What is Happening in the US? - page 32
Hi, I decided to start this post because I wanted our American cousins to understand that the division, and angst over the possible war in Iraq is not shared in almost every other country of the... Read More
Mar 23, '03While citizens were distracted. Not too late to tell your Senator what you think.
TAX CUTS? Do you think that will help pay for the way, support healthcare, and leave no child behind?
Congress backs Bush tax cuts
By Steve Schifferes
BBC News Online in Washington here
President George W Bush has gained a crucial political victory as Congress has backed his plan for big tax cuts.
The plan to cut taxes by $726bn over the next 10 years is the centrepiece of the Bush administration's domestic agenda.
The president believes it is crucial to create jobs and boost the flagging US economy, but critics say it will add to the surging US budget deficit,
which is already projected to be over $300bn this year.
With Republican leaders urging their supporters not to undermine Mr Bush while a war was going on, the House of Representatives passed Mr
Bush's plan intact, by a narrow 215-212 majority, and approved next year's $2.2 trillion budget.
Senate moderates lose
The plan had been expected to face an uphill battle in the Senate, where several moderate Republicans had suggested reducing the size of the
tax cuts by half.
Republican Senator George Voinovich said that "we are at the edge of a fiscal precipice if we keep going the way we are, particularly with this war
hanging over us."
But the administration beat back that attempt, with several Southern Democrats joining the Republican majority in the narrowly-divided chamber.
However, Senate moderates did win a $100bn reduction in the proposed tax cut, to take into account the cost of the Iraq war.
Two other moderate Republicans, from Maine and Rhode Island, joined maverick Republicans Senator John McCain and Democrats in that vote.
However, Republicans are expected to try and remove that provision when the bill goes to the conference stage, where the differences between
the two branches of Congress are reconciled.
War bill due
Mr Bush is expected to send Congress the bill for the war on Monday, with a supplemental appropriation of around $75bn, which will also include
increased aid to coalition countries.
But with the budget vote already passed, it will be hard for Democrats to vote against money to support the troops in combat, even if they are
worried that it will increase further the budget deficit.
And Mr Bush is hoping to blunt Democratic criticism of his efforts to protect homeland security by increasing the money allocated to states and local
governments in the supplemental war appropriation.
The budget and tax victory is the first sign of the increased political capital that Mr Bush may have gained from his resolute stand on Iraq.
But his determination to pursue his own political objective in the midst of war has increased bitterness among Democrats, who argued that
partisan battles should be set aside during the war.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Mar 23, '03Should partisan battles should be set aside during the war.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Apr 5, '03From an Aussie:
When I was little, as an Australian, I worshipped America. I even had a picture of NYC next to my bed. My dad fought with them in
WW2. They helped to defend Australia, I watched war movies with awe and respect. ANZUS, a treaty dear to my country's heart, two
countries indivisible. My dream was to get to the top of the World Trade Centre. I did that in 1985, I still have the photos. They were in
clouds but I didn't care, I couldn't see farther than 100 metres, I was really there at the top of the WTC!! I realised my dream, God I felt
9/11... I thought horrible, I was there. Those people dead. Time for war and revenge, I supported the end of Taliban, a UN supported
campaign. Then, I looked to history. The US involvement in propping up regimes, Pinochet, Shah, Saddam... No wonder. An ideal
time to admit mistakes, take stock make new alliances, but no...
Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, their puppet cretin Bush and a compliant army of incredible force. They continue to make the mistakes that
caused Sept 11. Then there is Guantanimo bay, no court, two Australians amongst others held without trial, the very BASIS of
freedom and democracy the US is supposed to hold sacred.
How can I respect the USA. I can't...It Has no respect for the UN, now I can't even stand that accent on my television. I turn it off. I am
ashamed of my own leaders for their impotence in standing up for true ideals of democracy. It's turned to hatred with every head
blown off the back of some Iraqi child collateral damage.
A colleague had a good point. If Saddam was disarming under pressure of having troops present, how can 1000 cruise missiles
($1B per day) be more cost effective than having the troops there to apply pressure without the additional monetary cost of invasion?
This mantra of regime change rings hollow. Why didn't matter while Saddam murdered and tortured 14 years ago?
I now hate the US administration and people that support it. A personal alliance turned to dust. Me and millions like me across
Australia and Europe. And as I watch the completely predictable disaster unfolding in Saddam's awful country, I think why? I
begrudgingly cheer at each Iraqi victory, a victory against American double standards. I think that the US can't get away with this
ultimate act of hypocrisy. My hatred towards the US is complete and I thank Bush, Runsfeld and Wolfowitz for turning me against
everything I believed in.
Apr 5, '03Originally posted by mkue
Life is too short to have so much "hate"
If she is the only one no big deal, but what if there are many?
Apr 5, '03Hate is actually a word that I never use and advise my teenagers not to use it also, I prefer dislike, but that's me and they don't seem to mind either.
I think that Evil causes people to hate and do evil things and we all know where evil comes from (the devil).
Now where is the devil doing his work? I think he's been whispering in SH's ear for several years. Now we have more hate in the world, where did it start? Evil.
Apr 5, '03What if there are more??
I love my country not because others love it or because others yearn to live as we live, but because it is MY country and I know the heart of my country.
I hear the reactions to war daily..the common American..
total sympathy for the Iraqi people. Sorry for the damage we're causing to their country and sadness for the pain they've endured in the past. It would be easy for us to *hate* all people who look like the terrorist of 9-11, but MY country refuses to view the world through bigoted glasses. We've been there, done that and learned by that catastrophe. No, we LOVE those people and want them to live in freedom. Instead of sitting in our nice secure living rooms enjoying the security of knowing our wives and daughters are safe from government rape...knowing our next meal is just a kitchen away...knowing we have the right to speak our mind.. INSTEAD of turning the other cheek, we SACRIFICE so that other's may also enjoy our life.
I have but one question.. IF the people in Iraq are living such a wonderful life..IF they are "free" and prosperous..
why, out of many thousands of members, do we not have a SINGLE member on allnurses that calls Iraq home? Why? Because they don't even have the freedom or funds for internet. THAT is pathetic.
Hate us if you wish..
hate only hurts the heart in which it resides.
and i'm totally with marie.. *hate* is a curse word in my home..in my life. "dislike" is the preferred term. "hate" is soooooo ugly..so painful.
Apr 7, '03I'm guilty of posting long articles but this one clearly expresses the insanity of "hating" the US rather than Hussein's kleptocracy....what a GREAT word....KLEPTOCRACY! Nationalism is alive and well in the Arab world as well and to a much more disturbing degree.
I got this opinion from the Sydney Morning Herald.
Rise of a dangerous nationalism
April 7 2003
Iraq doesn't exist. Not as a real country. Not in the real world, where people live their daily lives, as distinct from the legal world defined by lines on maps, treaties and seats at the United Nations General Assembly.
On March 20, 2003, when the US military began to pulverise Saddam Hussein's power structure, this country, which for centuries was known as Mesopotamia (it was named Iraq in 1921) became no more than what it really is, an unstable and accidental amalgam between a Kurdistan in the north, a Shiite Arab enclave in the south, and a rump that for the past 25 years could best be described as Saddamistan.
The day the US and British troops began to topple the statues and liquidate Saddam's occupation force, brutal absolutism gave way to the underlying tribal realities which do not follow the lines on the map written by departed colonial powers. During the past 90 years, what we call Iraq has switched from being part of Turkey's Ottoman Empire, to a British- controlled mandate, to a kingdom under a monarchy created by the British, to a "republic" controlled by generals, to a fiefdom ruled by a warlord, to a federation functioning as an American-British military protectorate.
After just two weeks, all that remains of Saddamistan is a shrinking, ranting, desperate, isolated rump collapsing down to its essence - guns, terror and hatred. There's nothing else left.
Oil wealth: gone. Economy: gone. Territory: almost gone. Ports: gone. Airports: gone. Border control: gone. Credibility: gone. Ideals: never existed.
Until a few days ago, 20 million Iraqis were trapped inside this primitive, atavistic kleptocracy, where basic freedoms existed only at the whim of criminal gangs. The national sport was torture. This kleptocracy has been dismantled with what can only be described as extraordinary precision given the huge forces unleashed in the process.
While an entire standing army has been demolished up and down the country, the civilian casualty rate has been of an order of magnitude of around .005 per cent of the population. Prior to the invasion, the percentage of truncated, fearful lives of Iraqis was of a magnitude of 99 per cent of the population. Not even the army's generals were immune from execution.
If the coalition forces can move quickly to normalise the economy - get the oilfields pumping, the food-for-oil program working, the markets full, a sense of personal freedom flowing - it would leave the remnants of Saddamistan trapped like caged animals inside their self-made cage, knowing that if the Americans don't kill them for their reign of terror, the people they terrorised surely will.
The problem with this end-game was always going to be the hostages to history in Baghdad. So long as it can hide behind this human shield, Saddamistan can appeal to its one remaining source of strength, a source of power which has grown stronger, not weaker, even as the regime has been destroyed.
Saddam may be deluded, paranoid, monomaniacal and incompetent but he knows one thing that his mortal American enemy, George Bush, does not seem to know: that he can count on the most powerful force in the Middle East today: Arab pride.
Ethnic solidarity, not Islamic fundamentalism, is the force driving continued support for Saddamistan and hatred of the US.
The emotional drive and intellectual energy comes from something deeper than espousing the righteous of Islam - the sense of rage that the Middle East is being colonised all over again, an anger exacerbated by self-pity, envy and racism. It takes precedence over all other narratives, including Islam, including even the atrocities committed by Saddamistan against Arabs on a large scale.
Anything that seriously contradicts this message is airbrushed out of history, and a truly awe-inspiring amount of airbrushing is going on in the Arab media. Resistance by Saddam's loyalists is portrayed as an intifada, and thus mass-murderers become victims. Two Muslim uprisings were butchered in Saddamistan, which has killed or tortured a million Muslims, but it is America that is waging war against Islam.
Saddamistan acquired enough chemical weapons to kill everyone on the planet, and used them repeatedly, but America's precision-guided weapons are the "weapons of mass destruction". Mosques are used as military installations by Saddam's forces, while US and British forces refrain from firing on mosques, but allied forces are desecrating holy ground.
Saddam exhorts people to become martyrs of jihad while he hides deep inside a bunker, but he is the one brave Arab leader. International law is paramount, unless Arab nations are invading Israel in defiance of the United Nations.
The condition of the Palestinians is paramount, unless they are trying to emigrate to Arab countries. And the 900,000 Jews driven from Arab countries since 1948 have been conveniently airbrushed out of history completely. This is the only narrative possible. It takes precedence over sovereignty, over any lines on the map, especially as many of those lines are the legacies of colonialism, such as those dividing Iraq and Kuwait, Syria and Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the four-nation territory of the Kurds and the white-hot lines dividing Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories.
Pan-Arab or pan-Islamic nationalism is also championed by the Arab media because it invokes an era when Arab culture was greater that the culture of the West. As Professor Richard Bulliet of Columbia University wrote in Policy magazine last year: "Because Muslims retain a historical memory of being unified under a caliphate - a powerful state predicated on Islamic teachings - the dream of Islamic political unity will not disappear."
These faultlines are shuddering from the earthquake started by President Bush. Nowhere are the reverberations felt more than at the House of Saud, America's most important strategic asset in the Middle East (Israel is a more powerful military ally but also an enormous strategic liability). Paradoxically, the two-faced House of Saud is also the greatest financier of the brand of Islam that extolls jihad. It is no accident that Saudi Arabia provided 15 of the 19 suicide bombers for the September 11 catastrophe, produced Osama bin Laden, and the suicide bomber who killed an Australian cameraman in the first week of the war.
While Saudi Arabia's leadership is opposed to the war and actively supporting it, there are numerous credible reports that the corrupt, corpulent House of Saud is increasingly in danger of becoming a victim of the Islamic fundamentalism it has so assiduously financed. That would change the world.
This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/...567567942.html