Bu$h's Dismal Record Speaks For Itself
Forget the polished media persona. Forget his speeches. Forget that he prays in public. Look at what he has DONE.
Sunday January 11, 2004
Bush's dismal record speaks for itself
By Steve Spyrison
In less than 11 months we will be electing the next president of the United States. Our current president has the polished appearance of a sincere, devout gentleman who gives the convincing impression that he is working hard for the best interests of our country. He prays openly, which pleases many.
Here is a little more of the picture of this man and the accomplishments of the present administration and his immediate history:
He was elected governor of Texas with the endorsement of his father and help of the oil industry, including Enron CEO Ken Lay. During his governorship he helped change Texas pollution laws to favor power and oil companies, making Texas the most polluted state in the union. During that time, Houston displaced Los Angeles as the most polluted city in our country. He helped set a record number of executions - more than any other governor in American history. He cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas treasury to the tune of billions in borrowed money.
With the help of his brother, the governor of Florida, and his father's Supreme Court appointments, he became president after losing by a half million votes. In his first year in office, more than two million Americans lost their jobs and America continues to lose more. He spent more time on vacation than any other president. He set the record for most campaign fund-raising trips and holds the U.S. and world record for receiving the most corporate campaign donations. He has appointed more convicted criminals to his administration and his cabinet is the wealthiest presidential cabinet ever.
While professing fiscal responsibility under this administration, we have observed the highest gasoline prices, the greatest drop in the U.S. stock market, the most private bankruptcies filed and the most bank foreclosures. He has given tax rebates, cut taxes and shattered the record for the largest annual federal deficit.
One week before Sept. 11, 2001, U.S. representatives walked out of the U.N. Council on Human Rights, which at the time was focusing on Israel's treatment of its neighbors. His stated goal early in office was to "win the first war of the 21st century," and he bombed Baghdad during his first 30 days in office. Under this administration, for the first time ever in the history of the United States, a pre-emptive attack and military occupation of another nation was ordered. And he did so against the will of the United Nations, the majority of U.S. citizens and the world community. Seven "Axis of Evil" nations have been named, and two countries have been invaded with costs expected to rise to nearly $200 billion soon. In the State of the Union address he was dishonest about our reasons for attacking Iraq and then cited our allies, the British, for his misinformation.
While the U.S. has long held world respect, we now are at the lowest point in world opinion; through the eyes of the world we are no longer seen as defenders of human rights but as the military aggressor. After months of U.N. weapons inspections and being advised that no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq, our administration insisted there were.
None have been found during our occupation. On our own home front, he supports the development of the nuclear Tactical Bunker Buster, which is a WMD, and we have withdrawn from the International Ban on Nuclear Weapons Treaty. While we had strong worldwide sympathy following the World Trade Center attacks, less than a year later, for the first time in history, the majority (71 percent) of Europeans viewed our president personally as the single greatest threat to world peace and security. Our leader set the all-time record for simultaneous protests against his actions in public venues (15 million people) - more than anyone else in the history of mankind. His visit was not well received while recently visiting our closest military ally - England.
Under this administration, we are the only western nation to fail to sign the Kyoto Protocol for greenhouse gas emissions reduction, and the only nation among 130 to refuse to sign on the world ban on land mines. Of 192 nations that signed the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, only the U.S. and Somalia have not signed on. He withdrew from the World Court of Law.
We were the only country to be removed by the United Nations from the Human Rights Commission. He has broken more international treaties than any other U.S. president. He violated the Geneva Convention by refusing to allow inspectors access to U.S. prisoners of war. He was also the first president to refuse U.N. election inspectors during the 2002 elections.
Friends at Enron and Halliburton were protected against investigation or prosecution. More money was spent on investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair than investigations into one of the largest corporate scandals in history. Under the name of national security, we have fewer rights than before and, at the same time, all records of SEC investigation into Bush's insider trading and bankrupt companies are now being kept secret. Also sealed and unavailable to the public are records or minutes of public energy policy meetings that he or the vice president attended. He refused to intervene when corruption involving the oil industry was revealed during the biggest energy crisis in history.
And he has made the fewest number of press conferences of any president since the inception of television.
This, to the best of my knowledge, is an accurate summary of the recent tenure. There is no need to express an opinion here as this brief history speaks for itself. Thanks for reading.
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Steve Spyrison is a Freeport dentist and co-author of "For the Love of Community," a column that runs in The Journal-Standard's Pulse section on Thursdays.
address: Northwest Illinois Journal-Standard
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