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macho is adolescent

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We have seen the strategies of these men. We have seen them refuse Saddam’s offers to accommodate any US action, even bringing the US Army to search Iraq for “weapons of mass destruction”. We have seen them abolish Clinton’s deal with the North Koreans to trade coal and oil for halting the development of nuclear weapons, only to renew it after North Korea started building bombs and exporting fissile material.

We have seen how cutting six million from the budget of the Army Corps of Engineers for levee maintenance resulted in sixty billion in damage and the wholesale dispersal of New Orleans’ black population. We have seen cuts to the EPA bring more mercury in the air, more toxic chemicals in the earth and water. There were cuts in the benefits for wounded veterans, cuts in school lunches, cuts in the Border Patrol, the Fish and Wildlife Service, cuts in funding for local police.

We have seen these men refuse Iran’s offer to cease uranium enrichment, and the censure of the Swiss ambassador who brought the Iranian offer to the White House.

The result of their policies has been crisis, conflict, and catastrophe. No other explanation will do-- they seem to believe that their best hope is in suffering and destruction. What does it gain them? Control.

They seem to believe that control is devoutly to be desired in all situations. What that speaks of is impotence. They seem to fear loss of control over elections, over the Justice Department, over the Defense budget of $623 billion for the coming fiscal year.

They propose that the military is the best way to keep America safe. Yet, the military has stated publicly that is not true. Gen. Petraeus’ book clearly states that military action has been counterproductive, actually making things worse. While they espouse armed control, they cut police budgets. They seem to be selling an adolescent macho ideal, while actually preferring the crises that will frighten Americans into giving them another several trillion dollars to protect us-- from what?

Of course, better minds than my own have already described the limits of armed control. Men and women of goodwill have seen the flaw in the macho strategies of armed control, and moved on to mature acceptance of our place among the human family.

There are plenty of examples for these men to be instructed. The “Dirty War” in Argentina, Pinochet’s death squads, Hitler’s SS, and the KGB have all failed to enforce order in the final analysis. Then there is the problem of keeping order in a free society. It cannot be done. People have to want order. Our neighboring countries must see their own best interests in our well-being. Our country is totally vulnerable to terrorist attacks because, up until this administration, we had a free society, where anyone could come and go anywhere, without being watched. Even now, thousands of miles of borders will never be patrolled; hundreds of nuclear plants will not be fortified against large-scale attacks.

Even if this administration actually backed up its claims with policies that did not encourage terrorists, alienate potential allies, strengthen our enemies, and destroy our alliances, the macho strategy will not work. No amount of torture, abolishing the Bill of Rights, and holding people incommunicado is sufficient to subdue the human spirit. Yet these men persist in their adolescent desire for control, perhaps because they worship materiality, where control is effective. In human relations, control is self-defeating.

 

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