The Real World Effects Of Bush’s Pre-emptive Strike Doctrine
The world looks much different when viewed from the Middle East. We in America are sheltered from the violence that is a daily reality for those living in Iraq, Afghanistan and many neighboring countries, and as we should expect, their attitudes toward us are colored by their dealings with our government that more often than not, leave them worse off after receiving our “help”. Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden tied for fourth place of most admired world leaders among those polled by Zogby International last year in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates. It should come as no surprise that in that same poll, negative opinion of the United States scored between 73-98%, with Egypt giving us the worst marks. Those are some sobering numbers but understandable given that the main reason cited for their unfavorable view is our foreign policy. Not our lack of morality or our conspicuous consumption but how we interact with the rest of the world. President Bush, who deserves all the credit for these numbers, has tried to sell the American people on the idea that “they hate our freedom” but that is utter crap, they do not hate who we are, they hate what we do.
After 9/11, the Bush regime message machine was in overdrive vilifying Saddam Hussein. Not the most difficult of tasks to be sure, but beyond the selling of Hussein as a monster, they dug deep into the intelligence files in an attempt to prove to the world that he was a threat without rival. Bush may have convinced a majority in Congress, a minority of the American people and Tony Blair that he was right, but the rest of the world was under-whelmed by his evidence and although some were strong armed into joining the “coalition of the shilling”, the countries in the Middle East see Bush’s war for what it is, a crusade. What is going to happen when the rest of the world catches up to the Middle East and their negative view of American foreign policy? Already, many are not far behind and every day, more people around the globe are identifying the real threat to world stability, the United States under President Bush.
Bush’s “get them before they get us” mentality has created a dangerous situation for America. He thumbed his nose at the United Nations and invaded a sovereign nation, unprovoked. That is what a pre-emptive strike means, and it is a legacy we are stuck with. When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, the international community lead by George H.W. Bush, kicked him out with brutal force in the first Gulf War. As a result of Saddam’s attempted land grab, Iraq suffered greatly under the sanctions put into effect, the inspection regime stripped him of most of his weapons capabilities and he was severely weakened as a leader. What is stopping a coalition from forming to kick us out of Iraq? Wouldn’t the international community be justified in invading our homeland? It would not be unprovoked. George W. Bush is occupying another nation in defiance of international law. He is ruthlessly squelching dissent at home and is known to possess biological, chemical and nuclear weapons as well as having shown a propensity for using them. Viewed in that light, I wonder how many Americans think a pre-emptive strike policy is such a good idea.
By abandoning our guiding principles of self-determination and democratic rule, and by allowing our President to ignore the rule of law, we have unleashed a menace on a world that may decide at some point to retaliate. We may have the weapons, but they would have the soldiers necessary to win. Given the right coalition, they would also have the economic power to bring us to our knees before the first shot was fired. And unlike Bush’s failure to find WMD in Iraq, the “liberators” of America would find a treasure trove of weapons providing proof to the world that a pre-emptive strike was necessary. I have a sneaking suspicion that Americans would have a much different view of the insurgency at that point. Bush has broken the rules and changed the game, but ultimately we are responsible for what our leaders do in our name and if we do not protest, we give our consent. Silence is no longer an option.