Monday, February 14, 2005

The Bush Doctrine

I’m glad to see the results of the Iraq election. There is a long way to go, but I think this is truly a victory for freedom and democracy. I support the Bush doctrine of spreading freedom. I supported it when the fictional President Bartlett of The West Wing implemented it in his second inaugural address in season 4. This Bartlett doctrine was called “liberalism with a grenade launcher”, but it was the same as Bush’s new doctrine pursue freedom and democracy everywhere and anywhere in the world, using military force when and if necessary.

That being said, I don’t support President Bush carrying out Bush’s doctrine of spreading democracy because I think he poorly planned post-war Iraq and doesn’t seem to have an exit strategy. He also turns a blind eye to places like Sudan, Burma and Togo. However, spreading freedom, liberty and independence can and does work. It isn’t easy, but Germany, Japan and India are all stable functioning liberal democracies that had foreign occupiers install democratic ideals. There are many cases where it didn’t work, but that is because the occupier hasn’t had the stomach to spend the men, money and time to properly nation-build.

I’m not sure as a Christian if I can ever support war, but I did support the war in Afghanistan and Iraq on simple liberal humanitarian reasons. If I push for social justice for fellow Americans, what makes Iraqis, Afghans, Burmese, and Zimbabweans any less worthy of that same justice? Simple racism.

As an expatriate, I know firsthand that we live in an increasingly interconnected world. We cannot assume that what happens “over there” doesn’t effect us anymore. Did you know, never in the history of the world have two liberal democracies ever gone to war. You want peace on earth? Sounds like establishing democracies the world over is the best policy out there. This is where I disagree with the neo-isolationists like Michael Moore, and Al Franken of the Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party is missing the boat on this. Partly because of the neo-isolationists and partly because objections to the Iraq war have been so poorly handled, the Democratic Party has come off looking like a party against freedom and liberty. People elect politicians to get stuff done. The end result is what matters, the means is less important. The Iraq war has spread democracy and freedom (granted not the first reason we were given, but certainly the most compelling). President Bush and the Republicans did that. The Democrats just bitched. Therefore, as a voter if I like democracy and freedom I should vote for the Republicans. The irony being that increasing freedoms and liberties is what the Democratic Party has stood for since FDR’s days. The Democratic Party had better figure out if they are for freedom and liberty throughout the world and then had better figure out how to show it to the rest of us.