A: The Bush Doctrine.
For perhaps a very first time, such an illegal military activity on the part of the U.S. within the ludicrous, broad context of the Global War on Terror(TM) put a bright, glaring and galling spotlight on the Bush Doctrine in action - especially its inherently criminal, destructively arrogant and short-sighted incompetent nature.
Then again, such a raid was not really surprising. For more than two years now, there has been numerous confirmed reports of instances whereby the U.S.-led N.A.T.O. ISAF in Afghanistan have bombed border villages within Pakistan and despite Pakistan's protestations - again, going against every precept of international laws with regards to the sanctity of borders and the sovereignty of nations.
Similarly, there has been numerous rumors, or at least as-yet-to-be fully confirmed reports, concerning secret U.S. "black ops" being run within Iran's borders - also for the better part of two years now, at least.
Well, it would seem that the complete extent of such Bush Doctrine-justified black ops is finally beginning to emerge - and such truth is every bit as outrageous as it is downright ugly (emphasis added):
US military conducts a dozen secret strikes in four years: reportNot the best way to make friends, let alone inspire and spread goodwill, eh?
US special forces have conducted about a dozen secret operations against Al-Qaeda and other Islamic militants in Pakistan, Syria and other countries under broad war-waging authority given them by the administration of President George W. Bush (...).
(Unnamed senior US officials) said the authority was contained in a classified order signed by then-defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld in early 2004 with the approval of President Bush.
The order gave the military permission to attack Al-Qaeda and other hostile targets anywhere in the world, even in countries not at war with the United States, without any additional approval (...).
Under this authority, a Navy Seal team raided a suspected Islamic militant compound in the Bajaur region of Pakistan in 2006 (...).
Another raid was conducted by US special forces in Syria last October 26 in cooperation with the Central Intelligence Agency (...).
There is no information about the remaining secret military strikes, but officials made clear the list of targets did not include Iran (...) however, US forces had carried out reconnaissance missions in Iran using other classified directives.
About a dozen additional operations have been canceled in the past four years because they were deemed too risky, too diplomatically explosive or relied on insufficient evidence (...).
Before the 2004 order, the Pentagon needed to get approval for missions on a case-by-case basis, which could take days (...) but Rumsfeld was not satisfied with the status-quo and pressed hard for permission to use military power automatically outside the combat zones of Iraq and Afghanistan (...).
(The) 2004 order identifies 15 to 20 countries, including Syria, Pakistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and several other Persian Gulf states, where Al-Qaeda was believed to be operating or had sought sanctuary.
(Rogue Nation, anyone?)
Ah yes, that is the Bush Doctrine in action without a shadow of a doubt - including the typical landmarks of incompetence-driven arrogance, delusional (and false) moral high ground, and slavish need for expediency.
In other words - this is the exact, same mode of (non)thinking which ended up justifying renditions, indefinite detentions, torture, military commissions and indiscriminate domestic spying.
Indeed - upon closer reading of the Bush Doctrine, we even find the very same contorted and mendacious "double-speak" used in claiming that torture, renditions and indefinite detentions remained respectful of the Geneva Conventions, except this time around with regards to "respecting international laws" and other such quaint ideals. To whit (emphasis added):
(...) For centuries, international law recognized that nations need not suffer an attack before they can lawfully take action to defend themselves against forces that present an imminent danger of attack. Legal scholars and international jurists often conditioned the legitimacy of preemption on the existence of an imminent threat—most often a visible mobilization of armies, navies, and air forces preparing to attack.Translation: we do what we feel needs to be done, and us alone, regardless of the previous thinking about sovereignty and international laws which we still respect. Trust us.
We must adapt the concept of imminent threat to the capabilities and objectives of today’s adversaries. Rogue states and terrorists do not seek to attack us using conventional means. They know such attacks would fail. Instead, they rely on acts of terror and, potentially, the use of weapons of mass destruction—weapons that can be easily concealed, delivered covertly, and used without warning.
(...) The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction— and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy’s attack. To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively.
The United States will not use force in all cases to preempt emerging threats, nor should nations use preemption as a pretext for aggression. Yet in an age where the enemies of civilization openly and actively seek the world’s most destructive technologies, the United States cannot remain idle while dangers gather. We will always proceed deliberately, weighing the consequences of our actions.
Or: do as we say, not as we do.
Reminds you of many, many other things, no?
But the galling irony, especially in light of such blatant unilateralism, lies with the following "noble" statements of principles in that very same Bush Doctrine (emphasis added):
To which one can only reply: Afghanistan? Iraq? Pakistan? Syria? And who else?
No doctrine can anticipate every circumstance in which U.S. action—direct or indirect—is warranted. We have finite political, economic, and military resources to meet our global priorities. The United States will approach each case with these strategic principles in mind:
- The United States should invest time and resources into building international relationships and institutions that can help manage local crises when they emerge.
- The United States should be realistic about its ability to help those who are unwilling or unready to help themselves. Where and when people are ready to do their part, we will be willing to move decisively.
And to this, one must never fail to remind (lame duck) President George W. Bush of his own words in order to expose his demonstrated shameless hypocrisy in such matters, as in pretty much everything else - to whit:
"We build a world of justice, or we will live in a world of coercion. The magnitude of our shared responsibilities makes our disagreements look so small."
May 23, 2002
One can't help but be reminded again of renditions, indefinite detentions, torture, military commissions, using military as police and indiscriminate domestic spying.
All of which, in turn, brings me back to the Q&A at the top of this post.
So thank you, President Bush, for making our world a definitely more dangerous and unstable one for decades henceforth.
May you and your infamous Doctrine be forever condemned and reviled by the present generation and all those to come thereafter.
(Cross-posted from APOV)