Withdraw from Iraq: good idea?
Previously published on February 20, 2008
After the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 slanderous emails revealing that Al Gore had halted a request for the US to sponsor the assassination of Osama Bin Laden began to circulate. Had the United States actually been able to openly assassinate Bid Laden, many people feel that the Twin Towers would still be standing.
Furthermore, this leads some Americans to question whether or not the ban on public assassination should be rescinded or adapted. Removing such restrictions would certainly allow for quicker, more drastic measures when considering dangerous individuals. On the other hand, there are broader implications that would likely undermine the security of the United States.
The United States rose to power as a result of World War two providing economic, military, and political supremacy. During the Cold War, nations were polarized to support the United States or the Soviet Union. Today, the US remains the only superpower with the rest of the world attempting to remain in a state of peace; as such, the US has lost a great deal of leadership strength in the world.
Furthermore, economic strength is equalizing with developing Nations like China while they gain economic control over threats like North Korea. Although America and Europe have experienced terrorist attacks, the US has largely failed to rally support in a war on terrorism; frankly, the War on Terror has militarily bound and weakened the United States, thus adding to the decline of leadership capital. As the terrorist threat remains a chief security concern of the US, the support of allies will be required to police, deter, and strikeout terrorist threats around the world.
In order to gain support from allies, the United States must be able to demonstrate that it is in the interests of others nations to support US lead efforts. Fundamentally, other nations must believe that America is good and will do good things for the world as a leader. Frankly, going against the UN in the invasion of Iraq, especially after the Bush administration requested UN approval, demonstrated that the US would do whatever it believed was in its best interest without regard to the international community's concerns.
From other nations' perspectives, this shows a lack of respect for foreign nations' sovereignty and it fails to give the majority of nations cause to support US interests. If the United States wants to demonstrate that supporting our behavior is beneficial to other nations then the US must be fully and solidly justified when engaging in rogue actions; otherwise, we will loose the support of allies that our Nation will need to have a truly global war on terrorism.
As for the issue of state sponsored assassination, there is great opportunity for a loss of international support. The United States should never set policies based solely on what our allies might think, but the US often influences the position of other nations and if the Nation expects foreign bodies to respect the influence of the United States then we must respect the opinion of other nations as well. That said, the United States' historic support of Israel, which blatantly and brutally engages in public assassination, has cost the US greatly in the Arab world as the Israeli government has often engaged in discriminatory and inhumane treatment of Palestinians.
If the US wants to rally Arabs to the US and against terrorism, it must demonstrate that is respects their culture, beliefs, and people; whereas, open assassination would encourage polarization of people against the United States. Plainly, if the US wants to demonstrate it is morally better than terrorists, it must not engage in behavior that terrorist espouse; state sponsored assassination is closely related to state sponsored terrorism, the reason the US should have removed Saddam Hussein from power. The United States cannot afford to engage in behavior like open public assassination.