"Ain't Gonna Study War No More"

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Right-To-Life Party, Christian, Anti-War, Pro-Life, Bible Fundamentalist, Egalitarian, Libertarian Left

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Bush Upsets Some Supporters

President is urged to press ban on same-sex marriage.

President Bush came under fire from some social conservatives yesterday for saying he will not aggressively lobby the Senate to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage during his second term.

Prominent leaders such as Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, and many rank-and-file Bush supporters inundated the White House with phone calls to protest Bush's comments in an interview published Sunday in The Washington Post. "Clearly there is concern" among conservatives, Perkins said. "I believe there is no more important issue for the president's second term than the preservation of marriage."

Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family said, "I am sure [White House] phone lines are lighting up all over."

In the Post interview, Bush, for the first time, said senators have made it clear to him the amendment has no chance of passing unless courts strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which protects states from recognizing same-sex marriages conducted elsewhere. Challenges to the act are pending in state courts from California to Florida.

"It was not articulated that way in the campaign," Perkins complained.

Social conservatives who helped stoke record turnout for Bush in the 2004 election expressed concern that he is dropping the issue he passionately touted during the campaign now that he has been reelected. "The president is willing to spend his political capital on Social Security reform, but the nation is greatly conflicted on that issue," said Minnery, vice president of public policy for Focus on the Family. "The nation is united on marriage. The president's leadership is desperately needed." Minnery and Perkins called the White House to complain about Bush's position.

Some conservatives, however, said they trust Bush will still push for the amendment, despite his remarks. Janet M. LaRue of Concerned Women for America, a Washington-based group that seeks to reverse the nation's "moral decline," said Bush was pointing to the realities of a divided Senate. "I think he was speaking practically about the fact that there are senators who are waiting to see whether the federal Defense of Marriage Act is struck down by a court," a position LaRue called "foolish."

Still, she said, "The responsibility for an amendment lies with Congress, not the White House."

Bush, whose reelection strategy was predicated on record-high turnout among social conservatives, especially evangelical Christians, will need the support of his base to help pressure Congress to approve his domestic agenda over the next four years, Republicans say. While Bush remains wildly popular among most conservatives, some are wondering whether the president will play down social issues in the second term as he seeks to cement a legacy focused more on cutting taxes and creating private Social Security retirement accounts. Last week, some Republicans complained that Bush's choice to head the Republican National Committee, Kenneth B. Mehlman, has picked an abortion rights supporter to be co-chairman.

The president is sensitive to the concerns of social conservatives and has tried to reassure them over the past two days that he remains as committed as ever to outlawing same-sex marriage, according to White House officials. Privately, some Bush advisers say the president is uncomfortable picking divisive political fights over abortion and same-sex marriage that cannot be won.

"The president will continue to advocate the need for a constitutional amendment to protect the sanctity of marriage," White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters yesterday. "It is something he believes very strongly in. In fact, he has already spent a lot of political capital on getting that initiative moving."

"Remember, in the Senate, you have to have 67 votes to move a constitutional amendment forward," McClellan added. "And there are a number of members of the Senate that have said that they're not open to it until the Defense of Marriage Act faces a serious legal challenge. So that's just talking about the legislative reality."

Social conservatives agree it is an uphill fight in the Senate. But they worry Bush is undermining the chances before the second-term debate even begins. "It seems wrong to signal at the start of the new Congress that nothing is likely to happen," Minnery said. "We would like him to stoke this first, so when there is this precipitating event, we can hit the ground running."

Jim VandeHei and Michael A. Fletcher
The Washington Post
Wednesday 19 January 2005

The Winds of War...GLOBAL WAR

America rethinks Iran and Syria adventure as Putin makes Russia and BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) alliance ready for military confrontation

It is becoming clear that Russia and BRIC will not tolerate American adventure into Syria and Iran. Iranian elements in Iraq like Chalabi will not tolerate that either.

Neo-conservatives in America are eager to move into Syria and Iran to complete their “mission”. Every day that theme is reiterated in conservative American talk radio. The plan was to complete “Iraq” fast and then ask Iraqis to complain about insurgency support from Iran and Syria and then use that logic to enter those two nations.

But some serious problems have come up. Iraqi defense minister did come out and say that the Syrians and Iranians are providing support for insurgency and terrorism in Iraq. But he could not go too far with that. According to the Foreign Minister of Iraq, Hoshyar Zebari, Iraq's defense minister Hazim al-Shalan has no right to accuse Syria and Iran for sponsoring militant insurgency in Iraq. According to the minister, his office is the only official Iraqi channel to make such statement.

Ahmed Chalabi, leader of Iraqi interim council, accused Iraq's defense minister in stealing money and transferring the same to a bank in Lebanon. Chalabi himself was accused of similar fraud in Jordan. He is apparently upset about Defense Minsiter Hazim al-Shalan comments on Syria and Iran supporting insurgency in Iraq.

The Foreign Minister of Iraq Hoshyar Zebari says Iraqi President Ghazi al-Yawer and Interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi have major disagreements.
At the same time, Syrian leadership has gone to Russia asking for protection from American invasion.

Russians are defending Iran in pointing out that Iranians have no secret nuclear program for weapons. This was in response to reports that Washington does not rule out invading Iran to neutralize Weapons of Mass Destruction.

China and India have built special relationship with Iran because of Iran’s enormous supply of Natural Gas and Crude oil.

Russia is upset with America over what happened in Ukraine and on going fiasco in Georgia. American private money may have influenced the elections in Ukraine. The leaders of Ukraine and Georgia are ready to take shelter from NATO and EU.

Recently Putin made a world tour visiting China, India and Brazil. He tried to brief the leaderships of these BRIC alliance countries that Russia and BRIC will not put up with American aggression in Iran and Syria.

Putin also made it clear to these countries that UN has lost its backbone and EU nations may stand pat.

Interestingly, German chancellor Schroder had a very important meeting with Putin in recent weeks and came out with an interesting statement on Iran today. Iran is skeptical on American intensions and may not follow through the deal struck between Europeans and Iran regarding nuclear program of Iran. German chancellor Schroder told the Iranians not to delay the compliance in accordance with the agreement. Germany, France and Britain are informing Americans on what is happening though Bush Administration is not part of the accord.

It is becoming clear that Russia and BRIC will not tolerate American adventure into Syria and Iran. Iranian elements in Iraq like Chalabi will not tolerate that either.

Neo-conservatives in America are debating on their next move given the strong opposition from the world as such on their moving into Syria and Iran.

For now it seems nothing will happen. American Military infrastructure is tired somewhat and will recover nicely in a few months. That is the time the geopolitical game will restart again.

It will be in September-October of 2005 when the game will restart. Right now we are in a break session.

Balaji Reddy, Special Correspondent
January 19, 2005
India Times