"And our security will require all Americans to be forward-looking and resolute, to be ready for pre-emptive action."
by:
George W. Bush
(1946- ) 43rd US President, Yale Skull & Bones Society
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Nora, Jordan      
 -- Anonymous      
BUSH IS A GREAT PRESIDENT! AND PEOPLE SHOULD RESEPCT HIM.YOU DID VOTE FOR HIM
 -- Alyssa, Newfoundland     
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     -- jim, Torrance, Calif      
     -- Smith, Valdosta      
     -- cari      
    We need to be ready to defend ourselves!
     -- Anonymous     
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     -- Anonymous      
    Preemptive action... I'm all for planning ahead, but chasing ghosts and attacking a country for what might happen is not a good reason.
     -- Anonymous     
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    Bush is a text book example of using fear to manipulate with lies.
     -- Bryan S.     
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    Wow, I love this. Dubya emulating Hitler and fulfilling Truman's warning. I still can't believe people voted for this guy. A grade-schooler could connect these dots.
     -- L. Hanson, Edmonton, Canada     
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    Without freedom from repression & terror (read security), there would be no liberty at all. The islamic terrorists want to destroy our security, and by doing so, destroy our liberty. Those of you who lament so fervently against Bush's actions- what should his admisistration have done? You propose that we should pretend it didn't happen? Force everyone to abide by Sharia law & become Muslim? Let the extremists violate our socieity, destroy our economy & our way of life? These are the only things that might appease them, for they abhor the very liberty that we seek to preserve.
     -- F. Jones, Woodbridge, VA     
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    Bush was not my all time favorite president, but F. Jones comments make more sense than all of the ones above.
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
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    Also from this "illustrious" President - "The Constitution is just a damned piece of paper" - What F. Jones my not be taking into account is that by running rough shod over people in foreign nations, setting up friendly dictatorships and manipulating their economies all in the name of "American Interests" we have earned the enmity of the planet. Time we went back to Constitutional American values. Time to haul in our horns and bring our troops home. The world can look after itself for a while.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Not shooting the messenger (he being a fascist deep in blood lust torture), our security will require a goodly number of Americans to be forward-looking and resolute, to be ready for preemptive action; that doing all things possible to remove the statist theocracy infesting this land and, return to a land of the free and home of the brave representative republic.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Preemption was/ is Israeli policy...
     -- Al, DC     
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    Very dangerous policy. To be 'pre-emptive' can mean violating a person's rights for what they 'might' do. Does pre-emptive action mean the right to strip search everyone passing through a certain gate because of what they 'might' have on them? Is 'Papers, please.' going to become an American standard? Isn't everyone guilty of breaking some rule somewhere, so the authorities are justified in simply going through all your stuff until they find something? Where are OUR protections from the criminal element in positions of authority? That is why our law of the land presumes innocence and guilt must be proven -- not assumed with the potential offender having to prove his innocence. This kind of policy twists the purpose of republican governance into totalitarian control.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    The number of people who think like F. Jones is discouraging indeed. American preemption is another word for fascist domination. Do these people know we have from 800 to 1000 military bases in more than 100 countries around the globe? We have 38 military bases and three airfields on the island of Okinawa alone. Have you ever considered peace?
     -- dick, fort worth     
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    Interesting words from one of history's greatest war criminals.
     -- Johann, Saint Paul MN     
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     -- RBESRQ      
    No matter how moderate or peace-preaching a nation is, it will always have enemies. War, at times, is inevitable. There is always someone, somewhere in the world pursuing an evil agenda to dismantle what we have and duplicate their own society here in our home. Pre-emptive action is not always the right course, but it is true that the best defense is a good offense. America has at times chosen to go to war in some distant land rather than allowing that war to come to us here at home. I do not have all the facts to provide an opinion of whether we should have went into Iraq or Vietnam. But I do know this, if we would have invaded Afghanistan when trouble first arose the towers would still be standing, if we would have engaged in a pre-emptive strike on the axis powers, we could have prevented Pearl Harbor, kept our Pacific fleet intact, ended the war years earlier, and saved possibly millions of lives. So a pre-emptive strike is not always wrong either. Before it is engaged, it must be given the utmost consideration and we must have a fool-proof plan of action from beginning to end.
     -- Publius     
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    A free society always faces threats.
     -- jmdl, washington ut     
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     -- Bob H, Allentown      
    Publius, who will watch the people who are telling us that we are in danger? How is it that we are to trust our own leaders not to have an agenda that we don't agree with? I don't think pre-emtion is the answer. But an ability to retaliate massively and decisively should be a pretty serious deterrent.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    J Carlton, you are right. Here expanding on what Archer said, 'pre-emptive' almost always means violating a person's rights for what they 'might' lawfully do. Legitimately, your's and my servants get their authority from us, 'We The People', so thusly, their authority can not exceed ours, they have no rights but duties only; they can 'NOT' lawfully preempt that which we can or can not do. If natural law is broken, property is damaged, stolen, etc. or an individual's right is infringed, justice is administered by our servants, (as you said, "an ability to retaliate massively and decisively should be a pretty serious deterrent." - can be a part thereof) in a post event occurrence. Also, an administration of victimless crimes is an activity of criminals.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    OK, let's suppose we live in a free country and that that is what we want and thrive in. If all the enemies of freedom needed to do was 'threaten' us and our defensive solution was to restrict our freedoms in an attempt to pre-emptively arrest potential 'evil doers', then all the so-called terrorists have to do to thwart our freedom is simply to threaten us. How idiotic is that? Look, we have no right to bomb other nations because of what they might do -- that is a provocation and thus a valid reason to actually do something to us IN DEFENSE. We need strong defenses -- and as the strongest military power in the world, we do not have to pre-emptively attack other nations. When/If our defenses are violated, we can then 'shock and awe' the violators to dust -- that should be enough of a deterrent for future assailants. But with great power comes great responsibility, and the US is indeed abusing its powers around the world for private gains -- most specifically the control of other nations' oil. That is wrong, and it is giving other countries reason to hate us and do all they can to stop it.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Mike, glad we are on the same page.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    A classic case of what Frederick Bastiat wrote about in 1850 in THE LAW. The law preverted! If it is unlawful for me to strike my neighbor preemptively, it goes without saying that it is unlawful for my government to do so, as well.
     -- Howard, Bangkok     
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    Mike, revolting against our statist government would not be preemptive. They have already crossed the line and have attacked our liberty, the fruit of our labor, and our persons. To overthow our corrupt government and return it to its constitutional restraints would be lawful and just. Theocracy? Maybe satanism, I guess.
     -- Howard, Bangkok     
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    I disagree, Archer. We don't need the strongest military in the world. We won our independence against the strongest military in the world. We need to turn our face toward God, and he will heal our land. A heavily armed militia wouldn't hurt either.
     -- Howard, Bangkok     
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    Howard, I said we need strong defenses -- and that definitely includes an armed militia of citizen-soldiers (not to be confused with the National Guard). The US does have the strongest military, and I said that with great power comes great responsibility. But with a police state approach to everything comes an inevitable abuse of power. God will not save us if we are not worth saving -- and the guys with the most power think and act like gods themselves. Where is our honor? Where is our integrity? When will the People turn their face to their responsibilities? How can we make the government act within Constitutional boundaries? God helps those that help themselves.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Carlton, you are correct that there is indeed a problem concerning our ability to watch those in charge of our own country and prevent them from pursuing their own agenda. The truth is, we cannot look over the shoulder of every official in power all the time. We cannot prove or disprove all of their statistics or accusations. However, there is within the Constitution a safeguard against longstanding agendas and that is a constant change of men. Throughout the recent history of this republic, We the People have not used this power frequently enough. We should change our representatives more frequently and refuse to allow anyone to be a career politician. If this were the case, the agenda would change as often as the person occupying the seat; it would not live long enough to take root. Our immediate interests and present security would be the only constant agenda.
     -- Publius     
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    The reason this nation at times engages in pre-emptive action is because of the Soviet Union. After WWII many officials wanted to attack the Soviets while they were weak. They could see that this communist regime would one day be strong enough to threaten our very existence. After four years of the largest war this world has ever seen, we were not willing to fight any longer. Just a few years later Kruschev was threatening us with the bomb, we had the Cuban Missle Crisis, and we came within a hair of ending the world as we know it. I agree with all of you that the pre-emptive action taken by our government was probably not the right decision; but just because it was not a wise choice in the past does not mean it won't be the necessary course in the future. We cannot remove the option of destroying our enemies in their infancy. We cannot give up our ability to crush the ant before it becomes a lion.
     -- Publius     
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    Nothin but a bunch of reactionaries. dang you have to know what he was talking about but you choose to stuff meanings of your own into it.
     -- Warren, olathe     
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     -- Anonymous      
     
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