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News ::
Countdown to 2004: A week of greater gods and weaker men (english)
31 Oct 2003
Arab Americans voters are called on by Presidential contenders, members of the House call for General Boykin to be censured, and the "sensitive" Trent Lott calls for Iraq to be dismembered.

A regular update on Arab American issues
Richard Coduri, Political Analyst and Researcher
Arab American Institute October 21, 2003

AAI Makes the Debates!
A recent Democratic presidential debate in Detroit, Michigan demonstrates just how successful AAI has been in communicating the beliefs of the Arab American community to candidates for national office. Debate moderator and Detroit WJBK TV Fox 2 News Anchor Huel Perkins stated, when asking a question of retired General Wesley Clark, "You have not only praised the president that you now want to defeat but, according to the Arab [American] Institute Voting Guide, in February of 2003. . ." And later in the debate, Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) responded to a question from Perkins by stating, "as you know, I was here in Detroit just a week ago to speak to the Arab-American Institute to stress what unites us. As I said, the hyphen between Arab-American and other ethnic Americans is in some places in the world a divider. Here it's a uniter. It should remind us we are all Americans and we are all children of the same god and children of the same father, Abraham. We are literally brothers and sisters. And it's in that spirit that I intend to approach as president the conflict in the Middle East."

Boykin You Believe It?
Last week we told you about the less-than vigorous response of the Bush Administration to the comments of Lt. General William Boykin, a high-ranking Defense Department official, who described a victory over a Muslim opponent as "my God was bigger than his," and that his God, "was a real God, and his [opponent's] was an idol." Though a simple, unequivocal condemnation of Boykins' remarks could have helped bridge the gaping maw between the U.S. and the Muslim world, the White House seems reluctant to take on one of its own.

Not so for some members of the House of Representatives. Michigan Democrat John Conyers introduced a resolution this week "condemning religiously intolerant remarks and calling on the President to clearly censure and reassign Lieutenant General Boykin for his religiously intolerant remarks," and resolving "that the House of Representatives condemns bigotry and intolerance against any religious group, including people of the Islamic faith. . .and to reassign Lieutenant General Boykin to a new position in which his views will not impact United States Government policy decisions toward Muslims." 16 other members of the House, including Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) cosigned the resolution. Please go to to see how you can help support this important congressional resolution!

For the Record. . .
"Trying to eliminate Saddam . . . would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. . . . We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. . . . [T]here was no viable 'exit strategy' we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land." (From "A World Transformed," by former President George H. W. Bush, as compiled by Paul Craig Roberts, "Wisdom and Folly," Washington Times, October 16, 2003)

Mr. Sensitivity Strikes Again!
Once again, former Senate Majority Leader Senator Trent Lott (R-MS) has demonstrated his outstanding compassion. The Hill reports that when asked "whether he favored any policy changes in Iraq," Lott responded by stating: "Honestly, it's a little tougher than I thought it was going to be. . .If we have to, we just mow the whole place down, see what happens. You're dealing with insane suicide bombers who are killing our people, and we need to be very aggressive in taking them out."

Heard Around Town. . .
"Jews, like other Americans, vote on a host of issues, of which Mideast policy is only one. But it is to say that any President who succeeds in achieving peace and security for Israel would gain significantly in the Jewish community. Even if Bush fails, his efforts will be appreciated considerably more than his current policy of 'nothing ventured, nothing gained.'"(MJ Rosenberg, Director of Policy Analysis for Israel Policy Forum)
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