BEACH -- The year 2003 dramatically and dolefully
illustrated Lord Acton's famous dictum that absolute
power corrupts absolutely.
almighty United States, unrestrained by any rival,
international body, or world opinion, bestrode
the globe, a belligerent colossus determined to
monopolize global oil reserves and use its vast
military power to crush lesser nations or malefactors
that disturbed the Pax Americana.
America's hard right - a curious farrago of Armageddon-seeking
southern Protestants; neo-conservative supporters
of Israel's right-wing Likud party; and the military-industrial-petroleum
complex - the Bush administration's aggressive
foreign policy of world domination, and utter
contempt for international laws and old allies,
marks a new era of national greatness. President
George Bush, who vowed his foreign policy would
be "humble" and "compassionate," has turned out
to be the most radical president in modern U.S.
for those Americans whose primary loyalty was
to their country, rather than to religious cultism,
foreign nations, or financial profit, the rapid
emergence of the U.S. as an imperial power waging
two hugely expensive colonial wars in Asia was
a disaster, both for America's democratic system
and for the rest of the world.
vow to bring "democracy" to the Mideast rang as
hollow as pious assurances by 19th century European
colonialists they were gobbling up Africa and
Asia to bring the blessings of Christianity and
civilization to benighted savages. Pillaging resources,
not enlightenment, were - and remain - the true
claims to hold the mandate of heaven to wage global
warfare against the nebulous forces of "terrorism"
sounded as dangerous and nonsensical as old Chairman
Leonid Brezhnev's drunken claims it was the Soviet
Union's "sacred internationalist duty" to launch
military adventures anywhere on Earth where socialism
Georgie Anne Gayer put it perfectly when she recently
wrote that whereas America used to lead the world
as champion of democracy, personal freedom and
human rights, today, under Bush, it instead seeks
to dominate the world through raw military and
2003, we saw an abject, cowardly Congress violate
its duty as the republic's premier political organ
by disgracefully handing the barely elected president
carte blanche to wage an unprovoked war against
Iraq that was justified by a torrent of ludicrous
lies worthy of Dr. Goebbels. Lies and propaganda
that were packaged in the best tradition of Soviet
agitprop as news, then force-fed by a servile
media to an ill-informed public shockingly deficient
in any sense of history, geography, or foreign
invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and sundry
military adventures around the globe, were made
possible by a steady drumbeat of warnings from
the White House and its neo-con trumpets that
the U.S. was in dire national peril from "terrorists"
and "rogue states."
again swept America during the holiday season
as planes were grounded and orange alerts flashed
at a populace that responded to these synthetic
alarms with well-trained Pavlovian reflexes.
the mighty United States, with only 5% of world
population, accounts for nearly 50% of total global
military spending, the continuing Orwellian message
from Washington was of fear and vulnerability.
Vague threats of terrorist attack and menacing
Muslims were used to curtail American civil liberties,
and expand the government's powers of repression
public barely noticed this sinister, proto-totalitarian
so-called "war on terrorism" was a hoax used to
mask and justify the long-planned expansion of
U.S. military power around the globe. What were
in reality a series of police actions waged against
tiny anti-American groups was no more a war than
the farcical "war on drugs." But invoking war
trumped criticism and dissent - and justified
a real war of aggression against oil-rich Iraq.
very term "terrorism" is a nonsense designed for
propaganda effect; a damning label applied by
the administration to groups or states strongly
opposing U.S. policy.
"war on terrorism" makes no more sense than waging
war on evil.
who opposed Washington's surging imperial and
totalitarian impulses were branded "leftists"
French thinker Regis Debray, writing about past
colonial powers, answers thus: "The free man is
not anti-American, but anti-imperial. America
(now) revisits the time of colonizers drunk on
their superiority, convinced of their liberating
mission, and counting on reimbursing themselves
U.S. foreign policy run-amok and George Bush does
not equal anti-Americanism. It is the citizen's
birthright, and the friend's duty.
writer has witnessed nine colonial wars and saw
how they corrupted the armies, and then the nations,
that waged them, brutalizing conquered and conqueror
alike. Iraq is the latest.
three worst scourges are religious fanaticism,
nationalism and imperialism. Each of these three
evils has been whipped up by the Bush administration
to justify domination abroad, repression of dissidence
at home and, of course, re-election.
who truly love and respect the United States,
like this writer, a conservative and U.S. Army
veteran, see the very qualities that made America
a beacon to the world - its very soul - now under
heavy assault by a cabal of religious fanatics,
foreign-leaning ideological extremists, and self-enriching
is a danger considerably greater than al-Qaida.
© 2003, CANOE, a division of Netgraphe Inc. All
Posted: January 6, 2004