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Shuster jabs at Saddam, Clinton at chamber breakfast

February 05, 2003|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Saying he backs President Bush's threat of war with Iraq, U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster Tuesday compared Saddam Hussein to Josef Stalin and Adolph Hitler.

"Hussein is a student of Stalin and is cut from the mold that made Hitler," said Shuster, R-Pa., who represents Pennsylvania's 9th Congressional District, including Franklin and Fulton counties. "Stalin and Hitler have nothing on Saddam Hussein."

Shuster spoke to about 140 members of the chambers of commerce of Greencastle, Waynesboro and Mercersburg at the Antrim House Restaurant.

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"President Bush doesn't want to go war with Iraq," Shuster said. "Nobody wants to go to war."

So far, 15 nations support the United States in its plans to disarm Hussein by force if necessary, Shuster said.

"When we finally decide to go into Iraq we will have 70 nations behind us," he said.

Shuster said it would be foolish for Iraq's neighboring countries to back the United States before it goes to war because they would face retaliation from Saddam if Bush backs off from his threats of war.

Shuster said Saddam's military has shot at U.S. planes in the no-fly zone more than 800 times. Saddam also helped and taught the terrorist groups and condones the rape, torture and killing of women and children, Shuster said.

Shuster said it's difficult for U.S. intelligence officials and United Nations inspectors to find Saddam's weapons of mass destruction.

"He has two mobile laboratories that he moves around," Shuster said.

One woman in the audience asked Shuster to explain why, if the Bush administration has evidence against Hussein, it hasn't been shared with the U.N.

Shuster said that intelligence and evidence are two different things. He said Saddam has been bulldozing over the soil where chemical and biological weapons were made to hide the evidence.

"How much more proof do you need?" he asked.

Turning to the economy, Shuster echoed the Bush line of tax cuts as the way out of the country's financial woes.

"The economy was on the way back until Sept. 11," he said.

The fact that interest rates are at their lowest point in 40 years is a good sign, Shuster said. He backs Bush's plan to eliminate taxes on stock dividends and the so-called "death tax" as a way to get the economy moving again.

Bush's tax cut proposals are the best way to encourage investment by business and bring jobs to the American economy, he said.

Shuster said Bush "is doing a fabulous job" running the country.

"There is no better team in place to take care of America," Shuster said.

Shuster also took a swipe at former President Clinton's administration.

"Thank goodness there are grown-ups in charge after the previous eight years," he said.

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