Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Inouye wants proof
before Iraq war

What others think

By Richard Borreca and Pat Omandam

If President Bush is to lead the United States to war against Iraq, he should come back to Congress first, says Hawaii's senior U.S. senator, Daniel Inouye.

In reaction to Bush's State of the Union address, Inouye, speaking from Washington, said the president should not go to war without "seeking our approval or disapproval."

"Many members of Congress now have second thoughts," Inouye said.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, said there must be a compelling reason from the president why military action is necessary. Instead, he said, the United States must continue to verify compliance with United Nations resolutions.

Freshman Democrat U.S. Rep. Ed Case said he did not agree with the "apparent increasing predisposition to go it alone when world opinion, as expressed through the United Nations, expresses doubts about our course of conduct."

In Honolulu, Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, said she "liked the president's speech very much."

Calling the address "balanced and focused," Lingle said she was sure that Bush would be able to present "credible" evidence against Iraq, if the United States does decide to go to war. Regarding the domestic portions of the speech, Inouye said he said he "had some doubts" about Bush's plans.

"I remember he said jobs were the No. 1 priority last year and today we have the worst economy in decades," Inouye said.

Akaka had a lukewarm response to President Bush's speech, saying his proposals continue "failed policies" that has led the economy into recessions and a return to deficit spending.

Akaka said he welcomed the president's hydrogen fuel cell plan to spend $1.2 billion in research to lead the world in hydrogen-powered cars.


What do you think?

David Porter, 59

Kapiolani, financial consultant
"I personally think all this hype is an effort to encourage them to, in fact, take some major terrorist attack against us so we'll have an excuse."

Marion Phair, 72

Kailua and New Jersey, retired schoolteacher
"He made a lot of promises he made before. We don't know if they'll come true. I don't know what's going to happen to our economy. He's trying to perk up people's attitude."

Panomwan Slea, 26

Thailand, Hawaii Pacific University student
"Gas is already expensive in my country, so I don't want it to go further than this. Obviously, you have to stop terrorism, but not in this way. A lot of countries are not brave enough to stop him."

John Stevens

Waikiki, day trader
"He hasn't disclosed where the weapons are, and he hasn't shown evidence he's destroyed it. Everybody was hesitant about going in there because there was no proof. Bush is saying, 'Where's the evidence? He's destroyed it.'
"He's a damn great president."

Bryan Gaitonde, 27

Waikiki, hotel supervisor
"He's the only one that's doing anything for us. He's worried about the terrorists. He's cutting our taxes. He's doing a little bit of everything."

Asked by Leila Fujimori at Sears Roebuck and Co. at Ala Moana Center.

E-mail to City Desk


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