I didn't vote for Bush in 2000. He had 4 years to win me over and he failed miserably. I was skeptical of a man who admits to not reading, who only
can only process "received wisdom" from a circle of staunchly conservative advisors with terrifying agendas (see www.newamericancentury.org...
John Ashcroft's Pentacostal beliefs, appointing corporate advocates to positions where public policy would be set--I could go on and on here...), and
the fact that the man had vitually no international policy experience. The initial 9 months of his presidency left a lot to be desired.
When my city was attacked on 9/11, it changed my life indelibly. I lost friends and coworkers that day. A third of my firm's offices that I had
worked for during the past 13 years had been destroyed, which eventually led to my losing my job. To say that it was devastating personally is an
understatement. Considering the tough talk that Bush had issued after the attack, I assumed that justice would be served. It wasn't, and it
wasn't in a very big way.
I supported the war in Afghanistan, and I initially believed the reasons for going to war in Iraq, but I became very angry when I learned that the
case for war in Iraq was made by cherry-picking intelligence to support a pre-set agenda. It is clear that the Iraqi agenda was made prior to
9/11--the deaths of 3000 people were exploited as an opportunity to go after the world's 2nd largest untapped oil reserves. The BS that ensued--the
changing reasons for the war, the hundreds of billions of dollars that were diverted to Iraq instead of being spent on homeland security, the
continuous drumbeat of terror alerts that proved that terrorism was still looming but Al Qaeda was not the main focus of governments efforts, the
creation of a new center for terrorism by going to war in Iraq, and the continuous obsufication of how badly the situation in Iraq is going to
influence the election--just made it even more obvious that Americans were being manipulated.
What really turned my dislike of George Bush into hatred was how he had the gall to use the 3000 lives that were lost in the WTC attacks for political
gain. He had the audacity to come to NYC in August and stage a gross display of false sentiment and caring, claiming victory over the terrorists. In
what alternate universe are we victorious when there are terror alerts every month and reports of potential attacks on a weekly basis? The same week,
the Lower Manhattan Development Corp, released a study that said that two of the buildings that were severely damaged when the towers fell on them
contained harmful Dioxins, asbestos, and other toxins. The buildings couldn't come down because lower Manhattan would be contaminated and the cost
of doing it the right way was more than the funds allocated by the federal government. Also that week, Dennis Hastert's book came out blasting New
Yorkers for being too greedy in the wake of 9/11--we should be happy with funds granted by the federal government, even though they were insufficient
to effectively deal with the clean-up and reconstruction. Also, although the terror alert in NYC alternated remained the highest in the country, we
were only allocated $5 per person for security--the lowest in the country. Not to mention the fact that the terror alert in NYC was raised to
"Orange +" because of the presence of the republican convention. Most New Yorkers were disgusted.
Bush has not brought one terrorist responsible for this heinous crime to justice. Osama bin Laden is still alive and well. His organization is
bigger than it was three years ago. Terrorist attacks around the world have increased exponentially since 9/11--and to say that terrorism is under
control because we haven't been attacked within our borders is denying what terrorism is. Al Qaeda is already here--every time the terror alert is
raised and every time the media reports the possibility of an attack, their presence is felt. The psychological effect is the same--and that is what
terrorism is about. Al Qaeda doesn't even need to kill people to spread terror--the government and the media are already agents of fear. Terrorism
is all about fear--and I would say that the majority of Americans are very afraid. I would also say that Al Qaeda calls the legions of terrified
Americans a glowing success story.
Many New Yorkers like myself feel abandoned by the rest of the country. We were attacked and the main focus should have been to bring the
attackers--Al Qaeda--to justice. The past three years and billions of dollars should have been spent stopping Al Qaeda in their tracks, obliterating
them from the face of the Earth, and making Americans feel safe again. Instead, George Bush started a war in Iraq for dubious reasons, which let Al
Qaeda flourish and allowed the man responsible for killing my friends remain at large. George Bush's assault on Americans via terror alerts has the
same effect as terrorism.
59 million Americans somehow ignored this and gave this man a second chance to make Americans feel safe, even though he has failed to do so over the
past three years, oddly indicating in some places that forbidding two men from getting married is a more important issue. Thanks America.
Obviously, for these reasons, I don't think that there is any way that George Bush will be able to redeem himself in my eyes.