[percy-l] U.S. : Terrorist SuperPower?

Tommy Armstrong tfa at brickengraver.com
Thu Aug 25 00:14:46 EDT 2005

Julio's "attack," as you call it, was a little less vehement than Pat
Robertson's attack on his country's leader, was it not?  

Not really, Julio said
"Do you realize that you may be living  in a terrorist superpower, by now?"

Julio was implying that our nation was a "terrorist superpower", Pat
Robertson was not an attack on the country of Venezuala, just on its
President. Julio included me in his attack and to me that is more vehement.
That we invade countries a la Hitler--that is completely bogus. Whether one
wants to believe it or not, we and the entire Western World thought Sadaam
had WMD's. We were obviously wrong--but all that Sadaam had to do was to
open up to free inspections instead of hindering them and we would have had
to back off. He was the one who obfuscated the facts--if he had indeed
dismantled them, as he apparently did, then why not prove that he had done
so. Why not open up to inspections of his palaces, why not let the news
media have free reign of the country. He simply thought he could play the
game of pretending to have them --and even the perception of him having
them--was enough for his purposes. Much the same game that Israel played for
years and indeed is still playing--I have never seen any facts that Israel
unequivocably has the bomb--they have not tested it to my knowledge, but if
her enemies think she has one, she has achieved a great deal of deterrency
(sp).  By keeping it "well I may have them or I may not, but you will never
know--do you want to call my bluff and find out" essentially gives him a
great deal of power. He did not think we would ever call his blufff. We
did--we really had very little choice. And if we did not believe that he had
WMD's, I do not think we would have put all those soldiers through all those
horrific gas training exercises--we just did not know because Sadaam would
not let us know, and that was an untenable situation for us. We were indeed
duped about WMD's, but  he allowed us to be duped. He could have laid his
cards on the table and shown us what he had--but he chose not to. He tried
to finesse a weak hand and failed. Or then again he might have thought he
had WMD's and wanted to hide them, but his underlings were too scared to
tell him otherwise. He might have been duped by his own people. We were not
duped by our own, we were duped by him. 

As far as how it will work out, it probably will not, because any kind of
democratic republic demands that serious compromises have to be made. That
is the nature of that form of government, and as a very educated Sunni Iraqi
told me in Dubai a few months ago, we (the Iraqis) do not know the art of
compromise. He said to me that the US had given the Iraqis  a great gift,
the elimination of a tyrant--but doubted whether or not it could possibly
work out. The competing factions simply have incredible differences in their
world views. Just as America was formed with the Great Compromise, 100 years
later we had a civil war when those divides became too great and the Great
Compromise fell apart. The only way this country has remained a country as
long as it has with as diverse a population as it has, has been its ability,
built into the Constitution, to demand compromise from competing factions.
And the fact that it has the Bill of Rights which gurantees those God given
rights. Pure democracy without constitutional guarantees is nothing more
than tyranny of the majority over the minority. That's really what bugs me
about Mr. Bush--he has it essentially correct in saying that free and
democratic societies are inherrently good--but its not just the democratic
part, but the constitutional part is what  is really important. Mr. Chavez
in Venezuala carried 58% of the vote--that means that 42% did not vote for
him. Without checks, those 42% at at the mercy of the leader of the 58%.
Now, I do not know how the constitution of Venezuala is written--how the
court system is constructed, or how the President's powers are held in
check. In the US it was essentially 50-50 in the popular vote--and in this
era, the Republicans hold majorities in both houses of congress and the
presidency. But they can still not impose unconstitutional laws on the land.
And one also has to remember that although many of the individual states
that make up the union--we are after all the United States of America, not
the United People of America, have lost power to the Federal Government, the
States still have a great deal of power. Another check on the majority. You
can always move to a differerent state. The Left Coast can still pass all
kinds of quirky laws, that we in the Middle South do not have to follow.
(thank the Constitution). They can limit the freedoms of their citizens as
much as they like as long as they do not abrogate the US Constitution (or
their own). They can levy their own taxes, create their own courts, etc,
etc. And yet, the founding fathers one state was equal to another, no matter
what their population. South Dakota with 1/2 million people still has the
same number of Senators as Californina or New York. This is what makes the
country work (albeit very slowly). And this was the only way to bring
together a diverse collection of former colonies into a federation. If the
Senate was like the House of Representatives, then California, New York, and
Texas could rule all the other states. 


"If you're a big enough fool to climb a tree and like a cat refuse to come
down, then someone who loves you has to make as big a fool of himself to
rescue you."
W Percy

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