Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Tyrant is Gone!

Long live those who oppose tyrants! Unfortunately that is not usually what happens or tyrants could never exist. Think what could happen if every citizen of every nation on earth awoke tomorrow and decided that it was time to depose tyranny. We would lose the leaders of many of the nations on earth; Putin would go, along with Kim of The North. The royal family of Saudi Arabia would be gone, as would many of the leaders in the Middle East. China would have a new regime, as would Pakistan and Egypt and Singapore. Wait, I can hear your voices crying out, some of you who think I am going too far, but there is more, much, much more.

We could forgive many of these leaders for their tyranny after they were deposed, but is not any leader who was not legally elected by a majority of their people a tyrant in more than just name? Are not those who use excessive political control of the press to maintain their position in office tyrants all? Do not those who believe in economic hegemony and work to make it come about to their benefit all tyrants too? Is the government of Syria not in the hands of a tyrant, and the government of Jordan? If you take the human rights record of Israel toward the Palestinians into account can you fail to include Sharon in this list? When you think of tyranny let your imagination wander into the realm of fantasy where the list of all who practice oppression is used to purge all tyrants from the earth. What would happen then?

Well, to start with you and I would have to take our turns in that dock because our power in the world is used to tyrannize millions, some would say billions. This nation uses economic tyranny to dominate the world to the extent that we consume twenty five percent of the world’s resources to serve only five percent of the population. We even use military force to impose our will wherever we choose without any likelihood of serious, long term consequences to us. Is not the doctrine of preemptive war a form of tyranny? How about unilateral military action even when we are deposing a brutal tyrant? Is that tyranny too? These are the serious question I feel would need to be asked if everyone in the world awoke tomorrow and decided to do away with tyranny.

What about the power of multinational corporations, is that not a form of tyranny in practice. Is not the control that they often exert over their workers lives that of a tyrant? Is a tyranny of the majority possible? Can democracy become tyranny in practice, even when the majority actually rules? Isn’t that what is happening in Iran and what we are afraid might happen in Iraq if the Shiites exert their numeric dominance and impose their version of an Islamic state on their compatriots? Does that not happen every time when any one religion dominates the political realm in a nation, any nation?

I along with everyone in this nation and most of the people in Iraq breathed a sigh of relief when I heard that Saddam had been captured at last. Finally Iraq can get on with life under the occupation and move toward a government that represents all of their people. When they actually get there, let me know, I will consider visiting there just to see what such a place is like. They are becoming hard to find in this brave new world of preemptive eternal war. It is hard for me to remember what the USA was like before we decided that the world needed a little improving. Tyrants are now outside the realm of tolerable leadership except where we accept their necessity. Someone tried to kill the leader of Pakistan yesterday but the bomb exploded thirty seconds too late. Should I decry them as terrorists or applaud their attempts to remove a tyrant?

By the way you might notice that I do not include the Bush Administration in my list of tyrants but I do include both you and me. We are responsible for any tyranny committed by our government, not those we elected or those we allowed to be appointed to high office by the Supreme Court. It is we who empower the President and Wolfwitz and Cheny and Rummy and all those others who hide further back in the shadows and try to run the world without anyone’s permission. It is our nation that is acting like a tyrant on the world stage today and we are all responsible. Those who deny that preemptive war is tyranny along with those who know that it is but go along just because it is easier than fighting for what is right are equally guilty. Those who agree that it is bad policy but may be necessary in light of 9/11 are guilty. They belong on trial right along with those of us who know that several thousand 9/11s have been committed on our behalf in the last twenty years on vulnerable people around the world and have done nothing to stop it. Yes it is time to stop tyranny everywhere, especially here where we are personally to blame for it. God bless you all and keep you safe from the tyranny that exists in every human heart, even our own.

Posted by Henri Reynard at December 15, 2003 10:42 AM