That’s the headline I would have liked to have seen on this Washington Post story, which describes the new national security strategy the President is putting forward today
reaffirming his doctrine of preemptive war against terrorists and hostile states with chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, despite the troubled experience in Iraq.
Troubled? Troubled?!?! What about the fact that Iraq did not possess the weapons? Is it still pre-emption if you were wrong about the threat? No. It is war at will, for no good reason. The piece highlights the stark contrast between Bush’s perception and reality:
many critics believe the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq fatally undermined an essential assumption of the strategy — that intelligence about an enemy’s capabilities and intentions can be sufficient to justify preventive war.
In his revised version, Bush offers no second thoughts about the preemption policy, saying it “remains the same” and defending it as necessary for a country in the “early years of a long struggle” akin to the Cold War.
. . .
“If necessary, however, under long-standing principles of self defense, we do not rule out use of force before attacks occur, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy’s attack,” the document continues. “When the consequences of an attack with WMD are potentially so devastating, we cannot afford to stand idly by as grave dangers materialize.”
This is pure insanity. How can the American people sit still for this? Bush’s claim is that the consequences of a WMD attack are so grave that it justifies war against anyone he thinks might have those weapons, or who might be trying to get them. He should have learned from Iraq that reality is not always as he fantasizes it will be.
The most unbelievable part of all is this:
“We may face no greater challenge from a single country than from Iran,” the document says,
. . .
The language about confrontation is not repeated with North Korea, which says it already has nuclear bombs, an assertion believed by U.S. intelligence.
So North Korea has nuclear weapons and we are focusing on Iran? This is silliness of the highest order, which would be hilarious satire except that it is actually happening. A policy of going around starting wars with countries we don’t like because we’re paranoid won’t lead anywhere good. It will not generate the prosperity and goodwill in troubled nations that we need to build support for the US around the world. The best way to protect ourselves from attack is not to crush all possible enemies, which creates many more, but to convince people not to want to attack us in the first place.