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Newsday.com - Text of Bush Speech:
"And for America, there will be no going back to the era before September the 11th, 2001 -- to false comfort in a dangerous world. We have learned that terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength -- they are invited by the perception of weakness."
No NO NO!!! Wrong. This my friends is at the heart of this administrations failures after Sept. 11th. We need not look any further than Isreal to see why this policy will backfire. Sharon's government has escalated the number of incursions and assasinations in its attempt to use strength to end violence. Have the suicide bombings stopped? Hardly. What happens instead is that you create further resolve amongst your adversaries. Despite our animalistic preference for brute physical force, it tends to be the worst response to most situations. Our mythologies are full of tales about underdogs overcoming insurmountable odds to succeed. Browse through the videos next time you're out. Rent braveheart. A band of scrappy fighters take on and defeat an evil power greater than themselves? Carried forward to victory by their own conviction of righteousness? Sound familiar? It should. Its a grand tradition that has been a staple of stories for centuries. Frodo, of Lord of the Rings marches across Mordor, not because he feels that Sauron is weak. In fact every sign points towards his inevitable defeat at the hands of Sauron's massive armies and overwhelming magic. But he marches on, believing that his decision rests not on whether he will succeed but whether the cause is right.
At what point will we rest in building our perception of strength? Apparently having the most powerful and well equipped miltary on the planet failed as a deterrent. So now we must be even more powerful and run around the globe toppling governments to prove our strength? But as we learn from the morality tales, no amount of opposition is too large for a foe that is fueled by his own sense of righteousness. And when that sense of righteousness is fueled by the perception of American aggression and dominance, our escalation of violence will only add to their convictions.
In fact, I seem to recall a particular religion that thrived despite being repressed by what was in that day and age the most powerful empire to have ever existed. But the early christians banded together in their sense of solidarity and perservered. The Roman Empire crumbled.
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Human behavior has been well documented in plays, books, fables and artwork. I believe that its that study of human behavior that fuels human civilization and imparts on us collective wisdom.
Note: I have updated this post to delete a sentence in which I refer to "liberals". I broke one of my unofficial blogging rules by using that term. As I mentioned in my comments and I will repeat here, I have decided that the terms "liberal" and "conservative" have lost any and all usefulness. They have become so loaded that their very presence invites partisan vitriol. They have the affect of blinding the reader to all else mentioned and are therefore a distraction I will avoid as much as possible in the future. Thank you.
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