Monday, February 28, 2005

I'm gonna beat that horse again

Lawyers, Guns & Money has a thought-provoking post today on the meaning of state sovereignty as defined by the Bush Administration. The post starts with the following astonishing quote pulled from the Canadian newspaper, the Globe & Mail:
"We simply cannot understand why Canada would in effect give up its sovereignty – its seat at the table – to decide what to do about a missile that might be coming towards Canada."

This quote comes from our Ambassador to Canada, Paul Celucci, in response to a decision by the Canadian government's decision to end participation in Pres. Bush's missile defense program.

On its face, it's an amazing proposition: by flexing its sovereignty and refusing to partake in another Bush boondoggle, the Canadians are actually giving up sovereignty. As Robert Farley at LGM describes it, in light of this Administration's interpretation of international law, Celluci is basically articulating the point that "nation-states hold sovereignty by virtue of their willingness to go along with US policy."

I could pretend to be astounded by this pronouncement, but I'm not. For the last four years, we've been hearing similar sentiments on the domestic front from Bush's minions in the Republican party. According to these folks, Americans can only assert their patriotism by supporting the Bush party line. In other words, there is only one conceivable choice for people to make, whatever the Administration says is the proper choice. And, as plenty of folks on the right regularly assert, if you don't support that choice, you should lose your right to be heard if not your liberty. Is it that much of a stretch to start applying this same logic to states?