Saturday, July 10, 2004

America's Vision of Liberty is Real-Is It True?

America's Vision of Liberty is Real-Is It True?

Please begin by reading the paragraph below from an article titled "Hating America".

America is built on an idea, namely liberty; but far from being divorced from reality, it is an idea that Americans have realized, developed, and successfully exported for more than two centuries. We have demonstrated the depth of our commitment as a people to this idea by waging a revolution, a civil war, two World Wars, several smaller wars, and the Cold War in its name. It is, in short, an idea that is utterly indissoluble from our own living, breathing, everyday reality. By contrast, much of Western Europe is founded on an idea of itself that is significantly, and dangerously, divorced from reality. That idea, as Robert Kagan explains so adroitly, is that the world has moved beyond the necessity of war. It is a pretty fiction, but a fiction nonetheless. And keeping it alive requires that one ignore dangerous realities—such as the growing problem of militant Islam within Europe’s own borders.

In the excerpt from the article, it is recommended by Robert Kagan (who co-founded the Project for the New American Century with William Kristol) that we never become so far removed from reality to think our world has moved beyond the necessity of war.

When we allow the words "necessity of war" to pass from our lips, it should be passed in an almost sacred manner. War brings the certainty of death to innocents as well as enemy combatants. War brings death to our own troops. War is never to be entered into lightly. War is never to be rushed into by damaging the public's trust with lies and grossly misleading exaggerations.

The war upon Iraq was not a necessity. Never, ever was it necessary to send our troops into harm's way and to alienate our European allies in the process.

President Bush keeps telling us Islamist militants attack us because they "hate" our freedom. This is not true. They want total revolution in their own Muslim lands. We are providing them with the perfect environment for their revolution.

If you listen to Robert Kagan's ideas, you may see where hatred for American freedom has already been a problem and has become a larger problem since Bush took the foreign-policy reins.....but more than in Muslim lands, the hatred grows in Europe.

With hatred growing in Europe, our very hopes and chances to defeat terror are greatly diminished.

We know (now more than ever) that Iraq was no threat to America. It may be in America’s business interest to encourage liberalism and discourage violence in Muslim countries..but obviously it is not a sure bet that it's in America's best security interests to occupy these nations in the hopes of spreading democracy. It isn't worth the war we waged. It's a damned dangerous proposition in today's world of terror-threats within our own borders. We will surely become divorced from reality if we don't see the consequences of our dogmatic interference in the affairs of these lands.

The exportation of liberty from the U.S. to Iraq has been tremendously unsuccessful. The "pretty fiction" of the unnecessity of war was one to which the Bush administration simply could or would not believe, in this case. They were determined to rush to war. Our European allies cautioned us against it. Those wimpy American-hating Europeans had a good point this time. If we weren't so macho-Texas-cocky, we'd have admitted it by now and gotten back humbly with the rest of whatever's left of our civilized world. We need one another, whether we choose to sit and wring our hands about how the Europeans hate us or not.

Robert Kagan has said we cannot divorce ourselves from the reality that war is a necessity and that believing otherwise is "pretty fiction".

The truth, in the case of Iraq, was that war was not a necessity.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said that fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.

Truth wasn't the Bush administration's priority, obviously.


Note: When the author of the article (mentioned/linked above) reduced Gore Vidal to an "anti-American" crank, I knew I was reading someone out of touch with the realities of who Mr. Vidal is and where he's come from. Gore Vidal, from a family of long-standing patriots, understands America..he IS America. Whether or not Europe revels in his writings should be of little consequence. What matters is that we Americans never divert our own eyes from the TRUTH.

Bush is al-Qaeda's Choice in November 2004

Bush is al-Qaeda's Choice in November 2004

What enables President George W. Bush to explain away why our nation was attacked with the simple phrase, "They hate our freedoms"?

Why does that simple statement lead to an avoidance of any discussion that delves into the impact of American foreign policy in the Middle East on Arab and Muslim attitudes towards the United States? How are Americans so easily blinded to the nature of the strategic game into which their country has been tricked into playing a role?

Why do we believe the 9/11 attacks were aimed at American values?

The true and stated goal of the Islamists is to take power in their own Muslim countries.

At, writer Gwynne Dyer forwards the notion that prior to 9/11, the fundamental Islamists could not win over enough local people to make their revolutions happen. She claims that "getting the United States to march into the Muslim world in pursuit of terrorists was a potentially promising stratagem, since such an invasion would produce endless images of American soldiers killing and humiliating Muslims. That, in turn, might push enough people into the arms of the Islamists to get their long-stalled revolutions off the ground."

What should be the most alarming part of Ms. Gwynne's story is the fact that, because of Bush's war on Iraq, the Islamists got more than they'd ever dreamed of getting. To the Islamist aggressors' initial dismay, we'd conquered Afghanistan quickly and at a very low cost in lives. Then Iraq was attacked pre-emptively by an impulsive Bush and a pliant U.S. Congress. The reason al-Qaeda is still "in business" is that the Bush administration decided to invade Iraq. If the Islamists were astonished at that turn of events, they certainly knew how to exploit the opportunity handed to them on a golden platter by Mr. Bush.

It isn't any wonder al-Qaeda has expressed a hope that Mr. Bush will be re-elected this fall.

Bush is al-Qaeda's choice for American President.

As long as Americans continue to believe 9/11 was connected directly to Iraq and as long as they continue to believe the Islamists simply "hated our freedoms", they (and their beloved sons and daughters) will continue to be used as pawns in somebody else's strategy..namely the Islamists. The greatly impulsive, misleading, and justice-thirsty G.W. Bush is allowing our national strategy to fall into their hands again and again.

Do You WIn a War if No One Surrenders?

Do You Win a War if No One Surrenders?

Gregg Easterbrook at The New Republic reminds us that no one in Iraq has ever officially sent up the white flag and the Bush administration has been cavalier in never pushing for finality in the surrender-department, brushing it off as just another formality. The Iraqi general staff never signed any overall surrender or truce. We need to understand that this is "confounding the occupation of Iraq". After all, surrenders are essential to the cessation of war, aren't they? Mr. Easterbrook reminds us that "the lack of surrender from Iraq, by contrast, is a reason many Iraqis do not accept the occupation, view the coalition presence as illegitimate, and do not appear to think their hopes lie with the United States".

Some say there was never a formal surrender in Afghanistan, but the U.S. has never seized full possession of Afghanistan.

The Bush administration never sought a formal surrender from the Iraqi general staff...and Iraqis continue the fight against all they imagine us to be.

Could wiser tactical efforts to clarify and disseminate the PR of surrender from the time Baghdad fell in Spring 2003 have saved thousands of lives and ended the madness by now?