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[],U.S. Lawmaker Resigns Post After "Jews Pushing Iraq War" Remarks,
March 16, 2003  

U.S. Lawmaker Resigns Post After "Jews Pushing Iraq War" Remarks 

WASHINGTON -- A Democratic lawmaker resigned from a regional post Friday, 
under pressure from his party, after claiming that the Jewish community was 
behind U.S. President George W. Bush's push for war against Iraq.House 
Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said she had asked representative James Moran 
of Virginia to step down as regional whip for the mid-Atlantic region, a post 
his colleagues elected him to three years ago."I have taken this action 
because congressman Moran's irresponsible remarks were a serious mistake," 
Pelosi said in a statement. "As I said earlier this week, his comments were 
not only inappropriate, they were offensive and have no place in the 
Democratic Party." Acknowledging that he had made "some insensitive remarks 
that I deeply regret," Moran issued an apology "to members of the Jewish 
faith and any other individuals.""I should not have singled out the Jewish 
community and regret giving any impression that its members are somehow 
responsible for the course of action being pursued by the administration, or 
are somehow behind an impending war," he said in a statement. Pelosi had 
earlier described Moran's remarks as "offensive" and said "his comments have 
no place in the Democratic Party." The Reston Connection newspaper reported 
that Moran told an anti-war forum on March 3: "If it were not for the strong 
support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing 
this.""The leaders of the Jewish community are influential enough that they 
could change the direction of where this is going, and I think they should," 
the Connection quoted Moran as saying.Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of 
people in Yemen marched against a looming war on Iraq Saturday as 
demonstrations unfolded in Asia, the Middle East and Europe and were planned 
for the United States, AFP reported.The protests came on the eve of an 
emergency summit on the crisis on the Azores Islands by the leaders of 
Britain, Spain and the United States, the chief advocates of using force to 
disarm Baghdad and oust President Saddam Hussein.In the Yemeni capital of 
Sanaa, marchers responded to a call by political parties, unions and a 
variety of organizations, including the powerful Islamist Al-Islah Movement, 
the country's main opposition force."No to Terrorism and to American Fleets," 
"America Is the Mother of Terrorism," they shouted.In Baghdad, tens of 
thousands of protesters, including children, caused huge traffic jams as they 
marched through the capital carrying portraits of Saddam, banners to his 
glory and against war.In Egypt, where rallies in support of Iraq and the 
Palestinians have become an almost daily occurrence for the past two weeks, 
some 1,500 police outnumbered several hundred demonstrators at the University 
of Cairo.In Greece, demonstrators added a touch of art to their protest, with 
some 15,000 people marching in Athens behind a giant replica of Picasso's 
celebrated anti-war painting, Guernica."EU-U.S.-UN Killers Go Home," read 
banners carried by the protestors, who had been summoned by anti-globalizatio
n groups to march to the U.S. Embassy in the Greek capital. Smaller 
demonstrations were held in other cities throughout the country.In Russia, 
some 1,000 communists, young members of the International Workers' Party and 
youth members of communist organizations rallied in front of the U.S. Embassy 
in Moscow. "I Love This Man, He Is Like Stalin," Nina Gulchyeva, a protestor, 
said of Saddam, whose portrait was emblazoned on a banner that she carried. 
"Someone Should Bomb Washington."In Cyprus, some 2,000 Greek Cypriots banged 
drums, blew whistles and shouted anti-U.S. slogans outside the U.S. Embassy 
in Nicosia.In Italy, tens of thousands of people were gathering in the 
economic capital of Milan for an anti-war demonstration that organizers were 
predicting would attract nearly half a million people.In France, between 
4,500 and 10,000 people turned out for a rally in the southern city of 
Marseille and tens of thousands of demonstrators were expected to march in 
the capital of Paris.Demonstrations also took place in Belgium, Denmark, 
Germany and Turkey.In Japan, organizers estimated that some 5,500 people 
rallied in Naha, the main city on Japans' southern Island of Okinawa where 
most of the U.S. troops in this country are based.In South Korea, some 3,000 
banner-waving marchers were led by loud drums and gongs as they made their 
way through the busy Chongno district in Seoul toward the U.S. Embassy in the 
city center.In Vietnam, several thousand people were mobilized onto the 
streets of the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi by the ruling communist party.EU 
Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana said Saturday he was "not very optimistic" 
about the chances of avoiding war on Iraq, and declined to forecast the 
outcome of the Azores summit.The mounting crisis overshadowed a meeting in 
Athens of European defense ministers, whose discussions included debate on 
post-war scenarios for Iraq.Britain's minister at the talks warned afterwards 
that "time is running out" for Saddam Hussein, although insisting that the 
Azores summit scheduled for Sunday of U.S., Britain and Spanish leaders was 
still seeking peace. "The Azores is a very good example of very strenuous 
efforts being made to bring a peaceful solution to this," said Armed Forces 
Minister Adam Ingram, while adding: "Diplomacy has not ended but the time is 
running out."The two-day session, in a plush seafront resort outside Athens, 
was meant to trumpet the EU's emerging common security policy, due to be 
embodied in its first-ever peacekeeping mission in Macedonia, to be launched 
this month.But Iraq overshadowed the talks from the start.Solana insisted 
that diplomacy must continue, but did not express great hopes. "I am not very 
optimistic," he said.Greek Defense Minister Yannos Papantoniou, whose country 
currently holds the EU presidency, also said it was difficult to remain 
hopeful of avoiding war."Of course one cannot be optimistic. But we should 
still try so long as there is still time," he said.The EU ministerial meeting 
came barely 24 hours before a summit of the leaders of the United States, 
Britain and Spain in the Azores to discuss what to do about the crisis."I 
dont know what is going to happen. I have no idea what the three leaders are 
going to talk about," said Solana.French Defense Minister Michele 
Alliot-Marie made no comment after the two-day meeting, as she prepared to 
head to the Persian Gulf to bring "a message" from President Jacques Chirac 
to three states in the region.Belgian Defense Minister Andre Flahaut shared 
the air of pessimism about the Iraq crisis -- and said the world was 
apparently on the brink of war and must be ready to manage a post-war 
situation."Unfortunately I believe that if tomorrow or the day after 
hostilities break out, there will be a post-war and, even if we didn't want 
it, we will perhaps be called on to do humanitarian things," he said.The 
British minister rebuffed the Belgian comments. "We're not speculating on any 
timelines at all on this... it is wrong I think to speculate in the way in 
which the Belgians have done," he said.He added that EU ministers had touched 
on the issue of post-war scenarios for Iraq, but stressed that EU foreign 
ministers and government heads would discuss the issue further in Brussels 
next week.The minister had discussed post-conflict scenarios "in passing, but 
not in any great depth... next week those discussions may be taken forward," 
he said. An EU summit is scheduled for March 20-21.Solana meanwhile said he 
believes there will be no "collateral damage" to U.S.-EU relations despite 
the current crisis over Iraq. He said he had spoken to U.S. Secretary of 
State Colin Powell twice on Friday. "When the European Union and the U.S. do 
work together the problems are more easy to be solved," he said. "The 
relationship is so profound that I cannot conceive any collateral damage."




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