November 22, 2019

GWB: further my research (Dalby: 2003) War talk effectively

GWB:
Firstly, I would like to thank you for the invitation to be a part of this
wonderful dialogue charting the last 16 years in the Geopolitical world since
that awful day in September 2001, where so many innocent lives were taken. When
I addressed the nation on the evening of September 11th, I shared
the same feeling of overwhelming sadness and anger as every American watching
at home. America was directly targeted in an act of terrorism aiming to dim the
brightest beacon of freedom and opportunity in the world. (Bush: 2001). I must
admit I have read some your work and must echo your findings that an
unanticipated attack on September 11th 2001 challenged the
Geopolitical premises of American thinking fundamentally (Dalby: 2009).

SD: Thank you Mr. President for your
participation in this talk allowing us to reflect on an ever-changing
geopolitical world that we find ourselves in. Through your own actions
America’s foreign policy has been driven by a desire to avenge 9/11 (O’Tuathail:2003)
within my field of Geopolitics, academics analysis how the world is “spatially”
divided and how particular locations are sorted into a hierarchy of importance
(Dalby: 2003).

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SD: Proponents of my work associated
within geopolitics consider their research to be “Critical”. Such scholars
address how everyday geopolitical knowledge and understanding is used to
enframe foreign policy conceptualization and decision making (O’Tuathail:1999)
In particular from this evenings discussion I want to be able to better
understand your so-called “Bush Doctrine” subsequent war on terror and your
motivations for your actions, and to further my research (Dalby: 2003) War talk
effectively silenced careful, needed reflection of the situation. I also wish
to view your Presidency through a lens that the consequences of political
actions in distant places has come back to haunt America. (Dalby: 2003)

GWB: Enemies of freedom attacked our
way of life, I had a duty to protect citizens from further attacks. (Bush: 2001)
I did not want my Presidency to be a “wartime” tenure (National Geographic:
2011) instead I envisaged times of peace and great prosperity both economically
and in terms of our own Foreign Policy. However, since this wonderful country’s
creation we had only experienced significant attacks in December 1941 at the
hands of the evil empire of Japan. I had a role as Commander in chief to
capture those ultimately responsible and to eradicate any foreign government
sheltering such murderers (Bush: 2001), I wasn’t going to take cover behind “impermeable
blocs” (Dalby: 2003) such an attack was an act of war (Bush: 2001) and for the first
time in 70 years our nation was under attack.

SD: There was a carefully organised
attack on New York City and Washington, allegedly a safe location within
America, this was a direct spatial violation (Dalby: 2003) Surely this was a
time for careful investigation as to the complex reasons behind the 9/11
attacks instead your cabinet sought to “triumph of affect over intellect” (O’Tuathail:2003)
I believe you had a pre-determined notion of the middle-east as “others” with the
most powerful military in the world led by cabal of restless nationalists hell
bent on an anti-intellectual culture of aggressive militarism and affect.
(O’Tuathail:2003) But with your words, a new form of war had begun, one where
the enemy isn’t clearly visible instead the whole globe had become a “potential
battlefield” (Dalby: 2014) Many in your administration viewed the attacks in a
sweeping, simplistic and politically opportunistic manner. (O’Tuathail:2003)

GWB: For too
long many countries and governments around the world tolerated and often turned
a blind eye to oppression in the Middle East (Bush: 2004). Americans are free
people and they know that freedom is a right fundamental to every person
regardless on religion or geographical location (Bush: 2003) the international
world needed to know that America was going to take a tough stance (Bush: 2001).
Our new national security doctrine emphasized the truly global reach of
American forces (Dalby: 2009) I stated that countries must either be supportive
of our war on terror or against it. America would make no distinction between
terrorist who committed these awful attacks or the governments that harbour
them. (Bush: 2001) Leaders from all over the world condemned the attack
including, British Prime minister and a close ally of America, Tony Blair,
echoed my thoughts that it was an attack on freedom.

SD:  I believe you were greatly surprised by such
an attack and the severity of it the borderless world. Your nation,
geographically isolated with friendly domestic neighbours, with uncontested
borders both north and south. Coupled with two vast oceans to the East and
West, your administration could be forgiven for not spending vast amount
domestically against foreign threats. (Dalby: 2009) Your great friend Tony
Blair also used geopolitical language to enflame the situation, using geopolitical
rhetoric he specified matters in terms of a war of democracy versus the rest. (Dalby:
2003) This could be viewed In the Middle East as inflammatory, however as soon
as the attacks occurred isolationist sentiments in your administration collapsed.
(Dalby: 2003) Your own Quadrennial Defence Report in 2006 concluded that
“Geographic insularity no longer confers for the country” (QDR: 2006:p26)
strategists believe the country will be militarily engaged. (Dalby:2009)

GWB: As you
stated, I had to shape the political world instead of waiting for hostile
forces to emerge. (Dalby: 2009) French President Jacques Chirac, proclaimed that
France would stand aside in a fight against a scourge that defies all
democracies (Time:2014) His comments brought the global context, when stating that
the attack of tomorrow may in fact take place in Paris, Berlin or London. There
was a new kind of war, global war on terror, terrorists were hiding in
countries around the world to plot evil and destruction. (Bush: 2001) Our
enemies viewed the entire world as a battlefield (Bush: 2001) our own capital
city felt like a warzone (National Geographic: 2011) Even the French newspaper La
Monde embraced the tragedy of the attacks when running their headline, “We are
all Americans now”.

SD: Your
reasoning behind a label of “Global war on terror” is interesting instead of
seeking to enhance international diplomacy and seek the arrest and subsequent
trial of terrorists you opened up the world to be viewed as battle spaces,
targets and sites for regime changes. (Dalby: 2010) An almost reinvention of
imperial warfare, American forces were designed to fight battles fought with
large armies and a visible known enemy rather than a counter-insurgency effort.
(Dalby: 2009) From one spectacular violation of American sovereignty the globe
was turned into a combat-zone in the updated map of American combatant
commander’s area of responsibility, (Dalby: 2007) thus enabling your dominance
over terrorist you see as “evildoers” This effectively meant you were seeking
an imperial presidency by providing the necessity to build ever more capable
weapon systems and bases in many parts of the world. (Dalby: 2007)

GWB: I
strongly refute those claims, those who have written to critique your work such
as (Squire: 2014) believe your work is an engagement with representational
practices of statecraft. (Thrift: 2000) agrees that there is limitations to
representational focus and (Muller: 2008) agrees with his proponents that the
field of field of critical geopolitics in undertheorized. Critiques establish
there needs to be a movement to focus on textual and bodily practices
associated with “Geopower.”(Dodds: 2001) My actions were a fight for the cause
of liberty and peace of the world. (Bush: 2003) The common security of the
world is challenged (Bush: 2002) outlawed groups such as Al Qaeda challenge our
democratic principles and my biggest fear was that they would find a shortcut
to kill on a massive scale (Bush: 2002). (Megoran: 2008) critiqued critical
geopolitics by stating that your field of research provides a weak normative engagement
with social institutions and practices of warfare.

SD: (Barnett:2007)
attempted to classify the world according to the cartography of safety and
danger and found that there was a “core” of liberal democracies and a “Gap”
where American Foreign policy was evidently active and aggressive, again
implying your intent on creating a dominant superpower. More pressingly was the
apparent use of so called “Tabloid realism”, a so-called manipulation of public
outrage. (O’Tuathail:2003) There was a projection of pain across American
television, Geopolitics was used to invoke fear and pain. (Pain: 2009) Such
images motivated Americans against the “terrorists” and gave you the
justification for you classifying regions crying out for American help.

GWB: I find
it almost laughable that you highlight Thomas Barnett’s cartography of the
world, this simplistic view has separated the world along old, “mackinderesque”
(Haverluk et al: 2014) lines. I didn’t seek to build a great American empire
spanning the globe, instead simply I aimed to win the war on terrorism (Bush:
2001). I had a duty to destroy the “Axis of evil” (Bush; 2002) take down
tyrannical regimes and ensure our nation is more secure (Bush: 2003). To
suggest that I sought to instigate the war on terror through “tabloid
geopolitics”(Debrix:2007)  is deeply
offensive, in fact it was your own research you suggest it is very hard to
specify a war on terror as it is truly global. The language of my
administration was truthful and we had a duty to tell the American people what
was going on.

SD: I must
disagree, ever since 9/11 American foreign policy has been driven by a desire
to avenge the attacks and seeking to assert America as the dominant superpower
in the world (O’tuathail:2003). You sought to create an American dominant
superpower, you remapped the world into categories of the Bush Doctrine and its
global war on terror (Dalby: 2009). I fail to understand how a small number of
Saudi dissidents who hijacked planes and crashed them into the world trade
centre required a “global war” response was far from clear (Dalby:2009). The
Geopolitical discourse of the Bush administration and legitimacy of its actions
were questioned. (O’tuathail:2003).

GWB: We must
stop here, we will always see the geopolitical world along different lines. 

x

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