September the 11th was not an isolated event, but a tragic prologue, Iraq another act, and many further struggles will be set upon this stage before it's over.
Humility regarding military strength alone, how the desire for freedom is a human, not a cultural, attribute, and the multiple values of liberty as a common ideal:
This is a battle that can't be fought or won only by armies. We are so much more powerful in all conventional ways than the terrorists. Yet even in all our might, we are taught humility. In the end, it is not our power alone that will defeat this evil. Our ultimate weapon is not our guns, but our beliefs.
There is a myth that though we love freedom, others don't; that our attachment to freedom is a product of our culture; that freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law are American values or Western values; that Afghan women were content under the lash of the Taliban; that Saddam was somehow beloved by his people; that Milosevic was Serbia's savior. Members of Congress, ours are not Western values. They are the universal values of the human spirit, and anywhere, any time ordinary people are given the chance to choose, the choice is the same: freedom, not tyranny; democracy, not dictatorship; the rule of law, not the rule of the secret police.
The spread of freedom is the best security for the free. It is our last line of defense and our first line of attack.
And just as the terrorist seeks to divide humanity in hate, so we have to unify around an idea. And that idea is liberty.
We must find the strength to fight for this idea and the compassion to make it universal. Abraham Lincoln said, "Those that deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves."
And it is this sense of justice that makes moral the love of liberty.
In some cases where our security is under direct threat, we will have recourse to arms. In others it will be by force of reason. But in all cases, to the same end, that the liberty we seek is not for some, but for all, for that is the only true path to victory in this struggle.
The historical equation :
Can we be sure that terrorism and weapons of mass destruction will join together? Let us say one thing: If we are wrong, we will have destroyed a threat that, at its least, is responsible for inhuman carnage and suffering. That is something I am confident history will forgive. But if our critics are wrong, if we are right, as I believe with every fiber of instinct and conviction I have that we are, and we do not act, then we will have hesitated in the face of this menace when we should have given leadership.
That is something history will not forgive.
"Balance of power" as an inappropriate concept for the current situation, but not writing off Europe:
There is no more dangerous theory in international politics today than that we need to balance the power of America with other competitor powers, different poles around which nations gather. Such a theory may have made sense in 19th century Europe. It was perforce the position in the Cold War. Today, it is an anachronism, to be discarded like traditional theories of security. And it is dangerous, because it is not rivalry, but partnership we need, a common will and a shared purpose in the face of a common threat.
And I believe any alliance must start with America and Europe. If Europe and America are together, the others will work with us. If we split, the rest will play around, play us off, and nothing but mischief will be the result of it.
You may think after recent disagreements it can't be done.
But the debate in Europe is open. Iraq showed that when, never forget, many European nations supported our action. And it shows it still when those that didn't, agreed Resolution 1483 in the United Nations for Iraq's reconstruction. Today, German soldiers lead in Afghanistan. French soldiers lead in the Congo, where they stand between peace and a return to genocide.
So we should not minimize the differences, but we should not let them confound us either.
Liberators, not imperialists, and the utility of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the terrorists::
How hollow would the charges of American imperialism be when these failed countries are and are seen to be transformed from states of terror to nations of prosperity; from governments of dictatorship to examples of democracy; from sources of instability to beacons of calm? And how risible would be the claims that these were wars on Muslims if the world could see these Muslim nations still Muslim, but with some hope for the future, not shackled by brutal regimes whose principle victims were the very Muslims they pretended to protect?
It would be the most richly observed advertisement for the values of freedom we can imagine. When we removed the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, this was not imperialism. For these oppressed people, it was their liberation.
And why can the terrorists even mount an argument in the Muslim world that it isn't? Because there is one cause terrorism rides upon, a cause they have no belief in, but can manipulate.
I want to be very plain. This terrorism will not be defeated without peace in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine. Here it is that the poison is incubated. Here it is that the extremist is able to confuse in the mind of a frighteningly large number of people the case for a Palestinian state and the destruction of Israel, and to translate this, moreover, into a battle between East and West, Muslim, Jew and Christian.
A Palestinian state along side an Israeli state:
We must never compromise the security of the state of Israel.
The state of Israel should be recognized by the entire Arab world, and the vile propaganda used to indoctrinate children not just against Israel but against Jews must cease. You cannot teach people hate and then ask them to practice peace. But neither can you teach people peace except by according them dignity and granting them hope.
Innocent Israelis suffer; so do innocent Palestinians. The ending of Saddam's regime in Iraq must be the starting point of a new dispensation for the Middle East: Iraq free and stable; Iran and Syria, who give succor to the rejectionist men of violence, made to realize that the world will no longer countenance it, that the hand of friendship can only be offered them if they resile completely from this malice, but that if they do, that hand will be there for them and their people; the whole of the region helped towards democracy; and to symbolize it all, the creation of an independent, viable and democratic Palestinian state side by side with the state of Israel
American pride based in freedom:
But, members of Congress, don't ever apologize for your values. Tell the world why you're proud of America. Tell them when "The Star-Spangled Banner" starts, Americans get to their feet -- Hispanics, Irish, Italians, Central Europeans, East Europeans, Jews, Muslims, white, Asian, black, those who go back to the early settlers, and those whose English is the same as some New York cab drivers I've dealt with -- but whose sons and daughters could run for this Congress. Tell them why Americans, one and all, stand upright and respectful. Not because some state official told them to, but because whatever race, color, class or creed they are, being American means being free. That's why they're proud.
The transience of power; the importance of a legacy:
As Britain knows, all predominant power seems for a time invincible, but in fact, it is transient. The question is, what do you leave behind? And what you can bequeath to this anxious world is the light of liberty.
The Brits -- and the world -- as our allies:
And our job -- my nation, that watched you grow, that you fought alongside and now fights alongside you, that takes enormous pride in our alliance and great affection in our common bond -- our job is to be there with you. You're not going to be alone. We will be with you in this fight for liberty.
We will be with you in this fight for liberty. And if our spirit is right and our courage firm, the world will be with us.
What's that? Paradoxes abound? Such is life. posted by Tim Wilson at 9:21 AM