Sunday, November 2, 2008

Good Riddance to the Machiavellian "Bush Doctrine"

Two days from the US election, it's time to start looking toward the future. Unfortunately, recent stories of military strikes in other nations, including our "ally" Pakistan, have focused my attention on the ugly present.

The "Bush Doctrine" essentially asserts (in its various forms) that America has the right to attack another country if it thinks that country is harboring a threat to the USA. Recently, troubling news stories (barely reported in American media) have come to light indicating that the US has been launching attacks inside Syria and Pakistan. In defense of its actions, the White House has said little to nothing substantive.

As an American, I am offended that my President thinks "No comment" is an acceptable answer to the question, "Why are Americans invading so many different countries and killing their soldiers/civilians?"

What about all the reports that civilians are being killed in these attacks? Does the Bush Doctrine include the right to kill civilians and innocents?

The 9/11 terrorists perceived a threat to their own cultures from America. Are they allowed to invoke the Bush Doctrine to justify their attacks on America and its allies?

The current administration must be morally tone-deaf, in that they see no reason why others should be allowed the same moral privileges that America has. Only America has the right to strike other countries when it feels threatened. No one may attack America if they feel threatened by us. If you attack our civilians, you will be attacked. If we attack your civilians, they must have gotten in the way.

Bottom line: the Bush Doctrine, coupled with the actions of the US military, makes no rational or (especially) moral sense. God forbid that other nations should treat us the way we treat them.

The Bush Doctrine has nothing to do with moral or ethical arguments. Once the pretext of self-defense is stripped away, we are left with the stark truth: what the Bush Doctrine really asserts is that "Our military can do what it wants, because you can't stop us." You know, this almost sounds like "Asymmetric Evangelism."

Let us hope that the next administration is able to reign in the US military and to address international crises with human decency, respect, and transparency.