Friday, January 21, 2005
The following quote is from An Inauguration Free from Specifics. There is also another good article named An Empty Exercise in Deceit.
President Bush opened his second term with an "assertively abstract" speech in which he promised to promote liberty and democracy "in every nation and culture" on earth. The speech was "harnessed to almost no specifics" – the words "freedom," "free" and "liberty" appeared 49 times, but Bush "did not mention Iraq, Iran, North Korea – or indeed any country, friend or foe." The word "terrorism" did not appear, nor was there mention of al Qaeda. And the war in Iraq, which has claimed the lives of 1,360 American troops and wounded upwards of 10,000, went unacknowledged.
While Bush mentioned the abstract notion of "freedom" 25 times in a 17-minute speech (yes, that works out to 1.5 times a minute), the president remained strangely silent on the most important issue facing the country today, the increasingly unpopular war in Iraq. Three other presidents gave their second inaugural addresses during times of war: James Madison, Abraham Lincoln and Richard Nixon. All three focused heavily on the challenges faced by the country in a time of war. Bush, however, never let the word Iraq pass his lips. And "while the war's costs mount, the president pointedly did not ask the country for sacrifices to win the victory he promises."