News Release

Bush’s War Road Ahead

MATT ROTHSCHILD
Rothschild is editor of The Progressive magazine and author of a piece about last night’s Bush news conference — titled “A Scary Performance, and a Signal for Slaughter” — in which he writes that the president’s performance was scary because of such statements as: “Our commanders on the ground have got the authority necessary to deal with violence, and will — and will in firm fashion.” Rothschild comments: “Here is the president saying that U.S. troops, who have already killed more than 600 Iraqis in the last week, will have a free hand. That is a signal for slaughter.”
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JAMES JENNINGS
Jennings is president of Conscience International, an aid organization that has worked in Iraq. He said today: “Like the Mad Hatter in ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ President Bush stood before the American people last night and tossed out numerous self-contradictory proclamations. Among them: ‘We are not an imperial power,’ yet the Iraq invasion was ‘required by our interests.’ ‘We will restore sovereignty to the Iraqi people,’ he said, but then again, ‘We are not going to leave.’ He stressed that one justification for the war was that the U.N. must mean what it says, implying that the U.N. authorized going to war, which it clearly didn’t. We seek an Iraq, he said, that is ‘independent and free.’ He then proceeded to dictate Iraq’s form of government, nature of its constitution, and elections schedule. Regarding Saddam, he said, ‘He is a danger,’ making one wonder if either the president thinks Saddam has escaped from prison or if he knows what the meaning of ‘is’ is. ‘He refused to disarm,’ the president intoned with a straight face, when in fact Iraq has been proved to be rather completely disarmed. ‘My last choice is the use of military power,’ the president said, then, ‘Knowing what I know now about [Iraq’s] weapons, I would still have gone into Iraq.'”
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NASEER ARURI
Author of the books “Dishonest Broker: The U.S. Role in Israel and Palestine” and “The Obstruction of Peace,” Aruri is president of the Trans-Arab Research Institute and chancellor professor emeritus of political science at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. He said today: “In his press conference last night, President Bush used a ‘master key’ approach to most questions, reiterating the same passionate statements expressing his world view no matter what real concerns these questions raised. Thus, the standard answer — to questions about the Vietnam analogy, weapons of mass destruction, the mounting toll of casualties, U.S. ability to assure security, Bush’s willingness to accept responsibility — was a panacea he called freedom, which he repeated dozens of times. Instead of offering a policy, which can be scrutinized, re-examined, modified, he offered a messianic vision. His mission is to ‘change the world,’ so that other less fortunate people, particularly the ‘uncivilized,’ would enjoy the freedoms that we have been blessed with by the Almighty; and he, as president, has been endowed with that mission, which also mandated fighting terrorism everywhere, not only in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also in Madrid and Jerusalem. Such words seem to be taken right out of Ariel Sharon’s script, who expects Bush today to give a carte blanche for a permanent occupation in Palestine…. Bush’s strategy is based on using the rubric of democracy and reform as an instrument of control as well as an impediment to obstruct a political settlement of the Palestine-Israel conflict based on the global consensus — ending the occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. Conditioning a political settlement on Palestinian reforms, by the U.S. and Israel, has already assured a continuation of the diplomatic paralysis.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167