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The Bush Doctrine
September 20, 2002
By Michael Barry

Prior to 9/11

"We reserve the right to act unilaterally in America's best interest around the world. And at home we will vigorously pursue sex and drug-related crimes."

9/11 occurs

"There is no way anyone could have known about the imminent terrorist threat."

Evidence surfaces that they could have known

"Bill Clinton should have done something about the imminent terrorist threat. But we at the Bush White House had no way of knowing about them."

Evidence surfaces that they were in fact warned specifically about them

"We have launched an FBI probe to find the source of these very serious leaks, which are a threat to our national security."

The US attacks Afghanistan

"Osama Bin Laden and Mullah Omar are the 9/11 villains, and the focus of our attacks. There's an old poster from the old west, 'Wanted Dead or Alive' -- and by golly, we'll get them."

They don't get them

"This war was never about getting any one man. This war is about stopping the Al Qaeda terrorist network."

They arrest thousands of people -- including American citizens -- with no proven connection to Al Qaeda

"We have to face the fact that this war calls for drastic new measures in order to protect Americans. Also, it may never end."

The President and his party's poll number start to slip

"The greatest terrorist threat to America is Iraq, which is directly connected to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. If we are going to stop Al Qaeda it is essential that we have a 'regime change' in Iraq"

No connection between Iraq and 9/11 is established

"The issue is not whether Iraq is connected to Al Qaeda or even to 9/11. The issue is that Saddam Hussein has weapons that could fall into the hands of terrorists. He has prevented weapons inspectors from doing their jobs, and without weapons inspectors we can't know what weapons he has."

The world and the nation recommend going to the UN to insist on the return of weapons inspectors

"We don't need the UN. We reserve the right to act unilaterally to protect America, including launching -- for the first time in our history -- a pre-emptive strike on another nation, because we can prove that he has weapons of mass destruction that he is ready to use on America and/or its allies"

No proof is offered that Saddam has weapons of mass destruction that he is ready to use on America and/or its allies. Many individuals and nations suggest the best first step would be to insist in the return of weapons inspectors

"Iraq is a menace that we intend to stop no matter what the world thinks. We can't let American security be held hostage by the UN."

World outrage. Domestic polls show little support for attack on Iraq without allies. Analysts point out how Bush's father successfully created coalition in 1991. High-ranking GOP officials object to White House strategy. Significant economic dip from fearful markets. Fears of foreign investment flight

"The President has always intended to make his case to the United Nations, as he has ALWAYS believed that the rule of International law is paramount."

Bush goes to UN on a Thursday

"Iraq is in violation of the UN resolution that he allow unconditional, unfettered weapons inspectors. If the UN wants to be relevant then it must insist that Iraq allow weapons inspectors. Otherwise we will have no choice but to invade."

The following Monday Iraq agrees to unconditional, unfettered weapons inspectors

"This has never been about 'weapons inspectors'. This is about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. There is no way that inspectors can find Saddam's weapons because he hides them too well."

...and so on...

Michael Barry is a singer/songwriter from Boston, MA

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