Am I actually quoting George Soros? Yes, I am.
President Bush ran on the platform of a “humble” foreign policy in 2000. If we re-elect him now, we endorse the Bush doctrine of preemptive action and the invasion of Iraq, and we will have to live with the consequences. As I shall try to show, we are facing a vicious circle of escalating violence with no end in sight. But if we repudiate the Bush policies at the polls, we shall have a better chance to regain the respect and support of the world and to break the vicious circle.
I grew up in Hungary, lived through fascism and the Holocaust, and then had a foretaste of communism. I learned at an early age how important it is what kind of government prevails. I chose America as my home because I value freedom and democracy, civil liberties and an open society.
When George W. Bush was elected president, and particularly after September 11, I saw that the values and principles of open society needed to be defended at home. September 11 led to a suspension of the critical process so essential to a democracy – a full and fair discussion of the issues. President Bush silenced all criticism by calling it unpatriotic. When he said that “either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists,” I heard alarm bells ringing. I am afraid that he is leading us in a very dangerous direction. We are losing the values that have made America great.
The destruction of the twin towers of the World Trade Center was such a horrendous event that it required a strong response. But the President committed a fundamental error in thinking: the fact that the terrorists are manifestly evil does not make whatever counter-actions we take automatically good. What we do to combat terrorism may also be wrong. Recognizing that we may be wrong is the foundation of an open society. President Bush admits no doubt and does not base his decisions on a careful weighing of reality. For 18 months after 9/11 he managed to suppress all dissent. That is how he could lead the nation so far in the wrong direction.
Go read the rest.
For my part, I think it’s on the money in a number of ways which, sadly, many people don’t and perhaps for a long time won’t understand. Using a hand grenade on the kid who shot your brother isn’t acceptable, especially when you consider who else gets hurt. If the moral high ground for America is that “terrorists kill innocent people” then, considering the numbers of innocent Iraqis dead, what is America?
America is a nation that has the choice, right now, to begin on a path of rebuilding some form of trust with the rest of the planet, or to throw it away unilaterally as worthless.
America would do well to remember it’s not worthless. Britain, Korea, Poland, and Australia may stand staunchly by America’s side now. After ten years of this crap, though, nobody will be willing to do that anymore.
Anyway, the way to change the Middle East is the same way to change any part of the world. Make sure everyone has a TV set, enough money for junk food and computer games, and sports and sex and dramas and brainless comedy on the TV. Make sure there’s never such a shortage of food that anything more than a petty minority goes hungry. That’ll pretty much weed out tendency toward terrorism: “I can’t blow up the WTC, I’ll miss Friends!”
Hey, I didn’t say it’s be a worthwhile culture that would result, I just said it wouldn’t be producing so many people who are violently hostile to America. If people choose TV and McDonald’s instead of authentic entertainment and food, well, it’ll be their own damned fault when they have no culture but consumerist culture left.
The thing is, America would just be wiser pursuing that kind of agendaMcDonald’s-izing the worldthat using its military as it has been doing. As Soros says, the time is coming where the choice Americans make at the ballot box will determine how much respect the rest of the world ends up losing for the nation in the light of the whole Bush Administration.
And yes, America, you do have the right to vote in an insane Administration. And the rest of the world has the right to do anything it pleases too. If might makes right, as it seems it does to the minds of Bush supporters, then guerilla might must make guerilla right. I thought the terrorists were bad guys; by which logic Americans, hating them for it, ought to try do better.