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News ::
COUNTDOWN 2003 - Big Trouble for Bush (english)
05 Sep 2003
Roberston uses Jerusalem to threaten Bush's re-election, Dean heats up as Kerry cools down, and darkhorse 'candidate' General Clark has the numbers to win the Presidency.
423 Days Until Election Day 2004!
Richard Coduri, Arab American Institute, September 5, 2003

Robertson Threatens Bush
Under the title "Pat Robertson: Dividing Jerusalem will cost Bush votes in next election," the Jerusalem Post reports that "US Christian leader Pat Robertson" made the following statement in a recent interview: "If he [President George W. Bush] moves against Jerusalem, if he tries to partition Jerusalem, then I think Christian leaders across the country will rise up and speak out very forcefully against him, and it could hurt him in a close election."

In regards to the Road Map, Robertson states, "You know the prophet Joel speaks about those 'who divided my land,' that there is a curse on them. I think I would walk very, very softly if I were George Bush in this regard." Does this qualify as religious extremism?

Kerry Announces Candidacy
Senator John Kerry, (D-MA) whose struggling campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination has been eclipsed in recent months by the meteoric rise of former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, made his formal announcement this week in front of the USS Yorktown, a Navy aircraft carrier docked in Charleston, South Carolina.

Kerry told the crowd of soldiers, sailors, veterans, and supporters that the "conscience of Americans can guard our fundamental liberties and preserve them for generations to come. Your courage, your courage can make sure that we do what's right for our country. Your courage can give America back its future, its strength and its soul. I am honored to join you in this endeavor as a candidate for president of the United States."

Two New Polls in Key Primary States; Edwards, Dean in Lead
Zogby International has conducted two recent polls, one in New Hampshire and one in South Carolina. The results point to some very interesting conclusions about the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. For example, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean has taken a significant lead from Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, leading him by a whopping 38% to 17%.

"This is stunning," says pollster John Zogby. "Dean's surge seems to be at a heavy cost to Kerry, who led Dean in previous New Hampshire polling. Dean has also taken from Gephardt's standing, and from the undecideds. His support is really across the board ... both Congressional districts, men and women, Democrats and independents, liberals and moderates. He's the candidate to watch at the top of the scale, while some of those down the line might re-think their candidacy at this point."

In South Carolina, where North Carolinian John Edwards and Rev. Al Sharpton were expected to do well, it is clear that no candidate has distinguished himself to South Carolina voters. "This campaign is not even on the radar screen in South Carolina. While Edwards and Dean have made gains since our last poll, it is more like a bump on a carpet than a surge. No candidate has the edge, and it looks like South Carolina will be shaped by Iowa and New Hampshire...

Once a hope for Lieberman, this looks like an early fizzle. Gephardt's support is reduced to half of what it had been. Graham is nowhere. If Kerry's announcement this week helped him, could he actually have been lower than 8% before? And Sharpton is only getting single-digit support among African Americans. This is wide open," says John Zogby.

Clark Announces... He's a Democrat
Will he, or won't he? That's the question running through the minds of political prognosticators, and not a few candidates for president, these days in regards to retired Army General Wesley Clark. Clark, the former Supreme Commander of NATO forces in Europe, Rhodes scholar, Silver Star winner for bravery in Vietnam and top graduate in his class at West Point, has quietly let anticipation, and support, build over the last year, and has now brought it to a fever pitch by formally announcing that he is a Democrat. Previously Clark, like many military officers, declined from declaring a party affiliation. Clark has also stated that he will announce his decision whether or not to run in the next two weeks.

A recent Zogby international poll shows why so many Democrats are anxious for Clark to jump into the race. In a "blind bio" poll of national likely voters, where only the biography and not the name of the candidates are given, General Clark tops President George W. Bush by a margin of 49.4% to 40.2%. Clark also defeats the field of his possible Democratic rivals when matched against them using the same "blind bio" technique.

Clark, who is fairly liberal on social issues, has been a tough critic of the Bush Administration's hawkish foreign policy, stating "to have a preemptive war, you have to have had a significant threat. It has to have been so imminent that you couldn't wait...thirdly, there has to have been no alternative but to have used force. In those three cases, the administration failed to make its case before going in [to Iraq] and it has failed since the war to have established that case."

Heard Around Town
In last night's Democratic presidential debate, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean singled out Arab Americans when denouncing racial profiling.

More "peaceful" words from newly appointed board member of the U.S. Institute of Peace Daniel Pipes: "...over the course of fourteen centuries, Muslim interest in Jerusalem has tended to be more political than religious in the seventh century A.D., when, to aggrandize the importance of a town under their control, the caliph built a mosque in Jerusalem and called it Al-Aqsa. By doing this, he fulfilled a verse in the Qur'an which tells of the prophet going by night to Al-Aqsa mosque. The trick worked, generating the now-ancient belief that Muhammad's night journey took him to Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem..." (Daniel Pipes' personal website, 9/3/03)

In an interview with the Washington Post, Ambassador Paul Bremmer, the American civilian administrator for Iraq, states that "Iraq will need 'several tens of billions' of dollars from abroad in the next year to rebuild its rickety infrastructure and revive its moribund economy, and American taxpayers and foreign governments will be asked to contribute substantial sums."

Of Note
Arab American Institute President Dr. James Zogby will appear at a press conference in Michigan on Tuesday, Sept. 9 to announce that the community's 2004 National Leadership Conference, "Vote 2004: An Agenda for Peace and Justice" will be held in Dearborn, October 17-19, 2003. Zogby will also release AAI's 2004 Presidential Voter Guide.

Confirmed speakers for "Vote 2004" include Democratic presidential candidates including former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, Congressmen Dennis Kucinich and Richard Gephardt, as well as Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie. To register for the National Leadership conference, please go to
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