Last Wednesday was Groundhog Day, and I'll admit to feeling a bit like Bill Murray. Did you ever see that movie? You know, the one where he'd wake up in the morning, but it was always Groundhog Day, and he'd just keep repeating the same day over and over and over?
And now, in light of the expected results of the Iraqi elections and President Bush's attitude in his State of the Union Address, I could swear that I've been through this before. The promises to seek diplomatic solutions first while leaving the door open for military action, combined with rhetoric, which includes words like "primary state sponsor of terror," "axis of evil" and "pursuing nuclear weapons."
These statements strike me as somehow familiar. But we already went to war with Iraq, didn't we? We have established democracy and championed freedom for the entire world, right? So why is grand high poobah Bush still talking about nuclear threats and sponsors of terror?
Oh, what a difference one letter makes. Take away the "q" in Iraq, and add an "n," and you've found the United States' latest "primary state sponsor of terror." Iran is now in Washington's crosshairs, and I think ole W has an itchy trigger finger.
In his State of the Union Address, President Bush reached out to Iranians, saying, "As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you." The president has also said that he will not rule out using force against Iran if Iranian leadership does not scale back its nuclear program.
It's like deja vu all over again. Big talk, bigger threats and constant claims that we are defending freedom. Remember when we were all convinced that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and was all but ready to vaporize New York? Remember when the vast majority of people in this country supported going to war with Iraq? Remember when we were naive enough to take the president at his word?
Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us. I still truly want to believe that the president did not openly and intentionally tell a direct lie to the entire world regarding Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Regardless of intent, however, we were told information that has proven to be untrue, and our nation was plunged into a war that carries a higher and higher cost based upon that information.
So here we go again. The administration says that there are no immediate plans for military action against Iran, but all its words and actions say otherwise. We are again being pushed down that slippery slope into war, when we are still embroiled in one that is costing our dear nation far too much already.
I predict that in the coming months the Bush administration will begin to harden its stance on Iran considerably and implement a strong push for military action. And, due to the powerful Republican majority in the Congress, that action will likely take place. America will become entrenched in another war of preemption; our alliances will grow weaker while our enemies will grow bolder. Our resources will become tapped, our deficit will keep spiraling out of control and nice things like health care, education and debt relief for the African nations whose very lives depend on it will be put on the back burner.
We've been here before. Will we respond the same way as before, giving the administration the green light to do all those things to our nation and to the world? Or we will take the president's words with a nice big grain of salt? Because it's not worth it for history to repeat itself again and again.
It's funny in a Bill Murray movie, but when it happens to America, I'm not laughing.
Matt Hitt is a sophomore theatre major. His columns run on Mondays in the Collegian.