Forum: No justification for lying

Last year President Bush stood before the nation and declared that our intelligence had determined that Saddam Hussein “had materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent … had upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents …(and) had several mobile biological weapons labs.” This year, after months of searching, the results are finally in. In his State of the Union address, President Bush revealed the awesome might of the Hussein regime: “dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activities.”

“Related” program activities? What does that mean? What happened to the imminent threat, the chemical weapons, the mushrooms clouds, the overall genuine horror we were supposed to feel? Apparently, we’re still looking for those things. But don’t forget that Saddam Hussein was a bad, bad man.

I agree that Hussein being gone is a good thing for the Iraqi people, but does that justify the loss of more than 500 American soldiers, billions of tax payers’ dollars spent and our military being tied down in a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11? Perhaps. But regardless, there is no justification for lying to the American people.

As for our apparent “international coalition,” I’m sorry, Mr. President, but any time you have to include the Netherlands in your list of approving nations, you don’t have international support.

But the State of the Union wasn’t all about excusing the war. The President also promised to move forward and get tough on all the essentials: marriage, abstinence and steroids. Wait, steroids? What the hell is that? How is it that a speech that didn’t once mention Osama bin Laden had room for the ever-so-pressing issue of steroid usage?

And what exactly does the president mean by “activist judges”? How about the activist judges who put him into office? I really think our president can do better than whining about judges who refuse to persecute homosexuals. And as for abstinence funding, as much as I love having Uncle Sam use my tax dollars to tell teenagers not to have sex, perhaps we should be working on the deficit instead.

Speaking of the deficit, did you know that it’s going to be cut in half in five years? So we’re supposed to go from a $475 billion projected deficit for 2004 and somehow reduce it by nearly $250 billion by 2009, all the while pursuing the candy-store policies of spending on such worthy goals as going to the moon and funding “marriage initiatives.” Let me guess – more tax cuts will fix everything.

And on top of all this, the president had the imagination to describe America’s health care program as “the best in the world” and claim that “jobs are on the rise.” Forty-two million Americans do not have health care and more than three million Americans do not have jobs.

In summation, instead of WMDs, jobs, economic growth and health care, the president has offered us excuses, deficits, constitutional bigotry and steroids. While our state of the union will always be strong, it is obvious that the state of the Bush presidency is the same as it has been from the beginning: failing.

-The writer, a sophomore majoring in international affairs, is a Hatchet contributing editor.

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