It’s not all America’s fault [Archives:2003/681/Opinion]
By Jane Novak
New Jersey US
Basra was important nine centuries before Brooklyn was. The Chinese built an impossibly huge wall 2100 years ago. The British chased the French all around Europe half a millennium ago. At 227 years old, the major tragedies of the world cannot be laid only at the feet of the US.
Who takes responsibility for the 14 million orphans in Africa, the smiling Palestinian mothers; the children hacked to death and the imprisoned North Korean housewives? Beyond blame, who among the free will stand for oppressed? The silence on the streets is deafening. The tens of millions of humanitarian, anti-war protesters must have gone home for lunch. Move-On.org seems to have moved on while the UN walks in circles.
The United States has greatly progressed in the last quarter of its existence: in fifty years America has codified and implemented functional equality in American society between white men, minorities, women, children, religions, the disabled, the homosexual and the mentally ill. These gains were hard fought by heroic people who sometimes died at the hands of intolerant Americans. From Hiroshima to Baghdad, American policy toward targeting and protecting civilians has evolved to accept the equality of all earth’s people. The US is held to much higher standards than other countries by many, labeled a threat to world peace by some, with few but the British and the Poles offering assistance in achieving those standards.
Is it Islamic extremists who are on a “crusade” to convert the world to Islam? Is it the French who have a “my way or the highway” attitude? Is it the UN that is “hegemonic” with its insistence of artificial equality and moral neutrality?
Bush’s war on terrorism is a war for tolerance: Al-Qaeda’s wrath is attracted by America’s internal pluralism not by America’s foreign policy. The dream of a flaming America aims to destroy democracy not imperialism, to destroy the power of freedom not the freedom of power.
Is Jacque’s multi-polar world a socialist pipe-dream where France spends America’s money and troops and nothing of its own, where France becomes the inhibitor of “liberte, egalite and fraternite”? The French ambassador to the US, Jean David Levitte believes in “an early transfer of sovereignty” to the Iraqi people under the auspices of the UN although neither the French, the UN nor the Iraqis are currently prepared for the task. If the French ideas “are taken on board” then France will assist in training the Iraqi army. If not, the French will do nothing to help.
Kofi Annan endorses the policy where “States have generally sought to deal with threats to peace through deterrence and containment” while blandly noting “our collective response (in the Congo and in Liberia) has been hesitant and tardy.” With moral blindness, he accords full legitimacy to any state that shows up in the General Assembly. His aversion to intervention places priority on the equality of states rather than the equality of people. If all people are equal, then all states cannot be equal: a murderous, torturous or fascist regime has less sovereignty than a non-lethal regime.
Will the 57 countries currently meeting at the Islamic Conference in Malaysia discuss the Syrian occupation of Lebanon, a trusteeship for the Palestinians, sending troops to Iraq, educational reforms? Will they hold themselves to the same high standards that are applied to America or just blame the US without generating action, support or solutions?
President Bush is determined to give, not lend, 20 billion dollars to Iraq and bring self-determination to Saddam’s slaves. The American soldiers in Iraq fight believing they are freeing children. America is working to diminish its own influence by enhancing the influence of every person on earth.