Skip to comments.Bush Pledges Pre-Emptive Strikes
Posted on 06/01/2002 10:31:11 AM PDT by kattracks
WEST POINT, N.Y., Jun 01, 2002 (AP Online via COMTEX) -- The United States will strike pre-emptively against suspected terrorists if necessary to deter attacks on Americans, President Bush told West Point graduates Saturday. "The war on terror will not be won on the defensive," he said.
Warning of the continuing danger, he said: "We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt its plans, and confront the worst threats before they emerge."
Bush heard doubts from some Europeans last week about a possible expansion in the war on terror, but he sounded firm Saturday in his belief that a widening may be needed. He chose a receptive audience in the 25,000 people at West Point's Michie Stadium, among them 958 members of the U.S. Military Academy's class of 2002 - future leaders of the Army - who applauded throughout his speech.
"This government and the American people are on watch. We are ready, because we know the terrorists have more money and more men and more plans," Bush said.
"The gravest danger to freedom lies at the perilous crossroads of radicalism and technology," Bush said. "When the spread of chemical and biological and nuclear weapons, along with ballistic missile technology, when that occurs, even weak states and small groups could attain a catastrophic power to strike at great nations."
Bush did not mention the nations he has identified as an "axis of evil" - Iraq, Iran and North Korea. Aides said his message, with references to "unbalanced dictators with weapons of mass destruction," was aimed at those states and any others that might sponsor or harbor terrorists.
The president had not previously advised Americans "to be ready for pre-emptive action, when necessary, to defend our liberty and to defend our lives." Aides said that was a newly articulated component of his policy.
Bush said the nation cannot afford to "put our faith in the word of tyrants who solemnly sign nonproliferation treaties and then systematically break them." The administration says Iran, Iraq and North Korea are out of compliance with such treaties.
"All nations that decide for aggression and terror will pay a price. We will not leave the safety of America and the peace of the planet at the mercy of a few mad terrorists and tyrants," he said.
The president also framed the war on terrorism as one that could bring a historic shift in international relations, from violent competition among the "great powers" to cooperation in fighting a shared enemy.
"More and more, civilized nations find ourselves on the same side, united by common dangers of terrorist violence and chaos," he said.
In the wide-ranging, 53-minute speech, Bush took on a host of international responsibilities alongside combating terrorism: fighting global poverty and promoting democracy, human rights and healthier economies overseas.
Bush called for "moderation and tolerance" in other nations, though aides said the reference was to no country in particular. Some of America's military and economic allies, such as Saudi Arabia, are strict religious regimes.
The crowd roared when graduates threw their white caps into a cloudless sky at the end of the ceremony. Bush congratulated the newest members of the "long gray line" as they collected their diplomas.
As he did at Yale University's commencement last year, Bush poked fun at his own spotty academic career.
He provoked a cheer when he cited former President Ulysses S. Grant, "who had his fair share of demerits and said the happiest day of his life 'was the day I left West Point."'
"During my college years, I guess you could say I was a Grant man," Bush said.
In his weekly radio address, broadcast after the commencement address, Bush said West Point graduates will "provide the ultimate service to our nation as we fight and win the war on terror" - putting themselves on the line willingly so that other Americans can live in freedom.
"Americans serve others because their conscience demands it, because their faith teaches it, because they are grateful to their country and because service brings rewards much deeper than material success," Bush said. "Government does not create this idealism, but we can do a better job of supporting and encouraging an ethic of service in America."
Bush also will discuss volunteerism and other ways to serve the country beyond the military when he delivers the commencement address June 14 at Ohio State University.
By SCOTT LINDLAW Associated Press WriterCopyright 2002 Associated Press, All rights reserved
He must have been so proud standing up in front of all those West Pointers.
I'm sure Bush went out his way to give this speech in front of a class of warmongering Army cadets who would be sure to applaud it. Ordinary Americans, like AP reporter Scott Lindlaw, would not have been so friendly. Most Americans actually welcome further terrorist attacks and can hardly wait to die in one. We want our President to listen to the Europeans, who advise continued fretting, and sitting on our hands until it's our turn to be blown up.
This goes beyond the proper role of a President of the United States, in his official capacity. And when he appears at West Point, as Commander In Chief, he must be assumed to be in his official capacity.
Of course, the model speech at West Point was General Douglas MacArthur's in 1962, the famous "Duty, Honor, Country" address. That was the one when he deliberately countered President Kennedy's reference to new duties the year before, by reminding the Cadets that those matters--such as those Bush referred to--were for others' consideration; that their job remained what it had always been, to win our wars.
Not only is it outside of the Constitutional function of the Federal Government to be fighting poverty overseas. The concept itself is fatally flawed. You cannot instill prosperity in others. A sound economy comes from qualities and aptitudes within the participants, and can only last by their efforts. Pouring money into foreign sink holes may enrich those in the pipeline, it has no lasting benefit. Foreign aid after World War II was more successful, because it was in the form of loans to those who had previously built prosperous economies, and were simply getting back on their feet. There is an enormous difference.
As for "Democracy?" I wish the President would read what his very distinguished predecessor James Madison had to say about that.
William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site
"We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt its plans, and confront the worst threats before they emerge."
Memo to Colin Powell:
Remember this when you are tempted to lecture Isreal on the topic of restraint.
The absurdity of the notion that you can fight other people's poverty, of course, compounds the Constitutional absurdity of using American taxpayer funds for the effort. It is not Constitutional. And since it is not rational, either, it provides a fair measure of how far we have fallen from both the ethical and rational.
The usual philosophic dichotomy is between Liberty and Equality, what Carter Pittman once described as "The Eternal Conflict." But there is also an inherent conflict between Equality and Responsibility. You cannot help anyone to rise in material status--anymore than in spiritual status--by offering them a handout. Real progress can only come from within the subject group--only by the individuals in that group assuming responsibility. Any other approach is an oxymoron.
Of course, the very best way to impose responsibility is to cut off the subsidization of failure. But that means turning a deaf ear to the importunings of the Left; ignoring the crocodile tears that they will shed over the heartlessness of Conservatives. To understand how such Welfare as may be morally justified should be handled, you need to revisit the American tradition. (See Constitutional Overview, where we discuss how genuine need was handled in Jefferson's day, and why there was so much less of it.)
The cruel reality is that the Leftist theorists do no give a good Damn about the plight of the genuinely needy. They are simply looking for more and more cannon fodder to Socialize mankind.
William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site