Posted by andreas from dtm2-t9-2.mcbone.net (22.214.171.124) on Thursday, March 20, 2003 at 11:14AM :
" ... Stark's razor-tipped rhetoric was mostly an exception on a day in
which many Bay Area lawmakers who oppose the war expressed resignation
about the coming war. ..."
1) Rep. Stark blasts Bush on Iraq war - 'act of extreme terrorism'
2) [Stark] Opposing H.J. Res. 114, Authorization for Military Force Against
Rep. Stark blasts Bush on Iraq war
Fremont Democrat says plan to bomb Baghdad is 'act of extreme terrorism'
Zachary Coile, Chronicle Washington Bureau Wednesday, March 19, 2003
Washington -- In one of the most brutal critiques of the administration's
policy toward Iraq by a member of Congress, East Bay Rep. Pete Stark said
President Bush would be responsible for "an act of terror" by launching a
massive bombing campaign to oust Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
"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,"
said Stark, a Democrat from Fremont.
A White House spokeswoman said Stark and other members of Congress are
entitled to their views.
"Others will judge them and decide whether or not they agree with them,"
spokeswoman Claire Buchan said.
But she added: "The president has made it very clear that it is Saddam
Hussein's choice not to take asylum or not to disarm, and that is the
choice he is making. The president's interests are the interests of peace
for the American people, the Iraqi people and the region."
Stark's razor-tipped rhetoric was mostly an exception on a day in which
many Bay Area lawmakers who oppose the war expressed resignation about the
"I'm glum. I've been glum all day," said Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma.
"I'm so saddened and disappointed that we have failed with diplomacy and in
so doing are risking the lives of American troops and Iraqi citizens."
While anti-war members of California's delegation said they will continue
to speak out against the policy, many already are softening their rhetoric
and stressing their support for U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf.
Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, said he still believes Bush is making "a
dangerous decision." But now, he said Congress should show unity in backing
"It's our young people who will be in jeopardy. They are the ones who are
on the firing line," Miller said. "Now that the decision has been made to
go to war, they are entitled to our full support."
Even the few Bay Area lawmakers to back Bush's policy are spending less
time making the case for war and more time airing their concerns about the
potential loss of life.
Rep. Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo, one of the Democrats most strongly in support
of the president's policy, said his thoughts were about military men and
particularly the National Guard and reservists "who sacrifice so much for
their country and receive too little in return for their families."
Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, the lone Republican in the Bay Area
praised Bush for making a "difficult and courageous decision."
"Anytime the decision is made to send our troops in harm's way, it is never
easy," Pombo said.
Stark, a peace activist in the 1960s and a 30-year veteran in Congress, is
known for his sharp and sometimes careless tongue. He told the Oakland
Tribune Monday that if the president initiates the war, "it's blood on
His latest criticism is based on published reports that U.S. forces plan to
fire as many as 3,000 laser- and satellite-guided missiles on Iraq in the
first days of a military campaign.
"You can't send in 3,000 bombs without some of them going awry, in spite of
the military's claims about accuracy," Stark said in an interview Tuesday
with The Chronicle. "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. Mike Honda, D-San Jose, said Stark's comments reflect the "deep,
emotional sentiments" of many anti-war lawmakers.
"I agree this isn't the right action to take," Honda said. "There will be
collateral damage, and there will be civilians hurt."
Also Tuesday, Republican leaders were sharply critical of Senate Minority
Leader Tom Daschle for saying in a speech Monday that he was "saddened that
this president failed so miserably at diplomacy that we're now forced to
House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., said Daschle's remarks "may not give
comfort to our adversaries, but they come mighty close."
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said the comments were inconsistent
with Daschle's previous remarks about avoiding "politicizing the rhetoric"
about the war.
Rallying to Daschle's defense, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San
Francisco, repeated what Republican Sen. Robert Taft of Ohio said two weeks
after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor: "Criticism in time of war is
essential to the maintenance of any kind of democratic government."
"In expressing his views, Tom Daschle is being patriotic," Pelosi said.
"The Republican leaders are being partisan."
E-mail Zachary Coile at email@example.com.
Opposing H.J. Res. 114, Authorization for Military Force Against Iraq
October 9, 2002
"Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this resolution.
"I am deeply troubled that lives may be lost without a meaningful attempt
to bring Iraq into compliance with UN resolutions through careful and
"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
"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
"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,
"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 Dollars!
"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
"Working folks will pay through loss of job security and bargaining rights.
"Our grandchildren will pay through the degradation of our air and water
"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
-- signature .
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