Go to links

Friday, March 23, 2007

The point is not to excuse but to understand

From "Thinking about Foreign Policy" by Sheldon Richman at http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0612b.asp:

Short excerpt:

Americans rarely see their government’s policies through the eyes of those who suffer them.

Longer excerpt:

. . . in the world of state relations, threats and aggressive acts rarely come out of the blue but rather are preceded by provocations. Americans grow up believing that the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor was an unexpected act of treachery, but that’s because their schoolbooks and news media never told them of the long prelude of economic warfare committed against the Japanese by the Roosevelt administration. The point is not to excuse the attack, but to understand it. Likewise, the 9/11 attacks were not the beginning of a conflict with Arabs and Muslims. For 50 years the U.S. government had pursued policies and backed regimes in the Middle East that were
responsible for thousands of deaths and much hardship. Again, the point is not to excuse but to understand. Americans rarely see their government’s policies through the eyes of those who suffer them.


We should keep these historical points in mind whenever attacks are made on our homeland, military, embassies, etc. When politicians (of either party) start clamoring for the U. S. to retaliate for such an attack, we should look hard to see if there is reasonable evidence that the U. S. itself has provoked the attack. If so, perhaps the best way to resolve the conflict is for the U. S. to stop the provocation!

We should also keep these historical examples in mind whenever politicians start clamoring for the U. S. to intervene in the affairs of other regions or countries or to impose economic sanctions on other countries (e.g., Iran). In short, we should do our best to prevent our political leaders from provoking attacks on us in the first place.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home