Sunday, September 28, 2008

More on the Bush Doctrine that is now so perplexing to our national press

Glenn Greenwald also has some useful things to say about the Bush Doctrine, aka, the National Security Strategy of the United States of America, in Where is the debate over the Bush Doctrine? Salon 09/14/08. He writes:

Before it became clear that Sarah Palin had never heard of it, nobody -- including the presidential candidates themselves -- ever had difficulty answering questions about what they believed about the Bush Doctrine, nor ever suggested that this Doctrine was some amorphous, impossible-to-understand, abstract irrelevancy. Quite the contrary, despite some differences over exactly what it means, it was widely understood to constitute a radical departure -- at least in theory -- from our governing foreign policy doctrine, and it is that Doctrine which has unquestionably fueled much of the foreign policy disasters of the last eight years.
I don't quite know what to make of the fact that our national press corps is widely pretending they don't even know what it is. What if they're not just lying now and playing us for rubes? What if, six years after it became the official US policy in September 2002, they really have never had a clue about what it is?

He also asks an important question, one to which I would also like to know the answer:

One last point, perhaps the most important one: as the above-excerpted exchanges from the debates make clear, both Obama and McCain understand what "the Bush Doctrine" is and have fundamentally different positions on it, at least as they've expressed those positions during the campaign (whether that would translate into any real differences is a separate question). McCain supports the Bush Doctrine and Obama opposes it. Where is the debate over that fundamental difference? Why isn't the Obama campaign making an issue of John McCain's hair-trigger willingness -- desire -- to start even more wars against countries that haven't attacked us?

... One of McCain's greatest political weaknesses as a candidate is the fact that he's even more willing and eager than Bush was to involve America in new wars -- to start new wars. The virtually complete absence of that vulnerability -- in stump speeches, ads and news reports -- is quite glaring and difficult to understand. The fact that Obama has committed himself to more imperialistic and militaristic approaches than many people would like doesn't negate the fact that McCain has explicitly embraced the underlying premises of the Bush foreign policy -- the Bush Doctrine -- and Obama hasn't. [my emphasis]
Greenwald mentions the following articles on the Bush Doctrine:

In Praise of the Bush Doctrine by Norman Podhoretz (godfather of the neoconservatives) Commentary Sept 2002

The Underpinnings of the Bush Doctrine by Thomas Donnelly (a leading neoconservative), American Enterprise Institute (AEI, Neocon Central) 01/31/03

Here are some additional ones he didn't mention in that post:

The New Bush Doctrine by Richard Falk The Nation 06/27/02 (07/15/02 edition)

Policy Implications of the Bush Doctrine on Preemption by Ivo Daalder, Council on Froeign Relations 11/16/02

Today, It is We Americans Who Live in Infamy by Arthur Schlesinger Jr. 03/23/03 (orig. Los Angeles Times 03/23/03)

Present at the Dissolution The Nation editorial 07/31/03 (08/18/03 edition)

Inauguration Speech Marks a Second 'Bush Doctrine', James Lindsay interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman Council on Froeign Relations 01/20/05

Zbigniew Brzezinski testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee 02/01/07

Rescinding the Bush Doctrine by Andrew Bacevich Boston Globe 03/01/07

What Bush hath wrought by Andrew Bacevich Boston Globe 07/01/08

Is Perpetual War Our Future? Learning the Wrong Lessons from the Bush Era by Andrew Bacevich, 08/14/08 (an excerpt from The Limits of Power [2008])

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