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June 18, 2008

A Golden Rule Foreign Policy

Today’s Downsizer-Dispatch . . .

Quote of the Day:

“George W. Bush brought death and chaos to Iraq on the basis of lies. Now, as he staggers through the last months of his failed presidency, he is trying one more bit of trickery — forcing the Nuri Al-Maliki government to legitimize a long-term military occupation of Iraq in a treaty, which will make that sovereign country an American colony.”
— from an editorial in the “Arab News,” June 8, 2008

Subject: A Golden Rule Foreign Policy

We advocate a “Golden Rule” foreign policy. We want our government to treat other people as we would want to be treated. Our politicians have not done this. Instead, they’ve used wrongs committed by others to justify wrongs of their own. 

It doesn’t matter that our government’s policies may have done some good, or that our politicians may have intended to do only good. What matters is that they’ve done too many things to other people that those people didn’t want.

The above quote of the day reflects widespread Arab and Muslim reaction to the Bush administration’s proposed “treaty of permanent occupation” with Iraq. We believe the Golden Rule requires us to give these reactions respectful consideration. Would we accept what we’re asking the Iraqi people to accept? The proposed treaty requires that Iraq . . .

  • Allow the U.S. to build 58 permanent military bases on their soil
  • Grant U.S. control of Iraqi airspace up to 30,000 feet
  • Establish immunity from prosecution for U.S. troops and contractors
  • Permit the U.S. to determine when Iraq is at war with another country (Iran for instance)
  • Agree to a two year notice to cancel the treaty

Please notice that President Bush wants to impose his preferred policy on the next president. He also asserts that his “agreement” with Iraq will be an “executive accord,” NOT subject to ratification by the Senate.

The President’s policy is unconstitutional. It violates the Golden Rule. It’s also dangerous — to YOU.

These treaty proposals, coming in the wake of everything else our government has done — invasions, renditions, torture, lack of due process — massively increase the danger of blowback against the American people. We believe it’s time to downsize the President’s reckless and overreaching foreign policy. But how?

DownsizeDC.org tries to provide you with levers — simple ideas that would do a lot with a little. Our “Read the Bills Act,” the “One Subject at a Time,” and the “Write the Laws Act,” are examples of this approach. We think something similar can be done with Iraq.

We should ask Congress to ask the Iraqi government to hold a yes-no public referendum on the U.S. occupation. It will be hard for either U.S. or Iraqi politicians to argue against letting the Iraqi people have their say. Plus . . .

  • If the Iraqis vote for us to stay, then much of the Islamic world will accept that decision, but . . .
  • If they ask us to leave, then the moral problem of “we broke it, we own it” will disappear, allowing us to leave with grace

If you like our idea for leveraging our way to a better foreign policy, there are many in Congress who may like it too, if you let them know about it. Please send Congress a message. You can do so here.

Please also share this idea with others.

Also . . .

Get a copy of “The Downsize DC Vision.” We’ll send you a copy if you start a monthly credit card pledge of $5 or more, or make a one-time donation. Plus, every dollar you contribute now will be worth two because of a matching pledge of $3,600 from a group of generous DC Downsizers. Take advantage of these opportunities. Contribute here.

NOTE: You can remove this funding section if you forward this message to others, or post it on your blog. You can also comment on this message at our blog.

Thank you for being a part of the growing Downsize DC Army.

Perry Willis
Communications Director
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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