Saturday, September 04, 2004


Thoughts re: "The Bush Doctrine"

I first read Norman Podhoretz long article titled "World War IV: How It Started, What It Means, and Why We Have to Win" in Commentary(September 2004)
and then heard much of what he wrote emphasized in speeches before the RNC. I was reminded of this article and thought it would be good to repost:

"Surprise! Guess Who Originated 'Pre-Emption' Policy? | December 7, 2001 | Chuck Muth

Posted on 12/07/2003 9:53:30 AM PST by jigsaw

Anti-war kooks in general, and Democrat presidential candidates in
particular, continue to hammer the President for his pre-emption policy
of "do it to them before they do it to us." But if you thought Democrats
went nuts over comparisons of President Bush's tax cuts to JFK, you ain't
seen nothing yet. Wait'll they hear who originated the doctrine of
pre-emptive defense.

First, let's get everybody on record here.

Earlier this year, an online left-wing organization called
hosted a "virtual" Democrat presidential primary in which Howard Dean
came out on top.

In competing for votes from the MoveOn members, Dean posted a position
statement on the organization's website
Included in the statement was this line: "On my first day in office,
I will tear up the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive war." In his online Candidate Interview with the MoveOn folks, Dean elaborated: "I've said all along that
the Bush doctrine of preemptive war is wrong for America, and sets a dangerous precedent."

But Dean's not the only current Democrat presidential candidate to tell
the MoveOn folks that they oppose the pre-emption doctrine.

"The Bush Administration's pre-emption doctrine is unnecessary and
unwise," declared John Edwards in his interview. "The Administration's
provocative new doctrine has been distracting and damaging." Dick Gephardt
chimed in, "The U.S. should not have a pre-emptive war doctrine."
Sen. John Kerry said "it's counterproductive to make pre-emption a doctrine."
Dennis Kucinich stated flatly that "As President, I will repeal the
pre-emptive wardoctrine." And Al Sharpton declared that "It's a dangerous
and traditionally un-American doctrine."

This is unarguably the same position held by the vast number of MoveOn
members and left-wing Democrat activists. It's not too much of a stretch
to suggest this is the official Democrat position for the 2004 campaign.

So I wonder how Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the patron saint of liberal
Democrats everywhere, would have responded to the question of
pre-emptive defense in that interview? Actually, I don't have to wonder.
I have it right here (

In a Fireside Chat on - and you're not going to believe the coincidence
of this date - September 11, 1941, FDR told the nation, "When you see a
rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck before
you crush him."

Hmmmm. Response, Mr. Dean? Rep. Gephardt? Sen. Edwards? Sen. Kerry?
Rep.Kucinich? Rev. Sharpton?

At issue at the time was German submarine attacks on American ships,
particularly a September 4, 1941, torpedo attack on the American
destroyer Greer en route to Iceland. Roosevelt warned that "It is time for
all stop being deluded by the romantic notion that the
Americas can go on living happily and peacefully in a Nazi-dominated world."
He described the Greer attack by Hitler as "one determined step toward
creating a permanent world system based on force, on terror, and on murder."

Roosevelt continued: "Normal practices of diplomacy - note writing - are
of no possible use in dealing with international outlaws who sink our ships
and kill our citizens."

"Let us not ask ourselves whether the Americas should begin to defend
themselves after the first attack, or the fifth attack, or the tenth
attack, or the twentieth attack," FDR declared. "This is the time for
prevention of attack." With that, Roosevelt declared open season on
any German or Italian vessels in the water.

By the way, discovery of this FDR policy statement isn't something new.
But funny how the media never seem to bring it up when questioning the
Democrat candidates who criticize the Bush policy, isn't it?

At any rate, the doctrine of pre-emption didn't originate in the Bush
administration. It was a policy adopted and implemented exactly 50
years, to the day, before the September 11 al Qaeda attacks on U.S. citizens.
And it was articulated, not by a 21st century Republican president, but by the
Democrat Party's liberal icon who recognized that America's security and
defense were of paramount importance - and didn't require the approval
of France.

They don't make Democrats the way they used to, do they?

# # #

Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a non-profit public policy
advocacy organization in Washington, D.C. The views expressed are his
own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citizen Outreach. He may be
reached at"

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