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The Bush Doctrine
September 20, 2002
By Michael Barry

Prior to 9/11

"We reserve the right to act unilaterally in America's best interest
around the world. And at home we will vigorously pursue sex and
drug-related crimes."


9/11 occurs

"There is no way anyone could have known about the imminent terrorist
threat."

Evidence surfaces that they could have known


"Bill Clinton should have done something about the imminent terrorist
threat. But we at the Bush White House had no way of knowing about
them."

Evidence surfaces that they were in fact warned specifically about
them


"We have launched an FBI probe to find the source of these very
serious leaks, which are a threat to our national security."

The US attacks Afghanistan


"Osama Bin Laden and Mullah Omar are the 9/11 villains, and the focus
of our attacks. There's an old poster from the old west, 'Wanted Dead
or Alive' -- and by golly, we'll get them."

They don't get them


"This war was never about getting any one man. This war is about
stopping the Al Qaeda terrorist network."

They arrest thousands of people -- including American citizens -- with
no proven connection to Al Qaeda


"We have to face the fact that this war calls for drastic new measures
in order to protect Americans. Also, it may never end."

The President and his party's poll number start to slip


"The greatest terrorist threat to America is Iraq, which is directly
connected to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. If we are going to stop Al
Qaeda it is essential that we have a 'regime change' in Iraq"

No connection between Iraq and 9/11 is established


"The issue is not whether Iraq is connected to Al Qaeda or even to
9/11. The issue is that Saddam Hussein has weapons that could fall
into the hands of terrorists. He has prevented weapons inspectors from
doing their jobs, and without weapons inspectors we can't know what
weapons he has."

The world and the nation recommend going to the UN to insist on the
return of weapons inspectors


"We don't need the UN. We reserve the right to act unilaterally to
protect America, including launching -- for the first time in our
history -- a pre-emptive strike on another nation, because we can
prove that he has weapons of mass destruction that he is ready to use
on America and/or its allies"

No proof is offered that Saddam has weapons of mass destruction that
he is ready to use on America and/or its allies. Many individuals and
nations suggest the best first step would be to insist in the return
of weapons inspectors


"Iraq is a menace that we intend to stop no matter what the world
thinks. We can't let American security be held hostage by the UN."

World outrage. Domestic polls show little support for attack on Iraq
without allies. Analysts point out how Bush's father successfully
created coalition in 1991. High-ranking GOP officials object to White
House strategy. Significant economic dip from fearful markets. Fears
of foreign investment flight


"The President has always intended to make his case to the United
Nations, as he has ALWAYS believed that the rule of International law
is paramount."

Bush goes to UN on a Thursday


"Iraq is in violation of the UN resolution that he allow
unconditional, unfettered weapons inspectors. If the UN wants to be
relevant then it must insist that Iraq allow weapons inspectors.
Otherwise we will have no choice but to invade."

The following Monday Iraq agrees to unconditional, unfettered weapons
inspectors


"This has never been about 'weapons inspectors'. This is about
Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. There is no way that inspectors
can find Saddam's weapons because he hides them too well."

...and so on...

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