Well, this has certainly been an interesting exchange of comments. I had no idea what this tiny entry would generate. I would have commented/posted earlier but this has been a very busy week thus far. Frankly, I don’t really have time for this, but I’m going to respond anyway.
A few points** :
* Re: whether Bush et al. went against international opinion – both Jim and Chris are right. If you measure international opinion as international governments, then yes, technically international opinion was divided. A greater percentage of the leaders and governments were/are against the Invasion of Iraq than were/are for it, but the percentage for the war was/is not a meager sliver of the pie. To wit:
Actually, looking at that map, I’d say the majority of the international community wasn’t/isn’t too happy about the war. If we include worldwide protests, even more evidence can be found to show that the US*** isn’t exactly inspiring good feelings amongst our international neighbors.
This is not meant to disrespect those countries who have actively put their soldiers where their mouths are, but facts are facts – we went against majority international opinion.
* Let’s look at the reasoning behind the Invasion of Iraq and the facts that have since been disclosed. Initially Bush and his advisors supported the desire to go to war primarily with claims of WMDs and links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qeada. As time wore on and investigations were made, it was determined that neither the WMDs nor definitive links were anywhere to be found. Still, this was the basis for the Bush Doctrine, wherein it is stated, more or less, that if the United States determines that another country poses a threat to us, we are within our rights to attack or invade that country. Now, while I do have problems with this on several levels, I can almost understand it. If the United States had proven that its idea of “reasoned preemptive actions” were indeed supported with incontrovertible facts. Not only did the government not do so, it continues to act as though the faulty intelligence it received was just a big “Oops! My bad!” As a result, the odds are not currently in favor of the current administration being any more careful in deciding who it considers a threat. It did a piss-poor job with actual threats against American targets, i.e. Bin Laden and al-Qaeda. These facts make me disinclined to give Bush and his advisors the benefit of the doubt.
But the desire to defend by attacking is patently not the same as Manifest Destiny, which was the belief that the entire North American continent was the sole property of the United States. I guess Canada is lucky the US government of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries decided not to push further north.
BTW, if one is going to liken the Bush Doctrine to Manifest Destiny, then one has even more reason to fear the US. Because this suggests that the United States isn’t happy with the territory it currently has and is looking to get more, but has decided to use the obfuscating language of the Bush Doctrine to disguise its real intent in its attempt to make it palatable to Americans and the world at large.
* Might does not make right, whether it be a person or a nation. While this may appear more of a belief than a fact to some, it is nonetheless something that cannot be denied. Else the very dignity of humanity is at risk.
* I do not have the answers. I do not claim to have the answers. If I had, I would run for office or try to insinuate myself with someone with power in a heartbeat. I have gone around in my head and not truly come up with anything that takes all variables into account. And while the current administration is in power, it is highly doubtful that those with viable alternatives will be heeded, because Bush and Cronies are arrogantly positive that they have the only answers.
So, so much more to address. So little time to do so. Now I must get back to my previous work.
*** Whenever I refer to “the US” and “the United States”, I am referring to the government, not its citizens.