Create Credibility Cavern
August 6th 2006
Search for Utopia
Please excuse my impudence, but I strongly disagree with Newt Gingrich's
assessment that the globe is embroiled in World War III. Currently there
are some very violent regional conflicts in the Middle East that have
been a direct, although unforeseen, response to the Bush
Administration's War Against International Terrorism. These conflicts,
though, do not measure up to the confrontations between industrial and
economic giants of the 20th century.
In spite of the horrible consequences of American intervention in the
region, Gingrich and the Bush Administration seem almost giddy that
relations between Israel and its neighbors are now in a state of war.
"What we're seeing here," claims Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice,
"are the birth pangs of a new Middle East." She says that the mission of
the US in guiding this conflict is to, “be certain that we are pushing
forward to the new Middle East, not going back to the old one.”
Oh, if only it were that simple. We throw some shock and awe at the
terrorists and they come out of their holes begging us to forgive their
indiscretions against humanity and offer them the mercy of a quick
execution. Alas, we know changing the Middle East is not that easy.
Instead America has been led into a hot war between cultures that has
been fought, and lost, before.
The fact that the ilk of Gingrich and Rice are preoccupied with
converting the Middle East is curious and it is hard to comprehend how
shredding the region with laser-guided bombs is going to induce the
people of that area to hand in their Qur'an's and adopt post-modern
Western materialism. The haunting notion keeps coming back to me that
America's involvement in the region is about something different than
the “ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.”
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The problem with contemplating this possibility is that it can only be
confirmed by the people who are devoting America's blood and treasure to
the conflicts on the other side of the world. To date they seem to offer
us nothing but high-sounding platitudes about preserving liberty and
undoing evil. It is hard to understand how displacing regimes in
third-world countries half way around the world defends Americas borders
or way of life when the currency is being diluted by government debt,
the health of the economy is being sold to a global trade system, and
our loved ones in the military are being sent around the world for
causes that do not seem define their actions.
To be sure, America's wealth and power are being used for someone's
benefit. Our quandary is that we really can't know whose. America's
political leaders tell us that they are working to preserve our freedom
and security. Their claims ring hollow against government decisions that
take private land through eminent domain, intrusions into our financial
actions, monitoring of our electronic and telephone communications, and
the eradication of the middle class by tax codes and trade agreements
that favor companies that move their factories from this country to
those with cheaper labor.
So the political class is losing its credibility with the public from
which it gains its legitimacy and the public is becoming increasingly
irrelevant to the political class as it loses its wealth and its
independence. This is not a condition that will contribute to the
stability of the world's remaining superpower—if, indeed, America is
still, truly, a superpower.
America is facing some very serious problems because its political
leaders have been seeking historical greatness instead of serving the
current interests of the public. They have had dreams of transforming
the world and establishing a global cornucopia of endless wealth. The
most “conservative” among them have become as Utopian as any Marxist who
ever lived and, in the process, have learned to misrepresent the truth
with the skill of the most deceitful liberal. Their attempt to convince
their supporters of their conservatism has just left a trail of broken
promises and forgotten principles.
Hence, the American public is being called to supply the delusions of
people who are dangerously out of touch with reality or, worse, meet
violent regional conflicts as opportunities to enhance their reputations
with voters who unquestioningly and fawningly accept their rhetoric.
This is the inherent flaw with national government. While the US can
benefit from a government that regulates the relations between the
states and regulate the economic system, it doesn't need megalomaniacs
who believe that their wisdom and application of power can transcend
history and reality to convert the world to a paradise that serves the
whims of this country.
Their ambitions are not only unattainable, but they are subjecting a lot
of innocent people to a spreading ring of violence. Perhaps they will
come to their right minds before that ring spreads to these shores.
Bob Strodtbeck has been writing editorial
commentaries since 1993. He has professional experiences in
pharmaceuticals, radio, and education. He has also served as a church
elder in an Orlando congregation where he has made his home since email@example.com
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