I remember how excited everyone was when the Cold War ended. Today, I researched about how hard it has been to leave the policies of the Cold War behind for a certain group of politicians. Bush was a big one to use Cold War rhetoric and policies. His advisers were entrenched in the Cold War. They saw phantoms at every turn, but missed the phantoms with a strategy.
Tonight I heard more of that same Cold War rhetoric, even directed at an old enemy, simply because I wasn’t smart enough to turn off the tv. The enemies have changed slightly but it seems we still need to have an enemy to feel good about ourselves. Still think we must define our power and our strength by the suppression of others.
Ironic how we don’t want to be the world’s police force, but at the same time we want to tell the world what they can and cannot do. All in the name of our national interests.
Today, I read an interesting article about how we have been at war since 1776. Do we know how to get along? Do we know how to be free without constant war? Must we play the international bully to feel good about who we are? Must we fear the world in order to feel protected? Does national defense always have to include international conflict? Is there no other way to lead, participate, or show strength?
What is wrong with being part of an international community? What is wrong with working together? Yes, there will be war, will be bad people committing atrocious acts against humanity, but must we become so afraid that we justify Machiavellian preemptive strikes? Justify being the international bully? How did we get this way, and how do we get off this path?
Will the Cold War ever be over if we continue to live in a perpetual state of fear and distrust? Because the Cold War was not man against man, or even nation against nation – it was ideology against ideology, and we still can’t seem to understand that not everyone has to be like us in order to be a good neighbor. We can disagree and still work together dealing with real threats and not perceived ones.
The days of bolstering our economy through military buildup are over. New solutions must be found, and they won’t be found chasing phantoms. Whenever we chase phantoms, we lose. Phantoms will use our fears against us, and there is no weapon that will stop them. Like the natural disaster, phantoms and their evil can reach us through even the best protections. Waging a Cold War of containment or annihilation will not stop the phantoms, but will cause us to run ourselves into the ground.