Mandate for global ethos of aggression and violence
A perspective from outside:
Bush adopted his current foreign policy without mandate. If Bush is re-elected by popular vote, the American people will be seen to have officially sanctioned his Iraq policy, and to have passed a mandate for his PNAC inspired policy for the future. It is worth reflecting on what this means.
Bush officially adopted the PNAC policy proposals in 2002. The purpose of the policy is to maintain unchallenged hegemony (check out their web site), and entails pre-emptive attack on those that are thought to be amassing too much power or felt to be a threat to US interest. This includes the use of “mini-nukes” to achieve political/ economic ends and also the establishment of permanent forward bases in the Middle East and beyond.
It also entails ignoring international treaties and opinions that do not serve the US in its aims.
FWIW as an ally I personally do not have a great problem with benevolent US hegemony, particularly if the US is willing to partake in global policing under an international consensus. I would also support a policy that aims at Bush’s stated targets of: -encouraging the establishment of freedom and rights of the individual, -removing state support for terrorism, -guaranteeing oil supplies to the West.
The problem with Bush’s policy is that it will achieve precisely the opposite of its aims. The policy is incompatable with the morals of our Western civilisation. It makes it difficult for the US to occupy a credible moral position, both within the western world, but also vis-a-vis the Islamic world.
The biggest threat to the Western world is the degree of support Al Queda et. al. receive from Islam moderates. US policy is raising the hackles of moderates. Very sinister is then the establishment of a global ethos of aggression and violence through the official policy of pre-emptive strikes. The threshold for targeting innocents is being lowered and we will see repeats of Beslan..
If Bush is re-elected American voters will be held accountable for this policy…
Edit: If Kerry loses and did not fully expose and attack this policy during the campaign, he will also carry responsibility for it.