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 The War in Context
   alternative perspectives on the "war on terrorism"

Bush struggles with 'foreign policy stuff'
Simon Tisdall, The Guardian, April 26, 2002

Mr Bush [this week] repeated his hegemoniacal mantra that, in the battle against global terrorism, "nations must choose - they are with us, or they're with the terrorists". He claimed for his policy a high moral purpose, aimed at bolstering "the dignity and value of every individual" in what, under American guidance, would become "a better world". And he warned that the US would readily resort to military means to "defeat the threats against our country and the civilised world" - without identifying the "uncivilised" bits.

There was a time, not so long ago, when this sort of language from an American political leader would be discounted abroad as mere demagoguery, aimed perhaps at winning an election.

The problem nowadays, the world has learned, is that Mr Bush really believes this stuff. It may be simplistic, superficial nonsense; it may be harmful to international stability and mature dialogue between nations; it may indeed be counter-productive, having the effect of alienating and alarming friendly countries and antagonising potential enemies. To non-American ears, it certainly sounds arrogant and foolish in the extreme. But it has become the "Bush doctrine" and as such, it is official US policy, and everybody has to deal with it.
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September 11 and the declaration of a "war on terrorism," has forced Americans to look at the World in a new light. No one can afford any longer to define the limits of their concerns by refusing to look beyond this nation's borders. If the freedom that every American cherishes, is not to become a freedom bound within a fortress, then every American will need to understand and respect the needs and concerns of the rest of the World. To this end, The War in Context invites anyone with interest and an open mind to listen to the critical discourse in which the policies and actions of the Bush administration are now being questioned. This debate, which is engaging inquiring minds inside and outside America, will hopefully inform the development of a sustainable new world order - a world order in which America is as much shaped by the World as is the World shaped by America.