If Paul Krugman’s analysis in his column from today is correct, Americans should be outraged. In my "Hot Air" postings, I discussed the tendency to use foreign policy for domestic populist purposes on both sides of the Atlantic (though I admittedly came down harder on the Europeans). This being a tool used for centuries by presidents, ministers and monarchs, we should not be surprised that it is happening today. We might note, however, that it seems to be happening more – or at least more obviously – recently, and that it is hindering intelligent discussion of real issues that we want our politicians to address.

It is even more frustrating, however, when foreign policy becomes so much a tool of domestic policy that it threatens to do more harm than good to the people it purportedly is designed to protect and serve. Again, if Krugman is right, then we have something to fear indeed, because it would mean that the Bush security policy is not designed to protect us, but rather to keep our minds occupied. This is why public discussion and debate is so important; we have representatives to make complex decisions for us, but it is our duty to make sure they’re living up to their oaths and responsibilities.

Advertisements