The stem of Bush’s debate |

The stem of Bush’s debate

President Bush has made many controversial decisions on the basis of the argument that the ends justify the means, so one of his latest moves is a bit confusing.

On Wednesday, Bush vetoed a bill that would have lifted some restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. It was the second time in his presidency that he has singlehandedly killed such a bill. In that context, his actions should come as no surprise.

“Destroying human life in the hopes of saving human life is not ethical,” Bush said as the reason behind the veto. This statement in itself is questionable given that stem cell lines are customarily retrieved from excess embryos already slated for destruction, so it seems counterintuitive to allow them to be wasted when there is potentially so much to be gained from them.

Or maybe Bush just doesn’t want blood on his hands.

But wait. Isn’t this the same man who has spent more than $400 billion of taxpayer money on the war in Iraq? Bush orchestrated that little disaster by telling the American people that he was protecting them from a threat that turns out not to have existed. He has since changed his justification for the war to protecting both Iraqis and Americans from a threat that has emerged primarily as a result of the chaos he created. Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, more than 3,500 American troops have been killed in combat there, government estimates put the civilian death toll at 30,000 in December, and other studies have multiplied that number by more than 20.

So maybe Bush just doesn’t want to mix the blood of innocent embryos with that of innocent Iraqis and Americans.

But even if we are to believe his purported reasons for staying in Iraq, it’s clear that he has no problem “destroying human life in the hopes of saving human life.”

” Evan Gibbard for the Editorial Board

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