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'What Will You Do?' Asks Homemade Sign and Prof. Ken Bode's Weekly Op-Ed

October 13, 2006

ken bode crop.jpgOctober 13, 2006, Greencastle, Ind. - A message spray-painted on a sheet that hangs in Greencastle asks a question that Ken Bode explores in today's Indianapolis Star: "2,291 victims. What will you do?" Bode, Eugene S. Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism at DePauw University, points out that while the "number of American military deaths is a little out of date... The toll now is 2,750," the homemade message resonates as the mid-term elections approach.

"There was little reality in the Rose Garden this week as the president met the press and demonstrated, once again, that he remains in utter denial about the consequences of his foreign adventures," writes Bode, former senior political analyst for CNN. The professor notes that support for the war is fading, both within Iraq and here at home, while the Army is suggesting that U.S. troop levels in Iraq will remain at the current level until 2010.

George W Bush 4.jpg"On North Korea, Bush insists that America will not tolerate a nuclear weapon, and with rhetoric resembling Cold War brinksmanship, he says we will reserve all options to defend our interests and our friends," states Dr. Bode. "For his entire term, the president has isolated the bizarre Kim Jong Il, personally insulted him, and labeled his country part of the Axis of Evil. Now he insists that diplomacy, though not one-on-one talks, is the answer to constraining the Dear Leader's nuclear ambitions. But we have had no diplomacy, neither in North Korea nor Iran. Ours has been a go-it-alone, no-need-for-allies policy, and we have watched helplessly as the nuclear threat proliferates in both places. The leaders of those countries, crazy as many think they are, know that America is trapped in the endless quagmire of Iraq, so they can be indifferent to Bush's saber rattling. The Axis of Evil rhetoric played well at home, but it has produced disastrous results."

Of Iraq, Bode maintains that America "sold that war on false pretenses and trumped-up intelligence and dragged our allies in with us. We had no contact with Saddam Hussein and shamelessly lied to the United Nations.

"Which brings us back to the sign on the sheet outside the American Legion in Greencastle," he concludes. "What will you do? Some argue you can't blame your own memberballot box.jpg of Congress for Bush, or Cheney or Rumsfeld, and their failed foreign policies. But this Republican Congress has marched lockstep behind the administration, echoing its call for more troops and supporting its phony-baloney argument that we are building a democracy in Iraq. That includes the Indiana delegation. What you can do is to use your vote to send a message. Enough is enough. It's time for a change. That's what elections are for."

Read the complete essay at College News.org.

Last Friday, Ken Bode examined the Mark Foley scandal. Learn more, and access the column, in this previous story.

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