Making the world safe for democracy

By Gus Bode

All right, let’s put aside all moral objections, all pleas for peace, and the argument that the United States should be held to a higher standard than other nations, and let’s consider the policy of preemption simply as a method of conducting foreign diplomacy.

The United States, as the most powerful country in the world, undoubtedly has the most to lose through global instability. The United States has interests across the globe, and our economy is distinctly tied to the oil trade. Our ties to oil are undoubtedly the weak point in U.S. imperialism. Those who have it don’t like us very much. So the Bush administration wants to protect these interests, and gain more. A U.S.-friendly government in Iraq would grant greater freedoms to American oil companies, who would no longer be as reliant on Saudi and Kuwaiti oil.

But here is the tricky part – justification. Oil, for most Americans, is not a cause worth fighting for. With varying degrees of truth and sensationalism, the Bush administration has used post-9/11 fears to further its war aims.


Saddam has weapons of mass destruction and he will use them, shout the hawks. Saddam represses civil liberties. He is a cruel dictator. He hates America. The Iraqi people live in poverty and will greet American liberation with open arms. American acceptance of Bush’s doctrine of preemption, which is really just containment with a crystal ball, lends credibility to any other nation wishing to attack another – even in attacking the United States.

After all, if Bush can wage war without provocation, why can’t Iraq? Or Russia? Or China? Is the United States so righteous that it can cast aspersions on others? If the balance of power were tipped the other way, what evidence would Hussein offer to the United Nations to justify a “regime change” in America?

He might point to the huge sums of money that America spends on developing weapons of mass destruction. He might state with conviction that America is the only country to ever use the ultimate weapon, on not one, but two occasions at the close of World War II. Or he might direct the world’s eyes to the role American intelligence played in the deployment of biological weapons by Iraq against Iranians. He might point to American expansion, to the fact that there are American troops stationed in 148 countries across the globe.

Saddam might use the Gulf War, and the post war embargo against Iraq as proof that America hates Iraq. He might point to American friendship with cruel dictators, such as Musharraf in Pakistan, and to corporate corruption that reaches to the very top of the government. He might present evidence of the poverty of the American people, to the class division that keeps the few wealthy, and the many poor.

The United Nations has not yet caved to American pressure, but if America acts alone, it sets a dangerous precedent. If a perceived threat is all that is needed to attack another country, well, let’s face it, America presents a threat to many countries.

The Bush administration’s rhetoric the year since the 9/11 attacks becomes even clearer. Bush outlined the threats to our country, calling them the “Axis of Evil.” Certainly, these countries have noticed that the number one target on the list is being lined up for execution.

North Korea has reacted by opening diplomatic relations with Japan and Russia; Iran, meanwhile, recently performed a successful ballistic missile test.


Where to go from here? End this nonsense about invading Iraq:The overthrow of Saddam Hussein is long over due, but it is not an American war. Pull troops out of the Middle East, and begin working on alternative energy options, so that we don’t need the Middle East.

The world doesn’t want American imperialism, and we should listen. Slash the war budget, and allow the United Nations to handle the policing of the world. Use surpluses created by these cuts for social reform. Fund an international anti-terrorism agency that prosecutes all enemies of peace, be they individuals or states, not by restricting civil liberties, but by using those old fashioned notions:due process and evidence.

Marc is a junior in history. His views do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Egyptian.