The polls have demonstrated again and again that Americans are sick of the Iraq ‘war’ and disapprove of George W. Bush. As well they should. But as in most politics Americana, these are for all the wrong reasons. Both Democrats and Republicans disapprove of the Iraq war because it failed, not because they disbelieve in the root causes of going to war over “freedom and democracy”. In other words, if we could see some kind of signs of possible success in Iraq, then there would be nothing for Democrats to criticize, because they would never challenge the deep-rooted American belief in fighting for a ‘good’ cause. They know that this would be political suicide. Who would challenge the belief in fighting for a just cause? Would argue against sending troops with guns into other countries for “humanitarian” reasons?
And this is the very problem. That Americans think that we are somehow gifted by God to rule and dominate the world. We use this line of reasoning in not only going to war for resources, but in seeking to give our corporations free reign in the world economy. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Christian or not: chances are that at some level, you agree with the premise that America should use force when necessary to defend just causes. And those just causes are what are defined by America.
So at root, George W. Bush was not the cause of the problem. He was just as much a puppet to American fundamentalism as was all of the American people. We were not fooled by W. Bush simply because of propaganda and deceit. We were fooled because we WANT to believe, so desperately, that America is God’s country, or the best country in the world, or the most powerful, or whatever designation you want to worship it by, and that we are performing acts of justice, in the defense of freedom and human rights.
We are all fools, if we would so easily allow ourselves to be blinded to doubt and reason, if we would so easily subvert morals in favor of power, wealth, and a self-created superiority. And as I watch the lead up to the 2008 presidential campaigns, I am struck by how mindless most of us are to the real reasons of why the Iraq ‘war’ was a bad decision, and the real reasons of why George W. Bush is misguided.
Whatever cause which commits us to action without discussion of opposing points of views is misguided. America needs to doubt itself. America needs to criticize itself. And so I am criticizing you, if you are a fellow American. I challenge you to challenge yourself, and question your commitment to your country. I challenge you to question this on the grounds of your commitment to the world, to the planet, to humanity. I challenge you to question what kind of world we would live in where we would justify war not because we feel it to be right, but because we think things are “more complicated than that.” Because “sometimes we have to go to war.” Because we need to spread the gospel seed of “freedom” and “democracy”. And I would further challenge those of you who are “anti-war” to question what kind of world we would live in where the reason people are in opposition to certain wars is not because they feel war to be fundamentally wrong, but because they feel that we fought the wrong way. Because we “failed.” Because we are “losing.”
As long as Americans continue to think in such limited terms, then yes, perhaps the world is doomed, because as we all know America is so friggin important. Apparently, if the U.S. goes awry, then noone else in the world has the capability to get anything right. Well. We’ll see on that point. In any case, one thing is for certain: if Americans continue to allow themselves to be misled so easily by fundamentalism, then more wars will occur, and more terrorist attacks will occur. And on and on and on the wheels of war and righteousness will go. All we have to do is watch the interaction of Israelis and Palestinians to know how that one goes. . .