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Principles over Victory: The President’s responsibility is to all the people

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We should all be concerned about our executive branch’s methods to Iraqi invasion. What success can there be with a policy of unconditional intolerance? We’ve invoked an irreparably damaging and irresponsible foreign policy of ‘our way or the highway’.

There should be little question, however, of the United States’ responsibility as the world’s watchdog. A friend last night asked me why it was our responsibility to ensure the well being of other countries. ‘Why,’ he asked, ‘do we need to get involved? Let them handle their own affairs … it’s none of our business.’ I disagree.

It is a fact that we are the world’s strongest and most visible nation – democratic or otherwise. While our nation’s fundamental goal should always be to preserve the freedom and liberty of our own citizens, the responsibility of preserving world order plays an integral role as well. When we ignore that responsibility, chaos ensues.

It is a fact that our nation is no longer insular. We thrive in a global environment and depend on the stability of the rest of the world. In part, that stability ensures the liberty of our own citizens – through trade, travel, economies and common goals.

We depend on our elected leaders to guide us toward the preservation of our liberties, both locally and globally. A ship is only as strong as its captain. Enter: well-constructed thoughts from John F. Kennedy, stressing the need for a ‘strong, creative Democrat in the White House':

And nowhere is this need more critical than in the conduct of our foreign affairs. For Pennsylvania Avenue is no longer a local thoroughfare. It runs through Paris and London, Ankara and Teheran, New Delhi and Tokyo. And if the soul of a journey is liberty, as Hazlitt has said, then the road from the White House that encircles the globe is freedom’s way-the artery that makes all the Free World neighbors as well as allies.

And if Washington is the capital of the Free World, the President must be its leader. Our Constitution requires it-our history requires it-our very survival requires it. In foreign affairs, said the Supreme Court, “the President alone has the power to speak or listen as the representative of this nation.”

Our government has decided that regime change in Iraq is necessary for the world’s stability. I don’t disagree with the need for intervention. Just as the removal of an unpredictable despot encourages world stability, so does the political support of United States by our allies. With that understood, I disagree with our administration’s strategy of self-imposed aggression.

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  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    What this war is making clear is the insularity and ignorance of the USA.

    What is the sad fact, is like the USSR nukes rusting in the Arctic Ocean, there are many problems which will not go away if you ignore them.

    Creating new problems will not solve old ones.

  • http://www.corinna-hasofferett.com Corinna Hasofferett

    Imperialism was never insular, only it’s culture was and is.

  • http://www.slumdance.com/blogs/brian_flemming/ Brian Flemming

    Jim, why are you so hard on us? It’s not like we elected the guy.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Our government has decided that regime change in Iraq is necessary for the world’s stability. I don’t disagree with the need for intervention. Just as the removal of an unpredictable despot encourages world stability, so does the political support of United States by our allies. With that understood, I disagree with our administration’s strategy of self-imposed aggression.

    You’re purely talking out both sides of your mouth. Oh sure, something has to be done about Iraq, but you oppose actually doing anything. We have the support of dozens of allies. We’ve jumped through all kinds of diplomatic hoops. But as long as you can find some government, any government who will oppose action, then we can’t legitimately do the job.

    All your faux sophistication and a dozen years of jacking of the jaws at the UN accomplished SQUAT. At some point, stopping evil killers can only be accomplished by hunting them down and goddam exterminating them.

  • http://www.sanfordmay.com san

    Al, she didn’t say she opposed doing anything. She said she opposed unilateral aggression as a solution. “Intervention” is a very different word from “war”.

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