September 11, 2006

A Must Read: Paul McGeogh looks back at the last five years...
Layers of often petty international tension and niggardliness were blown away with the twin towers. It never amounted to a global rallying around the "virtue of American foreign policy", but at the time a frightened world wanted to help a stricken power and it offered something the US refused to accept: unity. Instead, Washington thrust back with something the globe could not take: a self-assigned right for pre-emptive strikes against any or all; and a new level of unilateral decision-making.

This came to be called the Bush Doctrine and it is based on a huge contradiction - the US is strong enough to organise the world as it sees fit, but weak enough for the likes of al-Qaeda to pop through the back door.

They dressed it up in technical terms that gave it a veneer of diplomatic respectability...

As the Bush Doctrine was revealed to be a Hollywood-scripted gangland shoot-out, some Americans started asking what had happened to the US tradition of "foreign policy realism". Some of Washington's Arab friends are still asking.


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