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Volume 68, Issue 112, Monday, March 17, 2003

Opinion

Arrogance deters world peace

How did one man and his zealous sycophants manage to alienate an entire planet in two short years? It's not hard when your game plan is based on arrogance, ignorance and contempt. 

Since the moment George W. Bush grabbed the presidency, he has strolled the globe, administering American power to any country that questions his right to do as he pleases. 

As the leader of the most powerful nation on earth, Bush adopted a philosophy of "My way or the highway," and unabashedly promoted his plan as soon as he took office.

Bush began to alienate the world with his rejection of the Kyoto Protocol, an agreement by the developed nations to limit their greenhouse gas emissions to combat global warming. His absurd rejection shocked the rest of the world, especially considering that the United States produces more greenhouse gases than any other country.

North Korea shakes its nuclear saber at the United States today in part because Bush insulted the North Koreans early in his administration when he called their leader a "pygmy" and said, "I loathe Kim Jong Il." 

Bush could use some lessons in humility. His own father, a former president, warned him: " you've got to reach out to the other fellow."

George W. Bush is to diplomacy what Bill Clinton is to marriage ? a disaster.

Bush squandered the international goodwill the world bestowed upon America following the 2001 suicide attacks in a variety of ways. 

Before the attacks, Bush and Mexican President Vincente Fox negotiated a bilateral agreement relaxing requirements for Mexican immigration to the US. Bush jettisoned the plan after the September 11, 2001 attacks, leaving Fox to dangle in Mexico in the political wind.

That foolish decision fast came home to roost. Mexico refused to knuckle under to demands by the Bush minions that cast its vote with the United States in the United Nations Security Council resolutions on war with Iraq. You can't bully and betray a friend without suffering some type of repercussions down the road.

The Bush doctrine, as explained in the national security paper, rests on three canons: U.S. unilateral measures to solve world problems, U.S. military superiority over the rest of the world, and the right of the United States to take preemptive strikes against terrorists and nations that possess or want weapons of mass destruction. 

This ill-defined policy disturbed even stalwart allies like England and Australia. The sheer arrogance of the Bush Doctrine alienates America's friends and undermines the United Nations as well as international agreements and treaties.

France and Germany may have exhibited less intransigence with their unwillingness to support a war against Iraq if Bush toady Donald Rumsfeld had any diplomatic skills; when Rumsfeld disdainfully referred to France and Germany as "old Europe," it cemented the French and German opposition to the war against Iraq.

Turkey, a staunch U.S. and European ally since World War II, refused to allow U.S. troops to launch a ground attack from their soil against Iraq. Bush broke out his checkbook with a flourish and offered Turkey billions of dollars, but the Turks refused his deal. They see a better opportunity: The oil fields in northern Iraq are up for grabs when the U.S. attacks Baghdad from the south, east and west. 

Bush's contempt for America's allies, friends and treaties has already caused him acute embarrassment, but more telling moments await him. 

With the U.S. economy in the doldrums and most of the world against the war in Iraq, Bush occupies a tenuous position. A political philosophy built upon arrogance and disdain cannot stand.

If the war in Iraq goes badly, the drums of doom will begin to beat for George W. Bush, signaling that he, like his father, will be a single term president.

Carpenter, a College of Education student, can be reached via dccampus@mail.uh.edu.
 

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