What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
I recently received an email containing a story about a father teaching his son why we are at war in Iraq. The story can be accessed here.
The story, while emotionally stirring (on purpose), is inaccurate at best.
First off, I agree with the sentiments of the son towards the end, when he declares that he will defend his family. Defense is justified, and commanded. Preemptive war is not. Nowhere in the Constitution is the
Now the people said unto Gidgiddoni: Pray unto the Lord, and let us go up upon the mountains and into the wilderness, that we may fall upon the robbers and destroy them in their own lands.
But Gidgiddoni saith unto them: The Lord forbid; for if we should go up against them the Lord would deliver us into their hands; therefore we will prepare ourselves in the center of our lands, and we will gather all our armies together, and we will not go against them, but we will ; therefore as the Lord liveth, if we do this he will deliver them into our hands. (3 Nephi 3:20, 21)
The sad thing about this story is that it tries to paint our current war as a dichotomy between good and evil. I’m sorry, but when those promoting this war have such alterior motives than those publicly expressed, I question their intent and the nature of their cause. Granting Halliburton no-bid contracts at the taxpayer’s steep expense, securing oil interests for familial business interests, and creating an opportunity to retain and expand ever-increasing executive powers is not what I would label as “good” in the clash between good and evil.
The title of this post is “America’s Former Foreign Policy”. The foreign policy we have long since abandoned, and to which we should quickly return, was penned by John Quincy Adams:
America goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own…. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standards of freedom.
—John Quincy Adams