Monday, November 27, 2006

Food for Thought Post-TGiving

That all men are equal is a proposition which, at ordinary times, no sane individual has ever given his assent. Aldous Huxley

A man walked into a bar with his alligator and asked the bartender, "Do you serve lawyers here?". "Sure do," replied the bartender. "Good," said the man. "Give me a beer, and I'll have a lawyer for my 'gator."

Francis Fukyuyama, Professor of International Political Economy at the Nitze School of Advanced Internaional Studies at Johns Hopkins University wrote this almost two years ago:

“The Iraq war has isolated Washington in unprecedented ways and convinced a large part of the world that the United States—not Islamic terrorism—is the biggest threat to global security.”
Is America really not okay? Leaning too far to the right? Taking on too many characteristics of a police state in addition to an indifferently policing one? Reflect also on Professor Fritz Stern's discerning idea, something he calls the “pseudo-religious transfiguration of politics,” describing “Hitler's success in fusing racial dogma with Germanic Christianity,” and “the moral perils of mixing religion and politics.”

Are there hot headed change agents to blame if blame be found, or is this new-fangled American oppressiveness a development which is nobody's fault but simply the unavoidable result of circumstances beyond anybody's control? The acts of a few bad apples; to be blamed on “the terrorists”?

Rather, what if it was really a well planned assault by a cabal purveying a theory of the unitary executive which is both the result of a mistaken and naïve misreading of the U.S. Constitution, and a cause of the document being altered, indeed interpreted, in reactionary, autocratic and merely politically expedient ways? Now, one of this cabal is running the World Bank. So can a tiger change his stripes?

As the undisputed heavyweight world predator and bully is America going to avoid taking responsibility just because it can for violations and abuses of human rights for which it should be accountable whether they occur at home or abroad? The problem, assuming there is one, might well be the ponderous footprint, the inability to cover those tracks, the failure to recognize and cure the damages. Ever heard of the Inquisition? Star Chamber? Sir Walter Raleigh?

The lessons of history need not go unheeded.

Finally, after digesting the turkey, and hearing the venerated Honorable Messrs. Brzezinski and Kissinger debate this question, it is now very clear (to me at least) that what is needed in Iraq is a complete end to the world's perception of unilateral American involvement.

What is interesting is that the terms of the debate have not changed over the previous three years that the senior diplomats have been having this discussion. What has changed are events on the ground. That tells me that one has been proven correct, with the benefit of hindsight. The unilateralism v internationalism debate has been fought before. What is sad is that the lesson has yet to have taken hold.

My plan to accomplish this is simple: Authorize the U.N. to

(a) take all necessary action in the Middle East (nothing will get done and that is fine, being an improvement over what is going on now, which is only pushing things in the wrong direction and, when things finally do get done the decision will be made by "the people," democratically)

(b) to train Iraqi police, and

(c) precede this by the installation of a new representative to replace Mr. Bolton.

The Baker Commission must go the final mile to internationalize the issue. More bombs going off in the Middle East only aggravates the global warming problem among other things, and this must stop.

But so long as the bombings cannot be stopped, the least we can do to salvage our international reputation, as well as the safety of our young men and women and the nation itself, is to make an effort to be as far away removed as possible from ground zero. We can't fix it, and we must recognize this added "inconvenient truth."

Finally, as an afterthought, containment works.

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