(Final Version)
Srdja Trifkovic

President Bush's first State of the Union address was a historic
occasion. It is impossible for contemporaries to predict how current
affairs will translate into history, but I venture to assert that
Michael Gerson and speech writing staff -- who went through nearly 30
drafts - finally presented him, and us, with a mature ideological
framework that reflects

the balance of outlooks within the present Administration, and that the
resulting strategic blueprint will have momentous consequences for
America and the rest of world for decades to come. The preceding debate
may have been the last chance for any remaining republicans (small "r")
within the national security team to raise their

voices, and to insert certain qualifications into what has emerged as
the "Bush doctrine," but this has not happened. The neoconservative
Weltanschauung has triumphed. The doctrine now stands unambiguously as
the foreign policy of the United States, and is likely to gel into
bipartisan credo. For the first time since the end of the Cold War we
have been presented with the ideological basis and fully developed
self-referential framework for the policy of permanent global
interventionism. The full implications of his words are startling, so
let us review the key non-domestic points of the speech itself before
examining its repercussions. 1.  In addition to "ridding the world of
thousands of terrorists" in Afghanistan the U.S. had "saved a people
from starvation and freed a country from brutal oppression [T]he mothers
and daughters of Afghanistan were captives in their own homes, forbidden
from working or going to school. Today women are free, and are part of
Afghanistan's new government Our progress is a tribute to the spirit of
the Afghan people, to the resolve of our coalition and to the might of
the United States military." 2. The President was vague on the estimated
number of terrorists still at large, but in any event "our war against
terror is only beginning" and it will encompass the whole world:
"Thousands of dangerous killers, schooled in the methods of murder,
often supported by outlaw regimes, are now spread throughout the world
like ticking time bombs, set to go off without warning tens of thousands
of trained terrorists are still at large. These enemies view the entire
world as a battlefield, and we must pursue them wherever

they are freedom is at risk and America and our allies must not, and
will not, allow it." 3. The list of enemies also includes "regimes who
seek chemical, biological or nuclear weapons" and "at least a dozen
countries" that offer refuge to "a terrorist underworld." Three
countries in particular are "threatening

America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction,"
North Korea, Iran, and Iraq: "States like these, and their terrorist
allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the
world." 4. America welcomes friends and allies in this endeavor, "but
some governments will be timid in the face of terror. And make no
mistake about
it: If they do not act, America will."
5. To handle the threat the United States must "develop and deploy
effective missile defenses to protect America and our allies from sudden

6. In addition the U.S. will preempt any possible threat. Mr. Bush says
he "will not wait on events while dangers gather" and "peril draws
closer and
closer": "This campaign may not be finished on our watch, yet it must be

and it will be waged on our watch."
7. This task is transcedentally ordained: "History has called America
and our allies to action, and it is both our responsibility and our
privilege to fight freedom's fight." 8. All this will require a lot of
money, more than anything spent on defense even at the height of the
Cold War: "My budget includes the largest increase in defense spending
in two decades, because while the price of freedom and security is high,
it is never too high. Whatever it costs to

defend our country, we will pay."
9. As "government works to better secure our homeland," Mr. Bush invited

Americans to volunteer two years of their life to the new USA Freedom
Corps: "America will continue to depend on the eyes and ears of alert
citizens We want to be a Nation that serves goals larger than self." He
invited his audience to join the new USA Freedom Corps, whose major role

will be homeland security.
10. America seeks "a just and peaceful world beyond the war on terror"
and it will "lead by defending liberty and justice because they are
right and true and unchanging for all people everywhere America will
always stand firm for the non-negotiable demands of human dignity: the
rule of law, limits on the power of the state, respect for women,
private property, free speech, equal justice, and religious tolerance."
11. The "real" Islam is an ally in this bold endeavor: "Let the skeptics

look to Islam's own rich history -- with its centuries of learning, and
tolerance, and progress." 12. All of the above is based on a deeper
understanding of the world and

our purpose in it: "We've come to know truths that we will never
Evil is real, and it must be opposed Rarely has the world faced a choice

more clear or consequential."
What does all this mean? Let us address these twelve points one by one.
1. AMERICA AS SOCIAL WORKER TO THE WORLD So Afghanistan has been saved
from starvation and brutal oppression, and

its women are free to venture out of their homes and attend schools.
That's nice, except that none of this was among the originally stated
objectives of the military operation in Afghanistan. That operation was
justified on the basis of those stated objectives -- reasonably clearly
defined, rational, and focused on Usama Bin Laden, his network, and
their Taliban

>From the outset there have been warnings that a megalomaniac
would turn the whole thing into another exercise in Benevolent Global
Hegemony. Now we know that such misgivings were justified. The original
goals have been retrospectively blended with the mission of bringing
democracy, progress, and human rights to the oppressed people of that
country. The embarrassing failure to capture or track Bin Laden (who was

not mentioned once in Mr. Bush's speech), his key aides, and their
leading Taliban allies, is now covered up by the allegedly splendid
results of America assuming the responsibility -- not announced at the
beginning of

the Afghan mission - of the social worker and empowerer to the world. It
was possible to support that mission in the name of hardheaded,
Jacksonian realism, and this writer has done so. Belatedly we are told
that globalist-missionary impulses - the legacy of Woodrow Wilson - have
been a key ingredient all along. This is disastrous: a realistic
attachment to the national interest - the art of the diplomatically
possible -- has the potential to realize moral purposes, while the
mantle of "morality" leads to the moral collapse of Western and American
values that we have witnessed with the interventions in Bosnia and
Kosovo. 2. MERE NUMBERS NO LONGER MATTER By throwing vastly different -
and always neatly rounded - figures about

the number of terrorists still at large at his audience, the President
has the impression that the actual numbers no longer matter. Precise
quantitative parameters are essential if you are planning a limited
response calibrated to the magnitude of the threat, but those parameters

have to be relativized if you are planning an unlimited and open-ended
global campaign. Judging by the President's treatment of those numbers -

which he magnified tenfold from one sentence to another -- this is no
longer a war against a clearly defined threat, caused by a number of
actual or potential adversaries willing to do us harm. The "Terror" in
the War on Terror has been transformed into an ontological category, and
therefore it has ceased to be amenable to mere quantification. In
practical terms this means that the intelligence community now has a
bureaucratic incentive and institutional vested interest to keep its
estimates on the wild side. If

thousands or tens of thousands today why not hundreds of thousands, or
even millions, tomorrow? The casual reference to "thousands of killers"
suggests that at least as

many thousands of terrorist murders have been carried out by them. We
know that 19 known killers caused the carnage on September 11; where are
the rest of the victims of those "killers," unless everyone connected
with UBL automatically qualifies? It is not merely pedantic to point out
that his

trainees should have been called "potential killers," if their training
has not been tested in practice as yet. Undoubtedly the threat still
exist after the end of the Afghan campaign, and it is serious enough to
warrant our undivided attention, but the President of the United States
should not treat it as if it were some metaphysical category, where
measurable parameters give way to nebulae, and "terrorism" joins
"poverty," "racism," "injustice" etc. in the repertoire of ills that
will never be eradicated
for the devil never gives up - but nevertheless must be fought,
eternally, with vast bureaucracies, and tons of money. 3. "AXIS OF EVIL"
Sixty years ago we had the original Axis, and it took the rest of the
world five years to break it. Until 1989 we had the Evil Empire, and it
took five decades of determined effort by the Free World to make it
snap. How exactly the latest blended metaphor applies to the three
countries named by the President is unclear. They are certainly not
allies, and therefore the "axis" is purely coincidental: Iran and Iraq
are eminently bad neighbors, regional rivals whose bloody war fought
after Saddam's attack in 1980 has been neither forgotten nor forgiven in
Tehran. Their ideologies are
irreconcilable: Saddam is a secularist dictator who appeals to the
Baathist variety of Arab nationalism. Iran by contrast upholds Islam as
the basis of its ancient polity, but its Shiite leaders detest the
Wahabi "heretics" of al Qaida and the Taliban. North Korea, by contrast
to both, is a zany neo-Stalinist hell on Earth, whose minimal external
links may go as far as Peking but certainly do not extend to the hotbeds
of Islamic militancy in South Asia and the Middle East. In brief, the
"Axis of Evil" was another

rhetorical device that sought not to describe reality, but to blur it
and replace it with another metaphysical figure of speech. We suspect
that North Korea, an irrelevant loser in the game of international
politics, was included exclusively so that its medium-range rockets -
developed in case of a conflict on the Korean peninsula, and
theoretically capable of reaching the westernmost tip of Alaska, but not

California - could justify the unnecessary and harmful missile defense
program (see No. 5). Under pressure from Russia and China, three years
ago North Korea suspended indefinitely flight testing of its missiles --
a necessary prerequisite for their operational deployment -- so long as
the United States engaged in negotiations on issues of mutual concern.
Continuing these negotiations is seen by most U.S. allies -- including
South Korea! -- as the best way to contain the North Korean missile
threat. In addition, its inclusion on the Most Wanted list can be
counterproductive in giving it an incentive to actually develop
retaliatory weapons of mass destruction that can be used against 40,000
American soldiers in Korea as a means of deterring threatened attack.
Iraq, by contrast, had always been the intended next target for the
trigger-happy duet Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz and their think-tank and media
cohorts in both parties. Within days of September 11 Paul Wolfowitz had
argued that even if Iraq wasn't involved in the attacks it simply did
matter: this was a good time to settle the score with Saddam once and
for all. A week later, in an open letter to the President, Kristol and
two-dozen neoconservative leading lights - including Richard Perle,
Robert Kagan, Charles Krauthammer, Martin Peretz, and Norman Podhoretz)
argued that "even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack,
any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors
must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power,"
and warning that "failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an
early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international
terrorism." These people want America to initiate an all-out war with
all of the enemies of its "only reliable ally in the region," starting
with Iraq, whether they be real, potential, or imagined, and regardless
of whether this is in the interest of the United States to do so. Their
efforts are

summarized in the words of the editorial in the right-wing Israeli daily

Yediot Aharonot of January 31: "Bush positioned himself exactly at
place: without saying it, he clarified that Israel's enemies are also
America's foes." The war-on-terror blanket proved to be a handy device
for the advocates of this principle to finally impose their agenda and
preclude debate. While Iraq had always been an intended target, the
inclusion of Iran in the "axis" is unexpected, and represents a major
and extremely dangerous victory for these neoconservatives who must
think that if Osama Bin Laden did not exist he should be invented.
Dangerous because a simultaneous campaign against both Iraq AND Iran can
be desired only by those who want to turn America's current passionate
attachment in the Middle East into a cataclysmic clash of civilizations.
In addition, contrary to the President's assertion, Iran has a
democratically-elected president and parliament, albeit constrained by a
conservative theocracy. Compared to such American allies as Saudi
Arabia, Oman, and even Pakistan, Iran is positively democratic, and
partly as a result of the loosening of the clerics' grip it has been
steadily veering in the direction of greater moderation in foreign
affairs. A conflict with the US could set back the

development of democracy there by decades. It is most unlikely to have
the support of Europe, which sees Tehran as a regime to be cultivated
and encouraged. The Iranian government does provide support for Hamas
and Hizbullah, but the activities of those militant groups depend on
reaching a lasting Israeli-Palestinian settlement. They are an Israeli,
and a Palestinian, but not an American problem, unless each and every
armed and dangerous fanatic everywhere is an American problem - in which
case we need to send the Marines to Chechnya, Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone,.
It almost defies belief that Mr. Bush has accepted their arguments for a

simultaneous massive confrontation with a regional power par excellence
Iran - as well as a huge chunk of the Arab world, a confrontation that
probably cannot stop short of nuclear exchanges and, ultimately, lead to

new terrorist attacks on America, attacks that would make September 11
look like Bull Run to Antietam. Contrary to this disastrous course, he

have rejected the impression of a permanent U.S. bias in Middle Eastern
affairs that breed anti-Americanism and Islamic extremism. We all need a

stable peace in the Middle East that should be based on an even-handed
treatment of the conflicting parties' claims and aspirations. There are
problems that may not have a solution, such as the valid title to the
Temple Mount, and the desirability of any possible solution must be
assessed from the point of clearly defined American geopolitical,
economic, and diplomatic interests. 4. TIMIDITY OF OTHERS WARRANTS
ACTION BY AMERICA That "some governments will be timid in the face of
terror" is inevitable, but their precise reactions undoubtedly will have
a lot to do with the definition of "terror" and the selection of
measures to be used against it. There is no doubt that, if the logic of
the "axis of evil" is applied and Iraq is attacked, America's remaining
Arab friends will display extreme timidity. In some of them timidity may
turn to hostility, including above all Egypt - the most populous and
arguably most important Arab country -

but also Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, not to mention the non-Arab
"allies" such as Pakistan. Should those guilty of timidity also fear
armed retribution in view of the President's warning: "And make no
mistake about
it: If they do not act, America will"? We suspect that Osama Bin Laden's

real objective all along has been such cataclysmic war that can only
benefit those who desire the destruction of the remnants of our race and

        What will the Government of the United States do if the
"timidity" about starting an all-out War of Civilizations spreads to our
European allies, who have already expressed amazement at the
implications of Mr. Bush's speech? This reaction is noticeable even in
the right-of-center, usually pro-American camp. The neoconservative
equivalent of The Wall Street Journal on the right bank of the pond, the
Financial Times of London, felt compelled to warn on January 31 that Mr.
Bush's ringing rhetoric will divide the alliance with Europe, rather
than seal a common

purpose: "North Korea and Iran do not belong in the same breath as Iraq.
To lump them together is simplistic and will alienate new allies in
Asia, Europe and the Middle East." In France equally conservative and
usually U.S.-friendly Le Figaro noted on the same day that Mr. Bush
"avoided any

reference to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, an issue over which the
Europeans are almost as touchy as the Arabs." In Germany commentators
opined that  "Bush needs this war in order to explain the budget
deficits the country is facing for the first time in years, to justify
the recession, and he needs it as a recipe for fighting the economic

And Bush needs this war and the popularity it is bringing him because
congressional elections are coming up" (Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich,
January 31). In Greece Eleftherotypia noted that nobody dared say that
many terrorists were trained by the Americans in order to confront the
'Evil Empire,' "nor did they take into account that Bosnia, a host of
terrorist camps according to Bush, has been practically under NATO rule
since 1996." Perhaps the Europeans had better watch their step, too:
Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz has warned them that the U.S.
was ready to act outside traditional alliances in its fight against
terror, and that it would take "a dim view" of anyone who tried to sit
on the fence: "Nations cannot afford to act like those neutral nations
60 years ago," Wolfowitz

told a 43-nation security conference in Munich on February 2. 5. MISSILE
DEFENSE NON SEQUITUR The logic of justifying the missile defense project
by September 11 has never been explained. On that day death came to
ordinary Americans not by means of an ICBM but by a more prosaic route,
and the real and present threat that remains with us all does not
include a rogue missile. Mr. Bush and his team must know that this
paranoid Marxist dictatorship is not part of any "axis" and it will not
be attacked or otherwise bothered by the U.S. unless its leaders decide
to commit suicide. For the past fifty years they have not shown any such
desire. Without North Korea's inclusion on the list, however, NMD
critics could argue that September 11 made the expensive and elaborate
scheme all but irrelevant for the foreseeable future. Without it the
decision by President Bush to abrogate the Anti Ballistic Missile treaty
with Russia would be seen for what it is: a decision likely to harm
American interests at a time when the threat of global Islamic
terrorism, and the need for coalition building, require a thorough
reexamination of some key tenets of the Administration's national
security team. Branding terrorism and rogue rockets together may be
clever from the point of view of domestic politics, but nevertheless
disingenuous. Very different "effective defenses" are needed against
terrorist attacks on one side and "rogue state missile attacks" on the
other. The former are likely, even imminent, in the years to come; the
latter are and have always been extremely unlikely. A
hundred-billion-dollar antimissile shield will do nothing to protect
American cities from nuclear or biological weapons smuggled across a
virtually uncontrollable southern border and detonated from within the
country. Ironically it may render such attacks more likely, by forcing
any possible aggressor to consider alternatives to the method of
delivery that leaves a clear "signature" and may be countered by the
antimissile shield. It should be noted that many U.S. allies in the
anti-terrorist struggle see the insistence on missile defense as proof
that Washington's multilateralist rhetoric was only a temporary
expedient, used while the Administration searched for - and obtained -
wide international support immediately after the terror attacks. The
impact of the missile defense obsession on America's relations with
Russia is also likely to prove more complex than Mr. Bush apparently
assumes. It is seen even in Putin's own

camp as proof that promises of a new partnership amounted to empty talk:

"When the U.S. needed support in Afghanistan they called us a partner,
but they forgot the partnership once they decided to scrap ABM." All
that for the sake of a deeply flawed project, justified by fraudulent
intelligence assessments and based on unproven technology. The
proponents of NMD and threat assessors are as unable after September 11
as ever to present a credible scenario of "rogue" attack on the United
States. Its assumptions were not only technically flawed but also
politically paranoid. In practical terms America's true safety is not in
anti-missile missiles, but in tightly controlled borders and a
well-equipped military capable of defending its territory and its
clearly defined national interests. In fundamental terms the missile
defense "philosophy" as currently conceived assumes the desirability of
the global hegemony as the basis of U.S. foreign policy. A "good"
missile defense system would only be compatible

with a return to constitutional foreign policy.
President Bush's aides and advisors, and other Administration officials
have elaborated what will happen "on our watch" with more precision.
Donald Rumsfeld says he has told the Pentagon to "think the
unthinkable." Vice President Dick Cheney, the President's reliable
voice, has said the US is considering military or other action against
"forty to fifty countries" and warns that the new war may last "fifty
years or more." A Bush adviser and Defense Department consultant,
Richard Perle, explained that there will be "no stages" and that not
even a pretense of some international "coalition" is needed: "This is
total war. We are fighting a variety of enemies. There are lots of them
out there ... If we just let our vision of the world go

forth, and we embrace it entirely, and we don't try to piece together
clever diplomacy but just wage a total war, our children will sing great

songs about us years from now." In Singapore, where several al
Qaeda-linked arrests have been made, U.S. Ambassador Franklin Lavin was
explicit: "We

must remain on the offensive Sometimes this will be through the U.N.
system, sometimes it might be through NATO or other organizations, and
sometimes we might have to do this job ourselves." And finally, less
than a week after the President's speech the United States signaled it
would take pre-emptive action in the next phase of its war on terror.
"The best defense is a good offense," Deputy Defense Secretary Paul
Wolfowitz told a security conference in Munich (February 2), referring
to the "axis of
evil": "Our approach has to aim at prevention and not merely punishment.
We are at war." Bill Clinton had to invent the "Kosovo genocide" in
order to justify the

bombing of Serbia, and cajoled NATO into giving him the mantle of
multilateralist legitimacy. The war against terror eliminates the need
for similar constructs in the future. America will go it alone, or not,
as it deems fit, and attack is the best form of defense. The concept of
national sovereignty, functioning within an international system based
on a balance of power among the major actors, has formed the basis of
Western politics, liberalism and the rule of 1aw ever since the Peace of
Westphalia (1648) is now being formally replaced, in America's war
against terror, by the Bush Doctrine, a more developed variant of the
Brezhnev doctrine of "limited sovereignty" which was used as a pretext
for the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968. While Clinton had
to use an abstract notion of universal "human rights" as the pretext to
violate the law, tradition, and all established procedures in
international relations, the war on terror

provides a more convincing and ever present alibi for the
interventionists to do literally as they please. This mindset is rooted
"benevolent global hegemony," as the world's self-appointed guarantor of
peace, executor of

justice, and champion of democracy and freedom.
The vision presented by President Bush, and so frankly elaborated by his

officials, hinges on the continuing technological and military
superiority of the United States, not on  its moral authority or
political magnetism. They openly proclaim that America is to be obeyed
because it is strong to impose its will, not necessarily because it is
accepted as the legitimate leader. The rest of

the world is put on notice that it is more advisable to share in the
Fifty-Year War than to attract suspicions of disloyalty. This mindset -
especially when it comes from a presumably "conservative" Republican
-- dims the lingering hope that America is still a Republic, in the
sense of the res publica of informed and responsible free citizens
exercising their rights and fulfilling their obligations. 7. ANSWERING
HISTORY'S CALL The belief that one is on the right side of "history" is
one of the most

dangerous delusions in history. This historicist fallacy has bred not
only Gnostic ideologies that murder millions of those who are deemed to
be on

the "wrong" side of history - foreigners as well as their own citizens -

but also results in the inevitable destruction of the over-expanded,
over-extended bearer of the divinely appointed task. The symptoms of
imperial over-reach are already present in the case of the United
Can we permanently guarantee Israel's security (regardless of what it
does to its neighbors), bring Arafat back to the table or else get rid
of him, teach North Korea, Iraq and Iran a lesson they'll never forget

that they live long enough to remember anything), maintain "friendly"
regimes in the Muslim world in power while this carnage proceeds,
guarantee the "security" of the Chinese province of Taiwan against the
most populous country in the world, prop up Turkey, keep Bosnia safe for
the local Muslims while telling them not to play hosts to terrorists,
occupy Kosovo for the benefit of the Albanian dope-smuggling pimps,
build a space shield to ward off rogue missiles, surround Russia with an
ever expanding NATO,

keep India and Pakistan from a nuclear shootout, destroy Colombian drug
lords, protect the porous Rio Grande border, control Internet messages
and guns and phone calls at home, and stop the nosedive of the economy?
The question makes the answer superfluous. We cannot pay the price of
the new Imperium, even if it was worth paying. Epistemological hubris is
in the heart of every utopian who wants to make the world obey. God
knows; man only thinks he knows, and actually knows far less than he
thinks. When he thinks he can play god, he does abominable things. 8.
"WHATEVER IT COSTS WE WILL PAY" When honey changes pots, according to
Chinese folk wisdom, fingers get licked. When hundreds of public
billions are about to go into private hands, with the President saying
that "we" will sign the check regardless of how many zeros it has, we
should ask "cui bono." For some friends of the A-team in Washington all
this is nothing short of corporate bonanza. The

day the Wall Street stock market opened after September 11, the few
gainers were the giant military contractors Alliant Tech Systems,
Northrop Gruman, Raytheon, and the biggest supplier of them all,
Lockheed Martin, whose shares jumped by a staggering third. The Bush
Administration, and most notably Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld,

spent the previous nine months of 2001 promising to "transform" the U.S.

military by canceling or cutting back obsolete systems to forge a
quicker, more mobile force. But Mr. Rumsfeld's budgets for this year and
next, supplemented by the President's additional largesse, have managed
to retain each and every major, Cold War-inspired weapons program that
was in the pipeline when the Administration came into office. This
includes hardware eminently ill-suited to the "war on terror," such as
nuclear attack submarines, heavy destroyers, the 70-ton Crusader
artillery system, and the F-22 fighter plane - at two hundred million a
piece. None of that has anything to do with the new, post 9-11
challenges, or indeed with the old, post-Soviet ones. It has everything
to do with the Republicans' supposed

disdain for "big government," which simply does not apply to the big
military, and their corporate suppliers. "Everything that's being done
in the name of the war on terrorism is getting kicked through," said
Christopher Hellman, senior analyst at the Center for Defense
Information, an independent Washington think tank. Take the $32 billion
defense-budget increase, which brings the Pentagon's total to $343
billion and is the biggest hike since Reagan's cold war buildup. The
money has nothing to do with shredding al-Qaeda, and the increase was on
the table before the towers came down. With the current deficit, the
increase will be paid for with Social Security money. And yet, most
people are unaware that war spending mostly does not come out of the
military budget. Thje cost of the Afghan campaign had to be covered from

$20 billion of emergency spending passed after Sept. 11, and more
fast-tracked bills are expected to pass soon. Of the defense
appropriations bill Mr. Bush signed amidst much pomp on January 10,
about $7 billion to $10 billion will pay for programs the Pentagon did
not even ask for. As part of the bill, Boeing will supply the Air Force
with 100 tanker jets it says it does not need, at a cost to American
taxpayers of $26 billion. This is not war on terror, this is not
defense; this is pork. Mr. Bush's subsequent announcement that he will
seek a $48 billion increase in Pentagon spending this year only confirms

notions of military reform have taken second place to the "needs" of
weapons contractors, military bureaucrats, and members of Congress from
militarily-dependent states and districts. As Paul Krugman of the New
York Times has noted, Rumsfeld's decision to save the Crusader system
from the budget ax directly benefited his old college roommate and
wrestling partner Frank Carlucci, whose Carlyle Group investment company
owns United Defense, the manufacturer of the Crusader. Carlyle, which
also employs former Secretary of State James Baker and former President
George Bush Sr., took United Defense public late last year and raised
over $200 million in capital in the process. Suggestions that

Rumsfeld may have cut a deal to help an old buddy (not to mention the
company that employs our current president's father) have been met with
the argument that Don Rumsfeld just doesn't do that kind of thing. 9.
CITIZEN PARTICIPATION The shock of September 11 was a painful
opportunity for America to rediscover a world in which it will be secure
and free, and will not threaten security and freedom of others. These
goals are inseparable from the preservation of our identity and our
liberty at home. Unless the government defines foreign policy strategies
founded upon the notion of America as a real, completed nation, a state
with definable national interests that ought to be the foundation of its
diplomacy, it is not possible to reanimate civil activism based on the
healthy assumptions of a genuine community, a shared polity. This is
miles away from the neoconservative call - articulated by Kristol and
Kagan in their famous 1996 article "Benevolent Global Hegemony," for
"citizen involvement," which is in their terms tantamount to
militarization of the populace and their

seduction into the imperial enterprise: "to close the growing separation
of civilian and military cultures in our society," to "involve more
citizens in military service," to "lower the barriers between civilian
and military life." It is indeed desirable and necessary to have
informed, responsible and willing citizens participating in the effort
to protect the nation at home and present its best image abroad, but
this can be done properly only if

the participants in this endeavor are imbued with "enlightened
nationalism" based upon the Golden Rule, in line with the U.S.
Constitution and in accordance with the true spirit of
"citizen-soldiers." Republican government involves civic activism, and
as Sam Francis has reminded us, the early champions of republicanism in
European history were insistent on the virtues of the vita activa over
the vita contemplativa, the contemplative life, which is more consistent
with monarchy. Republican citizens must work at being free all the time.
They have to go vote, but far more important

than voting is the immense amount of time they have to spend in
discussing public affairs and informing themselves about them, and even
more time-consuming is the actual participation of the citizen in public
office or in public duties, including military service. Mr. Bush's plea
for participation is coupled with further centralization of authority
and decision-making, which inculcates passivity into the population. But
instead of a new Golden Age of republican virtue and self-sufficiency
that is still possible and desirable, the Kristol-Kagan-Bush model
offers "citizen participation" of the kind we've seen all too often in
20th century Europe, where ideological assumptions of the ruling
establishment are not only beyond critique or reproach but where any
doubt is in itself evidence of bad faith. That this call is accepted at
face value indicates that the American polity is losing a rational and
self-authenticating principle at the root of moral distinctions. Its
subjects are encouraged to "participate" but they are no longer expected
to make a meaningful specific contribution to rational decision-making.
Many no longer know, or care, that morality and justice is to discharge
that vocation. But to live otherwise is to be spiritually diseased, and
unworthy of the appellation of "citizen." 10. NON-NEGOTIABLE DEMANDS OF
HUMAN DIGNITY If "America will always stand firm for the non-negotiable
demands of human
dignity: the rule of law, limits on the power of the state, respect for
women, private property, free speech, equal justice, and religious
tolerance," we shall have permanent war for permanent peace that will
not be limited by time or geography. It is light years away from
candidate Bush's response in the second debate with Al Gore (October
2000), when he warned the Vice President that it is not America's role
to patrol the planet and arrange other peoples' lives in its own image:
One way for us to end up being viewed as the ugly American is for us to
go around the world saying, we do it this way, so should you The United
States must be humble and must be proud and confident of our values, but
humble in how we treat nations that are figuring out how to chart their
own course. This was, we still hope, the "real" Dubya, positively a
breath of fresh air after Mrs. Albright's triumphalist ravings about the
"Indispensable Nation." Another ray of hope was Bush's pledge, made
shortly after he was nominated, to order a review of America's foreign
commitments, and his promise to "scrutinize open-ended deployments,
reassess U.S. goals, and ascertain whether they can be met." But his
present apostasy was made possible by the fact that Bush's guiding
principles, insofar as they exist, are contradictory, and not strong
enough (as it turns out) against pressures from hegemonists. After the
decline of higher cynicism in the name of Human Progress, followed by
the Clinton-Albright brand justified by Human Rights, we now have the
ascent of higher cynicism in the name of Human Dignity. The proponents
of all three varieties share the same fear that the world

will happily pass them by unless America imposes herself, rises to the
challenge and throws her weight about. But to live for the adrenaline is
to ride for a fall and to walk with Hubris. The longing to be the
world's social engineer-in-chief cum policeman will never be admitted as
the basis of policy. Clinton knows that he should always deny the
charge. Throughout the Bosnian Intervention he was the respectable
front-end of the Albright program. Inside the State Department and the
CIA there is always room for the pretense that policy is more limited
and calculated than the passions and arrogance which drive it. In the
same vein German policy before 1914

was defined, on paper, by men more rational and cool than their
political bosses. American power and prestige are in the hands of men
and women unable, or, worse still, unwilling to resist the Temptation to
invent new missions, lay down new embargoes and fabricate new courts.
They sense limitless opportunities, and we must ask what ambitions they
will declare next. Such declarations are there for all who care to read
and listen on both sides of the dominant political spectrum. Bill
Kristol and Robert Kagan have gloated for the past six years in what
they call "benevolent global hegemony." The neocons' definition of Pax
Americana is summarized in those two gents' exultation that we have
never lived in a world more conducive to [our] fundamental interests in
a liberal international order, the spread of freedom and democratic
governance, [and] an international economic system of free-market
capitalism and free trade.  They don't tell us how the US

will preserve the traditional moral fabric, social structure and
economic interests of its own people - what most Americans still mean by
'national interests.'  Their concern is exclusively with the blessings
America should bestow upon the rest of benighted humanity. 11. THE REAL
ISLAM? Bush may be disingenuous here, rather than seriously deluded - we
certainly hope the former is the case -- because Islam as such, and not
some allegedly aberrant form of it, is the main identifiable threat to
America's global security in the coming century, and, in the longer
term, to the survival of our civilization. Islam has been synonymous
with violence and intolerance since its earliest days. Like communism or
Nazism, it is part-religion and part-ideology that seeks to impose
mind-numbing uniformity of thought and feeling on its faithful, to
subjugate and ultimately destroy all non-believers. It accepts no
"peaceful coexistence" and never will. But while Mr. Bush should have no
illusions about the nature of the beast -- which may lead him to serious
miscalculations as to who is, or can be, America's friend or ally --
there is no reason to continue alienating over one billion Muslims in
Asia and Africa. Their peculiar ways notwithstanding, he should make it
clear that we have no immediate quarrel with them for as long as they do
not threaten America.

Once again, the U.S. foreign policy must avoid creating conditions for
specifically anti-American Islamic hostility (the general anti-Western,
anti-Christian and anti-European bile will always be there). It
therefore must avoid the perception of a permanent bias in Middle
Eastern affairs.

The U.S. needs a stable peace in the Middle East that should be based on
a scrupulously even-handed treatment of the conflicting parties' claims,
including Israeli security and Palestinian statehood. At the same time,
it is vitally important and necessary to deny Islam (the adjective
"militant" is frankly redundant) the foothold inside America, and the
omission of a moratorium on immigration is the most remarkable missing
link in the President's antiterrorist strategy. Like its red ideological

sibling of yore, Islam relies on a domestic fifth column - the
Allah-worshiping Rosenbergs and Hisses - to get its work done. Not one
in a hundred communists was a Soviet spy, just as perhaps not one in a
hundred Muslims is a bin Laden asset - but reducing the risk then
demanded denying visas (let alone green cards or passports) to all
self-avowed communists. Doing likewise now with Osama's potential
recruits is the prerequisite of any meaningful anti-terrorist strategy.
Since the first WTC attack in 1993 the FBI has known that belligerent
Islam had a firm foothold within the Muslim diaspora in America, but the
demographic deluge has continued unabated. Islamic extremism exposed on
September 11 must end another kind of extremism: the irrational and
manifestly false claim that each newcomer to America is equally meltable
in the pot. That dogma costs lives. 12. "WE'VE COME TO KNOW TRUTHS THAT
WE WILL NEVER QUESTION" By postulating America as the epitome of all
that is good, and those who

wish it ill as the incarnation of evil, and by telling the rest of the
world that the choice is clear and must be made, the President is
effectively precluding any meaningful debate about the correlation
between U.S. foreign policies and terrorism. Ottawa, Copenhagen, Zurich,
and Oslo were not attacked; Washington and New York were. He refuses to
acknowledge even the possibility that this country was a target, and
others -- just as democratic and affluent, and therefore worthy of
jealousy and envy -- were not, because of what America does around the
world (and most notably in the Middle East), whether we believe that to
be good or bad. Some years ago my friend Brian Mitchell has diagnosed
the "twin faults" of this mindset leading in the same murderous
direction. The first is "a gnostic belief in our own anointing as a
nation, a belief without any foundation in scripture or tradition,
chosen merely because it flatters us." The second is an undeserved
confidence in our ability to know and reason, which makes it easy "to
pass judgment on others and bear the sword against them, accounting
ourselves blameless for the destruction we
We all know how well men rationalize their nonrational preferences, yet
after doing our just-war calculations and obtaining an answer in favor
of war, we then proceed with a clear conscience to commit ghastly acts."
Reality is always more complicated than we imagine, and the farther the
reality is from our own experience the less we can understand it. This
is the moral basis for nonintervention, for staying out of other
peoples' problems and not imposing "non-negotiable demands" on them
because we do

not know well what to do about them. Even in moral matters, our ability
to discern right and wrong is limited, and many times we must choose our
course without full confidence that our choices are correct. To deal
with the terrorist threat effectively and on the basis of consensual
leadership, the United States should discard the pernicious notion of
its "exceptionalism" - reflected in Bush's claim that "we've come to
know truths that we will never question: Evil is real, and it must be

opposed Rarely has the world faced a choice more clear or consequential"
and that had previously been thrown at the world in Madeleine Albright's

memorable phrase that "the United States stands taller than other
nations, and therefore sees further." Both imply that America is not
only wise but also virtuous, and that its foreign policy is influenced
by values and not by prejudices. This idiocy makes literally billions of
people livid.
* * * * *
The State of the Union address shows that the main lesson of the tragedy
of September 11 has not been grasped by the President and his national
security team. It is that the danger to ordinary Americans will remain
with us for as long as the United States remains committed to the
concept of unrestrained projection of power everywhere in the world.
Instead of realizing that the threat to America exists because of the
policy of global hegemony we are now told that that hegemony will be
confirmed as the divinely-ordained, morally mandated, open-ended and
self-justifying mission of America for decades to come. America's
national interests are assumed to include, more firmly than ever before,
the ability to project power everywhere and all the time. If that is so,
then indeed the terrorist threat is also unlimited and permanent. The
pursuit of Global Power for its own sake is the Great Temptation in
human history, the path of ruin that winds from Xerxes, the Persian King
of Kings, to Napoleon and Hitler. President Bush's first State of the

address should raise the alarm that what he is planning to do today is
what Athens did after leading the Hellenic coalition against Persian
aggression, attempting to convert consensual leadership into imposed
hegemony. The result, as we know, was destruction of Hellas as a
political and military factor for all time, and America will be just as
surely destroyed if its

rulers are allowed to proceed with their quest for the Weltmacht. As per
Cicero, failure to remember what has gone on before condemns us to
remain forever children. The hubris of "knowing unquestionable truth,"
"imposing non-negotiable demands," "answering history's call" and
"paying any costs" in the endeavor is the path which Washington and
Jefferson forbade America ever to take. Given the choice, the people of
this country would never opt for it, but can they prevent it, in this
age of 'managed

mass democracy'? The American foreign policy elite -- and this term is
woefully inadequate in the context -- is hell-bent on forcing 280
million to follow their path of Global Glory, and their co-conspirators
in the media are calling it a pilgrimage. They deny the certainty that
power will ultimately generate countervailing power. We do not know how
and when this will come about; but the least we can do is to warn
against the Project,

and the pointless sacrifices it will entail, including the ruin of
America itself. The hegemonists will deny all this, of course.
Ultimately they and terrorists need each other, and feed upon each
other. The victim is the Old Republic. The winner is - Empire.

                                   Serbian News Network - SNN

                                        [EMAIL PROTECTED]


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