Defense of country not high on Bush's priorities


In last Thursday's debate, John Kerry poignantly addressed Bush's failures to implement container inspections at our ports, to fix areas of exposure in our public transportation system and to fund police and firemen who are the first responders in a terror attack. Bush's response? "I don't think we want to get to how he's going to pay for all these promises."


This should come as a surprise to no one. Despite all of the president's chest-thumping rhetoric, he has never made the defense of the country a fiscal priority.


We're told that there's no money to secure our borders, but there's plenty for giving huge tax windfalls to corporations that outsource our jobs. There's no money to procure advanced armor for our soldiers and their vehicles, but there's billions to give away in no-bid contracts to Halliburton and Bechtel. We're making defense contractors rich as they build a missile defense system that's never been shown to work, yet there's no money to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the first place. Worst of all, we're not implementing half of the 9-11 Commission's recommendations for lack of funding, but we continue to throw billions into the bottomless hole that is Iraq.


Bush threatened to veto a bill, sponsored by Kerry, which would have fully funded the Iraq war by rescinding the tax cuts for the extremely wealthy. Instead, he attacks Kerry for voting against a terrible bill that shamefully passes the costs along to our children and grandchildren.


As president, Bush cares about only two things: entrenching his party's power base and keeping his supporters wealthy. How lucky for him that Osama bin Laden provided him with the perfect vehicle to do exactly that. No wonder Bush still hasn't captured him after three long years. The security of the country is a necessary sacrifice for Bush's aristocratic goals.


Geoff Trowbridge The Elkhart Truth, 10/5/2004