Thursday, March 16, 2006

Strike First

The Bush administration shows no signs of relenting on their pre-emptive war strategy. Today's National Security Strategy document reiterates the policy first laid out in 2002.

From Chapter V:
To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively in exercising our inherent right of self-defense. The United States will not resort to force in all cases to preempt emerging threats. Our preference is that nonmilitary actions succeed. And no country should ever use preemption as a pretext for aggression.

Don't mention the war. Obviously.

In fact, Chapter 5 does not shirk from addressing Iraq. Under the heading "Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction", it starts:
This Administration inherited an Iraq threat that was unresolved.
I get the feeling they've not really grasped the criticisms of their actions. If you act to pre-empt a threat which doesn't actually exist, it really doesn't do much for public confidence in a pre-emptive strategy. The document does acknowledge that "our intelligence must improve". A rare admission by the President there. Boom boom.

In all seriousness, their defence of the action is feeble as always. We acted because Saddam wanted to start to develop WMD again at some point in the future and might have been able to do so if sanctions were lifted. An intention and a potential to possibly pursue that intention at some future point are hardly at the forefront of imminent threats to global security.The Bush administration just does not appear to be able to understand that.

Anyway, as you can see the strategy explicitly states that "no country should ever use preemption as a pretext for aggression". Unlike terrorism, the UN has managed to come up with a definition of aggression. It's not exactly concise, but in essence it says "Aggression is the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations, as set out in this Definition. The First use of armed force by a State in contravention of the Charter shall constitute prima facie evidence of an act of aggression. No consideration of whatever nature, whether political, economic, military or otherwise, may serve as a justification for aggression."

Just to refresh your memory, Kofi Annan has already said that the invasion "was not in conformity with the UN charter".

So there you are. The US government has breached it's own national security strategy. It has committed an act of aggression as defined by the United Nations. It is clearly an imminent security threat. Furthermore, it is a danger to the good people of the United States of America. We have a duty to save them from such brutal, dishonest oppressors.

I call on a coalition of the willing to take action against this hostile regime. We must act now before the danger becomes insurmountable. When do we start bombing? Perhaps we should start by dropping leaflets on major urban areas in the US saying the bombs which will shortly follow are not aimed at you but at your aggressive and hostile government. I'm sure Americans would find that most comforting. We'll be welcomed as liberators and heros, I tells you.

Oh, and there's a call for Hamas to renounce violence. In principle a very good idea. But from these guys? Let he who is without sin...

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