[Leaflet distributed at an antiwar march in San Francisco, Spring 2005]
President Bush would never speak of US imperialism, of course. But just so there can be no misunderstanding, he has solemnly articulated the compatibility of supranational values with their national uses for the USA:The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world. … Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our nation. … Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation's security and the calling of our time. So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world. … This is not primarily the task of arms, though we will defend ourselves and our friends by force of arms when necessary.
When the leader of the free world worries about democracy, free market economy and human rights in other nations, he demands those countries conform to America’s concepts of tidy government, America’s free market interests, and the human right of American capitalists to free business operations. As the worldwide upholder of democracy, homeland and guaranteeing power of global capitalism, world power with interests and influence everywhere, the USA dictates the principles and ideals that foreign states are to adopt in their execution of domestic rule, and so prove their practical readiness to serve the interests of America’s needs, projects, and regulations.
It is doubtful that the generally accepted criticism of the USA is applicable. The governments of “old Europe” and the anti-globalization and peace movements doubt that America’s practice lives up to its proclaimed ideals, even contradicting them. Instead of criticizing the USA’s mission of liberty, they criticize the war for its special interest in oil. But the USA does not deny its interest in oil at all. The critics must be asked: if the war concerns only cheap oil, why has the USA waged such an expensive war and put up such enormous costs for the campaigns and elections in Afghanistan and Iraq? Others point to US partners such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan in order to accuse the US of not following its proclaimed commitment to spreading democratic rights. These critics are lost for criticism when those countries move in the required direction of freedom as dictated by the USA.
When the USA’s principles and ideals are recognized, the USA already receives its justification. It is clear that if the USA proclaims that a state is deficient in freedom, a US intervention into the internal affairs of that state is approaching, perhaps even war. This shows the real relationship in which the principles and ideals of the USA stand to its world-political practice. Instead of asking whether the USA lives up to its ideals, it should be asked what the USA accomplishes with its ideals.
Freedom is first of all the replacement by force of anti-American with pro-American rule.
The US sees its natural right to the world as its national possession and sphere of interest threatened. In the slums of the Muslim world, conditions of poverty and violence – helped into existence by the leaders of the free world – cause anti-American activities that the US insists the respective governments stamp out. The US defines sovereignty on a new level: every government must make the security of the USA its primary concern. If it is not with America, it must ask itself if it is strong enough to be against America.
Second: the USA not only uses its external power against other nations, but prescribes a method to them for organizing their whole domestic political life, one which is meant to guarantee loyalty to America.
Those precious people who are now free or awaiting freedom – what might they do with it? If anybody is unclear, they have only to look at the USA’s much praised free institutions, from private property to the family. Here the people are free: when praying, one can perform one’s own personal submission to God’s state in the other-worldly realm far away from the misery of this terrestrial life; when voting, one can elect the Leader of his or her preference, to whom one owes absolute obedience; when working, one can depend for one's livelihood on the cost calculations of businessmen (and women). Because America’s humble subjects value the pursuit of happiness more highly than their own happiness!
Third: freedom means the right of its organizers to the loyal following of its human resources.I ask our youngest citizens to believe the evidence of your eyes. You have seen duty and allegiance in the determined faces of our soldiers. … Make the choice to serve in a cause larger than your wants, larger than yourself - and in your days you will add not just to the wealth of our country, but to its character.
Thank you, President Bush, for clearing up the costs of freedom!