The Bush Doctrine: Selective Bullying

by Harry Browne

November 23, 2004           

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.