Friday, November 24, 2006

Revising Nationalism or Condoning Slaughter - Part I

Posted by Cardozo

Since I began contributing to this page, I’ve often spoken of my impatience with the “good versus evil” theory that drives your foreign policy, Bush.

The terms of the theory, of course, are simple euphemisms. “Good” refers to America and anyone who supports her. “Evil” refers to anyone who disagrees with her to the point of taking up arms. Would you agree with these definitions? In other words, it is the preservation of the status quo of American dominance (conflated and equated with “good”) that underpins our foreign policy.

Thus, I wouldn’t go as far as some on the far left, who argue that racism, tempered by military and economic realities, determines which countries are branded with an “E” for evil on your war room map. (If race alone comprised the litmus test, your friends the Saudis would never have escaped inclusion in the “Axis of Evil.”)

No, it seems clear that plain old Nationalism – that scourge, that harbinger of war, that ever-ready excuse for all manner of atrocities – lurks, as always, behind the rhetoric and diplomacy. And I won’t blame you for the persistence of runaway Nationalism, Bush. Bill Clinton played the game too, as have each of your other predecessors, to my knowledge.

And as the death tolls mount on both sides of the Iraq conflict, and as Democrats preach eagerly to the choir (which now includes basically everyone) about your administration’s strategic incompetence, I wonder if it is time to begin discussing Nationalism, the elephant in the room.

There is one sure-fire way to prevent Americans from being targeted by suicide bombers, and that is to stop pissing the suicide bombers off. This strategy seems only too obvious, but is never seriously discussed by the President, in Congress, or in the mainstream media. Why? Because any policy revisions undertaken during a “war on terror” amount to a validation of terrorist tactics, and a violation of the great American dictum of non-negotiation with terrorists. Quite a corner you’ve thus painted us into, Bush. And one can see that it is your (and the neocons’) ultimate victory. In the context of a never-ending, global war on terror, America can never make substantive changes to her foreign policy.

So congratulations are in order, Bush. Regardless of outcomes in Iraq, it seems your larger failure - your refusal to grapple with the causes of anti-American sentiment- will remain unchallenged in Washington.

5 comments:

PeterAtLarge said...

Hmmm... I'm interested in what you have to say today, Cardozo. The not yet exhausted spirit of nationalism is still unhappily abroad in the world these days, and our Bush has certainly turned it into political capital to undergird his policies. I wonder, though, whether the primary driving force is not rather the capitalist, corporate, economic one--including, of course, importantly, the urgent need for natural resources to support the constant need for "growth." Though I suppose that nationalism plays a big part in this, too.

GringoWithoutBorders said...

I can think of 1 location where American criminal actions have NOTHING to do with economics or natural resources but purely one of blatant racism and bigotry.

I agree with Cardozo, let USA have an intelligent discussion regarding our foreign policies and what are really the root causes of hate towards USA in the Middle East and elsewhere around the world:

1.) USA support of racism- Israel
2.) USA support of Dictators
3.) USA military invasion of other humans lands.

These are three atrocities every American should be ashamed of, as all go against everything America proclaims to stand against.

Only by ridding ourselves of these moral evils we propagate, will America ever have a moral foot to stand on and be applauded by the majority of humans on Earth.

Until then, the oppressed & occupied will fight us as they so rightly should for supporting these evils.

KB said...

Hey gringo and Cardozo - why don't we just combine your two ideas and give the terrorists Israel.

eo said...

I completely agree with your dismissal of good vs. evil dichotomies, but to follow that up with a "sure fire way" to stop global terrorism unfortunately echoes of the same comic book approach to foreign policy...
The Sudanese Janjaweed have been getting what they want for a while now - how's that working out for world peace?

GringoWithoutBorders said...

No KB,

We should give the humans Israel.

The terrorists are the ones who have caused the largest refugee population in the world, that being the Palestinian refugees.

The real terrorists are the ones with the bombs dropped from jets or fired from tanks occupying anothers lands.