Americans have been sold a fantasy by their
government and by the "experts" on television.
The fantasy is that our government will flex its muscles
overseas, make demands, kill a lot of people, demonstrate that we
don't tolerate terrorism, "bring the terrorists to justice,"
and end terrorism forever.
But for decades, our government has been flexing its
muscles overseas, making demands, killing people, and teaching terrorists
a lesson. And what did it achieve?
It brought about the deaths of 6,000 Americans on
Those policies by our government have brought us to
where there now are only two choices for the future. And you may not
like either one of them.
Choice for War
#1 is to bomb Afghanistan "back to the stone age," and maybe
Iraq, and maybe any other country our government accuses of harboring
terrorists (except for the U.S., of course, where many of the terrorists
lived safely for several years).
This choice won't eliminate all the terrorists. It
probably won't eliminate any of them. But it will make the politicians
feel good. And it will satisfy the understandable lust for vengeance
that so many Americans feel right now.
But not only will foreigners die by the thousands,
it will feed the desire for vengeance on the part of the terrorists
– and inspire other people to help them. The result? . . .
Choice #1 doesn't lead to anything very pretty. It
will be disastrous for America. But that's where our politicians are
taking us right now.
The Choice for
Choice #2 is for our President to be a man and acknowledge
to the world that our government has made some horrible mistakes in
the past – but that our policy is changing.
He must tell the world that our government will no
longer impose its will on places like Iraq, Serbia, Afghanistan, the
Middle East, Panama, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Colombia. He must say
that we're returning to the peaceful foreign policy that America followed
for its first century – until President McKinley took the country
into the Spanish-American War and down the road to empire.
Americans are loved all over the world for what they've
done – producing low-cost food and medicines, great entertainment,
and the kind of voluntary charity that only free and prosperous people
At the same time, foreigners hate our government because
it uses "foreign aid" and military muscle to impose its
way upon the rest of the world.
Our politicians say that most of the world supports
the American military campaign. But what they mean is that our government
is bribing foreign governments to support the military campaign. Meanwhile,
Gallup poll revealed that individual human beings in 35 major
countries oppose American military retaliation by better than
3 to 1.
If American leaders would call a halt to the violence,
condemn the terrorist attack, and condemn the killing of innocent
foreigners by previous US administrations, there's a very good chance
the cycle of death and destruction could end immediately.
We're at a Crossroads
I guarantee that Choice #2 will lead to peace? Of course not, but
it is very likely to do so. And what terrorism remains will be relatively
minor compared to the awful future we face now.
I can assure you that Choice #1 will lead to the death of many more
Americans – most likely, tens of thousands (or hundreds of thousands)
of Americans, in ugly and tragic ways.
The terrorists who weren't killed in the September
11 attacks probably will never be caught – whether we pick Choice
#1 or Choice #2. So let's focus on assuring that such a thing never
But first we must recognize that the fantasy our government
is peddling now – of bringing peace by killing foreigners – is totally
We have only two choices – death or peace. It's unfortunate
that it will take far more courage to choose peace.