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The Illusion of Security
Do not panic, you are quite safe, the United States has everything under control, for at least the next few minutes. At that point, you will be informed that your death is imminent. A few minutes later, everything will be under control again. Repeat to fade.

George W. Bush has an agenda. In fact, he has at least two, which is two more than most credited him with when he was running for office. His first (and hopefully) foremost responsibility is to the people of the USA, and to his office, and he naturally has a vested interest in being re-elected for a second term. He also has a responsibility to the Republican party, and must act in such a way that they gain popularity in the months leading up to the November elections.

But he also has another responsibility, one which he should not have. And that is to his sense of pride, and to whatever twisted morality he inherited from his father. And this is why Washington is sending mixed messages - the administration is trying to please different people at different times.

On the one hand, we have the voters. These people want an economically stable country, and to have that, you must have consumer confidence. You can't tell people that a war is coming and expect them to go out and make large purchases - the best you could hope for is a surge in the canned goods markets. And you especially can't tell people that terrorist action is imminent, and that the country should practically live in fear of death at every turn. So tell everybody that everything is fine.

On the other hand, we have what Bush wants - his party has spent years criticising the Clinton administration for being too soft on Iraq, and for allowing Saddam to stay in power. Bush's father personally failed to achieve this goal. There is a massive pressure on Bush from a certain subset of the voters, and from people within his party (and probably family) to do what has been talked of for so long, and topple an 'evil regime'. But to do that, he must have the support of the general public - not just the hard right republican voters. The natural way to do this is to make it clear to the people that they are under threat from Saddam's continued leadership of Iraq, and that the safety of the United States is at stake. Tell everybody that they're in danger, and that things are most certainly not fine.

I've been trying to count how long the gaps between the different lines are, and it's between half a week, and two weeks. After this time, the message switches, either because the economy is suffering, or the enthusiasm and blood lust is waning. Political tennis is only amusing to watch until somebody hits the ball too hard, and it goes out of play at one end or the other. Bush has been more heavily criticised for the current economic fraud crises that are hitting the country than for any negative involvement in Afghanistan - it seems that the people of the US are sufficiently self-interested that the economy is a bigger issue than war. Will Bush keep the economy sweet by playing down any potential threat and/or military involvement, and thus try to keep the voters happy? Or will he follow through on his constant threats to Iraq, and topple Saddam's regime at a cost of US soldiers and the (dubious) stability of the economy?

I wonder if even he knows...

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ok. it's official. clear out some room in your house. i'm moving in. my president is a moron.....

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