[Vision2020] Text of Mayor Anderson's (Salt Lake City, Utah) Speech
thansen at moscow.com
Fri Sep 1 15:23:39 PDT 2006
>From the August 31, 2006 edition of the Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake
City, Utah) with a special thanks to Ralph Nielsen -
"Text of Mayor Anderson's speech"
Text of Mayor Anderson's speech
Address by Mayor Ross C. "Rocky" Anderson
Salt Lake City, Utah
August 30, 2006
A patriot is a person who loves his or her country.
Who among you loves your country so much that you have come here today to
raise your voice out of deep concern for our nation - and our world?
And who among you loves your country so much that you insist that our
nation's leaders tell us the truth?
So let's hear it: "Give us the truth! Give us the truth! Give us the truth!
Give us the truth! Give us the truth!" Because if we had had the truth, we
wouldn't be here today.
Let no one deny we are patriots. We support our nation's troops. Let's hear
it for our nation's troops! We have so many veterans here today. Let's here
it for the veterans! We are grateful to our veterans who have sacrificed so
much for our freedoms. We love our country, we hold dear the values upon
which our nation was founded, and we are distressed at what our President,
our administration, and our Congress are doing to, and in the name of, our
So to James Evans and these folks who financed this massive radio campaign
these last few days, let them understand that blind faith in bad leaders is
A patriot does not tell people who are intensely concerned about their
country to just sit down and be quiet; to refrain from speaking out in the
name of politeness or for the sake of being a good host; to show slavish,
blind obedience and deference to a dishonest, war-mongering,
That is not a patriot. Rather, that person is a sycophant. That person is a
member of a frightening culture of obedience - a culture where falling in
line with authority is more important than choosing what is right, even if
it is not easy, safe, or popular. And, I suspect, that person is afraid
-afraid we are right, afraid of the truth (even to the point of denying it),
afraid he or she has put in with an oppressive, inhumane, regime that does
not respect the laws and traditions of our country, and that history will
rank as the worst presidency our nation has ever had to endure.
In response to those who believe we should blindly support this disastrous
president, his administration, and the complacent, complicit Congress,
listen to the words of Theodore Roosevelt, a great president and, I might
remind everyone, a Republican, who said:
"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public
servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is
warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency
in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a
whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full
liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly
necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does
President Roosevelt continued: "Any other attitude in an American citizen is
both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the
President,"-listen up Utah Republicans and James Evans, and all the good
Republicans listening today-"or that we are to stand by the President, right
or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to
the American public. Nothing"-President Roosevelt didn't stop there-"but the
truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more
important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about
any one else."
Those were the words of Teddy Roosevelt, a great president who knew the true
meaning of patriotism.
We are here today as truth-tellers.
And we are here to demand: "Give us the truth! Give us the truth! Give us
the truth! Give us the truth!"
We are here today to insist that those who were elected to be our leaders
must tell us the truth.
We are here today to insist that our news media live up to its sacred
responsibility to ascertain and report the truth, that our news media live
up to its sacred responsibility to ascertain and report the truth rather
than acting like nothing more than a bulletin board for the lies and
propaganda of a manipulative, dishonest federal government.
We have been getting just about everything but the truth on matters of life
and death, on matters upon which our nation's reputation hinges, on matters
that directly relate to our nation's most fundamental values, and on matters
relating to the survival of our planet.
In the process, our nation has engaged in a tragic, unnecessary war, based
upon categorically false justifications. More than a hundred thousand people
have been killed - and many more have been seriously maimed, brain damaged,
or rendered mentally ill. Our nation's reputation throughout much of the
world has been destroyed. We have many more enemies bent on our destruction
than before our invasion of Iraq. And the hatred toward us has grown to the
point that it will take many years, perhaps generations, to overcome the
loathing created by our unjustified, illegal invasion and occupation of a
What incredible ineptitude and callousness for our President to talk about a
Crusade while lying to us to make a case for the invasion and occupation of
a Muslim country!
Our children and later generations will pay the price of the lies, the
violence, the cruelty, the incompetence, and the inhumanity of the Bush
administration and the lackey Congress that has so cowardly abrogated its
responsibility and authority under our checks-and-balances system of
We are here to say, "We will not stand for it any more. No more lies. No
more pre-emptive, illegal war, based on false information. No more
God-is-on-our-side religious nonsense to justify this immoral, illegal war.
We are here to say most fundamentally, no more inhumanity in the name of our
Let's raise our voices, and demand to the administration and our news media,
"Give us the truth! Give us the truth! Give us the truth!"
Let's consider some of the most monstrous lies - lies that have led us, like
a nation of sheep, to this tragic war.
Following September 11, 2001, the world knew that Osama bin Laden and al
Qaeda were responsible for the horrific attacks on our country. Our
long-time allies were sympathetic and supportive. But our president
transformed that support into international disdain for the United States,
choosing to illegally invade and occupy Iraq, rather than focus on and
capture the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks.
Why invade and occupy Iraq when it was bin Laden and al Qaeda who attacked
our country and still haven't been brought to justice? Vice President Dick
Cheney and Condoleezza Rice represented to us, without qualification, that
there were strong ties between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.
In September, 2002, President Bush made the incredible and absolutely false
claim that "You can't distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam."
President Bush represented to Congress, without any factual basis
whatsoever, that Iraq planned, authorized, committed, or aided the 9/11
Our President and Vice-President, along with an unquestioning news media,
repeatedly led our nation to believe that there was a working relationship
between al Qaeda and the Iraqi government, a relationship that threatened
the United States.
Even last week, when I met with Thomas Bock, the National Commander of the
American Legion, I asked him why we are engaged in the war in Iraq. Why did
we invade and occupy Iraq? He said, "Why, of course, because of the 9/11
attacks on our country." I asked, "What did Iraq have to do with those
attacks?" He looked puzzled, and said, "Well, the connection between al
Qaeda and Iraq."
I was shocked. I was stunned. Here is a man who has criticized us for
opposing the war in Iraq - and he is so completely wrong about the
underlying facts to justify this war.
Not only has there never been any evidence of any involvement by Saddam or
Iraq with the attacks on 9/11, but there has never been any evidence of any
operational connection whatsoever between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.
And Colin Powell finally conceded that there is, and these are his words, no
"concrete evidence about the connection." "The chairman of the monitoring
group appointed by the United Nations Security Council to track al Qaeda"
disclosed that "his team had found no evidence linking al Qaeda to Saddam
Hussein." And the top investigator for our European allies has said, 'If
there were (any) such links, we would have found them. But we have found no
serious connections whatsoever.'"
President Bush, by the way, finally admitted nine days ago on Aug. 21 during
a press conference that there was no connection between the attacks on 9/11
and Iraq. It's terrific that the President has now admitted what others have
known for so long - but where is the accountability for the tragic war we
were led into on the basis of his earlier misrepresentations?
Beside the fictions of Saddam Hussein somehow being linked to the 9/11
attacks and his supposed connections with al Qaeda, what was the principal
justification for forgoing additional weapons inspections, working with our
allies toward a solution, refraining from seeking additional resolutions
from the United Nations consistent with international law, and hurrying to
war - a so-called "pre-emptive" war - in which we would attack and occupy a
Muslim nation that posed no security risk to the United States, and cause
the deaths of so many thousands of innocent men, women, and children - and
the deaths and lifetime injuries to so many thousands of our own servicemen
The principal claim was that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction
- biological and chemical weapons - and was seeking to build up a nuclear
weapons capability. As we now know, there was nothing - no evidence
whatsoever - to support those false claims.
President Bush represented to us - and to people around the world - that one
of the reasons we needed to make war in Iraq - and to do it right away - was
because Saddam Hussein was seeking to build nuclear weapons. His assertions
about Saddam Hussein trying to purchase nuclear materials from an African
nation and about Iraq seeking to obtain aluminum tubes for the enrichment of
uranium were challenged at the time by our own intelligence agency and by
our own scientists, yet President Bush failed to tell us that!
Ten days, 10 days, before the invasion of Iraq, it was proven that the
documents upon which President Bush's claim about Saddam Hussein trying to
obtain uranium was based were forgeries. That was found 10 days before we
invaded Iraq. However, President Bush did not disclose that to the American
people. By that failure, he betrayed each of us, he betrayed our country,
and he betrayed the cause of world peace.
Neither did the vast majority of the news media in this country disclose the
forgeries - until it was far too late. It took our local newspapers here in
Salt Lake City four months - until after the war was commenced and until
after President Bush declared that major combat in Iraq was over - to report
the discovery that the documents were forgeries - and, therefore, that there
was no basis for the false claims about Saddam Hussein trying to build up a
nuclear capability. By its failure to promptly disclose those forgeries, our
news media betrayed us as well.
Had the American people known we were being lied to - had President Bush
informed us that the documents were forged and that he had no other basis
for his claim - had our nation's media done its job, rather than slavishly
repeating to us the lies being fed to it by the Bush administration - our
nation very well may not have allowed the commencement of this outrageous,
illegal, unjustified war.
Then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said that high-strength
aluminum tubes acquired by Iraq were "only really suited for nuclear weapons
programs," warning "we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."
Undisclosed by President Bush or Condoleezza Rice was the fact that top
nuclear scientists had informed the Administration that those tubes were
"too narrow, too heavy, too long" to be useful in developing nuclear weapons
and could be used for other purposes. Dr. Mohamed El Baradei, director
general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, agreed.
So, so much for the phony claims of Saddam Hussein building nuclear weapons,
which were the primary claims justifying the rush to war, without working
with the United Nations, without working with our long-time allies, without
giving the weapons inspectors an opportunity to do their job, which if they
had that opportunity they would have disclosed what we know now - and that
is there were no weapons of mass destruction.
What were we told about chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction?
These claims were as baseless and fraudulent as the claims about nuclear
President Bush told us in his January 2003 State of the Union address that
Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard
and VX nerve agent. Then, in May of 2003, he made the outlandish statement
that, it turns out to be totally false, "We found the weapons of mass
destruction. We found biological laboratories."
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, the (same) secretary of defense who
assured us that the war would take maybe six days, maybe six weeks, but he
doubted as long as six months. He told us at that time, "We know where the
weapons of mass destruction are." Vice President Cheney and then-Secretary
of State Powell also joined in the chorus of lies and misinformation about
weapons of mass destruction.
Of course, no stockpiles of biological or chemical weapons were found. Bush
Administration Weapons Inspector David Kay, appointed by the Bush
administration, noted that Iraq did not have an ongoing chemical weapons
program after 1991 - a conclusion remarkably similar to statements made by
Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice just months before the 9/11 attacks - and
before they sacrificed the truth in the service of promoting the Bush
administration's case for war against Iraq.
On February 24, 2001, less than 7 months before 9/11, Colin Powell said that
Saddam Hussein, and these were his words, "has not developed any significant
capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to
project conventional power against his neighbors," said Colin Powell, some
seven months before 9/11.
And in July 2001, two months before 9/11, Condoleezza Rice said, and these
were her words: "We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces
have not been rebuilt." She told us two months before 9/11.
It is astounding how they changed their claims after the President decided
to make a case for the invasion and occupation of Iraq!
To think that we could be lied to by so many members of the Bush
administration with such impunity is frightening - chilling. Yet these
imperious, arrogant, dishonest people think we should continue to just fall
in line with them and continue to take them at their word after we have been
lied to time after time after time by these people.
The truth has been established. It is the established truth. Iraq had
nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks on the United States. There is no
evidence of any operational ties between Iraq and al Qaeda. And there were
no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
What a tragedy, leading to greater tragedy. We are fed lie after lie, our
media reinforces those lies, and we are a nation that has been led to a
tragic, illegal, unprovoked war.
We are here today because of our values. We love our country. We cherish the
freedoms and liberties of our country. We don't call those who speak out
against our nation's leaders unpatriotic or un-American or appeasers of
fascists, as we heard from our nation's secretary of defense yesterday. We
have good, wholesome family values. In our families, we teach honesty, we
teach kindness and compassion toward others, we teach that violence, if ever
justified, must be an absolutely last resort. In our families, we teach that
our nation's constitutional values are to be upheld, and that they are worth
standing up, as we are here today, and fighting for. Our family values
promote respect and equal rights toward everyone, regardless of race,
regardless of ethnic origin, and regardless of sexual orientation. In our
families, we teach the value of hard work and competence - and we are left
to wonder about a President who, after receiving an intelligence memo about
the threat posed by al Qaeda, decides to continue his month-long vacation -
just before the 9/11 attacks on our country.
As we demand the truth from others, let us also face the truth. Our
government all too often has not cared at all about the human rights of
people in other nations - and it doesn't really care about democracy, unless
it leads to the election of those who will do our bidding.
Consider the irony regarding the claims that Saddam had chemical weapons
and, because of that, we needed to rush to war in Iraq. When Saddam Hussein
was using chemical weapons - first against Iranians, then against his own
people, the Kurds - our country provided him with biological and chemical
agents and equipment to make the weapons. Presidents Reagan and George H.W.
Bush refused even to support economic sanctions, let alone go to war against
him, against Hussein for his use of weapons of mass destruction. What did
our nation do in response to Hussein's use of chemical weapons, killing tens
of thousand of people, when he actually had them and we knew that he had
them? We befriended, coddled, and rewarded him - with government-guaranteed
loans totaling $5 billion since 1983, freeing up currency for Hussein to
modernize his military assets.
Perhaps those in the United States government who aided and abetted Saddam
Hussein to further US business interests, while he was gassing the Kurds,
should be sharing his courtroom dock as he is now being tried for crimes
No more lies, no more hiding of the truth - we can stand the truth - no more
wars that more than triple the value of stock in Dick Cheney's prior
employer, Halliburton - and which, as of last September, has increased the
value of the Halliburton CEO's stock by $78 million.
We are patriots. We are deeply concerned. And we demand change, now.
I want to hear from you.
No more lies from Condoleezza Rice about whether she and President Bush were
advised before 9/11 of the possibility of planes being flown into buildings
No more gross incompetence in the office of the Secretary of Defense.
No more torture of human beings.
No more disregard of the basic human rights enshrined in the Geneva
No more kidnapping of people and sending them off to secret prisons in
nations where they will be tortured.
No more unconstitutional wiretapping of Americans.
No more proposed amendments to the United States Constitution that would,
for the first time in our nation's history, limit fundamental rights and
liberties for entire classes of people simply on the basis of sexual
No more federal land giveaways to developers.
No more increases in mercury emissions from old, dirty, dangerous
coalburning power plants.
No more backroom deals that deprive protection for millions of acres of wild
lands in our nation.
No more attacks on immigrants who work so hard to build better lives in this
No more inaction by Congress on fixing our hypocritical and inconsistent
immigration laws and practices.
No more reliance on fiction rather than the science of global warming.
No more manipulation of our media with false propaganda.
No more disastrous cuts in funding for those most in need.
No more federal cuts in community policing and local law enforcement grant
programs for our cities.
No more inaction on stopping the tragic genocide in the Darfur region of
No more of the Patriot Act.
No more killing.
No more supposedly pre-emptive wars.
No more contempt for our long-time allies around the world.
No more dependence on foreign oil.
No more failure to impose increased fuel efficiency standards for
automobiles manufactured in this country.
No more energy policies developed in secret meetings between Dick Cheney and
his energy company cronies.
No more excuses for failing to aggressively cut global warming pollutant
No more tragically incompetent federal responses to natural disasters like
No more tax cuts for the wealthiest, while the middle class and those who
are economically-disadvantaged continue to struggle more and more each year.
No more reckless spending and massive tax cuts, resulting in historic
deficits and historic accumulated national debt.
No more purchasing of elections by the wealthiest corporations and
individuals in our country.
No more phony, ineffective, inhumane so-called war on drugs.
No more failure to pass an increase in the minimum wage.
No more silence by the American people.
I we can do this in Salt Lake City, we can do this throughout the entire
country, and the world is going to hear us.
This is a new day. We will not be silent. We will continue to raise our
voices. We will bring others with us. We will grow and grow, regardless of
political party - unified in our insistence upon the truth, upon
peace-making, upon more humane treatment of our brothers and sisters around
We will be ever cognizant of our moral responsibility to speak up in the
face of wrongdoing, and to work as we can for a better, safer, more just
community, nation, and world.
So we won't let down. We won't be quiet. We will continue to resist the
lies, the deception, the outrages of the Bush administration and this
complacent, complicit, go-along Congress. We will insist that peace be
pursued, and that, as a nation, we help those in need. We must break the
cycle of hatred, of intolerance, of exploitation. We must pursue peace as
vigorously as the Bush administration has pursued war. It's up to every
single one of us to do our part.
Thank you everyone for lending your voices to this call for compassion, for
peace, for greater humanity. Let us keep in mind the injunction of Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.: "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent
about things that matter."
Thanks again, Ralph.
Seeya round town, Moscow.
"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism"
- Thomas Jefferson
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