We Are Poor Empire Builders

by Jules Varwig

I'm sure what I am about to say will make me a target for some, but the flag waving and calls for retribution will accomplish little beyond escalation or continuance. Face facts...the dead are beyond our help and the actual perpetrators are beyond our justice.

If this is a war- and I think that is the most rational way of looking at it- then we face enemies who have soldiers willing to fly an airplane into a building for nothing more than a sense of morality that their leadership tells them is proper. We don't have such troops, nor should we desire them I think.

We do have soldiers who are ready and willing to go and put themselves in harm's way. I have no doubt they would be brave. We are unlikely to show the resolution that would merit them spending their bravery though. Make no mistake, without the willingness to spend our young soldier's lives, talk of war is cheap as it has ever been. Pathetic attempts to demonstrate some sort of resolve without the attendant risk of failure would be rightly viewed as more weak posturing by this "sleeping giant". Even so, there are some few who see no difficulty in their hired sons and daughters dying to shore up their own misguided sense of patriotism. I spent too long taking care of soldiers to ever see them spent so foolishly as some would spend them.

Having enemies so utterly convinced of the rightness of their own morality requires us to look at our own, and sadly, we are lacking there. Sure many of us are filled with good intentions, wish nothing but the best for most everybody and view our foreign policy as more of the same- but that is not the perception of us throughout much of the world. We are viewed as extensions of our government and our foreign policy- for that is what our enemies consider themselves in the true statist mindset.

Face more truth...the Arabic and Muslim nations don't wish to invade or conquer us. For the most part they wish to be left alone to fight their own idiot wars amongst each other. We play into the hands of their radical leaders by sacrificing our own treasure and lives in the service of this side or the other as the whim or someone's desire to profit at other's expense takes us. Nothing shores up the power of a tyrant so much as the perception of a common enemy and we have squarely assumed the role of enemy for various tyrannical leaders around the world.

The actions of the suicide pilots and their so far safe leaders cannot be excused by the hypocrisy of our attitudes towards others around the world; yet neither can our hypocrisy be excused and continued by the actions of those pilots. There is blame enough to go around.

It is not easy to stand aside and try and take a rational view of actions that killed thousands of fellow humans. The lust for blood that has been invoked is entirely understandable. With my distance from the sites of the attacks, my first instinct was the primal desire to rend the animals who did this into their component bits. That already having been accomplished at their own hands, my next thought was to bring down nuclear hell upon the heads of those who trained them, those who sheltered them and those who spawned them. I can only imagine the anger and unslaked blood thirst that must still rage within those who were touched more personally, but we must realize that those who did this and those responsible were not animals after all.

The understandable anger we feel does not remove the responsibility we have to act as human beings. Your mother likely told you- and it's true- that one person's bad actions don't excuse your own.

We try and comprehend the near incompressible by drawing some coherence from fragmentary bits of reality which float our way. Thousands already dead. Thousands more calling for yet thousands more to die. Within our own borders, calls for national ID cards and thoughts openly expressed that perhaps we have too much Liberty for our own good. As always, there are those whose ulterior motives find expression when we are weakest.

We sound little like the Americans of near-myth but not so distant reality when we give voice to irrationality and stampede to the sound of guns. We sound nothing like Americans when we wish harm on others to salve our own selfish conscience.

If this is war, then I suggest we seek a cease fire and cessation of hostilities, for the price to be rendered for value received appears too great.

Offer to remove all forward deployed troops and to cease supporting any people of the world in their strife against any other people of the world. Demonstrate good faith by immediately beginning these actions. Let it be known that we are demonstrating our desire to live and let live in peace- and that any further attacks on us will be surely greeted with the most horrific and sudden annihilation that the world has yet seen- that such will be visited upon those who are merely suspected of being complicit in other attacks.

We are poor empire builders- we demonstrate little of the resolve necessary to build empires- and that gives me hope. Hope that we can demonstrate the resolve to start anew on our own morality. Hope that our rationality can win over our blood thirst and vendetta hunger. Hope that the evil leaders who convince their soldiers to sacrifice their all in the name of hate will be rendered impotent and irrelevant.

Hope that we can truly show the world the way to Peace and Liberty.

September 13, 2001


Jules Varwig is a full-time shithouse philosopher and part-time dumbass construction worker who annoys statists in his leisure hours.

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