Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Jim Phillips in defense of he term axis-of-evil.

Critics denounce the phrase as ''simplistic.'' Some simply see no evil, ignoring the fact that all three countries are ruled by repressive totalitarian regimes hostile to the United States -- ones that seek nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them. All three also have a long record of supporting terrorism.

This dangerous combination of terrorist regimes building weapons of mass destruction is a prospect that no American president can afford to take lightly in a post-Sept. 11, 2001 world.

Other critics see no axis, glossing over the close military cooperation between North Korea and Iran -- which has purchased North Korean missiles and mini-submarines -- and the looser cooperation between North Korea and Iraq, which is suspected of buying tunneling equipment and exchanging missile technology with Pyongyang.

True, Iran and Iraq once fought a bloody war, but both now seek to drive American influence from the Middle East. Both have given sanctuary to al-Qaeda terrorists who fled from Afghanistan. They are united by their hostility to the United States, as Germany and Japan once were. Those two members of the original Axis distrusted one another, but they found enough in common to fight against the United States during World War II.

Yes, Bush's rhetoric is provocative. The truth can be provocative, and often it hurts. But the president used the phrase ''axis of evil'' in last year's State of the Union speech to alert Americans to impending dangers, not to suggest a one-size-fits-all foreign policy. Since then, the Bush administration has worked to craft policies that are individually tailored to address the discrete threats posed by the three regimes.

He is a bit forgiving in saying that there is some tangible policy regarding Iran. There might be something going on in the intelligence community but, even if we are taking the hands off approach Bush should still be vocally supporting the students of Iran who have risen up to challenge the ayatollahs more than once in the past couple of years.

< email | 1/28/2003 11:13:00 AM | link

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