State of the Union or State of Confusion?

By Matthew Teilhard Beauchesne
February 7, 2002

Tuesday, Jan. 29. Bush tackled many issues that night, but surprising to no one, his main focus was on the terrorist attacks. The first statement he made, after dispensing with usual pleasantries, was that “our nation is at war.” Who started this “war?” I know it was not Congress. War for President Bush and his administration means death and destruction.

People do not understand that you cannot win this self-proclaimed war on terrorism by destruction and the killing of people. You only perpetuate further violence. Pretending that violence solves these situations is the reason the U.S. is in its present situation. President Bush does not seem to care, in fact he does a most appalling thing, he dehumanizes people by saying, “eliminate the terrorist parasites.” Dehumanizing people will only fuel hatred. Besides should the Islamic world suffer from being called terrorists and parasites for the select actions of a few?

The general public makes little distinction between those who perpetrate acts and the greater group or state they represent. Bush also wants to encourage “development and education and opportunity in the Islamic world.” Again this is part of the problem; perhaps it is not our place to change the cultures and ideas of other countries. Muslims may resent the U.S. if we change their ways.

Bush assures us that America will act to achieve his goal of “prevent regimes that sponsor terrorism.” He warns three countries North Korea, Iran and Iraq. Why these countries? Why do they hate the U.S.? Well, the Korean War was fought from 1950-1953. We aided South Korea and have caused the split among those people that still exists today. We would certainly be hostile if someone would have intervened in our Civil War and caused the North and South to become two separate countries.

What did we do to Iran? In 1953 the CIA overthrew the leftist government and installed the Shah, who committed grave atrocities against his own people. Yet Bush tells us that the current government of Iran, the Shah, was overthrown in 1979, is “an unelected few [that] repress the Iranian people’s hope for freedom.” We supported and propped up one of most repressive governments they knew!

Then we intervene on the side of Iraq against Iran in the 1987-1988 Iran-Iraq war. Then Iraq, we supported them, gave them technology and then we invaded them. Iraq did invade Kuwait, but Kuwait’s government is just as repressive as Iraq’s. The reason we invaded is purely economically, cheap oil!

Afghanistan, surely we did not do anything against them? In 1998 the U.S. bombed Afghanistan for attacks committed on U.S. embassies. No evidence was given as to if the attacks originated from Afghanistan or what exactly we hit.

We intervene too often in international affairs. The U.S., however, fails to “stand firm for the non-negotiable demands of human dignity” with China. Perhaps it is because China is our most favorite trading partner.

Most of the Islamic world is upset with the U.S. because we support Israel and give billions to its military. Unfortunately some of the things the terrorists say can be backed up with empirical evidence. The methods they use are heinous, but so are some of the methods the Jewish people used against Palestine prior to 1948. We consider the Muslims to be the enemy, even though they have a valid claim to Israel. Previous to the creation of the Israeli State, the Palestinians occupied that region for nearly 2000 years.

Bush insists by repeating that “our cause is just,” but at what cost? “We have spent more than a billion dollars a month – over $30 million a day.” Can this spending be justified? Bush wants to spend even more. “Whatever it costs to defend our country, we will pay.” The terrorists can bleed the U.S. dry not by blood, but with money. If Cold War spending returns, along with the increase spending in Medicare and Social Security, the U.S. could plunge into a deep depression.

Bush, however, wants Congress to act “in a fiscally responsible manner,” yet he wants to spend money on, schools, head start, teachers, energy, tax relief, a stimulus package, health security, pension plans, social security and the environment.

The president still has not addressed the grievances of the terrorists groups as of yet. Are they right? Do they have a claim? Can their violent acts be understood? No violence can be justified. I do not honestly know who is right. Their cause will only grow stronger as we kill them, making them martyrs. We can kill them physically, but we may fail to defeat them ideologically.

The U.S. can spend as much money and invade every country in the world, because Bush thinks of the “entire world as battlefield.” The war on terrorism, however, will fail unless the terrorist grievances are responded to. Our only true protection against terrorism is a passive role in international affairs.

The U.S. suffered a great tragedy on Sept. 11, but is all this really necessary? Countries suffer tragedies all the time, like in Sudan and Rwanda. I have not noticed anyway collecting money for the Sudanese. In this current time I think people have to practice restraint and rational thought.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Matthew Teilhard Beauchesne

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Special Project

Title IX Redefined Website

Produced by Cabrini Communication
Class of 2024

Listen Up

Season 2, Episode 3: Celebrating Cabrini and Digging into its Past


Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap