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A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Monday, October 04, 2004

Washington Post:

And so for the past few months it has become common wisdom that the war in Iraq is lost, based on what any historian will tell you is far too little evidence to make such a final judgment. Not only that, but the entire approach to foreign policy that has been called the "Bush doctrine" is, therefore, finished. Another fine Post reporter, Robin Wright, wrote at the end of June that the Iraq war had undermined or discredited the four central planks of President Bush's foreign policy: preemptive action to "prevent strikes on U.S. targets"; a willingness "to act unilaterally, alone or with a select coalition, when the United Nations or allies balk"; a policy to promote democratic reform in the Middle East, sparked by democratic progress in Iraq; and Iraq as "the next cornerstone in the global war on terrorism." I'm not sure what the last one means exactly, so I'll give it to her. As for the other three, is it really likely that they are dead as principles of U.S. foreign policy?

Democracy promotion? This may come as a shock to many people, but George W. Bush didn't exactly invent the idea that the United States should promote democracy abroad. It wasn't even original with Woodrow Wilson. Anyone looking at the broad sweep of American history would have to say that urging democracy upon other nations, often after invasions undertaken for other purposes, is more the norm than the exception.
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