Author: Ben LaBolt
Liberal columnists have discussed the negative repercussions American intervention has had on the world, how its imperialist policies have incited our current state of affairs and how further military intervention can only bring more despair. This is the first school of liberal thought –—non-interventionism— but we have heard very little about how liberating people in turn eliminates terrorism, how instituting liberal democracy brings peace. Non-interventionists offer an exhaustive critique of history, mostly based on the Cold War, in which the United States' intervention has led to unfavorable results. But the unprecedented times we have been propelled into require an unprecedented foreign policy. History would suggest that the conflict in Afghanistan would have become the same quagmire that drowned the Russians. Yet it only took a month and a half to see men shaving their beards, women lifting off their veils and radios blasting in the streets of liberated Kabul. History would suggest that enemies have borders and international politics is performed in a black box system made up of well-defined states. Yet the state of Al Queda is not recognized by the United Nations and is certainly hard to map. Liberal interventionism seeks to protect human rights on a worldwide basis. While non-interventionists condemn human rights abuses, their pacifist or legalistic approach almost never allows for force to see that these abuses are stopped. Non-interventionists argue that to quell the terrorist threat, the United States must ask itself why do the terrorists hate us? What have we done to the world to make them hate us?
But we must better understand who the terrorists are before we attempt to eliminate their hate. Their anger is not turned at the structural development policies of the International Monetary Fund in Bolivia. It is not toward the salary of Bill Gates (Bin Laden could certainly rival that). If we reduced the number of McDonald's in the world they would still hate us. If we ended the embargo on Cuba they would still attack us. Terrorists seek to end world order as we know it by uprooting the great powers of the world. Their rhetoric is religious and political, but their goal is recognition. Machismo. To say, "I made America stop and shiver. Every single citizen." This is the goal of terrorism, and this is the goal of bin Laden, a man who knew little about Islam until he decided that in his free time he wanted to uproot civilization. The jihad he is waging to annihilate "the infidels" and institute a broad-based archaic Islamic state is rhetoric that leads to one goal—being at the top of the world power structure.
Bin Laden and his deputies recruit Al Quida members from impoverished, desolate regions, trapping ignorant people into the "Patty Hearst situation." When the Symbanese Liberation Army kidnapped Patty Hearst in the '70s, they locked her in a closet and brainwashed her.For each acceptance of the group's principles, she was allowed to eat and drink water. Once she had been indoctrinated, Hearst participated in a fatal bank robbery. The terrorists of the world are waiting out on the streets now, probably in alleys, probably hungry, probably lost, probably oppressed and upset at the world for not providing more. Bin Laden comes along and says the United States did this to you, Allah wants to protect you, here's money, food, a way to get your retribution and meaning in your life. Strike now and we'll be talking about you as a martyr years later.
The United States must intervene in countries where these terrorists groups are already present, not only to destroy their networks, but to make sure that the rest of the population would have little reason to join them. The Bush administration has vowed to continue intervention in countries that harbor terrorism and components of it such as biological weapons. Lingering countries harboring sects of these networks include the Sudan, Somalia, Algeria, Yemen, North Korea and Iraq. When America intervenes, the Bush administration must follow through and replace oppressive regimes.His administration is in the midst of setting up a responsible representative government consisting of ethnic leaders in Afghanistan, understanding the consequences of his father's legacy in Iraq, in which the Iraqi population he convinced to rise up was abandoned by the U.S. With the same dictator in power, Iraq remains on the list of terrorist threats.
The unfortunate truth is that peace and democracy need to be protected and instituted by force. While terrorists are present everywhere, they are harbored and spawned in the rotting, repressive regimes lingering around the world whose authoritarian governments and theocratic leaders must be replaced by liberal democracies if we are to eliminate the ideological influence terrorism has for their populations. When we empower people to live in a free society where an unrepresentative government does not horde all of the desperately needed resources and whip its people in the streets, the means to find and train terrorists dissolve. Without force, there is no peace.
No World Peace Without Force
Author: Ben LaBolt