Friday, February 04, 2005

Sovereignty, Schmovereignty

Tonight on the way home, I heard a story on NPR's All Things Considered about the expanded role Rumsfeld and the Bush regime envision for the military's various Special Operations commands, such as the Navy SEALS and the Army's Delta Force. The story had an audio clip of the US Assistant Undersecretary of Defense for Special Operations, whose name I unfortunately cannot remember, speaking at a recent conference held to discuss Special Operations issues.

He was putting forth a new doctrine that is apparently also being endorsed by the State Department, which was something to the effect of, "If terrorists are operating in another sovereign nation, and that nation is failing to take care of the threat, then the US has the right to send in Special Operations teams to destroy the terrorists without asking the permission of that nation. If sovereign nations can't keep their own houses in order, the US will do it for them."

What a great policy! I mean, the "preemptive invasion" policy that led us into the Iraq war worked out really well, so we now know that our intelligence is always foolproof and 100% accurate, and that the US was saved from the dire consequences of Saddam Hussein's WMD stockpile falling into the hands of terrorists and being used against the US.

Oh, wait. Scratch that. Reverse it.

So, now, the US is claiming both the right to invade other nations at will on the flimsiest pretext, and also to send military forces into countries that the US doesn't even claim are enemies if the US doesn't think that country is working hard enough to fight terrorists that the US believes are operating in those countries. I seriously do not think it is hyperbole to compare the message these two doctrines send to the rest of the world with the doctrines of the Third Reich. Hitler claimed the same rights and used the same logic when he invaded his European neighbors. Hitler felt he could invade other nations with impugnity in the cause of German interests because he felt Germany was powerful enough to get away with it, just like the Bush regime thinks the US is.

Further, Hitler had a complete disregard for the sovereignty of other nations. Once a nation believes it can invade or use military force in other nations preemptively, without justification, and without the permission of those nations, that nation is, in fact, denying other nations the right to sovereignty. Despite the lip service the Undersecretary gave sovereignty by using the word "sovereign" a bunch of times in his policy outline, the message of this policy is that other nations do not have sovereignty. Only the US does, just as Hitler believed only Germany did. For, just as civil rights do not exist if the government can violate them at will, sovereignty does not exist if a nation can be lawfully invaded or have military force used within its borders without its permission.

The US is denying the right to sovereignty of the other nations of the world. I know, it sounds good, since, of course, the US is all goodness and light, and because the US is the most powerful nation in the world so that only foreign people will suffer the oppression of having their nations' sovereignty denied. For now. But the US will not always be so clearly the most powerful nation on Earth. Other powers will rise to challenge Pax Americana and the US world hegemony. And some day, when some other nation sends troops into Montana or Michigan to destroy terrorist cells like the Montana white supremacists or the Michigan militia, the US' cries that its sovereignty has been violated will fall on deaf ears. The US will find it has no recourse, because it was the nation who set the precedent in the first place.

The US is acting with the arrogance and hubris that have characterized the beginning of the collapse of empires throughout history. The people of the US will end up paying for the Bush regime's hubris someday, just as the people of the Roman Empire, the Islamic Empire, Napoleon's Empire, and the "Thousand-year Reich" did before them.

It is all too true that those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it, and ignorance is the hallmark of Bush's "faith-based" regime. I fear that the citizens of the US will all suffer a disastrous history lesson because of the ignorance of Bush and his neoconservative regime.


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