Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Pax Americana & The Neo-Conservative Agenda


The Neo-conservatives believe that a global Pax Americana can be established and that it is America's responsibility to rise to the occasion. A type of Manifest Destiny. Some would call this hegemony, or liberation, or empire building, or democratization. In this day of sound bite marketing these labels can all mean about the same thing. Analyzing this in terms of Republican or Democratic politics is also limited because this is a policy is spanning administrations. Is the US actually pursuing a vision of "enlightened" domination of global geo-politics? What are the pros and cons of this approach? Will it engender democracy or an unruly backlash? How far is the military willing to extend itself? Is this the rise of an empire? Who will pay and who will profit? How will Europe respond? What is the future of the United Nations? Will it make the world a safer place?

Uh, no!

"I simply do not understand why all parties cannot simply cooperate." - Rodney Luther King

The Glorious Scamp
dedicated to the brave deserters

My faith in human dignity consists in the belief that man is the greatest scamp on earth. Human dignity must be associated with the idea of a scamp and not with that of an obedient, disciplined and regimented soldier. The scamp is probably the most glorious type of human being, as the soldier is the lowest type, according to this conception. For things are not so simple as they sometimes seem. In this present age of threats to democracy and individual liberty, probably only the scamp and the spirit of the scamp alone will save us from becoming lost as serially numbered units in the masses of disciplined, obedient, regimented and uniformed coolies. The scamp will be the last and most formidable enemy of dictatorships. He will be the champion of human dignity and individual freedom, and will be the last to be conquered. All modern civilization depends entirely upon him.
- Lin Yutang

Perhaps the time has come for us to discuss an exit strategy.

Our "boys and girls" are still our "boys and girls" regardless of whether they are in Iraq or Canada. And judging from what I have seen and heard from the excellent News Hour report, the ones that have walked away from the war are perhaps the sanest, best and brightest of the lot. And we are losing them, just as we are losing children in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We cannot expect to win a world worth having by seizing it like a dog. We need to be what we want to become, not hope that our violent acts will make room for a peaceful, harmonious life. Doesn't work that way. The deserters may simply be trying to save their own souls.

Are the soldiers gentlemen? We'd like to think so. So let us assume they are, and that they welcome any discussions that might improve their conditions, within and without.

We need to become better people. We have been doing ungentlemanly acts on a global scale, and are, as such, underserving of emulation. And yet retribution is nearly guaranteed, and yet, mercy still breathing, we may be able to become, as some have suggested, a humanitarian superpower, and not simply a military superpower. Any bully can beat up people. It takes greater care and skill to heal people.

Can we not become a nation of healers?

Can we not reverse the bad karma generated by mean-spirited policies?

When will we ask: "How can we help"?
and stop asking: "What's in it for me"?

If a man is crossing a river
And an empty boat collides with his own skiff
Even though he be a bad-tempered man
He will not become very angry.
But if he sees a man in the boat,
He will shout at him to steer clear.
If the shout is not heard, he will shout again,
And yet again, and begin cursing.
And all because there is somebody in the boat.
Yet if the boat were empty,
He would not be shouting, and not be angry.

If you can empty your own boat
Crossing the river of the world,
No one will oppose you,
No one will seek to harm you.

-Chuang Tzu