August 25, 2005

foreign policy

I was listening to the news this morning, to a story about some men who are being held at Guantanamo. They are Uighurs, members of a Muslim group in northwestern China. As I understand it, the US Justice Dept. has determined that they are not a threat to the US, but are holding the men until some other country can be found to take them in as refugees. They don't want to send the men back to china for fear they'll be mistreated or even tortured, but don't want to set them free here even temporaily "because we might be wrong and what if they are a threat to Americans?" (It strikes me that that may be the first time I've heard an official in the Bush administration use the words "We might be wrong." Pity it's in this context.) We don't want them here just in case they turn out to be a threat after all so we're trying to convince some other country to let them in. Apparently the issue of whether they might be a threat to other countries has not been considered, except of course by the other countries consulted, who have all refused so far to take the men.

It all reminds me of Arlo Guthrie's description of Reagan's foreign policy:

We gots to have our missiles over there in Europe. If we had 'em here, we could never use 'em. Because them Russians be knowing where they're comin' from and then they'd be bombin' us and we'd die. So you see we gots to have our missiles over there in Europe.

He didn't understand. But I knew I 'uz makin' sense because it weren't two weeks later I got a note from the President. Said, "Dear Arlo, Saw you on TV the other night. And you explained our foreign policy so wonderful and so clear that even I'm beginning to understand it!"

This isn't making me feel better about our current foreign policy.

Posted by dichroic at August 25, 2005 12:34 PM
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