Please attend even if (especially if) you attended the October meetup at Spot. 3. November Meetup: Please vote for the Brounschidle Hall. It is very important that we begin organizing for the upcoming petition period.
The period to obtain petitions to get General Clark on the Ballot in all of New York's Congressional Districts begins on November 26th and runs through January 2, 2004. We only have about 6 weeks to get the signatures we need. This will be the most important task we face between now and the March primary. If we can't get Clark on the ballot, getting out the March vote will be somewhat moot.
Although meetup.com is a good tool, we cannot rely solely on that tool for organizing. We must meet more frequently in more conducive settings than Spot Coffee (good as their capp is).
I still plan on attending future meetups, as should everyon. I urge everyone please to vote for the Brounshidle hall at http://clark2004.meetup.com
Busy at work, so I'll post more later about this event, including pictures.
Map of 301 Hiawatha Blvd E
Syracuse, NY 13208-1146
For more information, see:www.geocities.com/NYSClarkLeadership For reservations - SusieQ2371@aol.com Questions - JFenster@dreamscape.com
For those of us in New York State, please attend the Saturday Clark rally and the auction benefitting Korean War Vets.
Here is the website for the New York State Clark Leadership Conference, which is organizing Saturday's rally.
Here is the Central New York for Clark website, which has all the information about the rally.
Critics of the administration's handling of the Iraq crisis routinely include in their comments that Bush, at worst, lied about, and at best, exaggerated, the imminency of the threat that Iraq posed.
We, therefore, turn to a few pre-war quotations. At his February speech before the Security Council, Secretary of State Colin Powell remarked that "[t]he gravity of this moment is matched by the gravity of the threat that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction pose to the world. Let me now turn to those deadly weapons programs and describe why they are real and present dangers to the region and to the world."
In his State of the Union address, Bush stated that "America will not accept a serious and mounting threat to our country and our friends and our allies."
In October 2002, Bush stated that "the threat from Iraq stands alone because it gathers the most serious dangers of our age in one place. Iraq's weapons of mass destruction are controlled by a murderous tyrant [Hussein] who has already used chemical weapons to kill thousands of people"
On his own campaign website, Bush (or his surrogate) argues that Iraq posed an "imminent threat."
Reports in the Guardian reveal that the administration was mindful not to specifically refer to Hussein's threat as "imminent", so euphamisms were used: "Writing to the chairman of the joint intelligence committee, John Scarlett, and to Tony Blair's chief spin doctor Alastair Campbell, Mr Powell cautioned against claiming there was any evidence that Saddam was an imminent threat. "'We will need to make it clear in launching the document that we do not claim we have evidence that he [Saddam Hussein] is an imminent threat,' Mr Powell wrote on September 17. "A week later, on September 24, the dossier was published - with a foreward describing Saddam Hussein as presenting a "serious and current threat". In November 2002, Rumsfeld pondered the meaning of "imminent". "Was the attack then an imminent threat two, three, or six months before? When did the attack on September 11th become an imminent threat, when was it sufficiently dangerous? Now transport yourself forward ... if Saddam Hussein were to take his weapons of mass destruction and transfer them, or use them himself, or transfer them to the al Qaeda, and some of the al Qaeda were to engage in an attack on the United States or on U.S. forces overseas with weapons of mass destruction, when is it such an immediate threat that you must do something?" Rumsfeld again: "Now, at what moment was the threat to -- for September 11th imminent? Was it imminent a week before, a month before, a year before, an hour before? Was it imminent before you could -- while you could still stop it, or was it imminent only after it started and you couldn't stop it, or you could stop one of the three planes instead of two or all three? These are very tough questions." Wolfowitz in 2002: Another question that I’m often asked, is “why act now, why not wait until the threat is imminent?” Again, it seems to me this question has a fairly simple answer. It was expressed very clearly by Senator Joseph Lieberman in the Rose Garden, the day the original Joint Resolution on the Use of Force was introduced. He said, “I have felt for more than a decade now that every additional day that Saddam Hussein is in power in Iraq is an additional day of danger for the Iraqi people, for his neighbors in the region, particularly for the people in the military of the United States, and indeed, for the people of the world.” Condoleeza Rice: The Iraqi regime's violation of every condition set forth by the U.N. Security Council for the 1991 cease-fire fully justifies -- legally and morally -- the enforcement of those conditions. It is also true that since 9/11, our nation is properly focused as never before on preventing attacks against us before they happen. ...some threats are so potentially catastrophic -- and can arrive with so little warning, by means that are untraceable -- that they cannot be contained. Extremists who seem to view suicide as a sacrament are unlikely to ever be deterred. And new technology requires new thinking about when a threat actually becomes "imminent." So as a matter of common sense, the United States must be prepared to take action, when necessary, before threats have fully materialized." Of course the administration argued that Hussein's threat was imminent, in that it was "at hand", "menacing", "perilous." Obviously the word "imminent" can be interpreted many ways. No war critic is arguing that the Bushies made it seem as if the threat was so great as to be unavoidable, but Bush and his crew repeatedly called the Hussein threat an imminent one, whether they used that actual adjective or other, similar ones.
In a speech today at Hunter College in New York, Clark will give the first of four speeches outlining his initiative. Today's speech will focus on "service", and Clark will announce that he intends to create a Civilian Reserve, which will focus on rekindling the spirit of volunteerism that poured out of Americans following the September 11th attacks.
"A New American Patriotism calls on leadership that will make the right choices for all of our people; it calls for an administration that unites our country and works with the world community, and it calls all Americans to action in order to make the commitments and sacrifices to meet these historic challenges."
The Civilian Reserve would permit ordinary citizens to register to contribute their talents and labor, creating a "safety net of skilled Americans who are willing to help in times of trouble", without any new bureaucracy being needed.
The next three speeches will focus on the economy, health care, and national security.
Meanwhile, the Bush administration has given the American people a recession, a jobless "recovery", a tax cut that mostly benefits the wealthiest 1% of Americans, a tax cut that, in turn, cuts funding to the States, thus causing States to raise taxes or cut vital services, a war that the administration chose to fight, based either on faulty intelligence or intelligence that the administration knowingly fabricated or "sexed up", a resulting guerilla war in which American servicemen are dying at a rate of 1-2 per day, a war that we easily won, but are now left to "peacekeep" on our own, because our administration was too cocky, headstrong and paranoid to obtain international manpower and financial assistance.
Just think. We're being asked to spend $87 billion of what Bush snarkily called the "people's money" in 2000, to ensure that Iraqis can, among other things, get healthcare. Meanwhile, back here in the US, more people are uninsured now than they were in 2002. (43.5 million Americans are uninsured, up 5.3% from last year, and the highest number in 10 years). Why is Bush sending the people's money to the Iraqi people? Why did Bush take over and occupy a middle-eastern country with huge oil reserves, and yet gas prices are still at record-high levels?
Is there anyone out there who doesn't realize that we desperately need a change in 2004?
How about a President who focuses on service (i.e., working for something greater than one's own self-interest), the economy, health care, and national security? How about Wesley Clark?
This group will act as an old-fashioned listserv: an email to the group from one person will be sent to all the members. It's a great tool to get the word out fast, and anyone who joins can participate.
It's hard to explain just how significant this is, given that these 12 people - almost none of whom knew each other previously - went out on a Monday night to show their support for, and volunteer to help, a Presidential candidate who's only been in the race for about 3 weeks.
I want to thank everyone who attended and gave suggestions and attention. I want to thank everyone who stayed after the meetup to fill out postcards to send to local political leaders. I want to thank Dave Swarts, who gave a great presentation explaining the New York State Democratic Party delegate selection / petition procedure.
We will have just 6 weeks - from November 26 - January 2 - to collect 1,500 signatures of registered Democratic voters from each of the congressional districts that make up Western New York. Each of these districts reaches well outside the immediate Buffalo-Niagara region. (Louise Slaughter's district reaches out to Rochester. Jack Quinn's district reaches down to Chautauqua Co.) We will definitely have our work cut out for us.
In addition, I hope everyone can make it to the Syracuse rally, and don't forget to call Little Rock and ask them to send General Clark out to address the rally, and the issues surrounding the departure from Syracuse of hundreds of manufacturing jobs, which will be going to Singapore.
Finally, don't forget to check out the meetup website, where I'll post the pictures from the meetup. Cheers.
Edit: check out the comments. Here is where to go if you're interested in the Rochester, NY for Clark group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RochesterForClark
Here's a picture of our group.
We're set for 7pm at Spot Coffee at 765 Elmwood Avenue. I have confirmed with the store. It looks like we'll have about 30 people attending. If anyone has a laptop, please go to the www.clark04.com website & download the video message from General Clark, and bring your laptop to the meetup tonight.
"But Clark is clearly a real contender for the White House - and proof of that came in last week's Arizona debate, when the other Democratic candidates ganged up on him. "
The DEADLINE TO CHOOSE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AFFILIATION for the 3/04 primary in New York State is TODAY. If you are a Clark supporter and wish to vote for him in next March's primary, today is the day to ensure that you are a registered Democrat. I urge anyone who is unregistered, or is registered as a member of any party other than the Democratic Party, and any unaffiliated voters to go to their local County Clerk's or County Board of Elections office today and change their affiliation IN PERSON. If you try to do it by any other means, it may be too late. Go to http://www.elections.state.ny.us/voting/voting.htm for more information
I think Clark did a fantastic job parrying jabs that Lieberman, Edwards and Dean threw his way. He's calm, informed, and well-prepared. I'm always struck by just how articulate he is.
Lieberman, on the other hand, seemed shrill and it was obvious that he loves to hear his own voice. Hey, Joe: even a runaway train comes to a stop.
The best line of the night, however,belongs to Sen. John Kerry, who quipped: that one way to get cheaper prescription drugs is "you can hire Rush Limbaugh's housekeeper"