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discusssion topic - appeasement and lack of leadership

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The global democratic revolution has such flaky "leaders". Bush, Blair, Howard are not Hegel's "world historical men".


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"In public opinion all is false and true, but to discover the truth in it is the business of the great man. The great (world-historical) man of his time is he who expresses the will and the meaning of that time, and then brings it to completion; he acts according to the inner spirit and essence of his time, which he realizes. And he who does not understand how to despise public opinion, as it makes itself heard here and there, will never accomplish anything great." From G.W.F. Hegel, Philosophy of Law in Jacob Loewenberg (ed.), Hegel: Selections (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1929), p. 461.


It's an election year here in Australia and currently we are having to put up with the ludicrous refusal of the current Prime Minister (John Howard) to acknowledge the obvious: that Madrid was bombed as pay- back for supporting the US in Iraq and that the same thing could happen here. According to Howard its just that all western countries are potential targets. Australia's membership of the coalition of the willing has made no difference to the odds of a terrorist attack here.

This is a continuation of his generally weak position on draining the swamps .. he has never come out and said that the war in Iraq was about regime change and democratising the Middle East. Apparently "we" joined the coalition because "we" thought Saddam had weapons of mass destruction - it turns out he didn't, but that's ok because changing the regime was a desirable sort of side-effect. (although it would have been wrong to go to war just to change the regime).

eg on March 13 last year he said explicitly that the impending war was solely about weapons of mass destruction - that going to war in order to liberate the Iraqi people would not be justifiable as an aim in itself:

"Well, I would have to accept that if Iraq had genuinely disarmed I couldn`t justify on its own a military invasion of Iraq to change the regime. I`ve never advocated that - much and all as I despise the regime"

[The above was his response to a question from journalist Michelle Grattan:

Mr.Howard, if as you advocate, the countries in the Security Council got behind the resolution and a miracle happened and Iraq said "yes, it would say the game was up" and disarmed - but Saddam Hussein was still there. Would this be enough for peace - given the case you have made today for regime change in the name of the Iraqi people?"]

It's depressing and frustrating that the bourgois revolution in the Middle East is in the hands of a motley bunch of bourgois leaders who seem to be currently running scared. Howard may be particularly insipid but with the US presidency up for grabs this year, Bush has reverted to jingoistic talk of homeland security, Iraq no longer being a "threat" to the USA ....continued insistence that the decision to go to war had been based on intelligence about WMD etc etc.

This appears to be a retreat from the open admission in November 2003 that the US had been forced to change its foreign policy to one of support for global democratic revolution:

"The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a watershed event in the global democratic revolution. (Applause.)

Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe - because in the long run, stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty. As long as the Middle East remains a place where freedom does not flourish, it will remain a place of stagnation, resentment, and violence ready for export. And with the spread of weapons that can bring catastrophic harm to our country and to our friends, it would be reckless to accept the status quo. (Applause.)

Therefore, the United States has adopted a new policy, a forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East. This strategy requires the same persistence and energy and idealism we have shown before. And it will yield the same results. As in Europe, as in Asia, as in every region of the world, the advance of freedom leads to peace. (Applause.) [/bush]

Bush has definitely gone quiet on the question of "global democratic revolution", its obviously still US policy but it's being pursued far less vigourously - presumably because a significant section of the ruling elite has not embraced it.

What will happen if the Democrats win? Presumably thaye will have to follow a similar policy but will be even less resolute? I'm really not sure about this.

However, the recent rash of appeasement following the Madrid bombings must have given new hope to Al Quada and other anti-democratic forces.

posted by keza (18/3/2004) __________________

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Created by keza
Last modified 2004-05-07 11:16 PM

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