LC’s Commentary

Listen To The Voice of Reason

Spreading democracy and empire building

I saw former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfield on a TV program called the View. Eventually the conservation turned to the war in Afghanistan and Iraq-particularly the Iraq war.  Mr. Rumsfield continues to defend the US decision to initiate the war in Iraq. Although the reason given for invading Iraq was based on what the Bush Administration calls flawed intelligence, Mr. Rumsfield thinks the war was worth it, because Saddam Hussein was removed from office and gotten rid of permanently.  The war also allowed the US to do what it calls, spreading democracy-make people be more like us.

The more Mr. Rumsfield talked and tried to rationalize the U.S. decision, the more he reminded me of a essay, widely read literary genius and famous humorist Mark Twain wrote lambasting U.S. imperialism in the Philippines and other parts of the world.  This essay was published in the North American Review in 1901.

He titled the essay; To the person sitting in the dark. Twain began the essay with two simple but powerful words: Shall we?  Twain continues: Shall we go on conferring our civilization upon people that sit in darkness, or shall we give the poor things a rest? Shall we bang right ahead in our old-time, loud, pious, way and commit the new century to the game, or shall we sober up, sit down, and think it over first?  Would it not be prudent to get our civilization tools together, and see how much stock is left on hand in the way of glass beads and Theology, and Maxim Guns and Hymn Books, and Trade Gin and Torches of Progress and Enlightening (patent and adjustable ones, good to fire villages on occasions) and balance the books and arrive at the profit and loss, so that we may intelligently decide whether to continue the business or sell out the property and start a new civilization Scheme on the proceeds?  Powerful words indeed!  In the above paragraph, replace the word civilization with the word democracy and it becomes clear what we are about in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Let us revisit the supposedly rational for invading Iraq.  Saddam hoarding Weapons of Mass Destruction was the reason we had to remove him from office and destroy said weapons. According to General Colin Powell, Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfield, Vice President, Chaney and of course President George Bush, there was undeniable evidence that Saddam had these weapons. Nothing Saddam said or did convinced Bush folks that the weapons did not exist.  Some questioned whether the Bush Administration altered the intelligence to support their allegations of WMD’S.

Mark Twain essay further illustrates and magnifies the U.S method of empire building.  Somewhat tongue in cheek, Twain penned the following; having laid the historical facts before the person sitting in darkness, we should bring him to again, and explain to him. We should say to him:“ They look doubtful but in reality they are not. There have been lies; yes, but they were told in good cause.  We have been treacherous; but that was only in order that real good might come out of apparent evil. True, we have crushed a deceived and confiding people; we have turned against the weak and friendless who trusted us; we have stamped out a just, intelligent, and well-ordered republic; we have stabbed an ally in the back and slapped the face of a guest.  We have bought a shadow from an enemy that hadn’t it to sell; we have robbed a trusting friend of his land and liberty. We have invited our clean young men to shoulder a discredited musket and do bandit’s work under a flag which bandits have been accustomed to fear, not to follow; we have debauched American’s honor and blacken her face before the world…”

Does some of the above paragraph remind you of the Iraq fiasco? Weren’t American people and its allies lied to? Prime Minister Blair’s and Colen Powell’s political careers were seriously damage because they bought into the Bush Administration propaganda about WMD’S.  Smack dab in the middle of spreading lies about Iraq’s WMD’S were Conservative Talk Radio (CTR) and Fox News Network (FNN.) Their 24 hour discourse about Saddam’s WMD’S helped convinced many undecided people that Saddam did in fact have WMD’S.  Both news and or propaganda outlets got a free pass as far as sharing the blame for deceiving Americans and other nations.  Today America and a few of its allies find themselves mired in a Viet Nam like situation- a war that cannot be won in a literal sense. History tells us that it is futile to go to war with Afghanistan and most who have, came away with bloody noses and hurt feelings. 

It is time our imperialistic ways came to an abrupt halt.  It is time we left other people and nations alone and start minding our own business.

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February 26, 2011 - Posted by | Glenn Beck, Greed, Hannity & Boortz, Limbaugh, Politics, Results of war, World Affairs |

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