Marcus Aurelius asked the question that eventually all great leaders contemplate, but in a moment of unvarnished truth, he answers his own by replying, “…we shouldn’t be here."
How will history judge the United States? Will it depict America as the benevolent crusader that it portrays itself, or will history be more candid and juxtapose its generosity and goodwill with its dark side? One cannot write a history about the United States without telling the story of its philanthropy; however, the story that shines brighter than its willingness to come to the aid of those who are less fortunate, is American aggression. This country was birthed in revolution and along the way annihilated nearly 200,000 innocent Japanese with the dropping of two atomic weapons; the only country to have done so.
Most historians, who have written about the American Revolution that I have studied, seem to take for granted that the war was just; however, there is no consensus that holds the U.S. blameless for the nuclear weapons that were dropped on Japan in World War II. Some argue that it saved tens of thousands of lives by bringing the war to a swift end, but there are those, including Daniel Goldhagen who has written Worst than War, Genocide, Eliminationism and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity, where he argues that Japan was on the brink of surrender and was negotiating the terms of its surrender when America dropped the bombs. He argues that history should consider President Truman a war criminal for his decision to drop the bomb on a totally vanquished opponent. His view is shared by many historians.
That brings us to Iraq: How will history view President Bush’s decision to invade a country that had nothing to do with September 11th and had no direct link to Osama bin Laden? Although we are too close to the contemporary moment to obtain a distilled version of the events, Bush has his supporters and detractors: supporters applaud Bush because Saddam was a brutal dictator and needed to be overthrown, while critics question his motives and depict the Bush White House as out of control. Bob Woodward in his fourth installment on the Bush White House, The War Within, says Bush “failed to lead,” but is less critical of him than in his previous book, State of Denial, where he claims that Bush failed to tell the American public the truth about Iraq.
History is treacherous waters to navigate, because it is just that—his story. Two historians could both be examining the same sequence of events and walk away with different conclusions and see the events unfold differently. However, God’s judgements are pure, and the bigger question is not how will the historians see America, but how will God judge it? If we base his judgement on the narrow prism of Iraq, then it may be brutal.
Iraq was not a mistake from the perspective that the U.S. invaded the country based on faulty intelligence. America purposely invaded this sovereign nation and executed its leader for reasons that I will not speculate on at this moment. Yes, Saddam was a brutal dictator, and he launched a biological attack against his own citizens; however, the irony is cruel when one considers that the U.S. has its own history of brutality against its citizens; engaged in medical genocide against blacks; and exposed the Native Americans and its own citizens with biological agents.
Even if we concede that Saddam was as depraved as the U.S. claimed that he was; this is not a sufficient reason to overthrow him in a United Nations’ led coup d’état and execute him for capital offenses. If so, then which brutal dictator is next? Kim? Ahmadinejad? Medvedev? Hu Jinatao? I mean we can create a list of international leaders that deserve the same fate as Saddam; however, even if brutality against one’s citizens and neighbors is the litmus test for being overthrown, the United States is in no moral position to make such judgements if one considers…
· Genocide of the Native Americans;
· The Tuskegee syphilis experiment where the National Institutes of Health (formerly the Public Health Services) violated every medical protocol using African American men as laboratory animals to study the effect that syphilis had on them (some believe that the U.S. injected the black men with syphilis, but I have not found such in my research);
· The Gulf of Tonkin incident that illegally expanded the War in Vietnam;
· The U.S. military has yet to explain why it was secretly watching Dr. Martin Luther King on the day he was assassinated (Extremely troubling!!);
· The October Surprise when George H.W. Bush secretly tampered with the 1980 presidential elections by securing an agreement with Iran to release the hostages after the elections; and
· The Iran-Contra Affair.
This short list is very troubling; however, there is an exhaustive list of illegal acts that have been committed over the years by the U.S. Government, and I simply provided a brief list of the acts we are aware of. When one considers the things that America is/has been furtively involved in that its citizens are unaware of, then the list becomes even more ominous. If we believe for one moment that God has winked at America’s immorality, then we too have been influenced by this country’s very sophisticated propaganda program. God is not a man that he should lie or play favorites. Has He considered the good that has been done by the U.S.? Certainly He has; however, He does not place the good on one side of the scale and bad on the other, measuring to see which side wins out.
More than 200 years ago, President Thomas Jefferson lamented at the immoral behavior of his own country when he uttered these famous words: “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.” Two hundred years later, America’s political and social landscape must have Jefferson sizzling in his grave like a rotisserie chicken.
For those who believe that America is above divine judgement, then I urge you to simply take a look at the unusual weather patterns over the last few years, the current financial crisis that nearly took down the global economies, the mortgage crisis, the loss of international prestige, the decline of this country’s automobile industry, unprecedented levels of corruption (Enron and Madoff to name a few), and the current untapped oil well in the Gulf of Mexico that is destroying the Southeastern coastline and has the potential to devastate a significant portion of the Eastern seaboard.
Do you believe that the Gulf oil spill was the result of a faulty contingency plan as we have been made to believe by our leaders on Capitol Hill? In one fatal swoop, the Gulf oil spill has the potential of releasing more toxins into our environment than the total pollution runoff in all of the OPEC nations over the last 50 years combined.
Be not deceived, God is mocked: for whatsoever a [nation] sows, the same shall it likewise reap. If it sows corruption, it will reap corruption. For Him, the ends do not justify the means: your road to a noble destination cannot be littered with corruption, and then you expect to escape His judgement.
Postscript: For those who may be interested, I have recently published a 2 volume set on Redemption, titled, Flawless, God’s Perfect Plan of Redemption. These books go beyond the traditional teaching that Redemption is simply about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is correct, but not complete, and God has given me something special to share with you. Please feel free to visit the on-line store where the book is available and download the complimentary Introduction.