Talladega track to be repaved for '06 Chase
Full track, apron and pit road to be redone in time for October race
December 15, 2005
10:48 AM EST (15:48 GMT)
TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Talladega Superspeedway officials announced Wednesday that the legendary Alabama racetrack is set to be repaved for the first time since 1979, and the project is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2006 UAW-Ford 500, race four in next year's Chase for the Nextel Cup. The project will include complete asphalt repaving of the 2.66-mile tri-oval track, apron and pit road.
A portable asphalt plant will be mobilized to the site in December of this year, and on-site work will begin in February, when trial batches of the asphalt pavement will be produced and asphalt test strips will be constructed on superspeedway property. Engineers are expected to begin formulation of asphalt mix designs and designing the required equipment modifications in December. The repaving project will begin immediately following the April 28-30, 2006 Aaron's Dream Weekend at Talladega.
"Twenty-six years has certainly been a long time to go without necessitating a project this extensive, so there is no question that the time has come for us to repave. It will ensure that Talladega Superspeedway continues to uphold its reputation for the most exciting, most competitive racing throughout the entire NASCAR circuit for years to come," said Talladega Superspeedway President Grant Lynch.
"If our track history is any indication, it will increase the level of competitiveness. The first race held here after our last repaving project was one of the most exciting on the record books."
This will be the fourth paving project for Talladega Superspeedway, with the first being the actual construction of the track for its opening in September 1969, which was followed by a repaving project completed in time for the 1970 season. The third and most recent paving was completed at the conclusion of the 1979 racing season. When drivers tested and practiced on the new surface prior to the May 4, 1980 race, they gave it rave reviews -- pointing out how the new, smooth surface greatly enhanced drafting and overall handling ability. The result was one of the most exciting races and dramatic finishes yet at the still-young superspeedway. A dozen drivers swapped the lead 40 times, and Buddy Baker took his fourth Talladega Superspeedway victory in that event, winning by just three feet after crossing the line side-by-side with Dale Earnhardt.
In the quarter of a century of racing that has since passed, the track has firmly established itself as the most competitive track on the circuit, holding both the record for most lead changes in a race (75, May 6,1984) and the record for most leaders in a race (26, most recently April 22, 2001).
Several top Nextel Cup Series drivers said the project comes as no surprise considering the age of the existing surface, and that the new surface will likely make the racing even more exciting at the legendary superspeedway.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Talladega track to be repaved for '06 Chase
Posted by William N. Phillips, Jr. at 12/15/2005 06:48:00 PM
Deport All Our Illegal Aliens?
By Steve Brown
FrontPageMagazine.com | January 24, 2003
There is a quaint fact that tends to be forgotten in discussions of immigration policy: the law is the law. The law says that some persons have a legal right to be in the United States and some do not. This law is not arbitrary: it was made by a legitimate, democratically elected government expressing the will of the American people. Therefore, it is high time to get serious about enforcing it by deporting all of our illegal aliens. Fortunately, this is not as hard as it looks, as we already deport some of them and merely need to apply the same programs to a greater number of people. Politically, it may be hard; logistically, it’s no big deal.
The raw numbers are staggering. The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) estimates there are currently more than eight million illegal aliens living within our borders, with more than a million more expected to be here by the end of 2003. It's not like the public is unaware of the problem. Successive polling in recent years has consistently shown a clear – and thus far unanswered – mandate from the American electorate for its elected officials to faithfully enforce the laws they are sworn to uphold by removing the swelling illegal population. But key constituencies inside the governing class – principally the cheap labor lobby on the Republican side and the ethnic lobbies on the Democratic side – have successfully frustrated American democracy and the rule of law on this point.
Under pressure and in fits and starts, the federal government has been making token gestures of deportation, which prove that something could be done if the political decision were ever made to get serious. Between 1995 and 1998, funding for removing illegal aliens more than doubled, resulting in a rise in deportations from 50,400 to 171,000. Early INS estimates for Fiscal 2002 deportations come in at 147,345.
But with a pool of eight million potential deportees, appreciable progress will only be achieved through a general deportation policy, i.e., the principle that every person whose illegal status becomes known gets deported. The key thing to understand is that this would not require, as opponents would have us believe, some kind of fascistic police state out of a B-grade movie. All it would require is that well-established, existing programs for deportation operate on greater numbers of people.
Fundamentally, the politics of deportation may be heated, but actual deportation is quite boring.
It's not as though it hasn't been done before. In 1954, during the Eisenhower Administration, INS Commissioner Gen. Joseph May Swing instituted a mass search-and-removal operation targeting illegal aliens from Mexico scattered throughout the Southwest and Midwest. It coordinated the efforts of the U.S. Border Patrol, municipal, county, state and local police forces, along with the military. The coordinated and strategic use of resources and manpower soon produced positive results. In Texas, the nation's second-largest state, the government needed only around 700 men to do the job, netting approximately 4,800 deportees on its first day and 1,100 daily thereafter. Deportees were shipped back to Mexico via rail and ship, often deep into the interior of the country to discourage recidivism. When funding for the initiative ran out that fall, the INS claimed some 2.1 million removals, including those who voluntarily returned to Mexico before and during the operation. Following the 1954 effort, illegal immigration dwindled until the mid-1960s.
This is the real benefit of deportation: it discourages illegal immigration in the first place, reducing both the enforcement burden and the social problems that immigration causes. Once would-be immigration criminals realize they will only be deported, their numbers drop within a range that can easily be contained. Ironically enough, this means that a laxer immigration policy, not a stricter one, requires more manpower to enforce the tatters of law that remain, and costs more money to run. Once would-be illegals get the message, there will be a lot fewer of them.
One cannot help noticing that someone who enters this country illegally has already shown, simply by so doing, a contempt for our nation's laws and a propensity to violate them. It is no accident that illegal aliens are grossly over-represented among convicted criminals.
Today, potential candidates for mass deportation can be traced through what analysts say is the main source driving illegal immigration: jobs. Yet elected officials under lobbying pressure from special interests have derailed every recent worksite enforcement attempt by the INS. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, the modest number of illegal immigrant workers it managed to round up through its 1998 raids during Georgia’s Vidalia onion harvest were overwhelmingly obscured by the thousands who fled the fields to avoid arrest. Soon, local pressure from employers and local politicians resulted in letters of outrage from both of the state’s Senators and three of its Representatives to the U.S. Attorney General and Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture and Labor citing a "lack of concern for the farmer."
Translation: greedy agribusiness wants cheap labor and would like immunity from the laws of the land to get that labor. Shielding itself from criticism by projecting a sentimental image of "family farms" that hasn’t corresponded with the industrialized and corporate-controlled agricultural reality in this country in years, agribusiness uses political power to violate the law for profit. Other industries that run on cheap illegal labor, like the restaurant trade, do the same less crassly. These interests are guilty of aiding, abetting, and profiting from crime and should be treated as such. We can start by imposing sufficiently large fines on employers of illegals.
Under a realistic deportation program, Congress would allocate the necessary workforce funding for INS inspectors to target key trades and worksites. A working model appeared in April 1999, when the INS embarked on Operation Vanguard, targeting illegal workers in the Midwest's meatpacking industry through audits of employee personnel records.
Why the meat-packing industry? Because in the last 30 years, meat-packing has gone from being one of the most solid and well-paid blue collar jobs to a low-wage sweatshop industry, almost entirely on the backs of cheap foreign labor, much of it illegal. This erosion of the economic base of the American working class must be resisted if we are to maintain our commitment to a middle-class society. (And by the way, do you think these people are going to vote Republican?)
During the first operational phase, identification, employment eligibility verification forms (I-9s) were examined for discrepancies indicating an illegal employee. Notification, the second phase, had INS providing employers with a list of suspect employees. The employers would then notify their employees of the INS findings. During interview phase, INS agents met with the employees to establish the validity of the discrepancies. When it found illegal aliens, INS began deportation proceedings. Every 45-90 days the process was repeated, examining employee records of new hires since the last audit.
In Nebraska, Operation Vanguard contacted 111 meatpacking and processing plants and investigated 24,148 employees. Of those, 36 plants had 4,495 employees with documentation discrepancies requiring INS interviews. In the aftermath, 3,152 workers simply left, 303 had excused absences or were no-shows, and the INS interviewed 1,042, of which 34 were eventually apprehended.
The good news is that Operation Vanguard proved that worksite enforcement is not only effective in reducing the number of illegal aliens working here, but also less disruptive to business owners and employees than skeptics claimed at the time—garnering praise from local law enforcement. The moment was short-lived though, as harsh criticism soon came from the governor, calling it “ill-advised in a state with such low unemployment and an already big problem with a shortage of labor.” Never mind the fact that "shortage" is a concept unknown to free-market economics – there are only things you can’t afford in as great a quantity as you want – and that the tight labor market he was complaining about was driving up the wages of the people of his state, something one would hope any governor would welcome. Operation Vanguard then officially went on hold as INS examined how to improve its central data clearinghouse. In the meantime, it has ceased all worksite enforcement.
Operation Vanguard highlighted the need for coordinated intelligence efforts with other agencies in deporting large illegal populations, such as with the Department of Labor, which doesn’t currently share data from its worksite inspections. Moreover, a better worker identification system is needed. In 1995, CIS floated the idea of a phone-in network for employers to match applicants with a national database of social security and INS information. While such a network would prove useful, state, local, county and city intelligence on illegal aliens must also be shared for any legitimate effort to remove illegal aliens. That information could then be further linked to an updated visa-tracking network equipped with thumbprint or other electronic identification data to locate overstays who then become illegal. Firmness towards illegals logically implies fairness towards legals, as a system rigorous enough to detect the former will also be accurate enough to vindicate the latter.
Local law enforcement is key. The 1996 Immigration Act provides for INS training in the location, arrest and detention of illegal aliens to state and local police. Effective deportation policy requires local police to be trained in such procedures and held liable for failure carry them out. As retired Border Patrol Agent Bill King told CIS:
"The lack of cooperation and communication between law enforcement agencies at the various levels of government has got to be overcome if the nation is serious about protecting the public from further terrorist attacks. As citizens, we have the right to expect the closest level of support between the various enforcement agencies and this is just not happening. And nowhere is it more apparent than what's happening with the City of Los Angeles Police Department special order 40, which expressly prohibits any cooperating with INS investigators or border enforcement authorities, to the point I understand where now even for a special agent or a Border Patrol agent to enter one of the several police buildings in the city, requires the permission of the station commander. This is absolutely ridiculous. They're not allowed to even share information relating to the illegal alien activity in that city and it's become -- if it isn't the illegal capital of this country, it's very close to it. But to me, any agency at any level of government that fails to cooperate, particularly in these times, should have any federal funding they're receiving revoked."
Could the INS handle the surge in its workload resulting from a general deportation policy? Were a general deportation policy implemented today, the initial effort would undoubtedly yield a windfall of illegal aliens. However, adequate processing facilities would make the overflow of early apprehensions feasible. As recently as 1998, INS said that with 21,000 more detention spaces and 1,500 more employees, it could remove every criminal alien. According to a CIS report, this would require $652 million targeted at detention and removal. This is well under one-tenth of one percent of the federal budget.
The current deportation process is limited to incarcerated illegal aliens. It begins when INS identifies potentially deportable aliens in federal, state, or local prisons. Limited resources have led INS to avoid pursuing aliens on probation or suspended sentences, focusing instead on those whose prison sentences are nearly over. INS then detains the alien. After investigation, INS determines whether that alien is deportable. If the INS determines the alien is legal and poses no threat to the public, they are released. However, if the INS issues a deportation order, the criminal alien may contest it in immigration court.
During the immigration court trial phase, the alien must present cause for immunity from deportation. Acceptable immunity causes include political asylum and extreme family hardship. The potential deportee may appeal an adverse ruling through the Department of Justice, the federal courts and the Supreme Court. Felony deportees caught re-entering are subject to a 20-year prison sentence. A database of thumbprints from over 2 million deportees assists INS in identifying those who return illegally.
After the infrastructure with all necessary database systems online and linked to INS has been put in place, buttressed by the full-support of federal and state governments and law enforcement, the actual work of deportation becomes elementary. As in 1954, it would be a simple matter of rounding up, processing and removing them en masse by plane, train or ship. Unlike then, if an illegal alien should try to reenter the country, it would become known immediately upon apprehension. Those who overstay their visas and become illegal would be quickly identified and tracked down through a more comprehensive verification system.
The tools and the public support for general deportation are already here and its implementation, while coming with initial added costs, would more than pay for itself in reduced social services to illegal aliens. Nothing less than the concept of being a nation of laws is at stake, in addition to the other immigration issues of national security, cultural identity, preventing cheap labor, environmental protection, and the survival of the Republican Party itself.
And, lest we forget, the law is still the law.
Another War With Mexico?
Written by Robert Klein Engler
Sunday, October 19, 2003
At the time of the first Mexican-American War, there were strains in Mexican as well as American society that parallel the strains in both societies today. Most importantly, the Mexican government at that time was split between the Federalists and the Centralists. The Centralists favored an autocratic government and wanted to regain the lost territory of Texas, whereas the Federalists were more in favor of democratic reforms.
In the United States, the major strain was between the liberal Abolitionists who feared that Texas would become a slave holding state, and the Nationalists who envisioned America stretching "from sea to shining sea." It may be helpful to look again at some of this history to see if we can understand what the future may hold for these two countries.
People on both sides of the Mexican/U. S. border have to be reminded that Mexico has a different history from the United States. The indigenous Aztecs practiced such cannibalism and human sacrifice that it shocked even the brutal Spanish conquistadors. Mexico has yet to repudiate its Aztec past the way the Germans repudiated their Nazi past.
The 1910 revolution in Mexico was no stroll down the Paseo de la Reforma, either. One just has to read Martin Luis Guzman's book The Eagle and the Serpent, to realize how bloody that revolution was. Although military casualties were high on both sides of the American War Between the States, civilian casualties were much higher during the Mexican Revolution.
Mexican culture is also different from American culture. An example of one important cultural difference between Mexico and the U. S. is religion. Mexico has Roman Catholic traditions, while the U. S. mainly has Protestant traditions. There were cultural reasons why Texas did not want to remain part of Mexico and first seceded and then became part of the United States. Many of those reasons are still valid today, in spite of NAFTA and Mexico's immigration and nationalization policies. Many Mexican immigrants to the U. S. have no desire to assimilate, to speak English, nor to become Americans. They are aggressively seeking to replace our culture with theirs.
When we celebrate Columbus Day in the U. S., and the Mexicans celebrate "El Día de la Raza," a statement is being made about how two cultures view their place in the world. El Día de la Raza can be translated as "The Day of the Race," an expression that has definite racist overtones. Columbus Day may carry overtones of conquest, but it links our culture with Europe. The Day of the Race links Mexican culture with a brutal and indigenous people, the Aztecs, and carries shades of revenge and empire. The day of the Race is Mexico's answer to our "manifest destiny."
During the "conquista," Spain tried to impose on Mexico a common western language, religion, and culture, and to the degree it was successful. It was also anti-American. We should remember that the Spaniards were building the great cathedral at the Zocolo in Mexico City a hundred years before George Washington took control of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Massachusetts. Here are two different world views, sharing the same continent.
In his article, Clash of Civilizations?, Samuel P. Huntington reminds us that cultural differences may cause future wars, and that these wars will be along cultural "fault lines." The U. S.--Mexican border is one of those fault lines. Huntington writes, "Civilization identity will be increasingly important in the future, and the world will be shaped in large measure by the interactions among seven or eight major civilizations. ...The most important conflicts of the future will occur along the cultural fault lines separating these civilizations from one another."
In regard to Mexico, Huntington writes, "During the past decade, Mexico has assumed a position somewhat similar to that of Turkey. Just as Turkey abandoned its historic opposition to Europe and attempted to join Europe, Mexico has stopped defining itself by its opposition to the United States and is instead attempting to imitate the United States." However, unlike Canada, Mexico has a large, nonwestern, indigenous population that has not yet been integrated into modernity. This native population also carries an unconscious weight of resentment towards the Spanish conquest, which it now mistakenly displaces onto the U. S.
Mexico's indigenous population is one of the contemporary strains in that society. Sub-Comandante Marcos and the uprising in Chiapas of indigenous people is a prediction of what is to come in Mexico if that strain cannot be relieved. The Mexican elites have decided, therefore, to reduce this strain by sending north as many poor and jobless Mexicans as they can. Instead of solving their own problems, which might entail a reduction of their status, the ruling Mexican elites have decided to keep the fiesta going and let the U. S. handle the cleanup.
A top adviser to past Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari described to Huntington all the changes the Salinas government was making. When the advisor finished, Huntington remarked: "That's most impressive. It seems to me that basically you want to change Mexico from a Latin American country into a North American country." He looked at me with surprise and exclaimed: "Exactly! That's precisely what we are trying to do, but of course we could never say so publicly." What also could not be said publicly is that Mexico wants to reclaim its "lost" territory. It will use economics and illegal immigrants to do this.
Many Mexican elites believe that to become a modern nation, Mexico has to restructure its economy and regain the territory it lost during the first Mexican war. For over a century, Mexican nationalists have used the myths and symbols of a lost but glorious indigenous past to motivate its plans for expansion. D. H. Lawrence wrote about this myth building in his novel, The Plumed Serpent.
Nowadays, the Mexican elites realize they do not need an army when they have NAFTA and illegal immigrants to do the job just as well. The Mexican elites have devised a foreign policy to achieve these objectives. This policy uses the poorer elements in Mexican society as foot soldiers. By moving poor and jobless Mexicans north, Mexico can make the U. S. absorb the cost of welfare and at the same time re-colonize large segments of so-called lost, Mexican territory.
Lets look at aspects of Mexican foreign policy to see how its aggressive actions towards the U. S. may be understood. Writing in The Miami Herald, for Sunday, January 12, 2003, Andres Oppenheimer openly wonders if Mexico's former Economy Minister and now new Foreign Minister, Luis Ernesto Derbez, "may weaken what has been one of (President) Fox's most important accomplishments: bringing Mexico's foreign policy out of the dark ages of knee-jerk nationalism and pointless anti-Americanism." In fact, Derbez's job will be to say one thing and do another. Nationalism and anti-Americanism remain a part of Mexico's foreign policy, it's just not called that anymore.
Prior to Derbez's statements, Mexico's previous Foreign Minister and former Marxist, Jorge Castañeda said that nationalism and anti-Americanism made sense in the 19th and 20th centuries but are not viable in a globalized world, in which countries depend more on exchanges of goods, services, and people than at any time in recent history.
Mexico's traditional anti-Americanism "'creates a brutal national schizophrenia,'" said Castañeda. He further noted that 90 percent of Mexico's trade is with the United States. Yet, integrating the Mexican economy with the U. S. economy may be viewed more sinisterly. This economic integration can be also just one aspect of a Mexican foreign policy designed to get back territory.
Internationally, Mexico is a non-permanent member of the Security Council. It's hostile intentions towards the U. S. were made clear when it opposed any unilateral action against Iraq without a mandate from the Security Council. This stance on Iraq further angered many to the north.
If another 9/11 attack did occur in the U. S. and it did not damage Mexico's interests, Mexico would remain indifferent. Mexico may even unintentionally aid terrorists by encouraging illegal immigration to the U. S. Furthermore, Mexico has never broken off relations with communist Cuba and gives it considerable development aid. In spite of American policy toward Cuba, Mexican President Fox visited the island in February, 2002.
The first war between the United States and Mexico began with a Mexican attack on American troops along the southern border of Texas on Apr. 25, 1846. On Monday, May 11, President Polk presented his war message to Congress, and on Wednesday, May 13, over the opposition of the Abolitionists, the U. S. Congress voted to declare war on Mexico. Fighting ended when U. S. Gen. Winfield Scott occupied Mexico City on Sept. 14, 1847. The peace treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed on Feb. 2, 1848, ending the war.
Ironically, the Confederate hero Jefferson Davis emerges as a figure from that war who may help us predict our future foreign policy towards Mexico. Davis distinguished himself fighting for the U. S., especially at the battle of Monterrey. You have to wonder if Davis ever imagined his world would be turned upside down when 15 years later he would become President of the Confederate States of America. Will our world also be turned upside down years from now because of NAFTA, illegal immigration, and drugs from Mexico?
As a Nationalist, Davis could see the importance of Texas to the expanding union. The Abolitionists argued that the move to the Rio Grande was an aggressive act by President Polk to start a war with Mexico in order to add new slave territory to the United States. The Nationalists and Davis carried the day and the war was successfully waged.
Yet, years later Davis could not convert to the Abolitionist cause. He sided with the southern confederacy against the north. The War Between the States settled that issue, and Jefferson Davis ended up a federal prisoner held for trial on a charge of treason. In light of this history, one has to wonder if the liberals in the U. S. today, who favor NAFTA and open immigration will still stay with that position 15 years from now when Texas, New Mexico, California, and Wyoming secede from the U. S. and become part of Mexico.
The war with Mexico is considered by some historians to be the most costly by casualty count in American military history. Despite the objections of the Abolitionists, the Mexican war received enthusiastic support from all sections of the United States. The war was fought almost entirely by volunteers.
So, too, a future war with Mexico will be opposed by the liberals, but will receive support from America's white, working class, and many African-Americans. If past indications of Mexico's bloody history are to be projected to a new Mexican war, we can expect high casualties on both sides. Many northern U. S. cities like Chicago with large Mexican barrios as fifth columnists, may also suffer destruction.
In order to put oil on the troubled waters of current Mexican--U. S. relations, the two countries have been trying to downplay differences. This may look good on a diplomatic level, but has not altered Mexico's aggressive policies towards the U. S. in the least. While talking, illegal immigration continues, cocaine flows across the border into the U.S., the Mexican government remains corrupt, and the Mexican elites still rely on the U. S. to solve the social and economic problems of Mexico.
President Fox was the first foreign leader to be received by President Bush after his inauguration. Likewise, President Bush's first trip abroad was to Mexico in February 2001. George Kourous writes about these visits. He says, "The White House has scheduled Bush's first official state dinner to crown the visit and is dressing up the event with pomp, circumstance, and recycled rhetoric about the new era of U. S.--Mexico relations. 'The fact (that) this is the first state dinner ought to send signals about our unique relationship,' Bush then told reporters."
Just what those signals are, remain to be seen. Writing in Chronwatch.com, Fernando Oaxaca says, "Before the California Recall exercise ended, El Universal, a more moderate Mexico paper than La Jornada, reported that Foreign Secretary Derbez had announced a new "'security doctrine'" for Mexico. It clashed with what Washington had expected would be a dependable partnership with Mexico and other nations in the war on terror. Never using the word "terrorism," Derbez said that the concept of "one for all and all for one" was an "outdated, World War II concept!"
Foreign Secretary Derbez went on to add, "No state can impose on another its own security agenda, nor the order of its priorities. Security should be understood as a reality for each country--not as hemispheric, because there is no military, strategic, or ideological enemy outside the region which is attacking it as a whole." Clearly, Mexico is not troubled by threats to the United States on the terrorist front.
On the economic front, Mexico's President Fox took office praising the benefits of expanded U. S.--Mexico trade. He promised to create 1.4 million new jobs. Instead, an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 jobs have been lost, mostly as a result of an economic slowdown in the United States. This slowdown is not good for Mexican imports to the U. S. The slowdown also creates less of a need for low-paid, illegal immigrant workers. Still, there has been no letup in the migration northwards.
If the "reconquista" continues unchecked for the next twenty years, the U. S. will be a fundamentally different society than it is today. There will be more poverty and low-wage jobs in our cities. We will be a dual language society, with more and more Spanish and less and less English spoken. The price for this social transformation will be paid mostly by the U. S. white, working class, and African Americans.
About 820,000 people migrate to the Untied States every year. Eventually, there will be a movement of population away from the socially divided and increasingly Latino north American cities to states like Montana, Oregon, and Kentucky. Joel Kotkin has already documented the beginning of this population shift in his 1996 Washington Post article, "White Flight to the Fringes." Add to the Latino immigration the high rates of other foreign immigrants and it is understandable why many white Americans will abandon our cities. The U. S. Census Bureau projects that by the middle of this century, whites will constitute just over half of the U. S. population. By 2060, whites will be a minority. Then, the "reconquista" will be complete.
The liberal plan for North America imagines a peaceful blending of cultures accomplished by shared economic goals. Based on a past war and present Mexican foreign policy, it is hard to see how this plan can work. Nor can we imagine how uncontrolled and illegal Mexican immigration to the U. S. is in the interest of African-Americans or the white working class in America. Just as past Abolitionist policy concerning Texas was mistaken, so the present liberal policy of uncontrolled immigration to the U. S. is also mistaken. Perhaps only another successful war with Mexico will show that to be the case.
Today, Mexico is more of an enemy than an ally of the U. S. Its foreign policy is as belligerent as any of our other past enemies. An invasion of drugs and immigrants are some of the many reasons why the United States may fight yet another war against Mexico. All the conditions for that war are present. If you talk to some Americans living near the border, then you will hear the war has already started.
Robert Klein Engler lives in Chicago. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago Divinity School. His book, A WINTER OF WORDS, about the ethnic cleansing at Daley College, is available from amazon.com.
Joyce Comments: A reader has been circulating a MoveOn.org Coward Dean like absurd plan involving the corrupt and embattled United Nations and bases in two additional Arab countries Qatar and Bahrain to essentially "run" Iraq and it's post-war rehabilitation. This is the most irresponsible and riduluous suggestion to be made since the United Nations is most thought of for it's "peacekeeping" failures from the 1990s in Rwanda and Somolia. Below is a more detailed and professional rundown as to why the United Nations should stay out of the business of Iraq.
May 21, 2003
Q:Would it be a Mistake to let the United Nations Play the Lead Role in Reconstructing Iraq?
Yes: Don't allow European nations that opposed regime change to stake their economic and strategic claims in Iraq.
Numerous countries - including most members of the European Union, Russia, China and virtually all of the G-7 states - are clamoring for the United Nations to play a leading role in Iraq. Even some coalition partners such as Britain have been urging the United States to accord the United Nations considerable influence, mostly out of a desire to help heal the breach in the Atlantic alliance and rehabilitate the United Nation's tattered record.
While the United States always should listen respectfully to its allies, it is imperative in the weeks ahead for the Bush administration to rebuff U.N. plans for a central role in a postwar Iraqi government. Moreover, the Bush administration should apply the following guidelines to involvement of any kind by the United Nations and the international community:
* The United States and Great Britain, not the United Nations, must oversee the future of a post-Saddam Iraq. There is no need for the United States to spend diplomatic capital on securing a U.N. resolution mandating a postwar allied administration. While such a resolution might be politically helpful, the United Nations and European countries need it just as much if not more than the coalition does. If France, Russia and Germany are prepared to offer a satisfactory draft resolution, the United States and Britain should accept it.
* Only those nations that have joined the "coalition of the willing" should participate in the postwar administration, reconstruction and security of Iraq.
* The role of the United Nations in a postwar Iraq should be solely humanitarian.
* All individuals who have committed war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity and other grave violations of international or Iraqi law should be vigorously and promptly prosecuted. Truth-finding and national-reconciliation activities, patterned after the postapartheid South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, should be launched promptly.
* Both the prosecution and truth-finding should be carried out primarily by the Iraqis themselves with appropriate input from coalition countries. There should be no involvement by any international tribunals, whether ad hoc (as was the case in the Balkans) or in the form of the permanent International Criminal Court.
* The United States must press the U.N. Security Council to end the oil-for-food program. All revenues from past sales of Iraqi oil now controlled by the United Nations are the sovereign property of Iraq and should immediately be turned over to the Iraqi interim government. The United States also should take the position that all of the outstanding Security Council Iraq-related sanctions resolutions have been vitiated by virtue of the regime change in Iraq. No new U.N. Security Council resolution repealing the previous sanctions is legally necessary.
* The interim government run by coalition countries, and its eventual Iraqi successor government, should be viewed as the legitimate government of Iraq.
* Oil and other financial contracts signed between Saddam Hussein's regime and European governments and companies that have violated either international law (by flouting the Saddam Hussein-era sanctions) or the applicable Iraqi national law should be scrutinized carefully by the postwar Iraqi government. There are good reasons to believe that the Iraqis can legally repudiate, or at least renegotiate, any inequitable or one-sided contracts signed during Saddam's tenure.
In addition to adhering to these principles, the Bush administration also needs to challenge numerous legal and policy arguments being advanced by U.N. partisans. These claims include that: (1) the coalition members cannot administer Iraq without the United Nations' legal imprimatur; (2) the coalition cannot draw on Iraqi national resources to pay for any reconstruction-related needs; (3) all existing Security Council sanctions resolutions (originally passed to address specific misdeeds by Saddam's regime) remain fully in force and can be overturned only by a new Security Council resolution; (4) only the United Nations can bestow legitimacy on any new Iraqi interim administration; and, ultimately, (5) the U.N.-led process is essential to the creation of an Iraqi democratic polity.
All of these legal and policy propositions are wrong. They are driven largely by the same ill-thought-out impulse of trying to discipline U.S. military and diplomatic power that was so evident in debates at the United Nations before Operation Iraqi Freedom. They also are inconsistent with the United Nations' charter and violate international law.
Coalition countries legally can govern Iraq on an interim basis. An entity created by coalition forces that can and should delegate authority to Iraqi-run local, regional and national institutions as quickly as possible is the legitimate government of the sovereign state of Iraq. That entity is entitled to use Iraqi national resources, including proceeds from oil sales, to pay for the country's reconstruction and rebuilding projects. Over time, more and more power and authority would be assumed by the Iraqi-run democratic institutions. Eventually, coalition-run governing structures would be dissolved.
While the United Nations' endorsement of this effort would be politically advantageous, it is not legally required. Indeed, under the 1907 Hague Regulations, the 1949 Geneva Convention IV and customary international law norms, the coalition countries bear the ultimate responsibility for the safety and well-being of the Iraqi people until the full transition to a new Iraqi government takes place because the coalition caused the regime change in Iraq. They cannot legally delegate their duties, rights and obligations to any third parties or international institutions, including the United Nations.
Legal-authority issues aside, a U.N.-controlled postwar administration merely would serve as a Trojan horse for European nations opposed to regime change, enabling them to stake their economic and strategic claims in Iraq. This cannot be allowed. Efforts by Paris and Moscow to retain the United Nations' sanctions regime against Iraq, particularly the oil-for-food program, also ought to be vigorously opposed by the United States. As a matter of law, various Security Council resolutions imposed on Iraq under Saddam's regime were predicated upon the specific misdeeds committed by that regime. Since the conditions that gave rise to these resolutions now have been vitiated, it is entirely permissible and appropriate for the United States to hold that the resolutions are no longer in force and that rescinding them does not require a new Security Council resolution.
The United States also immediately should address the legal status of both the post-Saddam interim-governing entity, run by the coalition countries, and the eventual Iraqi national government. The Bush administration vigorously should argue that, under existing international law norms, both the interim entity and its successor Iraqi government are fully legitimate and possess all attributes of Iraqi sovereignty, including the ability to borrow money, sign contracts with foreign entities and manage Iraq's natural resources.
Neither the U.N. charter nor customary international law grants the United Nations any cognizable legal right to recognize governments or bestow a seal of good housekeeping on them. Moreover, it certainly would be awkward for an organization that lets Muammar Qaddafi's Libya run the U.N. Commission on Human Rights and was content to have Saddam's Iraq chair the U.N. Conference on Disarmament to act as if it can or should pass moral judgments.
In a March 26 statement to Congress, Secretary of State Colin Powell made it clear that Washington would not give the United Nations a commanding role in administering a postwar Iraq. Powell said, "We didn't take on this huge burden with our coalition partners not to be able to have a significant dominating control over how it unfolds in the future."
The Bush administration envisages a temporary U.S.-led administration that will govern Iraq until an interim Iraqi government can be put in place. The administration is charged with overseeing civil governance, reconstruction and humanitarian assistance. It will work with a coalition-led security force, which may involve as many as 60,000 coalition troops.
Aside from the immediate reconstruction-related tasks, the administration has articulated a set of far-ranging, ambitious, long-term goals, including fostering a democratic Iraq in which Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis would live in peace, developing a civil society and rule of law and empowering Iraqi women to become full-fledged participants in the country's political and economic life.
The United Nations slowly is dying as a force on the world stage and will go the way of the League of Nations unless it radically is reformed and restructured. It failed spectacularly to deal with the growing threat posed by Saddam, and its influence well may diminish further in the coming years. Indeed, what happens to the United Nations in the future very much depends upon how it behaves here and now. In this regard, there is no doubt that France and Russia are pursuing narrow, selfish and anti-U.S. policy agendas with regard to Iraq's postwar governance and democratization. Unless the United Nations opposes the French and Russian plans at least with the same vigor it has displayed in trying to handicap the administration's Iraq policy, the United Nations would lose all credibility.
President George W. Bush should make it clear that no further discussions on the Iraq issue are needed at the United Nations. Indeed, the role of the United Nations in a postwar Iraq should be limited to purely humanitarian involvement. The United States and Britain should take the lead in administering a postwar Iraqi transition government with the United Nations playing only a subordinate role.
Gardiner is visiting fellow in Anglo-American security policy in the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies at the Heritage Foundation. Rivkin is a partner in the Washington office of Baker & Hostetler and has served in the Department of Justice and the White House Counsel's Office.
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 12/15/2005 09:42:00 AM
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
European elites enjoy showcasing their opposition to the death penalty as a progressive policy based on the respect of human rights. This stance is portrayed in stark contrast to the their brethren across the pond in the U.S. who execute criminals on a whim, sometimes even juveniles (note: the prior ability to of states to execute adults who committed murder as juveniles was commonly misrepresented in the European press as the execution of juveniles.). Like many policies, however, the moral basis of European opposition to the death penalty is riddled with contradictions, especially when viewed in the context of Europe's progressive euthanasia policies or dismal record on human rights on their own continent (reference their indifference to the Balkans). Such large contradictions usually suggest there are other motives.
Germany, along with France, has long led the anti-death penalty charge in Europe. The mayor of Paris took this viewpoint to such an extreme position that he named a city street after convicted American cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. So it came as little surprise when a Washington Post article revealed today that the true basis for Germany's strong anti-death penalty policy was not based on morals or a sense of humanity. Instead, it was based on protecting convicted Nazi war criminals:
Contrasting their nation's policy with that of the Americans, Germans point proudly to Article 102 of their Basic Law, adopted in 1949. It reads, simply: "The death penalty is abolished." They often say that this 56-year-old provision shows how thoroughly the postwar Federal Republic has learned -- and applied -- the lessons of Nazi state-sponsored killing. (Communist East Germany kept the death penalty until 1987.)
But the actual history of the German death penalty ban casts this claim in a different light. Article 102 was in fact the brainchild of a right-wing politician who sympathized with convicted Nazi war criminals -- and sought to prevent their execution by British and American occupation authorities. Far from intending to repudiate the barbarism of Hitler, the author of Article 102 wanted to make a statement about the supposed excesses of Allied victors' justice.
The historical roots of German opposition to the death penalty supports a theory of ours, namely that death penalty opposition is based more on self-preservation than morality. Specifically, the ruling class in Europe sought in the aftermath of World War II to limit the penalties available for any genuine or perceived crimes they may commit. The reason for seeking this protection is clear: European elites to this day are still haunted by visions of cascading guillotines and always cognizant of a population that finds more solace in the street-mob than the ballot box. Eliminating the death penalty all but ensures the Europe’s ruling elitist class will endure for the foreseeable future.
A 2000 article by Joshua Micah Marshall in the New Republic further substantiates this position and effectively destroyed the myth that Europeans as a whole are opposed to the death penalty. Marshall cited opinion polls showing the following:
The U.K. - Between two-thirds and three-quarters of the population favors the death penalty (about the same as in the U.S.)
Italy - roughly one-half the population wants the death penalty reinstated.
France - Clear majorities continued to back the death penalty long after it was abolished in 1981. Only last year  did a poll finally show that less than 50 percent wanted it reinstated.
So not only is European opposition to the death penalty based on a questionable foundation, but the image of the anti-death penalty European is a mirage all together. Using these three, typically more “progressive” Western European countries as a representation of Europe as a whole suggests the death penalty enjoys much larger support across the European population than is commonly believed. No doubt that absent strong lobbying by European bureaucrats for the abolition of the death penalty, the numbers supporting capital punishment would be much, much higher.
It should be noted that the trend of death penalty support in Europe is likely to increase (if it has not already), as the influence of Islam grows. "Private" death penalty sentences appear to already be on the rise in Europe in the form of honor killings. As Sharia law takes hold in Europe, this situation can be expected to worsen, rather than improve.
On a related note, noted liberal scholar Cass Sunstein, recently wrote a paper based on the findings of a research group at Emory University. The study found "a direct association between the reauthorization of the death penalty, in 1977, and reduced homicide rates," but also that "the 'conservative estimate' was that on average, every execution deters eighteen murders." Sunstein and his co-author concluded, "this calculus makes the death penalty not just morally licit but morally required." It can be expected that this report will never see the light of day in the European, or even the U.S. press for that matter.
Posted by Jeff at June 7, 2005 09:30 PM
Joyce's Footnote: Stanley "Tookie" Williams was fortunately put to death by the state of California the morning of Tuesday, December 13th at the irrelevant outrage of European elitists, including Austrians. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's response, all 57 pages, is online at http://www.lacountyda.org/pdf/swilliams.pdf Read it and understand what civilized justice really means. His victims and their families would probably appreciate it if you remember them more while you direct your outrage at Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger http://www.homestead.com/prosites-prs/tookiewilliamsvictims.html If you still don't understand why the death penalty is widely supported here and it looks like abroad too, then you must be the type of person who cares more for animals then mammals.
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 12/14/2005 01:54:00 PM
The Woodrow Wilson Center
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
11:08 A.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Please be seated. Thank you for the warm welcome. I'm delighted to be here with the men and women of the Wilson Center. According to your mission statement, the Center was created to bring together two groups -- political leaders and scholars. I see some of the political leaders who are here, and I presume you've invited me to uphold the scholars' end. (Laughter.)
I've come to discuss an issue of vital importance to the American people, and that is: Victory in the war on terror. On September the 11th, 2001, our nation awoke to a sudden attack, and we accepted new responsibilities. We are confronting new dangers with firm resolve. We're hunting down the terrorists and their supporters. We will fight this war without wavering -- and we will prevail. (Applause.)
In the war on terror, Iraq is now the central front -- and over the last few weeks, I've been discussing our political, economic, and military strategy for victory in that country. A historic election will take place tomorrow in Iraq. And as millions of Iraqis prepare to cast their ballots, I want to talk today about why we went into Iraq, why we stayed in Iraq, and why we cannot -- and will not -- leave Iraq until victory is achieved. (Applause.)
I want to thank Ambassador Gildenhorn for inviting me and introducing me. And I want to thank the members of the Board of Trustees who are here. I appreciate Lee Hamilton, who serves our nation so well in so many different capacities. Thank you for being the President and Director of the Woodrow Wilson Center.
I'm proud to be traveling today with members of my Cabinet: Secretary of State Condi Rice; Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld; and Secretary of Homeland Security Mike Chertoff. Thank you all for coming. (Applause.) I appreciate the members of the Congress who are here. Thanks for taking time to come. I want to thank the members of the Diplomatic Corps that have joined us today. And thank you all for being here, as well.
We are living through a watershed moment in the story of freedom. Most of the focus now is on this week's elections -- and rightly so. Iraqis will go to the polls to choose a government that will be the only constitutional democracy in the Arab world. Yet we need to remember that these elections are also a vital part of a broader strategy for protecting the American people against the threat of terrorism.
We saw the future the terrorists intend for our nation on that fateful morning of September the 11th, 2001. That day we learned that vast oceans and friendly neighbors are no longer enough to protect us. September the 11th changed our country; it changed the policy of our government. We adopted a new strategy to protect the American people: We would hunt down the terrorists wherever they hide; we would make no distinction between the terrorists and those who harbor them; and we would advance our security at home by advancing freedom in the Middle East.
September the 11th also changed the way I viewed threats like Saddam Hussein. We saw the destruction terrorists could cause with airplanes loaded with jet fuel -- and we imagined the destruction they could cause with even more powerful weapons. At the time, the leaders of both political parties recognized this new reality: We cannot allow the world's most dangerous men to get their hands on the world's most dangerous weapons. In an age of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, if we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long. (Applause.)
We removed Saddam Hussein from power because he was a threat to our security. He had pursued and used weapons of mass destruction. He sponsored terrorists. He ordered his military to shoot at American and British pilots patrolling the no-fly zones. He invaded his neighbors. He fought a war against the United States and a broad coalition. He had declared that the United States of America was his enemy.
Over the course of a decade, Saddam Hussein refused to comply with more than a dozen United Nations resolutions -- including demands that he respect the rights of the Iraqi people, disclose his weapons, and abide by the terms of a 1991 cease-fire. He deceived international inspectors, and he denied them the unconditional access they needed to do their jobs. When a unanimous Security Council gave him one final chance to disclose and disarm, or face serious consequences, he refused to comply with that final opportunity. At any point along the way, Saddam Hussein could have avoided war by complying with the just demands of the international community. The United States did not choose war -- the choice was Saddam Hussein's.
When we made the decision to go into Iraq, many intelligence agencies around the world judged that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction. This judgment was shared by the intelligence agencies of governments who did not support my decision to remove Saddam. And it is true that much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong. As President, I'm responsible for the decision to go into Iraq -- and I'm also responsible for fixing what went wrong by reforming our intelligence capabilities. And we're doing just that. At the same time, we must remember that an investigation after the war by chief weapons inspector Charles Duelfer found that Saddam was using the U.N. oil-for-food program to influence countries and companies in an effort to undermine sanctions, with the intent of restarting his weapons programs once the sanctions collapsed and the world looked the other way. Given Saddam's history and the lessons of September the 11th, my decision to remove Saddam Hussein was the right decision. Saddam was a threat -- and the American people and the world is better off because he is no longer in power. (Applause.) We are in Iraq today because our goal has always been more than the removal of a brutal dictator; it is to leave a free and democratic Iraq in its place.
As I stated in a speech in the lead-up to the war, a liberated Iraq could show the power of freedom to transform the Middle East by bringing hope and progress to the lives of millions. So we're helping the Iraqi -- Iraqi people build a lasting democracy that is peaceful and prosperous and an example for the broader Middle East. The terrorists understand this, and that is why they have now made Iraq the central front in the war on terror.
The enemy of freedom in Iraq is a combination of rejectionists and Saddamists and terrorists. The rejectionists are ordinary Iraqis, mostly Sunni Arabs, who miss the privileged status they had under the regime of Saddam Hussein. We believe that, over time, most of this group will be persuaded to support the democratic Iraq led by a federal government that is strong enough to protect minority rights. We're encouraged by the indications that many Sunnis intend to participate in tomorrow's elections.
The Saddamists are former regime loyalists who harbor dreams of returning to power, and they're trying to foment anti-democratic sentiment amongst the larger Sunni community. Yet they lack popular support, and over time, they can be marginalized and defeated by the security forces of a free Iraq.
The terrorists affiliated with or inspired by al Qaeda are the smallest, but most lethal group. They are led by a brutal terrorist named Zarqawi. He's al Qaeda's chief operations officer in Iraq. He has stated his allegiance to Osama bin Laden. The terrorists have ambitions; they have goals. They want to stop the advance of freedom in Iraq. They want to make Iraq what Afghanistan was under the Taliban -- a safe haven from which they can plot attacks against our people. There is no limit to their brutality. They kill the innocent to achieve their aims. This is an enemy without conscience -- and against such enemy, there is only one effective response: We will never back down, we will never give in, and we will never accept anything less than complete victory. (Applause.)
Last month, my administration released a document called the "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq." In recent weeks, I've been discussing our strategy with the American people. At the U.S. Naval Academy, I spoke about how we changed our approach to training Iraqi security forces, so they can take the fight to the enemy and eventually take responsibility for the security of their citizens without major foreign assistance. Iraqi forces are becoming more and more capable.
This time last year, there was only a handful of Iraqi battalions ready for combat. Now there are more than 125 Iraqi army and police combat battalions in the fight against the terrorists. Of these, more than 70 Iraqi battalions are fighting side-by-side with coalition forces, and more than 50 others are taking the lead in the fight. So far, in December, there have been more than 900 combat operations in Iraq at the company level or above, and 75 percent of these involved Iraqi security forces either in the lead or fighting side-by-side with our coalition. As these Iraqi forces grow in size and strength, American and coalition forces can concentrate on training Iraqis, and hunting down high-value targets like Zarqawi and his associates.
Last week before the Council on Foreign Relations, I explained how we changed our approach to help Iraqis hold and rebuild cities taken from the enemy, and how to help them revitalize Iraq's infrastructure and economy. Today, many cities like Mosul and Najaf are coming back to life, and Iraq's economy is growing. Thousands of new businesses have opened in Iraq, personal income is up, and according to one survey, seven in 10 Iraqis say their own lives are going well, and nearly two-thirds expect things to improve in the next year.
Earlier this week at the Philadelphia World Affairs Council, I spoke in depth about how we changed our approach to helping the Iraqis build their democracy. At the request of Iraqi leaders, we accelerated the transition to Iraqi self-government. We set four major milestones to guide Iraq's transition to constitutional democracy: the transfer of sovereignty, elections for a transitional government, the adoption of a democratic constitution, and elections for a new government under that constitution. In spite of the violence, Iraqis have met every milestone -- and this is changing the political landscape in Iraq.
Sunni Arabs who failed to participate in the January elections are now campaigning vigorously in this week's elections -- and we can expect a higher turnout of Sunni voters. As Sunnis join the political process, Iraqi democracy becomes more inclusive -- and the terrorists and Saddamists are becoming marginalized.
Each of the changes we have made in our approach in Iraq is helping us meet the hard realities and the facts on the ground. We've adapted our tactics; we have fixed what was not working, and we have listened to those who know best: our military commanders -- and the Iraqi people.
Our tactics continue to change, but our goal in Iraq has not changed: a free and democratic Iraq. I strongly believe a democratic Iraq is a crucial part of our strategy to defeat the terrorists, because only democracy can bring freedom and reconciliation to Iraq, and peace to this troubled part of the world. Our efforts to advance freedom in Iraq are driven by our vital interests and our deepest beliefs. America was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and we believe that the people of the Middle East desire freedom as much as we do. History has shown that free nations are peaceful nations. And as Iraqi democracy takes hold, Iraqi citizens will have a stake in a common and peaceful future.
As we advance the cause of freedom in Iraq, our nation can proceed with confidence because we have done this kind of work before. After World War II, President Harry Truman believed that the way to help bring peace and prosperity to Asia was to plant the seeds of freedom and democracy in Japan. Like today, there were many skeptics and pessimists who said that the Japanese were not ready for democracy. Fortunately, President Harry Truman stuck to his guns. He believed, as I do, in freedom's power to transform an adversary into an ally. And because he stayed true to his convictions, today Japan is one of the world's freest and most prosperous nations, and one of America's closest allies in keeping the peace. The spread of freedom to Iraq and the Middle East requires the same confidence and persistence, and it will lead to the same results. (Applause.)
The people of Iraq are now seeing some of the tangible benefits of their new democracy. They see that as freedom advances, their lives are improving. Iraqis have approved a bold constitution that guarantees the rule of law and freedom of assembly, and property rights, and freedom of speech and the press, and women's rights, and the right to vote. They see their freedom increasingly being defended by their own soldiers and police instead of foreign forces. And they see that freedom is bringing opportunity and a better life.
The Iraqis still face many challenges, including security, and reconstruction, and economic reform. But they are building a strong democracy that can handle these challenges and that will be a model for the Middle East. Freedom in Iraq will inspire reformers from Damascus to Tehran. This new Iraq shares our deepest values, and it shares our most determined enemies. By helping Iraqis build a nation that can govern itself, sustain itself, and defend itself, we will gain an ally in the war on terror and a partner for peace in the Middle East.
The stakes in Iraq are high, and we will not leave until victory has been achieved. (Applause.) Today there's an intense debate about the importance of Iraq to the war on terror. The constant headlines about car bombings and killings have led some to ask whether our presence in Iraq has made America less secure. This view presumes that if we were not in Iraq, the terrorists would be leaving us alone. The reality is that the terrorists have been targeting America for years, long before we ever set foot in Iraq.
We were not in Iraq in 1993, when the terrorists tried to blow up the World Trade Center in New York. We were not in Iraq in 1998, when the terrorists bombed our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. We were not in Iraq in 2000, when the terrorists killed 17 American sailors aboard the USS Cole. There wasn't a single American soldier in Iraq on September the 11th, 2001, when the terrorists murdered nearly 3,000 people in the worst attack on our home since Pearl Harbor.
These acts are part of a grand strategy by the terrorists. Their stated objective is to drive the United States and coalition forces out of the Middle East so they can gain control of Iraq and use that country as a base from which to launch attacks against America, overthrow moderate governments in the Middle East, and establish a totalitarian Islamic empire that stretches from Spain to Indonesia. Hear the words of the terrorists. In a letter to the terrorist leader Zarqawi, the al Qaeda leader Zawahiri has outlined plans that will unfold in several stages. These are his words: "... Expel the Americans from Iraq. ... Establish an Islamic authority over as much territory as you can to spread its power in Iraq... Extend the jihad wave to secular countries neighboring Iraq." End quote.
To achieve these goals, the terrorists are targeting innocent men, women, and children. The enemy has only the ability to create chaos for the cameras with spectacular acts of violence. They know they cannot defeat us militarily. So they're trying to break our will in the hopes of getting America to leave the battlefield early, and they cite Vietnam as a reason they can prevail. Zawahiri, in his letter to Zarqawi, wrote, "The aftermath of the collapse of the American power in Vietnam -- and how they ran and left their agents -- is noteworthy." In the past, al Qaeda has said that American pullouts of Lebanon and Somalia showed them that America is weak and could be made to run. And now the terrorists think they can make America run in Iraq. There's only one way the terrorists can prevail: if we lose our nerve and leave before the job is done. And that is not going to happen on my watch. (Applause.)
Some in Washington are calling for a rapid and complete withdrawal of our forces in Iraq. They say that our presence there is the cause for instability in Iraq, and that the answer is to set a deadline to withdraw. I disagree. I've listened carefully to all the arguments, and there are four reasons why I believe that setting an artificial deadline would be a recipe for disaster.
First, setting an artificial deadline would send the wrong message to the Iraqis. As Iraqis are risking their lives for democracy, it would tell them that America is more interested in leaving than helping them succeed, put at risk all the democratic progress they have made over the past year.
Secondly, setting an artificial deadline would send the wrong message to the enemy. It would tell them that if they wait long enough, America will cut and run. It would vindicate the terrorists' tactics of beheadings and suicide bombings and mass murder. It would embolden the terrorists and invite new attacks on America.
Third, setting an artificial deadline would send the wrong message to the region and the world. It would tell our friends and supporters that America is a weak and unreliable ally, and that when the going gets tough, America will retreat.
Finally, setting an artificial deadline would send the wrong message to the most important audience -- our troops on the front line. It would tell them that America is abandoning the mission they are risking their lives to achieve, and that the sacrifice of their comrades killed in this struggle has been in vain. I make this pledge to the families of the fallen: We will carry on the fight, we will complete their mission, and we will win. (Applause.)
Victory will be achieved by meeting certain clear objectives: when the terrorists and Saddamists can no longer threaten Iraq's democracy, when the Iraqi security forces can protect their own people, and when Iraq is not a safe haven for terrorists to plot attacks against our country. These objectives, not timetables set by politicians in Washington, will drive our force levels in Iraq. As Iraqis stand up, we will stand down. And when victory is achieved, our troops will then come home, with the honor they have earned. (Applause.)
One of the blessings of our free society is that we can debate these issues openly, even in a time of war. Most of the debate has been a credit to our democracy, but some have launched irresponsible charges. They say that we act because of oil, that we act in Iraq because of Israel, or because we misled the American people. Some of the most irresponsible comments about manipulating intelligence have come from politicians who saw the same intelligence we saw, and then voted to authorize the use of force against Saddam Hussein. These charges are pure politics. They hurt the morale of our troops. Whatever our differences in Washington, our men and women in uniform deserve to know that once our politicians vote to send them into harm's way, our support will be with them in good days and bad, and we will settle for nothing less than complete victory. (Applause.)
Before this victory comes, we still have a lot of difficult work ahead. We've made real progress in the last two and a half years, and the terrorists see this progress and they're determined to stop it. These enemies are not going to give up because of a successful election. They know that as democracy takes root in Iraq, their hateful ideology will suffer a devastating blow. So we can expect violence to continue.
We can also expect that the elections will be followed by days of uncertainty. We may not know for certain who's won the elections until the early part of January -- and that's important for our citizens to understand. It's going to take a while. It's also going to take a while for them to form a government. The work ahead will require patience of the Iraqi people, and require our patience, as well. Yet we must remember that a free Iraq is in our interests, because a free Iraq will be a beacon of hope. And as the Middle East grows in liberty, the American people will become safer and our nation will be more secure.
The work ahead will also require continued sacrifice. Yet we can be confident, because history has shown the power of freedom to overcome tyranny. And we can be confident because we have on our side the greatest force for freedom in human history: the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. (Applause.)
One of these men was a Marine lieutenant named Ryan McGlothlin, from Lebanon, Virginia. Ryan was a bright young man who had everything going for him and he always wanted to serve our nation. He was a valedictorian of his high school class. He graduated from William & Mary with near-perfect grade averages, and he was on a full scholarship at Stanford, where he was working toward a doctorate in chemistry.
Two years after the attacks of September the 11th, the young man who had the world at his feet came home from Stanford for a visit. He told his dad, "I just don't feel like I'm doing something that matters. I want to serve my country. I want to protect our lands from terrorists, so I joined the Marines." When his father asked him if there was some other way to serve, Ryan replied that he felt a special obligation to step up because he had been given so much. Ryan didn't support me in the last election, but he supported our mission in Iraq. And he supported his fellow Marines.
Ryan was killed last month fighting the terrorists near the -- Iraq's Syrian border. In his pocket was a poem that Ryan had read at his high school graduation, and it represented the spirit of this fine Marine. The poem was called "Don't Quit."
In our fight to keep America free, we'll never quit. We've lost wonderful Americans like Ryan McGlothlin. We cherish the memory of each one. We pray the loved ones -- pray for the loved ones they've left behind, and we count it a privilege to be citizens of a country they served. We also honor them by acknowledging that their sacrifice has brought us to this moment: the birth of a free and sovereign Iraqi nation that will be a friend of the United States, and a force for good in a troubled region of the world.
The story of freedom has just begun in the Middle East. And when the history of these days is written, it will tell how America once again defended its own freedom by using liberty to transform nations from bitter foes to strong allies. And history will say that this generation, like generations before, laid the foundation of peace for generations to come.
May God bless you all. (Applause.)
END 11:39 A.M. EST
Footnote: "Don't Quit" poem read by Ryan McGlothlin at his high school graduation
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low, and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit....
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar.
So, stick to the fight when you're hardest hit....
It's when things go wrong that you musn't quit.
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 12/14/2005 01:06:00 PM
Joyce Comments: Even though this act was in effect from 1882-1943 on the Chinese, it should now be resurrected and used on Mexicans now with the same passion and force as it was then. This would be the law needed to use on frugal U.S. employers trying to get "cheap labor" and benefit the Mexicans from being exploited as well as us from being jipped from this available work here at home.
Chinese Exclusion Act
Forty-Seventh Congress. Session I. 1882
Chapter 126.-An act to execute certain treaty stipulations relating to Chinese.
Preamble. Whereas, in the opinion of the Government of the United States the coming of Chinese laborers to this country endangers the good order of certain localities within the territory thereof:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That from and after the expiration of ninety days next after the passage of this act, and until the expiration of ten years next after the passage of this act, the coming of Chinese laborers to the United States be, and the same is hereby, suspended; and during such suspension it shall not be lawful for any Chinese laborer to come, or, having so come after the expiration of said ninety days, to remain within the United States.
SEC. 2. That the master of any vessel who shall knowingly bring within the United States on such vessel, and land or permit to be landed, and Chinese laborer, from any foreign port of place, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars for each and every such Chinese laborer so brought, and may be also imprisoned for a term not exceeding one year.
SEC. 3. That the two foregoing sections shall not apply to Chinese laborers who were in the United States on the seventeenth day of November, eighteen hundred and eighty, or who shall have come into the same before the expiration of ninety days next after the passage of this act, and who shall produce to such master before going on board such vessel, and shall produce to the collector of the port in the United States at which such vessel shall arrive, the evidence hereinafter in this act required of his being one of the laborers in this section mentioned; nor shall the two foregoing sections apply to the case of any master whose vessel, being bound to a port not within the United States by reason of being in distress or in stress of weather, or touching at any port of the United States on its voyage to any foreign port of place: Provided, That all Chinese laborers brought on such vessel shall depart with the vessel on leaving port.
SEC. 4. That for the purpose of properly indentifying Chinese laborers who were in the United States on the seventeenth day of November, eighteen hundred and eighty, or who shall have come into the same before the expiration of ninety days next after the passage of this act, and in order to furnish them with the proper evidence of their right to go from and come to the United States of their free will and accord, as provided by the treaty between the United States and China dated November seventeenth, eighteen hundred and eighty, the collector of customs of the district from which any such Chinese laborer shall depart from the United States shall, in person or by deputy, go on board each vessel having on board any such Chinese laborer and cleared or about to sail from his district for a foreign port, and on such vessel make a list of all such Chinese laborers, which shall be entered in registry-books to be kept for that purpose, in which shall be stated the name, age, occupation, last place of residence, physical marks or peculiarities, and all facts necessary for the indentification of each of such Chinese laborers, which books shall be safely kept in the custom-house; and every such Chinese laborer so departing from the United States shall be entitled to, and shall receive, free of any charge or cost upon application therefor, from the collector or his deputy, at the time such list is taken, a certificate, signed by the collector or his deputy and attested by his seal of office, in such form as the Secretary of the Treasury shall prescribe, which certificate shall contain a statement of the name, age, occupation, last place of residence, personal description, and fact of identification of the Chinese laborer to whom the certificate is issued, corresponding with the said list and registry in all particulars. In case any Chinese laborer after having received such certificate shall leave such vessel before her departure he shall deliver his certificate to the master of the vessel, and if such Chinese laborer shall fail to return to such vessel before her departure from port the certificate shall be delivered by the master to the collector of customs for cancellation. The certificate herein provided for shall entitle the Chinese laborer to whom the same is issued to return to and re-enter the United States upon producing and delivering the same to the collector of customs of the district at which such Chinese laborer shall seek to re-enter; and upon delivery of such certificate by such Chinese laborer to the collector of customs at the time of re-entry in the United States, said collector shall cause the same to be filed in the custom house and duly canceled.
SEC. 5. That any Chinese laborer mentioned in section four of this act being in the United States, and desiring to depart from the United States by land, shall have the right to demand and receive, free of charge or cost, a certificate of indentification similar to that provided for in section four of this act to be issued to such Chinese laborers as may desire to leave the United States by water; and it is hereby made the duty of the collector of customs of the district next adjoining the foreign country to which said Chinese laborer desires to go to issue such certificate, free of charge or cost, upon application by such Chinese laborer, and to enter the same upon registry-books to be kept by him for the purpose, as provided for in section four of this act.
SEC. 6. That in order to the faithful execution of articles one and two of the treaty in this act before mentioned, every Chinese person other than a laborer who may be entitled by said treaty and this act to come within the United States, and who shall be about to come to the United States, shall be identified as so entitled by the Chinese Government in each case, such identity to be evidenced by a certificate issued under the authority of said government, which certificate shall be in the English language or (if not in the English language) accompanied by a translation into English, stating such right to come, and which certificate shall state the name, title, or official rank, if any, the age, height, and all physical peculiarities, former and present occupation or profession, and place of residence in China of the person to whom the certificate is issued and that such person is entitled conformably to the treaty in this act mentioned to come within the United States. Such certificate shall be prima-facie evidence of the fact set forth therein, and shall be produced to the collector of customs, or his deputy, of the port in the district in the United States at which the person named therein shall arrive.
SEC. 7. That any person who shall knowingly and falsely alter or substitute any name for the name written in such certificate or forge any such certificate, or knowingly utter any forged or fraudulent certificate, or falsely personate any person named in any such certificate, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor; and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in a sum not exceeding one thousand dollars, an imprisoned in a penitentiary for a term of not more than five years.
SEC. 8. That the master of any vessel arriving in the United States from any foreign port or place shall, at the same time he delivers a manifest of the cargo, and if there be no cargo, then at the time of making a report of the entry of vessel pursuant to the law, in addition to the other matter required to be reported, and before landing, or permitting to land, any Chinese passengers, deliver and report to the collector of customs of the district in which such vessels shall have arrived a separate list of all Chinese passengers taken on board his vessel at any foreign port or place, and all such passengers on board the vessel at that time. Such list shall show the names of such passengers (and if accredited officers of the Chinese Government traveling on the business of that government, or their servants, with a note of such facts), and the name and other particulars, as shown by their respective certificates; and such list shall be sworn to by the master in the manner required by law in relation to the manifest of the cargo. Any willful refusal or neglect of any such master to comply with the provisions of this section shall incur the same penalties and forfeiture as are provided for a refusal or neglect to report and deliver a manifest of cargo.
SEC. 9. That before any Chinese passengers are landed from any such vessel, the collector, or his deputy, shall proceed to examine such passengers, comparing the certificates with the list and with the passengers; and no passenger shall be allowed to land in the United States from such vessel in violation of law.
SEC. 10. That every vessel whose master shall knowingly violate any of the provisions of this act shall be deemed forfeited to the United States, and shall be liable to seizure and condemnation on any district of the United States into which such vessel may enter or in which she may be found.
SEC. 11. That any person who shall knowingly bring into or cause to be brought into the United States by land, or who shall knowingly aid or abet the same, or aid or abet the landing in the United States from any vessel of any Chinese person not lawfully entitled to enter the United States, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall, on conviction thereof, be fined in a sum not exceeding one thousand dollars, and imprisoned for a term not exceeding one year.
SEC. 12. That no Chinese person shall be permitted to enter the United States by land without producing to the proper officer of customs the certificate in this act required of Chinese persons seeking to land from a vessel. And any Chinese person found unlawfully within the United States shall be caused to be removed therefrom to the country from whence he came, by direction of the United States, after being brought before some justice, judge, or commissioner of a court of the United States and found to be one not lawfully entitled to be or remain in the United States.
SEC. 13. That this act shall not apply to diplomatic and other officers of the Chinese Government traveling upon the business of that government, whose credentials shall be taken as equivalent to the certificate in this act mentioned, and shall exempt them and their body and household servants from the provisions of this act as to other Chinese persons.
SEC. 14. That hereafter no State court or court of the United States shall admit Chinese to citizenship; and all laws in conflict with this act are hereby repealed.
SEC. 15. That the words "Chinese laborers", whenever used in this act, shall be construed to mean both skilled and unskilled laborers and Chinese employed in mining.
Approved, May 6, 1882.
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 12/14/2005 08:48:00 AM
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Sunday, April 28, 2002
Washington -- The second Holocaust - the possible destruction of the Jews in Israel - is a phrase first coined by Philip Roth in his 1993 novel "Operation Shylock. " It's a novel that seemed incredibly bleak back then. Yet even Roth's darkest imaginings seem optimistic now. Especially when examined by the glare of burning synagogues in France. Or neofascist Jean-Marie Le Pen's showing in the first round of the French presidential election.
We have to examine the dynamic going on in the mind of Europe at this moment: a dynamic that suggests that Europeans, on some deep if not entirely conscious level, are willing to be complicit in the murder of the Jews again.
Roth's narrator believes that there are in Europe "powerful currents of enlightenment and morality that are sustained by the memory of the Holocaust - a bulwark against European anti-Semitism," however virulent. It may be true in the case of some Europeans, although if so they have been very quiet about it. In fact, it seems that the memory of the Holocaust is precisely what ignites the darker currents in the European soul. The memory of the Holocaust is precisely what explains the one-sided anti-Israel stance of the European press,
European politicians, European culture. The complacency about synagogue burnings, the preference for focusing on the Israeli response to suicide bombers blowing up families at prayer rather than on the mass murderers (as the suicide bombers should more properly be called) and those who subsidize them and throw parties for their families.
There is a horrid but obvious dynamic going on here: At some deep level, Europeans, European politicians, European culture are aware that almost without exception every European nation was complicit in Hitler's genocide. Some manned the death camps, others stamped the orders for the transport of the Jews to the death camps, everyone knew what was going on - and yet the Nazis -didn't have to use much if any force to make them accomplices. For the most part, Europeans volunteered. That is why "European civilization" will always be a kind of oxymoron for anyone who looks too closely at things, beginning with the foolish and unnecessary slaughters of World War I that paved the way for Hitler's more focused effort.
And so there is a need to blame someone else for the shame of "European civilization." To blame the victim. To blame the Jews. The more European nations can focus one-sidedly on the Israeli response to terror and not to the terror itself, the more they can portray the Jews as the real villains, the more salve to their collective conscience for their complicity in collective mass murder in the past. Hitler may have gone too far, and perhaps we shouldn't have been so cowardly and slavish in assisting him, but look at what the Jews are doing.
-Isn't it interesting that you -didn't see any "European peace activists" volunteering to "put their bodies on the line" by announcing that they would place themselves in real danger - in the Tel Aviv cafes and pizza parlors, favorite targets of the suicide bombers. Why no "European peace activists" at the Seders of Netanya or the streets of Jerusalem? Instead, "European peace activists" do their best to protect the brave sponsors of the suicide bombers in Ramallah.
One has to put the European guilt complex not just in the context of complicity during World War II. One must also consider the malign neglect involved in the creation of the state of Israel. The begrudging grant of an indefensible sliver of desert in a sea of hostile peoples, to get the surviving Jews - reminders of European shame - off the continent, and leave the European peoples in possession of the property stolen from the Jews during the war. And that was when they didn't continue murdering Jews, the way some Poles did when some Jews were foolish enough to try to return to their stolen homes.
Make no mistake of it, the Palestinians are victims of history as well as the Jews. The last thing the nations of Europe wanted to do was the right thing, which would be to restore the Jews to their stolen homes, and so they acquiesced in the creation of a Jewish state and then did nothing to make it viable for either the Jews or the Palestinians, preferring to wash their hands of the destruction: Let the Semites murder each other and blame the Jews, the Semites they were more familiar with hating.
And now it's so much easier for the Europeans to persecute the Jews, because they can just allow their own Arab populations to burn synagogues and beat Jews on the street for them. Still, there's something particularly repulsive about the synagogue-burnings in France. It goes a long way toward explaining why the Israeli government is acting the way it is now - with a little less restraint against those who murder their children. Yes, restraint: If Israel were to act with true ruthlessness to end the suicide bombings, they would tell the prospective bombers - who go to their deaths expecting that their families will celebrate their mass murders with a subsidized party and reap lucrative financial rewards courtesy of the Saudis and Saddam - that their families instead will share the exact same fate of the people the bombers blow up. That might put a crimp into the recruiting and the partying over dead Jewish children. But the Israelis won't do that, and that is why there's likely to be a second Holocaust. Not because the Israelis are acting without restraint, but because they are, so far, still acting with restraint despite the massacres making their country uninhabitable.
Consider the remarkable New York Times story in which Hamas leaders spoke joyfully of their triumph in the Passover massacre and the subsequent slaughters in Jerusalem and Haifa. Two things made this remarkable. One was the unashamed assertion that they had no interest in any "peace process" that would produce a viable Palestinian state living side by side with a Jewish state. They only wanted the destruction of the Jewish state and its replacement with one in which "the Jews could remain living in 'an Islamic state with Islamic law.' "
That defines the reality that has been hidden by the illusion of hope placed in a "peace process." The Palestinians, along with their 300 million "Arab brothers" surrounding the 5 million Jews, are not interested in a "negotiated settlement."
Israelis are forever being criticized for not negotiating, for not giving away enough of their security, but they have no one to negotiate with who doesn't want to exterminate their state and their people as well, if necessary.
The other remarkable thing was the setting. The interview with one of the four directors of the Hamas mass murderers, a Dr. Zahar, was conducted in a comfortable home in which "Dr. Zahar, a surgeon, has a table tennis set in his vast living room for his seven children."
If the Israelis were as ruthless as the Europeans take great pleasure in calling them, there would be, let's say, no Ping-Pong playing for the murderer of their children.
Now let's talk further about the relationship between the first Holocaust and the next. The relationship between the European response to the first and the likely Israeli response to the one in the making. It might best be summed up by that old proverb: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
The first time, when the Jewish people were threatened by someone who called for their extinction, they trusted to the "enlightenment" values of the European people, as Roth's narrator put it.
Civilized people wouldn't let something like that happen. Pogroms, well yes,
but death camps, extermination? Never. They're transporting us to camps, yes, but what could it be, labor camps at worst? The world -wouldn't let such a thing happen.
Well, the world did let it happen - with extraordinary complacency and not a little pleasure on the part of some.
But I suspect that deep in the heart of most Israelis is the idea that this time we're not going to depend on others to prevent it from happening. We're not going to hope that the world will care that they're killing our children. This time, we won't go quietly; this time, if we go down, we'll go down fighting and take them with us and take more of them if we can, and the rest of the world be damned. Fool us twice, shame on us.
I feel bad about the plight of the Palestinians; I believe they deserve a state. But they had a state: They were part of a state, a state called Jordan, that declared war on the state of Israel, that invaded it in order to destroy it - and lost the war. There are consequences to losing a war, and the consequences should at least in part be laid at the feet of the three nations that sought and lost the war. One sympathizes with the plight of the Palestinians, but one wonders what the plight of the Israelis might have been had they lost that war.
But somehow the Israelis are told that they must trust the world - trust the European Union as guarantors of their safety, trust the Arab League's promises of "normal relations," trust the Saudis who subsidize suicide-bomber parties and ignore the exterminationist textbooks the Arab world uses to tutor its children. The Israelis must learn to make nice; the Jews must behave better with people who want to kill them. I -don't think so.
As a secular Jew, I've always been more of a "diasporist" than a Zionist. I've supported the Jewish state, but thought that it was a necessary but not ideal solution with a pronounced dark side: The concentration of so many Jews in one place - and I use the word "concentration" advisedly - gives the world a chance to kill the Jews en masse again. And I also thought that Jews flourished best where they were no longer under the thumb of Orthodox rabbis and could bring to the whole world - indeed, the whole universe - the exegetical skills that are the glory of the people: reading the universe as the Torah, as Einstein and Spinoza did, rather than the Torah as the universe, as the Orthodox do.
But the implacable hatred of Arab fundamentalism makes no distinction between Jewish fundamentalists and Jewish secularists, just as Hitler didn't. It's not just the settlements they want to extirpate, it's the Jewish state, the Jewish people.
This is the way it is likely to happen: Sooner or later, a nuclear weapon is detonated in Tel Aviv, and sooner, not later, there is nuclear retaliation -
Baghdad, Damascus, Tehran, perhaps all three. Someone once said that while Jesus called on Christians to "turn the other cheek," it's the Jews who have been the only ones who have actually practiced that. Not this time. The unspoken corollary of the slogan "Never again" is: "And if again, not us alone. "
So the time has come to think about the second Holocaust. It's coming sooner or later; it's not whether, but when. I hope I -don't live to see it. It will be unbearable for those who do. That is, for all but the Europeans - whose consciences, as always, will be clear and untroubled.
Ron Rosenbaum is the author of "Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil." This piece originally appeared in different form in The New York Observer.
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Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 12/13/2005 04:42:00 PM