Sunday, April 23, 2006

words of the father

....just doing a little history research. i dont much remember what really happened in the first gulf war, i just remember being in middle school music class, and kids talking about how people are dying, but most of us were just spouting what our parents were saying (including me). later on in my life, i befriended a few vets. my friend don fought in the war, his unit refused to take vaccines, none became sick. my friend danial worked in the morgue, and says she suffers certain problems from the gulf war syndrome. i know that we had bombed baghdad steadily in the 12 years between war one and two....

the first gulf war, it never really ended, did it? it was more like taking a nice, long, ambien induced nap...

'New world order'
President Bush's speech to Congress
March 6, 1991 (extracts). This speech has often been cited as the US administration’s principal policy statement on the new order in the Middle East following the expulsion of Iraqi forces from Kuwait.

... Tonight I come to this House to speak about the world – the world after war.

The recent challenge could not have been clearer. Saddam Hussein was the villain, Kuwait the victim. To the aid of this small country came nations from North America and Europe, from Asia and South America, from Africa and the Arab world, all united against aggression.

Our uncommon coalition must now work in common purpose to forge a future that should never again be held hostage to the darker side of human nature.

Tonight in Iraq, Saddam walks amidst ruin. His war machine is crushed. His ability to threaten mass destruction is itself destroyed. His people have been lied to, denied the truth. And when his defeated legions come home, all Iraqis will see and feel the havoc he has wrought. And this I promise you: for all that Saddam has done to his own people, to the Kuwaitis, and to the entire world, Saddam and those around him are accountable....Our commitment to peace in the Middle East does not end with the liberation of Kuwait.....

we must work together to create shared security arrangements in the region. Our friends and allies in the Middle East recognise that they will bear the bulk of the responsibility for regional security. But we want them to know that just as we stood with them to repel aggression, so now America stands ready to work with them to secure the peace.

This does not mean stationing US ground forces on the Arabian Peninsula, but it does mean American participation in joint exercises involving both air and ground forces. It means maintaining a capable US naval presence in the region, just as we have for over 40 years. Let it be clear: our vital national interests depend on a stable and secure Gulf....

But we cannot lead a new world abroad if, at home, it’s politics as usual on American defense and diplomacy. It’s time to turn away from the temptation to protect unneeded weapons systems and obsolete bases. It’s time to put an end to micro-management of foreign and security assistance programs, micro-management that humiliates our friends and allies and hamstrings our diplomacy. It’s time to rise above the parochial and the pork barrel, to do what is necessary, what’s right and what will enable this nation to play the leadership role required of us.....

Now, we can see a new world coming into view. A world in which there is the very real prospect of a new world order. In the words of Winston Churchill, a "world order" in which "the principles of justice and fair play ... protect the weak against the strong ..." A world where the United Nations, freed from cold war stalemate, is poised to fulfil the historic vision of its founders. A world in which freedom and respect for human rights find a home among all nations.

The Gulf war put this new world to its first test, and, my fellow Americans, we passed that test.

Song of the day: for what its worth-buffalo springfield

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