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Updated 28 July 2006

To some the Bush Doctrine is better defined by his actions than by his words or something on paper. Others take the trouble to interpret his words in a favorable light, such is politics, regardless of party. It is well known that he is strongly influenced by the many neoconservatives serving his administration and their "Project for the New American Century."

The Bush Doctrine has three essential elements, according to information from "The Project for the New American Century."

    "1. Active American global leadership. The president noted that our 'enemies view the entire world as a battlefield' and vowed to 'pursue them wherever they are.' He also made it clear that he was willing to act preemptively and quickly, 'time is not on our side,' he admitted -- especially when threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons are involved."

As a realistic matter, time is on no-one's side. Iraq is going downhill. Al Qa'ida and the Taliban are on the move again. Afghanistan is suffering neglect. Since the Iraq "diversion" is failing it is time to junk this failed policy.

    "2. Regime change. Although President Bush pulled no punches when listing terrorist organizations as enemies, including Hamas and Hezbollah, he also made clear his determination to include rogue regimes as targets in the war on terrorism. 'We can't stop short,' he said. And in 'naming names' -- North Korea, Iran and Iraq -- he clearly defined a meaning of victory."

But victory has not come; with every day it becomes less likely. Meanwhile, our mounting national debt will become its own sword of Damocles.

A dramatic and clear American military victory is now made hollow as we lose the peace.

Israel is living behind an Iron Wall, just as Jabotinsky predicted. And we have the Green Zone in Iraq. We will leave eventually because we must. Can we leave with Iraq at peace? Not a chance, with the ages-old conflicts endemic. Can the Shi'a and Sunni embrace in friendly opposition? Nothing in their history indicates they ever will. Beyond that improbability, the Kurds long for a homeland of their own.

    "3. Promoting liberal democratic principles. "No nation is exempt" from the 'nonnegotiable demands' of liberty, law and justice. Because the United States has a 'greater objective' -- a greater purpose -- in the world, Bush sees in the war not just danger but an opportunity to spread American political principles, especially into the Muslim world."

Democracy is not a new idea in the Middle East. Consider:
  • Syria's Constitution forbids torture. For years, torture has been routine in its prisons.
  • Jordan's Constitution guarantees freedom of speech. Journalists critical of the government are routinely arrested.
  • Egypt's Constitution does not allow detentions except when charged with a crime. Emergency laws, in effect for decades, are keeping tens of thousands in prison.

That the Bush Doctrine does not mention the First Amendment freedoms was hardly an oversight. There is a greater purpose? Specifically, what greater purpose? What does the Bush Doctrine really mean in a practical sense? The New American Century Project concludes:

    "The Bush Doctrine is also notable for what it is not. It is not Clintonian multilateralism; the president did not appeal to the United Nations, profess faith in arms control, or raise hopes for any 'peace process,' nor is it the balance-of-power realism favored by his father. It is, rather, a reassertion that lasting peace and security is to be won and preserved by asserting both U.S. military strength and American political principles."

Bush has the big stick. But just what diplomatic principles will he use to dampen the tide of extremism his militarism is only making worse

Periods of peace won by war have been short and shorter, at least in recorded history. Pax Americana at home ended on 9/11. War usually sows the seeds for more war. In recorded history, 3464 years, only 268 have seen no war. War happens on the average, more than nine years out of ten. About 92% of the time in fact.

If war is the road to peace, why has it not worked?

Hitler saw an opportunity to spread Nazism into the non-Aryan world. Israel has been pushing aside and fighting the Palestinians for a three-quarters of a century.

Can this Administration see around corners any better?

The Bush Doctrine is also consistent with Neoconservatism, whose proponents have influenced Bush greatly.


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