US DOCTRINE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
George W. Bush, in his Second Presidential Inauguration, unveiled what appears to be a new American Doctrine for the 21st century of “Freedom for the World”. Upon hearing this, people around the globe watching the event smiled or shuddered.
Various US presidents have issued their own pronouncements – from Monroe to Roosevelt, McKinley to Truman, Johnson to Bush. Especially relevant to colonized countries, like the Philippines and Vietnam, Tanzania and Congo, Cuba and Peru, are the McKinley and Bush postulates. The first was a “White Man’s Burden” to civilize and Christianize Asia, Africa and Latin America; the second is now designed to give or impose “Freedom” upon mankind, regardless of creed or color.
Bush attempted to rationalize US adventurism in Iraq by vaguely linking it with Al-Qaeda and the alleged existence of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). Failing to get the consent of the UN Security Council, Bush defied the UN, and formed the Coalition of the Willing.
After things are said and done, the real motives appear to be oil for America and security for Israel.
Not too long ago, the Robertson Committee of the US Senate issued a report harshly criticizing the Bush Administration of being not so truthful about Iraq. And the United Nations Secretary General gave the opinion that the military action of the Coalition of the Willing was illegal.
Body bags have started coming, and the United States looks at the United Nations for a more active role.
Declarations do not accord with action. Governments do lie. There was Vietnam before; America concocted the so-called “Gulf of Tonkin Incident” to warrant US attack on Vietnam and the bombing of Laos and Cambodia. There is Iraq now; weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) – which, they know, do not exist – are, to repeat, the excuse for US aggression.
And who cares, perhaps North Korea, Syria, and Iran – all branded by Bush the “Axis of Evil” – are to come. Myanmar, Zimbabwe, and maybe China too, have to beware of the 21st-century unilateral application of the Bush dictum.
Of course, historically, occupation of a country by foreign troops does not long endure. We have the lessons of Vietnam and Afghanistan. America, even in divided Iraq, will ultimately not prevail. To recall Lord Chatham who gave a stern warning to Britain posed to invade America during the American revolution, along the following term: “We cannot defeat America. If you are the aggressor, and I am America, I will never submit to your occupation. Never, never, never!”
Vietnam proved it to France and America; Afghanistan, to Russia. Iraq is proving it to the Coalition of the Willing. Iran, unless subdued firstly by Israel, is preparing for it; North Korea is negotiating to avert it, this time around.
We used to look up to the American Statue of Liberty, to her Revolution, to her Constitution. Her statesmen, thinkers, culture, values. While the world grieved over 9/11, America’s resort to unilateralism, torture, war on terror, pre-emptive strikes without casus belli, arbitrary denunciation of existing conventions – have earned legions of detractors. Even elite American societies of writers and artists have dissented: “Not in our names!”
Not to mention Nagasaki and Hiroshima – Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo – these are America’s descent to barbarism, an emerging pattern of a chilling doctrine for the 21st century.
Nelson D. Lavina
The date posted here is due to our website rebuild, it does not reflect the original date this article was posted. This article was originally posted in Yonip on March 8th, 2005