Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Preemptive war and other nonsense

Has former President George W. Bush's preemptive war doctrine been repealed or rescinded?

The New York Times editorialized yesterday against an expansion of the war powers of the president, a House Republican proposal the newspaper said would "authorize the military to pursue virtually anyone suspected of terrorism, anywhere on earth, from now to the end of time."

First you have to admire the Times' august tone in an era of newspaper degradation. No one in newspapers but the Times would write about all eternity with as much confidence.

But reading the editorial reminded me of a time when I stood up at a Brownstein Hyatt & Farber-hosted luncheon and asked now retiring PBS newsman Jim Lehrer if the Bush doctrine could be repealed. Lehrer gave a not-so-clear answer, but at the time anyone who questioned Bush was suspect of less-than-quality patriotism, so you could expect obfuscation at almost any turn.

The Republican effort to expand the president's war powers, however, shows that neo-con forces in government are still alive and kicking. No matter they cost us a war in Iraq that was unneccessary, a trillion dollars, and the lives of 4,000 soldiers. WMD? What WMD?

The USA has always had a number of nationalist/colonialist/expansionists within the reaches of power in Washington D.C., but history has shown every time they exert power in behalf of their philosophy, the nation and its people end up losers.

Peace is a better pursuit. Peace leads to prosperity, and prosperity is our best defense against our enemies. No one repeals a president's foreign-policy doctrine, but preemptive war was a preemptive loser. Better we battle enemies we see than those we imagine.

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