February 13, 2004
uses show to defend decisions
the president of the United States says in a television
interview that the reason why he went to war was "lack
of intelligence," it seems like something that should
be reserved for a "Saturday Night Live" skit.
Yet the president did just that on Tim Russert's "Meet
The Press," as well as evade questions while issuing
well-rehearsed statements Sunday.
Confronted about the continuing weapons of mass destruction
controversy, President George W. Bush went in circles
for a long time insisting that it had been the intelligence
that was at fault. Saying "I know I'm getting repetitive,"
and that he does not "want to sound like a broken
record," he nevertheless kept issuing well-rehearsed
And while Bush claims that it was the intelligence community
that provided him with information that he now admits
seems to be false, it makes one wonder at what point in
the war process the government found out that the information
was indeed false.
Recent reports have shown that the Bush administration
knew about the lack of WMDs in Iraq since early on in
the war, yet repeatedly kept insisting "the weapons
will be found," as recently as a few weeks ago. It
should be investigated if there was an intentional misconstruing
of the facts. While Bush appointed members of an intelligence
committee Friday to investigate such allegations, the
findings are not expected before the presidential election
This matter will not be cleared up before voters step
into the booth in November, as Bush said he did not "want
it to be hurried." He further said "the commission
(is set up to) help future presidents understand how best
to fight the war on terror." A worthy goal, but it
would also mean that voters may inadvertently learn about
the shortcomings of a president they re-elected mere months
The statement that Bush sees himself as a "war president"
is also less than reassuring. Such statements by Bush
do not make it clear if he understands that war should
be a last resort rather than a quick fix and that there
are more issues at hand than waging war.
Seemingly eager to discuss the economy, Bush responded
to the question "Why, as a fiscal conservative as
you like to call yourself, would you allow a $500 billion
deficit and this kind of deficit disaster?" Bush
responded "The budget I just proposed to the Congress
cuts the deficit in half in five years."
So let's get this straight: Here is a man that led the
nation to war based on facts that turned out to be untrue,
and while the war was in full sweep kept insisting the
assertions leading to the war were true. A man under whose
leadership the nation's biggest surplus of $281 billion
was turned into the biggest deficit but now seems upbeat
about the possibility of cutting down it down to a $250
billion deficit within five years.
And yet he wants to be re-elected president. Maybe this
is simply his famed "strategery," but it hardly
seems like a good one.
Sebastian Meyer is a columnist for The Oracle of the University
of South Florida. This column was distributed by U-Wire.