Part of being a member of the most powerful nation on earth is disliking said power. I root for the underdog; most of us do.
Which puts me in a weird position when I see the helicopters that have been getting shot down over Iraq fly over my head here in Tucson. The insistent woop-woop-woop noise of the propellor recalls subaltern peoples subjected to meaningless violence by a powerful nation: Vietnam, Iraq. Just as every war is a civil war -- brothers against brothers -- every war is a Vietnam: peasants terrorized by war technology. And I'm the peasant.
Thus, it was only a matter of time that those US military helicopters started getting shot down. They symbolize powerful arrogance of power. In fact, I imagined what it would feel like for a person like me -- powerless, forced to see $5 million weapons fly above my airspace -- to take down something like that.
Obviously the Iraqis want merely to have their country without foreigners. Many just want their civil war, even -- cake and eat it, too.
Ideologically, our country is bloated: our sense of "what we can do" and "what we should do" in terms of foreign policy are both limitless. At no point does any political figure, save Dennis Kucinich, question that our country spends more money on military spending than all of the following countries combined:
Russia, China, Japan, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Brazil, India, Italy, South Korea, Iran, Israel, Taiwan, Canada, Spain, Australia, Netherlands, Turkey, Singapore, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, Poland, Greece, Argentina, Pakistan, NorwayNor that the perpetual march of American values should ever stop. Why would a country want to be "like us"? Why should I expect another person to be just like me? Why would I like that? It's the heighth of arrogance: remaking the world in one's own image -- and the original sin of (not in) Christianity. God, in fact, is nothing like the human.
What about the "movement" to punish liberals for happening to teach at universities more than conservatives? Oh, the horror: someone is pointing that it may not be the best career choice to be charging people with assault rifles, that it may, indeed, be better to get one's education, and avoid the hypocrisy of sending other people's children over for occupational wars of choice while "supporting" that war.
(David Horowitz, heroic
prosecutor of campus liberals)
(Jonah Goldberg, combat-eligible,
supporting the war from a desk in New York City)
The Iraq War is clearly immoral and a total policy failure. To have legislation against people who say this in public indicates what I'd call cultural bloating.
To sum up, we've entered the "late phase" of American power. We spend more money than we make. We influence people with military might, not reason. We don't even seem to like our fellow citizens. Let's call an end to our world hegemony.