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GOP will trumpet preemption doctrine

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  • ummyakoub
    Quote:
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 12, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      Quote: <<The strategy will involve the dismissal of Democrats as the
      party of
      "protests, pessimism and political hate speech," Ed Gillespie,
      Republican
      National Committee chairman, wrote in a recent memo to party
      officials -- a move
      designed to shift attention toward Bush's broader foreign policy
      objectives
      rather than the accounts of bloodshed. Republicans hope to convince
      voters that
      Democrats are too indecisive and faint-hearted -- and perhaps
      unpatriotic -- to
      protect US interests, arguing that inaction during the Clinton years
      led to the
      attacks of Sept. 11, 2001>>

      [NOTE: A brave opponent would pose the question whether Bush was
      protecting
      American or Israeli interests. Pandering of racist American
      Ashkenazim and genocidal
      Israeli Zionists is the more immediate cause of increasing and
      completely
      justified anti-Americanism. No one is more unpatriotic than Bush and
      is team of
      racist Israel-first Neoconservative traitors.]

      ____________________________________________________________

      The following appeared on Boston.com:
      Headline: GOP will trumpet preemption doctrine
      Date: 11/12/2003

      WASHINGTON -- Faced with growing public uneasiness over Iraq,
      Republican Party officials intend to change the terms of the
      political debate heading into next year's election by focusing on
      the "doctrine of preemption," portraying President Bush as a
      visionary acting to prevent future terrorist attacks on US soil
      despite the costs and casualties involved overseas.

      The strategy will involve the dismissal of Democrats as the party
      of "protests, pessimism and political hate speech," Ed Gillespie,
      Republican National Committee chairman, wrote in a recent memo to
      party officials -- a move designed to shift attention toward Bush's
      broader foreign policy objectives rather than the accounts of
      bloodshed. Republicans hope to convince voters that Democrats are too
      indecisive and faint-hearted -- and perhaps unpatriotic -- to protect
      US interests, arguing that inaction during the Clinton years led to
      the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

      "The president's critics are adopting a policy that will make us more
      vulnerable in a dangerous world," Gillespie wrote. "Specifically,
      they now reject the policy of pre-emptive self-defense and would
      return us to a policy of reacting to terrorism in its aftermath."

      Inviting a fierce foreign policy debate in the months to come,
      Gillespie continued: "The bombings of the World Trade Center in 1993,
      Khobar Towers, our embassies in East Africa, and the USS Cole were
      treated as criminal matters instead of the terrorist acts they were.
      After Sept. 11, President Bush made clear that we will no longer
      simply respond to terrorist acts, but will confront gathering threats
      before they become certain tragedies."

      Republican strategists maintain that this tack is consistent with
      Bush's style: direct, sweeping, and bold to the point of brazenness.

      But by going on the offensive on Iraq -- effectively
      saying "bring 'em on" to his potential Democratic rivals, daring them
      to question his fundamental foreign policy doctrine in the face of a
      rising body count -- Bush is taking a measurable political risk.
      Starting with a major foreign policy address last week, Bush has
      begun embracing a subject that has proved increasingly problematic
      for him both in the public dialogue and the polls.

      His position is designed to change the conversation from the
      situation on the ground in Iraq to the philosophical decision of
      whether to attack prospective supporters of terrorism in the first
      place. But some strategists and analysts in both parties say he's
      unlikely to succeed unless the drumbeat of fatalities slows down.

      "It seems to me they [Republicans] are benefiting from having the
      bully pulpit and just repeating their message all the time," former
      Clinton national security expert Daniel Benjamin said. "But at the
      end of the day, bad news on the ground trumps all that repetition in
      Washington. And they have a real problem on their hands squaring
      those two things."

      Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican and a former prisoner of
      war in Vietnam, predicted in a PBS interview that sustained,
      successful attacks by the Iraqi insurgency could "affect American
      public opinion" and influence next year's election.

      Still, even McCain, who fought Bush for the Republican nomination and
      is often at odds with the White House, seemed to have gotten the RNC
      memo, or at least sounded in synch with the new Republican offensive
      during a policy speech at the Council on Foreign Relations on Nov. 5.
      Like strategists for Bush, McCain portrayed most of the Democratic
      candidates running for president as ambivalent and lily-livered on
      foreign policy, compared with the sitting president.

      "With the exception of Joe Lieberman and Dick Gephardt, who are
      committed to victory in Iraq, it is unclear what the other Democratic
      presidential candidates would do differently to ensure an American
      victory -- or how they would handle the consequences of the early
      American withdrawal some advocate," McCain said. "Governor Dean has
      expressed ambiguity about the justness of our cause in Iraq. I hope
      he will learn that partisan anger is no substitute for moral clarity."

      Across the board, Republicans are adopting the same approach.

      "Democrats have very little to talk about, so they're left carping
      about Iraq, and none of them have a better answer than George Bush,"
      former RNC chairman Rich Bond said. "Their answers are propelled by
      the loony left at this point."

      Ron Kaufman, the Massachusetts committeeman at the RNC, was just as
      harsh about the Democratic field. "They don't have a plan, they have
      no ideas. All they can say is, `He did this wrong, he did that wrong,
      and I'd have an international coalition,' " he said. "Americans are
      smarter than that."

      Such spirited remarks serve multiple political purposes: They keep
      the conservative base energized about the Bush administration, while
      reinforcing the president's natural tendency not to "debate himself"
      over decisions he's already made, Republican strategists said. At the
      same time, one senior administration official said, the argument has
      the advantage of being in line with the president's thinking about
      why he wanted to invade Iraq, which makes his speeches about it more
      convincing.

      "The president didn't lay out a doctrine of preemption for political
      purposes," the senior administration official, speaking on the
      condition of anonymity, said. But, the official added: "The reason
      you focus on [preemption] politically is because it is a clear
      distinction. There is no fuzziness. There is no place you can
      compromise on that: Either you're for it, or you're against it."

      Another Bush adviser, also speaking on the condition of anonymity,
      agreed. "The Democrats have been universal in their criticism, but
      also universal in their inability to articulate their own strategy
      and plans," the adviser said. "I think that's where they've got
      themselves in a box . . . Unless they're willing to step forward and
      articulate some grand vision, I don't see how it ends up being a net
      gain for them" to use Iraq as a political cudgel against Bush, he
      said.

      By and large, most Democrats have been opposed to a full-
      blown "doctrine of preemption," arguing that the United States has
      always reserved the right to take preemptive action to protect itself
      without codifying it as the basis for US foreign policy. And that,
      they argue, is an articulate belief that resonates with the public --
      especially in the absence of weapons of mass destruction or the
      capture of former dictator Saddam Hussein of Iraq.

      "If the White House believes President Bush can run for reelection on
      Paul Wolfowitz and Dick Cheney's right-wing think tank doctrines,
      then Karl Rove has lost a step or two," Senator John F. Kerry of
      Masschusetts, one of the contenders, said.

      "Everyone knows we need to hunt down and destroy those who are
      plotting mass murder against Americans. But it takes a lot more than
      that to defeat terrorism in the long term, and the clumsy, arrogant
      way the Bush administration boasts about preemption alienates allies
      we need to help us and makes it a lot harder to stop proliferation in
      trouble spots around the globe."

      Howard Dean, an opponent of military action in Iraq from the start,
      dismissed preemption altogether. "A preemptive strategy never fits
      into an American strategy," the presidential candidate and former
      Vermont governor said last week.

      "It is a policy that doesn't serve us well, and Iraq is a perfect
      example. The first time we used the preemption policy, it got us into
      an enormous amount of trouble."

      Sarah Schweitzer of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Anne
      E. Kornblut can be reached at akornblut@....

      © Copyright 2003 Globe Newspaper Company.

      http://www.boston.com:80/news/nation/washington/articles/2003/11/12/go
      p_will_trumpet_preemption_doctrine

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