Full Response to the Sunlink (August 20, 2004)
Mohammad H. Said (Full response to the Sunlink August 20,2004)
Web Site: www.drsaid.net
Family: I have 3 beautiful children. My oldest son, Yasser, is a medical student in Philedelphia. He, along with fellow medical students, rap about political and social conditions plaguing the people of the world. My middle child, Noor, is a successful community college student in Seattle. She is active in the human rights community and is studying international business and economics. My youngest son, Hashem, is in the international studies program at the University of Washington. He is also a human rights activist and is minoring in human rights.
Birthplace: I was born in Haifa, Palestine.
Education/Degrees: M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., M.A.C.P., M.A.A.F.P., Diplomate American Board of Internal Medicine, Family Practice and Geriatrics.
Occupation: Medical Doctor
Experience: In 1988 I represented the state on the national platform committee. I have been a state delegate almost every year for the last 22 years. I have been a peace diplomat for human rights all over the world. I have been involved with numerous amounts of organizations and continue to participate in my community as well as the international community.
Q: How would your constituents be better served if they elect you rather than your opponent to this office?
A: The people need an outspoken person who is not intimidated by special interest groups. My opponents are easily swayed by special interest groups such as AIPAC which is the most powerful lobby in the United States. This lobby cannot influence me or my issues which are as follows,
1) The first important action is to halt our unconditional support of Israel which is a drain on our resources and creates hatred towards the United States.
2) The second is to amend the constitution so that foreign commerce is regulated and delegated to the individual states. Trade is a tremendous opportunity for generating economic competition between states.
3) Lastly, opening communication with the Arab and Muslim world is key to our economic future. The Arab and Muslim world has markets that are virtually untapped and are tremendous opportunities. These 55 countries, representing 1.5 billion Muslims, are being heavily courted by the Europeans and the Chinese.
Q: If elected what will be your top three priorities for your term in office? Please be specific e.g. planned legislation, programs.
A: #1 Introduce, through congress, a one state solution for Palestine/Israel where Muslims, Jews and Christians can live in a secular, united country like ours. This will positively affect our country by ceasing the spending of billions of dollars in order to fight the hatred that Israel generates towards our country and the financial support we give them every year. When Palestine and Israel become one nation we no longer have to buy off the support of countries like Jordan and Egypt.
#2 Universal Basic Healthcare, free prescription drugs for the elderly and disabled, and reduced prescription drugs for all.
#3 To amend the constitution: article 1, section 8, paragraph 11. The War Power Act should be delegated to the state legislator rather than congress.
Q: Should we have gone to war in Iraq when we did and the way we did? Why?
A: We should never have gone to war with Iraq, they have never been a threat to our national security. It is true that they would have been a potential threat to Israel but not to us. Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and were ready to give the US a guarantee that no violence or terrorists would come from Iraq now or in the future. Saddam Hussein was going to call for new elections and a new constitution where he would not be a candidate. The US moved too quickly to see the results of these guarantees. I was the one who carried all these proposals and they were both approved by Iraq?s two Vice Presidents. I was a witness to all this and was disappointed that our government acted so quickly when everything might have been resolved in a few months time. We went to Iraq for various reasons but the strongest was to protect our ally, Israel. I have evidence on my website to prove these findings.
Q: What changes need to be made in social security to make it financially stable for present day workers who won’t retire for 10, 20 or 30 years?
A: 1) We should make a small percentage of an individual’s social security available for investment opportunities. This would allow the worker to invest it, create added revenue and plan future growth.
2) We should delay retirement to 70 years of age considering that in our day and age people are living longer and the quality of life has improved. We should make this delayment of retirement an option rather than an obligation.
3) We should increase contributions of employers to social security from matching the employee’s amount of 100% to a matching of 150%.
Q: What would be your approach to correcting the massive increase in the federal deficit?
A: We should cut defense spending which requires us to resolve the foreign policy disaster of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The US gives Israel billions and we give additional billions to countries surrounding Israel. Basically, we bribe them not to interfere with Israel. This does not include the other billions of dollars involved with other Israeli interests such as going to war with Iraq. We should call for a one state solution and unite the two peoples so that they are forced to work together to build a strong country for all rather than warring about land and each other. We must keep in consideration that the Jews comprise only 72% of Israel?s population and the current birth rate of Palestinians will create a demographic shift in the years to come; meaning Israel will never be a purely Jewish state and as time goes on the majority of their population will be Palestinian. It is best to come up with a solution that includes everyone now rather than waiting.
Q: The military is streamlining and going through heavy transformation. Do you feel the military is too small? What priorities should the Pentagon pursue in the coming years?
A: The military is very large and too big. The US military is the most powerful in the world and no one can rival our forces or our technology. I am in favor of a draft so that the military reflects our country?s diversity and people. This draft will also make the country think twice about whether or not war is a good idea. (It is always easier for people to send someone else’s child to fight rather than their own.) Currently our military is comprised of children 18-25 year olds who were in search of benefits that our military promised. During war situations they can act irrationally and unprofessionally which does not fit our military?s standards. Our soldiers need to be trained more professionally and need to be educated on the cultural differences in the countries they travel to. These men and women represent the US and it is befitting to teach them how to represent us. Some of our soldiers? disgusting actions in Iraq were an example of this lack of education and sensitivity.
Q: Do you feel the nation’s homeland security concerns are properly addressed? Should there be more funding? What are your ideas on how to make the nation safer?
A: Homeland security is unnecessary and is creating paranoia. It is only used for political purposes. It creates fear and uses unnecessary funding which results in no extra safety for the people. Homeland security creates fear, uses unnecessary funding and should be eliminated. Instead we should concentrate on the agencies that the federal government already has and try to improve on them and the communication between all agencies, the government and the public. Homeland security along with the Patriot Act are beginning to walk a fine line and infringe on civil rights. We cannot allow our country to protect people by abusing precious civil rights. Our foreign policy is what puts our people in danger. If we stop supporting Israel, and its terrible policies, then the extremists that have targeted us will stop. We know this because all the factions that have threatened us, not to mention the rest of the world, have stated this loud and clear. We must show the rest of the world that we support ZERO terrorism regardless of whether the country happens to be our ally or not.
Q: What can be done to make the United States less dependent on oil imports while still being kind to our environment?
A: Nuclear power is the future of this country. Our country is a technological power and if we divert money from spending on homeland security and defense then we can find ways to improve the technology and find clean, environmentally friendly ways of disposing nuclear waste. There are numerous alternatives to oil energy, besides nuclear power, and many are in use today. Our country must be willing to tap into those alternative sources and make them affordable and available for all.
Q: What ideas do you have for easing the burden of health insurance costs to individuals and businesses? Do you support the administration?s prescription drug plan, and if not, what would you suggest in its place?
A: Universal Basic Health insurance should be available for all. Deductibles should be applied according to a patient?s income on a sliding scale from $100 to $1,000. Welfare should apply a small co-payment and this would help cut down on welfare abuse and contribute to the welfare budget. Free prescription drugs should be available for the disabled and the elderly. A deductible should also be applied to this such as on the sliding scale mentioned above according to a patient?s income. The government should be involved with generic drugs. 85%-90% of all drugs prescribed are generic and this market should be utilized by the government. Not only will this generate revenue for the government but costs can also be controlled. The government should become involved in there development and/or shareholders in major generic drug companies.
Q: What is your position on the issue of gay marriage? Should states or the federal government govern the issue?
A: As a Muslim, morally, I do not support gay marriage, but we live in a secular nation which separates church from state. I believe the government should not intervene in religious issues and this is an individual?s religious decision.