The Enemy Bush Fails To Understand

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President Bush says we are at war against terrorists, people who hate. People who know no values, morals, and who have no desire but to kill Americans. It is a simple definition which has 30 second sound bite appeal. But, it is also a simple understanding of a situation America faces which is anything but simple. President Bush has not demonstrated an ability to understand or identify the real enemy behind such labels. And this portends a very dangerous situation for America.

Contrary to a futuristic world monoculture resembling America, there is no international culture, nor international language. Germans still speak German, Russians still speak Russian, and Nepalese still speak Nepalese. But that is language; one small facet of what one discusses when talking about culture. There is a common currency internationally called money, that is relatively universal, but, there is little else that is universally international about the world's societies, no matter how President Bush wants to see it.

One of the absolutely huge cultural differences in the world is one the President appears to not even be aware of, which means he is blind to what he is fighting. Absolutely blind. President Bush, despite his insistence on being able to read the minds of foreigners, does not know the face of the enemy, for the face of the enemy is not a human face, but, deeply historical and cultural differences foreign to most of what we understand as culture in the West.

Western society is based on an empirical tradition handed down from ancient Greece and Rome which is not rooted in religion or theism. Religion and theism are secondary to western society which is driven by inquiry, change, creation and recreation, invention, and the marketability of ideas as the yardstick and measure of successful research and living.

Much of the Eastern and Middle Eastern world does not come from that tradition. The Eastern world inquired into what the world, and man's relationship to it is, thousands of years ago, and set the answers down in writings which became the cornerstones of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam: cornerstones of culture in China, Tibet, India, and the Middle East. These texts and writings set down all the answers to what the world is about, and vast numbers of people in the East and Middle East, to this day, look to those writings for their laws, their religion, the questions about who they are, why they are, and how things should be done and how they shouldn't. They do not look to industrialization or technological innovation as necessary improvements to quality of life. They do not value change. In fact, they value tradition which opposes and fights change.

These cultures look back to tradition and rules thousands of years old to satisfy their needs for knowledge and inquiry. Thus, the vast numbers of these people in these cultures do not want to change, and do not want to be changed, neither from within or outside. They want the security and safety and confidence about tomorrow that their traditional knowledge of yesterday provided. They do not want to market change for change sake the way the western cultures do. They want to preserve their nomadic, their traditional, their time honored religious rules for living and social structure. In the West we separate religion from secular affairs. In the East, religion and physical life and governing were forged from one and the same mold.

There is a whole generation out there of Tibetans, Nepalese, Arabs, Chinese, and hosts of others who are threatened by the influences of the West. It has nothing to do with hamburgers, language, or coca-cola. It has to do with pace of life, station in life, predictability in life, time honored traditions in relationships between the individuals and society, all of which are threatened by the empirically based means and ways of the West. This generation resists the influences of modern China, Westernized capitalist rule of oil supported Kings and ruling families, and the commercialized imperialism of the West which paves the way for the destruction of their traditions, their forests, their family farms and shops, villages and pastoral history, and the predictability and security facing the tomorrows of their own lives and that of their children that the past provided.

Whether or not Osama bin Laden opposes the West on these grounds or is simply an opportunist trying to create his own landless nation of followers fighting the West is irrelevant. What is relevant is the fact that OBL and Zarqhawi are using the threat of Western influence as a threat against the historical looking texts of knowledge and wisdom which their cultures were founded upon. And they are using that threat for raising an army and a cause that will not be defeated by killing leaders. For every leader in their fight against Western influence, two will rise to take their place.

President Bush would have us believe it is hatred and terrorism that we are fighting. These are the weapons of our enemy, not their cause. It is an adamant defense of tradition, culture, religion, and law honored for thousands of years as set down in the Koran and generational history in song, story, and folklore, that is their cause, and that cause is what we in the West face as our enemy. Failure to recognize our enemy and why it exists and what motivates it, is begging for a multi-generational war based on the domination of some cultures by others, much in the same way the colonialists and the new nation of the U.S. attempted to eradicate the culture and history and way of life of the American Indian tribes.

The West will probably win this war to destroy their cultures, take over their resources through international corporations, and change their religiously based laws and traditions, in the same ways that we won against N. American tribes and cultures. But, it won't be easy, it won't be won in a generation, and the costs will be extremely high as they were in fulfilling our 'manifest destiny' here in N. America.

The American Indian wars constitute a period of great shame for America, which is why we hide it so deeply in our westerns which demonize and dehumanize the American Indian so we can avert our eyes to our shame. There simply has to be a better way. Christ pointed to it, Buddha pointed to it, Confucius pointed to it, the Upanishads pointed to it, but, as we all know, but don't confess, religion is secondary to our empirical consumer oriented society, and money will dictate our future, not religion.

The war America faces is both with the terrorist attackers of the U.S. as well as the repercussions of U.S. led internationalization of corporate development and exploitation of resources, both human and natural, which peoples of the Eastern and Middle Eastern nations view as a threat to their way of life. They abhor the idea of giving up their job in their Uncle's or Father's shop to work for wages for some international corporation which has its home in Great Britain or America. They abhor the idea that may have to live under secular laws that are not found and bound in their historical and cultural texts of wisdom and knowledge which instruct what a good life, an honorable life, and a religious life is. America must fight the terrorists who would attack us. But, if America ever wants to see an end to that war, it must consider and reshape its relationship with those societies in a manner that is not viewed as a threat to their religion, their cultures, and their philosophies of what constitutes a good and virtuous life.

It is human nature to change and adapt and even overcome and reshape adverse situations and conditions. The peoples of the East and Middle East are not opposed to change that comes from their own determination of how to adapt, how to overcome, and how to reshape the inadequacies of their own cultures and societies to survive in the modern world. But, many will fight to the death and with a sense of martyrdom and pride, attempts by the West to force changes upon them motivated by needs of those in the West. The greatest mistake President Bush made was to turn a deaf ear and rein in the decision making ability of our own State Department. Our State Department employs people who are trained and educated in cultural values, paradigms, and fundamental structures of foreign nations. Our State Department was very likely capable of designing a strategy for pursuing terrorists against us which would not increase their armies, entrench anti-American hostility, and protract indefinitely our pursuit of growing numbers opposing us.

It was an appalling failure of our government not to separate the military campaign against al-Queda and others who threaten us, and the diplomatic negotiations with Middle Eastern nations which would have aided our efforts against al-Queda without aiding al-Queda's efforts against us. There is no doubt in my mind that the experts in our State Department had, or could have developed, effective plans for bringing down Saddam Hussein's regime without military invasion of Iraq which strengthened the numbers of our enemies and their resolve to harm and impede our efforts. It would have taken longer, but, when it happened, the U.S. would not have been cast in the Middle East as the greatest threat to Islam and its people's way of life since the Crusades.

And I am 100% confident that nothing I have said would make any sense to George W. Bush, at all. And that is why I cannot vote for a candidate of such ignorance and folly. That is not to say, there is a candidate out there who does understand what this war on terrorism is really about. I am voting for Ralph Nader, but, I don't believe even he understands the immense cultural forces at war here, of which terrorism is only a symptom.

But, Ralph Nader would withdraw from Iraq making stability or civil war in Iraq a regional problem for its neighboring states which would be directly affected by the outcome in Iraq. That would result in Middle Eastern Islamic states finding their own change, finding their own adaptations, finding their own resolutions more consistent with their philosophies, historical understanding, and religious context. And withdrawal would take the first difficult step on the long road toward repairing America's international relations based on rational and predictable good will.

Remaining in Iraq for a decade or more will only serve al-Queda's needs for new recruits, to fuel further anti-American sentiment and hostility, and create an artificial peace and unified democracy in Iraq dependent upon American occupation. It simply defies reason that some day soon, the Kurds, Shia, and Sunni's will share one democratic government in the absence of martial law with or without U.S. presence. Martial law is antithetical to democracy. And that is the fundamental quagmire that is Iraq today. A quagmire of President Bush's and our own Congress' making. Thus, I must take an anti-incumbent position now, and in the future, until such time as we have leadership that demonstrates competence, realistic and pragmatic decision making, and a motivation to serve the interests of the American people instead of making the American people serve the interests of government.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on October 10, 2004 2:25 PM.

Presidential Debate 2 - Bush Loses on Iraq was the previous entry in this blog.

Final Debate - Clear Choice - No Clear Choice! is the next entry in this blog.

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