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Bush's policies lead to more disasters

August 21, 2003

Dear Editor:

The incompetent foreign policy of the Bush administration has presented us with fresh disasters in Palestine and Iraq.

Regarding Palestine we need to keep in mind this principle: It's the "settlements," stupid! Despite the occasionally reasonable language coming from Israeli politicians, settlements continue to grow under Sharon as they did under his predecessor, Barak. The only conceivable goal of this settlement policy is ultimate annexation or else creation of a patchwork of Arab ghettos in a weak and divided Palestinian state. The American taxpayer contributes three billion dollars a year to subsidize a continuing violation of international law.

As Gen. Wesley Clark, the former supreme commander of NATO, said in a recent speech: Bush got us into Iraq "under false pretenses." And now, despite expenditures of a billion dollars a week, there is chaos there - guerilla warfare, car bombs, American soldiers dying almost daily, and constant sabotage of pipelines and other infrastructure. In a piece of juvenile bravado, Bush said about the resistance in Iraq: "Bring 'em on." Well, they "shore" did. The occupation of Iraq is seriously underfunded and understaffed, though the administration is loath to admit it because it has so little revenue after its massive tax cuts. Because America and Britain disregarded the international community in going to war, America will pay most of the cost of rebuilding Iraq.

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After the Supreme Court elected George Bush as president, I asked several of my Republican friends whether they were concerned about the nation's future under the leadership of a man with so few qualifications. Their usual response was that he would get expert advice that would make up for his generally acknowledged ignorance about the nation and the world. I was not to worry that his only ability seemed to be getting people to like him, especially rich people. The problem was that he got to choose the advisors, and seems unable to sort out good from bad advice. That leaves our country dangerously exposed, at least until the next election. The Republican Party may yet come to be known as the Bush League.

Brian Cooney

Danville

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