Sunday, March 16, 2003


The way the terms 'peace' and 'war' are being tossed around, it is clear that they are thought to be -- or rather, are presented to be -- polar opposites. But, as with the ideas of 'love' and 'hate,' such polar opposites sometimes work together.

For example, to love something is to imply the hatred of something else. To love good is to hate evil (and vice versa). To love truth is to hate lies. Further, it has been noted by observing lovers' quarrels, that being in love can compel someone to feel hatred at times, in the case of betrayal, for example. Still again, children who love their parents have been known to 'hate' them, temporarily as it were, for enforcing seemingly unreasonable boundaries on their activities.

Now to the subject of war and peace. How can these work together? In an imperfect world, hostilities can arise between an irrational aggressor and a peaceful people. Is the second party required, in the name of peace, to remain passive in the face of the aggression of the first party? Will peace result if it does?

What will result is submission to tyranny, which is a wretched imposter of peace. No, when the liberty of the innocent is threatened, the threat must be resisted at all cost, including bloodshed if necessary.

What if the peace and liberty of an entire globe is threatened by the actions of a power that mocks the rule of law? Is there no recourse for the defenseless? Are not the strong and sure obligated to protect the weak and innocent?

Today, Sunday, March 16, 2003, a great many people the world over -- myself included -- are praying for a peaceful resolution to the Iraq and North Korean crises. But if war is unavoidable in the preservation, the advancement, of liberty, may it be speedy, may the innocent be spared, and may the guilty know a change of heart.

'Peace through strength' is a credo that is most realistic in light of the history of nations. Peace ultimately is synonymous with security, well being, and freedom. Lying down with the enemies of liberty is not peace. It is worse than death. Ask any survivor or Auschwitz or the Gulag. Ask yourself if it is wise to trust a proven bully with the keys to your home, where your children depend on you for their protection.

The sad reality is that sometimes, peace can only be secured through war. May the cause of Liberty and Justice for all prevail. Also for the citizens of Iraq.

Sunday, March 09, 2003

irony lost

Last Thursday night, President Bush addressed the nation to update it on the pending action in Iraq. After the speech, the meeting was opened for questions.

The President withstood a repeated assault on his character which came disguised as sophisticated, righteous journalistic inquiry. He responded with a grace that magnified that character so much as to make those of the questioners virtually disappear by contrast.

The President said, among other things, that he was sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States. If he were Saddam Hussein, and this were Iraq, or another, similar nation, those same journalists would either be dead or put in a dungeon or exiled for daring to confront the President.

Of course, this isn't Iraq. This is America. And the Constitution that the President insists on defending is the one that allows the press to berate the President and flog someone's leftist agenda under the guise of journalistic inquiry.

Do these journalists, the ones who help promote the idea that the President's motives are personal and irresponsible, that 'peace' means pacificism in the face of aggression, who ignore the responsibilities of the Chief Executive in this Constitutional Republic; do these journalists consider what it must be like to do what they do in places like Iraq? Do they think that they alone are entitled to the right to question their President without retribution, but that journalists in Iraq are not worthy of any such right?

The irony? That the man who's principles they attack is defending their right to do so. That doesn't happen in places like Iraq.

And they just don't get it.

Saturday, March 08, 2003

we are the world

What is America?

America is a place where people from all over the world come to seek opportunity. People come here to get away from governments that steal from them, that treat them like slaves, that try to run their lives. Where else can people go to find a nation that provides in its founding documents, in its charter, the rights to 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' and guarantees those rights with an elaborate system of legislative, judicial and executive offices that are designed to limit the power of government?

America is a place that has, for centuries now, inspired people in other lands to sacrifice possessions and leave behind the familiar to answer the call to be free. To simply be free. To live life. To take the risk to be alive, as opposed to embracing the certainty of living death. There are doubtless multitudes who wish that they could be free, too, but for some reason have not paid or cannot pay the price.

When a handful of nations that have obviously questionable motives (see below), or a body of delegates that claims to speak for 'the world' speaks, who is really speaking? Is it the people of those nations, or the power structures of those nations? The answer is self evident. No other nation in the world has a power structure designed to be of, by and for its citizens. When these nations or bodies speak, they speak from the high and lofty halls of power. Power that has, too often, been secured and maintained by the blood, sweat and tears of simple people for generations.

When America speaks about world issues, who is speaking? America is like a garden, with plants and flowers of every variety. Almost every nation is represented here; that is, the citizens of America are former citizens of almost every nation in the world. They came here, and they speak from what they know. And they elected a man (please see the red and blue election map), to speak for them. And he has vowed to uphold the oath he took to protect them from aggressors.

Because of the makeup of its citizens, and the representative nature of its government, it can be said that when America speaks, voices from all over the world are speaking. And who are they speaking to? To the power structures of the world. When the power structures of the world respond by demonizing the man who represents their former citizens, one should not be surprised to detect palpable animosity. The citizens of the world, represented by the aggregate of world citizens now know as American citizens, are saying to the administrators of the dysfunctional power structures of their beloved former homelands, 'been there and done that.'

Are America and our allies against the world? No. American citizens and our idealogical allies the world over are standing up for liberty in the face of the unjust power structures of the world. Just like Americans always have.

We are the world. We are speaking. We declare: Liberty will not be defeated.

Are you listening?

Friday, March 07, 2003

more about oil

The pot can be fairly reliably counted upon to call the kettle 'black.' Once again we revisit the neo-mythical mantra that "Bush just wants the war for oil." We leave aside as self-evident the fact that such a remark is basically a non-sequitir.

The inspiration for this issue of {Speculations} was, originally, Russia's self-righteous alignment with France and Germany in opposing a war on Iraq. While many may choose to believe that Russia has and does mark the zenith of moral ground, people with their eyes and ears open will more likely be suspect of her motives. And rightly so.

Might oil figure in her motives? Why, might she want Saddam Hussein to remain in power, continuing to oppress masses of citizens (something Russia perfected in the last century), because Russia has oil concessions with the present Iraqi government which might be jeopardized in the event of the inevitable 'regime change?' I think so.

Too, mightn't Russia, one of the largest exporters of oil on the globe, have some vested interest in selling its wares at 'war premium' prices, significantly above the cost of production and distribution? I think so again.

I said that the original inspiration for this installment was Russia's position on Iraq. The actual impetus, the spur that set me to typing, is China's alignment with Russia. More specifically, it is China's alignment with Russia in the context of the fact that Russia is about to build a pipeline to pump some of its abundant oil into China.

China is of course a sweatshop of a nation that is being forced into the 21st century along with the rest of the world. Forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but the alignment of two communist regimes, with records of oppressing perhaps hundreds of millions of people between the two of them, against the liberation of still millions more innocent people in Iraq, for the sake of oil and the money associated with it, is pure evil.

Thank you, China and Russia, for demonstrating to the audience of the world what it is that you really stand for. Germany, with its own past romance with a totalitarian nightmare, is finally in good company.

It's important to understand that the positions of the entrenched leaders of these countries, like corporate CEO's who retain their power by force, do not necessarily represent the convictions of their citizens. In fact, it's a safe bet that the majority of thinking people in these nations are deeply disturbed at the implications of this idealogical alliance.

Oil. Indeed.