Jun 28, 2007

American Hegemony (Noblesse Oblige): Response to Peter

In International Relations we have a word for what Arkin describes here:


The US remains the uncontested global hegemon, providing global order in security, economics, culture, and a host of other areas. Its expensive, its costly, and it tends to generate resentment, overextension, and eventual decline. But, it provides public goods and global order that everyone grudgingly admits that they need. That's how hegemony works.

There's a whole body of history, research, and scholarship on this very subject, documenting the phenomenon over the last 400 years. And its nicely summed up in this post.


I am not an apologist for Mr. Arkin
, however, what you have described here in your comments to the Washington Post, which I refer to as the purported noblesse oblige of the U.S.A, is also viewed by many nations of the world as totalitarianism and unwelcome yankee interventionism.

If the U.S.A. were to join in with other nations of the world, in a democratic fashion, and participate in all of what you have listed above, the noblesse of the U.S.A. might be understood in the manner that you have characterized it.

Until then, I agree with Mr. Arkin and have stated so myself on many occasions, it is hegemony (the dominance of one state over others) and nothing else. Hitler used similar logic, as you have stated it, in order to justify what he attempted to do - for the world's own good.

And as I recall, America joined in the fight to stop Hitler and the Third Reich. Ergo, wouldn't other nations be justified, using America's logic, in fighting back against American imperialism.

There are alternative ways to accomplish the objective of world-wide pragmatism and conviviality! What you are arguing, is what we refer to as 'categorical determinism'. You seem to believe that for every category, and no matter how the U.S.A. conducts itself, it is pre-determined that it is what's best for every one else.

Everyone else in the world, other than Americans, seem to know that. I suspect that if the shoe were on the other foot (and the U.S.A. was being forced to abide by the dictates of some other uber-power, most Americans would be equally outraged!

Patriotism is one thing, walking around with American blinders on (those that excuse American malfeasance), is another thing altogether!

Peace & Grace
The Rev

Addenda: Romans the 8th chapter reads, "...we know that all things work together for the good, to them that love the Lord, and are the called according to his purpose". Trust me, the purposes, interests and objectives of any nation are not always in keeping with the divine purpose that was formulated before the foundation of the world and human kingdoms. The book of Daniel informs us that world-wide systems and schemes, will eventually be replaced with a divine universal purpose - and all kingdoms of the world, including ours, will be brought into subjection!

Jun 27, 2007

Peace Is The Best Solution: The Rev Responds to SFG(A)

SFG(A) said,

Did someone say peace is the best defense? Ah, if only the world was as you see it through rose-colored lenses. We are truly fortunate, living in a great country.

The Rev who wrote that, Peace Is The Best Solution, responds,

(1). If only America itself was as you see it, through rose-colored glasses. Oftentimes, we are more a part of the problem than the solution - just ask our allies, if you don't believe me?

(2). Americans like to believe that once they go in and kill a lot of people that the problem has been solved. Well, we have killed a lot of people in both Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention having sacrificed a lot of American lives, and the problem (now referred to as terrorism) is still there for the world and Americans to see. Perhaps there was another way to address the problem. Will you concede that?

(3). Americans customarily see and define 'a problem' through the prism of American self-interest and denial; ergo, from an American perspective, it is always the other guy or nation's fault. Also, Americans often overlook the law of 'cause and effect', or causation and response - if you prefer. Iraq suffered at the hands of the U.S.A. for violating laws as perceived from an American perspective. The rest of the world, including the U.N. had selected an alternate course of action in order to deal with Iraq.

(4). Seeking peace through killing, hasn't gotten us anywhere, and when you have been reared in a 'industrial military complex nation', the one that too many Americans have been raised in, what other possible solution could there be?

(5). However, There is an alternative method for we live in a multi-cultured world!

Our (America's) theme
Ought to be
To pursue different passions
For different people!

Someday, you and others like you might come to understand what I am saying, and then America will experience the likelihood of fewer of its sons and daughters (not to mention the rest of the world's sons and daughters) being slaughtered in internecine conflicts!

Having said that, and if it were to occur as I have proposed - some of you who were 'born to fight and kill' (natural born killers), might not have an army or navy to join up with in order to further your personal ambitions to kill somebody else - well, you can always create or join a militia group can't you?

And you may quote the Rev on that too -

Peace & Grace
The Rev

Jun 21, 2007

Response to Comments By Anonymous and Horrified:

Anonymous wrote about my comments on American Interventionism and genocide:







Posted by: | June 20

Dear Anonymous,

You are woefully misinformed about free speech in America. Haven't you read about all of the American militia groups that have come into existence of late within the U.S.A.? Those groups did not come into existence in order to fight or kill foreigners. And consider all of those Americans and what happened to those who spoke out over the past 6 years about Republican religious and political fascism in the U.S.A. - many were summarily destroyed.

Middle-eastern nations are not as intolerant or as totalitarian as some in our own nation who for their own prurient purposes would have you to believe, i.e, that the other side cannot not have discussions without killing each other.

Besides, we are doing a great job of killing those on the other side ourselves. And why? Simply for having a difference of opinion than that of the West. And don't forget JFK, MLK, RK and the rest who were all slaughtered in the U.S.A. because of what they believed in, and their having had the audacity to express their beliefs to the American public. And don't forget that RR almost shared the same fate. We are not sacrosanct!

2) The United Nations body politic, most of our allies, the Vatican and the majority of American citizens and others mostly agree with my 'silly argument', i.e, that the U.S.A. has gone beyond interfering in the Middle-east, we are viewed by most as an illegal invader-occupier. Even the Europeans are contemplating a strong alliance, beyond the Euro dollar, that can buttress the power of the opportunistic U.S.A.

3) You seem to be viewing the whole of the circumstances through the prism of western idealism. And the consensus of western idealists is that whatever America does is always correct, and whatever any other nation does that Americans disagree with is simply wrong. The fact is that America is also guilty of terrorism and malfeasance, and American has been guilty of terrorism around the world for over the past half-century - we simply call it something else. England and the U.S.A. have been meddling in Middle-eastern since and before the signing of the Treaty at Versailles.

We will never resolve the problem(s) and have a lasting peace with the other side until the truth is told about both sides, and when something is done about the problem on both sides.

4) The fact is that 19 individuals came to America on 9/11, and wreaked havoc on America. We said that what they did was wrong. And following a legitimate response in Afghanistan, we raised the ante and did far worse than what the 19 individuals who drove American airlines into buildings did. We went on to invade, wreak havoc, murder and maim perhaps a couple of hundred thousand individuals in once sovereign nation that hadn't done anything to the U.S.A.

We continue today to occupy the once sovereign nation of Iraq, and I am certain that your condemnation is reserved only for the 19 Saudis, who acted in the same manner in America but to a lessor degree, than the United States did in Iraq. And, both sides, justified their actions by blaming the other side.

The truth will make you free - but, you will also have to get in the real world, for the number one weapon's maker in the world has not simply been selling or warehousing those weapons - we are using them to destroy innocent lives!

And Horrified wrote,

DEAR GOD! We're just like Israel. As savage and as vile. As careless of life and as vindictive. Bombing the hell out of everything?
Who cares what new bomb we use? The degregation!
Posted by: Horrified

Dear Horrified:

Not just Israel (the Rev likes to keep the record straight), even the Apostles in the Bible wanted to call down fire from heaven on at least one occasion in order to destroy their perceived enemies.

What the Apostles were proposing would have been the moral equivalent of using manned or unmanned aerial vehicles (as America is doing today in Iraq), to fire hellfire missiles, or simply drop bombs or napalm on other unsuspecting and undeserving human beings who didn't see things the way that the Apostles did.

Jesus told the Apostles, er herm, we don't do things that way. Someone else should inform the jingoist Americans, and our leaders today - including many in the church that in a Christian nation, we shouldn't do things that way either. However, we once again are witnessing the obfuscation of God and the dumbing down of his Word, by religion and the religious - keep in mind that the majority of Israel today may be secular. Paul even noted, that Israel of his day had left the righteousness of God in pursuit of establishing their own righteousness - a righteousness I might add, that too many in religious circles today are willing to emulate.

Israel's pact today with the current occupier of 'near Babylon' the United States of America, differs very little from their 8th century B.C. pact with the ancient Babylonians! Along with the United States, Israel has simply gone back to the future! Clearly the U.S.A. has gone about to establish its own righteousness. I call it the righteousness of self-righteousness or Amero-centric righteousness. The fact that America currently occupies near-Babylon has eschatalogical implications of enormous proportions, and should frighten every biblical scholar. The implication being, that it is the U.S.A., and not the U.S.S.R., as we were once told that it would be, that is the Babylon of our day, if not of Biblical prophecy - and to boot America's form of Christianity is the religion of today's modern day Babylon!

"By the side of every religion is to be found a political opinion, which is connected with it by affinity..."Alexis de Tocqueville

The United States a Christian nation? Hee hee hee!

Peace & grace
The Rev

Jun 18, 2007

On Forgetting The Obvious (Response # 2 to Frank)


I read Mr. Kaplan's well written and vivacious article, On Forgetting the Obvious. St. Augustine, if he were alive today, I am sure would agree with this brilliant narrative and many of the conclusions drawn by Mr. Kaplan.

And even though I am not Catholic, I agree with the late Pope Paul's writings on the Intersection of Faith and Reason. And just as those two polar opposites ought to be able to peacefully co-exist, certainly a civilian and military class ought to, with mutual admiration, be able to exist side by side.

I do not believe, however, that the average American is as passive, with respect to war, as the author infers, or that the American civilian has any less respect today for the American warrior than Americans did 100 years ago.

The average American has supported and continues to support the war effort as well as our warriors in Afghanistan for example. However, with respect to Iraq (and thanks for giving me some wiggle room on the Iraqi war), the average American probably believes as I do that the Iraq war is more about politics than it is about protecting the American citizen from terrorism or any other real threat to America. I have attended and participated in many Congressional sessions as well as discussions where that viewpoint has been elucidated over and over again.

I don't know of anyone, personally, who believes that America was threatened by Iraq, the late Saddam Hussein or his regime - in any way. And I believe that Americans have demonstrated in the past and in the present their sustaining belief in that old adage and scripture that 'there is a time to fight' - this simply was not the time. And truthfully, for many in the Republican Right that shipped has also sailed - many of them have publicly acknowledged, of late, that the war was a mistake. Just consider the comments by William F. Buckley, George Will and even Newt Gingrich of late, to make my point. Besides them, there are many others to date, who are expressing a similar viewpoint.

Many of us simply do not believe that fighting
an obstructionist-interventionist war is by any stretch justifiable under any circumstances. The current incursion into Iraq, for many of us, simply does not meet the smell test of a just cause for war, as was posited by the late Roman monk, St. Augustine.

The Commander in Chief and the Military, most of us believe, are simply asking us to swallow too much this time. I will concede however, that perhaps some of us are placing the blame on the wrong individuals - those in the service!

Having said all of that, it is comforting to know that we have men as brilliant as you are in service of our nation.

Peace & grace
The Rev

Frank referenced:
The article written in American Interest Online July-August 2007
by Robert D. Kaplan
(See the excellent references to 6th Century BCE, Chinese warrior Sun- Tzu, and 19th Century Prussian General Carl von Clausewitz).

Jun 16, 2007

Tocqueville, the American Military and My Response To Frank

Frank said: Thank God the United States is a warlike nation then.


To expand on Tocqueville's quotation, he said, "...the army, taken collectively, eventually forms a small nation by itself, where the mind is less enlarged and habits are more rude than in the nation at large.

Now, this small uncivilized nation has arms in its possession...and...the excessive love of the whole community for quiet continually puts the constitution at the mercy of the soldiery".

His point, not to make him an expert, however, I draw a similar conclusion about our larger nation versus its smaller co-existent subset American military nation within a nation today (the latter clearly has taken on a life of its own).

For the U.S. military is larger in terms of population, land-holdings, budget... than many countries of the world today combined, not to mention that it has its own President and Commander-and Chief, whose is also the President of the greater nation at-large that elected him.

And this small military-privatism pretty much controls not only the larger American population of approximately 300 million, but must of the other 7 billion citizens of the earth in one way or another. The American military reportedly has military personnel, at present, in about 120 nations of the world as we speak - and all of us know who dominates, manipulates and controls the U.N. in deference to the will of the other 191 or so member-nations.
In my opinion, America and therefore, the majority of America's citizens are, it would appear, hostages of the smaller warlike nation that co-exists within a larger nation of civilians -approximately 300 million Americans, and a world of 7 billion - particularly with our bifurcated leader, #43.

It is neither the majority of the American people nor the majority of the people of the world for that matter who are warlike either in nature or in kind. The majority, in both instances (including many of our allies)denounce the hawks in the 'American military war drums movement' which includes so many in the defense industry (former service-connected individuals), the administration in Washington and many retired veterans who still have a taste for blood. This denouement of America, its policies and its aggressive nature have reached astronomical proportions around the world.

This small subset of 'the less enlarged minds', those that I have just mentioned along with a portion of the citizenry, I believe are incapable of contemplating a solution to a problem other than by killing people - and of late, by taking down the capitol of other nations - contemporary American war strategy, just as they have already taken over the capitol in America. Watch out Iran?

Er herm, and weren't you in the Navy? You folks in your own privations may be a warlike nation; however, the majority of the rest of us Americans neither considers nor wants our nation to be on a constant war footing. For we of the larger crania, are capable of deliberating with other people and nations, and capable of solving problems without any bloodshed - it has been done before and we know principled negotiations can still work.

The problem with war hawks is that they do not believe in principled negotiation - they believe that the other side should always 'cave in' to the whims and wishes of the ideological American war hawks!

Not to make this personal, however, you are obviously a well versed student of history and war strategy. Are you aware of all of the skirmishes that have been prevented and resolved as a result of negotiations(s), as opposed to a shoot first and ask questions later mentality?

Why not bring your 'obvious genius' over to the other side and join those of us who are a part of the American majority, as well as the majority of the truly peace-seeking people in the rest of the world.

For #43 and the America military, right now, are together responsible for most of the unrest in the world today - even our allies, to no avail, have expressed their profound concerns about American interventionism, and others expansionism!

Peace & Grace,
The Rev (not St. Augustine of 'Just War theory')

Addenda: For the American 'affaire de coeur' with war and killing, renders Jesus Christ (the prince of peace) and the scriptures, useless - a warlike nation in my opinion is an uncivilized nation and an enemy of the eschatalogical plan of Jesus Christ and his kingdom whose purpose is to eliminate war forevermore! If you are correct, then perhaps we should simply stop calling our nation 'a Christian one' and remove 'In God We trust' from our creed! Frank answer this question for me, are we to be a warlike nation, or a Christian one? In my humble opinion, the two together are mutually exclusive, the one of the other.