Bush has not made Americans safer

March 08, 2004

Dear Editor:

I am writing in part to respond to a letter several weeks ago that suggested the real issue in the coming election is how safe we are in our homes. The writer implied that somehow the policies of the Bush administration have made us safer.

Unfortunately, this is exactly the reverse of the truth. We have created a situation in the world where our friends distrust us and our motives, and our enemies have been focused and empowered by our actions. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who has written extensively about the Middle East, suggests the real possibility that we may have an Islamic Republic of Palestine and an Islamic Republic of Iraq by Election Day. The latter seems less likely with the adoption of an interim constitution last week, but not outside the realm of possibility if the internal warfare between Iraqis continues. In Afghanistan, the government of Karzai rules only within the area of the capital while warlords reassert control of the countryside. Meanwhile, the hand of Muslim extremists everywhere has been strengthened as the U.S. continues to show our willingness to pre-emptively strike where we will, act outside international law, and maintain "occupying" forces in Arab countries.


As is now clear in the testimony before several congressional committees, this sad state of foreign affairs was brought about by a conscious campaign on the part of the Bush Administration to distort and lie to the American public to build support for the war. The campaign began with the inauguration, well before the tragedy of 9/11. The charade of imminent risk from weapons of mass destruction (WMD) was used to push Congress to support the war.

On March 18, 2003, conservative maven Bill O'Reilly said "If the Americans go in and overthrow Saddam Hussein and it's clean, he has (no WMD), I will apologize to the nation, and I will not trust the Bush administration again, all right?" O'Reilly made good on his promise on Feb. 10, "I was wrong. I'm not pleased about it at all. And I think all Americans should be concerned about this... I am much more skeptical of the Bush administration now."

Many of us think skepticism falls short of the response demanded by this ethical breach on the part of the administration. A campaign to censure President Bush for his lies to the Congress and the public is underway in Congress. You can contact Rep. Chandler, Senator Bunning, or Senator McConnell to express your opinion on this effort or register with to follow the action.

Efforts to express our expectation of truth from our leaders help reinforce the integrity and values we seek to demonstrate to the world.

Dan Nolet


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