Preemptive Strikes: The Law of the Jungle
Anytime your geopolitical philosophy looks like something off the Discovery Channel, the planet is in serious trouble. That's what "Preemptive Strike" really means, doesn't it? The Law of the Jungle. I'll attack you whenever I feel like it, just like the lions and hyenas do. The world has spent thousands of years moving away from this concept, yet now we have a President who believes in this behavior. And here's the cute part: He thinks he invented it. They even call it "The Bush Doctrine", when it's no more original than a mountain lion biting a coyote. Remember when Saddam invaded Kuwait - how the world reacted with outrage, saying this aggression won't stand? Looking back Saddam was just a precursor of the Bush Doctrine - so early that George was still teetering on a barstool when Saddam was acting it out.
Wait, you might say - Saddam didn't think Kuwait was about to attack him. Frankly, neither did we with Iraq. That's the chilling beauty of the preemptive strike doctrine: You just announce you feel threatened when you want to invade someplace. No proof is needed because it's all in your mind.
Let's follow this through from how the doctrine is supposed to work, to its logical conclusion. We start with a community of nations, each with an assumption that if they live peacefully with their neighbors, they won't be attacked. Of course, people like Saddam come along and invade Kuwait, at which point the community of nations retaliates. Enter the second President Bush: He believes he has the right to attack other nations based on what he thinks they might do in the future. He lies and speculates about the imminent threat and when it turns out he's 100% wrong, he is undeterred. In fact, he's looking at Iran right now, and wondering if he should attack it. The initial result of this strategy can be more security for the one who attacks first, although with Iraq we didn't gain a damn thing because Iraq was not really a threat. It was contained. But let's overlook how little benefit we've gotten from this adventure, and assume it had worked out to our great advantage. Even dumb ideas sometimes work well in the beginning. It's the longterm effects after you've declared "Mission Accomplished", that are a little trickier.
For example, after the preemptive strike, the community of nations realizes it is no longer enough to exist peacefully - they can be attacked anyway. Some countries will emulate us and attack whomever. And the race is on to get more protection from this new type of threat. The new global agenda is to beware of America. Suddenly much of the world hates us. Why? Because they live in fear of what we'll do next. We are the lion sipping at the water hole. Who knows when we'll attack? We're not governed by international law. That's like asking the lion to follow a treaty. Instead of a world pulling for America to remain strong, the world begins to want our power to fade. We are now reckless and dangerous. We are a threat. So let's say America is one day challenged by an emerging superpower like China - will we support the Bush Doctrine then? Will we be saying an unprovoiked attack by China is only fair - it's the way things are supposed to be? No, in that situation, we'll try and advocate the international law that protects the weak and checks the power of the strong. We'll say we are not animals. We are civilized nations. We don't act this way. But that concept is all gone with the Bush Doctrine: Thousands of years of trying to build a framework for coexistence, tossed out in a flash. We're back in the jungle. Just look at how Pearl Harbor fits into the Bush Doctrine. You know...December 7th? "A date that shall live in infamy." That was a preemptive strike, wasn't it? Sure, to neutralize our navy in case we threatened Japan. Bush supporters should admire Pearl Harbor. It was a Bush-style move. It's life at the water hole. It's how the lions and hyenas act. You see this behavior every day on the Discovery Channel: Sneak attacks and preemptive strikes are what the Law of the Jungle is all about.