Having the Gall To Speak One's Mind

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I
recently received the following email concerning my article "The
Bush Doctrine: Selective Bullying
," in which I said that
the U.S. government is eager to attack weak, relatively defenseless
countries like Iraq or Iran – but cozies up to countries like
Russia that have the means to fight back effectively.

You
may have had some of these arguments tossed at you if you’ve been
the least bit critical of our government’s foreign policy.

Read your
article with interest. It always amazes me that apparently intelligent
people like you feel more qualified than the president to decide
what course the United States should take.

I
have no reason to believe that the President is smarter, more patriotic,
more concerned for the safety of Americans, or more far-sighted
than anyone else. I know only four things about him: (1) he knows
how to win an election, (2) he is making government bigger and bigger,
despite his campaign promises, (3) internationally, he has taken
America down a road that leads to disaster, despite his campaign
promises of 2000, and (4) he smirks a lot.

And
don’t tell me that everything changed on 9/11. America’s foreign
policy had provoked terrorist attacks before. 9/11 changed nothing.

Do you labor
under the impression that President Bush should tell you and the
world exactly what he plans so you (and the world) would best
know how to respond (retaliate)?

A
President with a realistic foreign policy that doesn’t meddle in
the affairs of other countries wouldn’t have to plan anything. No
one would be planning to retaliate because there would be nothing
to retaliate for.

I’d much
rather that he show the world that we will take action. Better
to create a lesson with a small power before deciding whether
to take on the big one. Also better to let the big one feel no
animosity till you decide to do something.

Is
this what you want – a government engaged in attacking, invading,
intriguing? Is this what at one time made America unique in all
the world? And are you suggesting that George Bush is cozying up
to Vladimir Putin to lull him into complacency before the American
military attacks Russia?

One point:
Iraq was the world’s fourth largest army at the time of our attack.
What do you mean by "the weak"?

Iraq
was totally incapable of causing harm to America if the U.S. government
had simply left it alone. Instead it invaded Iraq twice – and
in between the two invasions it bombed Iraq regularly and mercilessly,
and it imposed economic
sanctions on Iraq
that are estimated to have cost the lives
of a half-million innocent Iraqi men, women, and children.

In years
past I’d have heartily agreed to let the rest of the world kill
each other (isolationism). The world has changed and now isolationism
is not an option.

As
far as we’re concerned, the world changed because American Presidents
from Roosevelt to Bush have stuck their nose in the affairs of other
countries. Isolationism
is in fact the only way
to stop the threats and dangers that
have been created by those Presidents. Switzerland is a country
that is as free, as prosperous, and as democratic as the United
States, but is a military weakling – and yet it has suffered
no terrorist attacks and is in no danger. Why? Because it doesn’t
meddle in other countries’ business.

If you’re
trying to aid and abet our enemies I congratulate you. You do
an excellent job.

Thank
you for letting me know that it is now considered treason to criticize
a dangerous government policy.

So
tell me: exactly what freedoms are we supposedly trying to defend
by being in Iraq?

December
7, 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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