Monday, March 17, 2003
Things not said: Well, Paul Krugman's written another column, and war has not yet started.
Krugman's latest thesis is that the U.S. has gone beserk when it comes to our foreign policy.
The members of the Bush team don't seem bothered by the enormous ill will they have generated in the rest of the world. They seem to believe that other countries will change their minds once they see cheering Iraqis welcome our troops, or that our bombs will shock and awe the whole world (not just the Iraqis) or that what the world thinks doesn't matter. They're wrong on all counts.
Victory in Iraq won't end the world's distrust of the United States because the Bush administration has made it clear, over and over again, that it doesn't play by the rules. Remember: this administration told Europe to take a hike on global warming, told Russia to take a hike on missile defense, told developing countries to take a hike on trade in lifesaving pharmaceuticals, told Mexico to take a hike on immigration, mortally insulted the Turks and pulled out of the International Criminal Court - all in just two years.
This administration told Europe that Kyoto was dead? I'm sorry, that happened in 1997 when the Senate voted 95-0 (note that the GOP did not have a 95-0 supermajority in the Senate at that time) that it would not approve the Kyoto protocol.
Missile defense? The Russians considered it no big deal -- unlike certain American politicians and pundits.
Lifesaving pharmaceuticals? This administration is spending $15 billion on AIDS in Africa.
Mexico and immigration? Maybe 9/11 has something to do with that.
Insulted the Turks? They don't sound too insulted to me.
The ICC? When Clinton signed the treaty, he noted that it needed major changes. It wouldn't have passed the Senate as adopted, which is why Clinton never submitted it.
Krugman's main problem seems to be that he still doesn't get that 9/11 actually occurred. International terrorism came home to America on a scale, to that point in time, unknown anywhere in the world.
The American people get it. Nations that support terrorism -- anywhere in the world -- are on notice. We can no longer ignore what these nations do half a world away. The Pacific and Atlantic oceans, in a technologically advanced world, are no longer large enough to keep those who hate us at bay.
Last week, I wrote some satire which attempted to make the point that we can no longer wait for a threat to become "imminent" -- because defining "imminent" is impossible to do.
Krugman says that there may soon be war on the Korean peninsula.
People who really know what they are talking about have the heebie-jeebies over North Korea's nuclear program, and view war on the Korean peninsula as something that could happen at any moment. And at the rate things are going, it seems we will fight that war, or the war with Iran, or both at once, all by ourselves.
Krugman, like many foaming-at-the-mouth liberals, thinks that only France, Germany and Belgium count as allies when it comes to war. If there's a war on the Korean peninsula, we won't be fighting it all by ourselves, South Korea, at the very least will defend itself.
War against Iraq is "unilateral" even when it will be a coalition of Americans, British, Australians and even the Poles. That list is by no means complete. There is a good portion of the world that supports us, even if it doesn't get good media play.
The president is elected to represent the American people -- not the world. His primary duty is to defend the American people from the country's enemies. If America's "allies" are not interested in helping us, then so be it -- but that cannot be an excuse for the president not to act. Iraq sponsors terrorism and is a danger to the people of the United States. That is why he must be deposed.
End of debate.
*UPDATE* Musil has more.