The following is from Foreign Policy In Focus. It comments on the speech that George Bush gave at his State of the Union address. You can see the original article at http://www.foreignpolicy-infocus.org/commentary/2002/0201sou.html1.
Deconstructing George W. Bush: A Critical Analysis of the 2002 State of the Union Address
By Stephen Zunes
January 31, 2002
Foreign Policy In Focus
President George W. Bush's State of the Union address on January 29, 2002 was the first in many years to focus primarily on foreign policy. Despite widespread accolades in the media and strong bipartisan support in Congress, a careful examination of the language and assumptions in the address raise disturbing questions about the direction of U.S. foreign policy under the current administration. What follows are some excerpts consisting of the majority of the speech addressing foreign policy issues and interspersed with some critical commentary. This should not be interpreted as in any way minimizing the very real danger from terrorism, or the need for a decisive response, nor to imply that Bush administration policy regarding terrorism and other foreign policy issues has been totally negative. Yet the failure to recognize the misleading verbiage and to recognize the dangerous implications of such words--however eloquent and reassuring to a nation that has experienced such trauma in recent months--will not only make us less safe from the threat of terrorism, but will deprive Americans of our greatest defense and asset: our freedom to question and challenge government policies that are not in the best interests of our country and the world.
The annotated State of the Union Address:
"In four short months, our nation has comforted the victims;
. . .begun to rebuild New York;
. . . rallied a great coalition;
. . .captured, arrested and rid the world of thousands of terrorists;
. . .destroyed Afghanistan's terrorist training camps;
. . .saved a people from starvation;
. . .and freed a country from brutal oppression.
"The American flag flies again over our embassy in Kabul...
"Terrorists who once occupied Afghanistan now occupy cells at Guantanamo Bay.
"And terrorist leaders who urged followers to sacrifice their lives are running for their own.
"America and Afghanistan are now allies against terror. We will be partners in rebuilding that country...
"When I called our troops into action, I did so with complete confidence in their courage and skill.
For reasons too numerous to mention, this is difficult even to define, much less measure.
"The men and women of our armed forces have delivered a message now clear to every enemy of the United States: Even 7,000 miles away, across oceans and continents, on mountaintops and in caves, you will not escape the justice of this nation.
"Our military has put the terror training camps of Afghanistan out of business, yet camps still exist in at least a dozen countries. A terrorist underworld--including groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Jaish-i-Mohammed--operates in remote jungles and deserts and hides in the centers of large cities.
"My hope is that all nations will heed our call and eliminate the terrorist parasites who threaten their countries and our own. Many nations are acting forcefully. But some governments will be timid in the face of terror. And make no mistake: If they do not act, America will.
"Our second goal is to prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction.
"Some of these regimes have been pretty quiet since Sept. 11. But we know their true nature. North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens.
"Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people's hope for freedom.
"Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror. The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax and nerve gas and nuclear weapons for over a decade.
"This is a regime that has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens, leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children.
"This is a regime that agreed to international inspections, then kicked out the inspectors.
"This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world.
"States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.
"By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic.