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Elections reserve an important place in our democratic nation. Some are more exciting than others and some are more important than others. But no one had ever expected that presidential election of 2000 would change the United States of America like the way we have witnessed. Even though George Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 elections to Al Gore, he managed to walk into the Oval Office that offset the downfall of the greatest nation on the face of earth. His policies have ruined our economy and taken us into an unwise and unnecessary war that earned us enemies all around the globe. He led us into the dangerous directions both in America and overseas.
If we look at Bush's foreign policy, we find that his was the most arrogant foreign policy ever delivered. He did not follow the idea of “containment” that was successfully followed by his predecessors for four decades Republican and Democratic presidents against enemies like the Soviet Union, Communist China and Cuba- but came up with new policy of “first strike” or “anticipatory self-defense.” According to the new Bush doctrine, the United States reserve the right to invade any country and overthrow any government we think may someday pose a threat.
The worst thing a president could do is lead a nation to war but it was different with George Bush in the Oval Office because he lied us into the war. Today, we are still searching for a reason for Iraq war. As we have seen, everything George Bush told us to justify the Iraq war was a lie. This raised doubts about the honesty of the Bush administration when we found no weapons of mass destruction, no nuclear weapons, no long-range missiles, no bomb-carrying drones, no connection to September 11, no links to Osama bin Laden and no imminent threat to the United States. When it became clear the Iraq was never a threat to the US, the white house changed its tune justifying the war all over again saying Saddam Hussein had ordered the execution of thousand of political prisoners and the people of Iraq needed to be freed from this tyrant. There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein was the most evil man on earth and the Iraqi people are way better off without him in power but who has given us the Americans this power to invade any country, anytime and overthrow any leader we do not like? American president is not the right person to decide that when there is United Nations to deal with this kind of mess. After the unnecessary war on terror we have also spoiled the image of United Nations and everyone thinks that United Nations is nothing but a puppet in the hand of America who can use it as it likes. Iraq was not a democracy but so are many other countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Cuba, etc. Saddam Hussein was a tyrant and so are many others. Does that mean that George Bush was going to make the same case against these others tyrants? The answer is no because these men were quiet powerful as compared to Saddam Hussein and possessed nuclear weapons. To the present day we have not been given any concrete evidence that supports Bush's reasons for going to war in Iraq. On the contrary, there is enough evidence to prove that George Bush misused his power and lied to the American public. Let us see what some of our leaders had to say before Iraq war:
“There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons… Our conservative estimate is that Iraq today has a stockpile of between one hundred and five hundred tons of chemical weapons agents. That is enough to fill sixteen thousand battlefield rockets. Saddam Hussein has chemical weapons. And we have sources who tell us that he recently has authorized his field commanders to use them.”
United Nations, February 5, 2003
“According to the British government, the Iraqi regime could launch a biological or chemical weapons attack in as little as forty-five minutes after the orders were given.”
George W. Bush
Rose Garden, September 26, 2002
The one thing to notice here is that our leaders did not use the word “may” in their statements but appear to be certain of their claims. The war in Iraq- where America has lost its loved ones and tax dollars-was both unnecessary and unwise. Now that we know Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction but we also know that he had acquired these weapons in the 1980s, from the poisonous materials he had bought from America and our government had the full knowledge of this. He even used these weapons in the Iran-Iraq war against the Iranian troops. When he used the weapons then we did nothing rather continued to support Iraq to carry on the war with Iran. It was confirmed later on that Saddam Hussein had destroyed his weapons of mass destruction after Desert Storm, because he feared getting caught by UN inspectors. After that he just kept bluffing about those weapons in order to maintain his status.
Whenever our ex president fell short of reasons to support anything, he used 9/11 as his final weapon. When asked at a news conference of his plans to spend $170 billion on his reelection campaign, he replied, “Everyday, I'm reminded about what 9/11 means to America.” The same year when asked about the rising unemployment rate in America, he said, “I want you to think back to that fateful day, September the 11, and what happened afterwards.” So we see 9/11 became Bush's getaway phrase. He made the best use of 9/11 in making the case for war in Iraq. He knew if could link Saddam Hussein to Osama bin Laden, he could justify the war. So he presented the war in Iraq as an extension of war on terror that began on the next day of World Trade attacks and was aimed at al Qaeda and their allies, including Saddam Hussein.
“This is a man who has had contacts with al Qaeda. This is men who poses a serious threat in many forms, but catch this form: He's the kind of guy that would love nothing more than to train terrorists and provide arms to terrorists so they could attack his worst enemy and leave no fingerprints. This guy is a threat to the world.”
George W. Bush,
St. Paul, November 3, 2002
Furthermore, the respect for the United States deteriorated around the world because Bush canceled US participation in existing treaties on the law of the sea, biological weapons and missile defense. Bush came to be ridiculed as the “Toxic Texan.” Following the war scene, even our allies now regard America as an unfriendly and fierce. Bush had spoiled the image of America to such a degree that he only got support from two others countries, Great Britain and Australia, to join in the invasion of Iraq.
Bush has brought more damage on the home front. He turned a projected ten-year, $ 5 billion surplus into a projected $ 5 billion deficit. He replaced Bill Clinton's balanced budget with a 2004 budget deficit of $374 billion which is the largest in history. He did not stop here and went on to reward his favorite constituency, those Americans making over $320,000 a year, with two back-to-back tax cuts that they didn't need and we couldn't afford. Eight years of the booming economic growth were followed by the recession brought by Bush and that caused the loss of 2.8 million private sector jobs. With all these milestones, George Bush became the first president since Herbert Hoover to leave office with more Americans out of work than when he arrived.
The Bush recession has hurt all Americans except the ones who supported his election campaign with big contributions. His favorites were given the gifts of federal goodies like new subsidies to big agricultural firms, freedom to continue polluting to refineries and utilities, access to national monuments and forests to timber and mining interests, and drilling in Alaska and national parks to oil companies. George Bush paid his friends back, big time. On the other hand, he declared war on all the rest of us. He cut funds for students and made the prescription cost more to the seniors.
Who gave him the right to lock the suspects in prisons without giving them an access to a lawyer and without any chance to prove their innocence? He also crushed the Fourth Amendment by making it necessary for all of us to open up our personal information to the FBI. When asked to give the reason, this man had no other reason than to relate all this to the war on terror. This man made us more prone to terrorist attacks than we were before him. No doubt he was the worst president we ever had.
Like all this was not enough for the first term of presidency, we went to reelect him for the second time. This shows how seriously we take the elections and end up choosing the unworthy candidates as our leader who would become our voice in the international community. 2004 was our golden chance to learn from our mistakes made in 2000 elections and save our nation from any more damage Bush could cause but we did not learn.
Our image in the international community is so bad that when people from America travel to other countries, they return inspired by the beautiful sites they visited but at the same time they had to face the anti-Americanism everywhere they traveled. From 2000 to 2004 people only blamed George Bush knowing the controversial 2000 presidential elections but after 2004 elections the same people blamed the Americans for reelecting him. The United States emerged as a superpower after the Second World War. To maintain the superpower status, our country is known for destroying anything it fears be it the Soviet Union or Iraq. We were the first to establish trade with Japan when Japan did not like to interact with the outside world and Japan was the first to experience the disaster caused by atomic bomb proudly manufactured in the US. The nation where the United Nations Organization was formed is the most hot-headed nation in the world. There were so many innocent people killed in Afghanistan because it was Bin Laden's country. I don't think that the people killed in American bombings even knew what the Twin Towers were. We were not able to find this man even though we burnt the entire country down for him. After this Afghanistan scene, three people became the center of attention- George Bush, Osama bin Laden and Michael Moore. It is hard to tell who the greatest terrorist of the first two is because one destroyed two buildings and the other two nations. I admire the third one who came out with this documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 that deals with the Bush administration in the aftermath of 9/11 and alleged links between the families of George Bush and Osama bin Laden. Moore was the man who unmasked George Bush- a failed business man given the control of the most prosperous nation on earth. Our former president Bush ruined his own house in order to destroy someone else's. The result of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is clear now, people lost their loved ones and depression struck our nation. I still do not understand who would want to indulge in warfare when people back home are struggling with harsh economic times. If we look at history, war has never been a solution for anything. As Albert Einstein once said, “know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."