Wednesday, November 20, 2002

USA: Gangster and Imperialist

That's apparently how Patrick McCormick understands the Bush Administration's foreign policy (and he includes Powell in that), in his piece in the December issue of "US Catholic", called "A gangster nation?".

Now, I can understand why some people question the application of Just War Theory to our situation with Iraq. But I do not understand how someone can equate what we're doing (or talking about doing) with gangster and bullying tactics. Saddam isn't the nice grocery-store owner down the block who we're trying to offer "protection" to; he's a thug, a brutal dictator who mass murders his own people and those of his neighboring countries whom he invades when he thinks he can get away with it.

Back in October I commented on this column in the Washington Post by Michael Kelly, who explained that Bush's view vis. foreign policy isn't imperialistic, but is better described as "armed evangelization". Here's the quote I lifted from Kelly's piece then: "Unlike the European powers, the United States has never sought to own the world. In its peculiarly American fashion, it has sought to make the world behave better -- indeed be better. It is only in this context that the Bush Doctrine (like the Kennedy Doctrine) can be at all understood."

We're not out there trying to bully the world, Mr. McCormick... we're trying to make it a better place, one in which democracy can flourish and human rights are respected. That's something that any Catholic should rejoice in.

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