James Leroy Wilson's one-man magazine.

Friday, January 21, 2005

The World's Most Dangerous Man

Opponents of the National State find so, so many instances of the “lesser of two evils” dilemma. If scrapping Social Security isn’t an option, which is worse, keeping it as is, or “reforming” it? If the War on Drugs isn’t going away, which is worse, reforming it with a compassionate eye towards addicts and medical patients, or maintaining the hard line? The hard work of “incremental change” resides in issues like this.

One interesting case is the United Nations. It is right, I suppose, to fear any movement toward World Government. But is the UN that big of a threat?

Ideally, there would be no United Nations, and the United States would be a free republic that did not intervene in the affairs of other countries. We do not live in that world. Instead, we have two World Governments - the usually ineffective UN, and the Imperial Presidency of the United States.

The image of the UN‘s “blue helmets” coming to take away our liberties is, if not a fantasy, a remote danger. The UN’s threat to American sovereignty, or any country’s sovereignty, is miniscule compared to the threat President Bush poses to foreign countries. Our financial obligations to the UN are tiny compared to say, the cost of invading, destroying, and “rebuilding” Iraq. The UN did not want President Bush to invade Iraq, but couldn’t stop us.

Which World Government is the “lesser of two evils” here? One that is unwilling and incapable of initiating war, or one that is all too willing to use force as a first resort? One (ineffectively) committed to peace and the alleviation of world poverty, or one whose leader has leveled entire cities with a single command?

Listening to George Bush’s Second Inaugural Address, I can’t help but think that this is the World’s Most Dangerous Man (WMD Man for short). His very premise for U.S. domination of the world, that foreign “tyrannies” are our greatest security threat, is entirely false. It is, rather, our support for democracies - South Korea, Taiwan- that place the USA in danger of war thousands of miles away against countries that otherwise would have no interest in harming us. And it is support for another democracy, Israel, that was one of the stated reasons for the terrorist attacks of 9-11. And in each case, the dispute has not been that the good guys are democrats and the bad guys tyrants. It’s always been what war has always been about: land.

According to ABC News, WMD Man spoke the word “freedom” 42 times and “liberty” 15. The task of the United States, according to WMD Man, is to liberate the world. Which makes me think, Thank God for the United Nations!

As Americans become less free at home, and as the President believes he has the right to attack any country and lock up and torture anyone in the world, the world needs a counter-weight, a check on WMD Man and his Messianic vision.

It is not my place to say that other nations are unfit for freedom and democracy. Many nations of the UN are thugocracies and I’m sure that many richly deserve citizens’ uprisings. But peace and friendly commerce with foreign nations are the ways to permanent, constructive change. For the USA to be the most admired and emulated country in the world, as it once was, means to withdraw to our shores and concentrate on preserving liberty here. We could be Switzerland writ large: peaceful, free, and prosperous. If not that, then at least we could pursue cooperative engagement with other countries in addressing common problems and advancing peace. Inefficient and counter-productive, but not as bad as going to war. Instead, we are drowning in debt and seeing our Constitution trampled because of WMD Man’s crusade to save the world all by himself.

Who can check the President? Congress? International opinion? Who knows what this President is capable of doing. WMD Man does whatever he wants, and believes that whatever he wants is right. But the Democrats in the Senate can, if they were courageous enough, thwart him by refusing to place his sycophants in high Cabinet positions. They have the numbers to filibuster anything and everything. If ever there was a time when “Obstructionist” should be a name held with pride, now is the time.

Likewise, international opinion as reflected by the UN could, if not thwart the actions of the WMD Man, at least put his State Department in an ever-more awkward and untenable position. Bribed “coalitions,” like the one in Iraq, could no longer be built: the U.S. would indeed have to “go it alone.” Some day, even his closest advisors will have no choice but bring him nothing but bad news, as there would be no good news.

It is too late to assume that WMD Man will reverse course on any security or foreign policy issue of substance. The best to hope for is a failed second term, perhaps one so scandal-ridden that even Congressional Republicans will turn their backs on him.

The nation can endure it. The best that can be hoped for in Bush’s second term is minimal loss of life, and minimal harm to the economy. Anything good that comes from it will likely be an accident.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely concur. I was waiting for your response to the speech and glad to see it. I was not five minutes into the President's speech before I asked how he could say what he was saying and keep a straight face. I may do something on TPO.