Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Bush Military Doctrine Betrays U.S. Ideals. (Editorials)

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Bush Military Doctrine Betrays U.S. Ideals. (Editorials)

Article excerpt

George W. Bush's National Security Strategy, submitted to the U.S. Congress last month, confirms that U.S. foreign policy is on an increasingly overt imperialistic course. A careful reading of the document reveals that some of the nobler ideals with which we have traditionally associated our nation--the pursuit of justice and international cooperation, for example--have waned considerably.

Even the cherished American ideal of freedom now comes coated in a particular economic language. Where we were once a nation among a family of nations, now we are the self-designated police force of the world--and only we get to define who is good and who is bad. Not coincidentally, the "good" nations are those that follow the U.S. lead; the "bad" are those who question it. Also not coincidentally, the word freedom appears 47 times in the 12,600-word national security document; the word justice four times.

The new Bush doctrine dashes the aspirations of those who had hoped that the world was moving toward a system of international law that would allow for the peaceful resolution of conflicts, through covenants and courts.

It is an outright bellicose statement of purpose. At one point it states flatly: "Our forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military buildup in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States." One pundit describes the new Bush doctrine as "a jaw-dropping vision of a globalized corporate Pax Americana, enforced by the mightiest killing machine in the history of the world."

Where once we might have viewed ourselves as the Athens of the New World, we are on the road to becoming a modern day Sparta, feared and not respected by the rest Of the nation-states. It must not be forgotten that the United States now spends as much on its military as all the other countries in the world combined.

The fundamental premise of the Bush document is that the world has entered a particularly dark time and that the U.S. military must seek out and destroy all evildoers.

According to the Bush policy, you cannot be free unless you practice unfettered capitalism. "People everywhere want to ... own property and enjoy the benefits of their labor." "Policies that further strengthen market incentives and market institutions are relevant for all economies." Free trade is "real freedom." "International flows of investment capital are needed.' If you want to be free, you must have "pro-growth legal and regulatory policies" and "lower marginal tax rates." Bush, as economist, states: "If you can make something that others value, you should be able to sell it to them. If others make something that you value, you should be able to buy it. This is real freedom, the freedom for a person--or a nation--to make a living. …

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