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President Bush Takes the Nation to the Brink of War and Defends American Empire in His State of the Union Address; Simultaneously, He Tries to Prove He Cares About the Economy


President Bush delivered his State of the Union Address last night.

The President’s speech took the nation to the brink of war.

*Bush declared Saddam Hussein has missed his “final chance” by showing contempt for U.N. weapons inspections.

*He claimed there is intelligence that shows the secular Iraqi government is helping and protecting Al Qaeda terrorists. He raised the fearsome specter that Iraq could slip a biological weapon to terrorists, who then might bring them to the US and QUOTE “bring a day of horror like none we have ever known.”

*He insinuated Iraq is trying to develop a nuclear bomb.

*He defended his so-called “pre-emptive” military doctrine, and made a case for American empire, saying “once again, we are called to defend the safety of our people and the hopes of all mankind.”

*President Bush vowed the U.S. will wage war without allies if it has to.

*And he announced Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell will go before the Security Council on Feb. 5 to present intelligence on Iraq’s illegal weapons programs, its attempts to hid those weapons from inspectors, and its links to terrorist groups. But he offered no proof of any of this in his speech last night.

After the speech, Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts announced he will introduce a resolution to require the president to obtain further Congressional approval before invading Iraq. Kennedy said Bush had failed to make a persuasive case that the threat is imminent and war is the only alternative.

Bush also tried to buck criticism that he is ignoring domestic problems as he prepares to invade Iraq. He devoted the first third of last night’s address to domestic issues, in particular, the economy.

He also called for more federal funding of charitable work by religious groups, greater reliance on private health plans to treat the elderly, and new restrictions on abortions.

Among the surprise initiatives were Bush’s call for $10 billion to help fight AIDS in Africa and a request to spend $1.2 billion to develop hydrogen-fueled vehicles. He also asked Congress create programs to held Americans addicted to alcohol and drugs and to help the children of prisoners.


  • President George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, 1-29-03, laying out his conservative economic philosophy.
  • President George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, 1-29-03, claiming Iraq harbors Al Qaeda terrorists, justifying so-called 'pre-emptive' attacks, outlining Iraqi torture methods, and delivering a message to the people of Iraq.
  • President George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, 1-29-03, insinuating Iraq is attempting to build nuclear weapons.
  • President George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, 1-29-03, more or less making the case for American empire.


  • Meizhu Lui, Executive Director of United for a Fair Economy.
  • Frances Fox Piven, professor of political science and sociology at the graduate school of the City University of New York and co-author of several award-winning books, including 'Why Americans Still Don't Vote’, 'Regulating the Poor', 'The Poor People's Movement’, 'The Breaking of the American Social Compact.'
  • Robert Fisk, journalist with the British newspaper 'The Independent'. He is based in Beirut.
  • Howard Zinn, historian and author of 'A People's History of the United States’.

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Video squareStoryJan 21, 2004Arundhati Roy, Hans Von Sponeck Respond to Bush’s State of the Union on Iraq
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