Diplomacy, Hegemony and Terrorism
During President Barack Obama’s historic 55 minute speech in Cairo he received a standing ovation one dozen times. It seems to me impossible for one to shoot a rifle while forcibly bringing one’s hands together in applause. Unlike the trigger-happy Neocon derriere’s who had beat the drum for invading Iraq and, most recently, called for the U.S. to bomb North Korea and Iran (hello Bill Kristol and Brit Hume of FOX News) intelligent diplomacy gives America at least a chance to bring about a better situation while reducing the threat to American military personnel and civilians. If a time would come when military action is required it is also more likely that having first taken the diplomatic route America would garner meaningful international support – not what George W. Bush had in Iraq. For the sophomoric Neocon tough guys such as Cheney and Kristol who always want to go to war as long as they can continue to avoid serving in the military themselves, I suggest masturbation. It will relieve the pressure generated by overactive male hormones. Like most men walking around with a missile silo between their legs being macho leads to more harm than good.
And let us not forget that the United States was responsible for the overthrow of the elected government in Iran in the 1950’s that inserted the Shah of Iran into power – a puppet of American foreign “policy.” He ruled with a despotic heavy hand that was supported by a secretive and brutal police force. Two decades later the Iranian people rebelled and the result was the U.S. Iranian embassy hostage situation. And who can forget the unprovoked U.S. invasion of Iraq. America’s hands in the Middle East are far from clean (and covered in oil) yet few in America readily accept this reality and its effect on current political relations. It is refreshing and encouraging to have an adult in the White House.
Some voices in America, especially the conservative choir, bemoan Obama’s approach to a new diplomacy that they conclude is an apology. Perhaps standing up and taking responsibility for previous action is an anathema to conservatives since it was their approach that contributed to so much damage in the world. In a cowardly fashion they try to rewrite history rather than acknowledge their culpability. This past week, across the cable news networks, we saw Dick Cheney and daughter Liz making appearances and lying through their gritted teeth about Bush’s justification to invade Iraq and the illegal and immoral use of torture. I have never been waterboarded but I can relate to being tortured while watching these apologists for failed policy try to re-make their brand. Adding to my extreme discomfort is the general failure of interviewers to confront the Cheney family and like-minded phonies with the hard facts of recent history. The media proved to be complete failures in the lead up to the Iraq invasion and they continue to demonstrate their inadequacy today.
There are forces in America that want to demonize all Muslims because of the actions of murderers who call themselves Muslims. There are 1.5 billion people in the world who embrace the Muslim religion. Yes, there are some who claim to be Muslims and who have bastardized the teaching of Muhammad for their own political agenda. This does not justify the condemnation of the entire Muslim world. This past week we saw the murder of George Tiller, a doctor in Kansas who performed legal abortions, being justified in Christian religious terms. At Tiller’s funeral on Saturday anti-abortionists demonstrated with signs saying, “God Sent the Killer.” These are the actions of terrorists and murderers who call themselves Christians. What would Jesus say? Probably, “Oy vey.” It is this short-circuiting of a connection to the Almighty that demeans all that is holy. The bombers of abortion clinics and shooters of physicians are the immoral equivalent of the al Qaeda terrorists who struck the World Trade Center. The long history of man on planet Earth is wrought with acts of inhumanity premised on religious canards. It is a lesson that man is apparently not fated to learn.
* “Four things support the world: the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the good, and the valor of the brave.”
Muhammad (570 – 632), Prophet of Islam