Each time I hear about the “pre-emptive non-aggression” or war in Iraq, I cannot help thinking that Bush is just trying to finish what his father started back in the early 1990’s. I will not disagree with the fact that Iraq has violated some of the sanctions placed on it with the end of the Gulf War. However, I do feel that perhaps President Bush should be concerned about some of the more pressing issues facing America.
Each time war is discussed, the economy takes another plunge, even though war is supposed to help bring an economy out of recession. As Jack Baker, head of equities at Putnam Lovell Securities stated, “There are so many clouds over the market. I don’t see any short-term way out of this mess. Some people are calling for not only a test of the October lows, but for possibly falling below the October lows once we start shooting.”
I personally, would not care to see prices rise once again. Still Bush seems to care little about the floundering U. S. economy and is convinced that the war will help even though he has been advised otherwise. According to CNN, “More respondents identified the economy as a decisive issue at the polls compared to terrorism, 53 percent to 32 percent.” Even now, we are hit by rising gas prices. Here in Cullowhee, gas prices increased a dime in a matter of days.
One would believe that if the President could not be swayed by his Cabinet that his approval ratings from the American public would. Polls point to falling confidence in his handling of world affairs. Another poll by CNN, conducted on January 12, found that 53 percent of respondents approve of how Bush is handling world affairs–a drop since the week before when the number was at 60 percent. I feel that his ratings will continue to drop since he insists on proceeding with this war even without complete ally support.
The strength of the recently established European Union is being tested, as different countries decide whose side they are on. So far, our strongest backers are Spain and Tony Blair, the Prime Minister of England. Many are worried that mixed signals may be sent to Iraq if the European Union is split on the decision of war. Costas Simitis, the Prime Minister of Greece, warned last week that failure to agree on a common position regarding Iraq would plunge the European Union into a deep crisis. Some of the diplomats hope the leaders of the European Union countries will come to an agreement to urge Iraq to comply with the U. N. disarmament resolutions.
However, Iraq is not the only world problem now facing the United States. It is now said that North Korea possesses the ability to launch a nuclear weapon that can travel from there to California. Especially considering that Japan has stated that if North Korea does anything that could be considered a precursor to an attack including fueling its missile, it would declare war on North Korea. Now the U. N. has to deal with that situation at the same time as the situation in Iraq.
The U.N has considered imposing sanctions on North Korea for breaching the international nuclear agreement in an attempt to persuade it to drop its nuclear plans. However, North Korea has stated that doing so would amount to a declaration of war. Personally, that worries me a bit more than Saddam Hussein, who is currently economically linked to us.
One last question I have–why does the United States of America deem itself the protector of the world? Who are we to say what should or should not happen on a global scale? Last time I checked, the United Nations had that in its job description, but I guess the President has to live up to “Daddy’s” expectations.