Letters to the editor

Anyone who saw the State of the Union address would have appreciated the ironic sense of humour demonstrated by the president. I never even knew he had one.

As the Bush administration is only concerned with terrorism at the expense of all other issues, a good deal of his speech was obviously taken up by that. He spoke about homeland security and the 50,000 new airport screeners that were hired.

He didn’t mention his insidious Total Information Awareness database or that he personally fought to keep those 50,000 screeners out of the airports because they would be federalized workers and thus able to unionize.

Osama bin Laden was not mentioned once, not even alluded to.

Bush touted his education reform bill that had been originally co-sponsored by Kennedy. He failed to mention that Kennedy has since distanced himself from the bill as Bush has added several flaws that Kennedy never agreed to.

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Bush mentioned holding corporate criminals to account. He failed to mention that a shocking number of these criminals, including his friend Mr. Lay, are still walking free.

Bush mentioned his original trillion dollar tax cut but failed to mention that the cut has not done one thing to prop up a continually sagging economy or the soaring deficits this cut has created.

Bush then went on to promote his new tax cut, focusing on stock dividends, which would overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest Americans. Even members of his own party recognize this economic package as flawed.

And, of course, he did not mention the millions of jobs that have been lost since he took office.

Bush then went on to list how he would spend the billions of dollars he does not have, which should probably be taken as an exercise in rhetoric. The mentor program, the drug treatment program, the AIDS crisis in Africa, and his beloved Son of Star Wars program.

Where does he plan on getting the money? Hypocritically, he proposed over $1 billion to develop the hydrogen-powered automobile, yet his proposed new tax plan would provide major write-offs for SUV owners, something the homeowners in the Vail area would love since Vail has the largest concentration of SUVs in the world.

He proposed the development of cleaner energy technologies, yet his first two years in office have been almost obsessively dedicated

to the rollback of established pollution and environmental guidelines. His mention of energy self-reliance was obviously a jaded reference to his intention to exploit the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge.

Bush mentioned the liberation of Afghanistan but failed to mention that this was accomplished through an international coalition, something that does not exist in his Iraqi adventure.

He also did not mention the disaster in Afghanistan because the USA has not followed up on its promises and responsibilities.

He then gave over a good part of his speech to Iraq, accusing the country of possessing an incredible array of weapons that no U.N. weapons inspector has found. He even used information that had been debunked both by the CIA and the U.N. inspectors. He also scandalously neglected to mention that his administration has reserved the right to use nuclear weapons as a tactical battlefield weapon.

On several occasions, Bush linked Hussein to al Qaeda. He gave no proof of this. He did not mention that Hussein is a secular dictator who has spent his entire dictatorship crushing Islamic fundamentalism in his country.

Nor did he mention the death threats by al Qaeda against Hussein or how it would be complete stupidity to give weapons to his enemies, who would obviously use those same weapons against him.

Bush failed to mention how the economy could handle the billions of dollars involved in a war, the shock of the war on the economy, the billions needed on Star Wars, the billions required for his recently proposed tax cut and the billions needed to make his old tax cut more permanent, and the billions required to pay for all the programs he has proposed.

What was unique about this speech was how much Bush did not mention.

At one particularly humourous point, when Bush incredibly insisted on fiscal reponsibility from the government, laughter erupted from the live audience.

The Bush administration is a threat to the world’s environment, a threat to world peace, and a threat to the world economy. The sooner he is voted out of office, the better.

Thomas Hohn


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