Tuesday, November 02, 2004

In the balance

EDIT: Bush won. He and his administration lied, tortured, is in bed with Haliburton and the Carlyle Group, skipped out on his military duties...and the majority of the US approves. It's a sad day.

I'm writing this article in front of the TV, watching the pie charts slowly creep on CNN for the presidential candidates. I've followed elections before, and I tend to get a bit tense, but I get the sensation that this election is the most crucial I've ever followed. I'm going to preface what I say by pointing out that I am sympathetic for the families and victims of terrorism, as I am also sympathetic to the citizens of Iraq. In political theory, democratic government is rule by the people; by casting votes for a favorite candidate you are giving consent for them to act on your behalf. While obviously the end result of an election is the desire of the majority, and those voting for unsuccessful candidates are carried along. I will also be sympathetic towards Democrat voters in the US should Bush win, and if Kerry wins, I hope that one day the unsuccessful republicans realize how lucky they are. One glaring issue that recieves little coverage in US media which other nations would describe as obvious, is the dangerous foreign policy direction that the Bush administration has pursued. The preemptive attack on Iraq (irrespective of the false premises of threat provided) is a drastic and dangerous shift in global politics. Imagine if this approach had been used during the Cold War...both sides were clearly threatening one another, with actual (not imaginary) WMDs pointed at one another. Using a preemptive doctrine, both sides would have been entirely justified attacking the other, and the result would have been total annihilation for both.

It is arrogance to apply a preemptive strike policy and not expect or allow other nations to do the same. To do otherwise would be essentially declaring a special status for the US, and as powerful as the US military may be, the difficulties it faces in Iraq show that the US is incapable of global dominance. Don't forget, the US attacked Iraq after 12 years of Iraqi hardship under UN sanctions. The US would be hard pressed to find a weaker target. By forwarding a preemtive posture, the US threatens all countries. After all, if it could happen to Iraq, why not another country?

The end result of the occupation of Iraq is that the terms of the war on terrorism have been defined by the US...by equating the insurgency in Iraq with the kind of terrorist threat that struck New York on 9/11, it would appear that the US has taken some positive steps in addressing the threat. However, I argue that this is not the case. Bin Laden has evaded capture, and has been able to communicate several times. The US has not concocted a strategy to fight terrorism itself...which is largely ideologically driven, and that violent responses tends to futher.

Anyways, the point I was trying to make is that if Bush is elected and doesn't steal the White House this time, the majority of Americans will deserve the next four years.


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