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It Doesn't Matter What You Think!
I'm the President and I Can Do Whatever I Want.
By Christine Simpson, OEOM
June 13, 2004

Bush's policies show his blatant disregard for the well-being of U.S troops and the American people. Bush defied the U.N Security Council and the U.N Charter to begin his so-called Operation Iraqi Freedom mission in his search for weapons of mass destruction under the guise of protecting the people of Iraq.1 Over 150,000 U.S troops have been deployed to Iraq since the war began a little over a year ago.2 Since Bush's May 1 declaration that the war was over, 350 more troops have died.3

Now let's rewind back to October 7, 2001, the war on terrorism was initially a mission to look for Osama bin Laden and stamp out Al-Qaeda, who were both suspects in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Then suddenly, the war jumped from an Al-Qaeda and bin Laden mission to a Saddam Hussein and Operation Iraqi Freedom mission.4 Excuse my ignorance, but I can't seem to make the connection. According to Alternet, 9,675 soldiers have either died or been wounded since the war on terrorism began, but for what exactly?5

Do Bush and Rumsfeld even care? The fact that many of us turn on the radio and the television waiting to hear the daily body count for a war that has ended is testimony to the fact that these men do not. The fact that the Bush Administration has intensified the danger our boys and girls are in because he denied an Army request for a desperately needed additional $6 billion funding for resources and programs for the next fiscal year budget, which includes no funding for operation Iraqi freedom, is also testimony that they don't care.6 Though Bush insists that we, as American citizens, be very patriotic, his policies towards his own troops are not. In July of 2003, in a press conference, Bush responded "bring them on!" 7 to a comment about the amounting casualties in Iraq; however, he has not attended even one of the thousands of funerals for troops who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

Bush has made it clear that he doesn't favor his own troops and is willing to use them and the American people to achieve his own agenda. Many troops are realizing this and refuse to re-enlist.8 A 2003 survey taken by the Washington Post of 1,935 troops revealed that "a third of the respondents complained that their mission lacks clear definition and characterized the war in Iraq as of little or no value. Fully 40 percent said the jobs they were doing had little or nothing to do with their training, and many others revealed that they do not intend to re-enlist."9 We are shielded from this side of our troops because the soldiers in Iraq who are shown in the media are hand-picked for their pro-war attitude.

However, soldiers are not content with Bush's policies in Iraq or at home. An article from veterans for about Army Sgt. Vannessa Turner follows her story of as an Iraq veteran who has to fight to get medical treatment after having spent months in Iraq.10 Stories such as this are not uncommon, and the fact that very recently Bush slashed $275 million from the health care budget of the Department of Veterans Affairs has increased troop discontent with Bush's policies.11 Bush's indifference to the care of the same troops who are getting wounded and are dying for his unfounded war proves that patriotism is far from Bush's agenda.

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