Bush is bucking the world,
banish him to the bundu

Pete Stark

"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."

"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.'"

"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!"

"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."

"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."

(These are selected quotations from a statement delivered on the floor of the U.S. House Oct. 9 by veteran Californian Democrat Representative Pete Stark.)


Kathy Kelly

"I recently watched children dance and sing and play at the Baghdad school for Music and Ballet. One little girl played the piano, another the violin. Young Ibrahim sang an Arabic translation of a song you may know, based on a melody composed by Jean Sibelius. The lyrics were written in the 1930s during the brief outbreak of peace between world wars. 'This is my Song' expresses hopes for peace among people who hold in common a deep, true love of their homeland. Another little boy showed me a drawing he made of 9-11: twin pillars of fire and smoke. He said he felt bad about the attacks, but added that he doesn't think Americans understand what happens to other people when they're hit by American bombs."

"Reporters in Kabul found some Afghans dancing when the Taliban fell, and shaving their beards or removing their burkas. But what about the Afghans who huddle now in fear of Northern Alliance warlords, or who quietly starve due to the physical and social chaos war has brought? Survivors who've seen their villages obliterated by U.S. bombs aren't joyous. Beyond the fanfare of the media, refugee families are, even now, dying in the snow."

"Across Iraq, people ask us why Americans want to punish them even more. For 11 years they've been told sanctions were a 'peaceful' alternative to war, and now they're told war is the solution to the suffering of sanctions. In a twisted way, the message is at least consistent: to please remember that they're better off dead."

(These are exerpts from Ms. Kelly's open letter to Richard Perle, chairman of the U.S. Defense Advisory Board. Kathy Kelly is director of Voices in the Wilderness, the first U.S. grassroots organization to bring activists into Iraq to witness the effect of sanctions, to violate the sanctions by bringing medicine and toys into Iraq, and to educate Americans upon their return.)


Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin has hardened his anti-war stance, and for good reason. Saddam Hussein has made more than 30 deals with Asian and European concerns, giving them first crack at Iraq's 112 billion barrels of known oil (worth at least $3 trillion today) and unexplored fields. Russia tops the list, having a majority stake in at least 11 billion barrels in one oil field alone. The U.S. is not even in line, having made no deals whatsoever. Bush appears to be going after the booty from a different angle.

From "Why Putin has the U.N. over a barrel", Time magazine, 21 Oct. 02.


Simon Tisdall

"Americans can stop America's next war as they have stopped similar planned or actual idiocies in the past. That the Bush clique pays scant heed to Arab and Muslim concerns, has no time for 'euro-wimps' and other appeasers is brutally clear. But domestic public opinion is a different story -- and that story is changing. Slowly, inconsistently but palpably, ordinary Americans are making their voices heard. This is no anti-war movement to compare with Vietnam."

(London's The Guardian, 12 Oct. 02.)