Bush calls for more than just war

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 29, 2003

President George W. Bush found his rhythm Tuesday night, and he drove his point home.

Speaking about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and Iraq, the president used his State of the Union address to hammer home the details. As he ticked down the list of chemical agents; biological agents; and nuclear materials that Hussein has stockpiled, President Bush repeated that Hussein has offered no proof of that the weapons have been destroyed nor has he accounted for their existence.

And, true to his Texan nature, President Bush minced no words about the threat or the course of action the United States will take. With or without international support, he vowed to protect the freedoms of Americans and to see that Hussein is disarmed.

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And as brash and blunt as the President’s rallying cry for war was, it was only a portion of his message. Amid the patriotism - the reminder that &uot;our union is strong&uot; - the president outlined an agenda with a broad mix of economic impetus and humanitarian aid.

He challenged Congress to implement tax cuts - including eliminating the marriage penalty and increasing the child credit - immediately.

He called for funding for a national mentoring program and a program to provide medicines and aid to the millions of Africans suffering from AIDS.

He called for funding to help develop hydrogen-fueled vehicles and pledged to support environmental programs.

He called for a plan to provide prescription drug coverage for America’s seniors and renewed his vow to support Medicare. He urged Congress to pass tort reform for medical liability claims, and he challenged leaders to support his faith-based initiative programs.

He challenged Congress to be fiscally responsible, but he asked members to fund the programs he outlined.

He outlined his vision for a nation, and his plan for action.

Now, he must depend on Congress and our elected officials to act on that plan. We certainly hope they will.