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The War Prayer
www.midwinter.com ^ | 1923 | Mark Twain

Posted on 02/14/2003 7:27:20 PM PST by CubicleGuy

It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and spluttering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener. It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

Sunday morning came -- next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their young faces alight with martial dreams -- visions of the stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender! Then home from the war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag, or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation

*God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest! Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!*

Then came the "long" prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory --

An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher's side and stood there waiting. With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued with his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, "Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"

The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside -- which the startled minister did -- and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:

"I come from the Throne -- bearing a message from Almighty God!" The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. "He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import -- that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of -- except he pause and think.

"God's servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two -- one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him Who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this -- keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor's crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

"You have heard your servant's prayer -- the uttered part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it -- that part which the pastor -- and also you in your hearts -- fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: 'Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. the *whole* of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory--*must* follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

(*After a pause.*) "Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits!"

It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.


Twain apparently dictated it around 1904-05; it was rejected by his publisher, and was found after his death among his unpublished manuscripts. It was first published in 1923 in Albert Bigelow Paine's anthology, Europe and Elsewhere.

The story is in response to a particular war, namely the Philippine-American War of 1899-1902, which Twain opposed. See Jim Zwick's page "Mark Twain on the Philippines" for more of Twain's writings on the subject.

Transcribed by Steven Orso (snorso@facstaff.wisc.edu)


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS:
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first 1-5051 next last
Blessed are the peacemakers...
1 posted on 02/14/2003 7:27:20 PM PST by CubicleGuy
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To: CubicleGuy
Mark Twain bump
2 posted on 02/14/2003 7:30:19 PM PST by Pay now bill Clinton
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To: CubicleGuy
I know I am supposed to read this and realize all the folly of war and quail at the prospect of the truth and realize the evils of my ways...

But, I really really like that war prayer--but not in the way it was intended. I like it as an actual war prayer. I pray that God gives us the strength and will to do all of the above and more.

Maybe it should even be updated for the modern age:

"O lord, bless the guidance systems of our missiles and bombs and should the need ever come, give us the heart and will to bless them with your cleansing fires from the heart of the atom--that they will sin no more."

Amen and amen.

3 posted on 02/14/2003 7:34:43 PM PST by Cogadh na Sith (The Guns of Brixton)
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To: CubicleGuy
The innocent people in the WTC and the Pentagon were shredded, burned, murdered. Should we just sit by and say, "Thank you, sir. May I have another?"
4 posted on 02/14/2003 7:38:00 PM PST by xJones
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To: xJones
No but, we should pray that the other side does not suffer much.
Yes, I pray we that do win but, those that lose, will most certainly suffer.
There are those in Iraq that do not want war. I pray that their suffering will be minimal.

God help us all.
5 posted on 02/14/2003 7:46:55 PM PST by It's me
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To: CubicleGuy; Sir Gawain; nunya bidness; sendtoscott; Demidog; OWK
bump
6 posted on 02/14/2003 7:50:48 PM PST by MadameAxe
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To: MadameAxe
Oh, now you've done it...
7 posted on 02/14/2003 7:53:39 PM PST by CubicleGuy
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To: xJones
Are we prepared to mete out the same punishment to the citizens of Iraq, even though they had nothing to do with 9/11?
8 posted on 02/14/2003 7:55:00 PM PST by CubicleGuy
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To: CubicleGuy
God of our fathers,
known of old.
Lord of our far flung battle line.
Beneath whose awefull hand we hold,
dominion over palm and pine.
O Lord, we beseech thee, protect us in the coming onslaught.
amen.
9 posted on 02/14/2003 8:00:30 PM PST by tet68 (Jeremiah 51:24 ..."..Before your eyes I will repay Babylon for all the wrong they have done in Zion")
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To: CubicleGuy; Shermy; a_Turk; swarthyguy; Destro
God be with the boys as they execute your will, as they confront evil, as they destroy those who hate you, as they free those who thought you had forgotten them, as they put their lives and earthly bodies between the torturer and his victims, as they risk all they have for people they will never know, expecting nothing in return except a shower and a hot meal.

Faith is not simply believing. Faith is something you do. Faith is courage in motion. The men who are on the ground, right now, hiding in holes in the sand, approaching strangers in dark places, praying unspoken prayers not just for their lives, but for their missions, these are men of faith.

Sometimes, faith wears boots and has a Glock strapped to his leg.
10 posted on 02/14/2003 8:01:07 PM PST by marron
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To: marron
Faith is not simply believing. Faith is something you do. Faith is courage in motion. The men who are on the ground, right now, hiding in holes in the sand, approaching strangers in dark places, praying unspoken prayers not just for their lives, but for their missions, these are men of faith.

That's really good. I like that a lot.

11 posted on 02/14/2003 8:07:12 PM PST by Cogadh na Sith (The Guns of Brixton)
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To: CubicleGuy
It was believed afterward that the man [blessed peacemaker] was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.

Regards

J.R.

12 posted on 02/14/2003 8:08:34 PM PST by NMC EXP
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To: It's me
God help us all.

Amen to that.

But it is important to realize that a few truly evil people exist. It isn't wrong to defend ourselves from maniacs like Saddam. Innocent people on all sides will be hurt, and that's always the tragedy of war. We didn't start this war, it was brought to us, and not brought by innocent people like the average Iraqis. Iraqi people are scared to pieces of Saddam, and he's killed a lot more of them than Americans ever will. Hopefully, the war will be over quickly and Iraqis can have the chance to choose their own destiny.

Unfortunately, that has never been the history of the Middle East. Our biggest problem will be getting the hell out of that place afterwards

13 posted on 02/14/2003 8:09:08 PM PST by xJones
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To: xJones
Our biggest problem will be getting the hell out of that place afterwards.

I think our biggest problem is those who would convince us that it's our business to go charging in there in the first place.

14 posted on 02/14/2003 8:13:13 PM PST by CubicleGuy
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To: marron
I don't mind the war. What troubles me is that the congress no longer matters in declaring war.
15 posted on 02/14/2003 8:16:18 PM PST by Destro (Duct and Cover...Duct and Cover...)
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To: chookter
Romans 12:17-21:
  1. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
  2. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
  3. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
  4. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
  5. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

I think that one's pretty good, myself.

16 posted on 02/14/2003 8:22:14 PM PST by CubicleGuy
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To: CubicleGuy
Are we prepared to mete out the same punishment to the citizens of Iraq?

No, we are liberating the people of Iraq from a leader who has killed millions of the citizens of Iraq, Kuwait and Iran. We are not punishing them, although necessarily some will die at our hands -- hopefully few who are not shooting at us, and almost certainly fewer than Saddam has killed and would likely kill in the future if he stayed in power.

It is our business for a number of reasons. Most notably, we are still at war with the "government" (defacto) of Iraq. Saddam's thugocracy signed a cease-fire 12 years ago. They have utterly failed to follow it. So the ceasing ceases soon.

17 posted on 02/14/2003 8:23:50 PM PST by DWPittelli
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To: CubicleGuy
All right, let's say we let Saddam go. The Iraqis will have to continue to put up with him and his very disfunctional family. That's not our business and we can't solve our own problems, let alone theirs. But Saddam is funding a lot of terrorists that are interested in attacking America and in very unpleasant ways. That is our business. Saddam is just a follow-up to cleaning out the terrorist network that threatens our country. Nobody cared a flip about the Middle East untill it was rather dramatically brought to our attention when the planes were hijacked.
18 posted on 02/14/2003 8:27:12 PM PST by xJones
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To: Destro
What troubles me is that the congress no longer matters in declaring war.

A responsibility the fine Congresspeople and Senators are seemingly more than happy to hand off to someone else.

As Rich Little used to say when doing his Richard Nixon impression, "I'll take the responsibility. Just not the blame."

19 posted on 02/14/2003 8:27:14 PM PST by CubicleGuy
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To: Destro
I don't mind the war. What troubles me is that the congress no longer matters in declaring war.

The Congress, by 3 to 1 margins in both houses, approved "force" (i.e., acts of war) to overthrow Saddam. This is more than was done in most other wars fought by this country. And indeed, if you insist that a declaration of war must contain the word "war" then no nation has declared war in over 50 years.

20 posted on 02/14/2003 8:27:18 PM PST by DWPittelli
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To: xJones
But Saddam is funding a lot of terrorists that are interested in attacking America and in very unpleasant ways.

We know this?

21 posted on 02/14/2003 8:28:54 PM PST by CubicleGuy
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To: Destro
An explicit authorization of acts of war by Congress is a declaration of war as required by the Constitution. This is true for at least 2 reasons:

First, it nowhere says in the Constitution that a declaration of war must contain the words "declare" and "war." So clearly, synonyms and other constructions, at least if they are unambiguous, amount to the same.

The Congress, if it were more pretentious, could say "we approve of belligerency against Iraq." If it wanted to focus more on the personality of Saddam, it could say "we authorize the President to kill Saddam Hussein" -- an act of war that would obviously give casus belli to Saddam's military and other agents, and would require the use of military force. Or it could authorize any other acts of war explicitly, authorizing the President to do whatever was specified. Finally, if we now spoke French (something that would not have seemed out of the question to the framers of the Constitution regarding a point over 200 years in the future), the Congress could authorize "guerre" instead of "war" and the Constitutional requirement would have been just as well meant.

And second, the only way to stop the President from waging an undeclared war is to remove him as Commander in Chief. Judges and Congressmen cannot order troops around. Military command cannot be divided, and by definition it belongs to the Commander in Chief. The way to get a new Commander in Chief is to impeach and convict the President, in this case of improper waging of war. In some circumstances that would be politically feasible (e.g., Bush bombs Toronto), but in this case it is not, precisely because three-fourths of the Congress has explicitly authorized the use of military force against Iraq.

22 posted on 02/14/2003 8:40:41 PM PST by DWPittelli
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To: CubicleGuy
I've got a better one:

Saint Michael, Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And you, Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into Hell Satan and the other evil spirits who prowl the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

23 posted on 02/14/2003 8:58:17 PM PST by LouD
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To: CubicleGuy
Are we prepared to mete out the same punishment to the citizens of Iraq, even though they had nothing to do with 9/11?

No, we're not. In fact, we have said specifically that we have no quarrel with the people of Iraq. Our military has taken far greater pains to avoid civilian casualties than any other military in the history of warfare, sometimes at increased risk to themselves.

Yes, some innocents will die - That is unavoidable. But innocent people die every day in Iraq, victims of their own government. And if we do nothing, they will continue to die. Saddam seeks weapons that no reasonable person can believe he should possess, and if he acquires them, many more innocent people, perhaps millions of innocent people, will be at risk.

We cannot, and will not, allow this to happen.

24 posted on 02/14/2003 9:05:46 PM PST by LouD
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To: DWPittelli; CubicleGuy
Yea, I do friggin insist on it. Just because the congress is OK with weaseling out of its constitutional responsibility does not make it OK. I would actually be OK with resolutions if congress passed these resolutions with huge restrictions/stipulations letting the executive branch know that it shares power.

We learned nothing from the Tonkin betrayal.

Conservatives-last I looked-are for a weak and checked govt -both legislative, judicial AND executive.

Just because we like Bush does not make it ok this time.

Rant is over. I know the Republic is long dead and I am resigned to it.

25 posted on 02/14/2003 9:40:01 PM PST by Destro (Duct and Cover...Duct and Cover...)
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To: DWPittelli
And second, the only way to stop the President from waging an undeclared war is to remove him as Commander in Chief.

You know-what the hell-I'm a young guy raised on MTV, I went to public school so my education is the best the taxpayer can be gauged for and I read this. I mean I am not an Ivy League professor or anything or the son of a Senator-patrtician -- BUT EVEN I KNOW THAT THE WAR CONGRESS CAN "STOP" A PRESIDENT IS TO WITHDRAW FUNDS FOR THE WAR!!" YOU DO NOT NEED TO REMOVE HIM FROM HIS OFFICE AT ALL!!!!

Secondly, the Republican controlled Congress during the Kosovo war DID!! deny Clinton military authorization-this AFTER Clinton started the shooting war. What did Clinton do? Continued to fight the war in violation of the constitution. Congress then had the opportunity to end the war and was so freaked-so afraid of the power they had so long gladly given up that they -- after denying the President authorization for the Kosovo war-gave the President the funds to carry out the same war they voted him to stop.

It was the last gasp of the republic. The rubber stamp congress is now in session when it comes to foreign affairs..so long as they can fight for their share of the domestic spoils--our empire's version of the imperial bribe.

PS: Used caps because I was to lazy to bold.

26 posted on 02/14/2003 9:50:22 PM PST by Destro (Duct and Cover...Duct and Cover...)
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To: LouD
At least your prayer takes aim at the real enemy.
27 posted on 02/14/2003 9:53:59 PM PST by Romulus
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To: Romulus
Yup. Saddam and Osama are just his tools.
28 posted on 02/14/2003 10:09:32 PM PST by LouD
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To: xJones
and Amen to your post #13!
29 posted on 02/14/2003 10:14:39 PM PST by It's me
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To: LouD
Anyone who regards death as a solution -- and not as The Problem -- is a tool. The USA with all its might has the obligation to defend its citizens, but also the concomittant obligation not to let its power be abused for bad ends, unnecessarily injuring innocent people.

Don't underestimate the "snares of the devil;" he didn't get to be where he is by being no more clever than man.
30 posted on 02/14/2003 10:26:57 PM PST by Romulus
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To: Romulus
It is not our intent to injure the innocent - See my post above. It is our intent to eliminate a clear and present danger to this country: Saddam Hussein as the leader of a rogue state. The Iraqi people are not our enemy. In fact, most will welcome liberation from the tyranny of Saddam. I believe that entire Iraqi units will coopted and turned against their master in Baghdad.

The U.S. military has taken far more care not to injure the innocent than any other army in the history of warfare. We are not abusing our power for bad ends - We are using it responsibly, for a righteous cause.
31 posted on 02/14/2003 10:41:07 PM PST by LouD
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To: CubicleGuy
Blessed are the peacemakers...

...for they shall inherit the Earth...

...in little six-foot plots.

-Jay

32 posted on 02/14/2003 11:26:45 PM PST by Jay D. Dyson (I have no sense of diplomacy. I consider that a character asset.)
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To: Destro
I don't mind the war. What troubles me is that the congress no longer matters in declaring war.

Considering the way that the Democrats in congress screw the pooch when it comes to matters as simple as confirming a Circuit Court justice, I'd have to say I have absolutely no confidence in their appropriately handling something of far greater importance (such as declaring war).

Don't like it? Then tell the Democrats to get off their filibustering dead @$$es.

-Jay

33 posted on 02/14/2003 11:30:13 PM PST by Jay D. Dyson (I have no sense of diplomacy. I consider that a character asset.)
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To: CubicleGuy
We know this?

All our intelligence gathering "knows" this. You can disbelieve it if you want. There are a lot of people that don't believe that Americans ever walked on the moon. And there are French that believe that the Pentagon was not hit by a hijacked airplane. And you can believe Colin Powell was lyng his head off at the U.N.

34 posted on 02/14/2003 11:38:23 PM PST by xJones
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To: xJones
And you can believe Colin Powell was lyng his head off at the U.N.

That would fit right in with historic precedent, you betcha.

35 posted on 02/14/2003 11:45:15 PM PST by CubicleGuy
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To: CubicleGuy
This would fit right in with historic precedent, you betcha.

Elaborate, thanking you in advance.

36 posted on 02/14/2003 11:53:51 PM PST by xJones
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To: DWPittelli
The defense of the United States and its citizens is the purpose of the United States armed forces. Quite frankly I find it hard to find were a standing army is authorized in the Constitution to begin with. Nevertheless, it is Congress, and not the President, that has the Constitutional authority delegated by the People to make the decision for the implementation of these armed forces and as such requires a declaration of war. It is the President's mandate by the Constitution to be Commander in Cheif of the army when it is called up. The fact that no nation has declared war in the last half century is immaterial if not irrelevent.

The joint resolution of Congress authorized the President to use force "as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to...enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq." Simply put, the resolution amounts to carte blanche for the President to enforce UN dictates.

To be fair, the President has repeatedly expressed displeasure with the UN for not adopting a new resolution authorizing enforcement of the old UN resolutions. If the President's lament was based on the UN becoming too powerful, then his rhetoric, at least would be noteworthy, if not praiseworthy even. Unfortunately the president is only complaining that the UN is not exercising the power it has and as it should. Consider the President's words:

"We created the United Nations Security Council, so that, unlike the League of Nations, our deliberations would be more than talk, our resolutions would be more than wishes...

The conduct of the Iraqi regime is a threat to the authority of the United Nations, and a threat to peace. Iraq has answered a decade of U.N. demands with a decade of defiance. All the world now faces a test, and the United Nations a difficult and defining moment. Are the Security Council resolutions to be honored and enforced, or cast aside without consequence? Will the United Nations serve the purpose of its founding, or will it be irrelevant?...

We want the resolutions of the worlds most important multilateral body to be enforced."

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has stated that global interest should be national interest. While the President may sound like he's lauding our national interests, in reality he's supporting the same objective as that of Kofi Annan - empowerment of the United Nations. If that were not the case, then he'd be hoping that the UN indeed become irrelevant instead of fulfilling the purpose of its founding. If the UN can disarm Iraq, then so can it disarm any other nation, including America and it would be well on its way to becoming the global police force its founders had envisioned.

Freedom From War
The United States Program for General and Complete Disarmament
in a Peaceful World
DEPARTMENT OF STATE PUBLICATION 7277
Disarmament Series 5
Released September 1961
(http://dosfan.lib.uic.edu/ERC/arms/freedom_war.html)

says as much and is something that the State Department has never disavowed even so they refuse to comment on it.

Mr. Bush actually makes the UN more relevant than to the contrary and more politically attainable than less so. By taking the position he has, he is making it easier for the U.S. to support whatever "compromise" resolutions the UN does adopt without provoking too much backlash from patriotic Americans.

If Mr. Bush truly wants to put "the UN where it belongs - the ash-bin of history - he should use his bully pulpit to try to get the U.S. out of the UN and the UN out of the U.S.

37 posted on 02/15/2003 12:14:22 AM PST by raygun
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To: CubicleGuy
Are we prepared to let them suffer daily, eternally, to be deprived of safety in their own homes for as long as the Baathists remain in power, as we did with millions of now dead souls in the name of containment and do with North Korea today; are we prepared to watch them suffer for the leader's sake, that he may build temples unto himself and defy God; are we prepared to watch stupidly as he constructs the means to blackmail surrounding nations into silence and to carry out a deadly vendetta against the one nation who denied him Kuwait; are we prepared to let Hussein fund yet another generation of schoolbus-bombing terrorists; are we prepared to make Iraqis endure unlimited years of fearing police arrests in the night, mutilations, intimidation ; to fear that the words your child overheard and repeated could condemn you to being labeled an enemy of the state; to be an Iraqi in fear that your village may be the next to be exterminated or accused of being a rebel stronghold; to watch an entire culture be eliminated by seeing the eradication of its traditional wetland home; to be persecuted for your words; to be persecuted for your ethnicity; to be condemned to live in a land where the leader is willing to put even his own family to death for not bowing to his will; to wonder if the next mail you receive will include a video of your daughter being raped by a government professional; to be damned to be a silent witness, an accomplice, to murder or maiming for revenge, lest you too be murdered if you defend the defenseless; to live in a land that has children's prisons that even UN inspectors fear to describe lest the description incite people to war; to live in fear in a nation that punishes the young for thepolitical sins of their fathers; to watch a tyrannical government send agents worldwide to find and assassinate dissenters; to live in a country where the press is controlled in its entirety by the relatives of the leader-for-life, to know that there is none to help and none to hear if America does not do what others fear; are we prepared to never know what became of hundreds of captured Kuwaitis or one lone American pilot; to never know how many lie buried for Saddam Hussein's glory; to wonder if our officials shall be assassinated by this sadistic Hussein, to do nothing knowing that the next person the Baathists may kill directly or through terrorist proxy may be a thousand or tens of thousands of unwitting workers in other lands; to deny freedom and justice when we have the means to deliver it and end the suffering and daily dose of death delivered to the people in Iraq who do dare to defy Hussein for liberty's sake?

If you are willing to watch a mugger rob and murder for the sake of making peace with him at the expense of his victim, then begone. If you are willing to condemn those who seek liberty for the sake of those who do not, begone.

Those who are willing to sacrifice their liberty for the sake of safety (theirs or others) deserve neither liberty nor safety, and shall have neither.

And those who pray for peace at all costs always pray a two-faced prayer. For the victims of good-intentioned Utopians by far outnumber the victims of liberators.

As for prayer, it is sufficient to pray only that God's will be done in the battles ahead, be they diplomatic or military, and then do your best as a soldier or leader, trusting Him to deliver.

And that, my friend, is not a two-faced prayer.

I am continually astounded by those who preach peace because of the possibility that some few may fall to American bombs, but care not a whit about millions starved to death, hacked to death, tortured to death, gassed to death, burned to death, worked to death, buried alive, mutilated, deprived of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to bear arms, enslaved, deprived of property, prosperity and opportunity, deprived of heritage and history, reeducated, intimidated, extorted, threatened, libelled, ... and now they want us to look away so that those who do these things can get their hands on nuclear weapons too, and threaten to do all this to even more people?

No one cares.

Certainly not the people who cry out against war now.

They want all these things to continue indefinitely, worldwide, and don't care if eventually these things are imported to this country because we failed to stop it while we could. We have seen their type before. We see that type every time we see someone look the other way when a crime is going down.

No one cares, least of all those whose wisdom is no more than parrotted lines from tenured marxist professors.

No one cares except some "warmongering" Americans, a few gallant Brits, and some others who know such tyranny first-hand, as do our friends in Eastern Europe.

Pacifist activism is a murder-suicide pact for the benefit of tyrants, perpetuated by people who do not understand what it is to be without liberty or hope.

38 posted on 02/15/2003 12:53:20 AM PST by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge.)
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And woe to those who say "I am not my brother's keeper."

"Hey, everyone, it's none of our business if this dude is bleeding to death."

39 posted on 02/15/2003 1:00:38 AM PST by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge.)
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To: piasa
Are we prepared to let them suffer daily, eternally...

Thanks for letting me know, by word number 9, that we probably shouldn't take you too seriously.

... are we prepared to watch them suffer for the leader's sake, that he may build temples unto himself and defy God...

So, you're saying that God has given you the special mission of seeing to it that Hussein stops defying God? Seems a bit presumptive to me.

... to live in a land that has children's prisons that even UN inspectors fear to describe lest the description incite people to war...

If Hussein really is the Son of Satan as you have described him here, then it seems to me that the UN inspectors have a duty to speak up in order that Hussein's people will be incited to war. If it's anyone's responsibility to get rid of the guy, it's that of the people he's apparently so brutally repressing, don't you think?

Be sure and let us all know when you've been issued a gun and when you're shipping out to bring liberty to the good people of Iraq. Or are you one of those who is all in favor of liberty for the oppressed, so long as it's someone else who does the dirtywork?

As for prayer, it is sufficient to pray only that God's will be done in the battles ahead, be they diplomatic or military, and then do your best as a soldier or leader, trusting Him to deliver.

I believe that the commandment "thou shalt not murder" can be overridden by God on occasion, but I'm unaware of His having done so recently. Has He, in your opinion, released us from that standard of behavior? If so, I'd like to be made aware of when the announcement happened.

If you're so willing to trust in God to deliver, why aren't you willing to go all the way, letting God handle it in His own way and in His own good time, instead of insisting on adopting the title of Deliverer yourself? Or is God just not taking action fast enough for you?

And that, my friend, is not a two-faced prayer.

Personally, I believe that "the judgments of God will overtake the wicked; and it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished; for it is the wicked that stir up the hearts of the children of men unto bloodshed". I'm not so anxious to join that crowd, myself. It is one thing to fight a defensive war, and another thing entirely to go on the offensive. If you're anxious for God to bring down His judgments on this nation, then by all means, let's go on the offensive and see what follows.

I am continually astounded by those who preach peace because of the possibility that some few may fall to American bombs, but care not a whit about millions...

And I am continaully astounded by those who proclaim faith in God, but who can't seem to wait to take God's power of life and death into their own hands.

No one cares except some "warmongering" Americans, a few gallant Brits, and some others who know such tyranny first-hand, as do our friends in Eastern Europe.

Yeah, I'm sure that France and Germany know absolutely nothing of tyranny first-hand. That's why they're such pacifists in this matter. Just chalk it up to ignorance, right?

Pacifist activism is a murder-suicide pact for the benefit of tyrants, perpetuated by people who do not understand what it is to be without liberty or hope.

Luke 14:28-30:

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,

Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.

Count the cost. Are you really sure that you have?

40 posted on 02/15/2003 10:03:52 AM PST by CubicleGuy
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To: LouD
If I only believed that SH was a clear and present danger I'd happily hop on this bandwagon. As for the idea of re-making Iraq in the Western democratic model, I have grave doubts whether we have the needed wisdom, will, power -- or the right. I expect we'll charge about like a bull in a china shop, install a strongman more to our current likeing (as Saddam once was -- remember?), declare victory, and pull out, hoping for the best.

The U.S. military has taken far more care not to injure the innocent than any other army in the history of warfare.

Please. We are not in the same class as the 20th century dictators, and I pray we never will be. But your touching earnestness is risible, in view of the carnage wrought by our righteous might on the innocent of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tokyo, Hamburg, Dresden, and Berlin. No polity is sinless, and with all its good will and high moral purpose, the US has spilled its share of blood. Beware moral pride.

41 posted on 02/15/2003 11:20:10 AM PST by Romulus
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To: Jay D. Dyson
Last time I checked-Republicans ruled the congress. In addition if you respect the constitution and then your loyalty is to the process not to your party. Washington warned against joining parties at the expense of loyalty to teh constitution.

Your argument is not only flawed-it is an anathema to me.

42 posted on 02/15/2003 11:37:55 AM PST by Destro (Duct and Cover...Duct and Cover...)
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To: raygun
God bless men like you.
43 posted on 02/15/2003 11:41:08 AM PST by Destro (Duct and Cover...Duct and Cover...)
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To: Romulus
We are not in the same class as the 20th century dictators, and I pray we never will be. But your touching earnestness is risible, in view of the carnage wrought by our righteous might on the innocent of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tokyo, Hamburg, Dresden, and Berlin.

I was not referring to WWII, which was the last example of total war in the Clausewitzian paradigm. We were, BTW, completely morally justified in each of those action - But that is a different argument.

However, since the emergence of smart weapons, we have gone to great lengths to minimize non-combatant casualties. Witness Gulf War I, in which the only significant civilian casualty episode came from an Iraqi command and control facility co-located with a civilian bomb shelter.

44 posted on 02/15/2003 11:47:45 AM PST by LouD
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To: Romulus; LouD
See the example of Kosovo under American occupation.

Under American/NATO occupation 300 plus churches have been torched and over half a million Non-Muslim Albanians have been forced to flee. All in peacetime, all under the protection of Uncle Sam.

If I was a minority Sunni Arab in Iraq (the current ruling class-as the Serb minority was in Kosovo) I would be afraid to live in an Iraq under American control. Will Americans stop Shite Arabs (the majority Arab group) and the Kurds from exacting revenge and ethnic cleansing of the hated Sunni Arabs from their midst?

If I was a Sunni Arab and wanted recent history to provide an answer I would conclude that under American occupation my life would be in danger.

Beware moral pride indeed.

45 posted on 02/15/2003 11:50:27 AM PST by Destro (Duct and Cover...Duct and Cover...)
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To: Destro; Romulus; CubicleGuy; piasa; xJones; Jay D. Dyson; LouD; DWPittelli; The Great Satan; ...
Most excellent points made and taken by y'all. I must say quite emphatically that Romans 12:17-21 that you cite is not a suicide pact, and neither is the U.S. Constitution. Now if you'll allow me to be so bold to offer up some good points too?

The Great Satan's makes his point quite clearly at his FR home page. Romulus, this is for you. I find the picture he posted there quite interesting, although probably for a quite different reason than he intended when he made it part of his home page.

My rebuttal to The Great Satan.

What more need to be said? OH, yeah, I know what could be said. This:

So you support the impending war against Iraq, eh? Ok. That will be $2,500, please. Don't worry about sending a check just yet. We will payroll deduct.

Oh, and that's just for this year. Then we have to rebuild Iraq, of course. Though we will need another $15,000 from you for that effort, the good news is that it will be spread out over the next decade or so. For now, we'll just add it to your share of the national debt, which is - let's see now - about $387,500 as of today.

And then there will be interest on the debt, of course. That totals $19,375 per year on your share of the current balance, assuming 5% interest. As usual, we won't be bothering you to pay off any of the principal for the foreseeable future.

What? You don't have it? You didn't budget for it? Don't worry. After all, we don't. In the immortal words of Joe Black, these things have a way of working themselves out.

The US population totals 290 million. Though there are 98 million taxpayers, there are 80 million households. Each household consists of 3.63 people. The figures quoted above are per household, a more realistic way of looking at things, I think, since my thirteen-year-old girl simply doesn't generate much in the way of tax revenue.

Simply saying the war on Iraq will cost $200 billion has no impact on any but the most inveterate policy wonk. It's really tough to relate to a billion, you see.

When I was a kid, pennies counted. Nickels and dimes were money. Dollars were the province of grownups. Of course, then you could sent a letter for 3 cents and get a double-scoop ice cream cone for a dime (real scoops, too, not the puny things peddled for a buck apiece today). New cars cost $400...tax included.

The only reason we had a concept about millions back then was due to John Beresford Tipton, whose minion each week delivered that sum, tax free, to some poor schmuck whose life subsequently became wrecked by an endless stream of mansions, yachts, servants and hangers-on. That was Fifties TV's "The Millionaire."

Billion became a concept during the Sixties, thanks to Viet Nam. Of course, most of us know that the world population has doubled recently, to about 6 billion people, most of whose little fingers are hard at work right now, churning out snorkels and snowsuits for Wal-Mart.

I honestly don't recall when trillion came into usage. Sometime in the Seventies, I think. It's in full vogue now, however. US gross domestic product (GDP) totals $10 trillion, fully a third of the entire world's GDP (though we number only 5% of the world population). The stock market declined $7 trillion over the past two years (your household's share was $87,500, by the way). It will cost $1.2 trillion to rebuild Iraq, just about half the US national budget each year.

What's the next level? Had to stop and think, didn't you? I suppose it is quadrillion, but I'm not certain about that. I still have trouble with millions, to tell the truth. That's why it's easier to think in terms of these national and world figures after they have been boiled down to my share.

Mind you, the space shuttle that just blew up cost your household only $32 ($2.1 billion to build plus $470 million for a single launch), but that doesn't include the loss of life.

Of course, the $17,500 you will spend knocking down Iraq and then picking it back up doesn't include the cost of human suffering, either. What is your son worth to you, if he is over there right now? What about all the Iraqis about to die?

$600 billion budget deficit for 2003? Huh? Well, I can clearly understand that figure when I realize that my little economic unit (household) is responsible for $7,500 of it. Of course, add in the $200 billion Iraqi war and the $100 billion economic stimulus package that Bush the Second is pushing, and my share of the deficit (and yours) grows to $11,250. And that doesn't include interest. Or the billions to fight AIDS in Africa. Or all that other stuff Bush outlined the other night.

Now, I don't know about you, but I would have trouble if I spent $11,250 more than I earn each and every year. Things are different when you get to print the money, of course. It helps when you are the world's only superpower, too.

You might be thinking that lots more is being spent on your household's account than you personally pay in taxes, so you're ahead of the game. Tax on, MacDuff! We be making out. You would be wrong. Sure, some pay more and some pay nothing, but the average American household is right in there on these figures. Especially those to whose eyes these words are phosphorescing out right now. You see, a goodly amount gets siphoned off before you ever get a chance to fork it over via payroll deduction.

Your household's share of the total GDP of America is $125,000 per year. Increasingly, that's flipped burgers and service charges, but it still includes a rapidly-shrinking amount of real manufacturing. Think of dirt and other things going in one side of a building and cars rolling out the other side. Lots of that gets taken in the form of taxes you never see, not to mention corruption and outright theft. Your annual salary is what is left after those items. Then the real taxing begins.

Your share of the federal budget each year (and this does include the interest) is $26,250, some of which got snagged ahead of your paycheck. Then there are state income taxes, property taxes and sales taxes and license fees and...you get the idea.

This new Homeland Security Department is costing you $462 in its first year alone. Feel safer?

I could go on and on in this vein, and probably should, but the point now should be obvious. All these huge governmental program costs are real and substantial and being paid directly by you and me. And each year, we fall farther behind due to the deficit spending. There is a natural consequence of this progression and it results in you owning nothing and those who collect the interest on the debt owning everything.

You see, each year you pay $19,375 interest on the national debt (5% interest) and $14,375 (5%) on the nation's private debt ($287,500 total is your share, by the way...plus your share of the national debt, your total indebtedness is $675,000). Does the private debt interest sound a lot like your mortgage? That is no coincidence. Unlike your mortgage, however, the national debt grows by $600 billion each year, with no principal paydown...ever.

Those payments go to the banks and other investors, of course. Due to the annual trade deficit, the amount by which we import goods for which we incur more debt because our exports aren't enough to balance off the two, the interest increasingly flows out of the country. Your share of this year's trade deficit is $6,250. So, of the total budget deficit ($7,500 is your share this year), $6,250 ends up owed to foreigners. Yes, it is this easy. No, it isn't apples and oranges. Maybe oranges and tangerines, but the effect is ultimately the same as if it were all oranges.

Repeat after me: There is no such thing as a free lunch. Eventually, all American debt would be foreign owned. Right now, it's only about 40% in foreign hands. Eventually (and this day is much closer than you could possibly believe), the interest on the debt would consume every penny of the GDP. I say "would" only because the chickens will roost long before then.

War might be the answer, you think. After all, it bailed us out of the Great Depression. Well, probably not (and neither did FDR's socialism run amuck, either), but that's another story. Remember, war consumes productivity and destroys capital. No free lunch, don't forget.

There's only one single, logical, end result. The US dollar will become worthless. That's the only way the government (you and I) can possibly pay the interest, even, let alone the outstanding indebtedness. Hyperinflation. Already, the dollar has gone down 95% in a single century (thanks to the Federal Reserve, but that is another story altogether). 90% of that has occurred in my lifetime (3 cent stamps in 1950 and 37 cents today, don't forget). The dollar declined 30% just in the past year, in case you weren't paying attention. Notice the trend - it is not your friend.

Expect the hyperinflation after the current deflationary period ends. Bush's neverending War on Terrorism is designed merely to be the distraction. A lot of foreigners will be stuck badly when paid off in dollars that are worth a hundredth or a thousandth of what they are today. Unfortunately, so will most Americans, who ultimately hold the rest of the debt in the form of stocks, bonds and cash.

We're still in the real estate bubble. Actually, it is a mortgage bubble, truth be known. Refinancing with equity pullout is what is keeping way too many of us afloat at the moment. That is about to end.

The die is cast and there is no way out. No way. There is absolutely no way to pay the piper without making our currency worthless first. There is no other way to pay the interest, either, once the rates start to rise again.

That's why Bush the Second is spending like there is no tomorrow. He knows there isn't. Even before Bush, government was ballooning. Since 1998, we have lost 2.4 million manufacturing jobs, thanks to NAFTA and GATT. During the same period, 1.7 million new government jobs were created. Bush is on pace to surpass those figures by a country mile. No free lunch, don't forget. Government consumes production. More deficit spending. More debt. In just the past 20 years, government debt has gone up nearly 400%. That sounds like a lot until you learn that private debt increased by almost 500%.

If you have the ability, put some of your assets, especially anything denominated in dollars, such as stocks, bonds and savings accounts, into something that will hold its value: tractors, durable goods, cattle, gold, silver. You know. Not collectibles. Your Pokemon card collection won't be worth squat after the crunch. That way, you will end up with something when the dust settles. Trust me, our masters have already done this in spades. You won't even be able to buy groceries with your Social Security check.

The Great Depression will have a new, lesser, name before the upcoming economic carnage subsides. And I don't expect that to happen during what is left of my lifetime. America will fail economically, whether or not it is ravaged by foreign countries in retaliation for our imperialism or being stuck with worthless dollars...more likely, both.

Meanwhile, pull up a chair. Break out the beer and make some popcorn. The war is on TV, after all. You're paying for it, so you might as well enjoy it. While you still can, that is.

P.S. I'll have mine buttered (cinema style that is, don't scrimp the cholesterol), and I love a good Canadien Lager with it too please. Thank you.

46 posted on 02/15/2003 2:22:09 PM PST by raygun
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To: raygun
Bravo.
47 posted on 02/15/2003 9:03:51 PM PST by Romulus
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To: Destro
Last time I checked-Republicans ruled the congress.

Oh? We have a 2/3rds majority in the senate?

Gee, that sure explains why the Democrat filibuster has brought all proceedings in confirming a simple Circuit Court justice TO A GRINDING HALT.

You call that "ruling" the congress? Give me a break and fetch me a cup of coffee while you're at it.

In addition if you respect the constitution and then your loyalty is to the process not to your party.

Don't preach to me about respecting the Constitution. I have not been a party to the very organization that has spent the past forty years trying to annihilate the Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms in the name of "safety."

Washington warned against joining parties at the expense of loyalty to teh constitution.

And many more warned of desecrating the constitution in the name of temporary safety. On which side do you sit?

Your argument is not only flawed-it is an anathema to me.

The summary judgment and sentiment is mutual.

-Jay

48 posted on 02/15/2003 11:24:19 PM PST by Jay D. Dyson (I have no sense of diplomacy. I consider that a character asset.)
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To: raygun
So you support the impending war against Iraq, eh? Ok. That will be $2,500, please. Don't worry about sending a check just yet. We will payroll deduct.

I don't quite understand your citing the cost of war as some sort of rationale as to why we shouldn't go to war.

Let me bust this down in simple terms for you: if I have a $300 DVD player and some jerk walks into my house and destroys it out of sheer malice, I will end up trying to get him to pay for it. If he refuses, then I have to get a court to hear my case against him and issue a judgment in my favor. Then, if he still won't pay, I have to hire a collections agency to garnish his wages. All told, I will end up paying at least $1,500 in legal and collections fees to recover my original $300 loss. That's a 400% markup over the original value of my DVD player.

According to your logic, I should just cut my losses and buy another DVD player, leaving the original crime unpunished.

Fat chance on that one, sport.

If seeking justice makes me wrongheaded, then -- by God -- I will be wrongheaded. If someone else wants to play the Perfect Victim and let evil people give them the royal screw, that's their perogative...

...but that perogative ends where My Country 'Tis Of Thee begins.

Get me?

-Jay

49 posted on 02/15/2003 11:35:46 PM PST by Jay D. Dyson (I have no sense of diplomacy. I consider that a character asset.)
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To: Jay D. Dyson
To favor any party - over clearly spelled out constitutional procedures - is an act of near treason.
50 posted on 02/16/2003 10:52:31 AM PST by Destro (Duct and Cover...Duct and Cover...)
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