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Costs Of Bush'S Eight Year Joyride

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Having been led blindly in the direction of President Bush's Iraqi agenda, we now find ourselves under rule of the Bush Administrations second term. Using ingenious strategy, Bush ensured himself victory in the 2004 election, by infiltrating the churches with his smoke screen of concern with moral issues and family values. Nevertheless in doing this, Bush tapped into a large American demographic of American voters. We the people have voluntarily given up our civil and constitutional rights, whether through apathy or simply being too busy to pay attention to current events.

This being clear to us, we have to ask ourselves as American citizens have we made the right decision. Did we select the most qualified leader to make educated choices with the best interests of the nation in mind? We cannot sugar coat it, America elected a leader concerned not with the issues that truly face our nation, but with catering to the agendas of many friends and associates. By catering to this market Bush advances his and his administrations own campaign on, 'taking care of number one.' This blatant dis-regard towards logical and progressive thinking governmental practices, brings with it inevitable consequences. The state of our foreign relations is in terrible shape, which as we soon could realize, can bring with it a heavy price to pay, in the form of terrorism. The myth Bush projects, one of protection from terrorism, are just that, a myth. The global terrorism climate is on the rise, steadily being provoked by outrage towards U.S. actions centered in the middle-east. Only time will tell, since hind sight is always 20/20. History eventually will state clearly the parts we are currently missing in the picture of our nation, the facts tucked away from the publics view. It is either this or the brainwashing could prove effective and America can continue in this direction, in my own opinion leading possibly to the fall of an empire.

The current crisis between the U.S. and Iraq continues more than a decade of drama between Washington and Baghdad. To understand why we are in the midst of war, however, one must look closely at the goals of the current Bush administration, which is drawn by Iraq's massive oil reserves and the goal of expanding U.S. military power around the world.

The Iraqi government's record is undeniably brutal, and the U.S. and its allies should never have given it access to weapons of mass destruction, as they did during the decade of the close U.S. Iraqi alliance in the 1980s. However, there is no evidence that Iraq currently has viable weapons of mass destruction, or that it presents an imminent threat to the United States. Despite Bush administration claims, is there any link between Iraq and the events of September 11? A U.S. war against Iraq violates international law and worsens our global reputation as an arrogant, unaccountable superpower. A forward-looking United States would work through the United Nations to promote disarmament, human rights, and democracy at home and throughout the region, and pursue domestic energy policies that reduce our dependence on oil and thus our interventions in the Persian Gulf region and elsewhere.

The government of Iraq has long been brutally repressive towards its own people, and has twice attacked other countries. Iraq's peak as a military power came during the

1980s, as a result of its decade-long alliance with the United States, which along with

European and other U.S. allies provided political, military, technological and financial support. In fact, it was during this period of the U.S.- Iraqi alliance that Baghdad committed its worst human rights violations. But the 1991 Gulf War bombing and 12 years of sanctions severely diminished Iraq's military capacity. By the time the United Nations weapons inspectors left Iraq in 1998 in anticipation of the U.S. "Desert Fox" bombing campaign, they had found and destroyed or rendered harmless 90 - 95% of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, including its chemical and biological weapons and long-range missiles. They had also completely destroyed its unfinished nuclear efforts. Unlike a number of other countries, Iraq has not made international terrorism its pattern. Iraq simply does not pose a threat to the United States.

U.S. threats to go to war against Iraq were largely driven by oil and empire - expanding U.S. military and economic power. As these goals primarily benefit oil companies and the already rich and powerful, the Bush administration relies on fear to mobilize public support for war among ordinary Americans by linking Iraq falsely with the very real threat of terrorism and through rhetoric like "axis of evil." Bush also plays on Americans' genuine concern about human rights to gain support. Many top officials of the Bush administration come directly out of the oil industry. President Bush himself, as well as Vice-President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Commerce Donald

Evans and others all have strong ties to oil companies. Chevron once named a tanker after Rice as a gesture of thanks. But the U.S. didn't threaten an invasion simply for its continued access to Iraqi oil. It is a much broader U.S. play for control of the oil industry and the ability to set the price of oil on the world market.

Regime change is a euphemism for the assassination or overthrow of Saddam

Hussein. 'Regime change' has been official U.S. policy since 1998's Iraq Liberation Act. The idea of the Iraqi people themselves, once economic sanctions are lifted and they are able to rebuild their country and their lives, working together to replace their government with one more representative and less repressive is simply

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