November 29, 2008

Steve Pomper

Leave Us Alone!

author photo     The tragedy in India this week once again brings to the forefront something that should never leave that position. Our current economic woes would become immediately dwarfed by a similar attack on our own country. I hear pundits criticizing Indian officials for not being properly prepared for this attack. That may be true, but who could possibly be prepared for such a sprawling, unprecedented, and unthinkable attack on multiple soft targets? Look at our own 9/11; how prepared were we? And we’re the greatest power on earth. Regardless, we must now endeavor to prepare for the unpreparable, as our enemy is quite creative in its ability to destroy.

     Sometimes great problems arise from simple premises: Some people just won’t leave other people alone. The primary philosophy that attracted me to libertarian thought was the concept that I’ll leave you alone to your peaceful pursuits as long as you leave me alone to mine. This is, after all, the quintessential notion our Founders handed down to their posterity–us. The magic of the concept is in its simplicity: Leave me be to pursue my happiness.

     It’s obvious that some folks simply cannot let others be. Whether it’s the soft-tyranny of American socialism or the hard brutality of corrupted religious zealots, there are some folks who are obsessed with imposing their beliefs on others. With regard to the soft-tyrants, we have available the political process and have to depend on the wisdom of the American voter to make eventual corrections.

     With regard to terrorism, the sad thing about the evil attacking the world today is that too many good men and women, or perhaps in this case more appropriately good countries, do nothing, or not enough. Think about it; if all of the world’s democracies truly put forth the diplomatic, financial, and military effort this global crisis requires and deserves, the problem would be reduced dramatically. Okay, I get not everyone agrees with the Iraq War; it is arguable, but it’s also a done deal. However, I’m confident that, like Germany, Japan, and Korea, in a couple decades we’ll have close relations with Iraq as the first functioning democracy in an Arab Muslim country, but I could be wrong.

     Having said that, let’s focus on Afghanistan. There seems to be much more of an international, and political, consensus for action here, but not much more cooperation. Can you believe that some of the nations who’ve provided forces still restrict them from fully participating in military actions? They allow others to be killed and wounded for their own security, although this is something nations such as the U.S., Australia, Canada, and Britain got quite used to in the 20th Century.  How much sooner would the war be over if we didn’t have to rely on limiting military actions to such a relative few countries such as, the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Poland, several eastern European countries, and now under President Sarkozy, France? Why aren’t China and Russsia here? It’s their fight too—or it should be!

     New York, London, Madrid, and now Mumbai, are among too many other past targets around the world of these terrorists. What will it finally take for the “good” countries of the world to truly unite against these people who, to make the intentional understatement of the century, simply won’t leave people alone?


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