentions advanced than your remarks here evince.

By the way, in the context of your remarks, "learning" is hardly a well-defined term. By "learning," do you mean to suggest the rhetorical recourse to Anglicisms like "rubbish," or do you have in mind something more along the lines of parroting, in broad terms, the jejune Op/Ed commentary of Professor Krugman?

Just curious.


Tony Luke - 1/29/2003

Perhaps instead of name-calling, Mr. Davis would care to enlighten us as to which pledges and promises President Bush made in the last state of the union address that he failed to keep or ignored.

I would also disagree with Mr. Davis calling former President Clinton evil. Mr. Clinton was many things--most of them pretty bad--but I think evil is a bit extreme.


Inupiaq - 1/29/2003

The HNN servers "sanitized" the text of my remarks, deleting, among other things, the link to the full text of the State of the Union address, for the convenience of those respondents who may, for one reason or another, not have been able to attend to the entire speech. Here's another try:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/2704365.stm

The address contains a disorienting array of administration initiatives on many fronts besides Middle East diplomacy. In the spirit of prompting further comment on some of those topics, let me observe that the President's father might do well to have a word with him on the subject of voodoo economics, a plague on our national political life which he once knew how to recognize when he saw it.


Inupiaq - 1/29/2003

Mr. Thornton correctly points out that the burden of proof of Iraq's compliance with a string of UN Res's leading up to and including 1441 rests not on the UN, certainly not on the US, but on the government of Iraq. Ms. Michele may reasonably have been distracted during the address by eminently understandable personal apprehensions prompted by the prospect that her near and dear might be called to the service for which they volunteered. I'm sure all of us join the President in his hopes that sacrifices on all sides can be held to a minimum in the current crisis. (Ms. Michele's recourse to the red herring of direct personal involvement on the part of administration officials is regrettable, but again, given the sad state of journalism and public commentary in our times, certainly understandable.)

Those wishing, like Ms. Michele, to review the case made by Bush for upholding the UN resolutions requiring Saddam Hussein's government to divest itself of weapons of mass destruction should take the time to read the text of the speech at their leisure. Here is a pertinent excerpt, followed by a link to the complete text:

**Almost three months ago, the United Nations Security Council gave Saddam Hussein his final chance to disarm. He has shown instead utter contempt for the United Nations, and for the opinion of the world. The 108 U.N. inspectors were sent to conduct -- were not sent to conduct a scavenger hunt for hidden materials across a country the size of California. The job of the inspectors is to verify that Iraq's regime is disarming. It is up to Iraq to show exactly where it is hiding its banned weapons, lay those weapons out for the world to see, and destroy them as directed. Nothing like this has happened.

**The United Nations concluded in 1999 that Saddam Hussein had biological weapons sufficient to produce over 25,000 liters of anthrax -- enough doses to kill several million people. He hasn't accounted for that material. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed it.

**The United Nations concluded that Saddam Hussein had materials sufficient to produce more than 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin -- enough to subject millions of people to death by respiratory failure. He hadn't accounted for that material. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed it.

**Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent. In such quantities, these chemical agents could also kill untold thousands. He's not accounted for these materials. He has given no evidence that he has destroyed them.

**U.S. intelligence indicates that Saddam Hussein had upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents. Inspectors recently turned up 16 of them -- despite Iraq's recent declaration denying their existence. Saddam Hussein has not accounted for the remaining 29,984 of these prohibited munitions. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed them.

**From three Iraqi defectors we know that Iraq, in the late 1990s, had several mobile biological weapons labs. These are designed to produce germ warfare agents, and can be moved from place to a place to evade inspectors. Saddam Hussein has not disclosed these facilities. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed them.

**The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed in the 1990s that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, had a design for a nuclear weapon and was working on five different methods of enriching uranium for a bomb. The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production. Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities. He clearly has much to hide.Here is a link to the text on the site of a reputable international source:



Here, too, are Mr. Bush's remarks acknowledging the debt society owes to the men and women who voluntarily serve in the nation's armed forces:

**Tonight I also have a message for the men and women who will keep the peace, members of the American Armed Forces: Many of you are assembling in and near the Middle East, and some crucial hours may lie ahead.

**In those hours, the success of our cause will depend on you.

**Your training has prepared you. Your honour will guide you.

**You believe in America, and America believes in you.

**Sending Americans into battle is the most profound decision a president can make.

**The technologies of war have changed.

**The risks and suffering of war have not.

**For the brave Americans who bear the risk, no victory is free from sorrow.

**This nation fights reluctantly, because we know the cost, and we dread the days of mourning that always come.

I doubt seriously that the original text of Mr. Bush's speech contained spellings like , but, then, the fellow persists in his dialect pronunciation of , so who knows? I suspect the BBC editors, though, of nicing up the text for their domestic readers.

Actually, Mr. Bush's scrupulous regard for the past recorded votes of other Security Council members in establishing the UN policy he believes must be enforced raises an interesting question: In keeping with Ms. Michele's implicit Constitutional concerns, we should consider whether President Bush is going beyond the plainly demonstrable national interest in his willingness to uphold the dignity and honor ( ;-)) of the United Nations.

For those seeking reasons underlying the mortifying myopia of two of the leading EU member states, it would be well to look beyond the sophomoric pronouncements of their government officials and take into account three potent political factors: (1) Germany and France are hosts to very large populations of Middle Eastern extraction. The disgraceful xenophobia of their native populations creates a social environment in which Muslims, regardless of their individual political and cultural inclinations, naturally feel isolated and threatened as a group. Since the governments of France and Germany are impotent to modify the attitudes and behaviors of their own citizens, they might seek to reassure their Muslim constituents of their personal security through deforming their diplomatic policies vis-a-vis Iraq. (2) Germany and France are far more vulnerable to infiltration by foreign terrorists than is the USA. Appeasement of Saddam Hussein may be an unenlightened course of action in the long run, but for present purposes, it might seem a prudent strategy to buy time for the common citizens of Germany and France who would bear the brunt of Islamist aggression in the event of terrorist attacks there. (3) The oil thing. Germany and France are even more heavily dependent on Iraqi oil than is the United States. While it's insulting to suggest that responsible national leaders would base their diplomacy on this factor, well, to paraphrase Mr. Thomas, "they know what they know . . . ". Perhaps Mr. Bush deserves credit for the forebearance he has demonstrated in his dealings with the leaders of countries embarrassingly reluctant to acknowledge their duties as members of the UN Security Council, and more broadly as wealthy states which pride themselves on a heritage of international leadership.

In the coming days, France and Germany will have opportunities to respond in detail to the substance of the President's case, in the event that they have respectable grounds for not accepting it. I, for one, am looking forward to the coming discussions.


Craig Davis - 1/29/2003

Absolute rubbush by a know nothing of the stripe that helped bring this foolish incompetent moron upon us. Timmy, please tell us what happened to last years pledges and promises he made in that SOU speech. I guess that evil Clinton caused him to break or ignore those. Timmy there is help for the brand of sheer stupidity that you have, it's called learning.


Jeffery Thomas - 1/29/2003

The United States of America is the only nation to have used weapons of mass destruction in so dramatic a fashion as to have demonstrated their true power to the world. That does, in my mind, make us responsible for the ultimate destruction of all weapons of mass destruction. Instead, the Bush Administration is interested in, and pursuing the development of, more and better weapons of mass destruction. We need to lead the world toward the peaceful resolution of this world-wide problem, through legitimate international agreements, and carefully avoid conflict as a means to that end. All nations bordering Iraq are against this war, yet know Saddam much better than we do. Our arrogance in this regard is an indication of how dangerous Mr. Bush is to peace. But, hey, he knows what he knows.


Tim Furnish - 1/29/2003

The President's SOU speech was splendid and pointing out that Saddam HAS ALREADY used WMDs (poison gas) against his own people should remind the peaceniks that it is Husayn's responsibility to prove he no longer has such weapons; it is NOT the US' or int'l community's responsibility to prove that he does.
As for the Dem response: pathetic as usual. "Tax cuts for the rich?!" By their standards, anyone above minimum wage is rich. I just wish the President had done a better job of explaining to the Dems and their economically-illiterate devotees that THE MORE $ YOU MAKE, THE MORE TAXES YOU PAY--THEREFORE THE MORE A TAX CUT BENEFITS YOU!


James Thornton - 1/29/2003

The evidence is the regime's history of aggression and brutality along with the litany of proscirbed items such as Anthrax and VX that have not been accounted for. The proof of burden is not on the US to demonstrate that Iraq possess WMD, but that Iraq has disarmed.

Please thank your husband and sons for me on their service to the nation.


Michele - 1/29/2003

He did NOT make his case of "clear and present danger" . . . and I'm wondering , IF he has the evidence, - why is he waiting so long to disclose it. Additionally, as a mother with two sons in the US Army ( and having been the wife of an Army officer for nearly 25 years) . . . .how many of the members of Congress and the President himself, are encouraging THEIR CHILDREN to enlist in the military to fight "Bush's War"? This notion that being against this war is somehow unpatriotic is political blackmail used against those who have the courage and audacity to stand up against this president.


Ty Geltmaker - 1/29/2003

Will the mainstream media challenge Bush on his false assertion of the cost of anti-retroviral drug therapies for HIV/AIDS? His bald lie on this matter, couched in language intended to show "compassion," indicate the debased level to which his mind and heart have dropped (if ever he was of any higher level of development). 300 dollars?

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