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talk about the irony

Reader comment on item: Defending and Advancing Freedom

Submitted by a Filipino liberal (Philippines), Nov 21, 2005 at 04:13

I would like to comment on this article because it talks about the actual basis of many of the US's actions: The belief that it's their task to spread "democracy". The US government believes that all means are justifiable to spread "democracy", and all means have been available. This is where they're wrong.

People around the world have been said so many times that "Americans think they can do whatever they want". And to all appearances, you just ignore all of this. Yet don't you think that this belief - that you can do whatever you want to spread your version of democracy, is exactly what they've been complaining about? Assassinations, toppling governments through coup de'tat or invasion, support of dictators, and of course, the notion of "preemptive strike" are all OK if your goal is to spread democracy. OK for the US, but not for anyone else. Dictators - not in my backyard, but up yours. And after all this, you've never thought that this kind of attitude is exactly what they've been saying? Probably not. And what we've all been told for decades was that communist nations were impervious to foreign criticism. Well.

First there's "preemptive strike". The US believes that it is fine to attack another group or nation if you believe he's planning to attack you. Well, what if it turns out they weren't planning to attack at all? This is a complicated issue, really, but I think the most moral thing to do is to only fight when you're attacked. It's not that I don't believe in fighting to defend yourself. I believe in self-defense. I believe in the a person's right to self-preservation. Despite what Jesus said in the New Testament, that you should turn the other cheek, I think you should defend yourself if attacked. Don't criticize me for this - after all, you conservatives think the same way. I've always found it interesting how many conservatives are devout Christians, and yet they don't believe in turning the other cheek. Isn't it ironic? Could somebody please explain this belief to me in this forum?

Anyway, back to the preemptive strike. I believe you can do self-defense, but that the US has an extremely twisted definition of self-defense. For example, the US was attacked on September 11, then, two months later, when they invaded Pakistan, they claimed it was in self-defense! That was not self-defense, that was retaliation. Self-defense is fighting back during the attack, for example, shooting down the planes before they crashed. Retaliation is launching your own attack later on. It is premeditated. Don't courts of law accept this logic - fighting back right on the scene is self-defense, but going and killing the man days later is retaliation - premeditated murder? Americans speak English as a native language, yet they don't even know the basic difference between the definitions of these words?

Of course, killing someone because they wronged you is still better than really being the first one to hit - attacking someone not because he hurt you but for your own reasons. But still, doing so is taking revenge, not self-defense, and we should be clear about that. And we know that if civilians do this, it is considered vigilante action, and is also a criminal act. And it's becoming more common in recent times to view the world as a community, the global village. So, by this analogy, if the world is a "village", then the nations are its "citizens". And if on citizen attacks another, by our own police laws, should the other retaliate after the event? No, he should report it to the police. But the world has no police, you say. Actually, there is. It's the United Nations. The UN has peacefeeping forces for just this sort of action. But the US believes itself to be the police, "the world's policeman". And that's the problem. Because if we were to look at nations as people, then the US is just a person; richer and stronger than other people, yes, but just a person. The true police, the true government in the "village", are organizations composed of groups of nations. Is a government run by one person alone? No, that would be autocratic. And I thought the US was about democracy. So, judging them by the standards they use to judge others, if they continue on this path of action, then they will be the true outcats and criminals in the global community. They would be the real rogue nations, a title the US has long used for other nations. Because what does acting alone, without UN authorization, make you? A vigilante! And that's against the law.

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (46) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Nuclear Proliferation—Options In A Perfect Storm [122 words]David J. JonssonNov 7, 2006 14:1765465
Fight back or die? [312 words]John BellusciMar 6, 2006 13:2239070
To B, re Muhammad article [17 words]AmiraDec 7, 2005 00:1029554
Re: mohamed.m/ Amira/ Dr. Pipes [35 words]BDec 5, 2005 14:0029437
The West's dilemma considering Islamic extremism [258 words]J.B.Nov 29, 2005 17:4729061
response to Walter [1087 words]a Filipino liberalNov 22, 2005 04:3028675
Response to Filipino Liberal [71 words]WalterNov 21, 2005 16:1928659
talk about the irony [781 words]a Filipino liberalNov 21, 2005 04:1328641
to mohamed.m [48 words]mlusNov 16, 2005 14:3228489
To Amira re Mohamed M's comment [46 words]SophieNov 11, 2005 16:5628252
To Muhammad M. [36 words]AmiraNov 11, 2005 00:4128207
الإسترايجية الناجحة [556 words]mohamed.mNov 10, 2005 11:5128161
On pre-emption and premature "democracy" [360 words]john h. rubelNov 8, 2005 14:2427993
Promulgating Freedom [186 words]JerryNov 8, 2005 12:2627979
Response to David [108 words]WalterNov 8, 2005 02:5327928
U.S foreign policy [40 words]Michael ByrneNov 8, 2005 00:2527923
Paradox - frightened great white north [151 words]DAVIDNov 7, 2005 16:5827907
Response to Walter's comments [14 words]Merry WhitneyNov 6, 2005 13:3527858
Is Democracy the Answer? [520 words]Reuben HorneNov 6, 2005 06:5627850
Peace without USA [358 words]WalterNov 5, 2005 21:1827838
Cruel Irreligious Piety-Titus Andronicus [100 words]Charles FortnerNov 5, 2005 08:2027817
Armegeddon may not wait for 22 years [354 words]Robert H. Tyrka Sr.Nov 4, 2005 10:5727777
Freedom does not work with Islamic countries [510 words]f.shakkiNov 3, 2005 22:1827761
It's Food For Thought, But ... [71 words]Jeanie KennedyNov 3, 2005 22:1627760
Answering Commentary's 4 Questions [3370 words]Bill NarveyNov 3, 2005 20:5627754
Interim rule in Iraq [37 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Joe DefezNov 3, 2005 16:0327749
It's the Insurgents [91 words]WalterNov 3, 2005 14:3227742
Collective Security - what is needed! [55 words]David W. LincolnNov 3, 2005 13:1627736
Defending Democracy and Freedom [395 words]Ed GordonNov 3, 2005 12:5427735
Preemption & Democracy in 22 Years [218 words]Raymond S. KraftNov 3, 2005 10:5327733
22 years before democracy [52 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Robert H. Tyrka Sr.Nov 3, 2005 10:0127730
Two Sayings [43 words]Monty PogodaNov 3, 2005 07:2227724
where's the words? [228 words]Simon DavisNov 3, 2005 01:1727719
Is motivation relevant? [252 words]YochevedMiriam RussoNov 3, 2005 00:2427715
Preemption and Democracy [69 words]Yvonne lawNov 2, 2005 20:3527707
Take a breath Kim [170 words]John GiannascaNov 2, 2005 18:0727703
First, spread democracy in the blue states [208 words]Merry WhitneyNov 2, 2005 17:3227702
Preemption and democracy [317 words]Donald W. BalesNov 2, 2005 16:1227696
Let's consider deterrent. [201 words]Jason PappasNov 2, 2005 15:5527695
Israel acted in self-defense in 1967 [96 words]Ken GoldNov 2, 2005 14:5927692
Advancing Freedom [154 words]Dr. Lee D. CaryNov 2, 2005 14:4627690
Defending and Advancing Freedom. [839 words]Kim SegarNov 2, 2005 14:3127689
Bush Doctrine [270 words]Lamar CarnesNov 2, 2005 14:1427688
Time is of the essence [382 words]John A. RosadoNov 2, 2005 13:4827687
No policing [11 words]Gary MillerNov 2, 2005 12:3727686
Israeli "preemption" in 1967 [132 words]Don RadlauerNov 2, 2005 12:3427685

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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