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This is not a victory

Observer Viewpoint | Wednesday, January 19, 2005

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt celebrated his inauguration in 1945 with cold chicken salad and pound cake. Today, President George W. Bush will celebrate his inauguration with three days of concerts, balls and candlelight dinners. The total cost of the event is expected to surpass $40 million. Yet while the first family and their generous corporate amigos plan to square dance at tonight’s “Black Ties and Boots” hoedown, we can’t help but ask ourselves, exactly what are we celebrating?

This is not a victory for American foreign policy, especially after the president very quietly admitted to the end of our failed attempt at finding any weapons of mass destruction. This is not a victory for the Iraqi people, who, now free from Saddam’s oppression, face the tyranny of wondering whether they’ll survive the day. This is certainly not a victory for the over 100,000 Iraqi civilians who now lay dead as a result of Bush’s war.

This inauguration is not a victory for the over 150,000 undersupplied American troops in Iraq who are forced to use scrap metal to insure their Humvees are properly armored due to poor planning.

This is not a victory for those who believe in the Republican values of nonintervention, limited government or fiscal responsibility.

Nor is it a victory for Catholics, who face the very un-Christian policies of massive tax cuts for the rich and wars of aggression while abortion remains legal, without much complaint from the president.

Perhaps most depressing, this is not a victory for any future generations who will undoubtedly grew up in a world of increased hostility towards Americans. Indeed, with recent leaks of administration plans to bomb Iran before the end of this summer, it is hard to imagine that the next few years will be any better than the previous four.

No one should celebrate this day.

Instead, we should pray for a better tomorrow.

Unfortunately, we have become very good at that over the past four years.

Stephanie Gharakhanian

Mike Peterson

Co-Presidents of the Notre Dame Peace Coaltion

Jan. 19