Wednesday, March 19, 2003

The invasion begins ...
God help us all. Here is some of the reaction:

"… Today, I weep for my country … No more is the image of America one of strong, yet benevolent peacekeeper. The image of America has changed. Around the globe, our friends mistrust us, our word is disputed, our intentions are questioned. Instead of reasoning with those with whom we disagree, we demand obedience or threaten recrimination … We proclaim a new doctrine of preemption which is understood by few and feared by many … As a result, the world has become a much more dangerous place," – U.S. Senator Robert Byrd, D-W.V. from the Senate floor this afternoon.

"[People in the Middle East are] going to see hundreds of thousands of refugees, they're going to see civilians and children being killed, they're going to see all kinds of ethnic slaughter in terms of factions taking it out on one another, which they'll blame the United States invasion for … It doesn't take a leap of logic … to conclude that this is going to increase the risk of terrorism to our country. President Bush, by invading Iraq unilaterally, is endangering our country. If Iraq was producing carrots, I don’t think we’d be quite as interested," – Ralph Nader to reporters after a University of South Carolina speech Tuesday night.

"I think unleashing 3,000 smart bombs against the city of Baghdad in the first several days of the war … to me, if those were unleashed against the San Francisco Bay Area, I would call that an act of extreme terrorism. You can't send in 3,000 bombs without some of them going awry, in spite of the military's claims about accuracy. If they get two-thirds accuracy that means that 1,000 bombs will explode [off target] inside a city of 6 million people. To me, that's a terrorist act," – Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif. talking to the San Francisco Chronicle.

"And just which companies were given first crack at the post-Hussein spoils? Well, given Team Bush's track record, it will probably not fill you with 'shock and awe' to learn that the common denominator among the chosen few is a proven willingness to make large campaign donations to the Grand Old Party. Among them, the bidders -- a quartet of well-connected corporate consortiums that includes Bechtel Group, Fluor Corp. and, of course, Vice President Dick Cheney's old cronies at Halliburton -- have donated a combined $2.8 million over the last two election cycles, 68% of which went to Republicans. The insider track given these fat-cat donors proves afresh that splurging on a politician is one of the soundest and safest investments you can make. Where else will a $2.8-million ante offer you a shot at raking in a $1.5-billion payoff?" – Arianna Huffington, Los Angeles Times.

"This president failed so miserably at diplomacy that we're now forced to war," – Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., minority leader.

"Senator [Tom] Daschle has spent more time criticizing the leadership of President Bush than he has spent criticizing the tyranny of Saddam Hussein. Those comments may not undermine the president as he leads us into war, and they may not give comfort to our adversaries, but they come mighty close," – Rep. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill. and Speaker of the House [a draft-dodging chickenhawk].

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas criticized [Daschle’s] "second-guessing of our commander in chief on the eve of war with Iraq," – Associated Press, Tuesday, March 18.

However …

"The U.S. should not send its troops to Kosovo for a dangerous, open-ended and ill-defined peacemaking mission. The Clinton administration has persistently failed to commit itself to an exit strategy in Bosnia. Similarly, the Kosovo initiative has no timetable, no rules of engagement and no greater strategic plan for the region. Further ill-defined U.S. military involvement in the Balkans is, for many reasons, a risky mistake. The proposed Kosovo mission is much more dangerous than the one in Bosnia. No number of soldiers can keep the peace where none exists," – Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, March 9, 1999, in the Wall Street Journal [another draft-dodging chickenhawk].