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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Bush addresses U.S., requests $87 billion

President Bush tried to squash criticism of the war on terrorism Sunday night, telling Americans in a televised address that the country must remain on the offensive and asking Congress for an additional $87 billion to sustain that effort throughout the next year. 

 

 

 

Bush asked for the money to pay for military action and reconstruction in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, but he said the United States will concentrate on Iraq as the main front in the unconventional war.  

 

 

 

\We will do what is necessary, we will spend what is necessary, to achieve this essential victory in the war on terror, to promote freedom, and to make our own nation more secure,"" Bush said. 

 

 

 

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""We have learned that terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength-they are invited by the perception of weakness,"" he later added.  

 

 

 

But critics have charged that the United States has increased terrorist activity in Iraq by transforming it into a state of anarchy. Bombings at the United Nations headquarters, the Imam Ali mosque and the Iraqi police headquarters in recent weeks have fed those arguments. 

 

 

 

Bush reminded Americans Sunday that he has three objectives in Iraq: eliminating terrorists, soliciting money and troops from other nations, and transferring defense and administrative operations to the Iraqis. He likened this effort to that in Germany and France after World War II. 

 

 

 

By comparing this effort to one often referred to as ""the Good War,"" Bush was simply trying to paint the conflict in the best possible light, according to UW-Madison political science Assistant Professor Jon Pevehouse.  

 

 

 

Pevehouse said that America put resources into Germany and Japan for nine and five years, respectively. In reality, Bush does not want to stay that long because American forces cannot sustain that kind of effort and public opinion will not support it, he said. 

 

 

 

""If that's what he wants to do and say OK, we're going to be there five years and spend billions and billions, then fair enough. But something tells me that isn't exactly his plan, especially that [Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld and some of these folks want to get out of there as soon as possible,"" Pevehouse said.  

 

 

 

As part of the reconstruction effort, last week the White House announced it will push a new U.N. resolution asking for more money and troop support from other countries. Germany and France want the United Nations to have a larger role than the resolution allows. 

 

 

 

""I recognize that not all of our friends agreed with our decision to enforce the Security Council resolutions and remove Saddam Hussein from power,"" Bush said. ""Yet we cannot let past differences interfere with present duties.""  

 

 

 

The president's speech hinted at how he will handle criticism during the presidential campaign, according to UW-Madison political science Professor Graham Wilson. 

 

 

 

""This is going to be a useful position for him to use against Democrats,"" Wilson said. ""The issue is, do we fight in Iraq or do we wait for the fight to come to our own streets?\

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