next in thread: caro2001_09_11:18:11
In response to Tom... I too share his anger, and his retributive urge. But I believe now is a time to reign in these passions and to reaffirm the values that make America both beloved and despised.
I firmly oppose the impulse to an imperialist foreign policy. This will breed exactly the kind of resentment that leads to terrorism. Indeed, our meddling in others' affairs may be precisely what provoked (though not warranted--nothing warrants)today's horror. We must try to find those responsible, give them a fair trial, and mete out justice in the most dispassionate and humane way. We must maintain our dignity and liberality.
I've more to say, but my building--the George Mason University Law School--is being shut down. All morning we have watched the smoke from the Pentagon out our windows, and the circling helicopters and occasional fighter plane. This is an awful and frightening day. I don't know how I'll be getting home. I don't know if I want to get on the Metro. I do know that I am angry. This is my home. My great fear now is that my fellow Americans will give into this anger and do something rash.
(previous in thread, tom) : ~
~ Terrorism breeds imperialism.
~ As I write this, the first shots in the next war are still being
~ fired, and America is, I hope, changing its course from a mixed
~ policy of isolationism and interventionism to one of imperialism,
~ pure and simple.
~ Despite the childish cant of the Left, imperial powers rarely
~ expand by choice but rather out of a sense of necessity or
~ self-defense. Rome didn't deliberately amass provinces, but rather
~ got tired of beating off attackers, and found offense and conquest
~ was the best defense (the history of Roman government has been
~ described as a desperate attempt to keep up with the army, which
~ kept conquering new lands in the name of peace.)
~ The government of Great Britain actively refused to get involved in
~ India until the Mutiny, when they finally saw that the only way to
~ get the benefits of British involvement in India was to rule,
~ rather than simply support the rule of the East India Company.
~ The analogy to the current situation the United States is in is
~ fairly clear, and I think the American response is likely to be the
~ same: deliberate, unapologetic, aggressive imperialism in the name
~ of peace and security.
~ The alternative, too horrible to contemplate, is the U.S. turning
~ its back on the world, creating a "Fortress America" that would be
~ of neccessity repressive and ultimately destructive of all American
~ ideals of openess and democracy. It would make Americans and
~ everyone else much poorer, and it would not lead to
~ increased safety or security for Americans or anyone else--if
~ anything it would make them more vulnerable.
~ If those are the only alternatives, then the choice is clear: more
~ active, interventionist American involvement in world affairs.
~ probably as the leader of a coalition of nations that are tired of
~ the tribal squabbles of distant peoples spilling over into our
~ All of this assumes that the terrorists who have committed this
~ hideous act are foreigners. If they're Americans, then the end of
modern civilization has begun, and we can only hope something
~ better will eventually grow from the wreckage.