File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2003/lyotard.0302, message 58


Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2003 16:36:09 +1000
Subject: Fw: Senator Byrd Speech


This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

--Boundary_(ID_qgrgwZd0/Yp84N6WUhu66g)


Steve/All,

This sort of speech, sometimes televised by C-Span is usually given to empty seats.

Let's send it to some real people on the Internet.

regards,
Hugh


~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~ 

RECKLESS ADMINISTRATION MAY REAP DISASTROUS CONSEQUENCES
by US Senator Robert Byrd
Senate Floor Speech - Wednesday, February 12, 2003 

  To contemplate war is to think about the most horrible of human 
  experiences. On this February day, as this nation stands at the brink of 
  battle, every American on some level must be contemplating the horrors of 
  war.

  Yet, this Chamber is, for the most part, silent -- ominously, dreadfully 
  silent. There is no debate, no discussion, no attempt to lay out for the 
  nation the pros and cons of this particular war. There is nothing.

  We stand passively mute in the United States Senate, paralyzed by our own 
  uncertainty, seemingly stunned by the sheer turmoil of events. Only on 
  the editorial pages of our newspapers is there much substantive 
  discussion of the prudence or imprudence of engaging in this particular 
  war.

  And this is no small conflagration we contemplate. This is no simple 
  attempt to defang a villain. No. This coming battle, if it materializes, 
  represents a turning point in U.S. foreign policy and possibly a turning 
  point in the recent history of the world.

  This nation is about to embark upon the first test of a revolutionary 
  doctrine applied in an extraordinary way at an unfortunate time. The 
  doctrine of preemption -- the idea that the United States or any other 
  nation can legitimately attack a nation that is not imminently 
  threatening but may be threatening in the future -- is a radical new 
  twist on the traditional idea of self defense. It appears to be in 
  contravention of international law and the UN Charter. And it is being 
  tested at a time of world-wide terrorism, making many countries around 
  the globe wonder if they will soon be on our -- or some other nation's -- 
  hit list. High level Administration figures recently refused to take 
  nuclear weapons off of the table when discussing a possible attack 
  against Iraq. What could be more destabilizing and unwise than this type 
  of uncertainty, particularly in a world where globalism has tied the 
  vital economic and security interests of many nations so closely 
  together? There are huge cracks emerging in our time-honored alliances, 
  and U.S. intentions are suddenly subject to damaging worldwide 
  speculation. Anti-Americanism based on mistrust, misinformation, 
  suspicion, and alarming rhetoric from U.S. leaders is fracturing the once 
  solid alliance against global terrorism which existed after September 11.

  Here at home, people are warned of imminent terrorist attacks with little 
  guidance as to when or where such attacks might occur. Family members are 
  being called to active military duty, with no idea of the duration of 
  their stay or what horrors they may face. Communities are being left with 
  less than adequate police and fire protection. Other essential services 
  are also short-staffed. The mood of the nation is grim. The economy is 
  stumbling. Fuel prices are rising and may soon spike higher.

  This Administration, now in power for a little over two years, must be 
  judged on its record. I believe that that record is dismal.

  In that scant two years, this Administration has squandered a large 
  projected surplus of some $5.6 trillion over the next decade and taken us 
  to projected deficits as far as the eye can see. This Administration's 
  domestic policy has put many of our states in dire financial condition, 
  under funding scores of essential programs for our people. This 
  Administration has fostered policies which have slowed economic growth. 
  This Administration has ignored urgent matters such as the crisis in 
  health care for our elderly. This Administration has been slow to provide 
  adequate funding for homeland security. This Administration has been 
  reluctant to better protect our long and porous borders.

  In foreign policy, this Administration has failed to find Osama bin 
  Laden. In fact, just yesterday we heard from him again marshaling his 
  forces and urging them to kill. This Administration has split traditional 
  alliances, possibly crippling, for all time, International order-keeping 
  entities like the United Nations and NATO. This Administration has called 
  into question the traditional worldwide perception of the United States 
  as well-intentioned, peacekeeper. This Administration has turned the 
  patient art of diplomacy into threats, labeling, and name calling of the 
  sort that reflects quite poorly on the intelligence and sensitivity of 
  our leaders, and which will have consequences for years to come.

  Calling heads of state pygmies, labeling whole countries as evil, 
  denigrating powerful European allies as irrelevant -- these types of 
  crude insensitivities can do our great nation no good. We may have 
  massive military might, but we cannot fight a global war on terrorism 
  alone. We need the cooperation and friendship of our time-honored allies 
  as well as the newer found friends whom we can attract with our wealth. 
  Our awesome military machine will do us little good if we suffer another 
  devastating attack on our homeland which severely damages our economy. 
  Our military manpower is already stretched thin and we will need the 
  augmenting support of those nations who can supply troop strength, not 
  just sign letters cheering us on.

  The war in Afghanistan has cost us $37 billion so far, yet there is 
  evidence that terrorism may already be starting to regain its hold in 
  that region. We have not found bin Laden, and unless we secure the peace 
  in Afghanistan, the dark dens of terrorism may yet again flourish in that 
  remote and devastated land.

  Pakistan as well is at risk of destabilizing forces. This Administration 
  has not finished the first war against terrorism and yet it is eager to 
  embark on another conflict with perils much greater than those in 
  Afghanistan. Is our attention span that short? Have we not learned that 
  after winning the war one must always secure the peace?

  And yet we hear little about the aftermath of war in Iraq. In the absence 
  of plans, speculation abroad is rife. Will we seize Iraq's oil fields, 
  becoming an occupying power which controls the price and supply of that 
  nation's oil for the foreseeable future? To whom do we propose to hand 
  the reigns of power after Saddam Hussein?

  Will our war inflame the Muslim world resulting in devastating attacks on 
  Israel? Will Israel retaliate with its own nuclear arsenal? Will the 
  Jordanian and Saudi Arabian governments be toppled by radicals, bolstered 
  by Iran which has much closer ties to terrorism than Iraq?

  Could a disruption of the world's oil supply lead to a world-wide 
  recession? Has our senselessly bellicose language and our callous 
  disregard of the interests and opinions of other nations increased the 
  global race to join the nuclear club and made proliferation an even more 
  lucrative practice for nations which need the income?

  In only the space of two short years this reckless and arrogant 
  Administration has initiated policies which may reap disastrous 
  consequences for years.

  One can understand the anger and shock of any President after the savage 
  attacks of September 11. One can appreciate the frustration of having 
  only a shadow to chase and an amorphous, fleeting enemy on which it is 
  nearly impossible to exact retribution.

  But to turn one's frustration and anger into the kind of extremely 
  destabilizing and dangerous foreign policy debacle that the world is 
  currently witnessing is inexcusable from any Administration charged with 
  the awesome power and responsibility of guiding the destiny of the 
  greatest superpower on the planet. Frankly many of the pronouncements 
  made by this Administration are outrageous. There is no other word.

  Yet this chamber is hauntingly silent. On what is possibly the eve of 
  horrific infliction of death and destruction on the population of the 
  nation of Iraq -- a population, I might add, of which over 50% is under 
  age 15 -- this chamber is silent. On what is possibly only days before we 
  send thousands of our own citizens to face unimagined horrors of chemical 
  and biological warfare -- this chamber is silent. On the eve of what 
  could possibly be a vicious terrorist attack in retaliation for our 
  attack on Iraq, it is business as usual in the United States Senate.

  We are truly "sleepwalking through history." In my heart of hearts I pray 
  that this great nation and its good and trusting citizens are not in for 
  a rudest of awakenings.

  To engage in war is always to pick a wild card. And war must always be a 
  last resort, not a first choice. I truly must question the judgment of 
  any President who can say that a massive unprovoked military attack on a 
  nation which is over 50% children is "in the highest moral traditions of 
  our country". This war is not necessary at this time. Pressure appears to 
  be having a good result in Iraq. Our mistake was to put ourselves in a 
  corner so quickly. Our challenge is to now find a graceful way out of a 
  box of our own making. Perhaps there is still a way if we allow more time.

  "Peace is the only battle worth waging."
                          --- Albert Camus










--Boundary_(ID_qgrgwZd0/Yp84N6WUhu66g)

HTML VERSION:

 
Steve/All,
 
This sort of speech, sometimes televised by C-Span is usually given to empty seats.
 
Let's send it to some real people on the Internet.
 
regards,
Hugh

~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~^^*^^~

RECKLESS ADMINISTRATION MAY REAP DISASTROUS CONSEQUENCES
by US Senator Robert Byrd
Senate Floor Speech -
Wednesday, February 12, 2003


To contemplate war is to think about the most horrible of human
experiences. On this February day, as this nation stands at the brink of
battle, every American on some level must be contemplating the horrors of
war.

Yet, this Chamber is, for the most part, silent -- ominously, dreadfully
silent. There is no debate, no discussion, no attempt to lay out for the
nation the pros and cons of this particular war. There is nothing.

We stand passively mute in the United States Senate, paralyzed by our own
uncertainty, seemingly stunned by the sheer turmoil of events. Only on
the editorial pages of our newspapers is there much substantive
discussion of the prudence or imprudence of engaging in this particular
war.

And this is no small conflagration we contemplate. This is no simple
attempt to defang a villain. No. This coming battle, if it materializes,
represents a turning point in
U.S. foreign policy and possibly a turning
point in the recent history of the world.

This nation is about to embark upon the first
test of a revolutionary
doctrine applied in an extraordinary way at an unfortunate time. The
doctrine of preemption -- the idea that the
United States or any other
nation can legitimately attack a nation that is not imminently
threatening but may be threatening in the future -- is a radical new
twist on the traditional idea of self defense. It appears to be in
contravention of international law and the UN Charter. And it is being
tested at a time of world-wide terrorism, making many countries around
the globe wonder if they will soon be on our -- or some other nation's --
hit list. High level Administration figures recently refused to take
nuclear weapons off of the table when discussing a possible attack
against
Iraq. What could be more destabilizing and unwise than this type
of uncertainty, particularly in a world where globalism has tied the
vital economic and security interests of many nations so closely
together? There are huge cracks emerging in our time-honored alliances,
and
U.S. intentions are suddenly subject to damaging worldwide
speculation. Anti-Americanism based on mistrust, misinformation,
suspicion, and alarming rhetoric from
U.S. leaders is fracturing the once
solid alliance against global terrorism which existed after September 11.

Here at home, people are warned of imminent terrorist attacks with little
guidance as to when or where such attacks might occur.
Family members are
being called to active military duty, with no idea of the duration of
their stay or what horrors they may face. Communities are being left with
less than adequate police and fire protection. Other essential services
are also short-staffed. The mood of the nation is grim. The economy is
stumbling. Fuel prices are rising and may soon spike higher.

This Administration, now in power for a little over two years, must be
judged on its record. I believe that that record is dismal.

In that scant two years, this Administration has squandered a large
projected surplus of some $5.6 trillion over the next decade and taken us
to projected deficits as far as the eye can see. This Administration's
domestic policy has put many of our states in dire financial condition,
under funding scores of essential programs for our people. This
Administration has fostered policies which have slowed economic growth.
This Administration has ignored urgent matters such as the crisis in
health care for our elderly. This Administration has been slow to provide
adequate funding for homeland security. This Administration has been
reluctant to better protect our long and porous borders.

In foreign policy, this Administration has failed to find Osama bin
Laden. In fact, just yesterday we heard from him again marshaling his
forces and urging them to kill. This Administration has split traditional
alliances, possibly crippling, for all time, International order-keeping
entities like the United Nations and NATO. This Administration has called
into question the traditional worldwide perception of the
United States
as well-intentioned, peacekeeper. This Administration has turned the
patient art of diplomacy into threats, labeling, and name calling of the
sort that reflects quite poorly on the intelligence and sensitivity of
our leaders, and which will have consequences for years to come.

Calling heads of state pygmies, labeling whole countries as evil,
denigrating powerful European allies as irrelevant -- these types of
crude insensitivities can do our great nation no good. We may have
massive military might, but we cannot fight a global war on terrorism
alone. We need the cooperation and friendship of our time-honored allies
as well as the newer found friends whom we can attract with our wealth.
Our awesome military machine will do us little good if we suffer another
devastating attack on our homeland which severely damages our economy.
Our military manpower is already stretched thin and we will need the
augmenting support of those nations who can supply troop strength, not
just sign letters cheering us on.

The war in
Afghanistan has cost us $37 billion so far, yet there is
evidence that terrorism may already be starting to regain its hold in
that region. We have not found bin Laden, and unless we secure the peace
in
Afghanistan, the dark dens of terrorism may yet again flourish in that
remote and devastated land.

Pakistan as well is at risk of destabilizing forces. This Administration
has not finished the first war against terrorism and yet it is eager to
embark on another conflict with perils much greater than those in
Afghanistan. Is our attention span that short? Have we not learned that
after winning the war one must always secure the peace?

And yet we hear little about the aftermath of war in
Iraq. In the absence
of plans, speculation abroad is rife. Will we seize
Iraq's oil fields,
becoming an occupying power which controls the price and supply of that
nation's oil for the foreseeable future? To whom do we propose to hand
the reigns of power after Saddam Hussein?

Will our war inflame the Muslim world resulting in devastating attacks on
Israel? Will Israel retaliate with its own nuclear arsenal? Will the
Jordanian and Saudi Arabian governments be toppled by radicals, bolstered
by
Iran which has much closer ties to terrorism than Iraq?

Could a disruption of the world's oil supply lead to a world-wide
recession? Has our senselessly bellicose language and our callous
disregard of the interests and opinions of other nations increased the
global race to join the nuclear club and made proliferation an even more
lucrative practice for nations which need the income?

In only the space of two short years this reckless and arrogant
Administration has initiated policies which may reap disastrous
consequences for years.

One can understand the anger and shock of any President after the savage
attacks of September 11. One can appreciate the frustration of having
only a shadow to chase and an amorphous, fleeting enemy on which it is
nearly impossible to exact retribution.

But to turn one's frustration and anger into the kind of extremely
destabilizing and dangerous foreign policy debacle that the world is
currently witnessing is inexcusable from any Administration charged with
the awesome power and responsibility of guiding the destiny of the
grea
test superpower on the planet. Frankly many of the pronouncements
made by this Administration are outrageous. There is no other word.

Yet this chamber is hauntingly silent. On what is possibly the eve of
horrific infliction of death and destruction on the population of the
nation of
Iraq -- a population, I might add, of which over 50% is under
age 15 -- this chamber is silent. On what is possibly only days before we
send thousands of our own citizens to face unimagined horrors of chemical
and biological warfare -- this chamber is silent. On the eve of what
could possibly be a vicious terrorist attack in retaliation for our
attack on
Iraq, it is business as usual in the United States Senate.

We are truly "sleepwalking through history." In my heart of hearts I pray
that this great nation and its good and trusting citizens are not in for
a rudest of awakenings.

To engage in war is always to pick a wild card. And war must always be a
last resort, not a first choice. I truly must question the judgment of
any President who can say that a massive unprovoked military attack on a
nation which is over 50% children is "in the highest moral traditions of
our country". This war is not necessary at this time. Pressure appears to
be having a good result in
Iraq. Our mistake was to put ourselves in a
corner so quickly. Our challenge is to now find a graceful way out of a
box of our own making. Perhaps there is still a way if we allow more time.

"Peace is the only battle worth waging."
                        --- Albert Camus

 

 

 

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