Skip to comments.It's About Freedom, Not Imperium (Are Americans unique… or just peculiar?)
Posted on 05/25/2004 5:30:54 PM PDT by quidnunc
Why has the United States coped so badly with the aftermath of the Iraq war? How could it have been so apparently unprepared for the chaos that followed Saddam's defeat? And why, on the most concrete level, did it have no "exit strategy" to follow the invasion?
Those who opposed the war recite these questions with delighted sanctimoniousness, believing that their simple iteration proves the justice of the original anti-war case. But for those of us who supported (and still support) the American action, these are not rhetorical matters. It is urgently important to understand what followed the collapse of tyranny in Iraq, and why the American strategy seemed to have no plan for dealing with it.
The American "mistake" if mistake it is is a generous and well-intentioned one: it assumes that, because freedom is a natural right (a belief that is fundamental to American political culture), then it must also be a natural condition. To Americans of all persuasions and parties, personal liberty is an absolute and inviolable good: it is the state to which all human beings instinctively strive.
Oddly enough, considering that its population is more cosmopolitan then ever, America has become even more insular over the past 30 years, to an extent that I find deeply shocking whenever I visit. Most Americans now have very little comprehension of how unlike the rest of the world they are.
They do not appreciate that their willingness to submit all their hereditary baggage ancient tribal hatreds, extended family loyalties, religious commandments to the rule of secular democracy is an exceptional, not a natural, condition.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
They weren*t *naively unprepared* for the chaos. the chaos is an orchestrated necessary part of the plan, which naturally precedes and necessitates the need for "order". Google the term "order out of Chaos".
Transcript: "There are difficult days ahead, and the way forward may sometimes appear chaotic.
And here is another quote that Bush said previously, in April 2003. you can google it, too: "you*re free. and freedom is beautiful. And it*ll take time to restore chaos... and order.. order out of chaos. but we will."
"Ordo Ab Chao" = Order Out of Chaos
Nevertheless, and it may be naive, or it may be that it really is a simple truth that will stand long after the cynical and the "sophisticated" have faded into impotent irrelevancy, I state without qualification that freedom is, in fact, the natural condition of man and woman, and that given a taste of it and an understanding of how precious it is, these will die for it as we are willing to die for in on others' behalf. I shall go further and suggest that anyone who cannot appreciate this is less than alive. For them I feel sorry, but it does not excuse their refusal to allow that chance to others simply because they consider themselves too sophisticated to fall for such a simple, naive idea.
Good article, but it was a SERIOUS MISTAKE to begin it that way. Many newspaper readers just read the headline and the first few sentences. If they do that in this case, they will conclude that the article is about America's failure in Iraq.
Yes, I know, she is attacking the defeatists who says these things. But it's not a good way to write a newspaper article.
Actually those who want to read about America's failures in Iraq may well read the article instead of skipping it.
And that is a success.
Not really, the rest of the world reminds us every day.
The two most potent weapons we can deploy in the War on Terror.
Regrettably, most Europeans wouldn't understand...
Thanks to Janet, and many thanks to Conrad from this Yank.
The one thing that people fail to understand is that we've discovered that along with freedom comes a voluntary social contract to obey certain rules. Any violence that comes about is as a result of someone who breaks that social contract. We don't like that because we all know that the social contract is what allows us to remain completely free. Hard to explain, don't think I did it very well, but we obey laws and rules because we are totally free to do so.
Very well spoken. However I believe that there are two natural desires of the common man: to be free and to be secure. A merchant in Bagdad is probably willing to give up some of his freedom for security and as long as its the other guy who gets put into the gulag. A thriving democracy requires not just people are willing to fight for their own freedom but also to fight for those who are unwilling to fight at all. Those people are exceptional and are the greatest among us.
So the key question is whether Iraq has enough of those people to create a democracy.
I'm not alone in the belief - it absolutely terrifies the ruling elite all across the Middle East, and rightfully so, and that is why so much money and effort is going into trying to stop it in Iraq. That effort will fail if we do not.
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