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President Bush has been quoted as having said, "I believe God wants me to be president, but if that doesn't happen, it's OK." I do believe that God makes such opportunities available to us and that it is our responsibility to take appropriate advantage of those opportunities. The president appears to believe he is doing so.

From that perspective let us consider the following: In the 2000 election, Bush received fewer votes than Al Gore and only became president following a 5-4 vote by the Supreme Court. Then came 9/1 1. Osama bin Laden is still at large. And no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq.

"Mission Accomplished" -- not! More than 1,110 U.S. soldiers have been killed and many more have been seriously wounded in the war. We now have a "back-door draft" and the likelihood that a real draft will be needed to meet military needs. We also have the largest deficits in U.S. history, anemic economic recovery and health care that costs more and meets the needs of fewer people.

While Bush believes he was called by God to lead the nation at this time, the above suggests a very different alternative -- that God is providing opportunities to learn from, accept and appropriately act on humiliating situations. Unfortunately, the president's apparent inability to do so has been at our expense.

Ralph McNall

Orchard Park