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Editorial

See Bush Doctrine for actual statements

President Bush declared:
"Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."

Of course Mr. Bush was beating the drums of war. Never mind that almost always there are other options, options badly needed in fact. His polarized view of the world is on full display here.

The war in Afghanistan was fully justified. Bin Laden was ruling that country through Mullah Omar at the same time he attacked the World Trade Center. The definition of the war took on a new meaning here. How to wage it was in dispute.

Iraq was, still is, quite another story. Hussein is indeed guilty of genocide, just as Pol Pot, Slobodan Milosevic, and Idi Amin were and are. Genocide is justification for war. Milosevic was threatening the very borders of Europe and could not be ignored. Neither Idi Amin nor Pol Pot was a threat beyond their borders.

There is still no evidence (17 Sept 2003) that Iraq was anywhere near nuclear or bioweapon development. Neither is there any evidence that Hussein ever actively assisted al Qa'ida. North Korea is brandishing its nuclear sword seriously.

One wonders what the Bush priorities really are. History may figure that out eventually, at least in terms of national survival. In any event, there are indications that Mr. Bush shares several traits with the Authoritarian personality type. His declaration above fits the "either or" feature and there are further examples:

"Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double edged sword. It both emboldens the blood and narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind is closed, the leader will have need in seizing the rights of citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know this? Because I have done this, and I am Caesar." Attributed to Julius Caesar.

Like Caesar, Bush is a man who seems not to think of peace apart from war, who believes his "hunch" is always on track, and who proposed the Islamic world and claimed the Middle East would rejoice and suddenly cooperate once an American occupation of Iraq settled in. Huh?

Of course people everywhere desire liberty. Why else Tiananmen Square in one of the least democratic of nations. The Iraqis voted for liberty. But their votes did not decide the tough part, how does one form a stable government with the Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, and terror groups all in opposition over blood baths past?

Mr. Bush's demand that a democratic regime be installed sounds good, until you look at the history of such attempts. In the world that is Islam, a true democracy, separate from the Church has never once taken hold. And none really exists in the sense of European or Western Hemisphere practice. Afghanistan is a case in point, Only Kabul enjoys the barest essence of democracy, and even that limited area requires a continued presence of occupying forces. For much of Afghanistan it is business as usual for the many feudal warlords (terrorists in their own fiefs). And so it will likely be in Iraq.

History tells us that democracy usually emerges from totalitarian periods only after a middle class develops and demands democracy. This element is missing almost everywhere in the Middle East. Beyond that, many influential or active terroristic Muslims dream of a restored Caliphate ruling the entire region.

Why would Iraq be any different? Already there are calls for a Muslim government and terrorism has begun in earnest. The Kurds seem to want little part of it. Anarchy reigns in much of this otherwise beautiful land with a rich heritage, now looted beyond belief.

Consider also: the Shiites have a history of 1400 years that can be captured in a single word BETRAYAL. We added our bit by encouraging the Shiites to revolt and then abandoning them to Hussein's genocide after the first Gulf War. This little mistake is haunting us this time around, possibly more than the Iraq war itself.

With this history, can the Shiites realistically be expected to trust the son of a man left who them to be slaughtered by Hussein? Can they trust the Sunnis who have lorded over and persecuted them for centuries? And what about the Kurds? Can the Shiites settle their own differences? Can any of these proud people forget the past when their cultures hold grudges for centuries? Muslims in particular are enjoined by the radical mullahs never to forget.

A stated purpose of the occupation of Iraq is to establish democracy. But that event is a threat to the very foundations of Islam itself, at least in the minds of the fundamentalist branches who foster terror and influence governance so much of the Middle East. A literal read of the Qur'an, Hadith, and Muslim law also supports that view.

Islam needs a Reformation (along with the rest of the world and the UN.) But to be meaningful and effective, any Islamic reformation must come from within. Outside influence may hasten or delay that event, but only Muslims can make it happen. Ataturk is a prime example, but even Turkey is not free of the dictates of Islam. Still, Turkey is a role model that worked far better than any external attempt has in history.

Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq did not start the dominoes tumbling, even though each war showed the regime in power to be a paper tiger even as the core got away to live another day.

Tommy Franks was candid enough to say that the vast oil riches "need to be secured" [for the biggest customer, of course, the US.] Another stated purpose by Mr. Bush himself is simply vengeance. Yet another purpose floated by Bush's political team is to divert public opinion away from terror and win the next election with a "popular" war.

How else can we rationalize the Bush response that diplomacy will work in the face of North Korea's intransigence, its potential for manufacturing nuclear weapons, and its sales of weapons into the Middle East, but would not work in Iraq. North Korea, of course, will use their nuclear threat first to extract concessions equivalent to black mail even as they proceed underground to build an arsenal.

The whole political deal in Iraq is oil. The reality is the danger of nuclear weaponry in irresponsible hands from any Middle Eastern source. The war in Iraq was instigated at the wrong pace and for empty reasons. One might argue that this war was a start toward eliminating nuclear threats, and that was indeed mentioned. If so, will we persist and root out nuclear capability in the absence of a domino collapse of the entire world of Islam? What about Iran and Pakistan, not to mention North Korea?

Despots and radical mullahs are disposed to fight rather than switch. Omar and Hussein set just that example. There is no cowardice in the Middle East. In the face of overwhelming military superiority, the Palestinians have forced Israel behind an Iron Wall just as the Zionist Jabotinsky predicted. Their future could be ours as well, if we try to stay too long, itself a provocation. But you cannot start a democracy overnight. Iraq is not Japan, or even Europe.

Exactly why did we start a climb with only one leg under our ladder, with so little European or UN support?

Further, the UN is the only global governance system we have, so why trivialize it, unless your real goal is total world dominion on top of the military empire already in existence. The irony of course is that after declaring the UN ineffectual, this administration is returning to the UN, hat in hand. And they wonder why they are distrusted.

We now hear out of Washington that since the US knocked out Hussein, only the Alliance Nations should profit from the reconstruction that Iraqi oil is suppose to pay for. So that missing ladder leg may not reappear any time soon.

Spins (propaganda really) are getting easier to see though, at least for those who care to look and think. All reporting is biased. Ergo, one has to look at all sides (there are always more than two) to even know the boundaries of where the real truth might be, if you want to search out the truth that is. See News.

Sometimes the real truth is impossible to recover with any accuracy, like: "what motivated that suicide bomber?" And truth can have more than one face, depending on the culture viewing an event. It seems to us that this is a rather important issue, and it just could have some bearing on our strategy, timing and diplomacy. We need to know the views of those in opposition as well as what makes them tick.

For a more complete statement on our national security policy see: Security and its links. The political reality is we are ignoring the very real possibility of nuclear weaponry in the hands of terrorists. The world is becoming polarized over the wrong issue.

For a capsule of how Bush is observed, see:

America's Age of Empire--

"With barely a debate, the Bush doctrine has set out a radically new -- and dangerous -- role for the United States."

"...On September 20 [2003], the Bush administration published a national security manifesto overturning the established order. Not because it commits the United States to global intervention: We've been there before. Not because it targets terrorism and rogue states: Nothing new there either. No, what's new in this document is that it makes a long-building imperial tendency explicit and permanent. The policy paper, titled "The National Security Strategy of the United States of America" -- call it the Bush doctrine -- is a romantic justification for easy recourse to war whenever and wherever an American president chooses."

"...The United States has many times sent armed forces to take over foreign countries for weeks, years, even decades. But the Bush doctrine is the first to elevate such wars of offense to the status of official policy, and to call "preemptive" (referring to imminent peril) what is actually preventive (referring to longer-term, hypothetical, avoidable peril). This semantic shift is crucial. When prevention of a remote possibility is called preemption, anything goes. CIA caution can be overridden, Al Qaeda connections fabricated, dangers exaggerated -- and the United States will have a doctrine to substitute for international law.

"The Bush manifesto displays bluster, romance, and illogic in equal measure. Premise: America is fundamentally righteous. "In keeping with our heritage and principles, we do not use our strength to press for unilateral advantage." This will be news to much of the world, but never mind. An imperial strategy is justified because there is in the world but "a single sustainable model for national success: freedom, democracy, and free enterprise" -- a model that, surprise, the United States embodies. (As for success without freedom or democracy or free enterprise, what about China? As for free enterprise and democracy of a sort without success, what about Argentina?) Conclusion: Whatever America does will be right -- pursuing terrorists, preemptive war, free trade, whatever. Nuance be damned. For all the boilerplate about national differences, the doctrine's key concern is clear: If all the world speaks American values (though sometimes in funny local accents), why shouldn't everyone dance to our tune?"

For a nutshell on what Mr. Bush would have us believe see:

White House

"Our Nation's cause has always been larger than our Nation's defense. We fight, as we always fight, for a just peace, a peace that favors liberty. We will defend the peace against the threats from terrorists and tyrants. We will preserve the peace by building good relations among the great powers. And we will extend the peace by encouraging free and open societies on every continent."

In contrast, Mr. Bush told the world:

"Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." In further action, Bremer has already privatized some 200 Iraqi enterprises. Who do you suppose will be able to afford to buy them? Iraqi citizens? Not a chance. Exxons of the world? Right on -- if they are American or Alliance members. Bush has already demonstrated his vindictiveness against many nations that did not support the war in Iraq.

In another sense, Bush is gilding the lily in his White-House statement. What the White House says works out in practice to be America's Age of Empire !!! What sounds like a logical defense of liberty for all is also a manifesto for conquest, domination, and the draining of national resources of defeated nations. Reading between the lines of his manifesto, his unspoken interpretation of the Boston Tea Party is simple: "I will never permit America to be as weak as England was. Look at what I did to Afghanistan and Iraq if you dare disbelieve."

Mr. Bush's real view of the world is "polarized," "compartmentalized" and "either-or." Why do we believe this is so? His actions count; his words do not. His actions parallel Neoconservatism; his public statements on these issues are sugar coated. See Authoritarianism and Double Speak for a deeper insights. See also Eroding Liberty and Democracy Failed for the many practical and potential consequences.

Jeffersonian democracy could die completely now that Mr. Bush and his Neocon cohorts have another term with full control of Congress. Colin Powell, the only real moderate with power in the first Bush Administration, is gone.

Will this event stamp out terrorism? Of course not.

Does it have anything to do with terrorism? Of course. As a true Authoritarian he properly sees an enemy behind the black bush--he can recognize black and white clearly. So what about all the grey bushs, trees and vines?

Mr Bush's stand against evolution is yet another example of a rigid mindset--the battlefields in Iraq evolve month to month, as do the enemies themselves. Yet his Administration steadfastly claims we are winning the war. "Against what enemy?", we must ask.

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