I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately. I received a Nook as a Christmas gift, as a result I have been getting many e-books. In my youth, TV and Movie’s were more entertaining than reading a book. I am a very, very slow reader. It takes me a couple of weeks to read what most people can read in a couple of days. Be that as it may, I have become an avid slow reader. However, some books I read faster than others, (is that because I enjoyed them better?) examples are Louis L’Amour westerns or biblical fiction. The problem with biblical fiction, however, is you eventually confuse the fiction with the Truth.
Anyway, back to the Nook. I must have 30 books on my Nook, but understand, I’m cheap, so I’ve been acquiring free books. The thing about free books is that they were written about the time Gutenberg began using his new invention. My two most recent readings were a.) Rangers and Pioneers of Texas (1884 by A.J. Sowell-Sowell was one of only two survivors of the Alamo–you’ll need to read the book to discover how he was a survivor) b.) Readings in Indiana History (1914, By A Committee of the Indiana Section of Indiana Teachers association). Both of these books, taken as a whole, embellishes the picture of this countries aspect of Manifest Destiny.
I know, I know, I’m leading into the realm of dastardly political commentary…..I know I shouldn’t, but, I will anyway.
I’m a recipient of the Manifest Destiny doctrine. The Manifest Destiny doctrine is that concept European Settlers used, to take territory from the American Indian, because the Indian life style was different (therefore wrong, compared to Europeans’). The Manifest Destiny doctrine was the flag that proliferated our westward expansion.
But the concept wouldn’t be checked at the Pacific shore. Under President Theodore Roosevelt the role of the United States in the New World was defined, in the 1904 Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, as being an “international police power” to secure American interests in the Western Hemisphere. Roosevelt’s corollary contained an explicit rejection of territorial expansion. In the past, Manifest Destiny had been seen as necessary to enforce the Monroe Doctrine in the Western Hemisphere, but now expansionism had been replaced by interventionism as a means of upholding the doctrine.
At the close of World War I, President Woodrow Wilson, addressed Congress in 1920, stating that, “it was the manifest destiny of the United States to lead in an attempt to make this spirit (protecting the prevalence of Democracy) prevail.” (Wikipedia)
I’ve been around for six decades and in my youth I had been convinced by the “interventionist’s” of the right vs. wrong. I heard the battle cry against communism: if we don’t support Korea, “Like Domino’s the countries of the Pacific Rim will fall to Communism.” It was their civil war and their country ended divided. After the French pulled out of South Viet Nam, we, knowing we could do better, jumped in to save the nation. Some texts explain that we backed the wrong side, the side that committed the most atrocities. The other side (North Viet Nam) actually came to us first and asked for help, but we turned them down.
What is a Civil War? It would seem that a civil war is a disagreement between two or more groups within a particular national boundary.
When is war civil? Most certainly, never.
So, why should any outside political entity assist in a civil war? I suppose when there’s some personal gain, or in the words of President Wilson, “when it’s our destiny to protect Democracy”.
I have been watching, without much enthusiasm, what is being called the Islamic Spring. After watching civil wars for years, it’s just hard to take sides, or to get excited. I’ve been thinking of the Egyptian Revolution. It’s not that I don’t believe a change was warranted, but, there was a famous Egyptian female news anchor televising each evening before the revolution. Now, Islamic women seem to have minor influence, and this famous news anchor has dropped out of sight. Additional, the military seem not to want to relinquish power to the elected president.
Where is Libia? After we helped the rebels with our air support, the news about he leadership in this country seems completely missing.
Now, Syria has been deeply in the news and the a whole bunch of people seem to think we need to provide arms to the those wanting to overthrow the government. Believe me when I say, I don’t condone killings any more than anyone else. But, this is a civil war and when was a civil war ever civil? Will anyone ever remember, with gratitude, if we do help? Does anyone remember Afghanistan? We aided the rebels against the Afghanistan Government and the Russians. (see-Charlie Wilson’s War) Now we’re back there again, but in a more dangerous role.
Will we ever learn? I thought experience was the best teacher. Most countries don’t want our democracy, they just want our affluence without the pain. How do I know they don’t want our democracy? At the first vote, a rebel party gets into office, and they don’t leave. Sort of like absolute power corrupts absolutely.
It looks like we will continue being interventionist, in order to assure that the democracy we live by is available to people who don’t really want it. It is our manifest destiny.
I know, I know, I shouldn’t discuss International Politics…but again this is about My Life and Times–and I’ve seen these civil wars in my times……