President Bush addressed the nation on Sunday night concerning the war on Iraq. Rather than concede that the United States has not found any weapons of mass destruction since they did not exist to be found in the first place, Mr. Bush came hat in hand, and asked for another $87 billion to pay for a nebulous war on “terror.”
Herewith a suggested script that Mr. Bush should have used last night, and which I would be pleased to see him recite on live television at any time in the future (preferably sooner, rather than later):
My fellow Americans. I am here to tell you that I have lied. I have lied about weapons of mass destruction, and about Iraq posing a threat to American freedom. In lying, I have sinned.
I have already accepted responsibility for the failures in the war on Iraq. And I am responsible. I am therefore resigning my office today, as are Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
All three of us will sell our belongings and travel to Iraq to work at a subsistence level providing humanitarian aid to persons injured during the invasion. In lieu of keeping any wages I am paid, I will repay the cost of my flight to the USS Abraham Lincoln.
Please understand that I step down not only because of the harmful and expensive war which I unleashed, but because the federal government has exceeded its revenue by more than $450 billion this year. California Governor Gray Davis is being recalled for a much lesser shortfall, and he does not have Alan Greenspan or a printing press. I am, therefore, stepping aside to allow others to right the fiscal ship of state.
I have spent months and years practicing the look of the late Charles Bronson, the chiseled, tough guy image that waffling independent voters and soccer moms crave. I will now practice the look of Mother Theresa. I will care for the poor and wounded with my own two hands. I will be the field worker for my own faith-based charity, right in Iraq.
In order to prevent further senseless loss of life, and to minimize hatred of the United States in the Middle East, in my last official act, I will bring the troops home. And I will bring them home not only from Iraq, but from Europe and Japan as well.
My legacy to you, my fellow Americans, is to restore the notion of peaceful independence to the forefront of American political life, a place which it has not occupied since the regime of another George, our first president, Mr. Washington.
As Mr. Washington put it in is farewell address, “The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. … It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.”
I have learned the error of treating war as simply another means of foreign policy. I regret having ignored such a good and peaceful man as Pope John Paul the Second, who counseled against the war on Iraq. My fellow Americans, let us not forget that war is a terrible evil. As the dying dwarf king Thorin told Mr. Tolkien’s hobbit, “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. But sad or merry, I must leave it now. Farewell!” And indeed, farewell.
Exit stage right. Fin.
As for Mr. Bush’s request for an additional $87 billion to be wasted upon killing, destruction, and allowing the incompetent U.S. federal government to run the lives of Iraqis the way it runs the lives of Native Americans, there can be only one reply: no.
Mr. Bush, you have already overspent by nearly $550 to $600 billion this year (that “deficit” thing). The national debt of the United States federal government is approaching $7 trillion.
Any plans to pay off that debt, Mr. Bush? Here’s a hint: start now. $87 billion “war on terror” spending request: denied.
Mr. . Dieteman [send him mail] is an attorney in Erie, Pennsylvania, and a PhD candidate in philosophy at The Catholic University of America.
© 2003 David Dieteman