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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Thursday, April 17, 2003

 

Bush: It's Not Just His Doctrine That's Wrong http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0417-07.htm

posted by Editor at Thursday, April 17, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Here is an article posted on CommonDreams.org written by Gov. Howard Dean. Dr. Dean wrote the article to "set the record straight." I know that it is a bit long, so I have only posted the start of the article. You can read the whole article by following the link above.

[Note: After reading a recent article that called into question my opposition to the Bush Doctrine of preemptive war, I wanted to state my position clearly to set the record straight. I appreciate that the editors of Common Dreams have given me this opportunity.]

When Congress approved the President’s authorization to go to war in Iraq – no matter how well-intentioned – it was giving the green light to the President to set his Doctrine of preemptive war in motion. It now appears that Iraq was just the first step. Already, the Bush Administration is apparently eyeing Syria and Iran as the next countries on its target list. The Bush Doctrine must be stopped here.

Many in Congress who voted for this resolution should have known better. On September 23, 2002, Al Gore cautioned in his speech in San Francisco that “if the Congress approves the Iraq resolution just proposed by the Administration it is simultaneously creating the precedent for preemptive action anywhere, anytime this or any future president so decides.” And that is why it was such a big mistake for Congress to allow the president to set this dangerous precedent.

Too much is at stake. We have taken decades of consensus on the conduct of foreign policy – bipartisan consensus in the United States and consensus among our allies in the world community – and turned it on its head. It could well take decades to repair the damage this President and his cohort of right-wing ideological advisors have done to our standing in the international community.

Theirs is a radical view of our role in the world. The President who campaigned on a platform of a humble foreign policy has instead begun implementing a foreign policy characterized by dominance, arrogance and intimidation. The tidal wave of support and goodwill that engulfed us after the tragedy of 9/11 has dried up and been replaced by undercurrents of distrust, skepticism and hostility by many who had been among our closest allies.

This unilateral approach to foreign policy is a disaster. All of the challenges facing the United States – from winning the war on terror and containing weapons of mass destruction to building an open world economy and protecting the global environment – can only be met by working with our allies. A renegade, go-it-alone approach will be doomed to failure, because these challenges know no boundaries.

The largest, most sophisticated military in the history of the world cannot eliminate the threat of sleeper terrorist cells. That task requires the highest level of intelligence cooperation with our allies.

Even the largest, most sophisticated military in the history of the world cannot be expected to go to war against every evil dictator who may possess chemical weapons. This calls for an aggressive and effective diplomatic effort, conducted in full cooperation with a united international community, and preferably with the backing of the multilateral institutions we helped to build for just this purpose. This challenge requires treaties – such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty – that this Administration has sometimes treated cavalierly. In any case, war should be a last resort or an option to be used in the face of an imminent threat.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.