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[casi] News, 5-11/10/02 (1)

News, 5-11/10/02 (1)


*  Kucinich Heads Anti-War Coalition in Congress
*  U.S. Groups Protest Iraq War Plans
*  Bush Offers New Rationale on Iraq
*  A decade transforms Democrats from doves to hawks
*  McDermott accuses Bush of plotting to be emperor
*  Help us to stop the war
*  Stars attack war plans
*  Text of President Bush's address to the nation Monday


by Thomas Ferraro
Yahoo, 6th October

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - "Let's stop wasting American lives," reads an old
anti-war flier kept as a memento in the office of Democratic Rep. Dennis
Kucinich of Ohio.

Thirty years after handing out copies of this leaflet during his first run
for Congress as a young foe of the Vietnam War, Kucinich is rallying
opposition to a possible U.S. attack on Iraq.

Kucinich lost that 1972 congressional campaign, and he will likely lose his
bid to stop Congress from authorizing President Bush to use force against

But dim prospects do not deter this long-time dove and liberal gadfly as he
heads an anti war coalition of some two dozen fellow Democrats in the House
of Representatives, none of them members of the chamber's top leadership.

"War is a failure of diplomacy and imagination and creativity," Kucinich,
55, said in an interview with Reuters last week.

"I'm trying to organize an effort that is based on resolving this crisis
peacefully by insisting on U.N. weapons inspections of Iraq while also
making efforts to bring Iraq back into the community of nations," he said.

"How is it that we can solve this peacefully?" Kucinich asked rhetorically,
barely pausing before providing an answer.

"First, stop the war talk. It is destabilizing in the region and with our
allies," Kucinich said.

Kucinich sounds like a veteran of the anti-war movement that helped
radicalize his generation. But he can now buttress his case with inside
information he gets as a lawmaker.

"Our intelligence agencies have not produced any evidence that suggests that
(Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein has usable weapons of mass destruction, the
ability to deliver those weapons, or the intentions to do so," Kucinich

Kucinich first gained national attention in 1977 when, at the age of 31, he
was elected mayor of Cleveland. Two years later, after the city slipped into
default, Kucinich was defeated for re-election and sent into political

He worked as a radio talk show host, college teacher, consultant and TV
reporter before making a political comeback in 1994 when elected to the Ohio
Senate. In 1996, he won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

For the past two years, he has headed the 56-member House Progressive
Caucus, where he has waged fights on health care, education and the

"Some people see Dennis Kucinich as an articulate and staunchly liberal
voice who is extremely good at making his point and getting attention," said
a senior House Democratic leadership aide. "Others see him as a pain who
constantly tries to push Democrats further to the left."

Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois is a House deputy Democratic whip, a member
of Kucinich's anti-war coalition and an admirer of the three-term lawmaker.

"What I really appreciate is that Dennis has moved this agenda forward, he
provides us with needed information, and has been constantly optimistic,"
said Schakowsky.

Kucinich said his constituents -- "they include a lot of veterans, working
people, very patriotic people" -- know where he stands and that his
telephone calls from them have run 10-to-1 against a war with Iraq.

Though national polls show the public somewhat split, Kucinich predicted
that once people begin asking more questions, opposition will mount.

Long before such Democratic heavyweights as former Vice President Al Gore,
Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts
questioned Bush's policy on Iraq, Kucinich was challenging the president.

In a speech in Los Angeles in February entitled, "A Prayer for America,"
Kucinich went after Bush for what his sees as overly aggressive post-Sept.
11 policies.

"Let us work to make nonviolence an organizing principle of our own
society," Kucinich said then. "Let us recommit ourselves to the slow and
painstaking work of statecraft, which sees peace, not war, as inevitable."

The speech prompted suggestions in some liberal circles that Kucinich buck
the party establishment and seek the 2004 Democratic presidential

Kucinich brushes off such talk, saying only: "I'm just going to keep on
speaking out. Wherever it leads, it leads."

For now, Kucinich is focusing on Iraq. He fears that like Vietnam, a U.S.
invasion of Baghdad could mushroom into a lengthy and divisive war with high

"Our men and women as well as innocent civilians -- that is what I'm
concerned about," Kucinich said.

by Typhanny Tucker
Newsday, from Associated Press, 6th October

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Chanting "no more war," an estimated 5,000 people rallied
in the city's downtown Saturday against possible U.S. military attacks on
Iraq, one of a number of such protests planned across the nation this

In Texas, the chant by hundreds who flocked to the state capitol was "No
more blood for oil." In Manchester, N.H., about 50 demonstrators protested
outside as President Bush stumped for Senate candidate John Sununu.

Bush did not mention the protests, but reiterated his stance that the United
States must disarm Iraq to protect American lives.

All the rallies were apparently peaceful. Organizers -- their effort
centered on a Web site called "Not in Our Name" -- hoped to spark protests
in at least two dozen cities Saturday and Sunday.

In Portland, first-time protesters joined veteran pacifists for the march.
They chanted, banged on drums and clapped their hands.

"My co-workers were talking to me about this and it is something I believe
in," said Cris Jackson, an office manager who has never attended a rally
before. "Maybe it will spread awareness that not all of America is behind

She waved her hand over the crowd: "They aren't, and I'm not either."

In Texas, protesters carried signs saying "Free the Press" and "Stop the
Bombs." Austin police reported no arrests.

"Yes we are here, and yes we are angry, and yes we will not stop
mobilizing," Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rahul Mahajan told the
crowd. "We will not stop yelling until this war is avoided."

Across the street, a small group waved American flags in opposition to the

"I'd rather settle this peacefully, but if war is needed to protect our
people, protect our land, then we need to take that action," said David
Armstrong, 36, of Austin.

In St. Louis, an anti-war vigil on Friday at the office of Rep. Dick
Gephardt, D-Mo., the House minority leader, ended with the arrest of a woman
who refused to leave the office when it closed.

Protesters said they intended to resume the vigil Monday.

by Ron Fournier
Las Vegas Sun, 6th October

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP): President Bush warned that Saddam Hussein could
strike without notice and inflict "massive and sudden horror" on America,
offering a new rationale for pre-emptive military action against Iraq.

In the run-up to key congressional votes on war-making authority, Bush on
Saturday promised in the clearest terms yet to rebuild Iraq after a war. He
also said the Iraqi president has a "horrible history" of attacking his
enemies first.

"We cannot ignore history. We must not ignore reality. We must do everything
we can to disarm this man before he hurts one single American," Bush told
hundreds of cheering police and National Guardsmen. A leading Democrat,
Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, strongly challenged the "strike first"
policy as Bush toured this politically important state.

On Sunday, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Prime Minister Tony
Blair's government and the United States have no disagreement about their
aims in Iraq.

"Both the prime minister and I and leaders of the American administration
have made clear that we would wish to see the back of the Saddam Hussein
regime," Straw told British Broadcasting Corp. radio.

"But what are the objectives of the current efforts to develop an
international coalition? Disarmament. Disarmament of Saddam's weapons of
mass destruction," he continued.

The president's remarks Saturday reflect subtle changes the White House is
making in its case against Saddam as Bush prepares to address the nation
Monday night from Cincinnati.

Advisers say the address - now in its fifth draft - seeks to synthesize the
case against Saddam, the reasons war may be necessary and why the threat is

Bush and his advisers were tinkering with the speech during a weekend stay
at his parents' home in Kennebunkport, Maine. He made a quick visit to New
Hampshire to address soldiers and police officers, then headline a $500,000
fund-raiser for GOP Senate candidate John Sununu.

The congressman's father was White House chief of staff for Bush's father.

In a state whose motto is "live free or die," GOP donors jumped to their
feet when Bush said of Saddam, "For the sake of peace, for the sake of
freedom, for the sake of our future and our children's future, we will
disarm him."

Bush won agreement last week with a bipartisan group of House leaders for a
resolution allowing him to use force against Iraq. Senate Democrat are more
skeptical, though a resolution is expected to pass as early as this week.

"Pre-emptive strikes are something we have to take very, very seriously and
carefully," Daschle, D-S.D., said Saturday on CNN. "Number one, what kind of
a standard does it set for the rest of the world? If it's OK for us, is it
OK for India? How about Russia? How about Israel?"

Daschle said the House resolution gave Bush too much latitude to wage war.
He questioned whether there is enough evidence that Iraq poses an imminent
threat and said Bush has failed to explain how Iraq would be rebuilt after

"How long will we be there? What will it entail, on the part of the United
States? How much will it cost? Who will be involved?" Daschle asked.

Bush's struggle to pass a tough U.N. resolution on Iraq was underscored
Saturday when Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said the return of
weapons inspectors to Iraq should not be delayed. Bush wants the mission
postponed while he presses for a new U.N. mandate.

"The message to Russia is this is about peace, this is about how to preserve
peace, by removing the greatest threat to peace," White House spokesman Ari
Fleischer said, offering a new rhetorical twist likely to be appear in
Bush's Monday address to counter critics who say the president is too hungry
for war.

In a preview of that speech, Bush tried in Manchester to address the issues
raised by Daschle and other skeptics.

On the question of launching pre-emptive action, Bush laid out his usual
case against Saddam: The Iraqi leader produces weapons of mass destruction,
consorts with terrorists, oppresses his own people and condones abuses
against the wives and daughters of his political opponents.

But then he added a new rationale, suggesting Saddam might strike first if
not disarmed.

"The regime is guilty of beginning two wars. It has a horrible history of
striking without warning," Bush said in his weekly radio address.

"Delay, indecision, and inaction are not options for America, because they
could lead to massive and sudden horror."

While other administration officials have talked about efforts to bring
democracy and stability to a post-Saddam Iraq, Bush has had little to say
about his post-war intentions.

"Should force be required to bring Saddam to account, the United States will
work with other nations to help the Iraqi people rebuild and form a just
government," Bush said. Aides said it was his most firm commitment yet,
though it came with no details.

Bush said a congressional resolution would help persuade skeptical world
leaders to back a tough new U.N. resolution on Iraq.

"I urge Americans to call their members of Congress to make sure your voice
is heard," Bush said.

by Jim VandeHei and Juliet Eilperin
International Herald Tribune, from The Washington Post, 7th October

WASHINGTON: A decade ago, a young Democratic congressman from South Dakota,
Timothy Johnson, so loathed the idea of war with Iraq that he sued President
George H.W. Bush for deploying 500,000 U.S. troops to the Gulf to fight it.

"The body bags will be almost exclusively American," Johnson declared in
1991, joining a flock of Democratic doves in decrying U.S. bellicosity in
the region.

What a difference a decade of political and international upheaval has made
for Johnson - and much of the Democratic Party. Johnson, now a freshman
senator battling for re-election on South Dakota's plains, is backing the
son of the president he once opposed, as a possible second U.S. war looms
against President Saddam Hussein of Iraq in the sands around Baghdad. And
many of 1991's anti-war Democrats are proudly joining him.

The implications of this transformation could be profound - for U.S. foreign
policy, the war on terrorism, domestic politics and, perhaps, the Democratic
Party's future, according to interviews with dozens of lawmakers and
government scholars.

President George W. Bush is likely to win a resounding, bipartisan vote this
week authorizing military action in Iraq, thanks in large part to the
conversion of the 1991 Democrats and the rise within the party of an
internationalism often based on human rights as much as it is on national
security. Two-thirds or more of House and Senate Democrats appear poised to
back Bush's war resolution, according to lawmakers. In January 1991, only 86
of 265 House Democrats and 10 of 55 Senate Democrats voted for the Gulf War

The dynamics in the 1991 war were much different, of course. The nation then
was reacting to Iraq's occupation of Kuwait and fears that Saddam might
destabilize other oil-rich Mideast regimes. Many Democrats considered it a
regional conflict.

Today Bush is leading the country toward confrontation with Saddam to
eliminate his stockpile of dangerous weapons, trying to protect the country
from a terrorist attack with potentially deadlier consequences than Sept.
11, 2001. This perception of a life-and-death choice resonates with many

No Democrat personifies the party's philosophical shift more dramatically
than Dick Gephardt of Missouri, the House minority leader. Gephardt was
among those who voted against war authority a decade ago, but last week he
joined the president in crafting language endorsing a unilateral strike in
Iraq, opening a floodgate of support from fellow congressional Democrats. A
likely presidential candidate in 2004, Gephardt staked out this hawkish
position even before Bush started to make his impassioned case a month ago.

Of all the reasons for the turnabout among Democrats, probably none
outweighs the simple fact that the 1991 ouster of Saddam's army from Kuwait
proved wildly successful, militarily and politically. Many Democrats spent
the next few years questioning their decisions and the ramifications. With
Gephardt and many other Democrats now solidly behind the president, the
House and Senate plan to vote this week on a resolution granting Bush the
power to strike Iraq unilaterally if Saddam fails to comply with United
Nations mandates to eliminate his nuclear, chemical and biological weapons
programs. The resolution requires Bush to report to Congress, within 48
hours of taking action, that attacking Iraq is consistent with his broader
war on terrorism and that he has exhausted diplomatic efforts.

Thomas Daschle, of South Dakota, the Senate majority leader, and several
other Senate Democrats, as well as a few Republicans, want to restrict
Bush's military option to enforcing UN resolutions that deal only with
disarmament and not other issues, such as human rights. Still, they support
military action in Iraq with or without the formal endorsement of other
world leaders.

In this showdown with Saddam, the Democratic opponents of war are on the
defensive. Al Gore, one of the few Senate Democrats to back the elder Bush
in '91, came out strongly against the president's war planning this time
around. Much of the Democratic establishment privately criticized his
remarks, and Gore has said little on the subject since.

Representative David Bonior, Democrat of Michigan, and Representative James
McDermott, Democrat of Washington, taking the most defiant stand, flew to
Baghdad a week ago and suggested on national television that Bush was lying
about the threat posed by Saddam. They, too, were ridiculed privately by
party leaders and tagged derisively as the "Baghdad Democrats" by others.

Why is the party so gung-ho today?

For starters, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks deeply affected American public
life. Federal Washington is rethinking foreign policy and self-defense
doctrines now that Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden have shown how vulnerable
the nation is to terrorist attacks. The attacks, says Representative Barney
Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, were "transformative."

Democrats "have changed in the same way the American people have changed,"
says Representative Robert Andrews, Democrat of New Jersey, who voted
against war with Iraq in 1991 but supports it now. "We are acutely aware of
how vulnerable the country is, right here, to an attack."

Democrats have taken their biggest lesson, ironically perhaps, from a
Republican president who failed to win a second term. The first President
Bush was hugely popular after the Gulf victory, but voters rejected him in
November 1992, primarily because he reacted slowly to a recession back home.

The election in 1992 of Bill Clinton, a "New Democrat" governor from
Arkansas, ushered in a new brand of internationalism focused on humanitarian
goals. Many Democratic voters and lawmakers supported U.S. military action
in Kosovo, Bosnia, Somalia and Haiti.

Domestic politics are motivating the turnabout, too, Democrats said.

The Democratic Caucus chairman, Martin Frost of Texas, said that a strong
vote for going to war with Iraq may help his party shed, once and for all,
its image as the anti-war, anti military national political organization.

"There's an awareness that if we are going to be back in the majority, the
party needs to be seen as - and not just seen as, but actually - standing up
for a secure America," Frost said.

by David Postman
Seattle Times, 7th October

After holding a town-hall meeting on Beacon Hill, U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott
arrives yesterday at Westlake Plaza with anti-war marchers protesting
against President Bush's request to Congress for permission to attack Iraq.

U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott broadened his attack on George W. Bush's war plans
yesterday, saying the president is threatening military action in Iraq as
part of a plot to crown himself emperor of America.

Criticized for saying on a trip to Iraq early last week that Bush would
mislead the American public, McDermott, a Seattle Democrat, was back in his
district yesterday telling cheering supporters that Bush is planning a war
to distract voters' attention from domestic problems.

He said Bush is trying to "submarine" efforts to restart weapons inspections
in Iraq to give him a pretext for starting a war  a war McDermott said is
being planned in part to bolster U.S. oil interests.

"And what we are dealing with right now in this country is whether we are
having a kind of bloodless, silent coup or not," McDermott said at a
town-hall meeting at the Jefferson Park Community Center on Beacon Hill. The
event was sponsored by local Democrats and other groups in his congressional

At the heart of the debate, McDermott said, is whether Congress or the
president has the power to declare war.

"This president is trying to bring to himself all the power to become an
emperor  to create Empire America," he said.

And he warned his supporters, "If you go along like sheep that is what will

State Republican Party Chairman Chris Vance said McDermott's comments about
a coup "were the most irresponsible thing I've ever heard an American
politician say."

"Sometimes politicians, like everyone else, will blurt out things they don't
mean," Vance said. "But it sounds like he has thought about this carefully
and really believes that."

The resolution Congress will vote on next week was negotiated between the
White House and Congressional leaders of both parties.

"The president is not trying to bypass Congress," Vance said. "He's taking
his case to Congress."

"If President Bush is engaged in a coup then his co-conspirators are Richard
Gephardt and Joseph Lieberman," he said, referring to Democratic leaders.

About 200 people showed up for McDermott's meeting in the Beacon Hill
Community Center. Nearly all were supporters.

Outside, four or five protesters carried signs objecting to McDermott's
recent trip to Iraq and his comments about Bush and Saddam Hussein.

"Saddam Good  Bush Bad. This is Baghdad Jim's Mind On Drugs," said a sign
carried by Brandon Swalley of Lakewood.

"I think he should be thrown out," she said.

When McDermott arrived, he was escorted into the hall by Seattle police and
followed by a few protesters, one of whom shouted after him, "Our president
is not a liar. If you want to say it, say it here but don't go to foreign
lands to say it."

Inside the crowd was heavily in favor of McDermott's view. When opponents
took a microphone to talk, they were shouted at and told to get to their
question. Supporters, though, were able to talk uninterrupted and give
anti-war speeches.

Late last week McDermott said that he may have overstated his case against
Bush while in Iraq. But yesterday it was clear he believes there's a pattern
of deception within the Bush administration to justify a war.

He said that Bush is using the memory of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to
fuel a war with Iraq.

"One of the dilemmas we've had since 9/11 is that this country has been
continuously terrorized by the government," McDermott said. "Every week they
announce a new threat. 'Today is a code orange.' 'Today is a code red.'

"Granted it was an awful day. It was a heinous act. Nobody has anything but
horror over what happened that day.

"But the message to draw from that day is not that we should suddenly go to
war with the whole world, which is what the president is saying."

McDermott is convinced that Bush is bent on war with Iraq to distract
voters' attention from a collapsing stock market and other problems at home.

"It is the oldest game in the book," he said. "They found this war very
convenient to obscure people's views about what is happening domestically."

McDermott said he and two other Democratic members of Congress went to Iraq
to see firsthand the effect of economic sanctions on the country, as well as
to tell Iraqi leaders that if they didn't agree to weapons inspections there
would be a war.

He said the demand for inspections was delivered to 15 or 20 government
officials, but not to Saddam, who they did not ask to see.

"We knew there was no point in getting into a situation where we're shaking
hands and smiling with somebody we don't really think is doing the right
thing by the country or the world, and we knew that message would get to

McDermott's comments went much further than his television interviews from
Iraq, in which he said Bush would mislead Americans in order to build
support for a war.

When someone asked him if the war was meant to bolster U.S. oil interests,
McDermott talked about what oil companies could gain from a war and said,
"I'm not going to connect the dots exactly, but I think a dotted line
certainly seems within the realm of possibility. ...

"Oil is certainly a part of it but I don't think it's the underlying issue."
The underlying issue, he said repeatedly, is a fight over the Constitutional
power to declare war.

"People that I trust say if we don't derail this coup that is going on, we
are going to wind up with a government run by the president of the United
States and all the rest of us will be standing around just watching it

by Scott Ritter
The Guardian, 7th October

As a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and as a registered member
of the Republican party who voted for George Bush in the last presidential
election, I have to admit to a certain trepidation and uncertainty when I
was asked by Labour MPs to participate in the massive anti-war rally in
London on September 28.

In my way of thinking, mass demonstrations, regardless of the righteousness
of the cause, were the theatre of the political left, and not something with
which I should be associated. I was proven wrong on all counts. The
outpouring of democratic will that occurred on that day came not only from
the left, but from across the breadth of mainstream British society. It sent
a message to a Blair government that had grown increasingly isolated from
public opinion: UK support for an American unilateral war on Iraq would not
be tolerated. That message met a response a few days later from the Labour
party at its annual conference in Blackpool. Democracy in action is a
wonderful thing.

Across the Atlantic, in the United States, a debate is about to begin in the
US Congress over the granting of sweeping war powers that would enable
President Bush to wage war against Iraq, even if such action were unilateral
and lacking in authority from the United Nations.

To many Americans, myself included, the granting of such powers represents a
breach of constitutional responsibility on the part of Congress, which alone
under the constitution of the United States is authorised to declare war.
There is at least one US senator - Robert Byrd of West Virginia - who
recognises this, and has indicated his willingness to launch a filibuster of
the debate. Senator Byrd is famous for carrying a copy of the US
constitution in his breast pocket, and pulling it out on the floor of the
Senate to remind fellow senators what American democracy is founded on. One
man fighting in defence of the basic foundation of American society. Where
are the large-scale US demonstrations in support of this struggle? Where are
the voices of outrage over what amounts to a frontal assault on the
constitution of the United States? Democracy silenced is awful.

The constitution has always guided me in my actions as an American citizen.
It establishes the US as a nation of laws, and sets high standards for the
ideals we Americans strive to achieve as a nation. As an officer of Marines,
I took an oath to defend the US constitution against all enemies, foreign
and domestic. It is an oath I take very seriously and I am willing to give
my life in defence of this document - something I demonstrated during my
time in uniform, including service in Operation Desert Storm.

I am no pacifist, but I am opposed to President Bush's rush towards war with
Iraq this time around. As signatories to the UN charter, Americans have
agreed to abide by a body of international law that explicitly governs the
conditions under which nations may go to war. All require authority of the
security council, either through an invocation of article 51 (self defence),
or a resolution passed under chapter seven of the charter (collective

President Bush's case for war simply has not been demonstrated to meet any
of these criteria. The president repeatedly announced that Iraq has failed
to comply with its obligation to disarm, and as such poses a threat to
international peace and security. The president declared that Iraq must
allow weapons inspectors to return to Iraq, without conditions, with
unfettered access to all sites. Iraq's failure to allow inspectors to return
to work since their withdrawal in December 1998 has prompted fear in many
circles (recently demonstrated by the UK government's dossier on Iraqi
weapons programs) that Iraq has taken advantage of the intervening time to
reconstitute its weapons of mass destruction programs dismantled under UN
supervision. With no inspectors in Iraq, it was impossible to know for
certain what the regime of Saddam Hussein was up to; and, given Iraq's past
record of deceit over these weapons, the US and others were justified in
presuming ill intent.

But now Iraq has agreed to allow the inspectors to return, unconditionally,
and to be held accountable to the rule of law as set forth in existing
security council resolutions governing Iraq's disarmament. The opportunity
finally exists to bring clarity to years of speculation about the potential
threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, as well as an
opportunity to resolve this ongoing crisis of international law peacefully.

But President Bush refuses to take "yes" for an answer. The Bush
administration's actions lay bare the mythology that this war is being
fought over any threat posed by Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. It has
made it clear that its objective is the elimination of Saddam Hussein. And
this is where I have a fundamental problem. The UN charter prohibits regime
removal. The US constitution states that international agreements entered
into by the United States carry the force of law. The US has signed the UN
charter. Regime removal is not only a violation of international law, it is

There is a way to deal with the need to change a regime deemed to be a risk
to international peace and security, and that is through the UN. If
President Bush truly wanted to seek regime removal in Baghdad, then he would
push for an indictment of Saddam Hussein and his senior leadership in the
international court for crimes against humanity, something that should not
prove hard to do, given the record of the Butcher of Baghdad (and something
other members of the UN would clearly support as an alternative to war). But
seeking judgment through the international court requires a recognition by
the US of the primacy of international law, something the Bush
administration has been loath to do.

The fact of the matter is this crisis between Iraq and the US goes beyond
even the issue of regime removal. It represents the first case study of the
implementation of a new US national security strategy, published last month,
which sets forth a doctrine of unilateralism that capitalises on American
military and economic might to maintain the US as the sole superpower, to
impose our will on the rest of the world, even through pre-emptive military
action. This strategy is a rejection of multilateralism, a turning away from
the concepts of international law.

This new Bush doctrine of American unilateralism reeks of imperial power,
the very power against which Ameri cans fought a revolution more than 200
years ago. The streets of Washington DC are empty of demonstrators
protesting at this frontal assault on American democracy. Will the streets
of London be filled again with protesters against this assault on the rule
of international law? I certainly hope so, because the people of Britain
could lead by example, sending a clear signal to fellow practitioners of
democracy in America that when it comes to determining what actions a
government takes in the name of the people, the will of the people cannot,
and will not, be ignored.

Scott Ritter was a UN weapons inspector in Iraq in 1991-98 and chief of the
concealment investigations team. His interview with William Rivers Pitt
forms the core of War on Iraq (Profile Books),5936,5239572%255E10431

The Mercury (Australia), 7th October

AS the Washington rattles its sabre at Saddam Hussein, a constellation of
Hollywood megastars has come out to do public battle against President
George W Bush's policy towards Iraq.

In a town with a strong liberal tradition and long history of political
activism, there is an increasing rumbling over Iraq coming from some top
celebrities - although not all are opposed to war with Baghdad.

However, with their names alone able to generate headlines and huge press
coverage, many have chosen to throw their weight into the political debate
surrounding a possible US and British led war with Iraq.

Diva Barbra Streisand led the attack on Bush, telling a star-studded
audience today that she found his administration "frightening" and slamming
its alleged bellicose stance and failure to protect civil rights.

"I find bringing the country to the brink of war unilaterally five weeks
before an election questionable -- and very, very frightening," the singer
and actress told the Democratic party fundraiser in Hollywood.

Streisand is the biggest Tinseltown personality to take aim at Bush's
eagerness to oust Saddam by force, but a growing list of stars is joining
the movement.

On Friday, several hundred celebrities and intellectuals published a
manifest entitled Not in our Name in the Los Angeles Times, a tract which
urged Americans to resist their government's policies.

We "call on the people of the US to resist the policies and overall
political direction that have emerged since September 11, 2001, and which
pose grave dangers to the people of the world," they wrote.

Among the signatories were JFK movie director Oliver Stone, Gosford Park
filmmaker Robert Altman, British-born Terry Gilliam, actress Jane Fonda,
Lethal Weapon star Danny Glover and Susan Sarandon, star of Thelma and

Oscar-winning Sarandon and long-time partner Tim Robbins went even further
during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, publicly voicing their fears about a
war with Iraq and saying they were opposed to "military expansion."

"I don't think that a military expansion of violence is the solution," she
said. "No, I don't think I would want to go to war against Iraq."

Tootsie star Jessica Lange weighed in while in Madrid last week, saying
military action on Iraq as "wrong, immoral and basically illegal. It makes
me feel ashamed to come from the United States. It is humiliating."

But while many stars have come out against military action, some have backed
it, creating something of an ideological divide in usually superficial

Superstar Tom Cruise and movie magnate Steven Spielberg backed Bush's stance
during a publicity tour to Italy last month.

"If Bush, as I believe, has reliable information on the fact that Saddam
Hussein is making weapons of mass destruction, I cannot not support the
policies of his government," Spielberg said, adding that Bush's policies
were "solid and rooted in reality."

Cruise also came down on Washington's side, saying that he believed "Saddam
has committed many crimes against humanity and against his own people".

Las Vegas Sun (from AP), 7th October

Good evening. Tonight I want to take a few minutes to discuss a grave threat
to peace, and America's determination to lead the world in confronting that

The threat comes from Iraq. It arises directly from the Iraqi regime's own
actions - its history of aggression, and its drive toward an arsenal of

Eleven years ago, as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War, the Iraqi
regime was required to destroy its weapons of mass destruction "to cease all
development of such weapons" and to stop all support for terrorist groups.
The Iraqi regime has violated all of those obligations. It possesses and
produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. It
has given shelter and support to terrorism, and practices terror against its
own people. The entire world has witnessed Iraq's 11-year history of
defiance, deception and bad faith.

We also must never forget the most vivid events of recent history. On Sept.
11, 2001, America felt its vulnerability - even to threats that gather on
the other side of the earth. We resolved then and we are resolved today to
confront every threat, from any source, that could bring sudden terror and
suffering to America.

Members of the Congress of both political parties and members of the United
Nations Security Council agree that Saddam Hussein is a threat to peace and
must disarm. We agree that the Iraqi dictator must not be permitted to
threaten America and the world with horrible poisons and diseases and gases
and atomic weapons. Since we all agree on this goal, the issue is: "How can
we best achieve it?"

Many Americans have raised legitimate questions: About the nature of the
threat. About the urgency of action - and why be concerned now? About the
link between Iraq developing weapons of terror, and the wider war on terror.
These are all issues we have discussed broadly and fully within my
administration. And tonight, I want to share those discussions with you.

First, some ask why Iraq is different from other countries or regimes that
also have terrible weapons. While there are many dangers in the world, the
threat from Iraq stands alone - because it gathers the most serious dangers
of our age in one place. Iraq's weapons of mass destruction are controlled
by a murderous tyrant, who has already used chemical weapons to kill
thousands of people. This same tyrant has tried to dominate the Middle East,
has invaded and brutally occupied a small neighbor, has struck other nations
without warning and holds an unrelenting hostility towards the United

By its past and present actions, by its technological capabilities, by the
merciless nature of its regime, Iraq is unique. As a former chief weapons
inspector for the UN has said, "The fundamental problem with Iraq remains
the nature of the regime itself: Saddam Hussein is a homicidal dictator who
is addicted to weapons of mass destruction."

Some ask how urgent this danger is to America and the world. The danger is
already significant and it only grows worse with time. If we know Saddam
Hussein has dangerous weapons today - and we do - does it make any sense for
the world to wait to confront him as he grows even stronger and develops
even more dangerous weapons?

In 1995, after several years of deceit by the Iraqi regime, the head of
Iraq's military industries defected. It was then that the regime was forced
to admit that it had produced more than 30,000 liters of anthrax and other
deadly biological agents. The inspectors, however, concluded that Iraq had
likely produced two to four times that amount. This is a massive stockpile
of biological weapons that has never been accounted for and is capable of
killing millions. We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of
chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas and VX nerve gas.
Saddam Hussein also has experience in using chemical weapons. He has ordered
chemical attacks on Iran and on more than 40 villages in his own country.
These actions killed or injured at least 20,000 people, more than six times
the number of people who died in the attacks of Sept. 11. And surveillance
photos reveal that the regime is rebuilding facilities that it has used to
produce chemical and biological weapons.

Every chemical and biological weapon that Iraq has or makes is a direct
violation of the truce that ended the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Yet Saddam
Hussein has chosen to build and keep these weapons, despite international
sanctions, U.N. demands and isolation from the civilized world.

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. We have also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a
growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to
disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas. We are concerned
that Iraq is exploring ways of using UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) for
missions targeting the United States. And of course, sophisticated delivery
systems are not required for a chemical or biological attack - all that
might be required are a small container and one terrorist or Iraqi
intelligence operative to deliver it.

And that is the source of our urgent concern about Saddam Hussein's links to
international terrorist groups. Over the years, Iraq has provided safe haven
to terrorists such as Abu Nidal, whose terror organization carried out more
than 90 terrorist attacks in twenty countries that killed or injured nearly
900 people, including 12 Americans. Iraq has also provided safe haven to Abu
Abbas, who was responsible for seizing the Achille Lauro and killing an
American passenger. And we know that Iraq is continuing to finance terror
and gives assistance to groups that use terrorism to undermine Middle East

We know that Iraq and the al-Qaida terrorist network share a common enemy -
the United States of America. We know that Iraq and al-Qaida have had
high-level contacts that go back a decade. Some al-Qaida leaders who fled
Afghanistan went to Iraq.

These include one very senior al-Qaida leader who received medical treatment
in Baghdad this year, and who has been associated with planning for chemical
and biological attacks. We have learned that Iraq has trained al-Qaida
members in bomb making, poisons and deadly gases. And we know that after
Sept. 11, Saddam Hussein's regime gleefully celebrated the terrorist attacks
on America.

Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical
weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists. Alliances with
terrorists could allow the Iraqi regime to attack America without leaving
any fingerprints.

Some have argued that confronting the threat from Iraq could detract from
the war against terror. To the contrary, confronting the threat posed by
Iraq is crucial to winning the war on terror. When I spoke to the Congress
more than a year ago, I said that those who harbor terrorists are as guilty
as the terrorists themselves. Saddam Hussein is harboring terrorists and the
instruments of terror, the instruments of mass death and destruction. And he
cannot be trusted. The risk is simply too great that he will use them or
provide them to a terror network.

Terror cells and outlaw regimes building weapons of mass destruction are
different faces of the same evil. Our security requires that we confront
both. And the United States military is capable of confronting both.

Many people have asked how close Saddam Hussein is to developing a nuclear
weapon. We don't know exactly, and that is the problem. Before the Gulf War,
the best intelligence indicated that Iraq was eight to 10 years away from
developing a nuclear weapon; after the war, international inspectors learned
that the regime had been much closer. The regime in Iraq would likely have
possessed a nuclear weapon no later than 1993. The inspectors discovered
that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, had a design
for a workable nuclear weapon and was pursuing several different methods of
enriching uranium for a bomb. Before being barred from Iraq in 1998, the
International Atomic Energy Agency dismantled extensive nuclear
weapons-related facilities, including three uranium enrichment sites. That
same year, information from a high-ranking Iraqi nuclear engineer who had
defected revealed that despite his public promises, Saddam Hussein had
ordered his nuclear program to continue.

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

If the Iraqi regime is able to produce, buy or steal an amount of
highly-enriched uranium a little larger than a single softball, it could
have a nuclear weapon in less than a year. And if we allow that to happen, a
terrible line would be crossed. Saddam Hussein would be in a position to
blackmail anyone who opposes his aggression.

He would be in a position to dominate the Middle East. He would be in a
position to threaten America. And Saddam Hussein would be in a position to
pass nuclear technology to terrorists.

Some citizens wonder: After 11 years of living with this problem, why do we
need to confront it now? There is a reason. We have experienced the horror
of Sept. 11. We have seen that those who hate America are willing to crash
airplanes into buildings full of innocent people. Our enemies would be no
less willing - in fact they would be eager - to use a biological or chemical
weapon or, when they have one, a nuclear weapon.

Knowing these realities, America must not ignore the threat gathering
against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final
proof - the smoking gun - that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.
As President Kennedy said in October of 1962: "Neither the United States of
America nor the world community of nations can tolerate deliberate deception
and offensive threats on the part of any nation, large or small. We no
longer live in a world," he said, "where only the actual firing of weapons
represents a sufficient challenge to a nation's security to constitute
maximum peril."

Understanding the threats of our time, knowing the designs and deceptions of
the Iraqi regime, we have every reason to assume the worst and we have an
urgent duty to prevent the worst from occurring.

Some believe we can address this danger by simply resuming the old approach
to inspections and applying diplomatic and economic pressure. Yet this is
precisely what the world has tried to do since 1991. The U.N. inspections
program was met with systematic deception. The Iraqi regime bugged hotel
rooms and offices of inspectors to find where they were going next. They
forged documents, destroyed evidence and developed mobile weapons facilities
to keep a step ahead of inspectors. Eight so-called presidential palaces
were declared off-limits to unfettered inspections. These sites actually
encompass 12 square miles, with hundreds of structures, both above and below
the ground, where sensitive materials could be hidden.

The world has also tried economic sanctions and watched Iraq use billions of
dollars in illegal oil revenues to fund more weapons purchases, rather than
providing for the needs of the Iraqi people.

The world has tried limited military strikes to destroy Iraq's weapons of
mass destruction capabilities, only to see them openly rebuilt, while the
regime again denies they even exist.

The world has tried no-fly zones to keep Saddam from terrorizing his own
people ... and in the last year alone, the Iraqi military has fired upon
American and British pilots more than 750 times.

After 11 years during which we have tried containment, sanctions,
inspections, even selected military action, the end result is that Saddam
Hussein still has chemical and biological weapons and is increasing his
capabilities to make more. And he is moving ever closer to developing a
nuclear weapon.

Clearly, to actually work, any new inspections, sanctions or enforcement
mechanisms will have to be very different. America wants the U.N. to be an
effective organization that helps to keep the peace. That is why we are
urging the Security Council to adopt a new resolution setting out tough,
immediate requirements. Among those requirements, the Iraqi regime must
reveal and destroy, under UN supervision, all existing weapons of mass
destruction. To ensure that we learn the truth, the regime must allow
witnesses to its illegal activities to be interviewed outside of the
country. And these witnesses must be free to bring their families with them,
so they are all beyond the reach of Saddam Hussein's terror and murder. And
inspectors must have access to any site, at any time, without pre-clearance,
without delay, without exceptions.

The time for denying, deceiving and delaying has come to an end. Saddam
Hussein must disarm himself - or, for the sake of peace, we will lead a
coalition to disarm him.

Many nations are joining us in insisting that Saddam Hussein's regime be
held accountable. They are committed to defending the international security
that protects the lives of both our citizens and theirs. And that is why
America is challenging all nations to take the resolutions of the U.N.
Security Council seriously. Those resolutions are very clear. In addition to
declaring and destroying all of its weapons of mass destruction, Iraq must
end its support for terrorism. It must cease the persecution of its civilian
population. It must stop all illicit trade outside the oil-for-food program.
And it must release or account for all Gulf War personnel, including an
American pilot, whose fate is still unknown.

By taking these steps, and only by taking these steps, the Iraqi regime has
an opportunity to avoid conflict. These steps would also change the nature
of the Iraqi regime itself. America hopes the regime will make that choice.
Unfortunately, at least so far, we have little reason to expect it. This is
why two administrations - mine and President Clinton's - have stated that
regime change in Iraq is the only certain means of removing a great danger
to our nation.

I hope this will not require military action, but it may. And military
conflict could be difficult. An Iraqi regime faced with its own demise may
attempt cruel and desperate measures. If Saddam Hussein orders such
measures, his generals would be well advised to refuse those orders. If they
do not refuse, they must understand that all war criminals will be pursued
and punished. If we have to act, we will take every precaution that is
possible. We will plan carefully, we will act with the full power of the
United States military, we will act with allies at our side and we will

There is no easy or risk-free course of action. Some have argued we should
wait - and that is an option. In my view, it is the riskiest of all options
- because the longer we wait, the stronger and bolder Saddam Hussein will
become. We could wait and hope that Saddam does not give weapons to
terrorists, or develop a nuclear weapon to blackmail the world. But I am
convinced that is a hope against all evidence. As Americans, we want peace -
we work and sacrifice for peace - and there can be no peace if our security
depends on the will and whims of a ruthless and aggressive dictator. I am
not willing to stake one American life on trusting Saddam Hussein.

Failure to act would embolden other tyrants; allow terrorists access to new
weapons and new resources; and make blackmail a permanent feature of world
events. The United Nations would betray the purpose of its founding and
prove irrelevant to the problems of our time. And through its inaction, the
United States would resign itself to a future of fear.

That is not the America I know. That is not the America I serve. We refuse
to live in fear. This nation - in World War and in Cold War - has never
permitted the brutal and lawless to set history's course. Now, as before, we
will secure our nation, protect our freedom and help others to find freedom
of their own.

Some worry that a change of leadership in Iraq could create instability and
make the situation worse. The situation could hardly get worse for world
security and for the people of Iraq.

The lives of Iraqi citizens would improve dramatically if Saddam Hussein
were no longer in power, just as the lives of Afghanistan's citizens
improved after the Taliban. The dictator of Iraq is a student of Stalin,
using murder as a tool of terror and control within his own cabinet and
within his own army and even within his own family. On Saddam Hussein's
orders, opponents have been decapitated, wives and mothers of political
opponents have been systematically raped as a method of intimidation and
political prisoners have been forced to watch their own children being

America believes that all people are entitled to hope and human rights - to
the non negotiable demands of human dignity. People everywhere prefer
freedom to slavery; prosperity to squalor; self-government to the rule of
terror and torture. America is a friend to the people of Iraq. Our demands
are directed only at the regime that enslaves them and threatens us. When
these demands are met, the first and greatest benefit will come to Iraqi
men, women and children. The oppression of Kurds, Assyrians, Turkomans,
Shi'a, Sunnis and others will be lifted. The long captivity of Iraq will end
and an era of new hope will begin. Iraq is a land rich in culture, resources
and talent. Freed from the weight of oppression, Iraq's people will be able
to share in the progress and prosperity of our time.

If military action is necessary, the United States and our allies will help
the Iraqi people rebuild their economy and create the institutions of
liberty in a unified Iraq at peace with its neighbors.

Later this week the United States Congress will vote on this matter. I have
asked Congress to authorize the use of America's military, if it proves
necessary, to enforce U.N. Security Council demands. Approving this
resolution does not mean that military action is imminent or unavoidable.
The resolution will tell the United Nations and all nations that America
speaks with one voice and is determined to make the demands of the civilized
world mean something. Congress will also be sending a message to the
dictator in Iraq: that his only choice is full compliance - and the time
remaining for that choice is limited.

Members of Congress are nearing an historic vote, and I am confident they
will fully consider the facts and their duties.

The attacks of Sept. 11 showed our country that vast oceans no longer
protect us from danger. Before that tragic date, we had only hints of
al-Qaida's plans and designs. Today in Iraq, we see a threat whose outlines
are far more clearly defined - and whose consequences could be far more
deadly. Saddam Hussein's actions have put us on notice - and there is no
refuge from our responsibilities.

We did not ask for this present challenge, but we accept it. Like other
generations of Americans, we will meet the responsibility of defending human
liberty against violence and aggression. By our resolve, we will give
strength to others. By our courage, we will give hope to others. By our
actions, we will secure the peace and lead the world to a better day.

Thank you, and good night.

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