Tweedledum and Tweedledee in Iraq

Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry have one thing in common when it comes to foreign policy: Neither wants to draw attention to how much they actually agree.

The above quote is from – those wild-eyed radicals at the ANSWER Coalition? Well no, it’s from the LA Times. What groups like ANSWER have been saying for months has now filtered into the mainstream. There is little difference between Bush and Kerry on foreign policy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Just how miniscule are their differences?

“America must always be the world’s paramount military power. But we can magnify our power through alliances,” Kerry said in a foreign policy speech in May. “We simply can’t go it alone — or rely on a coalition of the few.”

Kerry wants allies to help the US, and to use persuasion along with force to convince. But Kerry is lock-step with Bush in saying the US must be the unchallenged military power. One reason the Roman Empire fell was because their relentless foreign wars bankrupted them, a lesson that never occurs to Kerry or Bush. Plus, Kerry sees these alliances as ways to boost US military power, and  certainly not as partnerships of equals.

Both Bush and Kerry reserve the right to attack an enemy preemptively and unilaterally — as has every president.

“Democrats, Republicans and U.S. Hegemony in the Middle East”, an article by Richard Becker, details how US policy towards the Middle East has been consistent for 60 years, regardless of which party is in office. The US wants controls of the region and will do whatever is needed, including invasion, to get it.

Niall Ferguson, a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution and a history professor at Harvard, argues that the United States is an empire that fails to understand its imperialist motives, and therefore intervenes in places like Iraq, thinking that military prowess is all that’s needed.

Lordy, the LA Times is even using the word “imperialist” in referring to US policy! And implies the war in Iraq is doomed.

There are some differences, says the article.

In Kerry’s view, the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians fuels Muslim anger at the United States and raises the danger of new attacks. As a result, Kerry says that if he won the election, he would immediately name a high-level Middle East envoy to reinvigorate efforts to settle the conflict.

Oh golly, THAT’S never been tried before, has it? Maybe if the US stopped propping up Israel with billions of dollars in aid each year, then peace might be achieved. Just a thought!

With both Iran and North Korea, Leffler said, the administration so far has considered military confrontation with nascent nuclear powers too dangerous.

Damn, the US sure wouldn’t want to invade a country that could fight back hard, eh?

Because the candidates’ overall foreign policy goals are so similar, they spend far more campaign time trading slogans than arguing policy.

“That’s typical in the United States,” Marshall said. “In foreign policy, you have great national interests at stake, and they aren’t subject to extreme partisan interpretations.”

The “great national interests at stake” are, of course, control of the Middle East by the US by any means necessary. Kerry wants the iron fist in the velvet glove while Bush favors the iron fist in the iron glove.

This is also why Kerry will probably lose the election. There’s little difference between the two on foreign issues. Plus, Kerry isn’t focusing on the few real differences between Bush and him on domestic social issues for fear of alienating swing voters, the usual brain-dead Democratic “strategy” that caused them to lose the House and Senate.

As for foreign policy, Bush and Kerry, multi-millionaire members of the ruling class, agree the US must remain the unchallenged military power and can invade anytime, anyplace it wants – which will only destabilize the world even more.