Santorum Doctrine to Attack Nations If We Don't Like Their Religion

We’ve seen the Bush Doctrine. We have been introduced to the proposed Gingrich Doctrine. Rick Santorum has a doctrine too: he has decided that we can attack a country because we don’t like it’s religion. This is a slightly different tack than the Bush Doctrine, which allowed the United States to attack any nation it deemed might at some future date even become a threat.  Leave it to the most extreme Christian candidate remaining to want to launch a modern day crusade.

Speaking to a town-hall meeting in Salem, N.H. on Monday, Santorum had a few things to say about his foreign policy vision. The following works off the transcript compiled by Adele M. Stan is AlterNet’s Washington correspondent of Santorum’s reply to a audience member’s question about his Iran strategy:

The question is on Iran and what my policy and whether or not I would declare war on Iran. And he posed the question in a very interesting way because he said, if Iran has a nuclear weapon, that I might declare war on Iran.

Let me first say that Iran’s already declared war against us. They have since 1979. And I could go through — and I won’t, in the interest of time, a whole laundry list of things up to and including manufacturing improvised explosive devices, IEDs, that killing our men and women in uniform in Afghanistan, and they’ve killed hundreds and thousands, and maimed maybe hundreds of thousands…

This sounds a lot like the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention Pakistan. We’ve killed a lot of people with our munitions. The main difference is that ours are high tech, but they’re really no more discriminating, as all these countries have complained. And dead is dead, smart bomb or IED. Maybe somebody ought to declare war on us. It’s not as though we didn’t spend nearly ten years acting like a rogue nation ourselves, attacking a country that did nothing to invite attack (Iraq).

They’re distributed out through these terrorist organizations, and they are funding this terrorist organizations, and they are actively engaged in killing our people, and we do nothing about it. Absolutely nothing about it. So, they’ve been at war with us; let’s make no mistake about that.

Didn’t we do the same thing when we equipped the mujahedeen in Afghanistan to commit acts of terror against the Soviet invaders? These same people became the Taliban and we are the ones who originally trained and equipped them. Maybe we should attack ourselves.

They’re developing a nuclear weapon. Now of course, they say they’re not, but they’re wrong. It’s obvious that they are, from a variety of different things: Iran is one of the richest countries in the world with respect to oil and gas; to have a nuclear capability for energy purposes is silly. There’s no legitimate reason for them to be developing a nuclear power plant in one of the richest oil and gas regions in the world. that’s number one.

Don’t we also have nuclear weapons? Don’t Israel and other countries as well? If possession of nuclear weapons is cause for war, shouldn’t a lot of people be declaring war on a lot of other people? And America has been guilty of more military adventurism than Iran.

Sadly, this kind of simplistic reasoning is all too common among Republicans these days. His logic regarding rich oil and gas reasons is equally laughable. A country has every right to develop nuclear power plants for any reason it might wish. Perhaps the Iranians are more concerned about the environment than Santorum. Perhaps he thinks that is also a valid reason to attack somebody.

Number two — where they’ve located the facility. They’ve located the facility in a little time called Qom [which he pronounced, Kwome]. Qom happens to be a rather significant city in Iran. It’s outside of Teheran, and their savior, if you will, from the Shi’a, the Shi’ite — that’s, the ruling class, the ruling government of Iran is Shi’ite, which is a minority among the Muslim world, but is a majority in Iran and in Iraq. But the Shi’ites have one of their holiest sites — in the Shi’a religion, not as Muslims generally, but as Shi’ites — is in Qom, because there’s a well there called the Jamkaran well — which is a well where their, they call it the the Mahdi — the equivalent of, in some respects, of a Jesus figure — who is gonna come back at the end of times and lead Shi’a Islam in the ruling of the world in peace and justice. That’s what their end-of-times scenario is. Well, he comes back at a time of great chaos. And so there are many who speculate that there are folks over in Iran who wouldn’t mind creating a time of great chaos, for religious reasons. And the fact that they built this nuclear program in this city, next to where this man is supposed to return, leads one to think that there may be more to it, since they could pick any other place in the state, in the country, to do so — that there may be other reasons than to develop domestic nuclear power. That’s just sort of a background, number one.

As if Santorum’s own end-time scenario isn’t equally frightening and I’m hardly the first to see the similarities. The truth is, Muslims think Jesus will come back, just like Santorum does. Christians like Santorum think they need to trigger Jesus’ return, a little holocaust to trigger a bigger one. Shi’ites are no more frightening than Christians and to say Iran is populated by crazies on the basis of some extremist Shi’ites is like saying America is populated by crazies because of Iowa – and not coincidentally, Rick Santorum.

Santorum allows that “the president of the United States, to his credit, has a policy that says, ‘Iran, under my administration, will not get a nuclear weapon.'” Santorum can’t quite compliment a president he has accused of not believing in American exceptionalism:

But here’s the problem: he’s not doing anything to make sure that doesn’t happen. So whether — this is a big problem with this president: he says a lot of things, but it’s like he’s picking U Mass to win the NCAA championship. It’s great, and you’re for it, but if you’re just going to sit back and say, well I’m for it and I hope everything works out. You have a policy and then you pass other policies to effectuate your overall objectives. He’s not doing it. He signed in some sanctions, which I appreciate — it’s a step in the right direction — but there’s a lot more that needs to be done to stop Iran now. And I’ve laid out a multi-point plan that would do so, and it would be, as it should be, starting with basic things like helping fund a pro-democracy movement, sanctions, and other activities, covert activities, to try to disrupt this process, to ultimately saying that if none of this is working, and we are concerned about this happening, that we set a deadline. And if you don’t meet that deadline and open up that facility and begin to dismantle it, we’re gonna take it out for you.

Nothing like an ultimatum. We saw where that got us leading up to Iraq in ’03. The trouble with ultimatums – and Santorum would know this if he had ever picked up a history book – is that they generally lead to war. But then again, maybe that doesn’t matter since that’s exactly what Santorum wants. Still, his latent smarminess gets the better of him:

Declare war? No. But take out, with tactical strikes to take out this facility. Just like the Israelis did to the Syrians; just like the Israelis did to the Iraqis — take out that capability so they would not develop that weapon.

Of course, Santorum considers that Iran is already at war with us so it’s unclear why declarations of war are an issue at all. He hardly needs to worry about declaring war on Iran if we are already at war. And if we’re not, he is certainly willingly to risk war. He says we won’t declare war but what’s to stop Iran from taking such an attack as a declaration of war? And aren’t we supposed to be broke? Can we really afford that?

Now, why do we do this? Why does the president, why does almost everybody in the Congress, left and right, with the exception of Ron Paul, say, ‘We can’t let Iran get a nuclear weapon’? Because Iran is different than every other country in the history of the world that’s got a nuclear weapon.

Excuse me? Different than every other country in the history of the world that’s got a nuclear weapon? How so? They haven’t dropped a nuke on anybody yet. Only the United States has done that. Aren’t we the ones who are different than every other country in the history of the world that’s got nuclear weapons? Sure the country is run by a nutcase but Santorum is advocating an identical role for himself in the United States. Apparently, he is satisfied that his claim is true but his reasons are hardly convincing to any sane and reasonable person not consumed with religious zealotry:

I just talked about their end-of-times ideas. This is a theocracy that believes — and they teach their people — that life in this world is not what you live for. You live for the next world.

Sounds like 2000 years of fundamentalist-dominated Christianity to me. It isn’t atheists talking about the next world. It isn’t atheists who have been coming up to me and threatening me with hellfire in the next world. No, that would be fundamentalist Christians. I’m the one in the equation who is worried about this world. But Santorum, who apparently knows no Muslims, has this to say in summation:

You live to be a martyr.

I hate to break this to him but there are a whole boatload of Muslims not living to be martyrs, here or in Iran, which has always struggled with its Islamic identity thanks to its rich Zoroastrian Persian past.

And this sounds like every Republican candidate to me. They’re all eager to be martyrs. They fall over each other trying to be martyrs. And it’s no surprise given that the entire history of Christianity has been about martyrdom. Christianity has, institutionally speaking, for 2000 years been consumed with the idea of martyrdom and that fundamentalist Christianity, even while it was exterminating every alternative to itself, considered itself to be the one being persecuted. They still want us to believe that. Even while planning new Crusades.

When you see Iranians interviewed they come across a lot like you or me. The only difference is that they already have a madman as president, while we still have a chance of avoiding that fate. Santorum goes on to say that the Shi’a dream is that Islam “should rule the world.” When, precisely, did that stop being a Christian dream? America today; tomorrow the world.  Isn’t that America’s purpose? To spread the “Good” News to the world? The difference seems to be that Santorum’s Good News will apparently be delivered via laser targeting.

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