Bush's State Of The Union
Bush’s State of the Union Address on January 29 sounded suspiciously like it was written in the 1950’s. Bush seemed to re-phrase McCarthy-ite musings about good and evil. He attempted to draw a picture of the world in black and white – good and evil – when the world has never been that simple. Bush pointed fingers at “rogue” nations whose practiced injustices are quite similar to those carried out in the United States. Not only did Bush over-simplify world politics, he also managed to give lip service to the American people. Bush fabricated billions of dollars in his speech so that the American people would simultaneously have less taxes, better health care, $48 billion more toward the military, better schools, and more social security. Such hypocrisy should be expected of politicians, but Bush’s manipulation of fact is astounding. This address was a morale booster, not a true assessment of the condition of our country. In effect, Bush has misled the American public and started a new Cold War.
Bush has no justification for criticizing an organization for utilizing chemical or nuclear weapons. While describing an “axis of evil” which consists of North Korea, Iran, and Iraq, Bush said, “the Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax, and nerve gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade.” According to the Washington Post, military scientists at a biological and chemical warfare facility in Utah have been developing a form of weaponized anthrax since at least 1992. According to the Center for Defense Information, the United States has 7,300 Strategic Nuclear Weapons and between 4,700 and 11,700 Non-strategic Nuclear Weapons. This means that the United States controls between 12,000 and 19,000 nuclear weapons. This blatant injustice that Bush is saying that it is ok for the United States to have chemical and nuclear weapons, but no one else can have them is imperialist at best.
Bush criticized North Korea for its military spending in relationship to its citizens’ well-being. “North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens,” Bush said. The United States’ current military budget is $379 billion. According to the National Priorities Project, 22% of the children in the US – roughly five million – are hungry and attend deteriorating schools, two million Americans are homeless, and 45.5 million Americans have no health insurance. Bush has no justification in criticizing a nation for neglecting its citizens when the United States does so as well.
Bush claims that by spending money on the military, he will help stimulate our economy and create more jobs. He did not say in the speech how that would exactly happen. Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities have researched that for every $100,000 spent on weapons procurement; only two and a half jobs are created. However, the same amount of money spent on education creates four jobs, and if spent on health care, 5 jobs are created. If Bush was to truly create jobs, he would attempt to put more money into health care and education.
Bush called for vigilance in the United States. in the midst of describing the goals for drug enforcement, public health and bioterrorism, and police and firefighters, Bush said that “America will continue to depend on the eyes and ears of alert citizens.” This is not yet at the level of the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings and pamphlets on how to tell if your neighbor is a communist that characterized the 1950's, but it is a significant step closer. Bush also called for all Americans to serve the United States for at least two years, possibly within the USA Freedom Corps. The Freedom Corps’ purpose is to protect homeland security. The call for citizens to do some form of public service, in itself, is not a bad thing, but the choice to ask them to prepare for possible terrorist attacks instead of trying to provide education, housing, and social services to people who need them is a mistake – especially when more jobs would be created out of these social services.
Bush created an atmosphere of good and evil in his most recent State of the Union Address. This black and white picture that was painted is far from the truth in that the United States is by no means free from blemishes. Many of the atrocities that Bush accused our enemies of, we are guilty of here in this country. By making our enemies out to be entirely evil and making the US out to be entirely good, Bush has fostered the atmosphere for a new Cold War. He has asked citizens to become involved with homeland security rather than with helping to create more jobs by getting involved with social programs that strive to bring health insurance, food, and housing to those in need. Bush got around this issue by promising better health care, $48 billion more toward the military, better schools, less taxes, and more social security. All of these factors combine to show that Bush spoke very little truth in his address. This address was a morale booster, not a true assessment of the condition of our country.