War on Iraq - Opposition on Capitol Hill

        As to the debate on a new war in Iraq, BLUEPRINT magazine
        received an e-mail containing individual statements made by
        U.S. congressmen and senators who are not in favor of their
        president's decision to launch another attack on Iraq. The
        following information could not be counterchecked, but you

        are free to enter the cited websites yourself and build up
        your own opinion:

        Weitergeleitete Nachricht:
        Thema: Socio-Political Report: Turning the Tide (part 2 of 2)
        Datum: 16.10.02 20:07:00 (MEZ) - Mitteleurop. Sommerzeit
        Von: mana7@opendoor.com
        Internet-eMail: (Details)

                >>Socio-Political Report
        >  Turning the Tide * Saying NO To Dubya
        >  Part 2 of 2


        "Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this resolution
        (authorizing military force against Iraq). I am deeply
        troubled that lives may be lost without a meaningful
        attempt to bring Iraq into compliance with U.N. resolutions
        through careful and cautious diplomacy."

        -- Congressman Pete Stark, (D-California)
        from article #2, below


        "The bottom line is I don't trust this president and his

        -- Congressman Pete Stark, (D-California)
        from article #2, below


        "How have we gotten to this low point in the history of

        -- Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-West Virginia)
        from article #3, below


        "While some voices clamor for war, a future America
        looks for deeper unity of all people worldwide and seeks
        not empire but harmony. So to you, young America,
        I sing a hymn of praise because while some may want
        to send you marching off to fight yesterday's wars,
        you are advancing from the future, reminding us that
        our nation has a higher calling. Reminding us of the
        America that can be. Reminding us that there has to be
        a better way. Challenging us to find that better way.
        Joining with us to make straight the path of democracy....
        So come forth young and old. Prepare for America's future."

        -- Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio)
        from article #1, below


        "And what we are dealing with right now in this country
        is whether we are having a kind of bloodless, silent coup
        or not. ... This president is trying to bring to himself
        all the power to become an emperor -- to create Empire
        America. ... If you go along like sheep that is what will
        happen. ... It is the oldest game in the book. They found
        this war very convenient to obscure people's views about
        what is happening domestically."

        -- Congressman James McDermott (D-Washington)
        from article #6, below


        "Let's adjourn for one hour and go down to the Vietnam
        Memorial before we commit ourselves and our children
        to an unknown world in which any president can decide
        to go to war as long as he or she determines it is in the
        national interest at that moment.... Let us not, in pursuit
        of oil or power or the blandishments of empire, be the
        ones to lead the world to failure."

        -- Congressman James McDermott (D-Washington)
        Courtesy of Latifa Amdur


        "The provision of the Constitution giving the war making power
        to Congress was dictated, as I understand it, by the following
        reasons: kings had always been involving and impoverishing
        their people in wars, pretending generally, if not always,
        that the good of the people was the object. This our convention
        understood to be the most oppressive of all kingly oppressions,
        and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one man
        should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us.
        But your view destroys the whole matter, and places our
        President where kings have always stood."

        -- The Last Decent Republican (Can you guess who said this?)
        from article #3, below


        "The Constitution supposes what the history of all governments
        demonstrates, that the executive is the branch of power most
        interested in war, and most prone to it. It has, accordingly,
        with studied care, vested the question of war in the legislature."

        -- James Madison, 4th President of the united States, 1798
        As quoted by Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas)


        1) Kucinich: Statement in Opposition to the Resolution
        2) The Bottom Line Is I Don't Trust This president and His
        3) Congress Must Resist the Rush to War
        4) The Last Decent Republican
        5) Making Our Voices Heard
        6) McDermott Accuses Bush of Plotting to Be Emperor
        7) Reward the Heroes


        1) Kucinich: Statement in Opposition to the Resolution

        Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), leader of the House
        opposition to the resolution, gave the following statement
        on the House floor today during general debate on the war

        Yesterday students held a peace rally on the West front of the
        Capitol. It may have been the first rally on the Capitol grounds
        in opposition to war with Iraq. I attended and I heard
        representatives of America's youth asking: Why:

        Why war against the people of Iraq?
        Why assert military power which threatens innocent civilians?
        Why war to settle differences?
        Why separate our nation from the world community?
        Why not give peaceful resolution a chance?

        I looked at the faces of the young people at the peace rally. Fresh
        faces, hopeful, optimistic, and challenging. Soon the voices of our
        youth will be heard across the nation. And we should pay them
        heed. They will be heard on campuses, in town halls, in marches.
        They will be raised to challenge and to confront senseless violence,
        mindless war, the death of innocents, the destruction of villages
        to save villages. Voices will be lifted up in urgency because the
        future knows when the place it needs to build could be destroyed.
        The future knows skepticism when promises of peace are wrapped
        in fire and brimstone.

        Our young people opposing war represent a message from the
        future America, the America that can be, and with the upwardly
        spiraling aspirations of millions of Americans of all ages, the
        America that will be:

        The future America works to make nonviolence an organizing
        principle in our society.

        The future America works to make war archaic.

        It is a nation that lives courageously in peace, working to settle
        differences at home and abroad without killing.

        The future America comprehends the world as an interconnected
        whole. It understands that changes in transportation,
        communication and trade have made people throughout the world

        The future America believes that each person is sacred. That each
        person makes a difference. That each choice we make affects
        others. That an injury to one person is an injury to all. That justice
        ought to be international and that vengeance is reserved to the

        It is an America where human rights, and workers rights and
        environmental quality principles are within the ark of the Human

        It is a nation where each life is given an opportunity to unfold,
        where all have access to health care, to higher education, to jobs
        and to a secure retirement. Where the quality of life matters.
        Where people build families, build communities, build an American
        community of our dreams, where our highest aspirations light
        the way to a better nation and to a better world.

        The future America is a nation which works to sustain life on
        earth. It champions protection of the global environment. It works
        with all nations to abolish nuclear weapons, chemical weapons and
        biological weapons.

        It is a nation which preserves the heavens for the restless
        human soul. And it rejects putting weapons in space because it
        knows the kingdom that will come from the stars should bring
        eternal peace, not war.

        While some voices clamor for war, a future America looks for
        deeper unity of all people worldwide and seeks not empire but

        So to you, young America, I sing a hymn of praise because while
        some may want to send you marching off to fight yesterday's
        wars, you are advancing from the future, reminding us that
        our nation has a higher calling. Reminding us of the America
        that can be. Reminding us that there has to be a better way.
        Challenging us to find that better way. Joining with us to make
        straight the path of democracy.

        This is a time for caution as we would face war, but it is also
        a cause for joy because the same reveille which sounds a battle
        cry and clangs the toxins of war, brings forth legions of others
        enlisted in a holy cause to relight the lamp of freedom in our
        own land.

        So come forth young and old. Prepare for America's future.

        Congressman Dennis Kucinich's Press Releases:

        For much more on Congressman Kucinich and his work to stop the attack on
        Iraq, to ban space-based weapons, and for a US Department of Peace, and
        more...visit this updated page:

        Courtesy of Carol Lanchester and
        Jonathan Mark/Flyby News


        2) The Bottom Line is I Don't Trust This president and His


        Not every Democrat has caved to Bush's martial fervor.
        Rep. Pete Stark makes it stunningly clear why he voted against the
        Iraq war resolution.

        Editor's note: Below is the fiery statement delivered on the floor
        of the House Wednesday by veteran California Democrat Rep. Pete Stark.

        - - - - - - - - - - - -

        Oct. 10, 2002

        "Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this resolution (authorizing
        force against Iraq). I am deeply troubled that lives may be lost without
        a meaningful attempt to bring Iraq into compliance with U.N. resolutions
        through careful and cautious diplomacy.

        "The bottom line is I don't trust this president and his advisors.

        "Make no mistake, we are voting on a resolution that grants total
        authority to the president, who wants to invade a sovereign nation
        without any specific act of provocation. This would authorize the
        United States to act as the aggressor for the first time in our
        history. It sets a precedent for our nation -- or any nation --
        to exercise brute force anywhere in the world without regard to
        international law or international consensus.

        "Congress must not walk in lockstep behind a president who has
        been so callous to proceed without reservation, as if war was of
        no real consequence.

        "You know, three years ago in December, Molly Ivins, an observer
        of Texas politics, wrote: 'For an upper-class white boy, Bush
        comes on way too hard. At a guess, to make up for being an
        upper-class white boy.'

        "'Somebody,' she said, 'should be worrying about how all this could
        affect his handling of future encounters with some Saddam
        Hussein.' How prophetic, Ms. Ivins.

        "Let us not forget that our president -- our commander in chief --
        has no experience with, or knowledge of, war. In fact, he admits
        that he was at best ambivalent about the Vietnam War. He skirted
        his own military service and then failed to serve out his time in the
        National Guard. And, he reported years later that at the height
        of that conflict in 1968 he didn't notice 'any heavy stuff going on.'"

        "So we have a president who thinks foreign territory is the
        opponent's dugout and Kashmir is a sweater.

        "What is most unconscionable is that there is not a shred of
        evidence to justify the certain loss of life. Do the generalized
        threats and half-truths of this administration give any one of us
        in Congress the confidence to tell a mother or father or family
        that the loss of their child or loved one was in the name of a
        just cause?

        "Is the president's need for revenge for the threat once posed
        to his father enough to justify the death of any American?

        "I submit the answer to these questions is no.

        "Aside from the wisdom of going to war as Bush wants, I am
        troubled by who pays for his capricious adventure into world
        domination. The administration admits to a cost of around
        $200 billion!

        "Now, wealthy individuals won't pay. They've got big tax cuts
        already. Corporations won't pay. They'll cook the books and
        move overseas and then send their contributions to the
        Republicans. Rich kids won't pay. Their daddies will get them
        deferments as Big George did for George W.

        "Well then, who will pay?

        "School kids will pay. There'll be no money to keep them from
        being left behind -- way behind. Seniors will pay. They'll pay big
        time as the Republicans privatize Social Security and rob the
        Trust Fund to pay for the capricious war. Medicare will be
        curtailed and drugs will be more unaffordable. And there won't
        be any money for a drug benefit because Bush will spend it all
        on the war.

        "Working folks will pay through loss of job security and bargaining
        rights. Our grandchildren will pay through the degradation of our
        air and water quality. And the entire nation will pay as Bush
        continues to destroy civil rights, women's rights and religious
        freedom in a rush to phony patriotism and to courting the
        messianic Pharisees of the religious right.

        "The questions before the members of this House and to all
        Americans are immense, but there are clear answers. America
        is not currently confronted by a genuine, proven, imminent
        threat from Iraq. The call for war is wrong.

        "And what greatly saddens me at this point in our history is
        my fear that this entire spectacle has not been planned for
        the well-being of the world, but for the short-term political
        interest of our president.

        "Now, I am also greatly disturbed that many Democratic leaders
        have also put political calculation ahead of the president's
        accountability to truth and reason by supporting this resolution.
        But, I conclude that the only answer is to vote no on the
        resolution before us."

        About the writer:

        Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., represents the Fremont, Calif.
        congressional district.

        Courtesy of Liz Randol


        3) Congress Must Resist the Rush to War

        re-posted to Truthout:

        By Robert C. Byrd
        New York Times | Op-Ed, October 10, 2002

        WASHINGTON -- A sudden appetite for war with Iraq seems to have consumed
        the Bush administration and Congress. The debate that began in the Senate
        last week is centered not on the fundamental and monumental questions of
        whether and why the United States should go to war with Iraq, but rather
        on the mechanics of how best to wordsmith the president's use-of-force
        resolution in order to give him virtually unchecked authority to commit
        the nation's military to an unprovoked attack on a sovereign nation.

        How have we gotten to this low point in the history of Congress? Are we
        too feeble to resist the demands of a president who is determined to bend
        the collective will of Congress to his will -- a president who is
        changing the conventional understanding of the term "self-defense"? And
        why are we allowing the executive to rush our decision-making right
        before an election? Congress, under pressure from the executive branch,
        should not hand away its Constitutional powers. We should not hamstring
        future Congresses by casting such a shortsighted vote. We owe our country
        a due deliberation.

        I have listened closely to the president. I have questioned the members
        of his war cabinet. I have searched for that single piece of evidence
        that would convince me that the president must have in his hands, before
        the month is out, open-ended Congressional authorization to deliver an
        unprovoked attack on Iraq. I remain unconvinced. The president's case for
        an unprovoked attack is circumstantial at best. Saddam Hussein is a
        threat, but the threat is not so great that we must be stampeded to
        provide such authority to this president just weeks before an election.

        Why are we being hounded into action on a resolution that turns over to
        president Bush the Congress's Constitutional power to declare war? This
        resolution would authorize the president to use the military forces of
        this nation wherever, whenever and however he determines, and for as long
        as he determines, if he can somehow make a connection to Iraq. It is a
        blank check for the president to take whatever action he feels "is
        necessary and appropriate in order to defend the national security of the
        United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq." This broad
        resolution underwrites, promotes and endorses the unprecedented Bush
        doctrine of preventive war and pre-emptive strikes -- detailed in a
        recent publication, "National Security Strategy of the United States" --
        against any nation that the president, and the president alone,
        determines to be a threat.

        We are at the gravest of moments. Members of Congress must not simply
        walk away from their Constitutional responsibilities. We are the directly
        elected representatives of the American people, and the American people
        expect us to carry out our duty, not simply hand it off to this or any
        other president. To do so would be to fail the people we represent and to
        fall woefully short of our sworn oath to support and defend the

        We may not always be able to avoid war, particularly if it is thrust upon
        us, but Congress must not attempt to give away the authority to determine
        when war is to be declared. We must not allow any president to unleash
        the dogs of war at his own discretion and for an unlimited period of

        Yet that is what we are being asked to do. The judgment of history will
        not be kind to us if we take this step.

        Members of Congress should take time out and go home to listen to their
        constituents. We must not yield to this absurd pressure to act now, 27
        days before an election that will determine the entire membership of the
        House of Representatives and that of a third of the Senate. Congress
        should take the time to hear from the American people, to answer their
        remaining questions and to put the frenzy of ballot-box politics behind
        us before we vote. We should hear them well, because while it is Congress
        that casts the vote, it is the American people who will pay for a war
        with the lives of their sons and daughters.

        Robert C. Byrd is a Democratic senator for West Virginia.

        Courtesy of via John Steiner


        4) The Last Decent Republican




        WASHINGTON, February 15, 1848.


        Your letter of the 29th January was received last night. Being
        exclusively a constitutional argument, I wish to submit some reflections
        upon it in the same spirit of kindness that I know actuates you. Let me
        first state what I understand to be your position. It is that if it shall
        become necessary to repel invasion, the President may, without violation
        of the Constitution, cross the line and invade the territory of another
        country, and that whether such necessity exists in any given case the
        President is the sole judge.

        Before going further consider well whether this is or is not your
        position. If it is, it is a position that neither the President himself,
        nor any friend of his, so far as I know, has ever taken. Their only
        positions are -- first, that the soil was ours when the hostilities
        commenced; and second, that whether it was rightfully ours or not,
        Congress had annexed it, and the President for that reason was bound to
        defend it; both of which are as clearly proved to be false in fact as you
        can prove that your house is mine. The soil was not ours, and Congress
        did not annex or attempt to annex it. But to return to your position.
        Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation whenever he shall deem
        it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he
        may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose, and you allow
        him to make war at pleasure. Study to see if you can fix any limit to his
        power in this respect, after having given him so much as you propose. If
        to-day he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada to
        prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say
        to him,--"I see no probability of the British invading us"; but he will
        say to you, "Be silent: I see it, if you don't."

        The provision of the Constitution giving the war making power to Congress
        was dictated, as I understand it, by the following reasons: kings had
        always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending
        generally, if not always, that the good of the people was the object.
        This our convention understood to be the most oppressive of all kingly
        oppressions, and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one
        man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us. But your
        view destroys the whole matter, and places our President where kings have
        always stood. Write soon again.

        Yours truly,
        Abraham Lincoln

        Courtesy of Elaine Shinbrot
        via BuzzFlash


        5) Making Our Voices Heard

        By Paul Rogat Loeb

        For those of us who think Bush's pending war against Iraq is
        reckless madness, it's tempting to retreat into bitter despair
        after the Senate vote giving him a blank check to attack.
        Like Dickens orphans pleading for gruel, the Democratic
        leadership politely requested that Bush consult them, work
        with the UN and other allies, and exhaust all diplomatic
        means before going to war. Then they caved and gave Bush --
        and men like Richard Perle, who believed in winnable nuclear
        wars, and Dick Cheney, who opposed the freeing of Nelson
        Mandela -- the power to lead us into a war that will fuel rage
        and resentment throughout the Islamic world and beyond.

        So what to do other than nurturing bile and resentment?
        Or writing angry emails and letters to those who've once
        again shown no moral courage? Or thanking the 23 Senators
        and 133 Representatives who found the strength to resist
        all the lies and threats?

        We might start by recognizing that we've made some
        progress. A few weeks ago, the press reported that a mere
        19 House Democrats would vote against the resolution.
        Only two Senators opposed the Tonkin Gulf resolution that
        opened the door to our full-scale war in Vietnam. Those
        who stood up now did so knowing they would be attacked
        and baited for their stands. (And Bush timed this vote to
        fracture and demoralize the Democratic base and drive all
        other issues off the table for the November elections.)
        Yet they found the courage to vote their conscience -- and
        did so in part because so many citizens like us made clear
        their opposition to this war.

        Now, in a time when Bush audaciously claims that "America
        speaks with one voice," we must make our voices heard even
        more. This means continuing to speak up, preferably in ways
        that reach out as much to our fellow citizens as to our
        elected representatives. If enough of us take public stands,
        we may yet avert going to war with Iraq -- or at least limit
        the power of this administration, whose backers speak
        blatantly about the virtues of empire, to wage further wars
        to come. We never know the full impact of our actions.

        One case in point happened in 1969, when Henry Kissinger
        told the North Vietnamese that Nixon was threatening to
        escalate the Vietnam war massively, including potential
        nuclear strikes, unless they capitulated and forced the
        National Liberation Front in the South to do the same.
        Nixon was serious. He'd had military advisers prepare
        detailed plans, including mission folders with photographs
        of potential nuclear targets. But two weeks before the
        president's November 1st deadline, there was a nationwide
        day of protest, the Moratorium, during which millions of
        people took part in local demonstrations, vigils, church
        services, petition drives and other forms of protest.
        The next month came a major march in Washington, D.C.
        of over a half million people. Publicly, Nixon responded to
        the protests by watching the Washington Redskins football
        game during the D.C. march and declaring that the marchers
        weren't affecting his policies in the slightest -- sentiments
        that fed the frustration and demoralization of far too
        many in the peace movement. Yet privately, Nixon decided
        the movement had, in his words, so "polarized" American
        opinion that he couldn't carry out his threat. Participants
        in the Moratorium had no idea that their efforts may have
        helped stop a nuclear attack.

        This example of our actions having more power than we
        know came to mind as I marched with ten thousand others
        on an October Seattle Sunday, the weekend before the
        Congressional vote. Marchers paraded huge puppets of
        black-clad mothers holding children and George Bush as
        a global sheriff with pistols marked Exxon and Mobil. Others
        carried a giant inflatable earth and a 50-foot Trident missile.
        A community anti-smoking  project brought their 20-foot
        cloth eagle, adorned with a large black peace sign. Signs

        "Drop Bush Not Bombs,"
        "Iraq Didn't Attack Us Sept 11,"
        "Another Vet For Peace,"
        "How Much Blood For George?"
        "The U.S. Needs A Regime Change,"
        "Preemptive Impeachment."

        Families marched with their children. Onlookers waved in
        support. A lawyer for the Seattle prosecutor's office said
        he'd reluctantly supported the Afghan war, but not this one.
        My neighbor from across the street, an electrician and military
        vet, put a "No War" sign in his window and marched with his
        wife -- both unusual for him. I talked with students and
        grandmothers, skateboard punks and doctors, carpenters
        and software designers. Some had been active for years.
        Others were just beginning. This was the first demonstration
        for one woman in her 43 years, "because I've had it up to here
        with Bush's bogus leadership. If we get in this war, we'll never
        see the end."

        A cluster of African drummers propelled marchers forward
        with their beat. Their friend had posted a notice on their
        drumming website. Further back in the parade that stretched
        for blocks, two saxophonists and a trumpeter played a
        mournful St. Louis blues, which merged into a high-stepping
        cakewalk, and then a long plaintive version of "America the
        Beautiful." The drummer's tie displayed an American flag
        and a picture of the World Trade Center towers. A friend
        passed on a joke from Los Angeles singer-songwriter
        Dan Bern:

        "Satan wears a button asking 'What Would Cheney Do?'"

        People marched for different reasons, but all feared that
        attacking Iraq would inflame the Muslim world, help Bin Laden
        recruit a new generation of terrorists, and kill thousands of
        innocent Iraqis, not to mention our own young soldiers. They
        mistrusted Bush's lies on a host of other issues and
        wondered why he was ignoring the many generals who were
        urging restraint. They asked whether the rush to war had
        less to do with Saddam Hussein than with wanting to control
        key oil supplies, or distracting November voters from a
        melting economy, strip-mined environment, and runaway
        corporate greed. They asked why so few other countries
        supported our stand, and what would happen after Saddam
        Hussein fell. They wanted to do more than watch the news
        in pained silence.

        Since Bush took office, I've seen plenty of personal dissent:
        conversations with friends, endless emails, bitter comments.
        But visible public outcries have been strangely absent. They
        were barely present as Bush cut every conceivable social
        program, worked to gut core environmental protections,
        and enacted a tax cut transferring $1.2 trillion to the
        wealthiest one in a hundred Americans. Dissent dropped off
        even more in the wake of Sept 11, though many of us felt
        uneasy with Bush's simplistic framing of a war of good versus
        evil. Yes, many of us have endlessly called, emailed, and faxed
        our elected representatives, pleading for them to show more
        courage and spine. We've signed petitions and statements,
        written letters to local papers, and emailed article after
        article to friends. What we might call virtual politics can
        matter immensely. We pass on critical contexts and
        perspectives through the electronic equivalent of the Soviet
        underground Samizdats.

        This virtual politics can matter. Coordinated phone calls,
        emails, and faxes have blocked destructive policies, like Bush's
        proposal to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and
        some of his regressive court nominees. Our recent efforts
        gave strength to Senators and Representatives who've
        opposed Bush's war. But when we forward political emails or
        contact our representatives, these actions remain invisible
        to our fellow citizens. It's hard to build engaged community
        in the process of taking them (though groups like MoveOn.org
        and the Working Assets network have done their best to bring
        people together through virtual networks). Our actions don't
        publicly express our outrage in ways that other citizens can

        To march with others, in contrast, feels richer, more human,
        more empowering-and more of a visible challenge. Publicized
        largely through the ubiquitous emails and through fliers at
        related events, this particular march was the fruit of a small
        group of mostly younger activists who'd begun meeting six
        months earlier. They linked themselves with a national
        campaign, Not in Our Name


        that's been circulating a pledge of resistance and running
        newspaper ads challenging Bush's right to wage war without
        limit. Our group of 10,000 complemented rallies, marches,
        and vigils in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco,
        Portland and Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Houston, Austin, Buffalo,
        San Diego, Salt Lake City, Tulsa, Brattleboro, Boston,
        Anchorage, Kansas City, and several hundred other cities
        and towns, including 2,000 in conservative Cincinnati, the
        night Bush made his war pitch. Had we equaled the huge
        recent European anti-war rallies -- 400,000 people in London,
        1.5 million throughout Italy -- who knows how many other
        votes we would have swung. But it was a start.

        Public courage can be contagious, much like public cowardice.
        Seattle congressman Jim McDermott made national news
        by journeying to Iraq and challenging Bush's actions. He went
        in part because so many citizens asked, again and again,
        that he take a stand. In turn, McDermott helped inspire
        opposition from other Washington Congressmen, and one
        of our Senators, Patty Murray. When citizens convince
        previously silent political leaders to speak, their words of
        questioning ripple out.

        We need to do more than march, of course. We need
        discussion and debate, teach-ins and  vigils. We need to
        reach out in our local churches and temples, PTAs, city
        council meetings, Rotary Clubs, colleges, high schools and
        with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. We've already seen
        strong peace statements from major Catholic leaders and
        the heads of major Protestant denominations like the
        Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalian, Lutherans,
        American Baptists, United Church of Christ, and even the
        Mormons. The challenge now is to extend the discussion into
        the pews, and into our communities. Lobbied by members,
        the Washington State and San Francisco Labor councils
        recently came out against going to war, as did the Seattle
        City Council and Washington state Democratic Party. So far,
        most of the national labor and environmental groups have
        been silent. We'll need to keep broadening the discussion
        and remember that even Richard Nixon was constrained by
        public opinion. We'll need to continue even if Bush goes
        ahead to war, and refuse to let ourselves be marginalized.
        That means listening carefully to those who disagree with us,
        and try to find common ground. It means continuing to speak
        out, whatever names we're called by the power-hungry and
        cynical zealots now leading our country, even if our fellow
        citizens initially seem to support them. As Catholic nun said
        at a 3,000-person religious vigil three days after the Seattle
        Sunday march, those working for peace cannot fold up our
        prayer tents and go home, just because history does not
        instantly and visibly go our way.

        For we march not only to stop Bush's war on Iraq, but the
        wars that will follow from his defining America as sole global
        policeman, sole arbiter of freedom, sole nation with the right
        to unleash preemptive attacks on whomever we decide to
        take down. Whatever policies Bush undertakes, we need to
        keep raising the real questions. We don't want to recruit
        another generation for future Bin Ladens. We don't want
        more innocents to die. However our actions play out, we're
        far better voicing our beliefs than staying silent.

        Paul Loeb is the author of Soul of a Citizen: Living With
        Conviction in a Cynical Time


        and three other books on citizen activism

        Individuals and nonprofit, activist, and educational groups are
        encouraged to circulate this essay (forward it, reprint it,
        translate it, post it, or reproduce it) for nonprofit uses.
        Please do not change any part of it without permission.

        Courtesy of John Steiner


        6) McDermott Accuses Bush of Plotting to Be Emperor


        By David Postman
        Seattle Times political reporter

        Monday, October 07, 2002

        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

        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 district.

        'Like sheep'

        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 happen."  [...snip...]

        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

        "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

        "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

        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 him."

        Connecting the dots

        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 happen."

        David Postman: 360-943-9882 or dpostman@seattletimes.com.

        Copyright  2002 The Seattle Times Company

        Courtesy of hypatia popol


        7) Reward the Heroes

        From:   Eli Pariser, MoveOn PAC, moveon-help@list.moveon.org
        Date:    10/14/02

        In the wake of last Thursday's vote on Iraq, the Bush Administration
        and the Republican far right are going on the offensive.  The
        President would like nothing more than to demonstrate that when
        Democrats speak out against the President's endless war, they

        Senator Paul Wellstone's predicament is typical.  Wellstone is in the
        political fight of his life -- slightly behind in the polls to a
        far-right candidate flush with cash and hand-picked by Karl Rove to
        remove him from office.  Wellstone knew that if he voted against the
        resolution, his opponent would seize on the issue, unleashing a
        barrage of attack ads and accusations.  But despite the enormous
        pressure to capitulate, Wellstone spoke his conscience and voted
        against the war: "A pre-emptive go-it-alone strategy towards Iraq is
        wrong. I oppose it."

        For taking a stand under the most difficult of circumstances, Senator
        Wellstone is nothing less than a hero.  In the House, three heroic
        Representatives in tight races also did the right thing.  They deserve
        our strong support.  You can make a contribution directly to their
        campaigns at:


        After Thursday's unexpectedly divided House vote, the President must
        be fuming.  His political allies will do everything they can to take
        revenge on the dissenters.  If he can demonstrate that Representatives
        and Senators who ask the hard questions don't get re-elected, Congress
        will be even more equivocal when faced with hard choices in the

        But the electoral sword cuts both ways.  Paul Wellstone, Jay Inslee,
        Rick Larsen and Rush Holt are in extremely tight races.  A little more
        money could easily put them over the top.  And Wellstone's race is
        being watched very closely -- it's a key to the Republican plans to
        take over the Senate.  If Wellstone wins because of an outpouring of
        support for his stand on Iraq, it will signal to the right that their
        electoral ploy on an Iraq war backfired.  And it'll demonstrate to
        Democrats that when you take a stand of conscience, your
        constituents  will reward you.

        We've worked long and hard to stop a tragic war on Iraq.  After a
        difficult vote, rewarding the heroes who listened to our voices is
        the right thing to do.  It may also be the most important next step in
        our campaign.  We need to show the President that if he pursues Iraq,
        he and his party are going to lose.

        Give whatever you can.  In these tight races, every dollar makes a
        difference.  You can support Paul Wellstone and the other
        Congresspeople who took a stand right now at:


        As strategists look back at this election over the years to come,
        either they'll say, "President Bush manufactured a war and won at the
        polls" or they'll say, "President Bush manufactured a war and lost at
        the polls."  Your gift today can make the difference.


        -- Wes Boyd and Eli Pariser
           MoveOn PAC
           October 14, 2002

        Larry Morningstar


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