Thursday, March 16, 2006

Fear, paranoia, and doctrines of preemption...

I was stunned today to read the following statement by National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley: "The president's strategy affirms that the doctrine of preemption remains sound and must remain an integral part of our national security strategy. If necessary, the strategy states, under longstanding principles of self defense, we do not rule out the use of force before attacks occur, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy's attack."

Having studied American history for over forty years, I'm can't help but wonder how on earth the Senate of the United States justifies permitting Mr. Bush or any president to adopt and adhere to a doctrine of preemptive war as a guiding principle in our nation's foreign policy?

Every Senator should read (or reread) J. William Fulbright's The Arrogance of Power. Certainly any student of American history understands that Mr. Bush's preemption doctrine flies in the face of a century of generally cautious American foreign policy. And every American citizen ought to understand it as well!

The current administration has poisoned too many Americans, by turning them into ethnocentric antagonists of the Muslim world. It and its political allies are practicing the politics of paranoia in a way that has not been seen since Joseph McCarthy and Richard Nixon fueled anti-communism in the late 1940s and isolationists fed the Red Scare after World War I.

And, where is the United States Senate? That often august body of cautious and deliberative American leaders, that principle participant in foreign policy with the presidency seems simply to have rolled over and died, just as they did in the 1920s, and almost did in the 1940s. They should be ashamed of themselves for permitting the current occupiers of the office of the presidency to so corrupt our foreign policy, and we Americans should be ashamed that we've not risen up in protest!

My friends, we cannot, we must not become what we oppose!


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