- 1. Take a bunch of self-righteous, egomaniacal, power-hungry
individuals wrapped in a layer of morally bankrupt religious fanaticism.
- 2. Add the world's most extensive arsenal of weapons
of mass destruction.
- 3. Toss in absolute, unchecked control over the deadliest
of military forces.
- 4. Pour in some half-baked ideas about dominating and
ruling the world.
- 5. Stir vigorously until thoroughly mixed up.
- 6. Keep the mixture at a steady boiling point over a
constant, pseudo- patriotic flame of fear-mongering, and what have you
- Bush's latest recipe for disaster, otherwise known as
"The National Security Strategy of the United States."
- If you've ever wondered why the United States is a country
that other countries just love to hate, this document lays the reasons
out in full splendor for all to see.
- This 30-plus page creation appears to have emanated from
deep within the bowels of the PR spin machines of the White House. In keeping
with the strategies of hard-core propaganda and public relations gimmicks,
it is chock full of all the wonderful, democratic ideals and feel-good
concepts that the United States, in its unquestionable goodness, so honorably
champions as the world's one and only true savior. Who could possibly disagree
with such nebulous and diversely interpreted concepts as "freedom,"
"liberty," "peace," "making the world safe,"
"justice," "human dignity," "international cooperation,"
"prosperity," or "cultural advancement"? Unfortunately,
these noble words are being used to cloak the unacceptable, underlying
aspirations of the current leaders of the United States.
- Bush's National Security Strategy espouses a Pax Americana
against which President Kennedy raised dire warnings back in the sixties.
"The U.S. national security strategy will be based on a distinctly
American internationalism that reflects our national interest."
- This document arrogantly outlines the goal of U.S. imperialism
and supremacy, and the use of unsurpassed U.S. military power to protect
U.S. interests throughout the world, extending even into the region of
outer space. "Our forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential
adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing, or
equaling, the power of the United States." Reminiscent of the classic
high school winning team chant, "We're number one," these words
reflect a sophomoric attitude the United States is not about to relinquish.
Quite clearly, the United States intends to maintain its position of absolute
power over the rest of the world.
- In a move that signifies a shift away from democracy
and toward military dictatorship, the doctrine further asserts, "the
goal must be to provide the president with a wider range of military options
to discourage aggression or any form of coercion against the United States"
The purpose of this vague terminology, which suspiciously echoes the wording
and intent within the USA PATRIOT Act, is ultimately to promote and justify
the use of the military against any and all individuals, groups, protesters,
organizations, etc. who the president determines are acting against established
U.S. interests and policies.
- In fact, across this nation from Seattle, Washington
to Portland, Maine to Washington, D.C., the level of both police brutality
and unwarranted, unconstitutional arrests of peacefully assembled, non-violent
protesters exercising their first amendment rights seems to be on a precipitous
- The Bush manifesto envisions a world dominated by U.S.
interests where all nations are governed by "a single sustainable
model for national success: freedom, democracy, and free enterprise."
While Bush obviously believes the United States to be the perfect model
thereof, nothing could be further from the truth.
- While it may be true that U.S. Americans have more freedoms
than much of the world, many of those precious civil rights and freedoms
have, in essence, been made moot by the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act
last year. Moreover, how free is someone who from birth is given a social
identifying number and is forced to pay income taxes under the pains and
penalties of having one's assets confiscated and/or of being sent to prison?
Are U.S. citizens not, in a sense, nothing but indentured servants to their
- As for a democratic government "of, by, and for
the people," a close look at how the U.S. government is presently
run reveals a veritable plutocracy (or government ruled by the wealthy)
in which faceless corporations enjoy the same rights as citizens. Only,
the former has much greater buying power and, thus, undue influence on
government policies and decision-making.
- How democratic is a government where third party candidates,
who have jumped all the hurdles, collected all the necessary signatures
and legitimately made it onto election ballots, are time and again summarily
excluded from televised election debates? It seems those in positions of
power in the United States give mere lip service to the idea of democracy
while quietly advocating a more "selective" version thereof where
only the views and opinions of corporate-sponsored wealthy Democrats and
wealthier Republicans are valid.
- The third principle of "free enterprise," which
Bush even goes so far as to equate with "a moral principle,"
is based upon nothing but purely mythological economic theory. The "free
trade" and open borders that Bush and his CEO associates are pushing
globally do not even exist in the United States. We boast some of the most
highly subsidized businesses in the world. The amount of tax dollars that
is doled out in corporate welfare (through subsidies, research grants,
protective tariffs, tax breaks, etc.) to U.S. corporations is staggering.
- In contrast, the version of "free trade" being
forced on Third World countries by the IMF and World Bank prohibits all
forms of protective tariffs, government subsidies and the like, along with
demanding mandatory privatization of any and all government services and
industries, even profitable ones. The consequences have been devastating
in places like Jamaica, Haiti, Argentina, Bolivia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Brazil,
Colombia, and countless other nations around the globe.
- Free and equal trade among countries with vastly unequal
economies is impossible. Weaker economies are inevitably swallowed up by
stronger ones, and the workers of these poor nations turned into slaves
to the benefit of richer nations who do not play by the same rules. Bush
promises to enforce the laws of free trade "in all regions of the
world" to "ensure that the benefits of free trade do not come
at the expense of American workers." Bingo. May the rest of the world
take heed: the ultimate purpose of "free trade" is to benefit
- Take NAFTA, which gives unprecedented power to corporations
to successfully sue and overturn laws created by democratically elected
governments if these laws interfere with a company's inalienable right
to make a profit. Such unfettered corporate power over governments can
only lead to one logical conclusion: free trade and democracy are diametrically
opposed and cannot co-exist.
- In a display of classic doublespeak, the Bush platform
defines "a program to establish, finance and monitor a truly independent
judiciary" in a future, reformed Palestinian government. Pray tell,
how can a judiciary be "truly independent" if it is (1) beholden
to the interests of outsiders who foot the bill and (2) being monitored?
- A shining example full of contradictory statements, Bush's
strategy, on the one hand, applauds the idea of building international
cooperation, partnerships, coalitions, and alliances. "Coordination
with European allies and international institutions is essential for constructive
conflict mediation and successful peace operations. We will respect the
values, judgment, and interests of our friends and partners."
- On the other hand, the United States reserves the right
to pre-emptive, anticipatory strikes if it feels its interests are threatened,
and it "will not hesitate to act alone. We will take the actions
necessary to ensure Americans are not impaired by the potential for investigations,
inquiry, or prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC), whose
jurisdiction does not extend to Americans and which we do not accept.
- There you have it - a prime example of speaking out of
both sides of one's mouth. The United States exalts the idea of international
cooperation and respect, yet vows to act unilaterally and simultaneously
deems itself irreproachable, above and beyond the ICC and judgment of its
- Then there is the idea of the U.S. establishing "new
partnerships with former adversaries." This reflects one very troubling,
flawed, schizoid foreign policy where we suddenly make allies of former
enemies and mortal enemies of former allies. Both Saddam and Osama were
once our trusted and supported friends, as long as they were serving U.S.
interests, that is. Killing and murder are good only when they benefit
the designs of the United States.
- Interestingly enough, in this document, rogue states
are defined as "[sharing] a number of attributes," namely, they
"squander their national resources for the personal gain of the rulers;
display no regard for international law, threaten their neighbors, and
callously violate international treaties to which they are party; are determined
to acquire weapons of mass destruction, along with other advanced military
technology, to be used as threats or offensively to achieve the aggressive
designs of these regimes; sponsor terrorism around the globe; reject basic
human values..." Given the blood-soaked history of the United States,
which includes the equally brutal, covert operations undertaken by the
CIA, this definition could very easily apply to the U.S., making it the
largest rogue nation in the world.
- There are enough absurdities, double-standards, deceitful
half-truths and outright lies contained in this National Security Strategy
to fill a book. I invite you to read it and judge for yourself at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.html
- See if you don't agree with Senator Kennedy's evaluation
thereof, "It is impossible to justify any such double standard under
international law. Might does not make right. America cannot write its
own rules for the modern world. To attempt to do so would be unilateralism
run amok. The Administration's doctrine is a call for 21st century American
imperialism that no other nation can or should accept."
- [Doreen Miller lived, studied, worked and traveled abroad
for several years, and is currently a Senior Lecturer and educator of international
students. She dedicates part of her time to serving the elderly and Alzheimer
patients. Mother, musician and poet, she pursues an avid interest in Buddhist
and Eastern philosophy. She advocates human rights, social justice, fair
trade, and environmental protection. Doreen lives in the United States.]
- Doreen Miller encourages your comments: dmiller@YellowTimes.org
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