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Clovis Maksoud Walks Off Alan Keyes Making Sense Set-- Transcript
MSNBC ^ | June 18, 2002 | MSNBC Staff

Posted on 06/20/2002 5:18:30 PM PDT by Keyes For President

Joining us to get to the heart of the matter, Israeli embassy spokesman Mark Regev and Clovis Maksoud the former Arab League Ambassador to the United Nations. Gentlemen, welcome to MAKING SENSE.


KEYES: I want to thank you both for joining me tonight. I want to start, Ambassador Maksoud, with a question that‘s been kind of aching in my heart as I have watched the developments in this bombing today, particularly because of the gruesome nature of the bomb, the shrapnel, the children that were involved, the terrible wounds inflicted even on those who are wounded. One of the problems that I see with this kind of violence is that it engenders deep-seeded responses in the people who are attacked that because it seems to be saying to the people of Israel this kind of violence, you are not human beings.

We do not respect you in any way. We want you so dead that you will be utterly exterminated in the most painful fashion possible. If that is the mind-set coming against the people of Israel, doesn‘t that naturally lead to enormous barriers to peace, that it‘s going to be difficult to bring down. Doesn‘t this violence cause a problem that it‘s going to be hard for a peace process ever to overcome?

CLOVIS MAKSOUD, FMR. ARAB LEAGUE AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Mr. Alan Keyes, I — the way you framed the situation seems to apply to both sides. I think that the sporadic suicide bombings, which have caused despicable casualties among the people of Israel and which has been denounced and continues to be denounced is matched exactly, if you frame the same language, the same discourse that you have applied to Israel, it seems that you have been oblivious to the fact that far more Palestinians have been subject to violence —women, men, fighters, children of the Palestinian camps, the Palestinian villages and towns for so many years.

And as if they don‘t exist in the conscience of the discourse that you have so well articulated and therefore, that you find that as if violence is a mainstream Palestinian or Arab trait while the attacks that the Israeli army has doing — has been doing for the last several years, but particularly in the last few months with the tanks, with the helicopters, with the airplanes, with all the arsenal of the most powerful army in the region, that doesn‘t seem to even interrupt the sequence of your — of your outrage, moral outrage about the civilians who have been killed in Israel.

In fact, if you can apply the same standards of what you have applied to the Israeli victims, which...

KEYES: Well let me...

MAKSOUD: ... I sympathize with you, but on the other hand...

KEYES: Let me explain that.

MAKSOUD: If you — if you — if you apply them to the sustained victimization of...


KEYES: Let me — let me explain that.


KEYES: Ambassador Maksoud...


KEYES: Yes, absolutely, I‘m about to lose patience with this response, but...

MAKSOUD: I‘m sorry that you...

KEYES: No. No. No. I want to demonstrate...


KEYES: Just hold on a second please.


KEYES: Mr. Ambassador, — Mr. Ambassador, I have the floor now. Hold on a second.

MAKSOUD: OK, you‘ve always had the floor.

KEYES: Because you‘ve asked me — you asked me a question. I want to answer it and I think Mark Regev, can I ask your help here, because it seems to me I always hear this response from folks, that somehow there‘s this equivalence, and I would like to ask a question that — serious a question, very simple. Has the Israeli army employed ordnance against civilian targets that uses the kind of devastating shrapnel that we saw employed in this bomb today? Has that been done by the Israeli defense forces?

REGEV: Alan, very clearly we do not.

KEYES: You do not employ such things. Now, Ambassador Maksoud, I am going to have some patience with all the junk I hear all the time when folks can stop talking in generalities, I can see what was done today. I have seen it as many have over and over again. All I hear when folks come on the program to say that there‘s some moral equivalence here is talk because you can‘t show me...

MAKSOUD: Alan...

KEYES: ... these terroristic acts from the Israelis.


KEYES: And when — and no, I will finish. I gave you time, sir.

MAKSOUD: You did not give me time.


KEYES: I will finish what I am saying. I gave you plenty of time.


KEYES: You‘ll just hold on. I gave you plenty of time.

MAKSOUD: Maybe you did...


KEYES: I listened to all of the garbage that was put out there about Jenin and the so-called massacre...

MAKSOUD: That was about Jenin...


MAKSOUD: No, wait a minute — wait a minute...


MAKSOUD: I will not allow it.


MAKSOUD: I will not allow you to say garbage about Jenin.


KEYES: When it didn‘t materialize...


KEYES: ... when it didn‘t materialize...

MAKSOUD: Don‘t say that.

KEYES: Don‘t say that? Not one...


KEYES: ... shred...


MAKSOUD: I‘m sorry...

KEYES: ... not one shred of truth.

MAKSOUD: You should not say garbage about Jenin.

KEYES: ... and the claim of hundreds of casualties...

MAKSOUD: No, you...

KEYES: Not one shred of truth in the claim...

MAKSOUD: I‘m very sorry...

KEYES: ... of Israeli defense...

MAKSOUD: I‘m very sorry...

KEYES: ... forces committing conscious atrocities...


KEYES: I am sick to death, sir...

MAKSOUD: Well...

KEYES: ... of people coming on this program thinking that I should have patience with this kind...


MAKSOUD: If you‘re sick to death...


KEYES: ... of falsehood.

MAKSOUD: I don‘t — I want you to live, so I‘m leaving.

KEYES: But Mr. Regev, Mr. Regev, I‘ve got to tell you, I look at what happened in Israel today, and I just wonder how a people subjected to this kind — it‘s not just the physical harm. There is a mentality involved in this that seems to bespeak an utter cold-blooded disregard for all humanity in the way that one approaches this problem.

How can one negotiate with this? I don‘t understand. Where does it come from in the people of Israel to go on with the peace process that involves folks who seem to have this kind of enmity toward you?

REGEV: Well, I think we have to face a cruel reality, and that is that groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad are not interested in peace. They share that bin Laden vision of some Islamic extreme ideology.

Can I say something personal Alan? I have an 8-month child, a baby at home, and for these people, such a — such a baby is a legitimate target. We‘re dealing with people who have a different sense of values and extremist ideology that sees children, babies, as legitimate targets.

And I think what we have to say to the Arab world, to the Muslim world, is surely these people don‘t represent you. Surely you have to exercise. You have to throw these people out from within. You have to say that these people don‘t represent you. And I‘m, of course, very concerned when I hear Arab spokesmen justifying these sort of attacks.

KEYES: Well I am more than concerned. I am so outraged that I‘m sick to death of it. Ambassador Maksoud has walked off the set. He doesn‘t want to talk any more. And frankly, if I was in his position, I‘d walk out too, because having to continually repeat this kind of garbage in the face of the realities that are out there, I think would get tiresome for anybody. It gets tiresome for me to hear it. I‘m sure it gets tiresome for folks like the ambassador to do it.

But I want to take a minute here. We have Bob Arnot who is out in Israel right now, and I want to talk to him for a second. He‘s on the telephone in Ramallah and I want to talk to him for a second because folks out there, you all might not understand why I am so upset right now, and why it has been difficult all day as we‘ve prepared for this program for me to contain myself.

But in talking to Bob Arnot, I‘d like you to get a sense of exactly what happens, because you read about it in the paper and you‘ll hear 19 dead, 50 wounded, 55 wounded, 57 wounded. I don‘t think we get any sense at all of what‘s really going on.

Bob, are you there?

BOB ARNOT, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Yes Alan, you‘re right. You know, you get no sense from just hearing it. And I heard the sirens first thing in the morning in Jerusalem, and I made my way out to the site and the first thing I saw looking through the window of this bus is this beautiful arm of this young woman, and I could see her blouse, but she had been decapitated.

I came around the side to where the body bags are — one, two, three, four, all the way up to 19, and tragically on the front of the bags you see the picture of a young student the same age as my kids who did nothing but get up to go to school in the morning. And then the technicians would come over and bring a foot or hand over a piece of hair and put it into the bag.

Parents crying hysterically at the line unable to come and to find out whether that was their children or not. Two young boys who came up to me said, we were on the bus behind this. We were going to go to school. We don‘t know what to do. We‘re so scared. Do we go to school? Do we stay here? Where are my parents? I don‘t know what to do.

And the thing is you look down at these body bags, and these are not long body bags. They‘re short body bags because these are children — children going to a school that‘s about a half-a-mile away.

The bus itself looked like someone had taken a can opener and taken the top off it. We talked to the hospital. When these kids came in, it wasn‘t just a matter of a bomb, but they had nails, and now they have ball bearings in it. So when the orthopedic surgeons looked on the X-ray, they saw nails and screws.

And what they‘ve done, is they‘ve doubled the impact. They‘ve been able to double the fatalities in these recent attacks using not just mega-bombs with more explosives, but by having all of the shrapnel that goes into them.

And most grevious of all, they‘ve actually used, in past attacks, rat poisoning, which means you‘re going to bleed more than you otherwise would. And now the surgeons at the hospital tell us they‘re trying to use, or about to use chemical warfare agents within these.


KEYES: Now that means — a lot of these things mean that the shrapnel gets into you, and if you don‘t die right away, the effect of the shrapnel can cause your death later on, right?

ARNOT: It can. We interviewed three boys from the last bombing, 15-year olds, 14-year old, 13-year old boy. One boy I saw as he woke up from a coma with his mother hugging him, crying as his eyes finally opened. He had stones in him that they used in one bone; stones that had dirt and muck on it where they had to take every single one out that would cause rejection and infection as time went out, that this isn‘t a military advice (ph), there‘s no air force or army in the world that‘s designed something like this. This is something that‘s meant to humiliate and destroy the lives of these children.

You know 17 dead, but 50 injured and these are — each one of these 50 injured, there are hundreds of lives that are ruined where these children are going to be in rehabilitation centers, where they‘re going to be walking around with an arm — or without an arm or a leg. I mean, it‘s the greatest tragedy. I mean, as you say it‘s not a number. It‘s not a number, because you look at the face...

KEYES: Well...

ARNOT: ... of these parents.

KEYES: ... tell me something. In terms of what you have seen, what is the mentality that would go into to designing a bomb like this?

This is what I don‘t understand. Ordinarily you‘re dealing with folks that want to achieve a military result. Weapons are intended to try to inflict damage on an enemy so that you can bring the battle to an end. This doesn‘t seem to have anything to do with that.

What is going on with this...

ARNOT: Well I‘m here in Ramallah now on the West Bank. I‘ve spoken to students here. I‘ve spoken to students in Saudi Arabia.

And what they say, when I challenge them and say, what does it do to you? Doesn‘t it break your heart to see these children in the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem who‘ve been blown up by bombs?

And they turn very cold-heartedly and they say, you know, we don‘t have jet airplanes. We don‘t have Howitzers, we don‘t have tanks. All we have is our bodies. We hurt inside, and we‘re going to go and we‘re going to use our bodies.

Now the chilling thing that‘s changed, Alan, is that it used to be we heard they did this out of desperation. Now we hear they do this because of hope — hope that they‘re finally going to have an impact and that their side is going to win.

And when I talk to kids here the same age as the children on that bus, Palestinian kids here, they will tell me, they‘ll say you know what, we think we‘re finally winning, and we think we‘re going to push them into the ocean. We‘re not talking about a settlement for just the West Bank. We believe we can push them into the ocean.

And when you challenge them on that...

KEYES: Well but that...

ARNOT: ... they say...

KEYES: If I may interrupt for one second, though — because it seems to me that “push them into the ocean” is a euphemism. What I detect in this kind of a weapon is a will to exterminate, a will utterly to obliterate the humanity in its manifestation in the body of the person that you‘re dealing with.

That‘s why it chills me to the very core of my soul. And it is something that I just think it‘s so horrifying that I can‘t imagine the kind of mentality that produces it.

ARNOT: It is. I mean, you listen to both sides, and you hear both sides. You hear them say that they hurt and that they‘ve been humiliated and that they‘ve had all of these deaths, and that their children have been shot too.

But it‘s only when you walk on a scene like this and you see the body bags and you see the pictures of these pretty little children who are dead and the parents cry inconsolably wondering whether it‘s their child or not.

It‘s only when you come on that scene and you don‘t see a number and you don‘t (UNINTELLIGIBLE). If you look there at the body bag on the floor and you see the reality, what the vision is of these suicide bombers.

KEYES: Yes. Bob, thank you so much. I appreciate...

ARNOT: You‘re welcome Alan.

KEYES: ... that insight, which I think is so necessary to folks in our audience.

I want to go back for a moment to Mark Regev.

Mark, I look at a scene like this and I think of the Israeli government‘s proposal to place a physical barrier that might inhibit the ability of people to come across and do this kind of damage. I will confess I was a little skeptical the first time I heard of that some months back. But as I look at the depth of annihilating hatred that seems to be expressed in the instrument used here.

Bob was talking about the results — and yes, there have been children killed on the Palestinian side. There have been deaths on the Palestinian side.

But deaths that result from what soldiers do in war don‘t bespeak, in my opinion, the same mind that has designed a bomb in order to produce these gruesome and long-lasting effects. That is a depth of nihilistic hatred that wants to annihilate the foe, not just defeat the foe in a way that would leave nothing after except that annihilation.

In the face of that, is there any recourse that‘s going to contain the violence that results from such a heart, if a physical barrier isn‘t put in place?

REGEV: Well, I think the idea of a physical barrier is just to make it that much more difficult for these suicide bombers, for these terrorists to come into the population centers in Israel.

Is it a perfect solution? It obviously is not. Is it a practical way to make their life more difficult and to safeguard Israelis? Of course it is. If it‘s that much more difficult for them to come in, it‘ll be — it will be saving lives.

It‘s not a perfect solution. A perfect solution will require some more fundamental political changes. We have to have Palestinian society and Muslim society that‘s not going to tolerate these murderers. That‘s the real solution. And for people...


REGEV: ... to stand up immorally and say this is disgusting and we‘re not going to tolerate this anymore. And...

KEYES: But one of the proposals that I had heard, and I‘ve heard repeatedly, involved possibly putting international forces in as opposed to a physical barrier like this.

I guess the one question that occurs to me, though — and it‘s not entirely fair to put it to you, but I‘ll just throw it out there anyway — is if hearts are filled with this kind of annihilating hatred, why wouldn‘t they turn against anybody who stood between them and the object of their hatred, including peacekeepers and everybody else with the same kind of forceful attacks to annihilate them?

I — that‘s why I‘m more and more thinking that something like a physical barrier may be the only way to create a space in which some reduction of this violence allows passion to subside enough for talks to go on.

REGEV: I think you‘re right Alan. I mean those people who think that international forces and of course the assumption is the American forces offer some sort of magical solution, I think it‘s very wrong. The same fanatics, those same people, those groups with hatred like Hamas, like Hezbollah, like Islamic Jihad, the first they‘re going to do is they‘ll target the Americans, and they‘ve done it in the past.

They killed those Marines in Lebanon and then what will the United States (UNINTELLIGIBLE) with our problem? How do you respond? They‘ll be in the middle of cities. They‘ll be in the middle of towns. Will you go house-to-house in Ramallah and find the bad guys? I mean, there is no quick fix. There is no speedy solution.

What we have to say, is we have to say to the Arab world, to the Muslim world, to the Palestinian people: There are political options. We want to live in peace.

But Hamas doesn‘t want peace. Islamic Jihad doesn‘t want peace. These groups want murder. They are extremists. They share bin Laden‘s fundamental theology and ideology of hatred.

You have to throw these people out of your midst. It‘s incumbent upon you, if you want to be accepted as members of civilized humanity, not to tolerate these sort of extremists, who are a bunch of bloodthirsty murderers.

KEYES: Well I have to say that what you have just said there has, as you probably realize, been a position I‘ve expressed on this show since it came on the air.

I think that‘s the only message, in fact, that we should be sending to those who aid, abet and facilitate terrorism all over the world, and especially in the context of the Middle East. And anything that muddles that is actually facilitating their murderous path.

And I guess I just seriously demonstrated it, too, because I‘m not going to pull my punches in the hope that folks will keep coming on my program just in order to make the same excuses for death that are contributing, in my opinion, to this terrible situation.

Thank you Mark, for being with us tonight.

And I will have to say, I know we‘ll get a lot of calls and letters, I make no apology for Ambassador Maksoud‘s departure. It was his decision.

But I‘ll tell you something, I understand it perfectly. I do. And I will not, any more than I would recommend that the world now have patience with those making excuses for this annihilating, hateful and absolutely unacceptable approach. This isn‘t making war. They lost that a long time ago. And people need, everybody needs to stop making excuses for it. Thanks.

Still to come, the FBI says the American Muslim Council is mainstream and the FBI director is going to speak at its convention. We‘ll debate that coming up next.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Israel; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: israel; keyes; napalminthemorning; palestinian; terror; terrorism; wot
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To: Dales; Jagdgewehr
Please realize that Amb. Maksoud is at the other end of a satellite link.....there is a time-delay between what each man hears in answering each others questions....due to transmission distance from the earth/satellite link(s)& the digital transmission schemes used to compress/decompress the vid/aud signal, there can be a pause probably on the order of 1.5 to 2.5 seconds. THEREFORE, the " (CROSSTALK) " listing within the transcript.

OK, tech talk is over,

but keeping in mind the above, Maksoud was being a "smart-a$$" by replying to Keyes' statement the he was "sick to death".

Maksoud's reply of "I don't" was in response to Keyes' remark of "... forces committing conscious atrocities... "

while Maksoud's reply of "I want you to live" was the asinine response to Keyes' "I'm sick to death...."

41 posted on 06/20/2002 6:37:25 PM PDT by Ku Commando
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To: Shermy
These guys are all caught up in the Post-Modern relativism and "discourse" obsessions - their invalidity more and more exposed with folks just like this guy.

Yet some think that Keyes was being impolite or abusive for exposing the invalidity of his argument and being outraged by his making excuses for these atrocious acts of terror.

42 posted on 06/20/2002 6:40:04 PM PDT by Keyes For President
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To: Keyes For President
Good catch, thanks.
43 posted on 06/20/2002 6:41:39 PM PDT by Dales
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To: Travis McGee
Total agreement. The Palestinians have got to made to realize they are not innocent because these terrorists live with them. When they realize the terrorists are going to cost them great loss only then things might change. But I doubt it. So let them write their own epitaphs of hatred.
44 posted on 06/20/2002 6:44:44 PM PDT by jwh_Denver
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To: Keyes For President
Some extra prayers for Alan and his family.
45 posted on 06/20/2002 6:50:30 PM PDT by OldFriend
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To: jwh_Denver
Especially when you see mothers and fathers and families and villages celebrating their "martyrs" after each disgusting mass slaughter.
46 posted on 06/20/2002 6:50:36 PM PDT by Travis McGee
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To: Keyes For President
Alan stands up for the truth and that is why I like him so much and voted for him in the 2000 primaries.

I would gladly do it again.

47 posted on 06/20/2002 6:53:55 PM PDT by FreedominJesusChrist
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To: Keyes For President
Bump and thank you for this thread. At least Keyes tells it like it is.
48 posted on 06/20/2002 6:57:24 PM PDT by xJones
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To: Keyes For President
Good post.

The murder of these children makes my blood boil.

This violence will not subside until Israel expels all Palestinians from its' borders, and even then, it will not be over.

49 posted on 06/20/2002 6:59:59 PM PDT by copycat
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To: Keyes For President
They are out of control....millions of them inflamed by decades of hatemongering and racism disguised as religion by their leaders. Very similar to cult leaders among lonely, purposeless students and gang leaders in the fatherless inner cities, only on a widespread scale....involving mobs who proudly murder babies and or a thousand.

I imagine that our President lives vicariously through comments like those stated by Alan Keyes and Lou Dobbs....wishing for one moment that his words didn't have to be weighed so carefully, didn't have such widespread repercussions. Just thinking about what he must face daily in the security briefings stays my hand when I'm tempted to turn accuser.

50 posted on 06/20/2002 7:07:12 PM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: Keyes For President
Thanks for taking the time to post all this. Very interesting!
51 posted on 06/20/2002 7:11:42 PM PDT by summer
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To: Keyes For President

Ambassador Clovis Maksoud is presently Professor of International Relations and Director of the Center for the Global South at American University in Washington, D.C. A Lebanese national, Dr. Maksoud was the Chief Representative of the League of Arab States in India from 1961-1966. From 1967-1979, he served as the Senior Editor of Al-Ahram and then Chief Editor of Al-Nahar Weekly. Ambassador Maksoud was appointed as the League of Arab States' Chief Representative to he United Nations on September 1, 1979. On August 15, 1990, he submitted his resignation from the League in the aftermath of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.

A lawyer, journalist and diplomat, Dr. Maksoud served as the Arab League Ambassador to India and South-East Asia from 1961-1966.

Dr. Maksoud is the author of several articles and books on the Middle East and the global south, among them: "The Meaning of Non-Alignment," "The Crisis of the Arab Left," "Reflections on Afro-Asianism," and "The Arab Image."

Clovis Maksoud was the Chairperson and Convener of many conferences on environment and development, human rights, population, and disarmament.

Dr. Maksoud graduated from the American University of Beirut, went on to receive his J.D. from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and did post-graduate studies at Oxford University in Britain.


Why am I not surprised he wrote "The Arab Image." He's all about images and discourses, I suspect. His e-mail is there to, but I don't post that stuff. :)

52 posted on 06/20/2002 7:21:32 PM PDT by Shermy
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Comment #53 Removed by Moderator

To: Lucius Cornelius Sulla
54 posted on 06/20/2002 7:42:22 PM PDT by Avoiding_Sulla
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To: Keyes For President
Thanks for the post...very enlightening.

There comes a point when things are past the talking stage...and the Islamists have long since crossed it...they truly have no concept of the truth.

You can't reason with a rabid dog...all you can do is confine it and/or put it down.

55 posted on 06/20/2002 7:45:35 PM PDT by EternalVigilance
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To: Keyes For President
I've been trying to point out that Allan Keyes is an intelligent and good man. This interview proves that, I think.

The Palestinian liars and their liberal friends can't handle the truth, and they certainly don't know how to respond to anyone with intelligence. It's a good thing for them that most media "personalities" are too stupid and lazy to ask obvious (and important) questions.

56 posted on 06/20/2002 7:54:14 PM PDT by Reactionary
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To: Keyes For President
Sometime Alan Keyes can be tedious,
THEN HE HAS A SHOW LIKE THIS ONE which is priceless in exposing lies with truths.
Alan Keyes has provided many such shows!!!

God bless America! God bless Alan Keyes!

Free Republic FREEPERS should
flame those who disparage Keyes from now on!!

57 posted on 06/20/2002 7:54:44 PM PDT by Taiwan Bocks
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To: Keyes For President
This is a e-msg to family/friends your post impelled me
to send. cus/news/703408/posts

Hey my ENTIRE 'gang' - I find a very compelling unwritten message in this account of Alan Keyes' show with his usual, moral, no nonsense view of most matters.

The unwritten message is - " President George W. Bush, how can you keep kowtowing to that 'mistake' of a Secretary of State and continue to push for any sort of sovereign state/government by such people as these terrorists. It's not just Arafat. It's the majority of the Arabic/Muslim populations, led by Saudi Arabia".

Isn't it ironic that we, the people of the USA, are prime indirect financiers of this unholy terror, just to satisfy our appetites for oil and SUV's!

Dubya, in the end, such hypocrisy will be your undoing. Let's all pray that it doesn't 'undo' our beloved country as well. Perhaps your failure to prosecute the worst traitorous criminals in our nation's history- Clinton and his spouse- for apparent political expediency 'says it all'.

It's with a heavy heart that I write this 'rant' but the stakes are almost unbelievably high methinks. As a fervent Dubya supporter and voter, I say you must change your policy(ies) (and Sect'y of State) forthwith or folks with my point of view will desert you by the millions. Your administration was our 'after the Clintons' hope. Please just ask Laura to explain where I'm 'coming from'. I'd bet my life she knows full well.

We'll still- Keep the faith, Godspeed our GIs, Rob and boys, L+ve,
58 posted on 06/20/2002 7:55:14 PM PDT by hoot33
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To: Jagdgewehr
alan said to this affect that the apologists mantra was killing him(alan) so to be kind, the apologist left the interview.
59 posted on 06/20/2002 8:06:40 PM PDT by teeman8r
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To: Keyes For President
I think Hussein Rubbish would walk off the set if that fat bastard could walk. He's friggin HYOOOGE!

And he's much more SMARMY than any of the other Terrorist Apologists. ALLAH KALAMAZOO!!!!

60 posted on 06/20/2002 8:11:21 PM PDT by Benrand
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