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September 25, 2006

Myriad Questions Abound

Derek Shackelford

There has been discussion recently concerning President George W. Bush's speech on September 11th, 2006. As this country remembered the catastrophic events of five years ago, I felt compassion for those who lost loved ones. I do not like to call it an anniversary because an anniversary should be something that is celebrated.

Ever since that day life has changed for many people. We were reminded just how precious life truly is. As the president made his speech on the fifth anniversary, the news media attempted to cover every angle and even presented rebuttals to what was said.

Some pundits said that the speech was too political and that it was not the time or place to utter some of what he said.

As we embark on the mid term elections of 2006, is unfortunate that everything this president does is viewed as political.

In the days leading up to September 11, 2006, administration officials were spinning the current war in Iraq and the policy of torture.

When Vice President Dick Cheney was questioned about the war, he said that the world is safer without Saddam Hussein. This is contrary to the information that administration official used in justifying the war.

The Bush Administration made the argument that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. Now when questioned about not finding these weapons, administration officials just shrug it off and say that the world is safer now because of a government in Iraq. The justification of the foreign policy is that democratic elections will create an atmosphere of peace and make the world a safer place.

As history notes, democratically elected governments do not ensure that peace will rule the land. Palestine, Lebanon, Turkey, and India have democratically elected governments but still have intense violence.

Even in this country - although we have a democratic form of government - we have the highest incarceration rate in the world. Is it the democratic system that this administration wants to spread or is it the Western culture?

The subject of torture has dominated the news lately; and the justification for this policy is to keep America safer. There are opponents who say that torture does not make America better than those who perpetuate terror.

As I watch shows such as Meet the Press, This Week on ABC News, and other Sunday morning shows, I listen carefully. I even wish that the interviewers would ask some of the questions that seemed to be avoided.

If I had the opportunity just once, I would ask: "Are we wiser since September 11th? Do we know more than we did on September 11th? Why is the context of fear being used instead of hope and optimism?

The White House has said that leading up to the mid-term elections President Bush will make more public speeches before the nation, laying out the reasons for staying the course in Iraq and the types of interrogation methods that are being used. He will end his speech with God Bless America.

Another question that comes to mind is how does God feel about deception and torture, Mr. President?

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