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Have to stand true

Jane S. Imber, Wolcott

If George W. Bush wants to smoke out the evildoers, he should begin by looking within. His administration has corrupted the Constitution under the guise of fighting terrorism. He ignores laws against unreasonable search and seizure. He invades our personal privacy while making private what once was public. He is holding citizens and visitors without legal representation, specific charges, or speedy and public trial.

Fifty years ago, during the cold war, George Kennan said, “The worst thing that our communists could do to us, and the thing we have most to fear from their activities, is that we should become like them.” In our war against terrorism, we have become like them.

While Bush tramples upon the Constitution, he lives by a movie script in which he can mete out punishment before the crime is committed. Bush wants us to forget that the basis of our justice system is innocent until proven guilty. Saddam is an egomaniacal menace to world peace and should be stopped by all available diplomatic, economic and strategic means. But he, like all of us, should expect better of the United States than premeditated murder by another egomaniacal maniac.

In the folksy vocabulary Bush leans upon when English so frequently eludes him, Saddam is a mean coyote and he’ll chew off his own foot to get out of a trap. If we force Saddam into a fight to the death, he will use everything he’s got. We will in essence be forcing him to employ any and all weapons in his arsenal.

This war with Iraq smells of blood feud. It also stinks of politics. Going to war will increase support for the Bush administration because many Americans believe it is an act of patriotism to support their president while at war. It is a case of my country, right or wrong. War against Iraq is Bush’s cynical reelection strategy.

On 9/11 a year ago, the world wept for us and supported our actions against a well-defined threat. On 9/11 a year later, we are more hated and feared than ever before in our history. That is the legacy of the Bush administration. The war against Iraq is not the war we need so desperately to win. Sure, it’s easier to go after a specific nation and its people than to wage war against anonymous cabals located worldwide, but the continuation of civilization and freedom depends upon us doing the harder job. The terrorists are a threat to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for everyone on earth. We are in this together, yet Bush has demonstrated complete disregard for international cooperation. The world cannot come together when the last remaining superpower insists on standing apart.

It is no longer relevant whether Bush hijacked an election. Our greatest concern should be his current attempt to hijack a nation. I grew up in the shadow of the Vietnam War when daily death statistics were a normal part of the evening news, right along with the sports and the weather. It is up to us now to choose the world in which our children will live.


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