Organic Consumers Association

On the Eve of War--Is George Bush Crazy?

March 17, 2003, Issue #230
Monitoring Corporate Agribusiness
From a Public Interest Perspective

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"I will be harsh as truth and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject
I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation . . I am in
earnest . . I will not equivocate . . I will not excuse . . .I will not
retreat a single inch . . .AND I WILL BE HEARD."

--- William Lloyd Garrison, (1805-1879) Abolitionist Editor, The Liberator
("Our Country Is the World --- Our Countrymen Are Mankind")

As the United States stands this day virtually upon the precipice of
determining the fate of not only our nation, but the entire world for
generations to come silence in the face of George W. Bush's dogs of war is
morally and politically unacceptable. At the risk, therefore, of alienating
many of the readers of THE AGRIBUSINESS EXAMINER this issue is one
journalist's effort to speak truth to absolute power, a power we can see
each and every day is corrupting absolutely!!!

Blindly, in a false sense of patriotism, and led by a war mongering
president, and cheered on by such publications as The Washington Post and
television networks like FOX, in addition to the dozens and dozens of
right-wing radio "commentators" who spend most of their waking hours
complaining about the "liberal" bias in the media (???), the American
people are being hoodwinked into a war designed to solely benefit those
"gamblers in the necessities of life."

As our friend political columnist Molly Ivins recently pointed out:

"According to a poll conducted by The New York Times and CBS, 42% of
Americans believe Saddam Hussein of Iraq was personally responsible for the
attacks on the World Trade Center, something that has never even been
claimed by the Bush administration. According to a poll conducted by ABC,
55% believe Saddam Hussein gives direct support to Al Qaeda, a claim that
has been made by the administration but for which no evidence has ever been
presented. President Bush has lately modified the claim to "Al Qaeda-type"
organizations. This is how well journalism has done its job in the months
leading up to this war. A disgraceful performance.

"Ambrose Bierce, the 19th century cynic, once observed that war is God's way
of teaching Americans geography. Going to war with the people in such a
state --- not of ignorance, but of misinformation --- is truly terrifying."

While literally millions of people around the world have been taking to the
streets in peaceful protest to this Bush & Co., instigated war our own U.S.
Senate, as Minnesota's Mark Dayton recently noted in a speech to his
colleagues, has remained silent (see below). Likewise, while the clergy,
labor, students, senior citizens and thousands of others in the U.S. have
repeatedly voiced their opposition to this war, the voices of U.S. farm
organizations have been discouragingly and remarkably muted.

For example, those peddlers of "free trade" within the farm community that
see such trade as U.S. agriculture's panacea will ignore the New York Times'
John Tagliabue's story (see below) at their own risk.

As we face today the prospect of seeing our country overtly initiate the
first war in its history and the resulting horror and tragedy of seeing so
many of this earth's men, women and especially "our" children dying
needlessly, silence and neutrality cannot and should not be tolerated.
Indeed even Sacred Scripture, curiously enough in Apocalypse 3:15-17, tell

"I know thy works;
thou art neither cold nor hot.
I would that thou were cold or hot
But because thou are lukewarm,
And neither cold not hot,
I am about to vomit thee out of my mouth."


COIUNTERPUNCH: Pattern Recognition: "Is The 'President' Nuts?" asks Carol
Wolman, M.D. "Many people, inside and especially outside this country,
believe that the American president is nuts, and is taking the world on a
suicidal path." [Counterpunch October 2, 2002]

A board-certified psychiatrist in practice for 30 years, Dr. Wolman feels
compelled to understand the "psychopathology" of man "under tremendous
pressure from both his family/junta, and from the world at large." Dr.
Wolman wonders if GW is suffering from Antisocial Personality Disorder, as
described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Fourth Edition:

"There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights
of others:
1) failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as
indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest; 2)
deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning
others for personal profit or pleasure; 5) reckless disregard for safety of
self or others; 7) lack of remorse by being indifferent to or rationalizing
having hurt, mistreated or stolen from others."

Dry Drunk

GW Bush is highly regarded for "kicking" the twin demons of cocaine and
alcohol addiction. If he is still off both wagons --- and there is no proof
that isn't --- such a triumph, encouraged and aided by his wife, is

When probing the mysteries of GW's brain chemistry, a key point to ponder is
that damage done to brain cells from drug abuse is permanent and

Quaker and university professor Katherine van Wormer co-authored the
definitive, 2002, Addiction Treatment. This expert writes that "George W.
Bush manifests all the classic patterns of what alcoholics in recovery call
'the dry drunk'. His behavior is consistent with being brought on by years
of heavy drinking and possible cocaine use."[Counterpunch October 11, 2002]

"Dry drunk," explains the professor, "is a slang term used by members and
supporters of Alcoholics Anonymous and substance abuse counselors to
describe the recovering alcoholic who is no longer drinking --- one who is
dry, but whose thinking is clouded."

Such an individual is 'dry' but not truly sober. Such individuals tend to go
to overboard. A good example of Bush' "polarized thinking" is his call for
"crusades" based on "infinite justice" for "evil-doers" comprising an "axis
of evil".

Bush's "obsessive repetition" also remind this professor, "oy many of the
recovering alcoholics/addicts I had treated." Van Wormer worriers, "His
power, in fact, is such that if he collapses into paranoia, a large part of
the world will collapse with him."

Paranoia? Impatience? Rigid judgmental outlook? Grandiose behavior? Childish
behavior? Irresponsible behavior? Irrational rationalization? Projection?
Overreaction? -- these are all "dry drunk" traits.

Van Wormer observers that Bush's pompous pledge: "We must be prepared to
stop rogue states and their terrorist clients before they are able to
threaten or use weapons of mass destruction" is a projection from the
world's leading rogue state preparing to attack with nuclear weapons.

"Bush's tendency to dichotomize reality" should be emphasized. Prof. van
Wormer describes this is as either/or reasoning -- "either you are with us
or against us". A White House spokesperson puts it this way:

"The President considers this nation to be at war, and, as such, considers
any opposition to his policies to be no less than an act of treason.''
[Capitol Hill Blue, January 22, 2003]

Bush's Binges: History Impacts the Present

Bush's binges were legendary. Van Wormer describes "years of binge drinking
starting in college, at least one conviction for DUI in 1976 in Maine, and
one arrest before that for a drunken episode involving theft of a Christmas
wreath." She adds:

The Bush biography reveals the story of a boy named for his father, sent to
the exclusive private school in the East where his father's reputation as
star athlete and later war hero were still remembered. The younger George's
achievements were dwarfed in the school's memory of his father. Athletically
he could not achieve his father's laurels, being smaller and perhaps less
strong. His drinking bouts and lack of intellectual gifts held him back as
well. His military record was mediocre as compared to his father's as well.
[He went AWOL]

In Fortunate Son, Bush himself explained: "Alcohol began to compete with my
energies ... I'd lose focus". Though he once said he couldn't remember a day
he hadn't had a drink, he quickly added the giveaway phrase that he didn't
believe he was "clinically alcoholic".

Van Wormer notes that "Bush drank heavily for over 20 years until he made
the decision to abstain at age 40. About this time he became a 'born again
Christian' --- going as usual from one extreme to the other." When asked in
an interview about his reported cocaine use, he answered reassonably, "I'm
not going to talk about what I did 20 to 30 years ago".

One motive driving Dubya could be his need "to prove himself to his father
--- to achieve what his father failed to do --- to finish the job of the
Gulf War, to get the 'evildoer' Saddam." Adds van Wormmer, "His drive to
finish his father's battles is of no small significance, psychologically."

Brain Damage ???

According to van Wormer, "scientists can now observe changes that occur in
the brain as a result of heavy alcohol and other drug abuse. Some of these
changes may be permanent."

Van Wormer characterizes this damage as "barely noticeable but meaningful."
Researchers have found that brain chemistry irregularities caused by long
bouts of drinking or drug abuse cause "messages in one part of the brain to
become stuck there. This leads to maddening repetition of thoughts."

One of these powerful "stuck" thoughts, says van Wormer, is that "President
Bush seems unduly focused upon getting revenge on Saddam Hussein ('He tried
to kill my Dad'), leading the country and the world into war, accordingly."

Grandiosity is another major trait of former addicts brain-damaged by their
addiction. Bush has reversed the successful, five-decade old U.S. policy of
containment and no first strikes. Now he says, Americans can attack anyone,
anywhere at any time with any weapons of their choosing --- including banned
cluster bomb munitions, radioactive explosives and nuclear bombs.

An Agent of Armageddon ???

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, a person suffering from
Narcissistic Personality Disorder, "Has a grandiose sense of
self-importance-exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be
recognized as superior without commensurate achievements."

Sound familiar?

This personality is preoccupied with fantasies of power and being loved.
Such a person requires "automatic compliance". He or she is "exploitative"
of others, "lacks empathy, is unwilling to recognize or identify with the
feelings and needs of others." And also "shows arrogant, haughty behavior or

This set of characteristics," says Dr. Wolman, not too reassuringly, "may
describe Rumsfeld and Cheney better than Dubya."

For those who, like Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stieglitz, warn that Bush "has
been captured by a small group of ideologues," Dependent Personality
Disorder describes someone who "has difficulty making everyday decisions
without an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from others." [CBC,
February 10, 2003]

From a Jungian perspective, writes Dr. Wolman, "Dubya may be identifying
with an archetype --- something out of Revelations, perhaps, whereby he sees
himself as an instrument of God's will to bring about Armageddon." Concurs
Katherine van Wormer, "To fight evil, Bush is ready to take on the world, in
almost a Biblical sense."

A Presidential Pathology

Is Bush's belligerence bent on securing another oil fix? Katherine van
Wormer believes that a Portland peace protestor's sign, "Drunk on Power"
nailed it. Says this quiet Quaker, "The drive for power can be an
unquenchable thirst, addictive in itself."

Senator William Fulbright agrees. His bestseller, The Arrogance of Power
defined power politics as the pursuit of power. "The causes and consequences
of war may have more to do with pathology than with politics," Fulbright

A key "dry drunk" trait is impatience. Bush, who often describes himself as
"a patient man", is not. Just four weeks after inspectors went into Iraq, he
called for obliterating Baghdad. "If we wait for threats to fully
materialize", Bush pointed out to West Pointers, "we will have waited too
long". Translations: It's okay to attack projections of our own fearful
imaginings --- in case those phantom threats someday become real.

Alan Bisbort's "Dry Drunk -- Is Bush Making a Cry for Help?" appeared in
American Politics Journal. Bisbort believes that Bush's"incoherence" when
speaking away from prepared scripts is a classicsign of addicted brain

For Bisbort, another "dry drunk" tip-off is Dubya's irritability with anyone
who dares disagree with him --- including Germany's new leader, who insists
he is opposing Bush's folly in Iraq as a concerned longtime friend of
America. (Schroeder's wife is American.)

Another "Dry drunk" sign says van Wormer, is Dubya's "dangerous obsessing
about only one thing (Iraq) to the exclusion of all other things."

Van Wormer's bottom line prognosis: "George W. Bush seems to possess the
traits characteristic of addictive persons who still have the thought
patterns that accompany substance abuse. The fact that some residual effects
from his earlier substance abuse -- however slight --- might cloud the U.S.
President's thinking and judgment is frightening, however, in the context of
the currrent global crisis."

Don't Laugh

The Toronto Star recounts how NYU author and media critic Mark Crispin
Miller attempted to catalogue GW's verbal gaffes. Some favorites: "The vast
majority of our imports come from outside the country." "If we don't
succeed, we run the risk of failure." "The future will be better tomorrow."

"He meant it for a laugh," wrote the Star. "Not now."

The author of Boxed In: The Culture of TV believes "Bush is not an imbecile..
He's not a puppet. I think that Bush is a sociopathic personality. I think
he's incapable of empathy. He has an inordinate sense of his own
entitlement, and he's a very skilled manipulator. And in all the snickering
about his alleged idiocy, this is what a lot of people miss."

Miller's judgment --- that an unelected president might suffer from a
clinical personality disorder --- is much heavier than being called the
globbal village idiot. "He has no trouble speaking off the cuff when he's
speaking punitively, when he's talking about violence, when he's talking
about revenge. When he struts and thumps his chest, his syntax and grammar
are fine," Miller mentions. "It's only when he leaps into the wild blue
yonder of compassion, or idealism, or altruism, that he makes these
hilarious mistakes."

Bush even has trouble repeating comforting clichés. "Fool me once, shame ....
shame on ... you," Long, uncomfortable pause. "Fool me --- can't get fooled

While the world was laughing, Miller saw something darker. "What's revealing
about this is that Bush could not say, `Shame on me' to save his life.
That's a completely alien idea to him. This is a guy who is absolutely proud
of his own inflexibility and rectitude," wrote Miller.

Miller says that Bush saying, "I know how hard it is to put food on your
family" is not 'cause he's stupid, but "because he doesn'tcare about people
who can't put food on the table."

When Bush is envisioning "a foreign-handed foreign policy," Miller contends
it's because he can't keep his focus on things that mean nothing to him.
"When he tries to talk about what this country stands for, or about
democracy, he can't do it," Miller observes.

According to Miller, this is why GW is so closely watched by his handlers.
"Not because he'll say something stupid," the Star paraphrased, "but because
he'll overindulge in the language of violence and punishment at which he

"He's a very angry guy, a hostile guy," Miller says. "He's much like Nixon.
So they're very, very careful to choreograph every move he makes. They don't
want him anywhere near protesters, because he would lose his temper." Adds
this media expert, "It would be a grave mistake to just play him for

Depression Can Be Dangerously Depressing

Confronted by a man who will not listen to anyone but a few "chickenhawks"
urging worldwide war, why shouldn't we feel depressed? Not surprisingly, we

Seventy percent of U.S. pastors constantly fight depression.

Right now, almost three million Canadians are seriously depressed. (Multiply
by four or five for approximate U.S. figures.) We can't blame GW for this.
Or the fact that suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15 to 24
year olds. But as the man responsible for perpetrating a worldwide bummer,
George isn't helping! [National Institute of Mental Health]

If it's politically incorrect to ask these questions, how"correct" is it to
launch 800 cruise missiles and thousands of one-ton bombs on a captive urban
population already suffering the ravages of deliberately imposed hunger and

Choka Cola ???

Another big clue to Dubya's displays of dementia comes in "photo-ops"
showing him slugging back diet Coke with other Aspartame addicts, like
Chicago's mayor Richard Daley. Their beet red faces spell either
embarrassment over Bush's hijacking of America, or aspartame poisoning.
[Chicago Sun Times, Sept. 27, 2002]
According to Carol Guilford, an Aspartame expert and support worker, the
President-Select's "pretzel" pratfall was most likely an Aspartame seizure.
Bush, like Carter, Al Gore and millions of Americans, is addicted to this
constant caffeine hit. Among the FDA's listed 92 symptoms for Aspartame
poisoning are: "Difficulty Swallowing","Fainting" and "Unconsciousness".

Bush's facial lesions, removed as a result of "Too much sun" is another sign
of Aspartame poisoning. So was his recent knee surgery: Aspartame depletes
synovial fluid lubricating the joints.

Would you drink six to 12 cans of formaldehyde a day? It turns out that
methanol in Aspartame converts to formaldehyde in the tissues. As Guildford
wrote to USN Captain Eleanor Marino, Physician to the President (February
21, 2002): ten percent of a 200mg can of diet soda is straight methanol wood
alcohol! Methanol is such a gross cumulative poison, the EPA's limit for
drinking water is 7.8 mg daily. For serious addicts like Bush, the methanol
intake can exceed 32 times the EPA's recommended limit...

Now the punch line: Clinical case studies shows that, among other symptoms,
Aspartame ingestion results in "mind fog", feeling "unreal", poor memory,
confusion, anxiety, irritability, depression, mania, and slurred speech.
[Neurology 1994]

Alcohol-related brain damage is not helped by chugging formaldehyde. James
Turner, consumer protection lawyer and author of The Chemical Feast learned
that an October 1980 FDA inquiry found that the formaldehyde formed by
Aspartame actually eats microscopic holes and triggers tumors in the brain.

That finding banned Aspartame from the food supply. But three months later,
Searle CEO Donald Rumsfeld told that pharma giant's sales staff he would get
Aspartame approved pronto. The next month, the FDA commissioner was replaced
by Dr. Arthur Hayes. In Nov. 1983 the FDA approved aspartame for soft
drinks. Under fire for accepting corporate bribes, Hayes went to work for
Searle's public-relations firm. Searle lawyer Robert Shapiro coined the name
NutraSweet. Monsanto bought Searle. Rumsfeld received $12 million for his
help. Shapiro now heads Monsanto.

The same "revolving door" swings wide for arms makers and the oil mafia. The
Big Question is: Why hasn't Dick warned George that the diet drinks he's
swilling are eating his brain and making him crazy?

Crazy? Am I calling the President-Select of the Excited States crazy? Not
me. As a journalist, I can only point out that published medical evidence
goes frighteningly far in explaining GW's behavior. For certain, this good
ol' boy should go in for a brain scan before being allowed to command more
firepower than the next 11 nations combined. If George W. Bush is not crazy
--- he's sure acting like it.


PAUL KRUGMAN, NEW YORK TIMES, March 14: Aboard the U.S.S. Caine, it was the
business with the strawberries that finally convinced the doubters that
something was amiss with the captain. Is foreign policy George W. Bush's
quart of strawberries?

Over the past few weeks there has been an epidemic of epiphanies. A long
list of pundits who previously supported the Bush administration's policy on
Iraq have publicly changed their minds. None of them quarrel with the goal;
who wouldn't want to see Saddam Hussein overthrown? But they are finally
realizing that Mr. Bush is the wrong man to do the job. And more people than
you would think --- including a fair number of people in the Treasury
Department, the State Department and, yes, the Pentagon --- don't just
question the competence of Mr. Bush and his inner circle; they believe that
America's leadership has lost touch with reality.

If that sounds harsh, consider the debacle of recent diplomacy --- a debacle
brought on by awesome arrogance and a vastly inflated sense of

Mr. Bush's inner circle seems amazed that the tactics that work so well on
journalists and Democrats don't work on the rest of the world. They've made
promises, oblivious to the fact that most countries don't trust their word.
They've made threats. They've done the aura-of-inevitability thing --- how
many times now have administration officials claimed to have lined up the
necessary votes in the Security Council? They've warned other countries that
if they oppose America's will they are objectively pro-terrorist. Yet still
the world balks.

Wasn't someone at the State Department allowed to point out that in matters
nonmilitary, the U.S. isn't all that dominant Ñ that Russia and Turkey need
the European market more than they need ours, that Europe gives more than
twice as much foreign aid as we do and that in much of the world public
opinion matters? Apparently not.

And to what end has Mr. Bush alienated all our most valuable allies? (And I
mean all: Tony Blair may be with us, but British public opinion is now
virulently anti-Bush.) The original reasons given for making Iraq an
immediate priority have collapsed. No evidence has ever surfaced of the
supposed link with Al Qaeda, or of an active nuclear program.

And the administration's eagerness to believe that an Iraqi nuclear program
does exist has led to a series of embarrassing debacles, capped by the case
of the forged Niger papers, which supposedly supported that claim. At this
point it is clear that deposing Saddam has become an obsession, detached
from any real rationale.

What really has the insiders panicked, however, is the irresponsibility of
Mr. Bush and his team, their almost childish unwillingness to face up to
problems that they don't feel like dealing with right now.

I've talked in this column about the administration's eerie passivity in the
face of a stalling economy and an exploding budget deficit: reality isn't
allowed to intrude on the obsession with long-run tax cuts. That same "don't
bother me, I'm busy" attitude is driving foreign policy experts, inside and
outside the government, to despair.

Need I point out that North Korea, not Iraq, is the clear and present
danger? Kim Jong Il's nuclear program isn't a rumor or a forgery; it's an
incipient bomb assembly line. Yet the administration insists that it's a
mere "regional" crisis, and refuses even to talk to Mr. Kim.

The Nelson Report, an influential foreign policy newsletter, says: "It would
be difficult to exaggerate the growing mixture of anger, despair, disgust
and fear actuating the foreign policy community in Washington as the attack
on Iraq moves closer, and the North Korea crisis festers with no coherent
U.S. policy. . . . We are at the point now where foreign policy generally,
and Korea policy specifically, may become George Bush's `Waco.' . . . This
time, it's Kim Jong Il (and Saddam) playing David Koresh. .. . . Sober
minds wrestle with how to break into the mind of George Bush."

We all hope that the war with Iraq is a swift victory, with a minimum of
civilian casualties. But more and more people now realize that even if all
goes well at first, it will have been the wrong war, fought for the wrong
reasons Ñ and there will be a heavy price to pay.

Alas, the epiphanies of the pundits have almost surely come too late. The
odds are that by the time you read my next column, the war will already have



In a few moments, we will vote to consider nomination of Miguel Estrada to the
Second Highest Court, we've spent over100 hours on Senate Floor on this
nomination. Compare that 100 hours on one judicial appointment with the
numbers of hours we've spent this year discussing and debating a Declaration
of War before commencing a war. Zero. Not one hour. Not one minute.

With this nation poised on the brink of war. A war which the United States
is instigating without direct provocation. Without imminent threat to our
national security.

The first war of preemption --- we've claimed the right to attack another
country because they might become a future threat. The first war in which
the United States is perceived in the eyes of the world as the provocateur,
as the threat to world peace.

The Times of London recently commissioned a poll where they asked who is the
greatest threat to world peace. Forty Five percent responded Saddam Hussein
and 45% responded President Bush. Another poll in Dublin, Ireland asked the
same question and there thirty one percent said Saddam Hussein and 60% said
George Bush. In the Arab world, most populations are overwhelmingly against
a U.S. invasion.

Osama bin Laden is attempting to exploit those emotions exhorting his
members of Al-Quaeda and followers to rise up against the invader the
Crusader. Those sentiments come as a great shock to us. They are unwarranted
and undeserved. However, to a few unfortunately at high levels in this
Administration, this doesn't matter. To them it is irrelevant.

Eighteen month ago, the United States had the sympathy and the support of
the world. That has been needlessly squandered and it is not easily
regained. At home, our citizens receive color-coded warnings of greater or
lesser unspecified threats They're told to stockpile water, food, plastic
sheets, and duct tape . . . or told nothing at all.

The Secretary of Defense recently said in a hearing: "We are entering what
may prove to be the most dangerous security environment the world has
known." In the midst of this ominous, dangerous, fateful time, the 108th
session of the United States Senate devoted no time to debate or discussion..

Over the last three days we've considered this spectacle of a bill which
purports to ban "Partial Birth Abortions," a matter of importance, of great
concern to some but not one that required the attention of the Senate at
this moment.

This judge. Another judge. Another judge. Does it appear that we are
avoiding something? We are. We are avoiding our Constitutional
responsibility, perhaps the most important responsibility placed upon us by
the U.S. Constitution whether or not to declare war. The Constitution says
simply, clearly, emphatically: Congress shall declare war. Only Congress.
No one else. Not the President. Not the judiciary. Not the military. Only
Congress. One hundred Senators and 435 Representatives elected by, and
acting for the people of the U.S.

Last October, a majority of Members of the 107th Congress, a majority in the
House and Senate voted to transfer that authority to the President. Five
months before he has made his final decision regarding war or peace.
Congress was asked to give him that authority that the Constitution assigns
only to us, and Congress did. The resolution gave the President the
authority to use whatever means necessary, including the use of force
against Iraq.

We use such clever euphemisms here words which disguise the meaning of our
intentions. Use whatever means necessary and oh, by the way, lest you forget
it's ok with us, if you use "force". Not the lives of American men and
women. Not their bodies, their blood, their patriotism. Use force not
deadly, ear-splitting, earth-shaking, people-maiming, death-dealing bombs.
The most devastating, overwhelming, terrifying, death-dealing "force" the
world has ever known. Coming from us. The good guys. The protectors. The
preservers of world peace. The United States of America.

What foresight the Founders of this great nation had in not wanting a
decision that enormous, that earth-shaping or earth-shattering to be made by
one person. Not by this President. Not by any President. Instead this
President asked for and Congress acquiesced to give complete, unrestricted
authority no conditions, no restraints.

"Don't tie my hands," the President said. Don't tie the President's hands.
What did the Founders think of that? Thomas Jefferson in 1798 said, "In
questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but
bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." Bind him
down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution. Tie his hands? That is
not enough. We should chain him to the Constitution. We in Congress are
supposed to be chained to the Constitution.

We take an oath when sworn in we promise to "support and defend the
Constitution of the U.S. against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Bear
true faith and allegiance to that same Constitution." Our oath and
allegiance are not to country, or state, or government. We sweare allegiance
to the Constitution of the U.S.A.

Our Founders had other admonitions for us regarding the Constitution. Follow
it or change it. Don't evade it or ignore it.

George Washington, in his farewell address in 1796 said, "If in the opinion
of the people, the distribution of Constitutional powers be wrong, let it be
corrected by Amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let
there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be
the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments
are destroyed."

Finally from another perspective, author Edward Gibbon wrote in the History
of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, "The principles of a free
Constitution are irrevocably lost, when the legislative power is taken over
by the Executive."

In this instance, the legislative power wasn't taken over by the Executive.
We gave it away. Here, Mr. President, you decide. Decide. If you're right,
we'll try to share the credit. If you're wrong, you take the blame.

I respectfully urge the Majority Leader, and I respectfully urge all of my
to turn our attention to this fateful decision when we return next week. A
decision on whether or not to vote a declaration of war is the one that
would be a very difficult vote, one that would be a career-shaping or
career-shattering vote. But it would be one that the constitution requires
of us, our fellow citizens elected of us. And it's one that only we can or
must do to vote whether or not to declare war. I would urge the Senate to
turn its attention to that matter when it resumes next.


GREG MILLER, LOS ANGELES TIMES: A classified State Department report
expresses doubt that installing a new regime in Iraq will foster the spread
of democracy in the Middle East, a claim President Bush has made in trying
to build support for a war, according to intelligence officials familiar
with the document.

The report exposes significant divisions within the Bush administration over
the so-called democratic domino theory, one of the arguments that underpins
the case for invading Iraq.

The report, which has been distributed to a small group of top government
officials but not publicly disclosed, says that daunting economic and social
problems are likely to undermine basic stability in the region for years,
let alone prospects for democratic reform.

Even if some version of democracy took root an event the report casts as
unlikely anti-American sentiment is so pervasive that elections in the short
term could lead to the rise of Islamic-controlled governments hostile to the
United States.

"Liberal democracy would be difficult to achieve," says one passage of the
report, according to an intelligence official who agreed to read portions of
it to The Times.

"Electoral democracy, were it to emerge, could well be subject to
exploitation by anti-American elements."

The thrust of the document, the source said, "is that this idea that you're
going to transform the Middle East and fundamentally alter its trajectory is
not credible."

Even the document's title appears to dismiss the administration argument.
The report is labeled "Iraq, the Middle East and Change: No Dominoes."

The report was produced by the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and
Research, the in-house analytical arm.

State Department officials declined to comment on the report. Intelligence
officials said the report does not necessarily reflect the views of
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell or other senior State Department

The obstacles to reform outlined in the report are daunting.

"Middle East societies are riven" by political, economic and social problems
that are likely to undermine stability "regardless of the nature of any
externally influenced or spontaneous, indigenous change," the report said,
according to the source.

The report is dated February 26, officials said, the same day Bush endorsed
the domino theory in a speech to the conservative American Enterprise
Institute in Washington.

It's not clear whether the president has seen the report, but such documents
are typically distributed to top national security officials. "A new regime
in Iraq would serve as a dramatic and inspiring example of freedom for other
nations in the region," Bush said.

Other top administration officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney,
have made similar remarks in recent months.

But the argument has been pushed hardest by a group of officials and
advisors who have been the leading proponents of going to war with Iraq.
Prominent among them are Paul D. Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary,
and Richard Perle, chairman of the Defense Policy Board, an influential
Pentagon advisory panel.

Wolfowitz has said that Iraq could be "the first Arab democracy" and that
even modest democratic progress in Iraq would "cast a very large shadow,
starting with Syria and Iran but across the whole Arab world."

Similarly, Perle has said that a reformed Iraq "has the potential to
transform the thinking of people around the world about the potential for
democracy, even in Arab countries where people have been disparaging of
their potential."

White House officials hold out the promise of a friendly and functional
government in Baghdad to contrast with administration portrayals of
President Saddam Hussein's regime as brutal and bent on building his stock
of biological and chemical weapons.

The domino theory also is used by the administration as a counter argument
to critics in Congress and elsewhere who have expressed concern that
invading Iraq will inflame the Muslim world and fuel terrorist activity
against the United States.

But the theory is disputed by many Middle East experts and is viewed with
skepticism by analysts at the CIA and the State Department, intelligence
officials said.

Critics say even establishing a democratic government in Iraq will be
extremely difficult. Iraq is made up of ethnic groups deeply hostile to one
another. Ever since its inception in 1932, the country has known little but
bloody coups and brutal dictators.

Even so, it is seen by some as holding more democratic potential because of
its wealth and educated population than many of its neighbors.

By some estimates, 65 million adults in the Middle East can't read or write,
and 14 million are unemployed, with an exploding, poorly educated youth

Given such trends, "we'll be lucky to have strong central governments [in
the Middle East], let alone democracy," said one intelligence official with
extensive experience in the region.

The official stressed that no one in intelligence or diplomatic circles
opposes the idea of trying to install a democratic government in Iraq.

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