December 30, 2001
by Bruce Walker
Abraham Lincoln used a Biblical analogy when he stated the truth: "This nation cannot long endure half slave and half free." While conservatives generally have little use for government, especially the federal government, we have also learned that those actions which we do not guide will be guided by others (think of modern public "education" as one example). So when some of us yearn for isolationism, we should realize that is a dream which liberals will not permit to exist.
Woodrow Wilsonís catastrophic entry into the Great War in 1917 (after winning his second term as a minority president campaigning on the slogan "He Kept Us Out of War,") is a perfect example of how not to make the world better. Imperial Germany was not Nazi Germany and the imposition of a Carthaginian Peace on Germany not only guaranteed a later war, but it also deprived the democracies of the most logical counterweight against the weak, ghastly, and brutal regime of the CommiTsars.
The greatest gift which America has given to the world has always been America itself - safe, peaceful, and diverse in the natural way that individual liberty brings diversity - demonstrating by unmistakable example that freedom in economic, social, religious, intellectual, and cultural areas of life produces an explosion of countless good things.
Now, however, our military forces are in the midst of those who consider our very freedom their greatest enemy. Call it a Jihad or not, that is what it is - perhaps not a religious Jihad, but an philosophical Jihad against men and women living their own lives unmolested by gangs, thugs, and assassins. And America is on a roll.
President Bush instinctively used the politically incorrect term "Crusade" (which most of us would have also used) to describe our war against terrorists, but the term precisely captured the spirit of our mission. We have come to destroy the power of those who exist to make others powerless, and to bring fear to those who live to inspire fear in others. Our friends have always been the human race and the divine spirit of individual liberty implanted within each human breast - the oppressed peoples of Afghanistan, for example - and only when people are free will America be free from the need to have vast fleets and professional armies.
Now is the time to do what we have never really done before - liberate the world, or at least a large part of the world. The brutal cliques that rule Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and several dozen other nations have no more right to "govern" their "nations" than Al Capone had to reign his territory of Chicago.
Can we bring instant democracy and automatic prosperity to these scattered lands? No, but we can remove those bad men who spew the most outrageous lies and who use the unhappiness of their subjects to justify power. Can we make Somalia into South Carolina next year? No, but we can put it on the path to becoming South Korea in ten years.
The joys of liberty and the prosperity which always follows liberty sap ethnic venom, nationalist grudges, racial hatred, and all the other debilitating and destructive envy which endangers every man and woman who simply wants to live his life in peace, tending his private gardens of lifeís intellectual, economic, and social treasures.
Individual liberty - elbow room for the mind and spirit - is something that grows strong with the freedom of others. Americans are freer today because the people of Afghanistan are freer as well. The American Civil War, which ended the enslavement of blacks in the South, did not just liberate those former slaves, but it also increased the freedom of Northerners and white Southerners.
If President Bush, supported generally by other major democratic nations, removes the vile tyrants of Sudan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Somalia and replaces them with parties which minimize rogue violence and nourish honest discussion and commerce, then these imperfect societies will move in the direction of ordered liberty.
Doubtless those on the left governed by sick slogans like "The worse, the better" and "The more innocent, the more guilty" will nitpick imperfect regimes just like these creepy people acted during the Cold War as if the United States and the Soviet Union were equally bad because both had thermonuclear weapons and both had, from time to time, done bad things. The vast majority of Americans are wise to those tricks. Any fool but a left-wing professor can see that CIA installed rulers like the Shah of Iran and the King of Afghanistan were much better for their people and the world than indigenous sociopaths. The annoyingly unpleasant, graying, Marxist left will screech and scream, but no one will listen.
The beauty of all this is that peace - internal and external - promote general peace on Earth. While we Americans may grouse about how little Denmark or Holland spends on national defense, it would be a much better world if the naturally pacific tendencies of democratization allowed all nations to spend next to nothing on national defense. Likewise, it would be much better if people governed their own behavior so that police, prosecutors, and criminal courts were unnecessary, but it is much better to have those public mechanisms for controlling violence, rather than to have gangs rule.
As Taiwan, South Korea, Mexico, Spain, Greece, Portugal, and many other nations have shown over the last quarter century, the transformation from an authoritarian state of the sort America often installed to an open, peaceful community is not just possible but easy. The key is to get rid of the real goons who have no interest in happiness and to introduce instead men who are at worst indifferent to wealth and happiness of the people they rule.
What sort of activity should we call this? Not a Crusade, I guess. How about a Jihad? How about making our mission a universal mission that reaches across the political boundaries made by men and which embraces the dream of liberty for all men? How about a Liberty Jihad?
Bruce Walker has been a dyed in the wool conservative since, as a sixth grader, he campaigned door to door for Barry Goldwater. Bruce has had almost two hundred published articles have appeared in the Oklahoma Bar Journal, Law & Order, Legal Secretary Today, The Single Parent, Enter Stage Right, Citizen's View, The American Partisan, Port of Call, and several other professional and political periodicals.
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