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Bush: State of Union Speech « Previous | |Next »
January 31, 2003

President Bush's State of the Union Message was great on rhetoric and cleverly crafted to foster the public image of compassionate conservative with a folksy touch. It would have gone down very well in Middletown America.

But not with liberal America. Thus Bob Herbert says that:

"The president ....is leading a hard-right administration here at home that is seriously eroding the economic security, the access to health care, the civil rights and civil liberties and the environmental protections of the American people....

....As the most powerful nation on earth, and the world's only superpower, the United States has a particular obligation to use its might wisely abroad and to distribute its benefits fairly at home.

That is not an easy mission for a hard-right-wing administration, which is why the Bush administration puts such a premium on the rhetoric of compassion.

Behind the veil of rhetoric is a [social?] Darwinian political philosophy that, if clearly understood, would repel the majority of Americans."

This is how rouughly the lines along which social democrats in Australia would intepret President Bush's State of the Union Message speech.

What Herbert does not do in this op.ed text is to spell out the political philosophy underpinning the Bush Administration's view of international relations in the global states system. Underneath the rhetoric Bush sees the nation state as a a unified entity whose primary purpose is to promote and defend its national interest. The state is the means/instrument for securing national and international order through the exercise of national power.

The international system of sovereign states is anarchic in nature and in the absence of any international regulator to enforce ethical conduct and abide by international codes, states pursue power politics to attain their national interests.

After S11 American reasserted its military might in response to terrorism and the Bush adminstration argued that the logic of international relations required that such an assault on its sovereignty could only be met with decisive retaliation. America had to act quickly to sustain its hegemonic position, defend its national interest and protect its strategic and geo-political interests.

The international order would now be determined by the US as the most powerful state in the intestate system and not the United Nations. The key assumption in this understanding of interational relations----that nation-states are the key actors on the global stage---led to a deep scepticism of the United Nations. The UN is largely ineffectual and irrelevant because world order is shaped by powerful states like the US.

Crudely speaking, this is social Darwinian political philosophy applied to international relations.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:37 PM | | Comments (4)
Comments

Comments

I Ariel mena declare an opposition to bush's plans for war. in the state of the union address bush spoke about a 1.2 billion dollar fund for the creation of the hybrid car. since he wants to go to war he will make America spend 67 billion dollars on Iraq which brings me to my point, why not put the 67 billion dollars to the technology of the hybrid car which if successful and there is no doubt about it would drastically lessen our dependency of oil. this will have several positive effects.
1. the world will be a cleaner place and the ozone might start repairing itself.
2. the world can use this technology in place of nuclear energy and stop the scare of the development of nuclear weapons.
3. the technology will stimulate the economy as we all know new technology in a market starving for one will have a positive reaction to the market
4. let me just add that while campaigning bush and gore argued this proposal of a hybrid car and bush ridiculed gore for the idea and now bush supports the idea. it is not fair that he ridicules and then take the idea from gore. simple and plain gore won and in my opinion the hybrid car would have been in mass production by now and 911 and terrorism would not be so close to the heartland. simply bush in my opinion is not the right man for the job

please make a story and televise it about this it will be a good story to televise and I Ariel mena if I have to will not accept credit for the story so that it can be brought to the nations attention.

my email is tonymontana1@optonline.net
please at send me an email or give me a call at my residence at (845) 947-2824.

thank you for your time it is greatly appreciated.

sincerely,
Ariel mena

Gary, I posted something in your comments box for "After the War".

Gary,
Your post reminded me of this website I happened across the other day. http://www.newamericancentury.org/ Initially I thought it a parody. Please check out the 'Statement of principles' and the names at the bottom. 'Moral clarity'????

chris

Chris,

I had mentioned the New American Century people in an earlier post called After the War, as a way of trying to understand what the 21st century would look like.The New American Century.org gives a good insight in the Bush Administration strategic thinking.

And Ariel lets hope that lots of research monies goes towards a more sustainable mode of private transport that displaces the gas guzzlers currently favoured in the US and here.