presents The Angry Liberal
August 19, 2002
The Bush Doctrine: 2001-2002
by The Angry Liberal
"Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime."
-- George W. Bush, presidential runner-up, 9/20/01
-- Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke, 8/06/02
Well, the amazingly well-conceived Bush Doctrine is dead. It served as a warning to would-be terrorist nations for almost eleven months. I once lost a toenail in an accident. It took longer than that to grow back.
For those of you who are forced to flip away from Peter Jennings to keep from puking when Bush's trademark smirk makes an appearance (and believe me, you're not alone in this world), here is what the Bush Doctrine was when it was alive, described by its author:
"My hope is that nations will heed our call, and eliminate the terrorist parasites who threaten their countries and our own. ... But some governments will be timid in the face of terror. And make no mistake about it: If they do not act, America will."
These are excerpts from Bush's State of the Union speech last January. Yep, we Americans are gonna rid the whole dang world of them terrorist fellas, and if their host country refuses to help or tries to protect them, we'll pound their sorry asses right alongside the terrorists. This brilliant doctrine worked really well exactly once: Dubya, 1. Afghanistan, 0.
Of course, those of us with brains that are able to contemplate things besides money and booze wondered about the Bush Doctrine. For instance, is the state of Michigan, the last residence of terrorist Timothy McVeigh, doing enough to stop terrorism and if not, should we bomb Governor Engler? Aside from the general stupidity of beating up a whole country because its leaders are unable or unwilling to dislodge terrorists, what will happen when the country in question was, say, a U.S. ally? This question was answered by the White House after a briefing from the Rand Corporation described Saudi Arabia in the following terms:
The briefing went on to flesh out a general plan, guided by the Bush Doctrine, to deal with Saudi Arabia. It recommended that Bush and Company confront the Saudis and demand that they cease supporting terrorism or the United States would seize Saudi Arabia's assets and (gulp!) oil fields. Of course, the Saudis are America's allies, on paper at least, and have close personal ties to both Bushes. But a doctrine is a doctrine, right? Bush's own words demanded that he consider these recommendations.
So how did Dubya react to the news that his doctrine was going to force him to confront his favorite dictatorship? He simply tossed the Bush Doctrine in the closet next to Gerald Ford's Whip Inflation Now! buttons. In a press conference, White House spokesman Scott McClellan had this to say:
That gasp you just heard was the sound of the Bush Doctrine dying.
If you interested in the extent to which the Bush Administration is willing to ignore Saudi Arabia's ties to terrorism, consider a new policy announced by another loser in the 2000 elections, Attorney General John Ashcroft. Beginning September 11, the INS will begin fingerprinting foreign visitors from five countries suspected of actively supporting terrorism. The five countries in question are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Syria. Did you notice any obvious omission here? I'll give you a hint: Osama bin Laden and 15 of the 19 September 11 hijackers were citizens of this country. In an appalling display of favoritism toward its friends in the oil business, the Bush Administration is putting in place a heavy-handed profiling system that would have missed more than three-quarters of the terrorists responsible for the destruction of the World Trade Center and the deaths of thousands of Americans. That rustling sound you just heard was the Bush Doctrine rolling over in its grave.
Let's face it. The Bush Doctrine was a really dumb idea anyway. Having the Bush Doctrine rendered meaningless by its inventor before its first birthday, however, is simply pathetic. America is witnessing an administration that is completely overwhelmed by world events. Bush's team isn't smart enough to formulate a coherent foreign policy, but that task is rendered irrelevant by Bush's inability to follow policy in the first place. For the next two years, America will simply be guided by whatever policy a Bush spokesperson utters today and that policy will last until the spokesperson proclaims something to the contrary tomorrow or next week.
what the Republican Party would have you believe, intelligence is an important
trait in a leader.
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© 2002, The Angry Liberal
otherwise noted, all original