For lack of vision, the people perish, says the Bible. You could hang those words on every courthouse wall in the country, along side the Ten Commandments, and it wouldn’t make a bit of difference in the way America behaves and conducts itself in the world.
I agree with the proverb and take it above and beyond its religious meaning to the highest place of all, to the very heart of the human condition and the survival of the human race that depends on it.
I could explain it in as many ways as the English language would allow and it still wouldn’t make any difference in the way America conducts itself in the world.
One reason for that, obviously, is that I’m not the president of the United States but am only an average, poor person hidden deep amongst the masses with no means of being widely heard and no credentials other than the 1st Amendment.
And even if I could be heard, it would be like giving a speech in an insane asylum. A people without a vision, don’t have ears either. And that’s what mainstream America under the leadership of George W. Bush and the right wing, conservative Republicans have become – a people with eyes that don’t see and ears that don’t hear.
By vision, I’m talking about correct vision. If the vision isn’t correct, it isn’t a vision. It’s blindness. And when the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (Matt. 15:14)
President George W. Bush and his cohorts are the blind leading the blind. Bush and his political and military advisers are leading the majority of the American people and the United States government into the pit and the hell that goes with it.
Peace itself is not a vision, it’s a goal. A vision requires an understanding and acceptance of the proper steps necessary to actually bring about peace. It’s how we get there from here.
Just look at the way Bush and his press secretary, Scott McClellan, shoveled it out to the American flock this past week on the heels of the London bombings that killed over 50 and wounded hundreds.
McClellan, aping the president as best he could, told the reporters that the London bombings were a grim reminder that we’re at war on terrorism. We’re working to make life more peaceful in the world by spreading peace and democracy, he said.
Freedom is a powerful force, he continued, adding that the president had decided that America had accepted and tolerated dictatorships long enough and that it wasn’t working.
“We’re going to stay on the offense and take the fight to the enemy,” he said. “We’re going to defeat their ideology by spreading freedom,” he said. “Free societies are peaceful societies,” he said.
If all that doesn’t sound crazy to you, it just might be that you went to sleep one night during the Invasion of the Body Snatchers and have been walking around with an alien brain in your head ever since with the mark of George W. Bush stamped on it.
Didn’t you hear what he was saying? The incorrect vision of Bush and his cohorts is that America will no longer tolerate dictatorships and other totalitarian forms of government.
That’s their plan, their vision, their road-map to peace – defeating ideologies and changing all forms of governments that are not democracies into democracies because, as Bush said to the FBI Academy, “free societies are peaceful societies.”
It is wonderful in the most chilling sense of the term that the American flock can swallow that obvious falsehood without choking. Free societies are peaceful societies?
America is a free society and yet it has attacked Afghanistan and Iraq - for the apparent purpose of changing their governments into democracies, according to what Bush and his cohorts are telling us now – and has stirred up the fires of terrorism to a degree unknown in modern history.
Does any truly intelligent person believe that Bush and his war mongering regime has really made the world more peaceful since his invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq? Is America more safe at home than it was at the time of 9/11 because of our preemptive and illegal war on Iraq?
Is China friendlier to us? And North Korea? And all the other non-democratic nations and democratic nations as well? Is America fostering a growing sense of peace around the world because of its roughshod, war mongering ways in the Middle East?
Or has it caused a growing tension among nations throughout the world and served as an impetus for increased military buildup among the nations of the world, and fanned the fires of terrorism into a white heat that threatens to grow larger and hotter around the globe?
“We’re advancing the cause of freedom and peace,” Bush told the FBI Academy graduates. “Freedom can be the future of every nation,” he said.
“We have to advance the cause of freedom,” he said. “We’ll spread the hope of freedom and a peaceful world for our children.”
One of the longest and most enthusiastic bursts of applause from the FBI Academy graduates, who applauded robustly and often, came when he said, “The only way they can win is if we lose our nerve. This isn’t going to happen on my watch.”
What a statement and they loved it. America isn’t going to lose its nerve on his watch. He said it as if he were playing a movie role with a mixture of Ronald Reagan, John Wayne, George C. Scott and George W. Bush all rolled into one.
“Our course of action is to continue to take the fight to the enemy,” Bush told the enthralled FBI Academy graduates. “The attack in London was an attack on the civilized world,” he said, adding ironically a little later in his speech, that that’s why “we’re fighting the enemy in Afghanistan and Iraq and around the world, so we don’t have to face them at home.”
Regardless of how idiotic that contention is, the flock has found it good to eat and Bush continues to repeat it as he has from the beginning.
In the beginning Bush also told us that we were invading Afghanistan to get at the Al Qaeda terrorists and their leader Osama bin Laden in order to punish them for the 9/11 attacks and burn them out of their snake pits.
Unable to capture bin Laden, Bush ordered an attack on Iraq under the pretense that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and were a threat to us and their neighbors.
Unable to find any weapons of mass destruction, Bush and Cheney connect Iraq and Saddam to the 9/11 attacks every chance they get, and the American flock continues to feed on that great lie as if it were Kentucky bluegrass.
Instead of waging war against those two nations, resulting in the deaths of unknown thousands, including more than 1750 American soldiers in Iraq alone and as many as 100,000 Iraqi citizens, Bush refers to it as the liberation of 50 million people.
For Bush and his cohorts, it’s a battle between good and evil. We’re the good, and the regimes of whatever other nations we decide to take out are evil; as well as all the terrorists in the world and all the insurgents that come against us as we attempt to transform bad governments into democracies.
It’s as simple as that. Good vs evil. The good guys against the bad guys. The terrorists celebrate the suffering of innocents, says Bush. “They hate freedom,” he says. “Their aim is to make the Middle East in their own image,” he told the graduating class of the FBI Academy.
Can you imagine that? We’re the ones that attacked those nations and forced them to install democracies with elections and constitutions and all the trimmings, but yet it’s the terrorists who want to make the Middle East in their image. Such irony, such sweet poison, such lack of vision.
Now that we’re still engaged in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, with no end in sight, what other nations do Bush and his cohorts have in mind for us to attack next in our global war on terrorism?
If America had a vision it would realize that the insurgents who are fighting us in Iraq come from the Iraqi people themselves. They will never stop fighting to regain control of their country as long as we occupy their country.
And if we do leave, after being satisfied that the new Iraqi government, that we have brought about, is able to defend the country, the insurgents – aided by Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda-related or Qaeda-inspired terrorists and jihadist militants – will continue to fight until there is nothing left to fight about. Whatever the final result will be, it will be an Arab result.
If America had a vision, it would not have allowed the first George Bush to take us to war against Iraq in 1991. That wasn’t any of our business. If we had a vision we would have left the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait up to the Arab world to settle for themselves.
By waging that war on Muslim soil, we lit the fuse of a religious war between us and extremist elements of the Muslim world which finally exploded in the 9/11 attacks on our soil with the collapse of the Twin Towers and the killing of more than 3,000 of our civilians.
If we had a vision we wouldn’t have been shoving our weight around for the past 50 years, interfering with the governments of other nations and affecting regime changes according to our pleasure.
If we had a vision, we would have seen it coming. We would have realized that the beaten down and disenfranchised of the world will eventually attack, even if it has no army, in whatever ways it can to punish the “evil doers” as they see the “evil doers.”
If we had a vision we’d realize that we can’t get to peace through war and killing and replacing the regimes of sovereign nations with puppet democracies that we expect will treat their liberators in ways that liberators should be treated.
If we had a vision we would not have wasted so many lives and so many hundreds of billions of dollars on this unjust and illegal Iraq war which is still costing lives and billions of dollars every week with no end in sight.
To have a vision all we have to do is open our eyes and realize that in order to bring about peace in the world, we as the leader of the world, must conduct ourselves in a peaceful way that promotes understanding and respect between nations and the peoples of the world, and their religions.
Which is not to say that we shouldn’t defend ourselves and bring those terrorists that have inflicted harm on us to justice. We can do that and do it in legitimate and legal ways without exasperating the problem and turning the world into a powder keg just waiting to explode.
But America doesn’t have a vision. What it has is a head stuffed full of self-righteousness, stupidity and arrogance; along with the greatest military might and the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction that has ever been gathered by a single nation in the history of the world.
Blind America has led blind England into the same ditch with it, as well as a number of other nations without any sight of their own. So what’s to come of it all? Without a vision, the people perish.
Expect the terrorism to increase and pay us more visits here in America and in England and other countries.
And expect us to continue with the wars we’ve started and are unable to extricate ourselves from. Expect us to move on to other fronts and wars against other nations as soon as we can move enough troops from Afghanistan and Iraq to carry it out.
Expect our armed forces, our weapons and our defense budget to grow by leaps and bounds. Expect the same in most other nations around the world. Expect tensions to grow between us and numerous other nations of the world. Expect hostilities to break out. Expect that there will come a time when a nuclear weapon will be used by somebody and that full-out nuclear war will eventually take its long awaited place at the table.
It’s a pity and a shame that all that could be avoided so easily and the world could roll along peacefully for many years to come, if we only had a vision.