Saturday, February 17, 2007

It Ain't Left, It's Just Plain Right

Occasionally a strong right winger responds to one of my anti-war blogs with a comment about how stupid the left wing is - obviously based on the assumption that I am a raging left winger.

Just in case any of those folks are looking in today, I'm going to say again what I've been saying for the last four years. Opposition to this war has nothing to do with right or left, Republican or Democrat. What it has to do with is patriotism.

If your definition of patriotism is waving your flag and thumping your Bible in time with whoever happens to be president now, I'm sure you're ready to jump up and down on my head for that statement, but if that is your definition of patriotism I suggest you find a dictionary and see what it says. Or - better yet - read some Thomas Paine or Thomas Jefferson and think a bit about what they have to say.

To clear the air as to my standing, let me begin by saying I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. My firmest belief is that both have sold out to the Hamiltonian ideal of corporation as god to the ultimate effect that the common man is grist for their mills. My second most solid political conclusion is that the corporate god has usurped the American military to be used as a tool for expansion and world dominance.

That's why I oppose this war. The neo-cons said it loudly and clearly in their paper "Rebuilding America's Defenses". Go to and notice the publication date - September, 2000 - then recall the date of the fall of the twin towers - September, 2001 - and turn to page 14 for an explanation of the rationale for attacking Iraq, to wit: Saddam Hussein's presence provides justification for the invasion of Iraq, but the real reason is the establishment of permanent military bases in the region.

What does this have to do with BushCo? This paper was presented to the foreign affairs committee of the Bush campaign prior to his first "election" and then became the basis for the official National Security Plan of 2002. If you read both documents, you can easily see the point by point likeness. Additionally, most of the crew - Kristol, Feith, Wolfowitz, etc. - that put that paper together wound up in powerful positions within the Bush Administration, thus the appellation BushCo.

The idea of pre-emptive warfare - as in our invasion of Iraq - grew out of the neo-cons' desire to establish a presence in the Middle East designed to expand America's power to that region.

To me pre-emptive warfare is a totally anti-American concept. I was born during WWII and raised in a close-knit tiny community headed by men who had all served. Their ethic said that it was appropriate to fight a war if it would truly further the cause of freedom and protect any people(s) from tyrannical domination , but that there could be no other cause worth the destruction and pain of war.

I bought into that philosophy and have lived by it all my life including my willingness to wear the uniform during the Vietnam war. However, the fact that we were in that war on false premises and that we were in fact not protecting our own interests nor protecting anyone from tyranny, led me to understand that our government does not always act in our best interests.

Pre-emptive war is war waged against a country that has not invaded or attacked us. Pre-emptive war is the kind of war that Hitler waged against Poland to kick off his campaign against Eastern Europe. Pre-emptive war is war that is waged ostensibly to prevent the attacked country from attacking us first, but the concept is too vulnerable to exactly what is happening with Iraq - a power play by the first country to pull the trigger to dominate the target nation for its own political purposes. The government to which I owe my allegiance is not a government that would do such a thing.

The lead-up to this war was a brilliantly conducted propaganda campaign (Karl Rove may be vile, but he's not stupid.) that misled the American people and particularly the American Congress into supporting the invasion of Iraq out of feelings of vulnerability and the desire for revenge. (It didn't take much research to know what a hoax it was, but most people and certainly most Congresspeople didn't make the effort.)

At last the people have seen the light to the extent that, though for the wrong reasons, the majority no longer believe we are right to be in Iraq. My prayer is that they will pressure their Congressional representatives enough that we can rescind the doctrine of pre-emptive war. Then maybe over time we can extend that kind of thinking to the point where we can recognize the need to evolve beyond the notion of nation-state interests and move on to taking a more appropriate role as an international leader interested in more than just its own well-being.

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