Democrats & Liberals Archives

The President Shares Victoria’s Secret

We are not interested in staying in Iraq one moment longer than the Iraqi people want us to stay. We have it on great authority; the President of the USA has told us that. In a speech, most remarkable for its lack of content, Mr. Bush told us about how we will withdraw from Iraq; someday, when other nations take up the “White Man’s Burden” there.

Oh the quotes are not for his use of that phrase, he did not use it. Karl would have had a hissy fit if he had. That would have been even less politic than his use of the word “Crusade” in the early days of the “War on Terror”. The quote marks around that phrase are Victorian in fact, but they are not inappropriate in this context. The world will hopefully remember this year as the low point of America’s use of imperial military power to fight terrorism. We are not winning that “War on Terror” today because we are now fighting it in a nation that was not a source of terrorism against the American Empire.

Oh yes, w attempted once again to recast the war in Iraq as part of the “War on Terror”. He failed again to make his case with the people of the other nations who are our natural allies. Those nation’s commitments to our empire are vital to the international stability generally supported by our empire’s existence. After three years and some months of hubris this President’s latest inane attempt to pacify the world with words instead of deeds drew little interest outside of the USA. Worse than the moments where the emperor is caught without clothes are those moments in history when the emperor has no one to hear him. Stripped of the power to move the world by talking, military force alone cannot sustain our leadership in the world.

The world no longer grants w the credibility to speak for it. In the international community of nations who seek a better world w has made himself a Pariah. We are still the biggest economy on earth, we still have the biggest military force on the planet, but we no longer have leadership capable of moving the politics of the world into alignment with our interests by speaking. Those among the patriots that grace this nation with their presence, who still believe w’s words have meaning in the world outside our borders; do not now serve the best interests of our nation. W has single handedly broken the greatest power that his office generally confers on the man who holds it. That is the power to speak in a whisper and be listened to around the world.

Whether you agree with the word Empire or not, we have lost tremendous power in the world since w has taken office. Not by design, but by inept misuse of our power w has weakened our nation gravely. We are the central nation in a coalition of nations that have worked together since WWII to improve conditions around the world. That coalition had reached toward an international consensus in many areas of political and social policy before w took office. Now too many of those policy areas to enumerate are broken, diminished or destroyed. Those changes for the worse in the world have been aided by the deficient understanding in this Administration of how power could be exercised with words and agreements instead of the use of force.

Democracy and Empire have not been successfully merged in our world as yet. They are quite possibly incompatible. Yet we do have an Empire, usually it is supported by our democratic allies around the globe. The use of military power alone cannot pacify the world we live in today. Ideas are more powerful but they alone cannot create a peaceful world. Our real power lies in the belief that our actions and ideas engender in the people around the globe. Belief in our devotion to Democracy and Freedom, Liberty and Conscience, Law and Equality is the greatest force we create outside our borders. That belief has been withdrawn, to a unique extent, since the world has taken our latest President’s measure.

We do not elect our President’s to please the people around the world, nor should we ever do so. We elect our President’s to manage our nation’s power and maintain our constitution. Those two have often been in conflict but the balance has before always been struck on the side of law over power and the interests of power. That balance too has been endangered by this Administration’s failures in domestic policy and its lack of devotion to the principles that guide our nation at its best. In the world outside our borders we have more anger and hatred expressed against the USA that at any prior point in my lifetime.

The anger and hatred people hold in their minds and hearts against our nation is not due to our wealth and greatness and their envy. That false explanation is mere denial of our part in creating those emotions. It is due to their fear at our inconstancy and their profound disappointment in our inability to embody the principles that have made our nation so great. We have the greatest heritage of freedom and equality on earth. It has made us the wealthiest nation on this planet and the most powerful in economic and military resources that has ever existed. They want what we have, but many of them are in despair at how we are misusing our power today. Without their belief in our veracity, honor and integrity any new world order based on our power will fail. It is the faith those citizens of the world outside our empire have in us, and our leadership, that paves the path to peace and prosperity. They have lost that faith as have so many of us here since w took office. That is only one argument for replacing him in this election but it is a potent one. God bless and keep you all safe and grant your children a world that believes in our nation, that belief based in reality will create a better world. ©Henri Reynard/GoldenBrush Investments Ltd

Posted by Henri Reynard at May 25, 2004 7:00 PM