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Monday, 4 February, 2002, 17:49 GMT
State of the Union address: Did Bush hit the right notes?
US President George W Bush has made his first State of the Union address to the joint houses of Congress in Washington.
He warned Americans that the war against terrorism was only just beginning.
And he specifically named Iraq, North Korea and Iran as part of "an axis of evil" threatening the world's peace.
What did you think of President Bush's State of the Union speech? Did he address your concerns?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
Franklin, Maryland, USA
The number of sceptical people are on the rise, this gives me hope; not all of us have drowned our senses in Bush's sea of fear and revenge. It almost seems as if he was inviting a war with other countries, why not? That would make his defence spending more justifiable.. funny world.
After listening to the state of the union address, I can only hope that Bush is a one term president and that the world can survive long enough to see someone else elected.
On another note, I wish the rest of the world would quit expecting us to solve world poverty and bring peace to the middle east. Figure it out yourselves.
Bush speech was right on target especially in calling Iraq and Iran an "axis of evil". I find it funny that Europeans and some Americans on this forum called Bushes speech inflammatory, when every day Iran and Iraq call America the Great Satan and openly talk about their desire to destroy us.
One would have thought that after September 11th, the world would have woken up and realized what the terrorist want. When will the Europeans wake up and realize that Poverty is not the cause of terrorism?
The terrorists have only one ultimate goal and that is to spread Islam around the globe. You can spend a trillion dollars on poverty in the Arab world and all you would accomplish is to raise the net income of the average terrorist.
"Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervour, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar."
-- Julius Caesar
Many people seem to think that diplomacy and niceness are cures
for sociopathy. The 20th century should have
taught us otherwise - that you don't increase peace or
security by appeasing sociopaths. This was one of the messages
in Bush's speech. The
sooner we dispose of all these loathsome creatures, the better.
I'm not sure if our president is aware of the fact that he doesn't have the authority to declare war on a nation. Under our constitution, only the US Congress can declare war on a nation. So for the time being, the countries should not be too concerned about a possible attack.
We are losing an opportunity to make a better world. The 'Bush Doctrine' to deal with terrorists and the so-called 'evil axis states' ignored the Middle East situation. A worsening crisis there was one of the reasons why the Afghan trained terrorists had America in its sights. America with its global hegemony needs to act justly by not supporting Middle East authoritarian regimes; needs to help initiate new initiatives to quell violence and a settlement between Israel and Palestinians. To show generosity to al-Qaeda suspects. September 11 was not the world's first terrorist attack and the power of the USA must be used to a better end rather a war against 'evil axis states' which threatens the peace of the world.
I did not vote for Bush and I am so glad. Every time he opens his mouth, I cringe. His face, his voice are so insincere. I hope that someone out there will say STOP before he leads us into a bloody messy war. His State of the Union address was frightening and simplistic, typical of someone with little real knowledge of the world outside Texas. Instead of guiding the flock into a better understanding of who we are and why there is a crisis in the world, addressing the causes of the problems, he is brain washing the average John Doe.
So many comments about Americans wanting to live in a world where there is no terrorism. Shouldn't the government in the USA start by putting their own house in order & stopping the massive number of gun related incidents, mass shootings etc. that we are always hearing about. How can the American nation expect to be able to lead the rest of the world the peace when most of the citizens of the US carry a gun?
Well, I agree with Bush on many areas. We all need to be tough and fight these terrorists. However, his reference to Iraq, Iran, and North Korea as "the axis of evil" is just plain inflammatory, and, judging from the mixed responses to that comment, it did not adequately express the views of the American people. We should be working with these countries, not arrogantly demonising them. Their people have suffered, too. Have they ever attacked us directly? No. I think that reference was an uncalled for allusion to WWII, and that it makes Americans look like ethnocentric, selfish bullies who want to use a tragic act of terrorism to pick fights. I also resent that Bush often seems to think that Sept. 11 was the first act of terrorism! So many people in other countries have suffered, and we should give them more respect and recognition.
Yes, President Bush hit the right note. Terrorism is an international crime against humanity and President Bush did well to identify those who are behind this wicked act. Let President Bush take his time to deal with this matter. We don't have the power to help him and the American people physically, but we are with him in prayers.
The general feeling one gets with this and similar speeches is that Bush is relishing the situation a bit too much.
Relishing it enough to cause concern!
The US will never be able to dominate the world. No matter how much rhetoric is used to justify this unilateralist policy, it will never be able to sustain it indefinitely. The US better realise that if it wants to be an economic superpower, it better work with all countries instead of portraying power. No use being powerful if the home economy goes into a depression.
Jon Stearn, USA
The speech did little to ease my mind about the state of the world. I see the USA becoming more isolated. I don't know who made us, the USA, the police watch dog of the world. I think it is arrogant that we take such a stance and isolate the rest of world. I fear the this will come back to haunt us sooner than later.
Iraq, Iran, and North Korea are very different from Afghanistan. That was a nation beaten into submission to the Dark Ages. The later three have weapons of mass destruction and who knows what else. I feel that this would be stirring up a hornets' nest. The fall out will not be pleasant. The USA can't act alone. It must work with the world community. It seems we have not learned anything from our past mistakes and our arrogance!
Bush is saying what the people want to hear, but not necessarily what they need to hear. I believe it is out of complete arrogance that we as a nation believe that American interests are more important than the civilian casualties or "collateral damage" of other nations. Surely terrorism runs deeper than the WTC disaster. Perhaps the government should look closer at damaging foreign policy that has led to the oppression of many countries. In our prosperity we have forgotten humanitarianism and sooner exploit other nations for our national interests. We have forgotten that the world is watching.
Even if the U.S. finds Bin Laden and destroys the
Al-Qaeda network - or eradicates terrorism - it will only
be putting a bandage on a festering wound.
Redemptive violence is only a myth
which has spawned from personal interests.
I heard the Presidential address in parts but when I read the whole text, I was somewhat disappointed. I was disappointed as he did not mention anything in his speech of addressing various ongoing conflicts around the world in which US has benefited from directly or indirectly. We should not ignore Middle East crisis on any pretext. This is a genuine problem and we need to assert our influence and try to reign in Israel from using its military arsenals provided by the US on Palestinian people, and start the negotiations immediately. The Kashmir crises should have been mentioned at least. This dispute is just 50 years old. Isn't it a shame for UNO for not resolving this issue during these years. How many deaths of civilians and how many years of injustices would any civilized society can face. These people were mostly forced to take up arms as the whole world had its vested interests in these conflicts. Unless we address those issues, how can we threaten other nations of dire consequences when these people have been refused justice for years. President Bush's speech should have mentioned not only his rhetoric on taking all terrorists to task but he should have mentioned that we will review our handling of different disputes and will not retreat ourselves until these issues are resolved.
Reference to domestic policies, I don't know how can our economy revive in the presence of tax cut, increase in defence spendings. Time will tell.
I was appalled with what I heard of Bush's speech. It was inflammatory, had no regard for recent conciliatory gestures made by countries such as Iran and North Korea, and jeopardised not only relations with Arab and Asian nations, but alienated his own nation from the international coalition against terrorism. In short, this frenzied flailing at just about everybody has probably been the biggest boost to terrorists and terrorism to September 11. Liberal groups who have put themselves out on a limb to join the coalition are now going to turn radical, forced into reversals of foreign policy by the farcical moans of Bush
It was a night of bombastic and arrogant display of self-aggrandizement, which alienated the very many nations needed to eradicate terrorism. The speech lacked the eloquence that is necessary for a leader of sole superpower nation now to lead the world into peace and prosperity.
The USA is the only nation in the world where civil servants swear an oath to an idea (the constitution), and not a person, office, or deity. They swear to defend the constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. To those that have attacked the USA, the State and Federal governments are legally obligated to take some kind of action against you. And to prevent these actions from getting out of hand, there must be some dissent within the US Government to protect it from a sort of Domestic enemy- the dissolution of Civil Rights. So far things seem to be working fine, thank you.
If President Bush┐s speech aimed at inspiring the American people, and elucidating to the world the American posture on terrorism, he did a wonderful job. His speech sent a transparent and unequivocal message to the world how the US will deal with any present and potential threats. I just hope that he hasn┐t set too lofty a goal by making accusations so broad concerning possible future targets. Saying without delivering can be detrimental to his credibility, which is probably the only thing he┐s got going for him. Let┐s hope he learned that lesson from his father┐s administration. As for the ardent cabals of neo-liberals and Anti-Americans who criticize Bush┐s every move, there will always be dogmatic opposition regardless of the cause.
Bottom line, the US administration is doing what any US or European administration would do - reacting aggressively to eradicate a well-established organization that has been planning on attacking the country for some time.
Leading a nation united by terrorist attacks, disheartened by recession and slowly finding its way back to politics as usual, the State of the Union address presented President George W Bush with an opportunity to set the nation's political agenda, set the stage for his party in the upcoming midterm elections and further cement an alarmingly high popularity rating.
The reviews of political pundits and the early poll returns show that in one respect, Bush attained his central goal. He enjoys unremittingly unanimous support among the American people. In one respect, this is not unusual. A nation attacked is a nation united. In other respects, it is singularly frightening. Tonight's speech was, at its heart, American politics in its basest and most depraved incarnation.
On the domestic front, there were few surprises. The unholy union between Enron and the Republican Party, in which campaign coffers were filled with Enron funds and thousands of employees saw their life savings evaporate, was brushed aside with a request that Congress initiate financial safeguards and accounting reforms. Senior citizens were promised aid for prescription costs and the Senate was asked to pass a Republican economic stimulus package that has already cleared the house. A call went out for citizens to pledge themselves to national service and for the formation of a "Freedom Corps" - the Bush equivalent of Kennedy's Peace Corps.
All were warmly received - although the "Freedom Corps" exhortation seemed to land on the floor with a resounding thud, where it will lie in embarrassed prostration until it is forgotten.
The military, of course, will get more than its share. Bush called for a tremendous increase in military spending - including a call once again for the development of the technically doubtful "missile shield".
The preceding was, of course, the second act. As it inevitably would, the war on terrorism took centre stage... One can find some comfort in a few small things. Restraint is not usually found in his references to terrorism; thankfully, the word "evil" was only used five times in less than an hour. The remainder, however, was derisorily true to form. Terrorism against the US, a phenomenon that has grown out of decades of careless American foreign policy, was again reduced to a simplistic falsehood - the war against terror is a war against those who would deprive of us our "freedom".
This theme is wonderfully simple. It avoids so many uncomfortable questions and one simple truth - that terrorists couldn't care less about our freedom. Terrorists simply want us to die. This is because the US has been "free" to support oppressive regimes in Islamic states, "free" to support Israel, and "free" to pursue its interests regardless of the rights of others. As the defender of "freedom, one can then be "free," as the only nation that has used nuclear weapons, to proclaim that Iran, Iraq, and North Korea must be not be allowed to develop these weapons on their own.
Irony or thoughtfulness have no place in this approach. How Ronald Reagan's mujahideen "Freedom Fighters" have become George W Bush's "evildoers" does not need to be examined. When speaking to your nation, trot out the wounded soldier and the new leader of "liberated" Afghanistan, place the flag on your shoulders, and tell your people that they must fight to be free.
Whatever you do, don't ask why.
Jan, Brussels, Belgium
If Bush can destroy evil, poverty, and taxes by the next election, I'll certainly vote for him. If he can't, I'll vote for someone with a more realistic agenda.
I was one of those who protested against Bush gaining the President's position but as we go along I realize that liberal views of the world are no longer tenable in an age of terror. I am so tired of hearing the liberal naysayers attack the president and his efforts to combat terrorism and lift up the economy. If it wasn┐t for Western capitalism and values of democracy, plurality and tolerance we would all still be living under old world oppression. And for all those nations whose leaders are tyrants, beware because the bells of freedom are ringing so loudly and the conviction of liberty so strong in the hearts of the masses that your selfish pursuits and interests will soon be washed away. God Bless America and hopefully the rest of the liberal free world across the ocean will recognize that it is time for the West to stand up for the values that have made us all so prosperous.
Bush's simple analogies about good vs. evil, etc., are not only wearing, they're dangerous. Tax breaks for the rich (they'll use their extra cash to build factories and employ us), a huge military build-up and Congressional permission to deploy that military anywhere in the world without concern about civilian casualties -- and if you've got a problem with any of this, you're unpatriotic. Oh, yes, and Bush wants to do something to prevent future Enron-type debacles, but he's not giving the campaign contributions back and Cheney isn't going to cooperate with the investigation.
I think that George Bush was right in what he was saying. But, to me it gave the impression of the USA becoming very paranoid and almost closing its doors to the rest of the world. All this spending on arms is worrying but still I guess the guy must have a plan. At least he has the guts to actually say what the majority of his country thinks. Maybe Mr Blair should stop pandering to the do-gooders and take a leaf out of Mr Bush's 'hard backed' book!
Chris Irvine, USA
President Bush did hit all the right notes in the State of the Union address, but that is no surprise, these speeches are always well scripted. One of the most important and correct points in my mind is when he said the US will act against terrorism even if other countries don't. That I can assure you is supported by the overwhelming majority of American people. The average Jane and Joe on the American street is feed up with nations that are willing to hide behind America's might and call themselves our allies but waver when the call for help is given. The UK in my mind is the only nation to deliver on it's alliance and friendship with the US during this war on terrorism. These nations reactions (or lack thereof) are not lost on the American people, nor will they soon be forgotten.
What gives the US the right to condemn other nations for developing weapons, when she herself has a massive arsenal? Why is it that she says nothing to Israel who also has nuclear weapons? Its OK to build weapons of mass destruction so long as the agenda is a US agenda. Darn arrogance!
I understand that effective rhetoric
is essential for any leader, especially
in times of war. In this respect he hit the
right notes. But it seems that Bush Jr
has not learned much from the lessons of
US intervention (or attempts to control)
world affairs over the last 60 years.
The massive cost will cripple the economy
of the US, recession or not.
Then what about the people of the US
There will be much hardship and unemployment.
And for what? The achievement of some ill defined, vague
and ever expanding goals.
Overall he hasn't hit a single right note since his inauguration.
Thank God Bush came along when he did. We finally have a real leader unfazed by polls and media hype. I applaud his strength of character and his willingness to rise above spin doctors and a media willing to do anything to keep the airwaves filled 24/7.
George Bush's rhetoric concerns me more and more. Although there is truth in what he says it is irresponsible and foolish to think that because of the relative ease with which the Taleban have been removed from power, the US can take a more hawkish stance in international relations. The recent speech by Bush makes another atrocity like September 11th more rather than less likely. The US should be applying pressure on Israel and acting more like the moral authority that it should be on the international stage.
President Bush is carrying out what he pledged to the world, he is a courageous world leader. His commitment against terror started almost since President Bush came to office and it has superseded everything else that is important within the US such as domestic affairs at home. He has virtually the full support of congress at this time as Americans appear to be backing their President in very difficult times. It is apparent now that the world has changed through the barbaric events of terror but it affects so much more of our lives in other areas. The only way that freedom and democracy will prevail is by crushing terror at its very roots. What has gone up until now is only the tip of the ice-berg. President Bush is strong and has courage, he is not running away because he like most of us know the implications of allowing terror to fester will be to destroy all of the values that America and other freedom loving countries like the UK seek to enjoy.
I couldn't watch the whole speech. It started out with so much jingoism and very little substance on the real problems occurring in our country, such as the recession. I feel there is way too much focus on the "War on Terror". I can't believe this guy has an approval rating as high as he does. I believe it is because the expectations of him were set so low by the American media when he got elected (well, sort of got elected!)
Vested interests. That's what I heard coming out of President Bush's speech. I may be cynical but the history of American foreign policy gives me cause. It seems an awfully big coincidence that Bush has targeted certain countries for their participation in terrorist activities. Iran, Iraq, Indonesia and Malaysia amongst them, have one very real thing in common. All are leading producers of oil. Has the world forgotten that the US funded the armament and training of Afghan "resistance fighters" throughout the 1980's? At the time, The USSR's occupation there was a threat to oil country. The Taliban (Afghani for "students")are the same soldiers once supported by the Americans and trained through the Pakistan secret service, with the cooperation of the CIA. President Bush labels "evil-doers" as those who are against America and its allies. What he's really saying is that they are against Americas interests. The world should be wary of this dangerous man and his administration.
Reading over the comments below, I am embarrassed for my fellow citizens. How self-righteous and egotistical we must sound to the rest of the world. We use phrases like "the leader of the free world" and "the war on terrorism." We mimic the politicians who have invented these terms without even calling into question what we might be saying.
Some of us even go so far as to say those who would criticize this "peace-loving nation" are naive and "jealous of American prosperity." I can only encourage those people to undertake a bit more research into the history of the world and examine just how that prosperity was won, before they question the motives of those criticizing it. If the world at large has a different opinion about American foreign policy most of our citizens would seem to be unaware of this, as our news-media has left us bereft of any perspective but our own. Finally, the last time I checked, "peace-loving" nations are those that refuse to celebrate war, through movies and the mass media, at home; through extending sanctions and embargos, abroad. We may be greedy to extend our influence, but God help us all if we can see no further than the newspapers and television programs that have forgotten their duty towards free-thinking citizens, and have instead became the celebrants of governmental policy, and world-lost figureheads like George W. Bush.
President Bush's speech was excellent in all aspects.
All people must never forget what the Islamic terrorists
are capable of inflicting upon innocent citizens around the
globe. We must never become complacent and lower our guard.
They hate the US and The West and all that we stand for. If
you think they cannot, or won't, strike your country, your family
and your friends, think again! The terrorists are the very epitome
of evil. Their philosophy has nothing to do with peace, rather, it
has everything to do with hate. America will stand tall, she will
recover from the unemployment rate we are now seeing, and from any
other internal situations needing help. We are strong,
intelligent, and good moral people. Bash us all you want in Britain
and Europe, but the next time you need our help, we will be there
for you, as we always have been in the past.
In response to Patty in the US - who says, "next time you need our help, we'll be there " - does that include the next time the IRA decides to launch a bombing campaign in the UK? I think not. All Bush is good for is stirring the jingoist in Americans, which is not hard to do. As we say in this country, he is all mouth and no trouser's!
I did not watch. I will wait to get the major points from the analysts. Frankly, I find it too painful to listen to this man. It is like fingernails on a chalk board. His priorities are skewed. His reasoning is transparent. I believe we are headed for massive failures domestically and internationally.
President Bush gave an excellent speech revealing his cognisance of the relevant issues. Inspires confidence. Has dignity, integrity. I thank God for him. He is the right man for this office. Please pray for us and our leadership. Thank You , Cousins!
Jon Livesey, USA
Bush's speech was on the mark and nicely delivered. It's encouraging to see some strong leadership in the States again. However, the tendency to lean on simplistic analogies to describe international conflicts could become a bit wearing going forward. Obviously the State of the Union address is intended to be a bit of a "pep talk", but a bit more introspection would have added a bit more credibility. Nonetheless, the basic message is not lost. Bravo George.
As one who didn't vote for him, I continue to be pleasantly surprised at how effective a leader of the free world George W. Bush has become. I, for one find his candour regarding Iran, Iraq, and terrorist organizations refreshing, especially in light of the waffling and dissembling of certain European nations.
It is high time indeed the nations of the West and freedom loving peoples everywhere awake to the threat that surrounds us and unite.
President Bush may not play well in certain circles, but he has the support of his fellow Americans and their allies throughout the world. His speech while general, hit all the right notes.
The emperor has no clothes! If this speech was the result of three months of writing by countless minions, I am not impressed. Meanwhile, Bill Clinton was speaking in Palo Alto, CA for a non-profit that's mission is to educate and empower the 2/3 of the world's female population that lives in poverty. What a contrast.
Philip Tunnell, Oman
I think he was right on the international front, but I am more concerned about the economy and the millions of Americans such as myself who is in the unemployment line. If he doesn't start addressing the concerns of millions of unemployed Americans soon I will be sure to not vote for him 3 years from now.
I think Bush is trying so hard to focus on international terrorism because he's afraid of what will happen if the American public ever opens its eyes and sees how this Administration has eroded the US Constitution. We won't need international terrorists to change our way of life, we've "elected" our own to eliminate our freedoms.
I agree with everything President Bush had to say about fighting the war against terror, saving the economy and education while also updating the military. My only question is where is President Bush getting all of this money from? Especially now that he intends to keep the tax cuts.
Previous contributors have accused Europeans of not fully grasping the threat posed by terrorism. Perhaps the reason the Europeans and others haven't reacted in the same high handed fashion is because they have been living with terrorism for most of the last 100 years. Some of it sponsored by US citizens who have supported such organisations as the IRA in the past.
Great leaders do what is right without looking over their shoulder to see who is watching or cheering. George Bush is that kind of leader. Whether the rest of the world likes it or not he is doing what is right for America and it's people. The rest of the world will be better for it as well.
I agreed with everything that President Bush said in his speech last night. For all those who are so worried that he might be more concerned with the war on terrorism than our economy, how well do you think our economy will fair after another terrorist attack? Thousands of jobs were lost as a result of the last one. George W. Bush is, by far, the best President of my lifetime and he and his Cabinet have my complete support.
I believe the US presidents statements were correct about Iran. The Iranian people have been under the oppression of a regime that cloaks itself in religion to obtain legitimacy. It is to the shame of the world that countries such as UK could actually support a government that uses religion to destroy an entire people.
Why not mention the support from our closest allies - especially from the people of Canada and Great Britain? The British are constant in their willingness to stand up in defense of theirs and the interests of the free world alongside America. He could have at least uttered some words of appreciation. Let's not isolate ourselves from them as well. We may find ourselves in a weaker position without their strong support...
George W's speech did nothing to address many Europeans' concerns that he really doesn't have a clue about diplomacy. He has no clear goal; only rhetoric and flag-waving. If he truly wanted to improve the world situation, he would seek to build relations with America's 'enemies' instead of inflaming them to the point of causing another war. I suspect that while we (Brits & Europeans) were happy to support the war against Afghanistan, which was, after all, caused by a totally unjustified attack on civilians, we would be less happy about helping America fight random countries they just don't particularly like.
It is striking to see people returning to old habits just four months after the Sept. 11th attacks. We in the West are fortunate to live in a very comfortable world. It is easy to forget that outside our bubble, there is tremendous poverty, hatred, and violence. Even if these things were of no threat to us, we should do something about them. It is a shame that Bush and we Americans only take action against these plights when we feel threatened. But at least we are finally taking action. European finger waving and hand wringing does nothing to solve the problems of the world.
America has the ability to make a huge difference in the world. We can remove bad governments and help people to form new governments that will allow them to live in peace and eventually prosper. I hope that Afghanistan will be the first of a long string of examples in which tyrants who serve only themselves or some twisted religious cause are replaced with governments whose purpose is to help their people.
I don't claim that our actions are motivated purely by altruism -- far from it. We are primarily acting in our own self-interest. However, I do believe that we have a very enlightened sense of our own self-interest, and that we are making efforts to choose actions that address not only our immediate security concerns, but also the needs of people in poor and unstable countries, thereby also serving our own longer term interests.
So I feel very good about Bush's speech and the direction the US is heading.
Patrick Duerr, USA
I did try to keep an open mind last night during Bush┐s speech, but found it hard to believe he never mentions the war against poverty here at home. Many families with their children are suffering on our home front and they find no help available to them in this great country of ours.
People who criticize President Bush for "destroying the economy" are not very familiar with his or President Clinton's economic policies. The current recession began during the last administration, and Americans say they are better off now than they were 2 or 3 years ago. I think that some people just want to complain, and their perception is so skewed and narrow that they cannot look at the facts. President Bush made a good speech last night, and Americans overwhelmingly stand with him...just as he stands with us.
People may not like Bush's brand of American wartime unilateralism, but is there really any question about whether the speech itself was well done? I do have to chuckle at those who complain of Bush's jingoistic rhetoric. What do you expect from a leader of a nation at war? Something on the order of 'can't we all just get along?'
Bush is right. If the U.S. is attacked again the economy will suffer. We are now reminded that our economic security is forever linked with the security of our country. I think Europeans are turning a blind eye to the threat so obviously posed by Iraq, Iran etc.... The terrorists want to destroy Western culture, not just U.S. culture. Also, do Europeans honestly believe that Iraq does not pose a threat? Does anyone remember World War 2. Saddam has had no problem using chemical weapons on his own citizens. Why should he have a problem using them on the citizens of the world?
Stephen B, USA
It is all fine and dandy to speak of doubling the military budget, improving education and reducing taxes. But I don't understand how this adds up. Perhaps congress was too exhausted in all of their standing and applauding to think about how any of this will possibly happen. Why doesn't he just promise everyone a pony while he's at it? You can't increase spending while reducing taxes. He says the deficit will be short term, but I doubt he will find a way to pay for it in the long run.
The speech said nothing. Bush was looking for an excuse to raise military spending, and Al-Qaeda gave it to him. I hope Bush will go the way of his father, and lose re-election.
President Bush did hit the right notes. He knows what he is doing and he has a great battery of wise people to assist him.
George Bush stated that "thousands of dangerous killers , schooled in the methods of murder...are now spread throughout the world like ticking time bombs". It is worth noting that for years the US government has funded the military training of foreign nationals, notably in Latin America, and that many of these have gone on to be involved in activities that have violated the rights of many civilians. Some of Latin America's most notorious dictators were graduates of the School of the Americas, a US military training school in Alabama. So I ask that perhaps those responsible for filling the world with murderous time bombs should set their own house in order before making grand statements about ridding the world of these ticking time bombs, many of whom are only ticking away because the US, and others, have provided the mechanism to set them ticking.
I am a firm supporter of the way that Bush is handling foreign issues. That said, I agree with the idea that he focused primarily on the war issue during the speech because his domestic agenda and policies are so weak and won't be received well by the American people. He has learned from his Dad's mistakes.
I also think that American Presidents should take a more worldly approach when speaking in a forum which will be televised or commented on throughout the world. Everything is "America has the moral right to..." What about saying "The world has the moral right to.." We alienate our foreign friends way to much. (I would note that sometimes this is with good reason.)
His speech was well received by the American public. He spoke plainly yet with conviction and forthrightness. There are some who would rather not be reminded of the evils that exist in the world and the real threat to our security and way of life. Some say we need to understand what causes terrorism. We understand they want to wipe us off the face of this planet. President Bush is simply informing the world we will fight for our survival.
I support my governments goals as stated last night, but I hope my government listens to others about the means we use to achieve them. You can't please all the people all the time, but listening to and considering all points of view is critical. This applies not only to the US, but also to people everywhere, especially those who prefer to jump to conclusions based on one picture or a few poorly worded headlines.
Bush's speech was great, but like most modern political speeches, it lacked the intellectual quality and thoughtfulness of some of the great political speeches of the past, like those of Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.
I look around me and wonder if I'm the only person in this country who sees what an embarrassment this president is. We should never forgive Ralph Nader for getting George W. Bush elected.
I just think it a shame that America does not use the $388 billion to fight poverty. This is one of the cornerstones that creates terrorism.
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