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imperialism & war

It’s Springtime for Dubya

Published on Saturday, April 12, 2003 by CommonDreams.org
It's Springtime for Dubya
by Jamie Sue Potorti
It was a moment that our beloved president will cherish into his golden years. The American public armed with remote controls watching the statue of Saddam toppling down their 72-inch digital television sets.

A crowd of probably the only 100 Iraqis who had not lost their homes, their loved ones and their businesses (yet) cheered, and Americans who backed the war rose triumphantly to fetch another brewski from the fridge.

But let those of us with rational minds rewind the tape—since we can do that nowadays—and question one thing.

Preemptive war.

We have not spent enough time discussing this exciting idea, which will surely change the very fabric of our society, altering the definition of power and ethical behavior. And since 71% of Americans favor it, let's look closer at its ramifications.

Western culture has repeatedly visited the Platonic idea that the state is a model for the individual. The microcosm imitates the macrocosm. In other words, nongovernmental society imitates governmental structures.

Given that basic law, how will it look when other authority figures begin to understand the power of preemption and implement this newly acceptable behavior into our daily lives?

Listen to this policeman's testimony from a likely episode of Law and Order in the post Dubya world: Prosecutor: Tell us what happened that night, Officer Right.
Officer Right: I apprehended the suspect. I asked if he had any weapons.
Prosecutor attorney: Go on.
Officer Right: He said he didn't.
Prosecutor attorney: And then what happened.
Officer Right: I shot him.
Prosecutor attorney: Why?
Officer Right: I didn't believe him.
Prosecutor: Did he threaten you?
Officer Right: No.
Prosecutor: Was he reaching into his pocket?
Officer Right: No.
Prosecutor: Did he move a muscle?
Officer Right: No.
Prosecutor: Then why did you shoot him?
Officer Right: It was my feeling that some time in the future he might harm me.
Prosecutor: Fair enough.

Or the preemptive employer who fires the worker because she looks like she might make personal calls on company time or steal toilet paper from the employee lounge.

The preemptive parent who spanks his child every morning just in case the child forgets to share his Oreos some time later in the day.

The preemptive teacher who hands out Fs on the first day of school to everyone who looks dumb.

And what about the preemptive fireman who randomly squirts his hose at incendiary-looking houses.

I'm feeling safer already.

Jamie Sue Potorti is a Professor at North Carolina State University

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