Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Works well with others

Joshua Marshal does a little educating to those who don't understand how Dean could support the "unilateral" action in Kosovo while opposing the "unilateral" action in Iraq.

The tenor of the whole Iraq debate has tended to make a fetish out of the narrow meaning of unilateral and multilateral. Both have their place. And I don't think it's a contradiction on Dean's part at all to say we should not have waited for NATO to conduct air operations in Bosnia and yet also mount a critique of the president's approach on Iraq.

Short and simple: the basic problem with Bush's "unilateralism" is that it is premised on the idea of going into every conflict as if we have the god-given right to attack whoever we damn well please. It's a policy that presumes America's moral superiority instead of proving it. Dean believes that no matter how strong we become we still have the responsibility to be "good neighbors" with the rest of the world (indeed, it could be argued that our military and economic superiority gives us a special responsibility to behave respectfully towards others).


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