“When I was a boy back there getting my Catholic education (no, not that kind of Catholic education… never was an altar boy…) I heard put forth the proposition that every sin was in fact two sins: a sin of action and a sin of thought. In other words, if you steal my money, the theft itself is a sin, but conceiving of the theft in the first place is also a sin. Extrapolation: if you consider stealing my money but then don’t steal it, you’ve still committed a sin, and God’ll getcha for it!
Which, apparently, is now American foreign policy, except we ain’t gonna leave it to God. As the Hand Puppet announced last week, if the USA even thinks foreign countries are thinking about going against American interests (and we know how broad those can be, particularly where oil is involved), the first strike is now our right of “self-defense.” (We now say “imminent” when we mean possible threats that could arise someday) .That this policy is cynical, manipulative and dangerous has not escaped many foreign nations, though many Americans – most of them in Congress, running for re-election, and apparently eager to grant the Presidency quasi-dictatorial powers to use military action not only without the consent of other nations but also without the Constitutionally-required consent of Congress – are thrilled by the bold proactive stance. Presumption of innocence until proven guilty is the theoretical cornerstone of American jurisprudence, but since the Hand Puppet (and the Attorney General) haven’t shown any inclination to apply that principle domestically (except where rich corporate allies are concerned), it’s no surprise there’s no inclination to apply it internationally. It’s also no great surprise that “pre-emptive self-defense” was the same rationale Hitler used to justify invading Poland.”