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Government
Open Thread: Cancelled Elections, 2004?
April 28, 2004

Read the orginial post, © Copyright 2003, Maureen Farrell atPittsburgh Indy Media : Your comments Welcome at the end.

On Dec. 31, 2003, New York Times columnist and former Nixon speech writer William Safire offered his standard New Yearís predictions. This time, however, one item stood out. In addition to speculating on everything from which country would next "feel the force of U.S. liberation" to who would win the best picture Oscar, Safire predicted that "the 'October surprise' affecting the U.S. election" would be "a major terror attack in the United States." [Salt Lake Tribune]

While such speculation is hardly worth a trip to the duct tape store, when combined with repeated assaults to our democratic process and troublesome assertions from noteworthy sources, it warrants further investigation.

In Nov. 2003, you might recall, Gen. Tommy Franks told Cigar Aficionado magazine that a major terrorist attack (even one that occurred elsewhere in the Western world), would likely result in a suspension of the U.S. Constitution and the installation of a military form of government. "[A] terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event somewhere in the Western world -- it may be in the United States of America -- [would cause] our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass, casualty-producing event," he said. [NewsMax.com]

Right around the same time, former Clinton administration official David Rothkopf made similarly distressing observations. In a Washington Post op-ed entitled, "Terrorist Logic: Disrupt the 2004 Election," he described a meeting in which nearly 75 percent of the professional participants (characterized as "serious people, not prone to hysteria or panic") also foresaw another terrorist attack occurring on American soil before the next election. "Recently, I co-chaired a meeting hosted by CNBC of more than 200 senior business and government executives, many of whom are specialists in security and terrorism related issues," he wrote. "Almost three-quarters of them said it was likely the United States would see a major terrorist strike before the end of 2004." [Washington Post]

Saying that "history suggests that striking during major elections is an effective tool for terrorist groups," Rothkopf explained why terrorists will most likely target us soon. And though he and Safire made these observations months before terrorists changed Spainís political landscape, they were not alone in thinking along such lines. "Even before the bombings in Madrid, White House officials were worrying that terrorists might strike the United States before the November elections," USA Today reported, before commenting on how terrorists could "try the same tactics in the United States to create fear and chaos." [USA Today]

The New York Times also reported on the possibility that Al Qaeda would try to "influence the outcome of the election" by striking U.S. oil refineries. "The Federal Bureau of Investigation has warned the Texas oil industry of potential attacks by Al Qaeda on pipelines and refineries near the time of the November presidential election," the Times reported. [New York Times]

MSNBC, CNN and other news organizations also chimed in, raising concerns about this summer's political conventions. "In the wake of what happened in Madrid, we have to be concerned about the possibility of terrorists attempting to influence elections in the United States by committing a terrorist act," FBI Director Robert Mueller told CNN. "Quite clearly, there will be substantial preparations for each of the conventions." [CNN]

Right-wing columnists and pundits have since (surprise, surprise) tried to capitalize on such fears. "If a terrorist group attacked the U.S. three days before an election, does anyone doubt that the American electorate would rally behind the president or at least the most aggressively antiterror party?" David Brooks opined in the New York Times on March 16, [Libertypost.org] before Richard Clarke revealed that the Clinton administration was actually more "aggressively anti-terror" than the bumbling Bushes. (Could that be why the Bush administration refuses to turn over thousands of pages of the nearly 11,000 files on the Clinton administrationís antiterrorism efforts?)

Sean Hannity twisted things further. "If we are attacked before our election like Spain was, I am not so sure that we should go ahead with the election," he reportedly said. "We had better make plans now because itís going to happen."

And, of course, what usurpation of democracy would be complete without Rush Limbaugh weighing in? "Do [the terrorists] bide their time and wait, or do they try to replicate their success in Spain here in America before our election?" Limbaugh asked, before revealing how "titans of industry," and "international business people (who do not outsource, by the way)" were "very, very, very concerned" that one true party forever rule the Fatherland.

"They all were seeking from me reassurance that the White House was safe this year, that John Kerry would not win," Limbaugh said. "Who do you think the terrorists would rather have in office in this country -- socialists like those in Spain as personified by John Kerry and his friends in the Democratic Party, or George W. Bush?"

Saying that a pre-election terrorist attack is not a question of "if" but "when," Limbaugh concluded that should anyone but Bush occupy the White House, the terrorists will have won. [RushLimbaugh.com]

Given the bizarre mind-melding between the government and media and the Soviet-style propagandizing that's been taking place, one has to wonder: Is there is any significance in the fact that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and David Brooks are all beating the same tom-tom? As former White House insider Richard Clarke recently told Jon Stewart, "[There are] dozens of people, in the White House. . . writing talking points, calling up conservative columnists, calling up talk radio hosts, telling them what to say. Itís interesting. All the talk radio people, the right wing talk radio people across the country, saying the exact same thing, exactly the same words."

Stewart noted that a 24-hour news network was also making observations that were "remarkably similar to what the White House was saying."

Even though Andrew Card admitted that "from a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August," in May, 2002, Wayne Madsen and John Stanton revealed that the governmentís marketing preparations for the war were already underway, with U.S. Air Force scientists consulting with CNN "to figure out how to gather and disseminate information." [CounterPunch.org]

In an article entitled, "When the War Hits Home: U.S. Plans for Martial Law, Tele-Governance and the Suspension of Elections," Madsen and Stanton delved into the more frightening aspects of what might be in store. "One incident, one aircraft hijacked, a 'dirty nuke' set off in a small town, may well prompt the Bush regime, let's say during the election campaign of 2003-2004, to suspend national elections for a year while his government ensures stability," they wrote. "Many closed door meetings have been held on these subjects and the notices for these meetings have been closely monitored by the definitive http://www.cryptome.org."

To make matters worse, if martial law is imposed, Air Force General Ralph E. Eberhart will be able to blast through Posse Comitatus and deploy troops to Americaís streets. Gen. Eberhart, you might recall, is the former Commander of NORAD, which was in charge of protecting Americaís skies on Sept. 11. But instead of being scrutinized for NORADís massive failures, he was promoted and now heads the Pentagon's Northern Command. And, as military analyst William M. Arkin explained, "It is only in the case of 'extraordinary' domestic operations that would enable Gen. Eberhart to bring in "intelligence collectors, special operators and even full combat troops" to bear. What kind of situation would have to occur to grant Eberhart "the far-reaching authority that goes with 'extraordinary operationsí"? Nothing. He already has that authority. [Los Angeles Times]

Which brings us to the inevitable (and most important) question. How primed is the American public to accept suspended elections, martial law, or whatever else the White House decides to "market"?

Consider, for a moment, what an invaluable propaganda conduit the media was during the lead up to war in Iraq -- and just how weird things have become since. Howard Stern insists he was targeted by Clear Channel and the FCC after speaking out against George Bush [BuzzFlash.com]; former White House Aide Anna Perez (who worked under Condoleezza Rice and served as former first lady Barbara Bushís press secretary) is slated to become chief communications executive for NBC; and MSNBC featured a story entitled, "White House: Bush Misstated Report on Iraq" on its Web site only to have it disappear down the Memory Hole in the course of a few hours. [TheMemoryHole.org]

Moreover, last yearís Clear Channel sponsorship of pro-war/pro-Bush rallies was so Orwellian, that former Federal Communications Commissioner Glen Robinson remarked, "I can't say that this violates any of a broadcaster's obligations, but it sounds like borderline manufacturing of the news." [Chicago Tribune] Meanwhile, the mysterious Karen Ryan (of "In Washington, I'm Karen Ryan reporting" fakery fame [Journalism.NYU.edu]) was featured in the New York Times. "Federal investigators are scrutinizing television segments in which the Bush administration paid people to pose as journalists, praising the benefits of the new Medicare law. . . , " the Times reported.

Need more proof that something is amiss? As of Feb. 5, 2004, CBS News was still reporting that one of the hijackers' passports was "found on the street minutes after the plane he was aboard crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center," [CBS] and for far too long, pundits have taken to spreading White House rumors without checking facts --while denying any White House connection once these rumors prove false.

And most baffling of all, whenever anyone does tell the truth, a bevy of Stepford Citizens reveal that theyíd rather hear lies. After Richard Clarke spilled the Bush beans on 60 Minutes, for example, the mail was overwhelmingly negative -- with some writing that Clarke should be tried for treason and others asking CBS, "Why canít you be 'fair and balancedí like FOX?" (Perhaps those viewers are denizens of the Free Republic Web site, where posters actually pondered the question: "Should the US have elections if attacked?" [FreeRepublic.com])

The most bizarre example of the White Houseís dysfunctional domination of the media, however, occurred last week -- with the surreal controversy involving David Letterman and CNN. In case you missed it, on Monday, Letterman showed a video clip which featured a bored, fidgety kid standing behind George W. Bush, who was giving a speech in Orlando. The next day, CNN also ran that clip, but anchor Daryn Kagan returned from commercial break to inform viewers, "We're being told by the White House that the kid, as funny as he was, was edited into that video." Later, a second CNN anchor said that the boy was at the rally, but wasn't necessarily standing behind George W. Bush.

"That is an out and out 100 percent absolute lie. The kid absolutely was there, and he absolutely was doing everything we pictured via the videotape," Letterman said on Tuesday.

"Explanations continued through Wednesday and Thursday, with Letterman referring to "indisputable" and "very high-placed source" who told him that the White House had, in fact, called CNN. "This is where it gets a little hinky," Letterman said on Thursday, rehashing the back and forth nonsense that played like a bad SNL sketch. "We were told that the White House didnít call CNN. That was the development the other day. So Iím upset because I smell a conspiracy. I think somethingís gone haywire. I see this as the end of democracy as we know it; another one of them Watergate kind of deals. And so, Iím shooting my mouth off and right in the middle of the show, Iím handed a note that says 'No no no no, the White House did not contact CNN. The White House did NOT call CNN.í So now I feel like "Oh, I guess Iím gonna do heavy time.í

"Ok, so now it gets a little confusing. So, the next day Iím told, 'Oh, No. The White House DID contact CNN. . . . They WERE contacted by the White House. They were trying to SHUT CNN up because they didnít want to make these people look ridiculous because they were big Republican fund raisers and you know, Iím going to disappear mysteriously. In about eight months, theyíll find my body in the trunk of a rental car.

"So now, weíre told, despite what everyone says. . . that this high-ranking, high placed unidentified source says, "No No The White House did call them."

Although he displayed his customary wit and joked throughout his explanation, unless Letterman's acting skills extend far beyond those displayed in Cabin Boy, there's no doubt that Letterman was serious when he asserted that "despite what everyone says" the White House was involved in this fiasco.

Meanwhile, CNN apologized and accepted the blame, letting the White House off the hook.

While the Letterman episode is a lesson in abject absurdity, nearly two years ago, Madsen and Stanton warned that following a major terrorist attack, seditious web sites would be blocked (something that is already happening to howardstern.com) and "the broadcast media would similarly be required to air only that which has been approved by government censors." (How will we know the difference?)

Though it seems surreal that people are actually wagering that another terrorist attack will occur on our soil by November (and itís even more bizarre that on-air personalities are calling for the suspension of elections), the fact that this un-elected gang who barreled into power and forever changed the course of a nation, is so completely untrustworthy makes the situation even more disturbing. On Sept 11, 2003, William Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News asked, "Why donít we have the answers to these 9/11 questions?" [The Philadelphia Daily News] before addressing a variety of concerns, which, thanks to the 9/11 commission, are finally making their way into our national consciousness. And now that another whistle blower, FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, has come forward, saying, "'I saw papers that show US knew al-Qaeda would attack cities with airplanes," [The Independent] itís clear weíve been under attack for quite some time. [BuzzFlash.com]

But before the Madrid bombings; before Richard Clarkeís revelations; before more whistleblowers peeked out from under the muck, David Rothkopf made everything oh-so-clear. Writing about the "military officers, policymakers, scientists, researchers and others who have studied [terrorism] for a long time," he explained how the majority of experts he spoke to not only predicted that the pre-election assaults would "be greater than those of 9/11," but that any act of terrorism would work in the President's favor. "It was the sense of the group that such an attack was likely to generate additional support for President Bush," he wrote.

Citing how "assaults before major votes have [traditionally] benefited candidates who were seen as tougher on terrorists," Rothkopf catalogued events in Israel, Russia, Turkey and Sri Lanka before explaining the symbiotic relationship between terrorists and hardliners. "So why would [terrorists] want to help [hardliners] win?" he asked. "Perhaps because terrorists see the attacks as a win-win. They can lash out against their perceived enemies and empower the hard-liners, who in turn empower them as terrorists. How? Hard-liners strike back more broadly, making it easier for terrorists as they attempt to justify their causes and their methods."

William Safireís and David Rothkopf's and three out of four experts' speculations aside, there are those who believe that the Bible predicts the ultimate battle between good and evil and that George Bush is doing Godís work. But then again, the Bible also says that "the truth will make you free."

And according to Bible Code author Michael Drosnin, there is another, more mystical way to look at Biblical text, and he contends that the Bible also predicts, you guessed it, that there will be another terrorist attack in America in 2004.

Personally, I donít give much credence to predictions, but when this many people peer into the crystal ball and see Al Qaeda gearing up for our presidential election, I take note -- especially given whatís transpired since the last stolen election. [EricBlumrich.com]

So, what the heck. If others can do it, I can, too. So Iíll go out on a limb a make a prediction of my own: If the truth continues to seep out about the way the Bush administration has failed us, suspending the election may be the only way Bush can win.
My darkest fear is that G.W.'s handlers believe this, too.

* * *

BuzzFlash Note: We're not sure what to make of this, but a BuzzFlash Reader who works for the U.S. Government recently sent us this note: "When I attempted to purchase a [BuzzFlash] premium on-line, I have received the message from our 'computer police' that this site is considered a HATE site and I am not allowed to purchase this material online using government computers." Go figure. If anyone can verify this information, we'd be exceptionally grateful.


BACK TO TOP

Maureen Farrell is a writer and media consultant who specializes in helping other writers get television and radio exposure.

© Copyright 2003, Maureen Farrell

Posted by manystrom at 11:52 PM | Comments (50)

Government
Open Thread - The Coming Draft
March 14, 2004

Original Source: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/164693_draft13.html


WASHINGTON -- The government is taking the first steps toward a targeted military draft of Americans with special skills in computers and foreign languages.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is adamant that he will not ask Congress to authorize a draft, and officials at the Selective Service System, the independent federal agency that would organize any conscription, stress that the possibility of a so-called "special skills draft" is remote.

Nonetheless, the agency has begun the process of creating the procedures and policies to conduct such a targeted draft in case military officials ask Congress to authorize it and the lawmakers agree to such a request.


"Talking to the manpower folks at the Department of Defense and others, what came up was that nobody foresees a need for a large conventional draft such as we had in Vietnam," said Richard Flahavan, a spokesman for the Selective Service System. "But they thought that if we have any kind of a draft, it will probably be a special skills draft."

Flahavan said Selective Service planning for a possible draft of linguists and computer experts began last fall after Pentagon personnel officials said the military needed more people with skills in those areas.

A targeted registration and draft "is strictly in the planning stage," he said, adding that "the whole thing is driven by what appears to be the more pressing and relevant need today" -- the deficit in language and computer experts.

The spokesman said it could take about two years to "to have all the kinks worked out."

The agency already has a special system to register and draft health care personnel ages 20 to 44 in more than 60 specialties if necessary in a crisis. According to Flahavan, the agency will expand this system to be able to rapidly register and draft computer specialists and linguists, should the need ever arise. But he stressed that the agency has received no request from the Pentagon to do so.

Congress, which would have to authorize a draft, has shown no interest in taking such a step.

Kathleen Long, a spokeswoman for Sen. Carl Levin, the senior Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said a draft has little support among lawmakers.

A spokesman for Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, agreed. "There are massive operations under way to retrain soldiers" for more pressing duties and to recruit specialties in demand such as language experts, said Harald Stavenas, Hunter's spokesman.

The military draft ended in 1973 as the U.S. commitment in Vietnam waned, beginning the era of the all-volunteer force. Mandatory registration for the draft was suspended in 1975 but resumed in 1980 by President Carter after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. About 13.5 million men, ages 18 to 25, are currently registered with the Selective Service.

The military has had particular difficulty attracting and retaining language experts, especially people knowledgeable about Arabic and various Afghan dialects. To address this need, the Army has a new pilot program under way to recruit Arabic speakers into the service's Ready Reserves. The service has signed up about 150 people into the training program.

A Pentagon official familiar with personnel issues stressed that the armed forces are against any form of conscription but acknowledged that the groundwork is already under way at the Selective Service System.

On Capitol Hill, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., has introduced a bill that would reinstate the draft. The legislation has minimal support with only 13 House lawmakers signing on as co-sponsors. A corresponding bill in the Senate introduced by Sen. Fritz Hollings, the outgoing South Carolina Democrat, has no co-sponsors.

Posted by manystrom at 11:09 PM | Comments (66)

Government
Rembering Ike
February 24, 2004

ike.jpg

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

Posted by manystrom at 07:41 PM | Comments (15)

Government
Masters of War
February 14, 2004

masters.jpg

Masters of War - Bob Dylan

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks

You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain

You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud

You've thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain't worth the blood
That runs in your veins

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I'm young
You might say I'm unlearned
But there's one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
Even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand o'er your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead

Posted by manystrom at 02:17 AM | Comments (17)

Government
Dreamers
February 13, 2004

Kerry Lennon



Bush Mars



The Logical Song - Supertramp

When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful, a miracle
oh it was beautiful, magical.
And all the birds in the trees, well they'd be singing so happily, joyfully
playfully watching me.
But then they sent me away to teach me how to be sensible, logical
responsible, practical.
And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable, clinical intellectual, cynical.

There are times when all the world's asleep
the questions run too deep
for such a simple mind.
Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned
I know it sounds absurd
but please tell me who I am.

Now watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, liberal
fanatical, criminal.
Won't you sign up your name, we'd like to feel you're
acceptable, respectable, presentable, a vegetable!

At night, when all the world's asleep,
the questions run so deep
for such a simple man.
Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned
I know it sounds absurd
but please tell me who I am.


Posted by manystrom at 10:20 PM | Comments (4)

Government
Censure Bush for Misleading Us
February 12, 2004


bush1.jpg

In an attempt to evade responsibility for the misleading statements that pushed the nation into war, President Bush has announced plans to form an independent inquiry to look into what went wrong. An inquiry would serve the Bush administration well: it would envelop the issue in a fog of uncertainty, deflect blame onto the intelligence services, and delay any political damage until 2005, after the upcoming election.

But the facts need no clarification. Despite repeated warnings from the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency, President Bush and his administration hyped and distorted the threat that Iraq posed. And now that reality is setting in, the President wants to pin the blame on someone else. We can't let him.

Congress has the power to censure the President -- to formally reprimand him for betraying the nation's trust. If ever there was a time for this, it's now.

Do it.

Posted by manystrom at 12:05 AM | Comments (6)

Government
Remembering Mao
January 31, 2004

mao.jpg



He didn't mince words, did he?

Posted by manystrom at 12:06 PM | Comments (8)

Government
Who's Pulling the Strings?
December 13, 2003

bush-puppet3.jpg

Mr. Bush has forsaken American Ideals


From the e-taiwan news
http://www.etaiwannews.com/Taiwan/2003/12/12/1071194087.htm

Related Link


The following material is an edited transcript of Taiwan-related portions of the press briefing given to White House reporters by White House Spokesman Scott McClellan after Tuesday's meeting between United States President George W. Bush and People's Republic of China Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶).
Many of the reporters, mainly from European as well as U.S. media, sharply questioned McCellan on the apparent hypocrisy in Washington's alleged shift in position on Taiwan and reluctance to support the island country's democratic progress in the face of threats from the PRC.

Question: Why is the President opposing the exercise of the democratic self-determination by the people of Taiwan when he says that that's a cornerstone of his policy worldwide?

McClellan: Well, our policy remains the same. And the President, in the meeting, made it very clear that we support the one China policy and the Taiwan Relations Act, which is part of the three joint communiquťs, and that we do not support Taiwan independence...The President made it very clear that the United States opposes any unilateral attempt to change Taiwan's status, or to change the status quo. The President also made it clear that that applies to both Beijing's possible use of force and Taiwan itself, including referenda and constitutional reform that would change the status quo.

Question: The President does not support Taiwan independence under any circumstances?

McClellan: We have made it very clear that we do not support Taiwan independence. We support the one China policy, which is part of the three joint communiquťs. The President believes it's important to continue urging both sides to refrain from actions or statements that increase tensions or make dialogue more difficult to achieve.

Question: Isn't there a contradiction between that policy of maintaining the status quo and not allowing unilateral actions, and the desire, apparently, of a substantial number of the people of Taiwan to vote on the matter? I thought this President was for that kind of democratic activity.

McClellan: The President opposes any unilateral attempt to change the status quo. That has been our policy, and that remains our policy. And that applies to both Beijing and Taiwan.

Question: The Taiwanese make the point that the referendum they have proposed is not about independence, the word doesn't appear in it; it's about the Chinese missile build-up on the coast facing Taiwan, a missile build-up that I think it's U.S. policy also to oppose... Why is the President opposed to a referendum ... on a question of missile build-up?

McClellan: The President talked about some of this in the Oval Office. ... It is our view that the recent statements and proposals coming out of Taiwan that you bring up would imply a desire to change the status quo, and we oppose any unilateral attempt to change the status quo.

Question: What are the consequences for Taiwan ignoring the President's wishes on this?

McClellan: Well, we've made our views very clear. Our policy is well-known. They are very aware of our views, as is Beijing.

Question: Well, they're planning to go ahead with this resolution as of now. Are the United States willing to impose sanctions?

McClellan: We will continue to emphasize what we already have. No, I am not going to get into hypothetical actions or anything like that.

Question: But you would not rule out the use of sanctions?

McClellan: I'm not going to rule in or rule out.

Question: On the question of whether or not the referendum itself is heading down the path toward independence, is there a specific statement that you could point us to that indicates that that is indeed what the Taiwanese have in mind by doing this referendum?

McClellan: That's what I said that it seems to imply, a desire to change the status quo. You've seen the public comments that have been made.

Question: Why shouldn't people see this as the administration picking and choosing its moral clarity when it comes to foreign policy, by opposing democracy here because it doesn't suit your interests in the region, especially since China is helping on North Korea?

McClellan: Well, one, this has been a longstanding policy. This policy has been in place, and what the President said today was reiterating what that policy is. He was asked a question about it, and he reiterated what our policy is.

Question: Why isn't that hypocritical? I mean, you're all for democracy in the Middle East and in Iraq, but the Taiwanese people see that and then America says, no, not for you, not democracy for you.

McClellan: There are a lot of matters you address around the world, and different circumstances require different action and strategies.

Question: Explain why this strategy is different, why the Taiwanese are being sacrificed for what? What is the larger good here that the President sees?

McClellan: You might want to go back and look at the three joint communiques, and look at that.

Question: Do you want to get 10 Americans on the street, and see if it's clear?

McClellan: This is what he has said from the beginning, this policy.

Question: Why don't you educate us about what the President's thinking is - why there's moral clarity when it comes to pushing democracy in some parts of the world, but not here. What is the larger interest?

McClellan: Wait. We do not support any change - any unilateral attempt to change the status quo. That's what he's made very clear.

Question: Even a democratic change?

McClellan: I think you need to look at that.

Question: Scott, you say you oppose a unilateral movement toward democracy in Taiwan. In what way could Taiwan move toward democracy that would please the administration?

McClellan: Again, this is addressing the current status quo. We oppose any attempt to change, unilaterally, the status quo, in regards to China and Taiwan.

Question: Premier Wen said that democracy as was being practiced by President Chen in Taipei was being used as a tool to split Taiwan away from mainland China. Does the President agree with that?

McClellan: You heard the President's comments. That's what the President believes, in terms of what he said in his comments, and what I've reiterated from this podium. That's the President's belief.

Question: Does he agree with Premier Wen that President Chen is using democracy to split Taiwan away?

McClellan: We're working together to address these issues and talk about any differences we may have, as well, on a whole host of issues, but also working together on areas of common interest.

Question: If there is a threat from China, U.S. will defend Taiwan at the same time U.S. policy will change on China?

McClellan: U.S. policy will change?

Question: Towards China.

McClellan: Our policy is the same under the one China policy and the Taiwan Relations Act, the three joint communiques.

Question: I thought that the United States had never foreclosed the possibility of Taiwanese independence, as long as it was mutually agreed to.

McClellan: We've made it clear that we do not support Taiwan independence, and that we oppose any unilateral attempt to change the status quo.

Question: So you don't - it's possible that some day Taiwan could be independent?

McClellan: It's important for there to be dialogue on these issues. And that's why we've urged both sides to refrain from actions or statements that would increase tensions.

Question: The Chinese Premier said that President Bush told him he opposed Taiwan's independence. And you just told us that U.S. do not support Taiwan's independence. Could it be in private U.S. is telling China opposing Taiwan independence and in public you are saying another thing, you do not...
McClellan: You heard from the President himself; our policy is that we do not support Taiwan independence and that we oppose any unilateral attempt to change the status quo. That's our policy and we've made it very clear publicly for a long time.

Question: I don't understand why the U.S. is committed to defending Taiwan militarily if it's attacked if it doesn't think that Taiwan can be a separate country. There's no consistency here.

McClellan: No, I think there is. And we've talked about this issue previously, in terms of the one China policy and in terms of the Taiwan Relations Act. This applies to both sides. This applies to Beijing, this applies to Taiwan in terms of any unilateral attempt to change the status quo. And there are a lot of reasons for that.

Posted by manystrom at 04:28 PM | Comments (142)
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