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Sunday, June 01, 2003

Ideas: Gotta Kill 'em All

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been part of a larger war, the War on Terror. They haven't been too successful to date; there is no less terror and no fewer people living under conditions that breed terrorists (indeed, now their numbers are increased). The world at large is less safe, and the United States is seen as much a rogue power as is North Korea or the former Iraq. Why the failure? Could it be that the United States has started a crusade not against a state, not against a specific group, but against an idea? It doesn't take much book learnin' to discover what history proves: an idea cannot be destroyed by force alone. Ask George III. Ask Nicholas II. The more force that is applied, the more the idea grows. Sure, we might kill or capture some people who spread the idea, and we may even get the guy who started the idea, but in the end it means nothing. It will still be there, passing from person to person, not ever going away.

Our leaders know this, of course; they depend on it. The War on Terror is a perpetual war, and our leaders have said as much. The US already dominates much of the world through its influence, but that is not enough anymore. We need to dominate the world in fact, and a perpetual war against something that cannot be defeated is the simplest, if not easiest, means of doing so. Our Great Leaders can tell their own people that they only wish to keep them safe and secure, while providing freedom to oppressed peoples across the globe. Most of us will believe it, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary. Meanwhile, while our leaders make a big show of "wiping out" terrorism abroad, they brazenly take away from us what they say they are giving to the rest of the world. Our liberty is apparently a small price to pay for security, whatever that is.

Perhaps the Bush administration will be successful, after all, in winning the war against the idea of liberty, finally prevailing after countless others have failed. Indeed, it appears that the only thing autocrats and monarchs of old were lacking in their Wars on Liberty and Liberalism was the perfect weapon: liberty itself. We now have the perfect method to wipe out freedom--convince the people they will lose all their freedoms and liberties unless they willingly sacrifice just a few, and not any that are particularly "important," in order to be "safe" and to assist in defeating the "enemy." As the "threat" to our freedom increases, the people will give away more and more just to feel safe. It's a simple strategy that serves the elites well. Bismarck would be proud.

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