War: Brazil, I Beg to Differ

     War: 
Brazil, I Beg to Differ

    The
    ‘warrior race’ theory of North American genetics
    presupposes that we all love war. It overlooks the fact that
    idealism isn’t altogether dead in the U. S., and that many
    young men and women might actually be willing to
    sacrifice their lives for other human beings.
    by: Phillip
    Mizewski

     

    Many
    Brazilians appear to have reached a startling conclusion about the evolution
    of human life in North America. The ‘smart money’ in Brazil these days
    seems to favor the idea that the DNA of citizens in the United States
    is a near perfect match with that of the fictional Klingon race of Star
    Trek fame. While I’ve spent enough time in Brazil to understand that
    political and trade policies have fostered resentment toward the United
    States, I believe that the Iraq War "feeding frenzy" of anti-American
    sentiment warrants reconsideration.

    I agree
    with Brazilian sentiment that this war was avoidable, and should have
    been avoided. I disagree with Brazilian sentiment as to how the
    war could have been avoided. Any student of history can tell you that
    appeasement only plays into the hands of a brutal dictator. Perhaps
    Tony Blair has remained so steadfast in his alliance with the United
    States more because he remembers the folly of Chamberlain’s appeasement
    of Hitler than because of anything having to do with 9/11.

    I think
    it far more probable that Saddam Hussein would have more fully cooperated
    with UN inspections had every member of the UN Security Council remained
    steadfastly committed to ‘solidarity’ in supporting the resolution which
    each of them had agreed to last autumn. Yes, it’s true that the United
    States, Great Britain and their "coalition of the willing"
    could have simply backed down. But, again, history tells us that appeasement
    only encourages tyrants to press for further advantage.

    It
    seems to me that the suffering of so many millions of Iraqi citizens
    has been of little genuine interest to either the far right pro-war
    lobby or the far left anti-war lobby. Those on the right seem to drag
    out the "we’ve got to liberate the oppressed" banner anytime
    they feel the need for military intervention. Otherwise, the silent
    suffering of tens of millions of Africans, Asians and Latin Americans
    goes on largely unabated.

    Those
    on the far left seem to be so resentful of this tactic that they suddenly
    leap to protest the ‘murder’ of thousands of innocent civilians in time
    of war when they themselves stood silently by while millions died at
    the hands of a brutal regime. Why should I believe that either side
    has assumed a "morale high ground"? I don’t.

    I disagree
    with U.S. reliance on bombast and threats of intimidation. Whatever
    happened to "speak softly and carry a big stick"? Saber rattling
    is a form of political viagra for the morally impotent. And our penchant
    for flag waving isn’t helping either. For sure, I have an American flag,
    and I display it on some holidays _ like Memorial Day and the Fourth
    of July. But when that young Marine draped the U.S. flag over the head
    of the statue of Saddam in central Baghdad I cringed.

    As
    a former Marine I cringed at this public display of lack of discipline.
    As an American I cringed because I immediately understood the negative
    impact that this failure of self-restraint would have on public opinion
    toward the United States in the Arab world. Predictably, the image was
    played over and over again on Arab television, and made the front-page
    of anti-American newspapers around the globe. And I cringed simply because
    the act was so incredibly insensitive.

    NBC,
    no thank you, compounded the sin by putting the young Marine on national
    television to explain how enthusiasm had gotten the better of him and
    how he was honoring the memory of our loss from 9/11. Any good basketball
    coach will tell you that the clock, not the other team, becomes the
    enemy near the end of the game. I fear we’re not really recognizing
    who the enemy is at times. Do Brazilians really imagine that the United
    States is an enemy of peace? Do North Americans really imagine that
    Saddam Hussein was the be-all and end-all of our problems in Iraq? And
    who, or what, is our real enemy with respect to terrorism?

    Osama
    bin Laden clearly warrants billing as "Public Enemy Number One".
    But eradicating Osama bin Laden without effectively addressing the larger
    underlying problems that produced him will be futile. I’m sure we can
    track down any individual terrorist czar and eliminate him (or her).
    But the act of doing so will only alleviate the symptom, and only temporarily.
    Unless we treat the illness, the ‘root cause’, another terrorist czar
    will rise to fill the void. That young Marine should have restrained
    himself because failing to do so was disrespectful. "Political
    correctness" didn’t have anything to do with it; America’s image
    had everything to do with it.

    I didn’t
    vote for our current President and, apparently, neither did a majority
    of the minority of other Americans who bother to participate in our
    national elections. Who can argue with criticism of our "electoral
    college" approach to determining who will reside in the White House?
    Our system isn’t perfect. But the ‘warrior race’ theory of North American
    genetics presupposes that we’re all of one mind and that we all love
    war. It overlooks the fact that idealism isn’t altogether dead in the
    United States, and that many young men and women might actually be willing
    to sacrifice their lives for other human beings.

    True,
    it may not be likely that any of these idealists will some day preside
    over our nation, but their own accomplishments are not diminished by
    the motivations and political leaders and the ideologies of political
    parties. We, in the United States, live in a very imperfect society.
    Human beings, by nature, are very imperfect. But can we be less cynical
    and more even-handed in our assessments of current events.

     

    Philip
    Mizewski is a past regular contributor to Brazzil. Other of his
    articles may be viewed at http://www.iei.net/~pwagner/brazilhome.htm 
    by selecting them using the select bar in the left frame. You
    can reach him at  pmizewski@hotmail.com

     

     

     

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