The Bush Doctrine

Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe—because in the long run, stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty. As long as the Middle East remains a place where freedom does not flourish, it will remain a place for stagnation, resentment, and violence for export.
~President George W. Bush, November 6, 2003, in a speech before the National Endowment for Democracy

This quote concisely defines the doctrine of engagement. When in WWII it was the Republican party arguing against aggressive engagement of the foreign powers for evil, it is now the Democrat party which eschews engagement and shuns real projection of power and moral authority.

Moral authority comes not from our own moral rightness. No one is perfect or capable of wielding moral authority based on their own success or ability.

Moral authority comes instead from a general ability on the part of the entity wielding said authority to conform to and support that moral code, as defined by a non-human superior entity, a deity. God. God is the only being capable both of creating, defining, and enforcing a moral code. Moral authority comes from some form of following God’s defined moral rules.

America is not perfect, it is not even mostly perfect. There are many failures. But in todays world, we are the ones striving most for goodness. We are the ones who do not use our power to wrongfully imprison, to destroy, or even to colonize and/or forcefully remove culture. We are the ones who more than any other nation on the face of the earth, stand up to aggressors, protect the downtrodden and weak, and present the case of the forgotten before the rest of the world.

We are America, we are far from good, and our greatness has resultantly slipped. But we strive for that goodness, and we stand against evil.

3 thoughts on “The Bush Doctrine”

  1. 60 years? I believe the “Middle East” and Islam has existed much longer than the USA. So how is that American was not threatened by them at our founding and the near two centuries before our tension with the Middle East? Islam has ruled those areas for many centuries now and for all the wars the West has had with them they remain Islamic and the threat continues to export. So what makes Bush think that these wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will change that? Much less the impending wars to come now.

    “Doctrine of engagement.” ? . If you are referring to scripture there is no such thing. Christ never condones spreading liberty, freedom and peace via the sword. Although Christianity does condone self-defense and realizes that war is at times necessary.

    In WWII Japan and Germany had been directly attacking America and even declared war on us. Japan at Pearl Harbor and Germany had been sinking ships off our Atlantic coast. Because of this America was completely justified in Her defensive war to irradicate fascism. Indeed on 9/11/2001 terrorists attacked America killing thousands of lives and costing us billions of dollars but I believe the idea to attack whomever supports these terrorists is to far a broad stroke because ALL of the Middle East condones terrorism from Syria, Libya, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, etc. Afghanistan is more justified as a defensive war but what we’re doing in Iraq is not because the ends do not justify the means. I’m from neither side of the parties as they both have kept us there. This “War on Terror” is far too broad and seriously is an endless war which the USA and its allies cannot sustain. I believe something needs to be done to bring these terrorists to justice but seriously this isn’t the way.

    Matthew why do you see this as so black and white or Rep. v. Dem? I’m looking at this as a matter of the facts and of history. This conflict between the West and the East must be addressed (even with war, I agree) but not this type of war. You should know me well enough Matthew that I am no coward or sissy and I hate contemporary liberalism as much as you but these tactics are so unwise. Bush basically sent the bull into the china shop. Yes there are horrible things happening in the Middle East, yes were attacked on 9/11, yes terrorism is a modern threat to America but still what our government (as this is far bigger than Bush alone) is doing is not the right answer.

    Our borders might just as well be open to anyone, our military is not backed by a majority of sound politicians and tactics as we put our soldiers on trail, our media hates everything that is truly American, there is no clear morality in America anymore, NO ONE has a real solution but “Stay the course.” Solution to these would be a profound step in the right direction. Furthermore, how can we even fight a war when our government can’t honestly address the enemy? The enemy is the worldview of geo-political Islam which means Muslims! Bush can’t even say that. No he steals words from Savage like “Islam-o-fascist.” In WWII the enemy was crystal clear which aided our war effort but not today; which is why I harp on fixing us here at home as we’re the foundation to our troops.

    Nevertheless, we are there now and have to address the issues at hand and I agree we’ve committed to this and now have to finish it. But rather than just being tongue and cheek about the failures of both parties (“I know American isn’t pefect”… now lets go on to say what is good) we all have to look at them and I don’t see America doing that….

  2. America, back in the 19th century projected power and shut down the Islamic terrorists of that day, the Barbary Pirates, even though they were primarily in the Mediterranean sea, a thousand miles from our shores.

    America has been the primary force engaging and defeating terrorists of all types, but in these cases specifically Islamic terrorists, since it’s inception.

    Savage also was not the first to use the term Islamofacism or Islamofacist, as that term was first employed by a French Historian.

    Yes, the issue with Islam has been ongoing for 1700 years, ever since Mohammed walked this earth. And I do not believe we will ever “fix” the problem, not in our lives, not ever. There is not logic to their thought, therefore argument will not work. Every one of them we kill, they call a martyr. There is enough hatred to swamp the world that they have tapped into.

    However, there are also a sizable portion of Muslims who just want to live. Similar to the apathy which hobbles the church in America, a desire for ease and peace and life and money makes a majority of Muslims see that when the bloody jihadists are all gone, they can go about their lives as they wish. So in a relationship of convenience they are supporting our efforts to quell the rabble-rouser’s among them.

    This war in Iraq is working and succeeding. Just last week major thoroughfares were reopened to civilian traffic in Baghdad, fighting between Sunnis and Shias is down and almost non-existent in Baghdad, as the merchants find it is not good for business.

    I do agree that the verbiage of the war has led to much of our apathy towards it as a nation. Terrorists and terrorism are mercurial terms and we are very obviously fighting against a concrete ideology with a precise regional home.

    When the enemy is ill-defined, it is difficult for people to understand and appreciate the reasons for continuing a fight against such an enemy.

  3. Okay. Yeah, the Barbary wars were indeed between American merchant ships and Ottoman ships in the Mediterranean. But yet again it was a defensive measure to attack and ruin their pirate ships and free up the sea to American and other trade. If America is going to Italy and Algeria or Syria attacks it, we don’t go and bomb the hell out of Syria or Algeria, we take out the ships and other crafts in the area – probably beside the point.

    Sorry I really didn’t specify myself in regard to Islamo-fascism. Savage was the first political figure head, of any popularity, to have the balls to implement such a term before Rush and Hannity or any other. He gets credit for not holding back and calling it for it is.

    The war in Iraq is but stepping stone but even if it is democratic, it will be democratically Islamic and Islam is not democratic. ? . Islam, I’m sure we both may agree, needs a reform just as Judaism and Christianity had. If you follow history the light of Christianity has spread ONLY Westward from Jerusalem, across Europe to America. It will continue to do so. I believe China and India will be next and honestly the last nations will be Islam.

    Indeed war has great sacrifices and war is necessary for peace against such people as the terrorists. I’m sorry but I have been unclear. The reasoning behind the war in Iraq is flaud greatly. I’d more agree with politicians if they said we were over there to smash Islam and spread Christianity. Its always the “how” which I disagree with. Agree war is necessary, I don’t see any other way considering they’re bent on killing us all, but we’re surely not fighting it hard enough as if it is a real war.

    My cousin’s husband is a Ranger in the Army on his second deployment in Iraq and even he says the politics are a bunch of BS over there. My cousin believes this is more of a political war rather than a real war. So do we take what we can get? “It’s not perfect but at least we’re doing it,” – is that what we say?

    I’m not siding with the liberals who are clearly bent on losing but I don’t have faith in the other party, Reps, either.

    What’s hard with such a topic is do you address the theoretical or the actual. Because we are actually at war in Iraq regardless of the hypothetical. I’m not bent on losing and I honestly don’t believe we’ll lose in the regard to war but I’m quite unsure about their permanence of peace. I also believe this could’ve been fought far more efficiently and without all the no-bid contracts and the pork barrel.

    Honestly get back to me at the end of 2008.

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