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:


  1. a convicted CHILD MOLESTER moves into my neighborhood and I am afraid for the safety of my 5 year old daughter.  This man has proven in the past that he can do very nasty things to little children.  He has been convicted, served 8 years in the penitentiary and has now been released.  Do I have the right, under the "Bush doctrine" to shoot him before he harms my little girl?

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?


4.  Pakistan is afraid of India.  Now that India has atomic weapons, conceivably India could "strike first" and annihilate the Pakistani defenses.  Under the Bush doctrine, does Pakistan have the right to "pre-emptively disarm" India of its weapons of Mass Destruction?


5.  Taiwan is afraid of ChinaChina has weapons of mass destruction.  Does Taiwan have pre-emptive rights under the Bush doctrine to strike China before China strikes Taiwan?


6.  The US is afraid of China in the future.  They see the massing economic power combined with a modernizing military, a muscular position in world affairs and see it as a future challenge to American pre-eminence.  Not only that, but China could become a serious challenge to the military predominance of the USA in 25-30 years.  If we WAIT that long, we will lose our "Bush doctrine" assertion of absolute pre-eminence.  China also has weapons of mass destruction already and their power continues to increase.  They have ICBM's that could reach the USA today.  Does the Bush doctrine give us the right to pre-emptively strike and "take out" China?


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 USA, why is it NOT okay for any other country, group or individual to make similar assertions with their favored enemies and create a world of increasing uncertainty and ever-faster and more devastating pre-emption?


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? 


Santosh Krinsky

Twin Lakes, WI

October 13, 2003