Our View: Bush needs to be more convincing
Three days from now the United States will commemorate the second anniversary of the terrorist attacks which nearly brought our country to its knees.
At that time President Bush warned us that it would be a long fight to rid the world of those who have nothing better to do than destroy freedom as we know it. Clearly, the terrorists have not won. But clearly, they have not gone away.
In the president’s 18-minute televised address last night the only new thing he told viewers is that he intends to obtain $87 billion from Congress. He expects $66 billion to be spent in the next year to cover the continued expense of military and reconstruction costs in Afghanistan and Iraq.
It seemed like a public relations move on the president’s part. It is the first time he has addressed the nation since May when he declared the major thrust of the fighting to be over. Inasmuch as the coalition forces made quick work of Saddam Hussein’s royal guards, the fact remains that there have been more American casualties post-war than during the war.
With the expected aplomb, Bush defended the continued use of 130,000 U.S. service members in Iraq, along with the 20,000-strong contingency from 29 other countries. But for the families back in the States, there was no mention of how long these men and women will have to continue to serve in the hostile environment, not to mention the 130-degree weather.
Those who have recently been deployed for six-months are already hearing their stay is likely to be a year.
Bush’s justification for this is the need to establish Iraq as a free country which can operate under its own auspices. He equated this quest to when the United States hung around to get Germany and Japan back on their feet. We all know we never left, even those these two countries are quite self-sufficient.
History would have us believe we are about to occupy another country for reasons that will be portrayed as being in our best interest. Have we ever asked these countries what is in their best interest? Has anyone thought about what it would be like for the United States to house a military base belonging to another country? Maybe we could turn Fallon over to the Germans, Travis to the Japanese and Beale to the Russians. Now don’t you feel safer?
On Sunday the president said, “… the former regime sponsored terror, possessed and used weapons of mass destruction, and for 12 years defied the clear demands of the United Nations Security Council.” And yet he never offered any evidence of these weapons. He never said where Saddam or Osama bin Laden might be.
The president it going to need to serve up some hard proof for the country to continue to pledge what fleeting support still remains for his cause. It is hard to watch the casualty toll continue when the enemy never attacked us. That’s right. There is still no solid proof that Saddam had anything to do with Sept. 11, 2001.
Our troops deserve our backing. The people of this country deserve to finally be given proof that it is a just cause. Our president needs to convince us our mission is just and not merely play on our emotions days before Sept. 11, 2003.