portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article portland metro

imperialism & war

Senator Smith Seeks Support of Shrub

Call Senator Smith?!? Yup -- if you read today's Oregonian, you'll see
that Senator Smith is counting on Bush to stump (shrub?) for him in a
possible Senate Race against Kitzhaber. So Smith is in a vulnerable
position -- if he hears that Oregonians are concerned, or outraged, at
Bush's plan to junk the ABM treaty and re-start the nuclear arms race,
he'll probably feel his future Senate run threatened -- and hopefully
pressure Bush to re-think this insane idea.
Call Senator Smith in his DC office at 202-224-3753 or his Portland
office at 503-326-3386 and

1) ask them what Smith's position is on Bush's announcement that he's
junking the ABM treaty to pursue Star Wars missle defense;
2) tell them to register your concern that this will worsen our
relations with Russia, China, etc. and re-start a nuclear arms race;
3) tell them you want Smith to represent your concerns as an
Oregonian to President Bush, and pressue the President to maintain and
uphold the ABM treaty.

Thursday May 3 10:04 AM ET
China Says 'Weak' Bush Threatens World Peace

By Jeremy Page

BEIJING (Reuters) - China warned President Bush on Thursday that plans
for a missile defense shield were a threat to world peace and accused
him of being weak and yearning for media attention.

But Beijing brushed off an embarrassing gaffe by the Defense Department
which mistakenly suspended military ties with China and then promptly
reversed the order on Wednesday.

Amid rising tensions over a U.S. spy plane held in China, U.S. arms
sales to Taiwan and Bush's pledges to defend the island, China focused
its ire on U.S. plans for a national missile defense (NMD) system.

Bush called on Tuesday for the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty to be
replaced to allow the United States to deploy a system to shield it from
missile attacks by hostile states.

The official Xinhua news agency warned that discarding the treaty would
``spark a new round of arms race, which will be unfavorable to world
peace, development and stability.''

``We believe that the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty is the cornerstone
for safeguarding global strategic balance and stability,'' Xinhua quoted
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao as saying.

Beijing fears the NMD system will negate its own modest nuclear arsenal
and that a regional version, known as Theater Missile Defense (TMD),
will be used to shield Taiwan.

China regards Taiwan as a rebel province that must be reunited with the
mainland, by force if necessary.

People's Daily Attacks Bush

In a scathing assessment of Bush's first 100 days in office, the
People's Daily said the NMD plan made European allies consider Bush an
``egotist'' and Russia regard him as a new competitor in an arms race.

``His whole-hearted wish is to cast off the shadow of 'the weak
president','' the main Communist Party newspaper said.

``His excessive acts and words over the China-U.S. plane collision and
arms sales to Taiwan are all connected to this state of mind,'' the
newspaper added.

``Once in power, a man will try to make full use of his power.''

Bush had launched air attacks on Iraq in February because he was worried
his predecessor Bill Clinton was getting more media attention, the
newspaper said.

``Bush thought he could only raise his international and domestic
prestige by stunning the world with his first act.''

The newspaper also accused Bush of stalling the reconciliation process
on the Korean peninsula by taking a more skeptical stance toward
Pyongyang, and undermining the Middle East peace process by favoring

China Stresses Military Ties

However, a Foreign Ministry official stressed the importance of military
ties with the United States.

``China-U.S. military to military ties are an important component of the
bilateral relationship,'' she told Reuters. ''Military to military
exchanges have always been two-way and based on equality and

A Pentagon (news - web sites) spokesman said on Wednesday Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had ordered that all of the modest military
ties between China and the United States be suspended.

But two hours later, another Pentagon spokesman said the order had
``misinterpreted'' Rumsfeld's intention to subject bilateral contacts
such as ship visits and military personnel exchanges with Beijing to a
case-by-case review.

``We took note of the comments from the Defense Department spokesman but
we have not yet received a formal notice from the U.S. side,'' the
Chinese foreign ministry official said.

Washington and Beijing have been cautiously rebuilding a military
relationship that ground to a halt after U.S. warplanes bombed the
Chinese embassy in Belgrade during the NATO (news - web sites) Kosovo
campaign in May, 1999.