Monday, November 24, 2003

Campaign '04

The 2004 Presidential election is less than a year away. While I normally feel as queasy about early campaigning as I do about Christmas muzak before Thanksgiving, George W. Bush makes me even queasier. There are just so many ways to dislike what he is doing to this country and to the world in which we also live. He's an easy target on environmental issues, but there's so much more. Here are two readable pieces about Bush's policies in the name of national security.

Al Gore speaks about Freedom and Security and how the Bush administration is decimating civil liberties through the Patriot Act and other measures in the name of greater national security. Gore made this speech on behalf of Their site also has a video, but I haven't watched it.

It is important to remember that throughout history, the loss of civil liberties by individuals and the aggregation of too much unchecked power in the executive go hand in hand. They are two sides of the same coin.

Financier and philanthropist George Soros writes on The Bubble of American Supremacy in the current issue of The Atlantic Monthly.

Admittedly, the terrorist attack was historic in its own right. ... Even so, September 11 could not have changed the course of history to the extent that it has if President Bush had not responded to it the way he did. He declared war on terrorism, and under that guise implemented a radical foreign-policy agenda whose underlying principles predated the tragedy. Those principles can be summed up as follows: International relations are relations of power, not law; power prevails and law legitimizes what prevails.

In effect, the doctrine establishes two classes of sovereignty: the sovereignty of the United States, which takes precedence over international treaties and obligations; and the sovereignty of all other states, which is subject to the will of the United States. This is reminiscent of George Orwell's Animal Farm: all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

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