March 06, 2003
-Dateline WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A Vatican envoy who met with President Bush Wednesday said he "clearly and forcefully" conveyed a message from Pope John Paul II that a war against Iraq would be a "disaster."
-Dateline PARIS (Fox News) – The French, German and Russian foreign ministers said Wednesday that their governments would "not allow" passage of a U.N. resolution authorizing war against Iraq.
-Dateline CAIRO (StratFor) – Egypt's ruling party has called for massive anti-war demonstrations, an unprecedented move by the government aimed at co-opting the opposition and gaining control over the anti-war movement.
-Dateline WASHINGTON (Fox News) – A majority of Democratic Party members are rapidly moving toward all-out opposition to Bush administration foreign policy, with some seeking international cooperation for a war with Iraq and others warning that the United States is ignoring a growing crisis with North Korea.
The world it seems is in an uproar these days about the US going to war
with what every sane person knows is a power crazy madman. But I have
a simple question have we forgotten what started this? 24 hours that utterly
changed the face of this nation when over 3000 people were killed through
terror attacks against the twin towers, the pentagon and through the heroic
actions of a bunch of ordinary Americans a field in Pennsylvania. A day
that any of us that lived through it won’t forget and yet it seems
so soon afterward we have done just that, as the partisan bickering over
the most marginal of things boils once again to the surface. An image
that’s ingrained in my mind was several hours into 9-11 the congress
singing on the steps of the capitol. Another thing I remember was the
world wide support we received minus a bunch of partying Palestinians.
Has the world forgotten why we are doing this we are not some mean ogre
of a nation now just suddenly deciding oh lets invade Iraq for the fun
of it. And President Bush for all the media tries to paint him as a jerk
or ignorant hick is simply doing his job (to Protect and Defend the United
States of America) not the UN or France of Germany certainly we have treaties
with those nations and groups of nations but right here right now this
isn’t about them its about us. We were the ones attacked and we
will utterly destroy those responsible for it! Why? Not because we’re
mean but because justice demands it because 3,056 men women and children
of several nationalities demand it. There is strong evidence that Hussein
was in some part or way associated with the 9-11 attack how much or little
really doesn’t matter if it was simply a dollar I would feel no
sympathy for the man nor would I change my mind that we should go in there
but realistically its likely far more than a simple dollar. As a verified
fact (verified by those UN inspectors who don’t seem to be of much
use) we know that Hussein was training terrorists using the fuselage of
a Boeing 707 and through defectors testimony’s that the training
consisted of how to hijack or take over the plane using only hands as
weapons or knives. Further more that Mohamed Atta the leader of the 9-11
attacks was known to have dealings with Iraq and met with several Iraqi
diplomats and officials in Prague so the Czech Intelligence agencies report.
All this is overlooking the fact that this man (Hussein) is a tyrannical
dictator who runs his country like World War 2 Germany only worse. Those
that have managed to escape his dictatorship are calling for us to liberate
Iraq quite vocally. The media going into and out of Iraq can blatantly
not be trusted as it’s a well documented fact that if those news
services don’t report nicely about Mr. Hussein they are kicked out
of the country (Iraq) for a penance period depending on the severity of
the report the longer they’re kicked out. So what do we have:
Nineteen years ago, almost to the day, we lost three astronauts in a terrible accident on the ground. But we've never lost an astronaut in flight; we've never had a tragedy like this. And perhaps we've forgotten the courage it took for the crew of the shuttle; but they, the Challenger Seven, were aware of the dangers, but overcame them and did their jobs brilliantly. We mourn seven heroes: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe. We mourn their loss as a nation together.
For the families of the seven, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we're thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, "Give me a challenge and I'll meet it with joy." They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us.
We've grown used to wonders in this century. It's hard to dazzle us. But for 25 years the United States space program has been doing just that. We've grown used to the idea of space, and perhaps we forget that we've only just begun. We're still pioneers. They, the members of the Challenger crew, were pioneers.
And I want to say something to the school children of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's takeoff. I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them.
I've always had great faith in and respect for our space program, and what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don't hide our space program. We don't keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That's the way freedom is, and we wouldn't change it for a minute. We'll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue.
I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA or who worked on this mission and tell them: "Your dedication and professionalism have moved and impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it."
There's a coincidence today. On this day 390 years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and a historian later said, "He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it." Well, today we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake's, complete.
The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by
the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them,
nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their
journey and waved good-bye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth"
to "touch the face of God."
in response to the challenger accident (1986)
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