Preemptive war as a national security strategy died in the first years of its practice. Keeled over. Stiff as a board. Morte. In these times when no one wants to be where we find ourselves, and the blame-game is the only game in town, most of us thought the funeral had already been held. Right?
America, it seemed, looking around for a fight to pick, found just too many candidates out there in the big, wide world. And darnned if some of them weren’t unreliable as well. Iraq, for instance. Just where were all those weapons of mass destruction? Tens of thousands dead, a country totally wrecked, rampant civil war and we can’t even find an excuse to limp home.
Who’s to preempt? Iran? Not bloody likely to get permission from anybody other than Dick Cheney for that one. Antagonize China? Then they’ll want their money back and besides that, Wal-Mart would never allow it. Russia is starting to look like the old adversarial Russia again. Nah, there’s no preempting those guys, they have too many nukes pointed our way.
So, we’ll not have any more of that, thank you very much. Fold up the old and leaking Rumsfeld tent, pack it in the back of the truck. Unless. Unless George just reaffirms the damned policy of preemption. What’s to keep him from doing that?
Bold move, man. A shot from the hip right in the middle of disaster. Verrry Texan, plug ‘em in the belly. Yeah!
The old dead preemptive war issue, cold in the tomb, just sat bolt upright in its coffin.
Too adventuresome and unpredictable to be the basis for a doctrine? Bush would love to leave a doctrinal legacy. Hmmm, maybe . . . The Bush Doctrine rings beautifully against his ears, makes him all warm, fuzzy and cozy in that gut he brags about using to judge world events.
George’s Texas dreamin’. Sunny retirement days on the ranch, without that bitch camped out down at the end of the road, a little golf in the mornings and a doctrine out there, flying the flag of Legacy. Yeah, capital L.
Another small problem is makin’ sure people know damned well in the history books that it’s not dad’s doctrine. Damn that bein’ called George thing. The George Walker Bush Doctrine? Too long. Not catchy enough.
Jeb had all the luck with names, a Jeb Stuart, swashbucklin’ kind of name. Not much swash in George. And the Jebster got along with the old man too, which is more than I can say. If poppy had only lost that damned election, I’d be the only Bush, the way I oughta be. Dukakis, Christ, anybody could have beat Dukakis. I’m the guy that won it for poppy, but who knew? There’s gotta be a way. Let Turd Blossom figure it out.
Now, what was the wording? Preemptive war against terrorists and hostile states with chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. You bet, worked like a charm four years ago and it’ll work again. People love that shit. Tough talk and swagger, hands on the hips, sweat. Clearin’ brush. Made me the man I am today and I’ve got two and a half years left to make a bold statement, a doctrine to be remembered by.
We’ll call it a Robust View of America’s Power and an Assertive View of American Responsibility to Bring Change Around the World. Too many capitals? Nah, gives it polish, a little of the grand touch. Gotta go for the idealistic thing and still claim the realistic thing. Don’t get the things mixed up. That way, when the shit hits the fan, idealism will carry us through. Realistic is for argument, it’s idealism that doctrines are made of.
Besides, who’s gonna stop me?
Peter Baker’s March 16th Washington Post article says
The long-overdue document, an articulation of U.S. strategic priorities that is required by law, lays out a robust view of America’s power and an assertive view of its responsibility to bring change around the world. On topics including genocide, human trafficking and AIDS, the strategy describes itself as "idealistic about goals and realistic about means." At the same time, it acknowledges that "elections alone are not enough" and sometimes lead to undesirable results.
Well, that’s certainly been true in this country.
Sitting up in the coffin, preemptive war broke into song and did a little soft-shoe. Back from the dead, the failed, yet more aggressive image of attacking countries before they attack America looked positively robust in fashionable black-and-white, the coffin swamped in the flowers of rhetoric.
Fear of yet another terrorist attack and a general feeling of ‘what the hell, it’s only thirty more months’ subdued the shock and awe of assembled mourners.
The President further stated that the old and failed policy "remains the same" and is necessary in the "early years of a long struggle" akin to the Cold War. Akin to the Cold War? Is he serious?
I hadn’t time to check the stock prices of General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and McDonnell Douglas, but I guess they’d be a pretty good bet in the akin to the Cold War long-term investment portfolio. A little Martin-Marietta wouldn’t go badly with the chardonnay either.
Something was said about a doctrine, but George grinned that big grin of his and said they were still workin’ out a name and would get back later with details.