IRAQ: Tactical Folly, Strategic Madness

February, 2004 Essay--Truth Based Logic


Synopsis

No attack on decision to go to war, or on military operation; but no Constitutional authority for protracted occupation or for rebuilding Iraq with American resources; unsuitability of Democracy for a unified Iraq; effect of prolonged American occupation on the War on Terror; the Israeli lesson & escalating violence. What may really be influencing President Bush.

America And A Conquered Iraq

What this essay is not, is an attack upon the decision by the Bush Administration to wage a second War on Iraq, in early 2003. We recognize that many legitimate questions have been raised about that decision; while something less than a compelling demonstration of necessity for an invasion has been offered. But not having access to the sources of intelligence, available to the President of the United States, we cannot in honor condemn his action. It may well have been justified by materials which he simply cannot make public without compromising the safety or efficiency of our Intelligence & Counter-Intelligence Agencies. Under the totality of circumstances--including the unprovoked attacks on Americans and other Westerners, in recent years--we consider the just course, to assume that the President acted honorably and in America's interest. We shall persist in that assumption unless, and until such time as, the contrary may be clearly established.

Nor will we say much that is negative about the actual conduct of the War. One shameful particular, the failure to reverse the asexual military agenda of the Clinton Administration, deliberately allowing America's young women in harm's way, did result in a number of female deaths and the crippling of several others. This obvious deviation from the American military tradition was all the more regrettable, because in every other particular, according to every report, our forces were permitted to act according to their best military judgment and training. And America's young manhood demonstrated a disciplined efficiency, courage and dedication, very much to their credit; as to that of the cadres who trained them.

Thus, whether history will show it was the right battle, at the right time, or not; America's second Iraqi War must be considered a decisive battlefield success. While surely to be expected--given the enormous disparity between the combatants--it was nevertheless a relief to many of us, that both our men and weapons performed as we had hoped; and that we sustained none of the embarrassments, stemming from political indecision--or the wrong decisions--in Washington; which had so frequently undermined morale in earlier debacles in Korea and Viet Nam, as well as in the aborted Iranian hostage rescue mission under President Carter.

The point of this essay, then, is not to question either the wisdom or methodology of our attack on the former Socialist dictatorship in Iraq. Historians will doubtless debate aspects of that for a long time to come. But the subject here is the future, both immediate and intermediate--both the next few months and the next few years. The specific topics addressed will all fall within the ambit of the generalized scheme, proclaimed by the Administration, to rebuild Iraq within its present borders, as a "Democracy," under our direction and protection via a continued occupation by American armed forces, and the expenditure of many billions of dollars of American public revenues. Here, at least, we believe that a vigorous dissent is both reasonable and mandated.

Tactical Folly--Strategic Madness

Introductory

While not the main focus of this essay, a consideration of any policy or action of the United States Government must always start with a Constitutional assessment. There is no authority for there even being an American Federal Government, able to act, outside the written Constitution. That is not theory. It is historic truth.

A policy that calls for a protracted American presence in Iraq, and for the expenditure of substantial American assets in the primary interest of Iraqis, might be legitimate under a monarchy, where the Government was neither the result, nor strictly limited by the confines, of a written Constitution; (though it would be no wiser, even were that Government not faced with record budget deficits). But America is not a monarchy, and the President is not our King; and there is no provision under our written Republican Constitution for such an adventure. Moreover, even if one could contrive a verbal argument that some provision might implicitly authorize such activity--and we have yet to hear anyone seriously attempt to do so--the longer term involvement, envisioned, would still not pass muster under the broad provisions which require that Federal action be directed towards the "Common Defense" and/or "General Welfare" of the people of the United States.

We realize that there are those who would suggest that there are precedents. The almost half century occupation of the Philippines, might be cited. But our Philippine adventure was a result of catching the infectious appeal of the Colonial era, the "White Man's Burden" in Kipling's parlance. To be sure, there were those who justified it on the basis that we were really conferring a benefit on the Filipinos; but most Americans understood who the real beneficiaries were supposed to be. And during that period, we made no secret of the fact that the Philippines were considered an "overseas possession." There is not even a hint of a similar attitude towards Iraq.

The Post World War II occupations of Germany & Japan involved other premises, and may be Constitutionally justified on at least two bases clearly within the ambit of providing for the Common Defense of these United States: (1) That each nation was seen as having the inherent capacity to again pose a direct threat to the United States, within a short time frame, because of the demonstrated level of ability in their respective populations, each with a formidable proven capacity to wage modern warfare; and (2) each would have been a strategic prize of enormous significance to the Communist enemy, which emerged in that era as the greatest threat to the West since the Mongol conquest. While we may have patted ourselves on the back for having made possible the post war prosperity of both nations, that claim is rather debatable. We did not invent or really augment the impressive talents, discipline or work ethics of their respective populations. What is not debatable is the benefit that we later derived in our eventual victory in the Cold War.

Whether we are likely to derive a net benefit from a protracted occupation of Iraq, involves very different issues and factors; but the President has made it rather clear that his purpose is to benefit Iraqis, not Americans--or how else can one explain the method for financing our operations by massive Congressional appropriations on their behalf? Yet it is really not such obvious reversal of the usual expectation for benefit rather than protracted sacrifice, from conquest, which is the primary basis for our skepticism. It is not the imagined altruism behind the Bush policy that is its greatest flaw. That must be found in a total disassociation from paths by which human societies ordinarily progress socially or economically. We also believe that any policy calling for a protracted occupation of Iraq will be absolutely counter-productive to both our immediate and longer term interests in the "War On Terror."

We will explore three primary subjects: First, whether their is real benefit to anyone in the absurd policy of having American taxpayers pay to rebuild a supposed enemy, sitting on a sea of oil, rather than expect the Iraqis to use their own natural resources to rebuild their own country. Second, the suitability of "Democracy" for the modern land known as "Iraq." Third, the likely effect of a direct, long-term American involvement on the ground, in running Iraq or protecting a particular Iraqi government, on the War On Terror. Our conclusion is that these will clearly demonstrate that the present policy of the American Administration in Washington amounts to tactical folly to an extent cumulatively equivalent to strategic madness.

Tribute Or Delusion

During the Cold War, Americans got into the questionable habit of subsidizing foreign lands. While arguably a means of trying to win friends and offset Communist subversion, this was often clothed in the language of altruism. Yet clearly it is neither altruism nor charity for a Government to tax its own people to solve the problems of others.

What a politician does with his own money, is one thing. The public revenues of the United States are not the resources of our elected office holders. Their relation to those revenues is that of a fiduciary, their use of those revenues is always In Trust: In trust for the benefit of the common defense and general welfare of the United States. Using such funds for any purpose other than one directly beneficial to the American people, is the clearest possible violation of such Trust. And whatever justification there may have been for some foreign aid during the Cold War, did not provide an ongoing justification into an indefinite future.

In the late 1970s, the Carter Administration succeeded in bringing Egypt and Israel to the peace table, ending a state of War that had lasted over three decades, with intense hostility and intermittent strife. As part of the package, the United States agreed to pay each of those two nations a very considerable sum in foreign aid; appropriations that have continued now for a quarter century.

While at first blush, the idea of having to bribe others to act in their own true interests, would appear repugnant and absurd--and make no mistake, that peace accord was very much in the true interest of each nation--the Cold War maneuvering provided at least a partial justification for the outlays, tending to win Egypt and Israel as allies, and eliminating potential threats to a vital trade route (the Suez Canal). But the Cold War is over. The precedent set by the Carter Administration should not become a norm for our relations with other nations in the region. Clearly, it would be absolute madness to create an impression that the way to be supported by the American taxpayers, is to have them intervene in your affairs, "for your own good."

There is also an issue whether--and to what extent--other nations actually benefit from our foreign aid. Certainly the governments, the politicians and office-holders, benefit from foreign windfalls. But that does not necessarily translate into real benefit to a society. If the net effect is to subsidize unsound business practices, it may either induce or mask an actual deterioration in the long-term capacity of the political economy to deal with its real needs or problems. In other respects, it may act like a narcotic, inducing dependence on an artificial source for good feelings and happy impressions. For all of the reasons that the truly free market is such a powerful vehicle for human progress, such a subsidized market can never truly measure up as an engine for production or positive achievement.

Although the issues and causes are different, the long term effect on Spanish society and economy from the Sixteenth Century reliance upon conquered Aztec & Incan resources, which was clearly to undermine and stunt the normal incentives for internal development, comes to mind. Admittedly, the Spanish grew dependent upon foreign wealth in the form of a tribute won by Spanish military accomplishments; while any induced dependence to the detriment of Egypt or Israel would but reflect the delusional thinking of those running American foreign policy before Reagan. Yet, it is entirely possible that the long term effect on both the Egyptian and Israeli peoples could be equally deleterious.

Of course, there is one other important distinction between the Carter policy and the present Bush policy. In addition to the Cold War factor, the self-flagellating Carter Administration was aiding oil-poor Near-Easterners. What can anyone say in favor of applying a similar policy to try to bribe the oil rich Iraqis?

Democracy & Iraq

Among the links, offered at the conclusion to this essay, is one to a Chapter in our Debate Handbook on "Democracy In The Third World." That Chapter should be considered as more fully developing the point, we will make here.

Modern Iraq is an Administrative political unit, carved out in the dismantling of Turkey's former Ottoman empire. It is simply not suited to what has come to be called "Democracy" in the parlance of the modern Left. (Usage that has come to refer to a State governed by the universal suffrage of all adult residents, regardless of their economic or intellectual level, ancestry, common history or lack of it, or any of the other normal criteria for human differentiation.) While this is not how either the classical Athenian or the modern Swiss Democracy might be defined, it is precisely what the Leftwing ideologues in the United States State Department during the term of Dean Rusk (the Kennedy/Johnson Administration) sought to impose on various peoples in Africa and parts of Asia, in the 1960s. And it appears to be precisely what the current Administration has proposed for today's Iraq.

The "Democracy" mantra has become one of the most sacred shibboleths of the modern Left. The idea that there is inherent virtue in counting noses to determine a people's course of action, without consideration of what is behind each nose, is foolish enough. Yet it is relatively harmless where you have a homogeneous population, where almost everyone shares common values, and honors a common history--factors, for example, behind MacArthur's success in Japan. But Iraq is not that. It has several quite distinct, often antagonistic, ethnic and religious groups--the Kurds in the North, the hostile Sunni and Shiite Muslim factions in the center and South, and other distinct, though smaller, groupings scattered about.

Iraq also lacks a dominant middle class, ordinarily necessary for even a semblance of common sense in a nation governed by "one man, one vote," procedures. Without a dominant middle-class, or a population with very high average I.Q.s (as in Japan), politicians quickly turn to mob incitation; to manipulating the lowest elements, as an easy source for voting power.

What this is likely to add up to, in such a "multi-cultural" State, is a rapid devolution of "Democracy" into the most vicious, demagogue driven contentions for domination; virtually inevitable, where the bulk of the people do not share a common perspective on either the function of the State or the proper relationship between what is common interest or business, and what should remain individual. The sad truth is, that not only in third world lands, but even in many areas of present day America, one can witness dynamic processes, which make "Democracy," as a healthy and viable system, next to impossible.

Historically, of course, "Democracy" was never quite what the modern social reformer on the Left would suggest. In the Classic case, the citizenry of Athens were only a minority of the population of the City State that they administered. There was also a huge slave population, as well as a substantial free resident alien population. This latter, while permitted to share some of the prosperity, did not share the common lines of descent, heritage and culture; and thus had no vote. While the numbers varied, the actual citizens probably never exceeded 25% of the total in residence, and at times amounted to significantly less than that percentage. It is obvious that those wise, philosophic Hellenes, did not want their politics or society to degenerate into the cesspool of ethnic jealousies and contentions, so common in many a modern city.

In fairness to the Bush Administration, we sense a subtle shift away from the original rhetoric emphasizing the promotion of "Democracy" as a cure for regional problems in the Near East. (It would, of course, be precisely the opposite.) We certainly hope that this trend will continue, perhaps followed by the well deserved removal of any advisor, who would recommend imposed "Democracy" (an oxymoron) to begin with. And yet, we would not be misunderstood. It would be a very good thing, if the natural leadership of the Iraqi peoples, opted for some form of a particpatory society or societies. Whether under a monarchy or republic, participation by subject or citizen in a form of self-government is certainly a worthy ideal; one with many very practical benefits. But the form of that participation, and the requisites for the suffrage, ought to be decided by those who will suffer the consequences of a wrong decision.

It was fairness and wisdom, not a lapse in judgment, that induced America's Founding Fathers to allow each State to define not only its own suffrage in the choice of its own office holders, but also that suffrage, within its borders, permitted to participate in Federal elections. Nor was it any lapse in judgment, that a full generation passed, before anything even approaching universal male suffrage became a norm.

One must also recognize the legitimate concern of our Turkish ally over the idea of allowing the Kurds in Iraq, complete independence. The Turks fear that a free Kurdistan could trigger a rising of the Kurdish minority in Eastern Turkey, disrupting Turkey's internal security. Turkey has been America's most important ally in the broader region since before the Korean War, and is obviously entitled to great respect. On the other hand, it is not really fair to force the Kurds to remain a part of an artificial creation called Iraq.

Would it perhaps be possible to give the Kurds independence, with some sort of guaranty that would satisfy the Turks--perhaps coupled with an agreement that the Turks could expel the more militant of their own Kurds to the new State, with a reciprocal pledge by that State to restrict and punish any future activities, directed against Turkey, by those expelled? Is this being considered? If not, why not? It is sad that no one wants to allow the Kurds ethnic expression, except in lands where they are perpetually in the minority. The Bush Administration obviously needs to address the aspirations of the Kurds in Northern Iraq--who were our allies in the recent war--whether within or without the future Iraq? Pontificating about "Democracy" within the present borders, does not really address that issue.

Iraq And The Ongoing War On Terror

A number of theories have been advanced to suggest that a prolonged American presence in Iraq is an effective maneuver in the "War On Terror:"

1. That it is better to engage an enemy, however defined, in Iraq, than to have to fight that same enemy in America. But this does not scan. There may, indeed, have been some anti-American linkage between the fallen Dictator of Iraq and the operations directed by Bin Laden; but such linkage would appear to have been only occasional and largely based upon a separate perception by each that America was a common enemy.

The fact is that Iraq was primarily a secular Socialist dictatorship, interested in increasing its own secular power; while Bin Laden was and/or is a theological fanatic, drawing supporters from all over the Muslim world, but with a heavier concentration of those who share his hatred for the House of Saud in the Arabian Peninsula. Those now shooting at Americans in Iraq, whether from a Socialist or Muslim Fundamentalist perspective, would not likely be so acutely involved, were Americans not in their midst.

To suggest that more than the tiniest percentage would have the fanatic interest and persistence to actually come over here and threaten us, or were privy to any secret dealings of the former dictator, is to grossly overreach. The history of military occupations is full of instances where otherwise more passive people get drawn into resistance movements. It may not be the sole factor; but the present continuing occupation is certainly a major factor in not only drawing fire, but increasing the will to "fire."

Bear in mind that Iraq is only a very small part of the Muslim World; while Bin Laden recruits among a fanatic element throughout that world--and more heavily in areas other than Iraq;--and the absurdity of trying to defeat him by occupying a small area of this vast potential basin for recruitment, should be obvious.

2. That by drawing the enemy fire in Iraq, we are sparing Americans the inevitable collateral damage from violent conflict, which would result if that conflict were nearer at hand. Yet here, also, the suggestion lacks credibility. Those killing Americans in post war Iraq look precisely like other Iraqis. They blend easily into and out of the social milieu. Those same persons would obviously stand out in most American States, and could only operate at a distinct disadvantage, even if they could more easily get here. (Of course, we realize that this Administration has a compulsion against recognizing the ethnic characteristics of traditional Americans. Its avowed disdain for "profiling" might partially blunt this manifest advantage. But shooting yourself in the foot at home, is no reason to go out of your way to invite danger abroad.)

3. That if America can start a Democratic movement in the Near East, the result will somehow be a new prosperity, with the people turning against those who preach hatred of the West, etc.. This combines wishful thinking--wishes as horses, in the old metaphor--and a blind acceptance of a mystical quality, which Democracy simply does not impart. It involves a gross confusion of cause and effect, and an arrogant unwillingness to even listen to what the leaders of other lands are actually saying. Indeed, as suggested above, we need look no further than the very ugly turn which minority politics has taken in many American cities, to obtain a mild preview of the likely course of "Democracy" in Iraq.

Those out of the power loop, whether Sunnite or Shiite, Kurd or some small Bedouin tribe, will seek to blame someone else for every problem. And how long will it be, before the United States become the focal points for this "blame game," with obviously very negative consequences with respect to the supposed objective of reducing the level of hatred directed against America and Americans.

The reason that most countries, where Democracy seems to work, prosper, is not surely because of "Democracy." Rather it is the other way around. It is in societies where there is a high level of demonstrated ability to analyze and initiate, that both prosperity and a working popular government are most likely to obtain and persist. It is not that the government causes the prosperity--although it may be less likely to get in its way. It is that the same innate mental qualities make both results possible. But installing a Democracy will not confer any new job aptitudes or innovative tendencies on Iraqis, any more than they have on many of the other unfortunate peoples, similarly afflicted by Western "Liberal" experiments.

Nor can the Administration simply ignore the lessons to be derived from the Israeli experience in the same region, dealing with a mindset similar to that of many of the indigenous peoples in Iraq. While of the region, today, the Israeli majority are primarily of a European background. They have employed the innovative techniques that have distinguished European societies, such as the former colonial powers, the United States, Australia, South Africa (before the A.N.C. Government) etc., in basic confrontations with the Third World over more than two centuries. With this advantage, although substantially outnumbered in a number of wars, Israel has achieved a succession of rapid and decisive victories.

For the past 37 years, she has occupied and dominated the Palestinian parts of the former British Mandate, which the U.N. divided in 1947, with effect from 1948. We do not think anyone can fairly say that the Israelis have not played efficient "hardball" in that occupation. Yet despite every effort to quell disturbances and control the violence, terrorist resistance and suicide bombings have increased in both frequency and scope.

No reason has been advanced to suggest that we can expect to do appreciably better in Iraq than the Israelis have done in Palestine. It can only be arrogance or naivete`, or a combination of the two, which would propose involving Americans in a similar bloody, but unending mess. And once in such a mess, there can be no conceivable justification for failing to recognize it.

Whatever justification there may have been for the actual war, the very notion that the United States have an ongoing right, duty or license to engineer "regime changes" on the other side of the globe--in the back yards, as it were, of our long term allies in Western Europe--can only injure us in the real War On Terror. We are simultaneously insulting both our European friends and the entire Muslim World. Only a fool would argue that this make us better loved or respected. And while there are peoples in this world, who will become more passive, if thoroughly defeated, the Near East does not appear to be peopled by such.

While much of he Muslim world may dislike some aspects of modern American sub-culture--as do many American Conservatives, for that matter--this is not what enabled Bin Laden to recruit the 19 fanatics, who perpetrated the suicidal attacks on September 11, 2001. Two basic concepts seemed to motivate the group, and went well beyond mere cultural antagonism: The beliefs (1) that America was somehow behind the previous Israeli successes over the Arabs, and the continued occupation of Palestinian territory; and (2) that America was propping up the House of Saud in Arabia against those who shared Bin Laden's revolutionary vision or messianic delusion.

Each of these ideas involve misconceptions--America has actually been neutral in most of the Arab-Israeli wars, and under Eisenhower actually intervened diplomatically against the British, French and Israeli attack on Nasser's Egypt in 1956, in a very forceful manner; while the House of Saud was recognized internationally after World War I as the legitimate rulers of Arabia, at a time when American influence in the region was virtually non-existent. Yet their significance can be easily illustrated by the fact that 14 of the 19 participants were apparently Arabian dissidents, although, numerically, Arabians make up a very small percentage of the total Muslim world. The truth is that while most Muslims in the world might identify with the Arabs against the Israelis, much as most Jews and Fundamentalist Christians in the world would probably identify with Israel; there is no basis to conclude that very many of those Muslims were likely recruits for suicide missions against Americans.

Regardless of their rhetoric, designed to solicit broader support, the Bin Laden movement was a two issue conspiracy, directed at two regional targets in the Near East. If there was a rational purpose, it was an attempt to intimidate us into not coming to the aid of either target. Their method of "persuasion" was obviously not acceptable, and the Administration's decision to search out and destroy the last remnant of them, has always had our full support. But to broaden our focus beyond that actual declared enemy, is not only to broaden our own immediate involvement, it greatly expands the opportunities for those fanatics whom we are trying to eliminate.

There was but a limited pool from which those fanatics could reasonably hope to recruit in significant numbers, before the President added total insult to what had only been an imagined injury, by vowing with smug arrogance to change the culture of the entire Near and Middle East. Phrase it, however he will, the message is not about "Freedom," a concept which has always meant different things to different peoples, reflecting their diverse priorities. (And even to the same peoples at different times, as consider Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms" in comparison with the American tradition.) The message is about imposing a foreign culture, and can only be seen as confirming what was previously only the propaganda of our worst enemies; while it grossly broadens the scope of their formerly imagined grievances--adding some new and genuine ones.

Some of those who cannot appreciate how this will expand the potential pool of recruits against us, may have emotional blocks against trying to understand human motivations that do not fit their preconceived biases.

The net effect of the President's demand for "Democracy" is to invite completely unnecessary conflict, on an ever expanding scope, when all that was really needed was a systematic round up of those previously arrayed against us; a round up, which could only have been aided, had we shown more respect for the culture and sovereignty of the varied States in the region. Some of the collateral effects of this madness could well undermine friendly Governments in Israel and Saudi Arabia, because the policy of insult gives our (and their) enemies, a credibility they did not have before. It also promises to revive the deep and bitter splits at home, which impacted us adversely in the 1960s.

Final Note

We have devoted considerable thought to an effort to try to understand President Bush. He seems to have definite Conservative instincts. Yet, over and over again, he has appeared fundamentally unaware, even in outright denial, of important aspects of human reality; an ignorance of the true diversity in ability, personality, interests and priorities. We see this in his approach to education, to medical services, to immigration. We hear it in his rhetoric on ethnic and historic questions, and in his willingness to heed the destructive advise of the dysfunctional Karl Rove. And we see it here in his post-war policy towards Iraq.

We do not believe that the President is an evil man. We certainly hope that he is not operating with a hidden agenda. We have heard the aspersions that our Iraqi policy is just about oil, or motivated by a desire to enrich friendly corporations with huge contracts for "rebuilding Iraq." While we certainly think that the President is aware--as he should be--of possible benefits to American business interests, we do not believe that those factors or considerations are the primary causes for the folly we have described.

We are also acutely aware of the Keynesian (anti-recession) parallels between the "guns and butter" budgets of Lyndon Johnson during the Viet Nam War, and the present fiscal policies of the Bush Administration. Yet, while we believe the President is at least in part a Keynesian, we do not think that the prime determinant of his announced approach to post-war Iraq. Nor do we believe that the President is being driven by an anti-Muslim bias, Israeli interests, a carry-over from some earlier dynamic involving his father, a conspiracy to impose a "1984" style tyranny over the planet, or any other covert motivation.

The problem is not his instincts or integrity. Rather, it is in basic assumptions that we have seen in his education program and in his attitude towards immigration. It is in the same mindset, which prompted him to inject himself into the contrived firestorm over an innocuous birthday toast by Trent Lott, to honor the late Strom Thurmond--who had been an essential factor in Bush's own election. We have addressed the mythology behind this mindset in the essay on "Myths and Myth Makers In American 'Higher' Education" (below). It discusses ideas that the Academic Left aggressively promoted during the President's formative years, from grade school through College; the ideas of those actively pursuing the concept of an undifferentiated humanity (our term), as an essential prerequisite for the world government or international collective that many left-leaning academics have openly avowed for over two generations.

For those who do not have time to read the Chapter, we will summarize the positions of the last three of the named myth makers, from the perspective of how their respective representative positions complemented each other as participants in a much broader based attack, aimed at undermining our senses of ethnicity, nationality, heritage and descent:

1. Ashley Montagu, trained in the Boas school of Cultural Anthropology at Columbia, endeavored to undermine the lessons from 50 years of anthropological and racial studies, by obfuscating the evidence, attacking the motivations of those scientists who had documented human differences, and playing word games with definitions and terminology, to convince the uncritical student that, if not precisely the same, everyone is potentially, at least, almost equal.

2. Gordon Allport, a Harvard Psychology Professor, endeavored to persuade the susceptible that normal human preferences and patterns of personal identification--such as love for country and one's countrymen--should simply be dismissed and avoided as prejudices. He, as Montagu, openly admitted pursuit of a "one world" goal for all mankind.

3. Norman Cousins, Editor of the Saturday Review, and the leading advocate of a World Federation, toured America for years, addressing academic and student groups: He would first scare an audience with a very eloquent and moving description of the horrors of atomic warfare; then, when their defenses were lowered, he would try to persuade them that the way to peace was by changing the whole focus of the study of humanity, from trying to understand the differences between peoples--what makes each people unique--into studying all the ways we are similar or alike. (Of course, problems may indeed arise from those differences; but Cousins' "head in the sand" approach to such problems, was hardly something that should have been accepted as a basis for changing the quality and thrust of education--or for abandoning one's heritage.)

While the particular myth makers, addressed, were merely prominent examples of a much larger group of Left oriented academics and advocates, they were the most articulate and outspoken of the group. The flaws in their argument, discussed in the essay (below) would be equally applicable to virtually any of their allies.

We suspect that if the President ever looked at the ideological background of those who, at some point, convinced the teachers who in turn convinced Bush, that humans are all basically equal and that differences in appearance are purely skin deep, while differences in performance are environmentally driven; he would be horrified. For example, both Ashley Montagu and Gordon Allport, our prime examples of myth makers, ran in Socialist or pro-Communist and allied circles in their thirties and forties. While that fact, alone, might not discredit their respective arguments, it should at least cause the President to question them, before he simply accepts their propaganda as a factual given on which to base public policy! It is clear from his numerous pronouncements on ethnic questions--as from his avoidance of ever even praising the special and unique ethnicity of the Founding Fathers--that he has not done so.

There is further confirmation for this explanation of the President's conduct, in his repeated retorts to those who would question his intent to introduce Democracy into Iraq; comments to the effect that he considers such skepticism towards the suitability of "Democracy," an insult to the Iraqi people. The clear implication is that he considers it prejudice, prejudice in the sense to which Gordon Allport sought to indoctrinate American College students, that any preference for nation, race, religion, community, or even family values, was prejudice driven and inimical to the cause of human understanding and world peace. Another example of the lock this contrived mythology appears to have on the President, came in his speech in Senegal last year, where he was so out of touch with historic reality, that he insulted his hosts in denouncing human slavery--no longer a contemporary issue in either Senegal or America--without realizing that the upper class in Senegal maintained a slave based labor system, long after the same was abolished in every one of the United States.

The President is certainly not alone in the described mindset. It permeates the world inside the Beltway, as we have explored in other essays. We do not want to denounce a man for merely being a product of his age and era. But we do not want to see even one more American boy (or God forgive us, girl) die in pursuit of the pseudo-science and mock idealism of the Montagus, Allports, and Cousins. There is room on this planet for an Iraqi Iraq and for an American America, and we are not interchangeable peoples. The notion that we are is the true insult to each of us.





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Conservative Debate Handbook:


Introduction--Defining Issues--The Logistics Of Political Debate

Immigration & The American Future

Myths & Myth Makers In American "Higher" Education

An American Foreign Policy

Democracy In The Third World--Destructive Egalitarian Myth

Declaration Of Independence (With Study Guide)