This is IMHO and so I feel it’s the right place for this thread. I’m hoping that others may feel comfortable enough to share some thoughts on this topic. It’s a doozey.
I am consumed with very long-term thoughts. The news in the last week and especially in the last 24 hours is so profoundly distressing, that I’m not sure how to coordinate my thoughts. The leaders of my country claim that they have a Road Map for the Middle East. They have a plan for Post-Hussein Iraq. A mention is made on NPR the other day of the fact that Iraq is simply a conventient creation of early 20th Century British Empire.
The United States of America is not even 250 years old, and we stand on the brink of not only worldwide hubris, but worldwide control by standards we alone are setting. ( When I say we, I am referring to the terms and conditions mentioned by my country’s leaders, not myself ). Words like Imperialism are bandied about and yet even that word pales before the implication.
There is no doubt to me that the governments in many countries control their people by dint of violence and bloodshed. Iraq is surely not unique here. I am afraid for the steps we may be taking, with Great Britain. I think ahead a year, five years, twenty years to a world that is massively different than the one I grew up in.
A world that has borders that have been shredded, a world where two powers are no longer in power because of the sheer arrogance of their approach to worldwide affairs. We are not so large a world, any more. We are nothing more than an amazing string of linked locales. You can stand in Qatar or Korea or Capetown or Concord, Ca. and see someone in another of those towns, in real time and in amazing clarity. The thrusts proposed by our nation’s leaders ( and by Mr. Blair ) are so huge in implication that I am simply terrified by the possible results.
Why has it fallen to us to decide who lives where? Who governs how? I agree that there is a moral need to protect the lives of those who cannot help themselves, we have been the World’s Policemen ever since we levelled Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
It just doesn’t feel as though the only agenda at work here is protecting the basic human rights of others. Those are the banners under which this war is being waged ( and, no doubt, there are millions of Iraqi’s whose human rights are violated ). I sense other agendas, and I wonder what of the countries who were our Allies ever since 1945? We are so arrogant as to stand alone and deaf to the protestations of the rest of the free world? We would garrotte the nations who live by our purse strings by choking off aid- to force their allegiances to us? What does that say of us as a higher civilization?
History repeats itself. Rome lasted centuries and failed out of widespread conquering and mindless arrogance. My great fear is that in the zeal to make the world conform to a ( IMHO ) dangerously narrowminded parameter of mindset, religious belief and moral code, we are alienating ourselves right off the planet.
We’re fresh out of planet. It is horrifying to me. My love of my country is ingrained, and my fears are internal, I’ve no need or interest in promoting some huge external reaction in my town, my county, even my family. Inside of my heart and mind, I wonder if I am witnessing that which countless others have witnessed before : the indelicate self-destruction of a culture that went from boundless promise to bound and gagged, by its own hand.
We are fresh out of planet, and I am scared by that.