Monday, April 17, 2006

Senator Feinstein and Iran

Truthout has a thoughtful Los Angeles Times piece by Senator Diane Feinstein concerning Iran and Bush's flawed preemptive strike principle; here are a few paragraphs:
No one concerned about U.S. national security wants Iran to obtain a nuclear weapons capability. It would be a destabilizing force in the Middle East and throughout the world. That's exactly why we need strong American leadership, working toward a verifiable diplomatic solution.

Instead, the administration reportedly is intent upon relying on the failed doctrine of preemption and new Pentagon planning that stokes the prospect of military conflict. If this is true, Americans ought to be deeply concerned.

The doctrine of preemption, first articulated by President Bush at West Point in June 2002, was spelled out in the September 2002 National Security Strategy: "The greater the threat, the greater the risk of inaction - and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves."

Just a few weeks ago, the doctrine was reiterated in the latest National Security Strategy. According to this document, the U.S. may use force before it is attacked because the nation cannot afford to "stand idly by as grave dangers materialize." Yet it is the doctrine itself that is dangerous.

First, it demands that our intelligence be right - every time. This is difficult, if not impossible, in the shadowy world of terrorism and WMD. As we've seen in Iraq, intelligence not only can be wrong, it can be manipulated. Our nation's credibility and stature have taken a huge hit as a result, and the U.S. is in no position to garner support in the international community for military confrontation based on preemption.
A growing list of Democrats appear to be speaking up on Bush's failed foreign policy.

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