PERSPECTIVE: Bush's speech at Virginia Tech clouded by own agenda


PERSPECTIVE: Bush's speech at Virginia Tech clouded by own agenda


By:Matt Holt
Posted: 4/19/07

I had time to listen to President Bush's speech Tuesday morning at Virginia Tech. The president did the right thing by going to the campus in an attempt to console the victims of the unspeakable tragedy that claimed so many young lives Monday.

Maybe "unspeakable" is the wrong word to use. Perhaps such tragedies are born from discontent that is never spoken but stoked, unknowingly, by people who are unaware of the realities that lead up to such a desperate and violent act. No matter the reasons now, the end result will not change. The bullet has left the gun, so to speak.

It is ironic this particular tragedy is not of the president's making yet he was able to address the event so well. Communication is the key to awareness when relating to other people or groups of people. Who knows what we might have learned from talking with the perpetrator of this horrific episode. Why would he want to die and see others suffer and die? What is it that instilled such anger and hatred that it completely eclipsed the light, a soul so damaged that it had reached the point of no return?

Desperation on such a scale is reminiscent of the suicide bombers we hear so much about today. Why can't they see the use in their own existence? They have been trained to hate and destroy themselves and everyone around them. To someone who doesn't harbor hate, this type of action is completely unfathomable. None of the victims deserved to meet such an end. The only way to arrive at an answer is to investigate the causes. Is it possible that the gunman was just deranged, and it didn't take any special event to spawn the actions yesterday?

As I listened to Bush, it occurred to me that much of what he said about the tragedy could also be said about his presidency. His legacy will be a lack of communication and alienation of whole nations and religions. When he said "it's impossible to make sense of such violence and suffering" or "they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time," the same could be said by any Iraqi civilian. His rush to war told the nation that it's not so important who we punish for Sept. 11 2001 terrorist attacks, but that we punish someone quickly.

Understaffing in Afghanistan and unnecessary staffing in Iraq have been the catalysts for many tragedies that have affected the entire world. Thousands of dead Iraqi families could probably identify with the families from Virginia Tech and, if they heard the speech, would have thought Bush was the perpetrator in question.

Unfortunately, the president is of the belief that the U.S. could kill all of its enemies. Just ask anyone who has ever suffered such a loss and it becomes apparent that with each enemy you do kill, a whole family of new enemies springs up to take on the cause. And, heaven forbid, we actually talk with our enemies. We might actually reach an agreement to find a way to live free of conflict.

This mindset of "you're either with us or against us" tells others that if they are not willing to bend to our whims, then violence will be the end result. If two people can live together and have disagreements, two countries can as well. Despite all of the communication from his employers (us, the people) the president has ignored the Baker Commission, the democratically elected Senate and House, the Supreme Court and every ally who has tried to point out the administration's.

From Kyoto to Katrina to Kabul, nothing has gone right in seven years. We have more enemies than ever, and we're creating new ones every day. We spy on our own citizens yet allow countries like Pakistan harbor our real enemies with no repercussions.

The time has come to get rid of this man. Are we not tired of the bad news yet? It's not getting any better.

Bush's reaction to Sept. 11 was misdirected and personally motivated. He has been completely ineffective in response yet very effective in playing politics as a result. Bush's strength is in instilling fear, then sending enforcers to back up his will. He is nothing more than a common thug and Chicken Hawk with misbegotten degrees from Yale. A good leader is one who leads by example, yet we have come to accept "do as I say, not as I do" from the leader of the most powerful country in the world.

How do other world leaders view our president's power and what license does this administration give other governments to follow their own self-serving anti-social policies?

Matt Holt is a resident of Easthan, Massachusetts.


Original Source:<a href=ttp://>The Daily Free Press - April 19, 2007</a>


Matt Holt


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Matt Holt, “PERSPECTIVE: Bush&#39;s speech at Virginia Tech clouded by own agenda,” The April 16 Archive, accessed June 14, 2024,