Letter: President Bush has failed

By The Daily Illini

Bush misleads the public when he presents himself as a “war president” who has made us safer from terrorists. The ironic truth is that Bush has dangerously underfunded homeland security. To equip U.S. airports to screen baggage for explosives would cost $3 billion. Bush only funded 13.3 percent of that. Ensuring detection of dirty bombs in cargo at U.S. ports would cost $290 million but Bush funded only 14.4 percent. He also funded less than 2 percent of the $6 billion needed to make security upgrades in domestic subways and commuter trains.

Bush has redirected these resources to support our military presence in Iraq for a grand total of 30 days and 23 hours (10 days, 23 hours and 20 days, respectively). What has the war achieved? Escalating anger and more terrorists, not fewer. Harry Brandon, a former senior official at the FBI, called the Iraq war “a real rallying point, not only for the region, but also in Asia. We’ve seen very solid examples of (terrorists) using the Iraq war for recruiting … The Iraq war is a public relations bonanza for al-Qaida”

Remember al-Qaida and Bin Laden, the terrorists responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks? Resources for capturing them have been redirected to Bush’s war in Iraq, too – from scarce National Security Agency and CIA personnel who speak Arabic, to spy planes, satellites monitoring the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, Arabic-speaking special operations soldiers and troops on the ground.

In short, Bush claims that only he can make the United States safe, but he has failed. A vote for President Bush is a vote for a United States that dangerously neglects the safety of its citizens.

Leanne Alworth

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