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Bush Gone AWOL on Nuclear Non-Proliferation

During his first term in office, President George W. Bush tried to cast himself as a brave warrior, facing down the evil threat of weapons of mass destruction. Of course, that stance consisted of nothing more than the political equivalent of fairy glamour. The fabled Iraqi arsenals of weapons of mass destruction turned out not to exist. President Bush also set the United States on a course of expansion of its own arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, moving the American military towards resumption of nuclear weapons testing, and pushing for the creation of a new generation of more fatally "efficient" nuclear weaponry.

If the Bush Administration knows anything, it knows the power of repeating a lie until it starts to sound like the truth. So, President Bush continues to talk big about weapons of mass destruction, threatening other nations with military action if they fail to comply with his demands to stop trying to mess around with what he refers to, in an offhand manner, as WMD.

Well, like the salesmen said in The Music Man, you can talk, you can talk, you talk, you can talk, but you've got to know the territory. Of course, President Bush is no Professor Harold Hill. He's peddling death, with a carpetbag full of American plutonium.

At the same time, President Bush doesn't want the American people to look at his real credentials. He just makes big claims that he's fighting hard against the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and sings a snappy tune to keep people happy and distracted.

What's going on behind the song-and-dance? The Bush Administration is giving the continuing threat of nuclear weapons the attention due to a rampaging wombat. A month-long international conference in New York City on nuclear nonproliferation has just ended, and for this entire month, the Bush Administration refused to offer any meaningful participation. Not once, in the long weeks of the nuclear non-proliferation conference, did President Bush make an appearance. Bush refused even to send Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to make a token appearance, of a single day, a single hour, or a single minute.

President Bush loves to talk about the danger of terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons, but when the international conference on nuclear non-proliferation held meetings specifically dealing with that conference, neither Bush nor Rice were to be seen, although the conference was only a short 6o-minute flight away from their offices in Washington, D.C.

What was Bush doing during the month of May that was so much more important than confronting the global cancer of weapons of mass destruction? President Bush spent most of his time planning and attending Republican-only rallies to support Bush's scheme to funnel money out of the Social Security Trust Fund and into the pockets of powerful Wall Street financial executives.

In fact, the tour to promote Bush's Social Security scheme took Bush to New York State itself, within easy distance of the nuclear non-proliferation conference. I know. I was in Rochester, New York the same day that President Bush was there. Bush flew into the Rochester International Airport, gave a speech attacking Social Security, and then flew away. Most of us in the area weren't allowed to him ourselves, because we're not loyal Republicans. However, the non-proliferation conference was going on just down the New York State Thruway. With a 40-minute flight downstate, Bush could have easily stopped in at the conference, and given his political support to the effort to ban all weapons of mass destruction.

President Bush had many opportunities to join in the real battle against weapons of mass destruction. The truth is that President Bush cares much more about taking away people's Social Security checks than he cares about banning weapons of mass destruction. As a matter of fact, President Bush has spent a huge amount of time making sure that weapons of mass destruction like those in America's arsenal of nuclear missiles are not abolished.

Of course, President Bush could not pursue such a reckless course on his own. It is only with the support of a callous and corrupt Republican Congress that President Bush is able to defy international treaties on weapons of mass destruction. Those Americans who are genuinely concerned about the real threats of weapons of mass destruction can do the world a big favor by lending their support to the effort to kick out the Republican Congress in the 2006 election, and replace it with a responsible progressive alternative.

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