April 9, 2002 - White House Press Release: Remarks by the President on Citizens Corp

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Remarks by the President on Citizens Corp

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Remarks by the President on Citizens Corp *

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Remarks by the President on Citizens Corp

Apr 8, 2002 - PR Newswire

Knoxville Civic Center

Knoxville, Tennessee

WASHINGTON, April 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a transcript of remarks by the President on Citizens Corp:

1:30 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all so very much. I'm sure glad to be back in Knoxville, Tennessee. I want to thank you for your warm welcome. I want to thank you for your hospitality. And I want to thank you all for coming today to give me a chance to talk about some -- to talk about the future of this great country, and why I'm optimistic about the future of this great country, and why I'm so proud to be an American, to be the President of this great country. (Applause.)

It makes sense to come to the Volunteer State -- (applause) -- to talk about the need for our citizens to help each other. I can understand why the foes of the University of Tennessee dread hearing "Rocky Top." (Laughter.) I mean, it kind of fired me up, standing behind the -- (applause.) It reminds me of that great volunteer spirit. Of course, in Texas, we really appreciate those Tennessee volunteers coming down to help us out. (Applause.)

And I appreciate the Citizens Police Academy I went to today. It shows the best of your city. You have a great Mayor, working with a really fine Police Chief -- (applause) -- who are pooling the resources, who are providing an avenue, an outlet, for people who care about your community, a place for them to come and learn the skills necessary to help protect the good people of Knoxville, should an emergency arise.

I've come to highlight what works, so others around the country, if they're interested in doing what is right, to encourage your citizens to become involved. And so I want to thank the city of Knoxville, Tennessee, for showing Americans -- for showing Americans how best to help their communities. (Applause.) Thank you all.

I also want to thank the mayors and county officials from cities from around our country. I had the honor of flying over from Washington today with the fine Mayor of Washington, D.C., my friend, Tony Williams. I also was with Mayor Jim Hahn from Los Angeles, and others here, all of whom are utilizing their positions to encourage our citizens to become more involved in our communities. And I want to thank you all so very much for coming. We've got some mayors in Texas, small towns, large towns, Republicans, Democrats, all of whom care deeply about our country. (Applause.)

I want to thank so very much the members of the Tennessee congressional delegation for being here, as well. You've sent a fine group of folks to Washington. I enjoy working with them. I appreciate their service to the country. And I want to thank you all for coming. (Applause.)

I want to remind our fellow citizens that we have a volunteer military. (Applause.) That we've asked our citizens to volunteer to protect our country. And my attitude is, so long as we have a soldier in harm's way, they deserve the best pay, the best support, the best equipment possible. (Applause.)

I have submitted a budget to the United States Congress that reflects the nature of the conflict with which we're faced. I've asked for the largest increase in defense spending in 20 years -- not only because it will fulfill our commitment to support our troops, but because it recognizes that this country is in our war for the long pull; that we're interested in defending freedom no matter what the cost. (Applause.)

You know, I can't imagine what went through the minds of those who felt like they could attack America. I can't imagine. (Applause.) They must have thought we were so materialistic and so self-absorbed and so weak that all we would do was file a lawsuit. (Laughter.) They found out we're a different type of nation than they thought. (Applause.)

They found out this nation will do what it takes to defend that which we hold dear. And what we hold dear is freedom. (Applause.) And it's important for the young, in particular, but all Americans to understand that we seek -- we don't seek revenge, we seek justice. (Applause.) It's hard for some to believe, but there are people in this world who hate what America stands for. They hate the fact that we believe people should worship freely. (Applause.) They hate the fact that we believe there ought to be honest political discourse. They hate the fact that we believe in human rights and the dignity and worth of each individual.

(Applause.) These people hate America. They are cold-blooded killers, and the United States will hunt 'em down one by one, and bring them to justice. (Applause.)

And thanks to our United States military and thanks to a coalition we put together -- and thanks to the coalition we have put together, we have freed the people of Afghanistan from one of the most repressive regimes in the history of mankind. (Applause.) Not only are we steadfast in our desire to defend that which we believe, we also are willing to commit resources to free a nation.

Several weeks ago, young girls went to school for the first time in Afghanistan. (Applause.) I'm proud of the United States of America. I'm proud of our people. I'm proud of our resolve. I'm proud of the unity. I'm proud of the patience of the American people. The American people know what I know: that we have been called into action; that history has given us a chance to lead; that history understands that we now understand that history's call is to lead our vast coalition against terrorists and to defend freedom, no matter what the cost. And, my fellow Americans, I can assure you so long as I'm the President, I will lead this world's coalition to defend our freedoms, no matter what the cost.


I've heard talk about the budget and people saying, well, the budget is too big for defense. Listen, the price of freedom is high. I understand that. But it's not too high, as far as I'm concerned. This nation can show the world what we stand for, and we can show future generations what we're made out of.

Now, it's important for us to remain strong, and it's important for us to do what we say we're going to do in the world. I said loud and clear, either you were with us, or you're against us. (Applause.) And I also said if you're going to harbor a terrorist or feed a terrorist or think you can hide a terrorist, you're just as guilty as the ones who came and murdered innocent Americans, and we're going to hold you accountable. (Applause.)

And we're making good progress. We're making good progress. We're hunting them down, and that's what has to happen. And we're doing it in a way that sometimes doesn't make it in the newspapers, I understand that. You know, and sometimes it doesn't have all the sensationalism that some on the TVs would like to see. But you've just got to know that your government is steady and deliberate and patient. There is no cave deep enough to hide from the arm of justice of the United States of America. (Applause.)

And while I recognize that the best way to secure our homeland is to find the enemy wherever they hide, there's some stuff we need to do at home, too. And we're doing it. And that is to have a homeland security strategy that recognizes the importance of first responders. I want to thank the police and fire officers and EMS teams, not only in Knoxville, but around the country, for your sacrifice on behalf of the citizens of your community. (Applause.)

We've got a strategy that makes sure our border security works better, a strategy that responds to any bioterrorism type of attack. We're doing a good job of buttoning-up our country. We're doing a much better job of communicating between law enforcement agencies. You see, you've got to know that anytime we get a hint, a scintilla of evidence that somebody might be thinking about doing something to America, we're responding. We're sharing information. We're on alert, and we're working overtime. And we're working diligently to make sure the enemy doesn't hit us again.

But there's some things that citizens can do, as well. People often times ask me, what can I do to help? Well, let me give you some suggestions today. One way to help is to volunteer. And I said to the fellow citizens, give 4,000 hours of volunteer service for the rest of your life. If you want to help America, step up, and serve your community. And there are ways to do that. There are ways to do so on the forefront of the war -- on the strategy to make sure America is better prepared.

I have created what's called USA Freedom Corps. It's a chance for citizens from all walks of life to serve, to serve by serving in AmeriCorps, where you can help teach -- (applause) -- where you can help people realize that the American experience is meant for us all, or you can teach. Or Senior Corps; senior citizens can serve in the Senior Corps programs. (Applause.)

Or the Peace Corps. We've had thousands of people now call in to say they want to serve America's interest in the Peace Corps, by helping to spread America's values. There are ways to serve. Today, I'm talking about the Citizens Corps. It's an opportunity to work with local officials to make the homeland security more prepared.

Interestingly enough, when I made the call for people to serve, we had over a million hits on the web site for the Citizens Corps, and 25,000 Americans stepped up and said, we want to help, we want to apply for Citizens Corps applications. (Applause.)

And here there are ways to help. We need volunteers who are trained in emergency preparedness and response, to participate in what we call community emergency response team programs. They first started in Los Angeles, Mayor Hahn was telling me. All the cities represented here on this stage have now got CERT programs. It gives people a chance to be a part of an emergency response mechanism, both urban and rural in America. If you're interested in helping, dial up the phone and the web site I'm about to give you, so that you can be a part of emergency preparedness in your communities.

We need volunteers on the neighborhood watch programs. Neighborhood watch -- I hope you're familiar with it -- is a way for communities to be -- citizens to become involved with making each neighborhood more secure. Neighborhood watch is a structure which already exists. We want to expand it in America. We want more folks to be a part of the neighborhood watch program, to make our communities more prepared.

Operation -- what's called -- we call it terrorism information program, it's a TIP program. This is a program where truckers can report anything that might be suspicious to local authorities. One of the most innovative TIP programs in the country took place in Maine. Governor King, working with the local FBI, signed up a lot of lobstermen. So when they're out there pulling their pots to get the lobsters, if they see something suspicious taking place along the Maine coast, that they share information with the local jurisdictions, local law enforcement jurisdictions. If people see anything suspicious, utility workers, you ought to report it.

This is a way to organize that which already happens in our communities on a daily basis, and a way to make the homeland more secure and more prepared.

We've got what's called the VIP program, VIPs. And that's volunteers and police. And that's what we've talked about today here in Knoxville. I don't know if you know this or not, but I would say the vast majority of police departments need volunteer labor to help make their departments function. The Chief here in Knoxville was telling me that he could not live without the fact that we've got a lot of volunteers right from your community, probably your neighbors, that go down there on a daily basis, to help make the Police Department function more smoothly. This is a good way to help in your community, if you're interested in helping.

And then we have what's called the Medical Reserve Corps. This is a chance for active and retired doctors and nurses to lend a hand in preparing any community for an emergency. It makes a lot of sense to say to a retired doc or a retired nurse, you know, you've still got your skills. You still care about people. Here's a good way for you to serve the community. We need this participation from our citizenry. It's not only good for each community, it's good for the citizens to know that they're helping to serve a great nation by serving their community.

And so for those of you out there who are interested in participating, I want you to call up this number, 1-800-USA-CORPS, or to dial up on the Internet, www.citizencorps.gov. This is a way where you can help America. The government will help, as well. I put in my budget $203 million to help on the Citizen Corps programs, $50 million of which will be immediate through the supplemental.

In other words, we're willing to fund. But what we can't do, is we can't hire people. You've got to step up in the Citizen Corps. The money is meant to enable. You're meant to provide the manpower. So when a fellow American says, what can I do to help, what can I do to help America be prepared better, here's a way you can help, and make a huge difference in the communities in which you live.

And there's another way to help, too. It's by loving a neighbor like you'd like to be loved yourself. (Applause.) You've probably got a sense of my strong feelings about the enemy. I believe they're evil. The best way to fight evil is to do some good. (Applause.) Let me qualify that -- the best way to fight evil at home is to do some good. The best way to fight them abroad is to unleash the military. (Applause.)

It is so important for citizens in this country to put a face on America for the world to see, the true face. And that's by loving somebody. And that's by caring for somebody who needs a hand. You know, it doesn't take much to help define the true face of America, it really doesn't. It can mean just walking across the street to a shut-in, and saying, I care for you, is there anything I can do to make your day brighter? It certainly means mentoring a child; putting your arm around a child, and say, you know, America is meant for you, and I love you. (Applause.) It means organizing a program in your church or your synagogue or your mosque, to help hear the universal call of loving somebody just like you'd like to be loved yourself.

There are pockets of despair in America, and we need people of love to go into those pockets, people of faith to go into those pockets of despair, to help this country realize its potential. If you want to join in the war against terror, you can join the Citizen Corps, or you can act out of compassion and concern, to help make somebody's life brighter. It is the gathering momentum of millions of acts of kindness and decency and compassion which show the world the true face of America. Not only are we strong militarily, but we've got great hearts and great compassion about our fellow human men and women.

And therefore, my fellow Americans, if you want to join us, if you want to make the country stronger, participate; help somebody in need. You know, I truly believe that out of this evil is going to come incredible good. (Applause.) I believe that by remaining strong in the face of terror, that we can lead the world to peace. I believe there's going to be some problems in the world that can be solved with American strength and American leadership, and a coalition that refuses to bend when it comes to the defense of terror. And out of evil will come some incredible good in America, some of incredible good.

Many of you know what I'm talking about when I say that families have taken a good look at what's important in their life. Moms and dads have now said that they're going to love their children with all their heart and all their soul. They're going to focus their love and attention on being the best parent they can possibly be, as we've taken a good look at the value systems that are important for our future.

You know, Flight 93 told me a lot about America. Here we were in the midst of this beginning of the new war of the 21st century, and some men and women on a flight decided that they needed to save others. They were on cell phones with their loved ones. They told them they loved them. They said a prayer. They said, let's roll, and they saved lives on the ground. (Applause.)

It is that spirit -- it is that spirit that is alive and well in America. And it's that spirit that makes me so optimistic about the future of this great country. I want to thank you all so very much for coming. I want to thank you for your strong support for our country. I want to thank you for your patience. I want to thank you for your understanding about what lies ahead for the country. But most of all, I want to thank you for working hard to make your neighborhood and your community the best place it can possibly be for each one of us who's lucky enough to call themselves an American.

And I want you to know, I can't tell you what an honor it is to be the President of the greatest land on the face of the earth. God bless. (Applause.)

END 1:55 P.M. EST SOURCE White House Press Office

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By Karen Sayer (kesayer) on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 4:47 am: Edit Post

Wow--You really want to know what I think? Bush and his ideas terrify me. I used to live in a free country, but he seems bent on removing a whole slew of fundamental civil rights. His so-called freedome corps sounds to me like pre-WWII Germany, forming bands of community groups to spy on their neighbors and unconstrained vigilantees.

And how the heck does he figure that, as he repeatedly said in his speach, to "hunt down" and kill Afghans is somehow a good thing? Or morally justifiable? This is very scary thinking...unfortunately that culminates in very bloody actions. And his comments about the Taliban being the most repressive regime in the history of mankind suggests that he doesn't know his history well--or his current events, either. What about the current genocide of Palestinians? But I digress, sorry. My two cents--drop the idea of the vigilante squads.

By Donald Beck on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 6:55 am: Edit Post

I felt the same reaction (as above- by Karen Sayer) with images of pre-WWII Germany and calling on volunteer groups to guard American values... "secure our homeland" ... "find the enemy within" ... "spread America's values"

When I hear a rhetoric of "hunting down" "these people who hate America" --- the reference is to 9-11 and I don't argue it.

BUT whipping up a mob mentality in the name of PREVENTING further terrorism blurs our purpose from reacting to beliefs TO imposing beliefs.

I am fightened to hear Peace Corps bandied about as a way to "spread American values." Makes it sound more like an infection or ideology.

Again, It sounds more like "imposing beliefs" rather than "serving beliefs."

Peace Corps is an opportunity for Volunteers to understand the humanity in all cultures through service to others. In service we were to EXEMPLIFY those values... and IN RETURN learn the vast wisdom of a multitude of cultures... to come home with a deeper human understanding of peace.

I am sad to see the emphasis on "giving out of values" when the most valuable part is what WE got in the experience of service.

By Ann Thompson Hannibal on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 9:35 am: Edit Post

Sincere and eloquent speech, our Pres. is the best America has ever had! Bravura!

By John Tarin on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 10:08 am: Edit Post

President Bush makes it seem so simple. He does not see that no matter what the USA does, it will always be interpreted by some people in the world to be acts of Imperialism. Just helping people is not always going to prove that the USA has benign intentions.

By Eric Pedley on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 11:10 am: Edit Post

With Pres. Bush expanding the defense budget, I have to question his motives; mostly in relation to defending and fighting over oil. Instead of wasting all this money on an exhaustable resource, why not attempt to make solar and other sustainable energy sources economically feasible. If a major car company were to make a large purchase of solar cells that would work well enough to satisfy consumers, a market would be produced and competition would cause prices to go down. Without a large research investment, people will continue to use the excuse that solar cells are just too expensive. I believe that instead of continuing this ongoing war with The Middle East, we find a way out. Drilling Alaska, and negotiating with these crazy leaders are just short term solutions with long term hazards.

By Lawrence Knowles on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 11:20 am: Edit Post

Voted for Bush. Think he's the right man for the times. Bothered, though, by reference to using the Peace Corps to "spread America's values abroad." My view of the Peace Corps is that it is more a sharing of ideas and values than a one-way flow from the PCV to the people of the host country. Many of our values are worth sharing, but many, in my opinion, are not. Judging from recent events, I would say that much of the world feelws this way as well.

By Jean Gray on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 1:15 pm: Edit Post

I disagree completely with using the Peace Corps to spread American values abroad. I think that is the quickest way to undermine the Peace Corps and have its volunteers refused by other countries.

Peace Corps' contribution is sincere volunteers demonstrating high personal values and great appreciation for other cultures. I think most of us would agree that we learned far more than we ever taught.

By Katherine Waser on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 2:20 pm: Edit Post

I think these ideas are very, very scary. I definitely agree with Karen Sayers that these ideas will promote vigilanteism and suspicion of one's neighbors, rather than promoting the sort of tolerance for diversity that is so crucial to the functioning of our democracy.

I also feel that the Peace Corps should not EVER be viewed as, or become, primarily an instrument of "spreading American values abroad." Quite aside from the fact that this immediately raises the question of whose values you're going to define as "American" (I, for one, find many if not most of the President's apparent values completely abhorrent), it also completely ignores the fact that, as others have commented, Peace Corps is a two-way street. What about the mission of "bringing the world back home"? When I was a volunteer, one of the things that struck me over and over again was how insular we are in the US, and how valuable it was to have the opportunity to learn first hand and on a gut level that there are other ways of seeing the world besides ours, and that those ways may very well be just as valid as ours, too.

Finally, as an RPCV, I feel strongly that the Peace Corps should be a separate entity and should not be lumped together with all this so-called "America Freedom Corps" the Prez is pushing.

By Jeff Ankrom on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 5:28 pm: Edit Post

The President's remarks would have greater significance, I suppose, if he had clarified what American values he wanted volunteers to impart to others.

For me, the most important communication of values was in my own learning to make time to listen to other people, to take an extra moment to ask how people are, how the kids are... and to listen to the reply. What the Peace Corps shows people in other countries is that Americans can be interested in learning, that they are not motivated only by material gain, that they can be caring people, that they miss their families and worry about the news and have kitchen catastrophes like anyone else.

The most important thing that I brought back was the ability to tell other Americans that, despite the stereotypes, people far away are most concerned about... how their kids are doing in school, how the family is going to cover the rent and the doctor's bill, why the family cat is throwing up, whether they ought to try to change jobs, and whether the newlyweds will have a happy life together.

Sadly, I don't think this is the kind of exchange that the President had in mind.

By stanley Clapp on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 7:06 pm: Edit Post

I agree with what other RPCV are saying. Keep Bush away rom anything to do with the Peace Corp as he doesn't understand it. We often heard the host country people remark about the Peace Corps being connected to the CIA. Bush's remarks will already be picked up overseas and that idea will be reinforced. Perhaps his speechs shoould be cleaned up more before going public.

By Lawrence Knowles on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 7:23 pm: Edit Post

Hopefully, someone in the PC administration will pick up some of these comments and educate the Prez's aides/speech writers what the essence of the Peace Corps mission and experience is.

By Ernest Arbuckle on Thursday, April 18, 2002 - 12:58 am: Edit Post

It's difficult to know where to start. Bush has no idea what the PC is about if we go by what he says. His total lack of perspective of why people "hate America" could come only from a President who was appointed rather than elected. He addresses about 10% of the substance of issues. Where is the other 90%?

By Colin Gallagher on Thursday, April 18, 2002 - 2:47 am: Edit Post

Peace Corps is not about spreading "American Values" -- whatever those might be. If you have any doubt about this claim, you can read the mission of Peace Corps, from the Congressional Declaration of Purpose, which is spelled out by statute in Title 22, Chapter 34, Section 2501 of U.S. Code:

"The Congress of the United States declares that it is the policy of the United States and the purpose of this chapter to promote world peace and friendship through a Peace Corps, which shall make available to interested countries and areas men and women of the United States qualified for service abroad and willing to serve, under conditions of hardship if necessary, to help the peoples of such countries and areas in meeting their needs for trained manpower, particularly in meeting the basic needs of those living in the poorest areas of such countries, and to help promote a better understanding of the American people on the part of the peoples served and a better understanding of other peoples on the part of the American people."

The only aspect of the above paragraph that could even be remotely connected to "spreading American values" would be where it is stated that part of the purpose of Peace Corps to "help promote a better understanding of the American people." Helping to promote a better understanding, however, does not mean becoming an ad-hoc missionary for the so-called "American Way" -- another undefined vagary from an already ubiquitous Administration.

There has as of yet been no established definition of terrorism provided for the purpose of post-9/11 legislation. Lack of definition, however, is not the only impropriety of the Bush family, which does not have a history of leading by example -- at least not an example that we want to "spread" as part of our "American values." The current Bush's grandfather was convicted under the Trading with the Enemy Act, having been found to have made substantial contributions to the Nazi party. His assets were frozen and held by the U.S. government. The next two generations could not escape the sins of the father: from the time of the war with Iraq to the events of September 11, the Bush family investments lay significantly and squarely in the middle of the holdings of the Carlyle Group, of which the bin Laden family was also a participant -- until the bombs began to fall in Afghanistan. (Shrewd observers will note that the Department of Justice website shows the nationalities of the 9/11 hijackers to be... Saudi! Oil, anyone?)

The "President" speaks of Maine lobstermen participating in a unique effort to report suspicious activity -- Red "commie" lobsters, perhaps. He then goes on to say, "This is a way to organize that which already happens in our communities on a daily basis, and a way to make the homeland more secure and more prepared."

Well, Mr. Bush, if you are listening, the Peace Corps is not an intelligence agency, a community is not a group of informants, and this is sure as hell not a "homeland." This is the U.S. of A.! And I think we've all had enough of the indigestion that passes for patriotism in Washington.

Ernest Hemingway once said, "Never mistake motion for action." It is now time to get moving and take action, before this Administration's motions become the standard for the rest of the country.

By lawrence Knowles on Thursday, April 18, 2002 - 10:59 am: Edit Post

I think Colin Gallagher said it all. I wish I were as articulate.

By david engle on Saturday, April 20, 2002 - 2:57 am: Edit Post

I am gratified - deeply - that my "colleagues" - former PC volunteers - pan so articulately this mumbo-jumbo by our unduly selected President. the PC always lead a precarious existence placed between tasks appointed by (often well-meaning) politics and the _true_ humanitarianism of the volunteers. I am gratified that there are voices who want this precarious exitence to continue and not be "retro-fitted" into a sort of Hitler-youth do-good-for-the-homeland "marketing corps."

Bush's exporting of "American Values" is just plain capitalist hype - the kind pre-prepared before 9-11 to be foisted off on the American public as a "patriot act". It is seen through by most of the world, the sad exception being most of America.

Not everything good happens beneath the American flag. Not everything decent happens under the auspices of a Christian church. Not every thought - here or abroad - is supportive of the President's self-serving agenda. Not everything different is "terrorist" -thank God!

It is not ok to arrest people and not charge them with crimes. It is not ok to profile large portions of the world as being "evil", it is not ok to export cheap goods and import what is essentially slave labor as being "good" and "american." It is not ok to gut the Constitution and proclaim "freemdom" and "american values." It is not ok to use the Peace Corps to gain soldiers in the american cause and it is not ok to "export american values" when that means either "I win, you loose," or "you differ so I am right".

And it is not right to mis-use the Peace Corps to get Americas idealism to march - lock step / goose step - to Bush's self serving drum: the drum defined as "America" but dba as "dubya."

By Joanne Marie Roll (joey) on Saturday, April 20, 2002 - 9:01 am: Edit Post

I believe that Colin Gallagher should immediately document the source for the charges he made against the grandfather of the current president.
George H. Bush, the first Bush president, served in the military during WWII and indeed, was shot down over France and had to parachute from his burning plane. At eighteen, he was truely considered a hero. Now, what is at stake, here, is not the legtimate criticism of Bush foreign policy but the integrity of this website. I appreciate Colin Gallagher's analysis on many

topics - but when Colin Gallagher alleges such charges without documeting
the source, he risks compromising his crediability.

Gallagher has written.

By Colin Gallagher on Wednesday, April 24, 2002 - 2:06 am: Edit Post

The following message is intended to clarify sources requested by J. Roll in a prior post. To best answer this request I will phrase my response as a historical brief, with specific sources quoted in the below text. The above post by J. Roll refers to George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States -- not to be confused with Prescott Bush.

Our current Bush, often referred to as "George W.," had a great-grandfather named Bert Walker. Walker was instrumental in the creation of the Hamburg-America shipping line. Prescott Bush (George W.'s grandfather) later became the director of this line, which was seized on August 28, 1942 due to its use as arms transport for the growing Nazi juggernaut.

Multiple Freedom of Information Act requests have confirmed that on October 20, 1942, the U.S. Alien Property Custodian seized the shares of the Union Banking Corporation. This is a matter of public record (see Office of Alien Property Custodian, U.S. Government Vesting Order No. 248; Filed, November 6, 1942, 11:31 A.M.; 7 Fed. Reg. 9097 (Nov. 7, 1942), also see Vesting Orders 259 and 261). The law which was violated was the Trading with the Enemy Act, the crime being the use of American capital for Nazi interests. Prescott Bush was a director and shareholder of this organization, which (amongst other questionable activities) busied itself by routing money to the Silesian-American Corporation, a corporation which was managed by Prescott Bush and George Herbert Walker. The Silesian-American Corp. was shut down by the U.S. government on November 17, 1942 for its support to the Nazi war industry. This is also a matter of public record. Ensuing details of the result of these corporation's activities, and its multi-generational financial progeny, are nearly too excruciating for print. Please read the source material (cited above and at end of this post) if you wish to pursue the specifics.

As for George Herbert Walker Bush, the decorated WWII fighter pilot, you may recall the controversy of 1988, when (then Vice-President) Bush was forced to fire certain questionable scoundrels from his campaign. I will quote from Tony Rogers and Nick Mamates' article, "Who is George W. Bush?":

"The scandal erupted when Washington Jewish Week and other media outlets discovered that the Bush campaign harbored well known neo-Nazis, including Jerome Brentar, a holocaust revisionist who claims that the Nazis never deliberately gassed victims of the Holocaust, and Akselis Mangulis, who was involved in the SS-influenced Latvian Legion during World War II. George W. Bush, the campaign's hatchet man, fired the Nazis slowly, so as to hide "under the radar" of the media. After the election, four of these came back to work for the Republican Party according to USA Today."

(( See http://www.monitor.net/monitor/0001a/fortunateson.html ))

For detailed sources of this information, you can go to a variety of books: 'Blowback' (Christopher Simpson) is a well-known source for information on Nazis and their supporters in the United States (I highly recommend Simpson's book due to its non-partisan approach and extensive source documentation); another is 'Old Nazis, The New Right And The Republican Party' (Russ Bellant, Boston, MA; South End Press, 1991.), and yet another is 'The Secret War Against The Jews' (John Loftus and Mark Aarons. New York; St. Martins Press, 1994.) The best material, however, is the original source -- Freedom of Information Act records. If you are not interested in waiting for your government to provide you with copies of this information, I suggest contacting Richard N. Draheim, Jr. (who has done some definitive work on the subject), or myself, with a specific request for source, though my time is also limited in that regard. The best rewards come to those who wait -- Happy hunting.

By Maggie McQuaid on Wednesday, May 01, 2002 - 3:00 am: Edit Post

Bush's speech disturbed me in so many ways that it is difficult to organize my thoughts. His new vision for America appears to involve all manner of people in all manner of what sounds like paramilitary "corps". Apparently, the purpose is to utilize volunteers to spy on their neighbors, rat out people for "suspicious" activities, and alert the authorities to anyone not holding to the official doctrine. This is what happened in Nazi Germany or Maoist China, folks. If we as the American public passively accept this, we're in big trouble.

It troubles me to hear this as an expectation of national volunteers. I take seriously my two years' service in the Peace Corps, and an additional two years' service as a VISTA volunteer. Bush's vision of a new national volunteer corps cheapens the work that I - we - did.

Finally, as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Central America (Honduras) in the 70's, I learned some quick and painful lessons about the real history of American involvement in Latin America. Learning about American-backed coups throughout the region, meeting people who had been raped and tortured by "special operatives" trained by Americans (and sometimes IN America), and learning the real reasons why our government has backed any number of sorry-ass regimes throughout the world sobers you up pretty quickly. Like many RPCV's, when I heard the post-9/11 plaint of "why do they hate us so much?", I'm afraid I could list many (too many) reasons.

I am worried and sickened not only at what the current administration wants to do to the Peace Corps, but what they seem to want to do to America. The proposals of the "Homeland Security Office" and the "Freedom Corps" smack terrifyingly of facism, repression, and paranoia.

I think we as RPCV's, with our unique and invaluable knowledge of the realities of Third World life and politics, are duty-bound to resist Bush and his henchmen in every way possible. And - should any correct and proper citizen out there read this and think I'M a threat to the nation, then come get me. I'm in the Anchorage phone book and easy to find.

Maggie McQuaid

By Gary Geoghegan (garygeo) on Wednesday, May 01, 2002 - 1:25 pm: Edit Post

President Bush suggested in his speech that the Peace Corps helps to spread American values. I take it to mean he trusts those who sign up, both past and future, to have values that most Americans would support.

From my experience, the values commonly held by Peace Corps volunteers are kindness and generosity, and, more than tolerance, an openness to the best other cultures have to offer, as well as a willingness to look critically at US policy. If looked at this way it is hard to argue that spreading THESE American values has a downside.

By Colin Gallagher on Tuesday, July 30, 2002 - 2:42 am: Edit Post

(Gary) --

A few months ago, when I read the above message, I understood that your statements were bringing a polite and positive closure to an unquestionably heated discussion.

As I view them again now, in light of the increasingly fascist policies of our Government, I am saddened by the twisted mirror in which our collective national identity has come to view itself, the sharp and acrid distinction between Bush's "partisan patriots" and those people with true dedication to Constitutional principles, and the inevitable internalization of the global conflict created by what too many politicians have been ready and willing to call "American values."

With respect to "spreading" of such "values," would that they be spread so thin that we would not have to think about them, feel them, or see them! But sadly, that is not so. The diner sees his prey and dabs ever thicker pats of rancid butter upon his bread. Regardless of how thin he might "spread" it, we all can smell it quite well, thank you.

I wish this had more to do with partisan politics, but I fear that such is no longer the case, and the more I think about it, the more I realize in fact that partisan conflict was never the real issue. It is time to resist at every turn a rising tide of nationalism, to fight the racist policies of a Government turned against its own people, and to expose the irrational fascism of a dictatorship with aspirations of global dominance as expressed through a mask called the Presidency.

While I strongly feel that we must not turn to violent means -- service in the Peace Corps, for example, is still one of the best things, in my view, that a U.S. citizen can do -- further violations of the public trust and abuses of power by our government may create a situation in which the water will boil, despite the seemingly placid surface of our society.

We cannot pack kindness and generosity into bombs and bullets. These are values which must be cultivated from within, and require of the individual patience and openness in interaction with others. This alone is not enough, however. In order for us not to lose whatever kindness and generosity we have gained, we must de-emphasize material gain and the superiority of identity. The fundamental problems which plague the Israeli-Palestinian conflict also trouble the psyche of American government and culture, culminating in the extremes of political expression of power.

Can we, through our actions, provide more good than bad in the world, more friendship than hatred, more joy than sorrow? Would that it were so simple that every thought and action had a numerical counterpart, point and counterpoint. There is a long way to go before the good in the world wins out at least enough to create an equality of perspectives; a long road is left to run.

There is no finish line to this struggle. Make it, then, a way of life, a search for that which is better than the travesties we trip over on our journeys through the harsh and unyielding land of the living that we have learned to love, and to live in lovingly.

By John Montaign on Tuesday, July 30, 2002 - 8:31 pm: Edit Post

Who is this guy Bush? What country does he live in? Certainly not in the America I know.

By Anonymous (pool-72-66-18-27.washdc.fios.verizon.net - on Friday, August 03, 2007 - 8:18 am: Edit Post

I had the distinct pleasure of serving in two profound programs which Pres. J.F.K. began, i.e., the Peace Corps and U.S. Army Special Forces. Both of these programs shared the common features of embedding personnel in the fabric of a village, learning the language, doing meaningful assistance...and winning hearts and minds. We were ambassadors for America, trusted and appreciated. In many of the posts in this thread, it appears that as long as some leftist president would lead our nation, it's acceptable to promote those values. But, when American political leadership has the appellation of being conservative, it bothers the blue jackasses at every turn. Evaluating J.F.K.'s style of foreign policy would have him no where in the camp of this current morass of Demokrats, moreover, he'd be a strong proponent of what we're doing overseas right now fighting terrorism, not this left-wing pollyanna nonsense which so many espouse here. Oh yes, I AM a veteran of the war there. As for my Peace Corps experience, I never was one of the dope-smoking Peace Corps junket kids, and there certainly were many 30 years ago, a sign of those times. But, there were many patriots in the Corps, that truly believed in American values, and that's exactly what was promoted, whether you think it's desired or not. Foreign nations WANT our success... the success of economic progresss=capitalism, not socialism. We went overseas not just to take away, but to give back, and that meant giving ideas and talents related to American values, ideas and insight.

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