The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Wednesday, February 26, 2003  

Our Comic-Book Foreign Policy

The latest leaks from the White House are in this morning's papers and they are as scary as they are depressing.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

The U.N. Security Council is likely to spend the next two weeks debating war with Iraq, but the issue has already been decided: President Bush intends to go to war with or without U.N. support.

His goal is a top-to-bottom regime change, an outcome not mentioned in any U.N. resolution. Bush and his advisers contend that the only way to remove the threat of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons in Iraq is to remove Saddam Hussein and his entire power structure. . . .

Even as U.S. diplomats struggle to line up votes at the United Nations to support war, Bush has made it clear that he does not much care how the vote turns out. U.S. officials say they are going back to the Security Council largely at the insistence of British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other U.S. allies who are under strong antiwar pressure at home.

Here are the vomit graphs:

Hawkish administration officials argue that ousting Hussein and his regime could remake the Middle East and help safeguard the world from the specter of international terrorists armed with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.

In their best-case scenario, regime change in Baghdad would trigger the spread of democracy and freedom throughout the Mideast. Awed by America's power, Muslim support for terrorism would evaporate; Palestinians and Israelis would make peace; and global anti-American sentiment would evolve into gratitude and goodwill. [Emphasis added.]

The article does not outline the administration's worst-case scenario. I wonder if they have even considered what that might be. I'm inclined to say President Bush and the gang have been reading too many action comics, except that by doing so I would be slighting an entire genre that is written with greater nuance than this crowd can handle.

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