The Bush Doctrine: Selective Bullying

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Now
that the election campaign is over, the Bush administration is unleashing
the dogs of war again.

This
time the dogs have
Iran in their sights
. Even Colin Powell is barking.

The
Iranian government says it is using uranium for peaceful energy
purposes. The Bushies say it’s being used to develop nuclear bombs.
To show good faith, the Iranians have suspended their atomic energy
program for the time being. Of course, that’s not good enough for
the U.S. war hawks – any more than Hussein’s protestations that
he had no WMDs prevented an invasion of Iraq.

The
Bush people don’t deal in facts; they deal in hysteria. Lynch mobs
are their weapons of choice.

What
the Good Guys Are Doing

Meanwhile,
Vladimir Putin, the Russian "president," has announced
that
he’s developing a new nuclear weapon system
that "not a
single other nuclear power has, or will have, in the near future."
Since the Russians already have the nuclear weapons and conventional
forces that could overrun any country in the world – except one
– we must assume that such a new weapons system will be aimed at
only one country – America.

So
how does the Bush administration react when the Russian government
freely acknowledges that it is building a dangerous, deadly, destabilizing
new weapons system? White House spokesman Scott McClellan said that
the Bush administration wasn’t particularly concerned. After all,
"We are allies now in the global war on terrorism."

Liberation

But,
regarding Iran, shouldn’t we go in there and liberate the Iranian
people from their repressive Islamic fundamentalist government –
the way we did in Iraq?

If
so, then Russia should be next on the list. In addition to developing
dangerous new weapons, Putin is attempting
to wipe out small political parties
, he’s bombed
innocent civilians in Chechnya
, and he’s supported warlords
in Afghanistan.

But
none of that is considered repression by the Bush administration.
After all, "We are Allies now in the global war on terrorism."

The
Bush Doctrine

The
"Bush doctrine" of foreign policy is really very simple:
Attack any country that can’t fight back, but don’t rock the boat
with any country that might be able to attack the United States.

This
doctrine isn’t original with George Bush. It is the strategy employed
by every schoolyard bully in the world: attack the weak but steer
clear of the strong.

George
Bush believes that you’re either with us or against us. And if you’re
with us and powerful, you can do anything you want.

But
if you’re a small state that can’t fight back and has few residents
in the United States, you’re a target – and nothing you say can
stop the American military machine from overrunning your country.

The
American Doctrine

The
American way was to let the countries of Asia and Europe fight to
the death over their own differences, while America concentrated
on building its own country.

That
way of life didn’t involve living in a state of siege – afraid of
the rest of the world and afraid of one’s own government.

It
is up to us to restore that way of life. Neither conservative nor
liberal politicians are interested in doing so.

November
29, 2004

Harry Browne [send
him mail
], the author of Why
Government Doesn’t Work

and many other books, was the Libertarian presidential candidate
in 1996 and 2000. See his website.

Harry
Browne Archives

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