Karl Rove's last ride

Karl Rove, Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W Bush, said in his resignation interview with the Wall Street Journal that
"he believed Mr Bush would leave behind two lasting pillars of future foreign policy - that harbouring a terrorist makes a nation as guilty as the terrorist, and the act of pre-emption.

While he predicted a Democratic nomination for Hillary Clinton, he did so with a swipe, saying of the Democrats: "They are likely to nominate a tough, tenacious, fatally flawed candidate."

which are some interesting takes on the past few years.

Firstly, harbouring a terrorist makes a nation as guilty as the terrorist. What exactly does 'harbouring' mean? If it means actively supporting or sheltering terrorists, you can see the logic. If, however, it means 'failing to take all possible action' - which seems to be the implication - it changes things somewhat.

Should we insist that Pakistan march through the north of its territory, where some governmental actors are doubtlessly 'sheltering' people who are, at least, associated with terrorism? How does it impact on Saudi Arabia? Should the UK have marched through Northern Ireland, going to door to door to drag out everyone with a possible connection to terrorism, from Loyalist and Republican sides, including the UK military personnel who were involved

The answer, according to Mr Rove, is pre-emption. That is a dangerous proposition indeed. An argument can be made that Afghanistan was not pre-emption, as the Afghan government of the day had not merely tolerated the existence of the Taleban but aided and abetted their actions. It is rather more difficult in the cases of Iraq and Lebanon. In the former case, the pre-emption meant acting without evidence. In the latter case, it meant overriding the concerns of a sovereign state. Either way, the precedent is worrying as it opens an avenue for other countries to take pre-emptive military action, over the heads of a country that is dealing with a terrorist problem just because America (or any other country) doesn't like the way it's being dealt with.

As to Hilary, she is far from a shoe-in for the Democratic nomination. I wonder exactly what the fatal flaw is and whether it can be any worse than a President who, with no real ideas of his own, assumes the ideas of those close to him as his own.


Update 2130:
Other people who have commented on this topic include Tiberius Gracchus, Vino and Bloggerheads .

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