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Bush vs. the Axis of Evil: He doesn't care about WMDs, only oil

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When George W. Bush delivered his State of the Union Address in January of 2002, we were already at war in Afghanistan, rightfully seeking justice against al-Qaeda, and the Taliban who harbored them, in retaliation for the attacks of 9/11. Good. We were on the right track. We were going to get Osama and his deputies, break up al-Qaeda, and take out their financing and other support systems. Cool. Kick ass.

But anyone who was really paying attention to that State of the Union speech had to have seen it coming. This was the speech in which Bush defined his new "axis of evil" -- North Korea, Iran, and Iraq -- who, he told us, were seeking weapons of mass destruction and posed "a grave and growing danger"! Oh my!

He told this to an American public still numb over the 9/11 attacks. America was too shell-shocked to think it through. So they trusted their president.

He took that trust and look what he did with it.

He diverted troops from their noble mission in Afghanistan and sent them into Iraq instead. It didn't matter that the U.N. weapons inspectors had found no WMDs there. We were told that Iraq had them anyway, damn it, and Rumsfeld knew exactly where they were located ("in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat")! Trust us.

And what a mess we've made there! We've got a raging insurgency and civil war, and the American troops caught up in it are dying at an alarming rate. The innocent Iraqi civilians still don't have more than a few hours of electricity per day, and they're lucky if they have clean water. Many are still unemployed, having lost their livelihoods when Bush started bombing more than three years ago. And they cannot feel safe when they leave their homes. Yep, that's George W. Bush, self-proclaimed "Compassionate Conservative". (Would someone please give him a dictionary?)

So, like a spoiled child who trashes one toy and then moves on to another, Bush now sets his sights on Iran. Iran also has no WMDs. In fact, sources say that Iran is at least 10 years away from developing nuclear weapons. But that doesn't stop Bush from warning them that "all options are on the table".

Whoa there, tough guy.

In the meantime, North Korea has been waving nukes at us -- nukes that could potentially reach U.S. soil. Bush responds with gratuitous rhetoric, but it's clear that North Korea -- the one nation in his "axis of evil" that really does have WMDs -- isn't so high on his list of priorities.

Could it be that tough-guy Bush is afraid to deal with real WMDs?

Or could it be that North Korea isn't sitting on quite enough oil?

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Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist, with a focus on politics, human rights, and social justice. She is a former Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty International, and her views (more...)
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