Revenge Politics and Justice: Are Americans Really Different Than Iraqis? May 30, 2008Posted by Daniel Downs in civilization, deception, elections, freedom, liberals, morality, political campaigns, politics, religion, truth.
American politicians need not visit Iraq to understand the problems faced by our troops. Here in our large urban cities people live under similar conditions and respond in similar ways. In “A Post Every American Should Read: Views from Iraq about the War,” I referred to Jeff Emanuel’s article on what our troops think about the war in Iraq. In his report, Emanuel mentioned the difficulty our troops have understanding revenge justice and politics. Just consider who led their country for many years. How could Iraqis know anything else? Only Americans socially isolated from their nation’s ghettos could not understand why Iraqi live by the rule of dishonesty and revenge. That is the trademark of dictators like Saddam Hussein, who gain their rule by assassinating their predecessors and, in Hussein’s case, their mentors.
In America, we have gangs who live by this same rule. In many American inner cities, the lives of police, social workers, and ministers are threatened everyday simply because they seek to help victims overcome a system of oppression and corruption. The war is not just with gangs but also with drug lords, gunrunners, pimps, addicts, and their followers. Yet, it is not only those public servants whose lives are threatened for seeking to liberate the victims of corrupt politics. During an interview with Ophrah, I heard Bill O’Reilly say he receives threats every day. Why? Because he stands for those principles and ideals that are now opposed by many followers of the Left.
So what is the difference between America and Iraq? Besides much larger land mass, a greater number of people with a much more diverse cultural background, the only difference is America’s long history of Christian ideals of freedom, law, and government. Those ideals not only are sources for the rule of law but also for the idea of relinquishing vengeance to higher authority–meaning God and government–for wrongs done. It is part of the idea of civilized society. Iraq, on the other hand, is a nation rooted in Islamic religion and its laws. Across the Middle East, revenge politics and revenge justice is law. The Qur’an encourages such behavior. More specifically, it is the doctrine of jihad guided by modern totalitarianism.
If my brief analysis is correct, how then has revenge justice developed in America? Look to the Left at home and to the Right overseas. American party politics is politics of revenge. That is what President George Washington warned our nation about in his Farewell Address. Mud slinging during election campaigns is what revenge politics is all about. Politicians lying through their teeth to get reelected is revenge politics at its worse. It shows why Freedom of Speech and of the Press is still necessary. Truth makes free not public policy and political elections by deception. The Left deceiving the public about Bush and the war in Iraq is revenge politics in all of its ugliness.
Like the Iraqis, Americans have lived under revenge politics for many generations. Some say it began during the Civil War era and others with the presidential campaign of Thomas Jefferson. The national divide was created with the rise of what Jonah Goldberg calls liberal fascism. Since the rise of the Left, liberal politicians have undermined moral laws so that their constituents could do their immoral thing. Unleashing legal constraints that helped to prevent wrong behavior only gave license to prejudice and unprincipled behavior. While liberal polity has made millions of dependents, their descendants have begun to act like people who cannot live in a free civil society. Under the liberal regime, people stopped learning how to live self-governing lives.
Independence may be a political idea useful for big government, but real personal independence is concept of the nostalgic past. The reason is morality learned by religion and supported by government is a thing of the distant past.
Today, liberal fascists label conservatives as fascists because followers of liberalism have learned to hate their pre-civil war era heritage and past. The ideological and party prejudice rules the day. Because it does, Americans have no better future than Iraqis. What prevents America from becoming like the Middle East is the remains of the influence of our constitutional history still evident in government structure and processes as well as in the crumbling remains of its socially and culturally induced mores.