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Living backward in time?

Posted By: Rene' Jansen on December 18, 2002
The article asks excellent questions for which I hear few good answers. I understand the reaction and the emotion that drives it but I am saddened that the world is seen to be so simple by so many. I believe President Bush acts out of true personal conviction that perhaps many cling to in a time of doubt. I wonder how President Bush reconciles a doctrine that is so clear and hard because history "proves" it true. That appeasement and containment did not work so we must respond in a new way. The fact that Nuclear war was averted, while US foes have all fallen during those policies is no small victory. To question experience is a good thing but to brush aside the challenges and real fears faced and avoided with such efforts is not. The logic and rigorous requirements demanded now are not applied or are likely to be applied in other policies. The economic/trade policy that is soft on human rights with trade partners has not been questioned in the same way. The equivalent analysis of trade policies would suggest we must stop trading entirely with any nation that does not agree with our human rights. I feel sure President Bush will not advocate this so I am left wondering about the consistency in the logic that drives his new Bush doctrine. I do not doubt his convictions, even though I am unsure of them. It is apparent that many support him, but I wonder if it is because they feel unsure of things. I think we all share some uncertainty and that is healthy. Your reference to Coltranes quote about the human spirit reminds me of the quote "be careful what you think, thoughts lead to words. Be careful what you say, words lead to actions. be careful what you do, actions become habits. Be careful of your habits, habits determine your character." I am cautious of words and deeds that are insular and aggressive because they do not call out the best in our humanity. They may indeed make us feel safer, they may indeed address our emotional reaction to horror seen first hand, but they do not call out the best in our humanity and so I fear what we might become. I think of a world that is free, democratic and at peace, and different words come to mind. The challenge has always been to look to the future and dream so that our actions will project what we might become, rather than to look back in fear and let the past determine who we are. We may not share the same questions, that does not mean we don't share the same dream.
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 Living backward in time? by Rene' Jansen on December 18, 2002
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