Do the Ends justify the means?
The media is failing to ask the right questions about the "Bush doctrine" and its implications for the future of relations between countries. There is a vast difference between an IMMINENT THREAT and "they are bad guys so it is good that we attacked them and overthrew them."
Let's look at some "down home" examples:
2. I work for a large corporation that produces and sells cigarettes. I find out that the president of this corporation has been working on a secret plan to manipulate the nicotine content of cigarettes to make them more addictive so they can kill more people over time. Meanwhile, this boss is going before congress and lying about the situation and hiding everything behind attorney client privilege by running all the information through his in-house legal counsel. I do not have direct access to the documentary proof, and am sure that I will be drowned out if I go public. He is preparing to launch this project in six months time secretly and the project is totally under his personal control. Do I have the right, under the Bush Doctrine, to shoot this man, and thereby prevent him from unleashing his "weapons of mass destruction" on an unsuspecting planet?
3. A police officer stops a pedestrian on the street for jay walking. The pedestrian reaches into his pocket for something, that may be his ID or it may be a weapon. The police officer is afraid because the pedestrian looks like a Muslim and we are currently afraid of Muslims in our country! Rather than wait to see what the pedestrian pulls out of his pocket, the policeman shoots and kills him. In fact, it was his driver's license and his undercover FBI identification. Does the policeman have the right to pre-emptively attack someone just because he MIGHT possess a weapon and MIGHT be thinking about attacking him, under the Bush doctrine?
DO THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS? Where does the right of
pre-emptive attack have its limits? Who sets those limits? If it is
okay for the
The entire issue of the future of world peace lies in the answer to these questions but no one seems to want to ask these questions.
Sure Saddam is a bad guy. But every group or country has its own viewpoint of who the "bad guys" are in their neighborhoods. The Child Molester is a bad guy too! Does it mean that whenever we identify a "bad guy" who MIGHT choose to harm us in the future, that we attack first and throw all other balancing forces of statecraft, negotiation, economic influence, alliances, mutuality, trade, economic development, media power, political and state powers out the window?
What if some country were to decide that George W. Bush is a threat to world peace and possesses weapons of mass destruction (the US has the largest arsenal of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons in the world) and might use them (we already use "spent uranium in our weaponry which creates long term hazards wherever we use them for the civilian population later), and that the USA is bent on controlling the world rather than living in harmony with others in the world, would that country, exercising its own sovereign form of the "Bush doctrine" have the right to "take out" George W. Bush?
What kind of a world are we creating?
October 13, 2003