[Marxism] Bush reasserts pre-emptive war strategy in preparation for attack on Iran
ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Fri Mar 17 03:14:30 MST 2006
Support for attacking Iran is actually growing at this point among
politicians, ruling class media. The two parties are working in tandem
The New Republic, which has opposed attacking IRan militarily, now
carries a programmatic call for attacking Iran by Daniel Jonah
Goldhagen, basically (despite his demurrers) a liberal version of the
war-of-civilizations thesis. He presents "political Islam" as
"exterminationist" toward Jews, and toward the West in general. He
states that Iran, not Osama, is the main problem, and that Iran is
seeking Islamic world conquest. A frenzied article, but effective
propaganda in the present context, in my opinion. He describes attacking
Iran's nuclear energy program as not an option but a necessity.He
presents the cartoons protests as the opening of the drive to dominate
the West -- at a time when three Islamic countries are under Western
occupation, and more are being threatened with it. A frenzied article,
yes, but I think Goldhagen's piece is effective propaganda in the
<http://www.realcities.com/images/common/spacer.gif> Posted on Thu,
Mar. 16, 2006 <http://www.realcities.com/images/common/spacer.gif>
Bush calls for diplomacy, reasserts pre-emption policy
By William Douglas
Knight Ridder Newspapers
WASHINGTON - The edges are rounder but the point remains sharp.
President Bush places more emphasis on working with allies in his new
National Security Strategy than he did in his first-term declaration,
but still asserts that America under his leadership stands ready to
launch pre-emptive strikes to eliminate potential enemies, a principle
he applied by invading Iraq.
In the document released Thursday, Bush asserts that diplomacy is "our
strong preference" when addressing the threat of weapons of mass
destruction. He also talks of working with organizations such as the
United Nations, the African Union and the Organization of American
States to promote democracy as an antidote to terrorism.
That kinder, gentler tone is consistent with Bush's stated second-term
goal of repairing relations with international allies that were frayed
by the White House's go-it-alone attitude toward Iraq, said Charles
Kupchan, a Georgetown University international relations professor and
former National Security Council staffer under President Clinton.
"I find the tone somewhat more moderate and noted that there appears to
be some talk of community-building, working with others, that wasn't
there before," Kupchan said. "Its edges are somewhat rounded; it's not
as strident. It bends over backward to stress America's need to work
But even while making a softer pitch, the document retains the key
element of the 2002 National Security Strategy: pre-emption.
"To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the
United States will, if necessary, act preemptively in exercising our
inherent right of self defense," the document says.
Reassertion of the pre-emption policy isn't a surprise, analysts said.
Bush believes in it and thinks it serves America and him well. But given
that no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq - the main
pretext for the war - some experts question whether pre-emption remains
a practical option.
"It's certainly much less viable now than it was in the days before the
Iraq war," Kupchan said. "The Bush administration and the American
people have gotten a bitter taste of the cost of pre-emptive war."
The war has dragged down Bush's approval ratings in polls to a range
from the mid-30s to the low 40s, the lowest of his presidency, and polls
show that most Americans favor withdrawing from Iraq. That would make
any new pre-emptive strike much harder to sell.
"The whole thing hinges on intelligence information; the quality and
quantity of the information," said Wallace J. Thies, a political science
professor at the Catholic University of America, in Washington. "After
Iraq, you would think they (White House) would be very careful before
doing another pre-emptive strike."
In the new 49-page strategy, Bush calls Iran and North Korea serious
challenges because they want nuclear-weapons programs. He expresses
disappointment at rollbacks of democratic reform in Russia and warns
China not to limit freedoms. He also identifies Cuba, Belarus, Burma,
Syria and Zimbabwe as problem countries.
On Iran and North Korea, the National Security Strategy calls for taking
"all necessary measures" to protect the United States while the
administration seeks to resolve differences with both countries
diplomatically. It's approaching North Korea through six-nation talks
that include South Korea and China and is working with European allies
on Iran, which they've referred to the U.N. Security Council.
Kupchan said he considered Iran a likely candidate for U.S. pre-emption
because American military forces had a better chance there of
identifying and taking out suspected nuclear facilities.
"The option in North Korea is about nonexistent because of its proximity
to South Korea and because North Korea already has nuclear weapons," he
Other experts said pre-emptive action against Iran wasn't likely either,
because another U.S. attack on a Middle Eastern country would further
inflame the Muslim world, where Bush is trying to spread democracy.
"The Iranians would try to disturb the flow of oil, use their alleged
terrorist links to strike U.S. interests, and oil prices would spike to
$100 a barrel," Thies said. "The pain would be felt around the world."
Instead, Thies said, Bush is hoping that the threat of the National
Security Strategy will be all the pre-emption he needs.
"It's a way of putting the Iranians on notice, trying to get leverage
with other countries," he said. "It's a way of getting things done with
words rather than deeds."
C 2006 KR Washington Bureau and wire service sources. All Rights
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