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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Strike First. « Previous | |Next »
April 7, 2003

The Strike First policy of the US dumps 50 years of US military doctrine. This had been based on a speedy response to aggression without the US being the first to strike another sovereign nation-state.

Strike First means early action. It means forestalling certain destructive acts against you by an adversary. So Australia can use it against Indonesia. China can use it against Taiwan. India can use it against Pakistan. Israel can use it to strike first against the Arab neigbours. The Israeli military attack on the Jenin refugee camp in 2002 would be legitimated by the First Strike doctrine. Turkey can use the doctrine to justify attacking the Iraqi Kurds.

So Russia's President Vladamir Putin uses it against Chechen nationalists. Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon uses it to target Palestinian Intifada. Iraq could have used it to justify its attack Kuwait.

What we have is might is right in an anarchic world spinning on fear and distrust. The Americans are pretty clear about it in the Midle east. Check out this symbol from Central Command in Qatar: the American Eagle over the Middle East. Its how the Arabs read it --as domination in the form of

"....a new American imperialism. It has also been described as intended to create a new regional order in the Middle East, often compared to the Sykes-Picot agreement after the first world war, which created the Muslim nation-states. Some American right-wingers are already talking about taking over and ‘reforming’ Saudi Arabia, Iran and and the Gulf Arab states once Iraq is conquered. The emblem of the US force in the Persian Gulf (above) certainly does nothing to dispel suspicions of American ambitions, showing as it does the American eagle with its wings spread over the heart of the Muslim world."

The article says that two things can constrain this might is right conduct now that the UN and its conception of an and the international order of equal and independent nation-states has been displaced: American arrogance setting off a counter response amongst other nation states and Islam. The article says:

"Today no one can have any illusions left about the nature of the modern West, or doubts that Islamic movements offer the only road to the true liberation of Muslim societies and—eventually—of non-Muslim victims of Western imperialism."

So much for secular liberal-democratic societies being created in the Middle East. A liberal democratic soceity in this region would define the US as an enemy.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:59 PM | | Comments (2)


Yes Gary, I agree wholeheartedly with your Muslim friend. He sums up the problem very succinctly-

'In the quarter of the globe populated predominantly by Muslims, ordinary people have long looked to Islam and Islamic leaders for the liberation of their societies ........, and their remaking in a form that offers real independence and greater social justice for all.'

You're darn tootin' right old son, they've looked far too long to Islam and Islamic leaders for real independence and greater social justice for all. I hope the New Iraq takes his excellent advice after we leave. Amen.

It does show that a democratic Iraq will come about through a conflict western liberalism and Islam.

It also shows that western liberalism is not universal as it makes it and as many Anglo-Americans assume. It is western and so a particular culture. And it is seen that way in the Middle East.

Cultural sensitiivty is something that the US military will have to learn if the Anglo-Americans are serious about the hearts and minds stuff.