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With Bush, 'vision' probably the wrong word

October 03, 2004|by Dan Wallace, Williamsport

To the editor:

With the situation in Iraq far from being stabilized, and possibly headed toward a civil war, Donald Currier's op-ed proclaiming George W. Bush as "a man with a vision" seems a tad premature. Actually, if you consider that Bush proclaimed an end to major military operations more than a year ago, and was wrong about WMD and any Saddam-9/11 connection, one might be inclined to say his "vision" is of the impaired variety.

Currier goes on to favorably compare our president to the likes of our founding fathers - true visionaries who were misunderstood in their day. Comparing George W. to Thomas Jefferson, the father of The Declaration of Independence, among many other accomplishments of genius, is laughable. To co-opt Lloyd Bentsen, "W" ain't no Jefferson. Ironically, Currier's citing of the American Revolution offers the unintended example of why our president's drive to bring democracy to Iraq "by force of arms" may well fail.

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Our colonists' desire for independence was an idea that germinated from within, and was then carried out by those same men who were willing to pay in blood to achieve that goal.

There was no foreign power that decided the colonists should be free, and then intervened, as the U.S. has done in Iraq. In stark contrast, there was no anti-Saddam revolution afoot in Iraq prior to the U.S. invasion.

Indeed, not only was the Iraqi response to being liberated considerably less than predicted by the Bush administration, but, until recently, they refused to fight the insurgents.

If Joe-Iraqi really doesn't want democracy, how good a chance does it have? Yet another way our president has shown more shortsightedness than vision.

In all fairness, perhaps someday democracy will flower in the Middle East, and our president will be vindicated. But the question will always remain to many of us that a better, nonviolent way existed to achieve this same goal.

Actually, such a way has been proposed by Jeffrey Sachs, an economic adviser to U.N. Secretary Kofi Annan and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

In short, he proposes that if the major economic forces in the world would band together to rid the poorer countries of poverty and disease rather than spend billions in trying to kill people, then one of the major sources of terrorism would be eliminated.

In a world where violence equals diplomacy, this is truly a visionary approach to solve the world's problems. For more detail, read his article in last May's Esquire, or look for his book, "An End To Poverty."

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