Recently politix.topix.com posted the poll question: “Did America respond well to 9/11 through theWar on Terror?” This is a great question which really got me to thinking about just what the hell our strategies and policies are and how/who formulated them and how are they working. I for one firmly believe that it is past time the issues be discussed on an open national and our foreign relations and defense strategies be re-evaluated based on the realities of the actual enemies we face in today’s world.
Certainly we had every right and reason to attack and destroy those individuals and groups that were responsible for the death and destruction on 9/11. Unfortunately, we made critical mistakes in this effort. In hindsight it appears that most of what we did in 2001 and in the years following was based on emotion, “make you feel good” muscle flexing and a philosophy of “let’s improve the world” all neatly bundled up in a beautiful red, white and blue patriotic package. How could any freedom loving red blooded American resist?? Understand, this is not putting to question the motives of any American that supported our efforts in the Middle East but rather pointing out that this is where the mistakes started and then snowballed.
First, we failed to understand and compensate for the fact that the enemy was/is not a “sovereign nation” with a government and military that could be defeated but rather is EVIL itself, manifested by and through a worldwide political movement perversely claiming to be in the name of God, or Allah as they proclaim when shouting “ALLAH AKBAR” when eliminating non-believers of which there approximately 5 billion humans! Can they accomplish such a feat? Who knows, with an army of jihadists and supporters that are, by some counts, estimated to be upwards of 300 million? Secondly, after beating back the enemy, but never defeating it, we declared that we would re-build the nation in our own image as was done in Japan and Germany.
To get a grasp of the magnitude of the fallacies inherent in our reaction to 9/11 one must also consider other factors. Mankind is not capable of and will never defeat EVIL. There is no man, no military, and no weapon that can accomplish such a feat. Nor will those that hate liberty and freedom while feeding on hate and control of others to ever be convinced by political correctness to change their ways. Likewise, no nation can give to or force on another nation a form of government, democracies included, that the citizenry does not want, understand, desire, or be willing to fight and die for. Even if such were possible, from whence did we obtain the privilege, authority and duty of building nations?? Furthermore, there is nothing in the events of world history that bestowed upon the United States the title, right and responsibility to be the world’s police force, except as is often claimed by politicians seeking to elevate their position in history.
There are great and important differences between national security, national interests, and world leadership. The Constitution charges the government with the responsibility of defending our security but it does not provide for or even suggest that America should or must be the world’s leader or utilize our military to serve our best interests. Over past century national politicians have, without constitutional authority or restraint of the courts, been allowed to merge these three distinct issues into one super ball of political/economic clout which has resulted in the loss tens of thousands of American lives and placed an unsustainable financial burden on our nation. President Eisenhower had the wisdom to foresee this devastating scenario which he referred to as the industrial/military complex and warned us against allowing it to develop. Unfortunately, such the warning has been largely ignored primarily because it was contrary to the personal interests of most politicians.
I could go on and on with this list, but to do so would not gain the attention or respect of those influential people that must be willing to take a step back and say “what we have been doing is not working nor is it defeating our enemy — let us openly discuss, without prejudice, political motives and political correctness, this issue”. This also includes the mandate that pertinent facts not be withheld based on “National Security”. That is, after all, what this is all about isn’t it?
This is not to place blame on political parties nor individuals for where we are; motives have not always been wrong and errors in developing policies to deal with this changing world are to be expected. There are more than enough failures to go around. Neither am I advocating that we cave to the jihadists; nor try to negotiate nor continue using our military “might” to scare the enemy. EVIL does not negotiate or scare. Rather I am suggesting that we must first comprehend that we will never defeat evil but we can minimize its effect on Americans and that this can be done without PC, negotiating with evil, and/or massive, continuous military interventions around the globe.
Are our political leaders willing to seriously discuss these issues? I fear not. Any such reference to changing our current attitudes is met with obvious disdain from all sides with a few exceptions. This is quite obvious when listening to the rhetoric of the political leaders promoting our military involvement in Syria.
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