President Bush is right about Iraq; it is another Vietnam. In fact, a reporter made note of this during the President’s press conference before we invaded Iraq. The President responded that it was “a good question,” but did not answer the reporter’s question of what we would do differently to avoid repeating the errors of history.
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The President’s hubris that an invading army should be seen as “liberators” is still intact, even now, and the hubris and incompetence of the Left is similarly intact, too. Nobody seems to understand why we were attacked at the World Trade Center almost fifteen years ago. While the rare reporter could ask an intelligent question, we have no leaders with intelligent answers. Our problems in Iraq are not the result of a lack of proper military planning; our problems are a result of a lack of understanding of politics, history and economics, the same as with Vietnam. We all went to the same schools and learned the same lies. I'm an adult now, and the lies are still the same.
Every war is a civil war. The American Revolution was a civil war. The attack of 9/11 should be seen as an act of continuing rebellion, and not as an act of "liberation" or war. We all seem to know why people rebel against authority. The reasons are taught daily in grammar school: unfair taxation, self-serving leadership, incompetence, immorality, gluttony and the abuse of trust and power; yet we never apply these standards to our own politics or to our own political affiliations. Nor do we move beyond them.
Always it is “the other guy to blame.” The poor blame the rich, the Right blames the Left, the Pagans blame the Believers, and they all do likewise in return. It is like an Orwellian ferris wheel; everybody is guaranteed to get sick from fear or pride, and the status quo is to let the machine run unimpeded.
If I could draw a cartoon that represented all of human history, it would be of a lion sitting in front of a mirror, and in his reflection there would be a lamb. The lion always thinks of himself as a lamb and never seems to understand that he behaves like a lion!
America is a rich and powerful lion in the world, and the way we treat the world is how we treat each other. We have reduced our humanity to a dollar amount, and our courts and laws stumble like blind men in a maze of cages. All we ever discuss is money, without ever discussing the role of money in society.
We curse our circumstances rather than shining a light, and gloat over our prey in victory. Yet, we are not exempt from the golden rules of history: we reap what we sow. If the ends can justify the means for ourselves, then others will believe the same lie, too. Power and virtue are opposite standards with irreconcilable differences. Power will always be attacked because of the burden it creates on others.
There has only ever been one path to peace, freedom, liberty and equality: To Love your Enemy. Once we give honor to rebellion, we give honor to sin and sinners. If we don’t want to be ruled by lions, then we must stop acting like lions. If we love our enemy, then we will have no enemies. If we prepare properly for the next generation, then the next generation can avoid our sins, as we avoid our own. No army can liberate a people from themselves. If an army could do any good, then the good would have been accomplished long ago. The dominoes that President Bush expected to fall have fallen. The Iraqis believe in war and power, just like himself.
The reason that people rebel is because the government that creates the money also devalues it through taxes and Interest. As a result, businesses pursue profits to pay the government’s taxes, this in turn creates inflation for everyone. To escape inflation, the pursuit of privileges through political force quickly follows. The easiest way to get rich is to sell to the government or be supported by it. This action simultaneously impoverishes us and our children. Inflation leads to acrimony, and then thing begins to simmer. Small differences become big. People look for someone to blame. Racism, ethnicity, and habit become the basis of groupthink and hatethink. Paranoia, fear and anger eventually rise to the surface on the lips of an arrogant man and he creates a consensus of who should be the scapegoat. Violence bursts forth like a volcano, and society collapses into civil war destroying all of its accomplishments along with the peace. Lions battle lions, all in the name of protecting the lambs, of course. But there are no lambs, only various degrees of fear and pride.
Our problems are deeper than a generation gap. The past preys on the present through the control of the land, and through the issuance of charters and privileges. Whether the land is controlled by the Church, the government or corporations, the effect is the same because the habits of control and centralization are the same.
An Empire is a central government, a central bank and a standing army, and that combination pre-determines the high value of land and the low value placed on humanity. Foreclosures, bankruptcies, debt and hoards of wealth are something we ignore at our peril. These are the antecedents of war. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The intellectual agreement that money represents makes everyone weak and crazy as inflation advances. The love of money has never served men well.
There is only one way to stop these battles between two or more self-righteous lions. The world needs a Jubilee, and then we can have peace and plenty.
The land has existed for billions of years, and there is more than enough for everyone without the need to fight over it. The universities, unions, individuals and corporations are hoarding wealth and punishing debtors indirectly. We are now persecuting our children with debt for college expenses, and then teach them to be greedy through shrewd banking simultaneously. Every generation is amplifying the errors of the previous generation.
Government is the original instrument of greed and folly, but it is the individual acting on his own understanding of virtue (or lack thereof) that creates the government. Pension funds, cash reserves, and endowments represent a fear of the future, not a plan for the present. These idle hoards, and the merciless forces that created them, are crushing everyone equally. We need to “divest” from our past habits and value people in the present instead of fearing the future. In Jubilee we can wipe the slate clean and create the world we desire for all children, but we must all assume the role of a peacemaker not of a warmaker.
Do we have the same courage to forgive as we do the courage to kill? The choice is ours to make as an individual, not the President's. Can you see the lion in your mirror? Do you recognize the wisdom of the lambs, or will we go on slaughtering ourselves?