Friday, January 23, 2004
Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator, 207-326-4576, email@example.com
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, firstname.lastname@example.org
Greens want to know: will Bush enlist Gov.
Schwarzenegger in his crusade against steroid abuse? A post-speech
follow-up to the Green Party's pre-speech rebuttal released on January
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Green Party leaders disputed and
criticized statements made by President Bush in his 2004 State of the
Union address and by Democrats Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Sen. Tom
Daschle (S.Dak.) in their response to the President's speech:
President Bush continued to speak of the invasion
of Iraq as part of the war on terrorism, although Saddam Hussein
apparently had no proven connections with al-Qaeda or the 9/11
attacks. Mr. Bush addressed none of the disturbing questions raised
by former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's revelations, the damning
analysis from the Army War College and Carnegie Endowment, and the
failure to locate WMDs. Mr. Bush has changed his terminology
from "weapons of mass destruction" to the vague
"weapons of mass destruction programs," obfuscating the
fact that the U.N. inspections had worked as intended in Iraq.
It's evident from Rep. Pelosi's comments that the
Democrats will make no effort to hold Mr. Bush and his staff
accountable for the numerous lies they told to justify the invasion.
Democrats will also take no responsibility for their yea votes that
helped pass the USA Patriot Act, the transfer of Congress's
constitutional war powers to the White House, and much of the rest
of the Bush agenda. Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) and Sen. John Edwards
(N.C.), who led in the Iowa caucuses, supported these bills and the
Mr. Bush listed several countries who supported
the invasion as proof that it was a truly international effort, but
neglected to mention that the U.S. leveled economic threats against
some of these countries to win their support. Many of these
governments backed the invasion in disregard of vigorous opposition
from a majority of their citizens.
Mr. Bush claimed that "The people of Iraq
are free", even though Iraq is under occupation by a foreign
power. Mr. Bush said, "For diplomacy to be effective, words
must be credible - and no one can now doubt the word of
America." But nearly the whole world, except for diehard
Republicans and British Prime Minister Blair, knows that the reasons
given in early 2003 to invade Iraq were fraudulent.
While speaking of American heroes in the war on
Iraq, neither President Bush nor the Democrats acknowledged the
500-plus American troops killed in Iraq or the many more wounded.
President Bush has attended no services for fallen troops; his
Administration has banned media coverage of the return of bodies to
President Bush spoke at length about eliminating
terrorism, but continues to hinder a full investigation into the
facts behind the 9/11 attacks. U.S. foreign aid continues to
benefit the ruling families of Saudi Arabia, who may be diverting
these funds to terrorist groups, but the F.B.I. has never questioned
anyone in Saudi Arabia about the attacks.
Neither Mr. Bush nor the Democrats mentioned the
crisis in Israel and Palestine, which is aggravating anti-American
sentiment throughout the Muslim world. The Bush
Administration, with no objection from most Democrats, continues to
support Israel's government with billions of dollars from American
taxpayers for the construction of the Wall, the illegal settlements,
the Israeli military's daily suppression of rights and violence
visited on Palestinians. Greens also deplore the violence committed
by some Palestinians against Israeli citizens, but note that
Palestinian violence is not funded with U.S. taxpayers' money.
The Democratic response failed to mention the 200
public-health and environmental laws that Mr. Bush has attempted to
weaken. Democratic votes put some of his worst anti-ecological
legislation over the top.
Despite his rosy prognosis, the first Bush term
saw a $127 billion surplus turned into a $500 billion deficit,
with 2.4 million lost jobs and 9 million currently unemployed,
thanks to massive tax cuts for the rich and a price tag of $162
billion and growing for the invasion and occupation of Iraq. The
resulting cuts in social spending include $300 million from heat
subsidies for poor families.
"Our nation must defend the sanctity of
marriage." With these words, the President sanctioned a
jihad against the rights of gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans,
painting them as enemies of America's future without specifically
mentioning them. Mr. Bush tacitly blessed the Federal Marriage
Protection Amendment, which if passed would be the first amendment
to repeal rights and protections for one class of Americans. The
Democrats failed to respond to this part of the speech; many
Democrats (including liberals and progressives) voted yea for
President Clinton's antigay Defense of Marriage Act in 1996,
which Mr. Bush cited to show that his jihad has bipartisan support.
Bush wants to overturn rulings like the one from
the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, which fulfilled its
civic and legal responsibility and moral obligation to uphold the
rights of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer
Americans," said Brandon Lacy Campos, chair of the Green
Party's Lavender Caucus. The Green Party strongly supports full
same-sex marriage rights.
If all Americans enjoyed the kind of health
coverage enjoyed by Congress, to which Mr. Bush referred in his
discussion of Medicare, we'd have national health insurance, which
the Green Party supports but Republicans and most Democrats
reject. Sen. Daschle's response offered no systematic proposal
for covering the U.S.'s 43 million uninsured citizens.
"The cost of providing health care in the
U.S. is a staggering $1.6 trillion annually, but national health
insurance, the single payer proposal developed by the Physicians for
a National Health Program, would save $200 billion," said Greg
Gerritt, secretary of the Green Party of the United States.
"President Bush wants to fly to Mars, but he won't give
Americans access to a doctor."
President Bush's educational reform basically
amounts to a standardized testing program, centralized through a
federal bureaucracy, that has interrupted the classroom curricula
across the U.S. He promised "better options when schools are
not performing," but public schools are facing an economic
crisis because of the Bush tax cuts. Poor children and those with
special needs will suffer most. Millions of children will be left
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