"Then conquer we must
for our cause it is just
And this be our motto:
'In God is our trust.'
And the star-spangled banner forever shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!"
--Francis Scott Key, "The Defense of Fort McHenry"
I've been looking for an appropriate place to use that quote ever since I heard it sung in the movie "The Sum of All Fears" (An "OK" movie based on a great book by Tom Clancy [The heavens open and angels sing at the mention of his name...!]). This essay is perfect for it. The whole thing just says it all.
The first thing I want say is Thanks for all the great reviews! I know, many of them are rather scolding and definitely negative, but by "great" I don't mean for praising my absolute genius. I mean that since the intention for this chapter was specifically to respond to reviews I'm glad I have such great stuff to work with. They're going to let me really lay the groundwork for my argument. Now, if you reviewed the first chapter but I don't mention the review here it's only because once I began the second chapter I had to declare a cutoff. (It was like every time I started writing five new reviews showed up.) But don't worry! Keep reviewing. Even though I intend to devote the next chapters to laying out my case I may respond to some of them. Be as passionate and honest as you want, but let's keep them clear and intelligent, because to paraphrase one of my idols--and "RCS" should be able to figure out who I mean, even if nobody else does--the BEST reviews are the ones that make the AUTHOR look good.
Let me get the ball rolling by trying to explain how I'm going to respond. First, while I will cite pen names and use some quotes from each of the reviews, I will not rewrite the entire texts of all of them here. I don't have to. All you have to do to see exactly what I'm responding to is click on the "Reviews" number at the top of the page. I'm going to try to respond to all the negative reviews first, since these people are the ones who need the most convincing. I will have to make assumptions about gender in some cases since not everybody's bio is clear and in a few cases I had no bio to work with. I will try to refrain from implying any ignorance or stupidity on the part of anyone who disagrees with me but I will not hesitate to point out when I think you're dead wrong, so if you're not prepared to face that, I'm sorry...but welcome to the Terrordome! Finally, given the number of reviews I managed to include this chapter is really, really long, so if you're not going to print it out I hope your computer screens have some type of glare protection to save your eyes. You'll need it.
I'd like to say that I had a real difficult time deciding which review to address first, but as soon as I saw it in my email I knew exactly who I was going to start off with. I draw your attention to the review left by "brianhalo3". It begins thus:
"I think you are responding to an outmoded model of 'imperialism' that isn't much thought of anymore. In that model imperialism is thought of as taking over land and bringing it under the auspices of another nation."
I wanted to highlight this opening statement because I want you all to understand what I'm dealing with as far as brianhalo3 is concerned. brianhalo3 considers himself to be an intellectual. He's actually an elitist. Intellectuals were men and women with ideas, and they took these ideas into the great debates their societies were having about the course of human history and the shape of human destiny. They presented their ideas, advocated them, defended them, and challenged people with opposing ideas to do the same. For an elitist, however, there is no debate. As far as an elitist is concerned, his ideas are paramount, and should you have an opinion or idea that does not correspond with his, it certainly can't be because your opinions carry the same weight, or not even necessarily that your opinion is wrong and he can demonstrate that. No. to an elitist, if you're not on board with his ideas, you obviously don't understand the debate. That has to be it, because if you REALLY understood what was being argued you'd naturally give up your silly opinions and come around to his point of view. He will deny it, of course, but this is exactly what brianhalo3 is implying with the opening sentences of his review, and he uses them as a set-up to describe what I should ACTUALLY be discussing.
Well, thanks ever so much for the help, brianhalo3, but I don't need it. Believe it or not, I actually know what I'm responding to. The model you think I'm limiting myself to may be "outdated", but apparently a lot of people still think about it that way, since that's the charge they level against us whenever we deploy forces anywhere. It's one of the charges that were hurled against us when we went into Iraq (which is something you mentioned in your review! Do you not see the contradiction in telling me the charge is outdated and then connecting the charge to a modern event, thus proving its currency by naming evidence that supports it?). I am responding to the charge of Imperialism. Not "Imperialism as defined by traditional thought". Imperialism. Period.
And while we're on the subject, there's no need for me to "redirect [my] thinking to somehow defend imperialism." I'm already defending it. That is the point of this essay. I said in the first chapter that "I am weary of defending My Country AGAINST this charge" and that one of the reasons why is that "I don't happen to think America ruling the planet is such a bad idea". And then I described the purpose of this essay by saying that "I'm going to advocate for the overthrow of every monarchy, social democracy, communist power, fascist dictatorship, tribal state, one-party state, economic bloc and treaty organization by the one nation in Earth's history that got the concept of governance right!" Now, you're going to have to explain this to me, brianhalo3, because I'm not an "intellectual" like you. How did you manage to read these statements and assume I needed to be told to "somehow defend imperialism"? If I'm not being clear I wish you'd just say so.
Let me restate my position. It is my opinion that the world would be a better place if the United States of America assumed and maintained the status of an Imperial power, and used said power to remake the political, economic and social landscape of the world in its image. I will use this essay to DEFEND my position by demonstrating that the upside of such a takeover would outweigh any downside. And though I said "if [achieving empire] requires that the United States declare the rest of the world "The Enemy" and roll out, then that's just fine with me", I am not limiting myself to that option. If it takes a good old-fashioned, Caesar-style, world-wide butt-whoopin', I'm fine with that. If the goal of Republican Foreign Policy is to create "domination from a central point, or rather the expansion of the reach of that domination extending from a central point" as you said, it's all good. If the Project for the New American Century has found a way to achieve that goal (and they haven't, nor are they looking), all I have to say is "Boo-yah"! If having the rest of the world finally get with the program requires me to meditate naked in the Lotus position in Times Square during rush hour, then break out my loincloth, light the incense and let's start the Cumbayahs. (Don't worry, folks. It's not likely to come to that. Your eyes are safe.) The method is not important to me. All I care about is the end result.
And finally, I'm well aware that "assuming that everyone else recognizes that [we're] the best within a closed and absolute system of values" is "inadequate" to support my argument. That's why I plan to demonstrate WHY we're the best in that closed system (and before you try to distract me with THAT debate, let me just take the position now that, Yes, the system is closed AND absolute. There are a lot fewer styles of governing than you might think.).
The bottom line here, brianhalo3, is that I wish it were just enough for you that you disagreed with my views, because then you could just state your counterpoint, and then I could state mine, and we could have a nice debate. This business of nitpicking about what rules I should be following and the nature of the topics you think I should be focused on when I have a political discussion with you is just pompous. I'm sure it will be a useful skill if you ever become a PoliSci professor--and if you do, God help your students--but at this point in time I don't need you to tell me how to argue my case! This is an open forum! Not debate class, not philosophy class, not a court of law! The Rules of Order that pertain in those settings do not apply here, and even if they did, I am not obligated in any way, shape or form to let YOU set the agenda of the debate!
Now that that's out of the way, let's get on with the actual debate, shall we? I'm going to respond to a couple of reviews next, one from "Laurie" and one from "Radyn", because, phrasing aside, they essentially start out the same way. First Laurie's opening sentence:
"You seriously think everyone would just sit back and let the U.S. take over."
I'll field this one right now. No, Laurie. I DON'T think everyone would just sit back and let us take over. That's why it's called "Conquest" and not "Membership Drive".
Now, Radyn's opener:
"Most nations aren't willing to become united under one single governmental body, simply for the fact that it would, in the broadest sense of the world [possibly meant to be "word", but I can field it either way], not be freedom."
Actually, Radyn, freedom is defined by what you can do in spite of government's actions. I submit to you that with the right government in charge freedom could flourish around the world. A world government that actually responded to its citizenry, focused on a small, select number of responsibilities and guaranteed the rule of law for everyone involved would be a vast improvement over the world "order" we have now, because it would be focused on allowing the individual Earth citizen to make his way as he pleases in the world. And it really does matter if the world government "makes NO impediment on the lives of its people, if it makes absolutely no changes whatsoever, if it doesn't do anything at all that upsets the current system, if it even benefits the subject nation." There's nothing wrong with reducing the number of impediments a government places on its people. It can't be absolute zero, given the need to uphold the law, but I'm confident that you'd be amazed at the strides some of the people in this world could make if their local governments would simply get off their backs. Changes need to be made. The system needs to be upset, because it doesn't work. And the benefits I'm worried about wouldn't go to the subject nations. They'd go to the people residing in them. To me, there's a difference.
When I see a nation, I see a government and a citizenry. One of the founding principles of the United States is that government exists to protect its people from all enemies "foreign and domestic" and represent its people to the rest of the world. There are way too many governments in the world right now that don't see it that way. They think governments exist to rule and that their populations exist to be ruled by them (And lest you think I just mean dictatorships, there are a lot of people in power in free countries that act as if they believe the same thing.).
Having said that, I have to disagree with your notion that "Most nations aren't willing to become united under one single governmental body", at least in part. The existence of the United Nations is evidence against that, as well as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the European Union, the Organization of American States, the Arab League, etc. These are all examples of nations trying to form international bodies capable of acting as a single government to represent the interests of the nations as a group. The problem is the part of your argument that I do agree with. To the governments of the nations involved, having to answer to a supreme body "would...not be freedom", so they set these organizations up as confederacies, governing structures designed to give the bulk of the power to the member states. History shows that confederation doesn't work as a unifying force among nations. Most times the central government is too weak to effectively govern anything, but sometimes it will try to compensate for its weakness by using what powers it is given in a tyrannical fashion. Simply put, the member nations can still lose their freedom even if they design a system guaranteed to keep it.
I would also submit to you, Radyn, that it is sometimes a good thing if a nation loses its freedom. Would there have been a World War Two if the superpowers of the time had effectively checked the freedom of the governments of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan in the early thirties, when their power was on the rise? Would the world and the people of Iraq be better off if the Ba'athist Regime had been allowed to keep its freedom to operate, even after it invaded Kuwait and tried to develop Weapons of Mass Destruction? Governments sometimes use the "freedom" of their nations to hide a multitude of sins. If you concentrate on giving freedom to their peoples instead of the governments themselves, that can't happen. That's what I want to do for the PEOPLE of the world, The governments--the "nations"--be damned.
And frankly, you can't know if no one will ever "accept America as their leader" if nobody has the opportunity to see what American Leadership can do for them. My proposal is that if their governments won't give them that opportunity, we should go in and give it to them ourselves.
Now back to Laurie. You think a world ruled by Great Britain would be better? Why don't you ask the people of India how great it was to be ruled by Great Britain? Or the people of Palestine? British rule worked out great for them in the end, didn't it? Or how about Egypt? Or how about Ireland? I'll bet you can find plenty of people there who love the notion of British rule. I know! I know! Why don't you ask me? I come from a country that lived under the rule of a Global British Empire, and we loved it so much we killed thousands of redcoated soldiers to end it!
Wait a minute! You don't actually have to ask anybody. I'll tell you why. There is a great newspaper out there called The Economist (It comes to America as a magazine. I don't know what it looks like in Britain, but it calls itself a "newspaper" so I'll go with that). It's a great source for news and information from around the world. Like any modern media company, it has its own website (economist.com) and on this site you can find news of the day, special features, etc. One of these features is a web page titled "Country Briefings". If you go into "Country Briefings", and then pick a country, there's a link to a page that will show you that country's political structure.
This is the part that's important to you, Laurie. If you're from Canada, for example, can you name your Head of State? Jean Chretien? BZZZT! Sorry, wrong answer! Thanks for playing our game! No, according to the "Country Briefings" page on the Economist's website, Canada's Head of State is...Her Britannic Majesty, Queen Elizabeth The Second!
Uh-oh! Scrunched up noses! Tilted heads! Bugged-out, restless eyes! Numerous scratched heads, and a collective "What the--?" arises from the readership! "But the Queen is, like, just the Queen of England, right?" Not quite, my friends. Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of State of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, the Commonwealth of Australia and New Zealand. (And those were just the four I checked. I never got to the numerous little dots in the Caribbean that sip tea and shout "To the Queen!") Australia, New Zealand and Canada all have posts in their governments called "Governor-General", and this individual is there to represent the interests of the Queen--or "Crown"--in that particular country. This makes them all mirror-images of the UK's government: A Royal Head of State (Queen or Gov-Gen), a Parliamentary Head of Government (Prime Minister) and a Parliament. In each country part or all of Parliament is directly elected. In Canada the upper house, the Senate, is appointed by the PM (that's a hundred and twelve people who Canadians have no say in choosing). The Gov-Gen is appointed by the Queen with the advice of the PM (that's another person who Canadians have no say in choosing). The heads of the provinces are appointed by the Gov-Gen (that's ten more people Canadians have no say in choosing). So who selects the Prime Minister? Anybody wanna bet ordinary Canadians get to do it?
What's my point with all this? You said you'd prefer a world run by Britain to a world run by the United States. Well, you got your wish, Laurie! If you're Canadian, you already live in a world run by Britain. So now, ask yourself: Is this really preferable to every other form of government? Can you really enjoy having your life partially run by at least 115 people (not counting cabinet ministers or judges) who's only claim to fame is that one other guy wanted them? Do you enjoy having a Head of State who's only requirement for the job was that her dad had a jeweled hat and a really neat chair in the middle of a big room?
Is that a "Yes"? Are you sure? Wouldn't it be nicer to have a Head of State that has to beg you for the job, and then has to beg you to keep it after four years, and then is legally barred from ever begging you for any other job again after he/she serves eight years?
Can you honestly look out from your UK-run world and say that your franchise, your citizenship, gives you more say in your government than mine gives me?
Really, Laurie, all I want to do is give the rest of the world what you already have: a collection of nations united under a common form of government. I just want to use a different form.
Oh, by the way, peaceful intent is irrelevant. Canada doesn't have "a [expletive deleted] army in every province" because Canadian provinces AREN'T sovereign states. They are not guaranteed "a well-regulated militia". They don't even have executives with real power. U.S. states are, and they do. That was my point in Chapter One.
Okay, this next one I will reprint in full. It's from "Aidan":
"Exactly why would the world want to be unified under a country that can't even handle their own elections properly? A country with the highest prisoner population in the Western World. A country where the rich rule and the common man has little more than the illusion of a voice. A country where if you don't belong to the dominant religion you're not considered to be a proper citizen."
Gee, Aidan, the world wouldn't want to be unified under a country like that. Fortunately for the world, I'm not planning to unite it under THAT country. "A country where if you don't belong to the dominant religion you're not considered to be a proper citizen"? You must mean Iran, where anyone who is not Muslim and does not follow Muslim law can and will be prosecuted by the Islamic government. "A country where the rich rule and the common man has little more than the illusion of a voice"? Oh, then you must mean Saudi Arabia, where all political and economic power is concentrated in the hands of a Royal clan that gets its wealth from the only thing its country produces: Oil. Oh, sure, the people of the nation get a stipend from the profits, but only if they're good, and their political discourse is limited to "Death to America and Israel!", "Long live the King!" and "God is Great!"...you know, just so long as nobody mentions that one family running an entire country is kinda wrong. "[A] country that can't even handle their own elections properly"? I've got it! You mean the Congo, where the Hutus and Tutsis' idea of "fair and balanced debate" is directly related to the rate of attrition on both sides, and whose president serves at the mercy of whoever's winning. "A country with the highest prisoner population in the Western World"? Wait. Did you mean the United States, where it's the JOB of the government to put criminals in jail? You know, instead of giving them French passports so they can escape the judgement of their peers by hiding anywhere in Europe. Or keeping justice from reaching them by hiding them on sovereign soil after they throw helpless old men in wheelchairs off of ships. Or protesting due process of the law and demanding their safe return to their nation of origin when they kill babies they were supposed be taking care of and get caught.
I'm sorry, Aidan. I'm lost. Which country did you mean again?
While Aidan's thinking about that, I want to turn next to a review by "wyrd". It's actually a calm, reasonable objection to my stance, but the main reason I want to respond to it next is this line:
"There may be other countries with nukes much more powerful than the U.S.'s."
wyrd will have to explain exactly what's meant by this, but it seems to me to be an implication that these countries with nukes might use them to defend against an American hostile takeover. I've heard this implication before, and not just from authors and reviewers on this site. That's one of the biggest things some "experts" in the media like to hammer the Bush Administration about. "Well, he may push Iraq around, but he won't bother North Korea 'cause they have REAL nukes and he won't want to risk them." "Well, he may bully Iraq, but he better not mess with China cause they have a serious nuclear capability." I have a question. Did everybody just forget that in 1989 the Northrop (now Northrop Grumman) Corporation conducted the first flight of an aircraft, the B-2 Spirit, specifically designed to fly undetected over the big empty expanses where people hide their nukes and then blow said nukes to kingdom come? Did everybody also forget that this capability has just been proven in a shooting war and come out with flying colors? Did everybody also forget that the United States is the only nation on Earth with this capability? And did it occur to you, wyrd, that the US knows full well which of its enemies has nukes and that in time of war it would be our first priority to take them out of play?
There's something else that seems odd to me. wyrd, you say that "In a sense [you] agree with [my] imperialistic views". But then you say I'm "thinking too big" (and yes, I have thought of the details, which I'll explain in a response to another review), compare my idea to the conquest of China and the modern country that it has evolved into (an oppressive communist state), accuse me of discrimination (which would be eliminated worldwide if I get my way), and worry that America will become the oppressor (not true, not now, not in the future). So tell me, wyrd, in what sense do you agree? Do you mean that you can see past your worries and see that the resulting world might ultimately be beneficial...or are you simply being polite?
Hey! Major brownie points to anyone who can figure out how to pronounce this next one! I present you now with the review from "OOFR23". It includes this line:
"I'm not really against the U.S...."
Sure you're not, OOFR23. In the context of your review this is tantamount to telling me "Some of my best friends are Black" just before you whip out the slur. I can't see how you "bags" killing the President of the United States but say you're not "against" the country he leads. "But, Admiral! Wouldn't YOU have to knock over a whole bunch of world leaders to get what you want?" Maybe, but unlike OOFR23 I never claimed I wasn't against any of them. Again, kinda the point of the essay. Also, I wouldn't have to kill a single celebrity. Celebrities don't have armies, remember? (Although I can't think of a funnier image than Janeane Garafalo trying to run her own CENTCOM. Battle Dress Utilities done up in floral prints instead of camo patterns. All the weapons are inspired by Jocelyn Elders: "Safer guns and Safer bullets." The Dixie Chicks handle the daily press briefing. They don't talk. They scan images from the battlefield on their naked bodies and parade around.) Your idea about taking resources hostage does have merit, though.
And, actually, I care a great deal about "[the] fact that practically everyone on [Capitol Hill] is at least a millionaire", just not for the same reason you do. I'd like to be rich someday. My problem is way too many of those millionaires spend most of their time on the Hill trying to keep me from having as much money as them. There are, however, plenty of millionaires on the Hill that would love to see me become as rich as them, because they know that my becoming rich will improve the economy for everyone overall. These are the millionaires I VOTE for.
And I need you to clear up a contradiction. You start out the review by saying "This is terrible" and end by saying "Nice idea". Which is it?
In keeping with the theme of "I agree, but you're wrong", let us now turn our attention to the review left by "Blazing-moon". Now, this is going to be an interesting one. Blazing-moon and I recently concluded an email debate along these lines prompted by my review of one of her postings. This was a true debate, a battle of wills and ideas, and I wish I'd thought to get her permission to use her messages in an essay so you could have seen the give and take we had. That would have been the makings of a good free-for-all. I can just imagine the reviews! Anyway, since we did conclude that debate we'll just have to consider this a brand new one.
So, why does this qualify as "I agree, but you're wrong"? Here's how it starts:
"I love it. I don't agree with you, but I love it."
Can we just be honest here? You know you don't "love it". I've traded enough electronic shots with you to know you don't love it, so let's get that notion out of the way.
What I'm proposing is not "Communism". This is the same fallacious notion that wyrd implied. Communist theory holds that every capitalist society will fall and Communism will rise to fill the void, and that this fall would be natural and gradual, and won't require the massive use of force. I'm not trying to make Capitalism fall. I don't think there's anywhere near enough of it in the world, and I intend to impose (Yes, I said "impose". Sue me.) it by any means necessary, "mass war" included. I'M "arrogant" for thinking so? You want to talk arrogance? How about your government and military refusing to turn over terrorist prisoners associated with a plot to murder 3000 citizens of the world two years ago because it thought they wouldn't be "treated with dignity" in our custody?
Let's settle this between us right now, Blazing-moon. You ask "How many people [am I] going to kill to fabricate this 'World'?" I'll answer that, then ask a question of my own. We'll start by playing a Role Playing Game. I'm the President of The United States, you're the Prime Minister of Canada.
You know how I got to be President? Because I ran for office at just the right time. I managed to capture the mood of the electorate perfectly, and that mood was an unrivaled distrust, disdain for, and general aggravation with people like you in countries like yours around the world. My constituency is made up of people who are tired of being condescended to by nations whose rear ends we've saved on more than one occasion. It's tired of being the object of the game "Which Old World Country Can Control American Foreign Policy This Week?" (By the way, our support for that useless "road map" makes Great Britain the current leader). It's tired of being told it should hate its country for past misdeeds. It's tired of being told that no matter how much good it does around the world it stands for evil, colonialism, hypocrisy, murder and oppression. In other words, I'm President of the United States because the rest of the world finally got on my electorate's last damn nerve!
This is a perfect situation for me, given the views I'm espousing in this essay. That means I can use the power and influence of the office to take one of two actions: One, I can tell the world "Adios, Mutha[expletive deleted]!", pull out of the UN, pull out of every other international treaty, bring all our troops and ships back to home waters and bases and basically close up shop. That's it. US Foreign Policy is out of business. The rest of the world is officially on its own. OR, I could go with Two, which is go to my electorate and say: "Look. I know you're fed up with the world, but I also know that in some respects we can't get along without it, and in a lot of respects it can't get along without us. We can't really leave the world, but we can't let its leaders dictate how we interact with it. So what do we do about it? I have an idea. Why don't we just Take It Down? Dismantle everything and start over? It's a big job, but when the smoke clears all you have to do to get rid of the idiots is to head to the polling place and vote 'em out in the next international election. No more UN, no more EU, no more ASEAN, just acres and acres of good ol' US Territory, run in the American Way, as it should be. What do you think?
There'll be dissent, of course, but I couldn't have gotten elected if the dissenters were in the majority, and my voters love it! My approval ratings skyrocket! People rally in the streets draped in Old Glory and cheering my name with love, and I take all this popular support to Congress and I say: "Hey, this is what our constituents want. We'd all be screwed if we didn't deliver." Again, there will be dissent, but you show the right poll numbers to a bunch of Legislators and they'll sell their own mothers to show that they're "For the People", which means I'll get all I need from them, which is really a resolution that states they won't get in my way.
Okay, so now I have the people and Congress at my back, so now I go to my Generals and say: "Guys, America wants me to take the world down. How do I do it?" And they say: "Well, Gee, Mr. President, the easiest way to start would be to consolidate our power in the Western Hemisphere by overthrowing the Americas." "Well, which country first?" I'd say, and they say: "Simple. We start in Canada and work our way down."
Now here's where you get to play, Blazing-moon. You're Prime Minister of Canada. You've been watching my Administration since I got sworn in. You see all this going on. Your intelligence and security people warn you that I'm massing for an all-out assault. Nobody on Earth can project power fast enough or effectively enough to stop me before my forces cross the border. Once we move, your Navy, such as it is, is fish food, your Air Force, built mainly by us, is kindling, and your Army (Please!) is facing the army of the 21st Century with the weapons of the mid-20th and the doctrine of the 19th . Your Foreign Minister tells you I can't be bargained with. I will accept nothing less than total subjugation and a full "regime change". There is nothing you can say, do or promise short of that will stop me.
So to answer your question, under the right conditions I would be more than happy to DUST anyone who stood in my way, and by that I mean anyone who picks up a gun, points it at one of my people and tries to halt their advance. That could run into millions of people, doing their best to prevent a worldwide takeover. That is tragic, but it's the nature of war, and in my opinion, this is a war that needs to be fought.
Now it's your turn. Knowing everything I've just laid out, and knowing you can't resolve the situation with words, how many people are you willing to kill to STOP ME? Like I told Laurie, this is Conquest, not an Encounter Session. The conqueror is doing his best to take your power, violently. How far will you go to make him back off? I submit to you that if you can't bring yourself to kill at least one person to defend your homeland you should step down as PM and make way for someone who will. If your entire government feels the same way as you, then IT should step down and let someone who can take over.
Does that mean there'll be nothing left but "Americans" when everything is said and done? Of course not. You'll be Canadian just like I'm a New Yorker. (And I honestly don't know what you're quibbling about. You ARE an American...or have you forgotten the name of the continent you live on?) I'm not trying to wipe out everybody but those born in the USA--although, some of you Environmentalist Whackos out there might thank me for solving the overpopulation problem (Kidding!! Kidding!)--and I'm not trying to wipe out history and diversity. History will still be there, but you can't live in the past. History is meant to be preparation for advancing into the future. The Future is what I'm concerned about.
This IS a World, a terribly disjointed one who's current administrator of world order allows governments that put reporters and dissidents in gulags to sit on commissions to protect human rights. That's a very sick joke, one I want to see ended.
Since Blazing-moon brought up the notion of "arrogance", I'd like to turn next to the reviews left by "Synthesis Landale" and "Kyalia". Synthesis Landale's contains this line:
"Sure, America seems wonderful to you, it is all that you know, but it is arrogant to believe it is the best country in the world, with the best culture and the best ways."
And this comes from Kyalia:
"You know, the entire issue we're stuck in right now is in no small part fueled by America's collective arrogance..."
Was there ever a time when people were allowed to have pride in this country without having it called "arrogance"? Why is France not arrogant when it claims to be the Mecca of art and culture, with its wines, its film festivals, its arthouse movies? Why is it France can claim to be the voice of Europe (an entire continent) and not be called "arrogant"? Why can Greece claim to be the birthplace of modern Western Culture and not be called "arrogant"? Why can India call itself the world's biggest democracy and not be called "arrogant"? Why can Great Britain demand we pay homage to a woman whose job description is to wear a jeweled hat and wave and not be called "arrogant"? What's that? You can back up that "arrogance" with historical fact? Well, guess what? So can the United States!
There's something deeper than that in this accusation of arrogance, though. I want you to think of yourself in high school (and given the nature of this site, some of you are probably still there). You know how there's always the one kid, the nerd, the geek, the misfit that doesn't belong in any of the cliques? I mean, you've got the jocks, who score all the points and get all the girls swooning over them, you get the debs who wear all the latest clothes and have all the jocks swooning over them, you've got the rebels (and these come in many forms, punks, goths, gangbangers, whatever), who hate authority, and the rest of the students, and their parents and apple pie and everything else and they make no secret of it, and then here's the nerd, off by himself, not able to join in these various sets of "reindeer games", left with nothing better to do than his homework. Well, of course, in this scenario everybody else gets the friends, the fun, the social life. So what does the nerd get? What he's supposed to be getting in school...an education. He's actually learning stuff. And don't think that's lost on the other students in the cliques, because this fact makes him a useful tool to them. They wouldn't give him the time of day in a normal setting, but he's the first person they run to when they're missing notes, missing homework, need writing utensils, need math answers, etc. This, then, is how the popular kids allow the nerd into their world. They go to each other to have a good time, but he's the one they go to to get things done.
Now, just suppose, one day, our nerd has a long hard "think" on the subject, and it occurs to him that these people are dependent on him to get through their high school careers. Suppose it occurs to him that without access to his knowledge, his ability to learn and his school supplies, the other students would be screwed. Naturally, he's going to feel a little better about himself, certainly a little prideful. In fact, let's say he begins to feel so proud of himself that he decides one day to share his revelation with the others. What do you suppose happens?
Naturally, the jocks pants him and give him numerous swirlies, the debs make him the laughing stock of the school in the halls and in the girl's bathrooms and the rebels introduce him to a thousand subtle shades of pain. Why do these things happen? Because by acknowledging to himself and anyone who will listen that he is important in their lives, he's forcing the students in the cliques to admit their prejudices (they hate him for what he is) and their inadequacies (they need him because of what he is). He's forgotten his place. He was a tool to them. A hammer has no right to self-esteem.
In this world, the nerd is the US. Wait, all you Americans out there, let me finish! We're the new kid on the block, our beginnings were troubled, our upbringing was awkward and at times we've been really bad at playing with others. We spent most of our existence just wanting to be left alone by the cool students--the Europeans, the Asians--and just hoping to get through till the end of school, which in this case never comes. Yet somewhere along the line that changed. Around the early years of the 20th Century we became a useful tool to the cool students. We did the studying, the homework, the dogwork and passed on what we learned. We made a bunch of assists, bailed a few people out of some serious "sitches" and basically kept people out of detention. Then at some point the same thing occurred to us that occurred to the nerd in my little fable. On the whole, this world would be screwed without us. Finally, there are some of us out there willing to let everyone know it.
So, do we suffer the same fate as the nerd? Not exactly. Unlike our friend, we didn't make our pronouncement until we were bigger than the jocks, better dressed than the debs, a whole lot tougher than the rebels and the smartest nerds on campus. That makes our position true AND unchallengeable. Faced with this situation, the cool kids have no other recourse but to remind us of our place in words. "You shouldn't act like you're always right!" "You're not as smart as you think you are!" "You're still a nerd deep down!" "You're snotty!" "You're stupid!" "You're ARROGANT!"
It's not arrogance, dear readers. It's self-esteem, it's confidence, it's optimism. It's faith in the knowledge that our actions can make the world a better place, and it's backed up by historical fact. I know America has a distinct culture, Synth, and I do happen to think it is the best, not because I've never experienced an alternative, but because I have access to the same information about the world that you do, and I've come to the conclusion that I'd rather live right where I am. Again, I'm being accused here of not understanding the context of the debate. Synth is sure I'd change my mind if I REALLY knew what the world was like. I know enough to make the judgement call, Synth. As far as I'm concerned, it's a no-brainer.
And just what makes you think that EVERYBODY around the world likes the way they're living? Do you honestly believe that the average Rwandan enjoys his way of life? Do you believe he sits there and thinks, "Gee, people are killed by tribal and political warfare in my country every day. People lose their homes, their livelihoods and their loved ones, our government is made up of criminals, our African neighbors use us as cannon fodder, Europe is powerless to stop any of it, and the biggest power on Earth may not even know we exist. But, hey, it's not a bad life."? Are you seriously telling me that this guy would rather deal with the horror of constant civil war if he realized that the biggest power on Earth actually did care and could end his nightmare by wiping out the people causing it and leaving him a country where political battles are solved in elections, criminals are given a fair hearing and are judged by their peers and the concepts of "home" and "family" are considered sacrosanct? Do you honestly believe the average Tibetan enjoys being under the thumb of our "strategic partners" the Chinese? Are the Chechnyans living a hunky-dory life? Do North Koreans dance in the streets in celebration of their "Dear Leader" (when not being forced to at gunpoint by the secret police, that is)? You honestly believe that there's no one on Earth that wouldn't find a change to an American way of life an improvement? If that were true, why do so many people kill themselves to get here?
I'M the one that needs a better look at the world???
(Note to "Moril": I'll use whatever punctuation I need to to make a point.)
Another thing. "Diversity" is not a virtue. The thing that makes the United States great is that it's designed to promote, preserve and protect the things that human beings have IN COMMON. We all need food, clothing and shelter, but we all want to be able to choose the food we eat, the clothing we want to wear and the shelter we want to live in. We want to be able to choose our vocation in life, what we do to pay for all the things we want and need. We want to choose the towns we live in, the schools our kids go to, the churches we attend, the leaders we want to govern. Diversity's only purpose in this instance is to provide the choices. It's not the most important thing. The most important thing is that the choice can be made without threat of violence or social reprisals. Of course there must be limits, but the only necessary limits are ones we can all agree on, and thus make into common law. This is the type of choice Americans have. It's the type of choice I want to give to people around the world who don't. Denying those people that choice just to preserve "Diversity" is nonsense. Making Diversity a goal or a virtue is wrong because to do so you have to concentrate on the things that make human beings different. Concentrating on differences is what CAUSES prejudice. It doesn't solve it.
And since you brought it up again, let's discuss the Project for the New American Century. You gave me the web address, but I wonder if you or brianhalo3 even bothered to look at the organization's mission statement. It's likely you didn't, but I'm willing to bet you did and only saw what you wanted to see. I read it, and lo and behold, it says NOTHING about creating an American Empire. In fact, I wasn't on the site more than two minutes before I saw an article that not only stated outright that the organization's goal wasn't to create an American Empire, but denounced that goal as being totally against American values and ideals (like several of my reviewers said, which I'll get to). The person who wrote the article was one of the organization's founders and leading members. What does this mean? I'm sure that brianhalo3 will say that I'm not giving the answer the complexity it deserves, but here it is anyway: It means that the Project for the New American Century Dis. A. Grees. With. Me.
PNAC was created in 1997, during the second Clinton Administration, by conservative commentators and authors who thought that US foreign policy was "adrift". They created the organization to serve to as an advocacy group for a strong American foreign policy. They advocate the use of the nation's diplomatic, economic and military power to "strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values", "promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad" and "accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity and our principles."
These are good goals! This is what the US State Department, Defense Department and National Security Council--our foreign policy apparatus--are supposed to be doing for us. Every country's foreign policy apparatus is supposed to advance that country's values and goals. That's what France was doing when it told those former Eastern Bloc countries "If you side with America, you can't be in the EU." That's what Britain is doing when it tells the US it will only support the war if the US supports its Prime Minister and its "road map". Why is the United States called "Imperialist" for doing the same thing when France and Britain aren't?
We forgot our place. A hammer has no right to self-esteem. The nerd spoke up.
Check out the PNAC site. It's newamericancentury.org. Check out it's "Statement of Principles", and look for an article titled "Reaction to 'Bush's Real Goal in Iraq'", written by a great author and historian named Donald Kagan. In fact, Synth, if you read his book "On the Origins of War and the Preservation of Peace", you might find his ideas parallel yours more than they parallel mine.
One more thing. I don't follow my leaders blindly. My leaders are the ones I vote into office because they further MY goals for the United States. You might understand what that means if the day comes when you actually get to choose your head of state.
Now we come to "Autumndark", who begins with this:
"You seem to think that no one who criticizes America has had the experience of actually living in it."
Actually, Autumndark, I was hoping to hear from Americans with that mindset. In fact, I expected most of the negative reviews to be from citizens of the United States who think I'm dead wrong, like Kyalia, or "Voice of Dissent". I wanted those reviews, because I want to make a point to those people, and use their reviews to make a point to everyone else. I'll do that soon, but I want to answer your review directly first.
Wait! What I really want to do first is point out something that Autumndark's and Voice of Dissent's reviews had in common. Guys, if my views are so darn "laughable", why did you waste any time giving them any credibility by leaving such detailed responses? Hmmm?
But I digress. Autumndark accuses me of glossing over America's checkered past. I didn't gloss over it, A.D. Let's go over your specific complaints:
Maybe you've heard of it. It's called the 13th Amendment. It goes like this: "Neither Slavery, nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." Translation: as of 6 December, 1865, there IS no Slavery in the United States.
Maybe you've heard of it. It's called the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That means that, as of 1964, there IS no government sponsored segregation in the United States. If there's any segregation at all, it's perpetrated by individual idiots on all sides who fail to realize what the phrase "E Pluribus Unum" really means. The more we promote the ideals upon which this nation was founded, the fewer of these people there'll be.
Why do I highlight these two legislative acts? To demonstrate something everyone who lives here should realize. No other country in the world has a greater capacity to make amends for and correct its own mistakes. There is no slavery and there is no segregation anymore precisely because the majority of Americans knew they were wrong and wanted to do something about them. Now, there's still slavery and segregation in other parts of the world, Autumndark. What's wrong with me wanting to bring our good fortune to them?
"...Native American reservations..."
I'm going to have to concede something here. I'm going to lose some readers with my next statement. I know it. I'm sure there are people with Native American blood in them that may be reading this and I just know I'm about to cheese many of them off. In fact, I'll probably cheese off a lot of people who aren't Native American in any way shape or form, simply because what I'm going to say is going to seem extremely harsh. In fact, I can smell the smoke from the flames I'm going to get right now. But I have to say it anyway, because Autumndark, and everybody, needs to read this.
Native American Reservations exist because the forefathers of the people who live on them refused to admit that they lost.
Throughout history, the world that we live in has been shaped by the aggressive use of force. Every border, every form of government, every cultural schism exists as the result, in part, of an armed conflict. The shape of the United States today is no exception. This nation exists in its current form as a result of a series of wars and strategic purchases. That said, the United States, along with every other country in North and South America, wouldn't exist at all if Native Americans hadn't blown it.
They had their shot. There was, at one point, nothing but Native Americans on both continents (hence the PC name--and if you really want to be anal about it, those of you who know anything about the theories of human migration ought to be able to figure out that there really is NO SUCH THING as a "Native American."). Native American "nations" thrived in a land that was perfectly suited to sustaining large tribes of hunter-gatherers. The nations grew, and sometimes moved to better hunting grounds, and sometimes this drew them into conflict with each other. In the eternal dance of winners and losers, the victors dominated the vanquished, took the best hunting grounds, the best planting fields, the prettiest daughters of the enemy. A few tribes, like the Aztecs and the Mayans, danced this dance so well that they managed to create empires that rivaled those in Rome and Egypt. This happy set of circumstances lasted for hundreds of years without interruption.
Then the "White Men" came.
This was their moment. This was the time Native Americans needed to rise to the occasion. These tribes were essentially landlocked nations, with little or no need for any kind of grand naval tradition save for a few excursions down the continent's natural rivers in small boats, which means that the minute one of them saw a square rigger or a sloop coming in off the "Big Water" they should have immediately known something was up. What they should have done was treat it like they were in "Independence Day" and the European ships were the saucers with the death rays. The coastal nations should have sounded the alarm immediately. The chiefs should have gathered their warriors at the water's edge and held that ground, by any means necessary, while they sent messengers to the other nations with this message (essentially):
"No s---, man! There's these, like, hee-uge kayaks out there filled with all these guys that look like ghosts, and they're, like, carrying these spears that breathe fire and these big long things that explode, and they look like they wanna STAY, man! My Chief and all the other Chiefs got their boys down at the Big Water, ready to Rock'n'Roll, an' my Chief says you should get your boys down there too, 'cause, like, it's Judgement Day, man!"
They should have filled the coast with warriors and descended on the first Europeans, just descended. They should have butchered every one of them that got caught, they should have unleashed hails of arrows, sliced and diced with their hunting knives until there was nothing left but pieces. They should have charged into the face of musket and cannon fire, screaming their dying breaths at their enemies, and they should have done all this till no one was left, then swum out to the ships, stripped them and burned them. Then the call should have gone out to all the nations: Patrol the coasts! Watch the Big Water! Look for any sign of the big kayaks! Don't let the Ghost Men get a foothold in our land! This should have been the advent of coalition warfare. The Native American Superpowers should have taken a leading role, rallied the defense of the continent, and under that aegis the Native Americans should have repeated the massacre every time the White Men tried to come ashore, every place they tried to come ashore. If any of them survived, that's fine, as long as they went back home to report what a miserable failure the expedition was. This all-or-nothing defense tactic should have continued until one of Europe's big intellectual brains said: "Look, every time we go there we send all these men, all these guns, all these cannon and mortars on the ships, and every time we get our butts handed to us. They kill the men, they keep the guns, they sink the ships, and we're out a boatload of lives and money! Let's just bug out and call it even, Okay? There's 8000 miles of ocean between us and them. I vote we keep it that way!" And THEN they should have kept massacring until somebody listened to that guy. If they had, then an indigenous "United Nations" might have saved America for the Native Americans.
But that's not what happened. Sure, there was some resistance, but for the most part it was scattered and uncoordinated, allowing the invaders to beat it back easily. The real problem was that you had the same kind of debate back then that you have now. There were the Native American hawks and doves, and the big tragedy was there were too damn many doves. "Let's wait and see if they're friendly." "They're offering us great gifts and help with our enemies." "Well, I know they have a lot of powerful weapons, but they say they come in peace. They're Men, aren't they? Surely they're as good as they're word." A lot of people talk about how Europeans unjustly took over North and South America. What they manage to forget is that the people who were already here didn't try very hard to stop them until it was too late.
The Dutch came. The Spanish came. The French came. The English came. They set up their colonies, built their economies, their towns, their piers, their forts. They garrisoned soldiers all over the place, newcomers from the Old World flooded in, took over the best hunting grounds, the best farmlands and pushed the Natives further and further out of their territories. But it wasn't until the White Men did things like buy entire islands for about twenty bucks worth of costume jewelry that it occurred to the Natives to think: "Waitasecond. We may have a problem here." So there was a more concentrated resistance, sometimes successful, sometimes not, and often resolved by a treaty, or a mutual understanding.
But the mutual understandings didn't stop European dominance of the New World. The new United States did. It kicked out England, bought out France and Russia and came up with a doctrine that effectively told Europe to stay away from North and South America. After that, the new country turned South and West, taking Texas and California from Mexico and homesteading all the area in between. All this again required pushing Native Americans out of their territory, and again Native Americans failed to push back hard enough. There were more conflicts, but now with a country who not only had an Army that could walk back home for supplies, but basically told all its citizens: "Hey, you can own all the guns you want. It's all good." And again, there were the treaties, the understandings, the help from friendly tribes, all because these supposedly "at-one-with-the-world" people didn't figure out what went wrong the last time.
Finally, after the US fought its Civil War and could turn once and for all to settling the West outright and turning the nation into the continent-spanning colossus it is today, it finally hit the Native Americans: "If we don't do something now, we're f--d." This led to some of the most amazing desert warfare in American history between the united Native American nations and the US Cavalry. The Natives had some great generals on their side, like Sitting Bull and Geronimo, but ultimately none of them were great enough. The US Army won the West, fair and square, and the new Americans settled where Native Americans had lived and hunted. With no other way to fight, the best these people could do was turn to their medicine men, who came up with numerous very entertaining curses.
But others tried a different tack. They went to the people who now owned this part of the New World and said, "Okay, you got us, but our names and traditions shouldn't just be swept aside. Some of us helped you, and all of us would have welcomed you in peace if you'd just been willing to share. You owe us for what's happened here." So the big-hearted New Americans asked what they could do to make it up, and the Natives said: "Gee, it'd be really cool if we had someplace to live our own way without having to adhere to yours." And the New Americans said: "We can swing that."
Thus were Native American Reservations born. You see, they were America's first foray into Affirmative Action. Set-asides were created, in the form of land in this case, in order to redress the grievances of an ethnic group that felt it was being treated unfairly. The theory was that in the reservations Native Americans could preserve their way of life with little or no interference from the new federal government or the people who made it.
The problem is that the Native American way of life was only suited for people who live a tribal, hunter-gatherer lifestyle, one which can't survive in the midst of a nation dominated by farmers, ranchers and industrialists who valued individual property rights more than cultural unity. With more and more of the open land of the continent being claimed and developed, and with the animals that the Natives survived on dwindling away and no way to migrate to a more favorable locale, the Natives living on the reservation were almost guaranteed to have a rough time of it as the years went on.
But here's the thing, Autumndark. If they had just admitted that their way of life was over and accepted the new age, they might have had a better time of it, or at least a fighting chance. In fact, there are some Native Americans who do very well. Why? They left the reservation.
I remember a while back Ronald Reagan was vilified for remarking that it was too bad that Native Americans couldn't be assimilated into "Mainstream America". I even remember why, because back then I was a good Democrat and just knew the old man was out of his mind. Yet look around. With federal and state lawsuits causing cigarette prices to skyrocket across the country, Native Americans living in set-aside territories outside of federal jurisdiction can and do sell them at ridiculously low prices and make a killing doing it. And there's a casino on set-aside territory here in New York that's making a lot of money for its residents, and I hear other reservations are looking into developing casinos on their land. Why do these things work? Because they acknowledge the fact that Native American lifestyle hasn't been the mainstream for over a hundred years and take advantage of the new mainstream and the people who exist in it. Looks like the Great Communicator may have been on to something after all.
Bottom line, Autumndark, if there are problems on reservations, they're not America's fault. If their ancestors had been thinking about their peoples' future instead of their past it might have been different, but the fact that it's not different is not something America is obligated to correct.
"...Japanese internment camps..."
I'll give you that one. This was essentially racial profiling applied to martial law. Japanese-American citizens were deprived of their freedom and their livelihoods simply because they were Japanese. But you know who did the depriving? Maybe you've heard of him. His name was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a good SOCIALIST like you, who, if he'd been doing his job as Commander-In-Chief during his first two terms, wouldn't have had an excuse to do it because Pearl Harbor wouldn't have happened in the first place.
Look at it this way. If I get the type of world I want the nation of Japan will be in a much better position to work for the families of those internees to get compensation and a proper apology for the offense.
I agree. Let's make those deportations public. I want to know all the terrorists and lawbreakers we're getting rid of.
"...the CIA's 600+ attempts on Fidel Castro's life..."
As far as I'm concerned, they shouldn't have stopped until they got it right.
"...flagrant international law violation..."
What flagrant international law violation? The United States doesn't violate international law. The United States enforces it, because nobody else is strong enough to.
"...Reagan's 'Star Wars' national defense project..."
Okay, everybody pay attention. Ronald Wilson Reagan won the Cold War. Read that sentence again. Get it through your head. The Soviet Union didn't just "collapse". Mikhail Gorbachev didn't wake up one day and decide to get friendly. The United States, under the Reagan Administration, created conditions in the world that destroyed the Soviet Union's ability to function as a world power, and thus DEFEATED it. How, you ask? By creating a military that outclassed the Soviet military in every way. By creating and fostering a strong economy that allowed it to outmuscle the Soviet Union in the area of international trade. By pursuing a foreign policy that left the Soviet Union surrounded and isolated by its enemies. And by promoting and sponsoring the Strategic Defense Initiative (called "Star Wars" by those who are against it), which, if created, would have rendered the Soviet Union's only claim to superpowerdom, Nuclear Weapons, useless. This is something they have always been afraid we could do. This is why they loved the ABM treaty (which, by the way, they violated) and why they always wanted to get Reagan to make a similar agreement concerning SDI. He wouldn't, and that along with everything else left the USSR with only one choice: Capitulate or Collapse. As it happens, they did both. They waited till after Reagan was out of office to admit it, but it happened nonetheless.
SDI exists, and so far it's doing what it's supposed to. Deal with it.
"...refusal to accept international law, which if anything, is the governing power of the world..."
The way that "governing power" is administered, the United States doesn't have to accept any "international law" it doesn't like. NO nation has to. Several nations frequently don't. That's why the US is needed to enforce the "international law" it does accept.
"...blatant militarism and war-mongering..."
Well, what would you use to enforce international law? Harsh language?
"...nuclear weapon DEVELOPMENT programs..."
See my response to the "Star Wars" comment. And we have been good kids as far as nuclear weapons are concerned. Let's see. Who were the last countries to test nukes after the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was signed? Um, India, Pakistan...and, oh yes--France.
"...refusal to sign treaties that ensure the protection of the environment for a few more years."
See my response to the "refusing to accept international law" comment. And let's get this straight: The environment has gone through much more massive changes throughout Earth's history than anything humans can hope to achieve. The current environment will outlive all of us by thousands if not millions of years. It doesn't need "protection".
You're right about one thing. No one can claim that the United States is a "fully functioning democracy". The United States ISN'T a democracy. It isn't now, it never has been, and it was never intended to be. The United States is a fully functioning REPUBLIC, which was formed based on the protection of specific human rights and the rule of LAW, not parties, interest groups or any single person. And the system is designed to work in spite of people's greed...and it does.
Okay, here's another one who thinks I should leave the country and see what the world is like. Can I ask you something, Autumndark? If you don't like the fact that your family lives in a third world country, what are you doing to get them out of it? It's not America's fault that they're there. America doesn't have a hotline to God that allows us to pick and choose where people live. If you really don't want them where they are, why don't you get them where you want them to be? Or, let us go in there and change the country into one they might enjoy living in.
By the way...lots of third world countries got that way because they tried Socialism. So, you want the world to unify under poverty, strife and despair?
Speaking of leaving the country, now I can get to the review from Voice of Dissent, which starts:
"Thank you for this pleasant reminder of why I have often considered leaving the country."
Can we just cut the BS, Voice? You're not going to leave the country just because you disagree with somebody's views. I get so tired of hearing this nonsense. A bunch of celebrities threatened to leave the country if Bush got elected, but they're all still here. You can think about it all you please, but if you ever actually did it I'd have a heart attack from the surprise.
The reason why you won't leave should be obvious. There is no other country on Earth where you have more freedom to effect real change. You couldn't be a "Voice of Dissent" in China, or Cuba, or Vietnam. Voices of Dissent in those countries have a tendency to disappear. Violently. The American system works best because it was designed specifically to allow its citizens to dissent when they didn't agree with their government. Great Britain, that paragon of virtue, has never codified such a system. France claims credit for being the basis for ours, but the current government barely pays lip service to it. (Prove me wrong about France. Show me the PRO-American dissent!) If you don't like the way the US works, there's no better place to fight for changing the system than right here.
When I was in college I once talked to someone who went to listen to one of our August "African-American Leaders". I didn't go, but I did ask the person who went what was said. He didn't waste any time praising the Leader for his insight and grasp of the plight of African-Americans in this country, and as we got further into the discussion, he relayed what this leader said. I quote:
"We need to go back to Africa and establish a Black power base that we can use to help Africans all over the world."
Am I the only one who can see the idiocy of this statement? I can't be. I refuse to believe that I am. Yet I'm sure there are people out there for whom the idiocy is not immediately obvious. Let me point it out for you.
If we Blacks ever actually went "Back to Africa", the people we need to get rid of to help Africans all over the world would be standing on the docks smiling and waving "Goodbye" to the ships carrying us away, and we wouldn't be able to use the power we'd be creating the base for because we'd never be able to get back in.
America is a battlefield of ideas. You don't leave the field in the middle of the battle because by doing that you're conceding victory to the ENEMY.
So you're not going to leave, Voice. The best thing you can do is stay right here and tell me when you think I'm wrong, so that's what you'll do (and arguably, that's what you've done). If you did leave, all you'd be doing is depriving people who agree with you of a possible vote against me. To announce to the world that you detest some ideas so much that you want to leave is--in the words of Francis Urqhardt, one of my favorite fictional characters--nothing more than histrionic buffoonery. It just sounds dramatic and righteous. It says nothing, it means nothing.
Youth is a good thing. At least it's supposed to be. You always look for the young dynamos to go in and shake up the system. That's who has the energy for it. That's who has the radical new ideas. The old fogeys are always too set in their ways. Sure we make mistakes, but we get a lot more things right.
Finally, Neo-Nazis aren't any more concerned about American Ideals than the original Nazis were. This essay is all about spreading American Ideals.
I really can't figure out how to introduce this next one. All I can really say is that it's 2003, "Tiefling". You and Aidan need to take RCS's and "Quiet One's" advice and get over it. It's done. George Bush has been President for three years. You're not going to get those years back no matter how much you protest the 2000 Election. They're finished. In the can. History. Time marches on.
RCS and Quiet One responded to Tiefling's and Aidan's comments about the election with reviews of their own, but since the purpose of this chapter is for me to respond to reviews, I'm going to give my own response, and hammer the point home for anyone still in denial. RCS is right about the way the President is chosen. It's true that the Electoral College elects the President according to the Constitution, but it is also true that traditionally the Electors of each state go to the winner of the popular vote in that state. Keep that in mind.
Let's revisit Election Night 2000. The Presidential Race was actually pretty exciting. For most of the night the two candidates were in a statistical dead heat. There were red states and blue states scattered all over the place as the precincts reported in. At one point the networks projected the winner of the Florida race as being George Bush, but soon recanted, saying that it was actually too early to tell. So the coverage of the Presidential Race was focused on the other states. By the time all those precincts had reported in, Al Gore was leading Bush in the popular vote.
This is where liberals want you to think the story ends, because it suits their purposes. But those of us old enough to stay up all night for the whole thing should remember something important. Yes, Gore was leading, but the margin of his lead was so slim that Bush could still take it if he won the popular vote in Florida. That's WHY there was so much focus on that state's precincts getting the final tally right.
Well, guess what happened? They counted the votes. George Bush won. They counted the votes again. George Bush won. They counted the votes in separate counties. George Bush won. Newspapers counted the votes. George Bush won. This was reported in the mainstream press. Every time somebody was willing to sit down and sift through the "dimpled chads", the "hanging chads", the "misread ballots" (a charge I think is obsequious), the absentee ballots (And why don't any of these liberals mention that the Democrats tried to keep absentee ballots from servicemen and women from being counted?) or anything remotely connected to voting for somebody, they came to the same conclusion. George Bush got more votes!
NOTHING happened on Election Night that was Unconstitutional or untraditional. George Bush could win with a victory in the Florida popular vote. He won the Florida popular vote! He won the National popular vote! He won the majority of Electors! He won the Presidential Race!
George W. Bush is the 43rd President of the United States of America, not because the Supreme Court gave him the job, not because anybody was denied their right to vote, not because anybody "got tired of counting", Quiet One, but because he BEAT Albert Gore, Jr.!
There was no failure here, Aidan. There was nothing to "let slide", Tiefling. The system worked exactly the way it was supposed to, and the only "fiasco" is that you liberals have spent so much time and energy over the past three g--damn years trying to override federal law!
And let's stop this nonsense about Bush being a "moron". He has managed two successful major conflicts against nearly intractable enemies in a vital war. He single-handedly handed the liberals their rear ends in the mid-term election. He just finished passing a 350 Billion dollar tax cut that will put more money in American pockets in spite of the usual foolishness from the Left (and even a little from the Right). He's accomplished more in a partial term than some presidents have accomplished in two full ones (like someone who's wife is a New York Senator for instance). He's the right man in the right job at the right time, and he's picked the right people to work with him, AND his cabinet looks a heck of a lot more "like America" than other administrations I can name (see previous note).
If you don't like my idea, Tiefling, then argue against the idea. Don't use Bush as an excuse for why it shouldn't be done. All you're doing is revealing your hatred for him. You have a problem with the man, deal with it in the voting booth in 2004. (Oh, wait. You can't, can you? Awww.) Until then, get some perspective.
Yes, the health care system in the US is a shambles, and I wouldn't want it to be a model for the rest of the world either, because it's already too much like what the rest of the world does. We need a much better model, one that allows more for market forces to come into play. And if the welfare system is such a shambles, why don't you blame it on the guy who signed the bill that put it in its current form? (Should I say "see previous note" here, or have you figured out who I mean already?) "The ready availability of guns" is our RIGHT under the Second Amendment.
And do you mean that you'd rather let a Party choose our Head of State? We only have one president, Tiefling. It's going to be an individual. That's precisely what we should be focusing on. As a nation of individuals, it's important that we put the focus on those individuals we elect, to make sure they state their ideas and goals for our future. Anybody can hide behind a party line, or a whole government, or a treaty organization. Image is a part of it, but image is a part of everything. And issues do get discussed! Just because your issues lost the last two times around doesn't mean they weren't discussed.
Since I've left a few hints about how we might accomplish my goal, I can now turn my attention to the review from "Magus", who apparently thinks I haven't put much thought into it. Magus, I just said I wanted to make it happen. I never said it would be easy.
Yet it's not impossible. It's not even necessarily as difficult as you think it is. Of course it's going to be a long-term commitment, but I think that the American People can be convinced that it's worth the time and effort, and that's all that's needed. If the people are convinced, all that's needed are candidates willing to stick it out if they're elected. The voters gave Franklin D. Roosevelt four terms because they thought his vision for America was worth sticking it out for the long term, and if Ronald Reagan had been able to accept it's likely he would have gotten the same deal. Senators like Ted Kennedy and Strom Thurmond certainly have long-term support from their constituents. The potential for commitment is there. It's just up to me, or whoever might take this project on, to make sure that more people are convinced that it's a good idea than there are people that are convinced that it's not, and then to keep making sure. Then it's just a matter of getting candidates to pledge to stay the course. They'll stroll into office. Difficult? Sure. Impossible? Hardly.
The whole world would unite against us? Well, that's entirely possible. In fact, I'll admit that it's even likely. Here's a f'rinstance why I'm not overly concerned. I once read a study that showed that taken in total, the combat power of the United States Navy surpasses that of every other navy in the world. Combined. That means that if the rest of the world decided to try and stop us and came by sea, we'd sink everything that moves. We're talking about just one part of our military here. I have a feeling that unless everybody with nukes went nuclear (and I already discussed this possibility with wyrd and Autumndark) the threat of an Earth united against the United States is serious, but not insurmountable.
"Tripling" our military past the 2-war scenario level wouldn't immediately be necessary. It would be enough just to get spending back to Cold War levels. Operation Iraqi Freedom showed what the American Military at current funding levels can do. If we mated the services' current abilities and flexibility with adequate funding, the result would be an irresistible force. At the very least we need to get the 600-ship Navy back, along with more Marine Expeditionary Units, more Armored Cavalry Regiments and Light Armored Cavalry Regiments and more airlift and sealift capability. We already have a very capable Special Operations Command. Taken together we have lots of options for determining the fate of the world. Remember in one of my responses I mentioned taking some resources hostage? With the forces we have right now we could literally turn off the oil for the world. We could make sure it would never get delivered to anyone who needed it except us. That would be powerful incentive to get our enemies to make some serious concessions.
Still need more boots on the ground? In the old days generals were sent to their new posts with enough authority and money to raise their own regiments from the local populace. We can use this same method worldwide. History shows that despite your concern that the world would unite against us, there will be some people in it that will fight on our side, given the right incentives. I think we can provide them, and it's easier to pay for the weapons and payrolls of people who are already seasoned fighters than it is to try and raise new troops from our own population.
And I wouldn't worry about the resources necessary to revitalize Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. As far as Asia and Africa are concerned, I tend to believe that the necessary resources are already there, just waiting for some enterprising prospectors to find and develop them. The reason that they haven't been developed is that the governments that control these areas have been more interested in oppressing their citizens than developing the economic means to allow them to prosper. The biggest obstacles to development of these two continents are the people running them. And all three regions need a bigger dose of Capitalism. Real Capitalism, not the organized crime that passes for it in Russia. What they all need is an influx of people that can produce goods and services capable of competing on the world market, whether they be homegrown producers or emigrants from other countries.
And if you don't want the US to force the issue at any point, how do you expect the world to be governed by American Principles? At some point somebody's going to say "No". How do you get rid of them if persuasion doesn't work?
And now, an intermission, brought to you by "Perfectly Windy Sky":
"Wow. Quite interesting. Many good points. I'm not saying I agree, but neither do I disagree. It's just a point I haven't seen put forward yet. Very interesting."
Thanks, Windy, and feel free to review again when you're ready to join the debate.
Now this next group of reviews comes from Americans who are ambivalent about what I wrote in chapter one. They agree with the good points I made about the United States but are a little leery of the notion (some maybe a lot leery) about the concept of the US running the world. Let's dive right in with this from "B. Keates":
"Although I too have considered the merits of a world wide institution of a government similar to...our own, eventually, too many problems surfaced for it to work."
Well, B., like I told Magus I never claimed it would be easy, but the fact that problems might arise is not necessarily a reason not to do it. Problems arise with every policy. Overcoming the problems is how you perfect it. And I disagree with your reasons for how we can "manage all [our] technologic advances and...keep our economy running". Our technological advances come from our country's unique ability to produce and foster innovators, people like Eli Whitney, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Orville and Wilbur Wright, John Holland, Jack Northrop, Hyman Rickover and Bill Gates. These are individuals who had flashes of brilliance at one point, and turned those flashes into products that benefitted the United States and Mankind in general. Labor, "cheap" or otherwise, and base materials only come into the picture when it's time to begin mass production of the ideas. Labor and materials don't spontaneously generate innovation. You've got that backwards. (Ideological note: "Cheap" labor wouldn't be necessary at all if the mass producers weren't being squeezed by both labor unions and federal and state governments.) As for keeping the economy running, labor and materials are only part of the whole. They keep the SUPPLY side of the economy going, but what keeps the whole thing going are a myriad of interactions between suppliers and consumers and between both and the government. Specifically, every transaction that involves the transfer of money in exchange for a good or a service keeps the economy running, and government's only concern should be whether or not the consumer got what he paid for. How a government executes policy based on that concern usually effects how dynamic the overall economy is. Our economy keeps running because even with a lot of stupid regulations the United States government gives suppliers and consumers more of a free hand than any other country in the world. There have been blips, of course, but they exist only because government at those times tried to do more than it should have in micromanaging the national economy. There are countries around the world that would benefit from this kind of openness, especially the countries where the "cheap labor" comes from.
And I'll say this again, more directly: We don't need to be as old as other countries to have the characteristics necessary to lead them. It is certainly a tradition that the older people among us are considered to be the wisest, but that notion fails a lot of the time when put into practice. If you find nothing wrong with someone from another race but your grandfather thinks, oh, "Blacks are all criminals", "Irish people are all drunkards", "Jews are all greedy manipulators", who's actually wiser? The ability to lead is not dependent on age. It comes from a combination of experience, common sense and vision. If you can demonstrate that you have all these things going for you, you should be a candidate for leadership, regardless of how old you are. I admit, sometimes we put some restrictions on age because of assumptions we make about the development of individuals, but in the case of the United States being in charge such limits no longer apply. Remember that there was a time when draftees complained that they were old enough to fight for their country but they weren't old enough to vote in it's elections? So the US is old enough to defend freedom around the world but not old enough to take the lead in running it? I protest...vigorously!
A world wide empire done right wouldn't need much governing. Remember, the idea here is to end up with a world similar in structure to the United States. There will be lots of growing pains, but in the end the individual nations would go back to governing themselves, while the central government would be responsible only for the defense of the whole and enforcing international law. Technically, the United States is already serving this function. I just want to make it official.
B. ends by saying that he "[disagrees] with the idea that we are the imperialists" and doesn't "want to make it that way". Keep this in mind, everybody. I'll address it soon.
For the moment I want to turn to the review left by "SamanthaDB". (BTW, read her stuff. She's a hoot!) She's glad that I'm standing up for America, but she asks "...don't you think you're coming on a bit strong?" Yes, I am, Samantha. Given the nature of most political discourse on this site coming on strong is required by someone who wants to get in some equal time. I'm not going to post something like: "Um, gee, okay, this is just my opinion, don't flame me, but I kinda like being an American. Okay? I don't hate anybody else. I'm sure you're all nice too, but America's cool. I'll shut up now.", and then let my essay get shouted down in reviews from people like "Little Gavroche" and "lili brik". This is a battle of ideas! You don't win a battle by conceding the battlefield to the enemy! You win a battle by DOMINATING the battlefield!
I am thinking about other cultures, Sam (May I call you "Sam"? Thanks.), but like I told Synthesis Landale, Diversity is not a virtue, and like I told Radyn, sometimes giving a nation--or a culture--freedom to operate at will can be a bad thing.
There are lots of cultures out there, but too many of them use their cultural origins, traditions and mores as excuses to rape, torture and murder people from other cultures, and, more often than not, people from their own cultures. Those are the cultures that CAN'T stand, diversity or sovereignty notwithstanding, and should be the first ones pressed under the "steamroller". You're right about France, though. And don't forget Turkey. Both are countries that need every square inch of their butts kicked.
And you're right about international competition, but the one flaw in letting it stand as a regulator for world commerce is that some nations can use their laws to block competitors from other countries. This is a common practice, in spite of all the "international" trade agreements. You wouldn't have that kind of problem if the international obstructions to trade were eliminated with the governments that created them. Real competition, that between suppliers of products, would flourish, giving the people more choices, giving the world a stronger economy overall and giving innovation a major boost, because the demand for new products will skyrocket and drive the need for invention even harder. These are the benefits of Globalization, which too many people around the world simply don't get.
If you're still a little leery of the idea, Sam, that's fine. I'm here to convince people of how right it is. I don't want you to just "guess" that you agree. I want you to shout it from the rooftops, and I'm more than willing to work for that.
In the meantime, let's go to the review left by "relientk", who says she agrees with everything I said except "...that America is fit to rule the world." She thinks "rule" is the wrong word, but if she objects to the concept I don't see how the language defining it matters. I will give you this, relientk. You're right. We do need to clean up our own house first. All of the problems you mentioned can be solved by taking care of this bit of business: We need to marginalize Liberalism. It must be a permanent minority. It must be defeated, dejected, demoralized and politically defunct, because it has done more damage to the cultural and economic fabric of this country in the past forty years than any adversary has in the past two hundred. Liberals use their politics to turn people against each other, use things like Affirmative Action, Multiculturalism and Political Correctness to drive a wedge between people in a country where the first instinct should be a united front against the real problems we face as one nation. We do need more people like President Bush (ELECTED, not "Selected") in office. In fact, the nation as a whole, in every level of government, from D.C. to the local town council, needs to undergo a dramatic right tilt in order for my plan to work.
The reason why is actually the one thing that scares me about my idea. Suppose I succeed? The rest of the world has a whole lot more liberals in it than we have here, and if I get my way that will give a whole lot of them a lot more influence in the world than they already have right now. If we don't start out with a strong Conservative base going into this there's no way we can combat the Greens, the Progressives, the Liberal Democrats, the Social Democrats, the Socialists, the Communists, the Marxists and all the other lefties that have a stranglehold on most of the rest of the world. We have to set an example. We have to have a national Conservative movement that can demonstrate in its practices what Conservatism can do to free, uplift and safeguard a country. We have to show other people in other nations what good a Conservative nation can do, and try to rally them to our cause.
So I promise, relientk, that I'll work to get the US to undergo that tilt first. Will that change your mind?
While relientk's thinking about it, let's go to "Mbwun" (another cool author) who thinks my argument was "well spoken" but "a touch extreme". Well, I think I already answered that with my response to SamanthaDB's worry about my coming on strong. Yes, it's extreme. I'm advocating an extremist point of view.
While we're on the subject, I should jump right into a response to "Frodine's" review. I hate to disagree with you, Frodine, since you think it's "nicely written", but my essay isn't as tongue-in-cheek as you think. While you're right that I wasn't "necessarily saying that we WOULD steamroller everyone else's cultures and diversity", I am pretty much saying that in most cases I think we SHOULD apply that steamroller. I've already said it in this chapter. Diversity is not a virtue. It's an okay thing, but not if it allows the American way of life to be buried by cultures people run to this country to get away from. We do "work extremely hard within our own country to preserve cultural identity". I happen to think that's part of the problem. There are too many "Americans" here with hyphens in front of the title. Being American, no matter how you became American, should be enough.
So I'm quite sincere about wanting to see an Imperial America, Frodine, and I'll explain to you, Mbwun, and all the other Americans who don't necessarily agree why spending that "lot of blood along the way", as Mbwun said, would be worth it to me. If you still disagree, I understand.
I'll get to that explanation after I highlight two more reviews, one from "Alex" and one from "some guy 1", because these two get it. This is from Alex's review:
"I'm not exactly sure if we (Americans) should be given sovereignty over the entire world. The nation was founded on ideals such as freedom and democracy, and ruling the world would be a gross contradiction of what we stand for or at least try to stand for."
And this is from some guy 1's:
"if america was evil and wanted to take over the world...we could have done so long ago./We weren't like the USSR"
I always intended to make two points with "The Imperialist". The main point was that I wanted to see the world redone in America's image, but the other was that I knew, in this opinion, I was in the extreme minority. It's an argument I said I was tired of making, but I knew that just by posting chapter one I wouldn't have to. Other Americans would do it for me.
Alex, some guy 1, SamanthaDB, B. Keates, relientk, Mbwun, Frodine, Magus, Kyalia, Voice of Dissent and Autumndark taken together represent what I think is the majority opinion in the United States. Regardless of how they differ ideologically, the sentiment they have in common can be summed up this way: America is not an Empire. It is not trying to be an Empire. It doesn't want to be an Empire. It SHOULDN'T be an Empire.
All well and good guys, but there's just one teeny, tiny (my hand is up, and my thumb and forefinger are about 2 cm apart) little problem. Remember waaay back in the first chapter when I said "I know the people leveling this charge will never accept evidence to the contrary because it's easier for them to turn us into world-beating monsters than to accept the facts"? Well, in the context of your various objections, let me rephrase that:
You know all those "furners" that say America is Imperialist? They don't believe you.
It doesn't matter if you come right out and say "I don't want an Empire." They think you do. It doesn't matter if you say "America shouldn't be an Empire." They think you're lying. It doesn't matter if you say "America isn't trying to be an Empire!" They think you're misinformed. Only when one of us says "I think America should take over the world." do these people think an American is showing his true colors. Or did you not notice that, unlike Frodine, none of the people who said they were from outside the United States and submitted negative reviews bothered to question whether or not I was serious?
Synthesis Landale didn't ask. She was too busy telling me I should get out more. Laurie didn't ask. She was too busy explaining to me why living under British rule is great and why Canada's provinces don't have any [expletive deleted] armies. OOFR23 didn't ask. He was too busy "bagging" shooting Bush and saying my idea was "terrible" (and "nice"...whatever). Tiefling didn't ask. She was too busy calling our President a "moron". I'll give Blazing-moon a pass because she should already know whether I'm serious or not. I am, by the way, but I think I made my point.
Still want proof? It's right on this site. Look at the essays they write. Look at the reviews they leave to similar essays. Heck, just watch the reviews they'll give to this second chapter. Maybe one or two will fess up to being caught, but the rest are going to be the most entertaining displays of backpedaling in review history. ("Uh, I never said I believed you!" "You're putting words in my mouth!" "You I think would do it, but the others no because they're good Americans!" "Well, the people who AGREED with you didn't ask if you were serious!") They just can't come right out and say "All Americans are Imperialists!" No, wait. They CAN say it, and may say it in other places, but they won't say it in relation to this essay because it will mean that an American has done something he's not supposed to do. He's making them face their prejudice.
All these good, tolerant, diversity-loving Old World leftists, deep down in their hearts, commit the one sin they preach is unforgivable. They condemn a whole group of people (Americans) for the beliefs of a few (namely Me and what supporters I have).
And look at the effect it has on people here. Kyalia is so distraught about world opinion it doesn't occur to her that most of her fellow Americans share her views, and that therefore makes world opinion wrong. Autumndark is so ashamed to call himself an American that he'd rather let his family rot in a third world country than have the country he lives in do anything about it. And Voice of Dissent is so terrified of Guilt by Association that he's almost willing to give up the rights he enjoys as a US citizen and hightail it outta here. This is sad. They've received so many metaphorical swirlies, pantsings (or "wedgies"...same thing.) and beatings from the "cool kids" that they're all perfectly happy being useful tools and nothing else. At least the other American dissenters to this essay can fall back on logic, morality and civic pride.
So now, at last, we get to the big "Why". Why am I different? Why have I decided on a path traveled by so few? What set me off? Well, here's where brianhalo3 would be proud of me, because the answer's a little complex.
Whenever I hear some leftist, either foreign or domestic, bleating about American Imperialism, I'm always reminded of two things. One is a memory from my childhood and the other is a movie I saw once. Different themes apply, but they both helped to shape the attitude that led me to post the essay.
When I was a kid, whenever I would do something stupid and had to face my Mom, I'd cry. Was I crying because I understood the gravity of the situation and just knew my parent was disappointed in me? Nothing so "Dr. Spock". I was crying because I knew I was doing something wrong and got caught and I didn't want to own up to it. The problem was I was doing this crying while my Mom was livid, was gearing up to administer the butt-whoopin' I was about to receive, and had little or no patience to deal with my tears. Invariably, this set of circumstances would lead my Mom to respond to my tears with this (very loud) exclamation:
"SHUT UP BEFORE I GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO CRY ABOUT!!"
Now, I don't know how many of you have actually heard one of your parents utter these words. Probably a lot of you haven't. Maybe still more of you only recognize it from a joke Eddie Murphy used to do in his standup back in the Eighties. Trust me. It is not a pleasant experience. Having never experienced it, the meaning behind this statement may not immediately be clear to some of you, so let me put it in context. When I was crying about getting caught, I was imagining suffering the worst possible consequences. Getting a beating was a natural one, but I didn't know when I'd get beat, or with what, or for how long, or in front of whom, etc. There might also have been worse things she could do, or that she could have one of my older siblings do (I'm five of six) and imagining what, when, and where was always the worst part.
Then I got hit with the exclamation, and suddenly things became REAL clear. I was too young to appreciate the thought behind it back then, but it is actually profound in its simplicity. It means basically that the consequences you think you might face don't actually warrant the hysterics, but if you continue the hysterics and don't face the real consequences like a grown-up the punishment you actually get will.
Think about that a minute while I relay the movie story. Has anyone ever seen "Double Jeopardy"? Great movie. For those who never saw it, basically Ashley Judd gets falsely convicted for killing her husband, then finds out while she's in jail that he faked his death and is actually off somewhere living with another woman under another name. Here's where the plot of the movie really begins. One of the inmates gives Ashley "the best advice you'll ever get. Be a good prisoner, get paroled and get out, then go find the S.O.B. and kill him. They already convicted you for it, so they can't try you again. It's called Double Jeopardy." Now before I get a whole bunch of reviews on the subject, yes, I know it's a bastardization of the intent of the Fifth Amendment clause and, yes, I know following her friend's advice would require her to violate more laws that she CAN be tried for. It was just a movie! What's important here is the premise. She's already been convicted of the crime, so she ultimately decides that she might as well go out and commit it.
So here's my mindset as far as American Imperialism is concerned. Whenever the United States acts in its own interests, the left starts the hysterics (Americans are Imperialists! BOO HOO! America invaded two sovereign countries! BOO HOO! Americans aren't nice to the people they conquer! BOO HOO!). When Americans point out the inaccuracy and hypocrisy of those hysterics, they get worse (Americans are mean to us! BOO HOO! Americans are lying about us! BOO HOO!). When Americans point out that they just want to help, they get accused of crimes (Americans are killing babies! BOO HOO! Americans are killing trees! BOO HOO! Americans are killing endangered field mice! BOO HOO!).
Remember how I told Blazing-moon that all I'd need to become President is to have people like this get on my constituency's last nerve? Well, it won't be long, because they're already dancing on mine!
So let's GIVE them something to cry about! Let's commit the crime we've already been convicted for! Let's just ROLL over this stupid, ungrateful, blind, treacherous, leeching collection of whiners, plant Old Glory and get it over with.
You people have NO IDEA the kind of "Wrath of God" stuff you'd be facing if the will of the American People really were behind the notion of conquest. I've chosen to take this stance because I want to turn the American will to it. I want to see it happen. I want to make it happen! I would love to be personally involved, on the front lines, in the offices of the decision makers! Even if I'm forced to be on the sidelines I'd be content. I'd just sit back with a nice soft drink, click on the idiot box, turn to Fox News Channel, watch the takedown live and in color, LMAO and applaud! I just want to be able to look into your shocked, demoralized, haggard faces and say "Now THAT'S American Imperialism!" (Insert evil "MWAHAHAHA!" here.) It may never be what you want, but for your prejudice, for your hypocrisy, for your condescension, for your ARROGANCE, it's exactly what you deserve!
I'm going to end the negativity parade with the review from "Loganberry", and I want Alex to pay attention to my response as well. The review starts out like this:
"90% of this is making a great case for the achievements of the US, which are many, but then you throw it all away at the end by saying that, if necessary, you'd support the US declaring everyone else 'the Enemy'. How does that square with the idea of popular choice?"
There's nothing to square, Loganberry. Popular choice can be the impetus for the campaign, just like it was the impetus for the American Revolution (or "Rebellion", as your history teacher might have called it), and when the smoke clears, it will be popular choice that will be triumphant. It's not a matter of giving people a "small say in who runs everybody". The fact that you think that shows that the people who really need to take a trip are you, Synth, Laurie and Tiefling. You need to come to the United States, find a school with a great civics course and learn just exactly how American Governance works. In fact, there are a few Americans who ought to get that kind of education, but apparently don't.
I'll demonstrate it for you again, Loganberry. As it stands now in National terms, you have NO say in who becomes your head of state or who holds many of the seats in your Parliament's Upper House. The closest you come to choosing your head of government is getting your party a majority in your Parliament's Lower House. In International terms, you have NO say in choosing the "head of state" (namely the Secretary General of the UN), nor any say in who chooses him (namely the ambassadors of the various states). My way, when the smoke clears, you will have a direct say in who your head of state is, who is in each house of Parliament, who represents your country in the world government and who the world's "head of state" will be. Simply put, that means you have a BIG "say in who runs everybody", much bigger than you have now, and way bigger than a lot of people around the world have. Those Celtic countries would get their own heads of state, and while I couldn't promise them total autonomy I could promise them greater influence in their parent government than they currently enjoy.
The purpose, again, is not to create democracy. The purpose is to provide a republican form of government to each nation and then unite those nations into a commonwealth that looks to a central republic that is responsible for providing mutual defense and maintaining international justice. How I intend to do this is to eliminate the Rule of Persons in whatever form it exists and impose (Yes. I used the word again. Sue me.) The Rule of Law.
And it may be true that many countries don't want to match America's power, but it's definitely true that some do, namely France, Germany, Russia, China and Belgium. They know they can't do it conventionally so they do it politically, using the UN and EU as their tools. Their tactics indicate a clear strategic goal: Thwart the power of the United States unless the use of said power suits their purposes. As far as I'm concerned, that makes them a strategic threat to the US, whether they try to match us militarily or not. And three of the countries that pose this threat would be the dominant force in your "Federal Europe." Why should I be happy you're for it?
If you're really so worried about nuclear states, why don't you give the United States a free hand? As long as we have the right leaders in office we tend to eat ambitious nuclear powers for breakfast, and if we took over, we could begin to get rid of every nuclear weapon because they truly wouldn't be necessary any more. American Hegemony could be the greatest thing to happen to disarmament since the START Talks!
A world run by the United States WOULD be better by far, and that makes it a good thing.
Finally, I can respond to the last group of reviews, the ones from people that are already willing to sign on. Here's hoping their numbers grow as we start with "ShredOfReality":
Thanks, Shred! Short and sweet. I like it.
"Challo" calls it "Bloody brilliant" and credits me with an ability to use facts to make an essay make sense and wants me to keep up the good work. I intend to.
Here's a quote from "Venus15", who also gets it:
"It's true, dammit! Why are we the ones to get dissed when we're only trying to help? If it weren't for us, a ton of other nations would be in a serious amount of trouble!"
Well said, Venus15, and you're welcome. Oh...and I think you should know. I do actually have more than one ball. I checked this morning.
"Finite Loop" admires the essay for its "historically accurate facts" and the "clear, determined focus". I hope this chapter continues that standard, Finite Loop. And I don't actually need to "self-promote to The General". "Admiral" and "General" are essentially the same rank.
Let's go to the review from "hnmn" next, because he also gets it:
"...people against America will never admit that we have had the opportunity to be imperialistic many times and have passed it up."
Right and right, but I say if they're gonna keep crying "wolf", we ought to just bear our fangs and start going after sheep. I also want to take an opportunity here. hnmn also mentions Iraqi WMD, and I've gotten a few reviews asking--well, whining--"Where's the Iraqi WMD, huh? Where are they? Why haven't you found them?"
Let's go over this again for the slow and those in denial. There was never any doubt that Iraqi WMD programs and their output existed. The US National Security Apparatus (spanning three administrations now), The United Nations Security Council, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and a host of other organizations have known about them since at least 1991. How did they know? Mainly because Saddam Hussein admitted that he had them, and evidence found before and during the first Gulf War backed him up. The cease fire at the end of GWI stipulated that he had to get rid of them. The burden of proving they were gone was on him, and in the twelve years hence he has provided zero evidence to show that he has complied. He has lied about his stockpiles, manipulated and expelled UN Weapons Inspectors, used his palaces and mobile facilities to hide and move weapons labs, and yet in all this time you people on the left never bothered to question their existence, not in 1991, not in the Clinton years, and not even in the months leading up to Operation Iraqi Freedom. So when did you decide to question their existence? Simple...when every other objection you made to the war was proven wrong.
You said the "Arab Street" would rise up when we invaded. Wrong. You said there were no links to terrorism. The existence of two terrorist training camps in the country prove you wrong. You said Iraqis would condemn us as invaders and fight us to the end. You're so wrong there that news agencies have to concentrate all their vast resources on one town to find any kind of serious resistance to us being there. (And I don't believe this is the citizenry. These are the last Ba'athist diehards, and they'll eventually die. Hard.) You said Israel would be drawn into the conflict and plunge the Middle East into chaos. Dead Wrong. You said we would lose because our planning sucked. Totally Wrong. You said we'd have to level Iraq to win. Absolutely Wrong.
You have been on the wrong side of history ever since the War on Terror started, so the fact that you now question the existence of Iraqi WMD doesn't exactly fill me with anxious dread.
Where are they? There are three possible answers: Still hidden in Iraq, disbursed to other countries or destroyed in the time we were delayed by the French and their cohorts. If they're still in Iraq, I have all the confidence in the world they'll be found. If they were disbursed, this administration has five more years (don't delude yourselves into thinking the next election will be anywhere near as close as the last one. Bush will be ELECTED to four more years) to sweep out the rest of the terror axis and find where they went. If they were destroyed...Mission Accomplished!
Anyway, hnmn, I wouldn't call it "unrealistic" to assume the US would do a great job running the world. It's already a trend of history that the world does best when we take the lead. We just need to make American Leadership the rule and not the exception.
And no, I was never really an Admiral. I just play one on the Internet.
I should have included "Anonymous" in the ambivalent group. S/he says:
"The whole United States of Earth thing is a little much in my opinion..."
What profit a man if his reach does not exceed his grasp, Anonymous? It's only "a little much" until you do it. Still, I'm glad you thought it was awesome.
"Oriana Amadis" thanked me for writing the essay and related her experience with insulting anti-American zealots. Just keep posting, Oriana. Don't concede the battlefield to them.
I'd like to conclude this little thesis with the review left by RCS (And definitely read his stuff too, especially "The Lycanthrope". It's phenomenal!). He said he loved the first chapter and was already an advocate of the "United States of Earth" concept. I want to highlight something from the review because it not only supports many of the things I've already said but allows me to give you a taste of what's coming in the next chapter:
"The United Nations is nothing more than a body that represents the *governments* of the member nations (most of whom are oppressive dictatorships), not the *people* of the world."
This pretty much sums it all up. All you people out there who are cheerleaders for "international law" ought to re-read that and get it through your heads, because it's the truth. This body of "international law", this champion of human rights, of peace, of justice, of the environment, of the oppressed, is made up mainly of people who owe you no allegiance, are responsible only to a chosen few and for the most part come from nations where the simple act of posting your opinions on a web site could get you in a world of hurt.
Cuba's a member, and Cuba's president likes to throw people who tell the truth about his policies off of buildings while he's being interviewed and called "charming" by people like Barbara Walters. China's a member in good standing, and this is the same China that drives tanks over college students that speak their mind. Syria's a member, and it's government, led by their president-for-life, until recently was violating "international law" by trading for oil with Iraq outside the dictates of the Oil-For-Food program, and allowed its soil to be used as a recruiting and staging ground for suicide bombers wanting to thwart Operation Iraqi Freedom. And let's talk about Iraq. This is a government that gassed, tortured, raped and murdered their own people, tried to take over two of their neighbors, was sanctioned up the yinyang for these actions, and yet is STILL a full-fledged, voting member of the United Nations.
And do you honestly think the UN gives a darn about "democracy"? This is an organization that allows a communist dictatorship (two communist dictatorships until we won the Cold War) to be a permanent member of its most powerful committee, the Security Council, but Israel, a nation with a popularly elected government, is permanently banned from serving on the Council even as an associate member. PERMANENTLY BANNED! As much as Iraq has offended the world, it has never been subject to such a ban!
THIS is an organization you want telling you how to function in the world???
There needs to be a world-wide "regime change". The main "governing power" of the world is flawed, corrupt and unaccountable, and it's mainly because these are the characteristics of the majority of its members. If anybody needs their power checked, it's the Untied Nations. For all its talk of maintaining "peace and security" it has been a proven failure. This is demonstrable to anyone willing to face the truth. The UN hasn't had the moral authority to lead the world in years, if it ever had any. It's time for a new power to step in.
Three guesses what I want that power to be.
Thanks again for the reviews, and for patiently slogging through this chapter. I gave a couple of plugs but I really want you to read the stuff from everybody who left a signed review, negative and positive. Read their fiction, their essays, their poetry, form your opinions and leave reviews, and of course I want you to respond to this chapter in reviews as well.
The next chapter won't be anywhere near as long (I think...), but it will be a long time coming because I have to work on a bunch of other things that I've been neglecting, so keep up the debate until then, and don't take me off that Author Alert! You don't want to miss Round 3!