Like fresh cut onions, the President's first State of the Union address brought tears to the eyes of Americans last night. Many were weeping for joy and happiness, as they perceived a message of positive reassurance that everything was going to be all right all over the world eventually, as long as the U.S. is in the lead.
Others, myself included, were crying for a different reason. It appears that too many of the American population are looking to over simplify and approach the world problems from a very unrealistic point of view.
The President (or “G.W.” as we like to call him in Texas) vowed to act on terror and the failing economy (in that order). Bush said the U.S. would prevail over terrorism and recession. He is scheduled to go on tour through the southern part of the U.S. today to promote his populist themes and campaign for volunteerism.
President Bush concentrated on the U.S. attitude toward preventing global terrorism more so than the distressed economic condition of the country. Millions watched, listened and cheered as the President of the United States addressed the nation in his first State of the Union address. Standing ovations came frequently as Bush outlined his plan for a campaign in America for volunteers to help educate
In his nationally televised speech on Tuesday night from the House of Representatives chamber, Bush said the world faces a continuing threat from tens of thousands of followers of Saudi-born extremist Osama bin Laden, accused by the United States of masterminding the Sept. 11 attacks on America.
The president went on to mention Iraq, Iran and North Korea as pursuing weapons of mass destruction. He called them "an axis of evil'' that could attack the U.S. allies or even blackmail America.
The president is planning to head for North Carolina and Florida today (Jan. 30) and Georgia tomorrow (Jan. 31) in order to promote one of the schemes introduced in his speech. He said: "My call is for every American to commit at least two years -- four thousand hours over the rest of your lifetime -- to the service of your neighbors and nation.”
He continued by saying: "Through the gathering momentum of millions of acts of service and decency and kindness, I know we can overcome evil with greater good.”
He also proposed a new volunteer homeland security corps along with the expansion of the AmeriCorps and Peace Corps programs.
"We will renew the promise of the Peace Corps, double its volunteers over the next five years and ask it to join a new effort to encourage development, and education and opportunity in the Islamic world.” said the President.
One senior administration official said that the President hopes to send Peace Corps volunteers to Afghanistan, the number one country on the list in the Untied States led war against global terrorism.
BUSH SETS PRIORITIES
With Vice President Dick Cheney sitting behind him in a rare joint appearance with the president and Afghan leader Hamid Karzai in the audience, Bush said in his first State of the Union address that his priorities were to win the war on terrorism, boost homeland security and revitalize the economy.
''We have clear priorities and we must act at home with the same purpose and resolve we have shown overseas,'' he said. ''We will prevail in the war, and we will defeat this recession.''
He warned that terrorism was far from over, citing new intelligence saying that tens of thousands of people trained in bin Laden's camps in Afghanistan could strike at any time.
''Thousands of dangerous killers, schooled in the methods of murder, often supported by outlaw regimes, are now spread throughout the world like ticking time bombs -- set to go off without warning,'' Bush said.
Top Bush aides said the president's specific mention of Iraq, Iran and North Korea did not mean they were next on the list of targets in the war on terrorism. Those nations were cited because they are the most advanced in developing weapons of mass destruction, the aides said.
On the domestic front, Bush called on Congress to pass an economic stimulus package to create jobs and spark the economy with corporate tax breaks.
''When America works, America prospers, so my economic security plan can be summed up in one word: jobs,'' Bush said.
Bush said a good job should lead to security in retirement.
Without mentioning former energy giant Enron Corp. by name, he asked Congress to enact new safeguards to protect pensions so that employees would not risk losing everything if their company fails. The collapse of Enron, a past major political donor to Bush, wiped out retirement accounts for thousands of employees in the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.
''Through stricter accounting standards and tougher disclosure requirements, corporate America must be made more accountable to employees and shareholders and held to the highest standards of conduct.''
How did the American public accept the address of the President? Good question.
a poll taken today over 50,000 Americans (AOL Poll) voted on three very
important issues regarding President Bush's State of the Union Address last
do you rate the President's first State of the Union speech?"
(70%) voted: "Excellent."
(13%) voted: "Good."
(6%) voted: "Poor."
they were asked:
Bush focus more on the economy or the war on terrorism?"
voted: "War on terrorism."
(12%) voted: "Not sure."
final question proved beyond doubt that the American public is behind whatever
President Bush wants to do:
you agree with Bush expanding government programs in light of the projected
(10%) voted: "Not sure."
first question is very subjective and really needs little if any commentary.
After all, this rating could be regarding his delivery, his topics or even his
appearance. The second question is of more concern as it begins to deal with how
Americans are placing values on what is most needed. Our economy is still in bad
shape. It was in disastrous condition before the events of September 11 and
certainly it has not improved through what has taken place since then. The third
question is by far the one that we should all pay particular attention to.
Basically we are being asked, “Even
though we are broke and things can only get worse in the near future, is it
still OK with you guys if we spend more of your money that doesn’t exist so we
can take more control of your rights and offer less freedom through new
you would expect the intelligent majority of Americans to vote: “Absolutely
– No!” Yet we are looking at close to 70% saying, “Go for it!”
It just makes me want to cry!
Yusuf Estes, a former businessman and preacher of Christianity from Texas,
after coming to Islam in 1991, is now the National Muslim chaplain and founder of the website: TodayIslam.com
You can read the story of how he and priests and preachers came to Islam at:
Visitor Since Friday, August 20, 2004 01:07 AM --