|WCJ Comments The National Security Strategy of the United States of America Report – 17 September 2002|
|No.||The NSS Report||Comment|
|1||The great struggles of the twentieth century between liberty and totalitarianism ended with a decisive victory for the forces of freedom — and a single sustainable model for national success: freedom, democracy, and free enterprise. In the twenty‐first century, only nations that share a commitment to protecting basic human rights and guaranteeing political and economic freedom will be able to unleash the potential of their people and assure their future prosperity. People everywhere want to be able to speak freely; choose who will govern them; worship as they please; educate their children — male and female; own property; and enjoy the benefits of their labor. These values of freedom are right and true for every person, in every society — and the duty of protecting these values against their enemies is the common calling of freedom‐loving people across the globe and across the ages.||This paragraph paints a simplistic picture of the state of the world using “political” concepts of the 20th century Cold War rhetorics. |
During the 20th century the words “freedom” and “democracy” were used by politicians as slogans to justify their powers, rather than as instruments of government. To be able to use them as instruments of government, these words have to be understood and defined non‐politically.
The real conflict is not between “freedom” and “totalitarianism”, but between “government”, that is, the task of protecting freedom, person, and property of the individual and “politics”, that is, use of government powers to advance the interests of the group of individuals constituting a government and of those whom they chose to favor at the expense of the less favored by them groups.
This is true both of governance within nation states, and of relationships between nation states.
This is true regardless of whether governments are hereditary, imposed by a military coup, or elected by a general ballot.
No means of appointment of government officials guarantees that these officials will be honest and competent, and will not abuse their powers. And it is abuses of government powers that lead to wars and terrorism. The only way to eliminate wars and terrorism is to establish mechanisms which will ensure that government powers are not abused — that is elimination of politics.
|2||a||Today, the United States enjoys a position of unparalleled military strength and great economic and political influence.||This is true. And this strength and influence could be used either to liberate mankind from wars, terrorism and politics, or to plunge it into decades of massive destruction and bloodshed.|
|b||In keeping with our heritage and principles, we do not use our strength to press for unilateral advantage.||This is a statement of intent. The results of human actions are not always those intended. Nor do the declared intentions always match the real ones. Nor does the perceived advantage always match the real one. How the United States will use its strength in the future — future will tell.|
|c||We seek instead to create a balance of power that favors human freedom: conditions in which all nations and all societies can choose for themselves the rewards and challenges of political and economic liberty.||A balance of power does not favor human freedom. It might prevent an outright conflict between the major powers. But it will also favour the major powers at the expense of smaller countries. To guarantee human freedom for all, rather than for “sources of power”, all power must be limited to the minimum required for honest government 's expense.|
|d||In a world that is safe, people will be able to make their own lives better.||This is true.|
|e||We will defend the peace by fighting terrorists and tyrants.||If the United States will fight terrorism and tyrants by frivolously attacking nations as and when it is convenient to them, peace will not follow either for the United States nor for the rest of the world.|
Tyranny is frivolous use of power. By frivolously attacking nations either directly, as they have done it in Afghanistan, or through its “friends”, as in the present Israeli war against the Palestinians, the United States itself will be seen as a tyrant super‐power.
This will result in increase in anti‐American sentiments, similar to those that gave rise to the emergence of the al‐Qaida organization, and will encourage more terrorism, more wars, more destruction, and more bloodshed.
|f||We will preserve the peace by building good relations among the great powers.||Peace based on relationships between “great powers” has never been and will never be stable.|
To be stable, peace must be imposed by rule of law. Without effective supra‐national law based on the principle of equality between nations, great or small, peace will be just as unstable as peace in a lawless city which is ruled by rival criminal gangs.
Sometimes gangsters make peace between themselves, sometimes they quarrel. But the main victims of the gangster‐ruled city are its inhabitants whose security depends on the whims and fancies of the power‐drunk gangsters.
|g||We will extend the peace by encouraging free and open societies on every continent.||Up to now this meant encouraging military dictatorships in South America, the oppressive government of Shah Reza Pahlevi in Iran, installing Saddam Hussain in Iraq, devastating Afghanistan and leaving it to the rule of rival warlords, and encouraging and financing Israel in its genocidal war against the Palestinians. How this “encouragement of free and open societies” will proceed in the future, the future will tell.|
|3||Defending our Nation against its enemies is the first and fundamental commitment of the Federal Government. Today, that task has changed dramatically. Enemies in the past needed great armies and great industrial capabilities to endanger America. Now, shadowy networks of individuals can bring great chaos and suffering to our shores for less than it costs to purchase a single tank. Terrorists are organized to penetrate open societies and to turn the power of modern technologies against us.||This is true. But it is a mistake to see “terrorists” as a single homogeneous dark force.|
Leaving aside freaks and cranks, terrorism is the result of inability to obtain redress against injustices committed by established governments.
Establishing workable legal means of redressing injustices committed by governments will eliminate the motivation for terrorism. Failure to establish such legal system will make terrorism a permanent part of human existence.
|4||To defeat this threat we must make use of every tool in our arsenal — military power, better homeland defenses, law enforcement, intelligence, and vigorous efforts to cut off terrorist financing. The war against terrorists of global reach is a global enterprise of uncertain duration. America will help nations that need our assistance in combating terror. And America will hold to account nations that are compromised by terror, including those who harbor terrorists — because the allies of terror are the enemies of civilization. The United States and countries cooperating with us must not allow the terrorists to develop new home bases. Together, we will seek to deny them sanctuary at every turn.||Geo‐political experiments are by their nature very costly and their outcome is uncertain. This is why before embarking on them it is imperative to make the best possible use of the accumulated human experience of the past.|
A good example from recent history is the state security system in the Soviet Union: unconquerable military might; impenetrable state frontiers; total control over every aspect of life of each and every of its citizens — no person in the Soviet Union could be sure that his wife or husband, brother or sister, parents or children are not government informers; total state control of the media, education, trade, industry, the legal system — no place not only for terrorism, but even for any form of deviation from official government ideology — any deviant thought lead to a spell in a secure mental hospital — total 100% patriotism. In comparison with this 100% water‐tight Soviet system, the American Patriot Act, Homeland Security, etc are like a sieve with the bottom removed. But in spite of all the water‐tight security, the Soviet system collapsed.
The Soviet system was based on a political paranoia, just as the present American War on Terror is based on a paranoia.
Paranoias are powerful human motivators and are capable of generating impulses of intense human activity, but they are examples of obsessive irrational behavior which often causes much damage to others, but, if not cured, leads to the ultimate destruction of the paranoiac himself. This is true of individuals, groups, or nations.
|5||a||The gravest danger our Nation faces lies at the crossroads of radicalism and technology.||The danger to America and to the rest of Mankind lies in failure to understand and to adapt to the realities of today's world.|
Concepts like “overriding national interests”, “super‐powers”, “balance of power”, “friends and enemies” are remnants of the ideologies of the 20th Century Empires and of the Cold War.
These concepts are meaningless in today's world, and basing the American foreign policy on these concepts will lead America and the rest of Mankind to nothing but destruction and bloodshed, similar to the World Wars of the 20th Century, but on a wider scale due to the new technology.
|b||Our enemies have openly declared that they are seeking weapons of mass destruction, and evidence indicates that they are doing so with determination.||The fact that the world today is divided into “friends” and “enemies” is due to the American foreign policy towards the non‐super‐power nations and to the way the United States Administration had handled the Events of the 9/11.|
|c||The United States will not allow these efforts to succeed. We will build defenses against ballistic missiles and other means of delivery. We will cooperate with other nations to deny, contain, and curtail our enemies' efforts to acquire dangerous technologies. And, as a matter of common sense and self‐defense, America will act against such emerging threats before they are fully formed. We cannot defend America and our friends by hoping for the best. So we must be prepared to defeat our enemies' plans, using the best intelligence and proceeding with deliberation. History will judge harshly those who saw this coming danger but failed to act.||Having failed to understand the phenomenon of terrorism and lapsed into a state of anti‐terrorist hysteria and paranoia, the American Administration hope to defend themselves with superior technology, pre‐emptive strikes and similar measures aimed at “threats” and “enemies” lurking from every side.|
But terrorism is the result of inability to redress injustice by peaceful means. And feelings of injustice are a powerful motivator — even more powerful than fear and paranoia.
The attackers of the 9/11 did not use powerful technology developed by themselves. They used cardboard knives and American civil aircraft.
There is no limit to human ingenuity.
The safety of America and the world lies not in another Arms Race like the one in the 20th century, but this time not with the Soviets, but with “World Terrorism”, but in elimination of the causes of terrorism — which could be cheaper and faster that building an anti‐ballistic defence system. And unlike an anti‐ballistic defence system, this will also bring peace and security.
|d||History will judge harshly those who saw this coming danger but failed to act.||History will judge even more harshly those who saw this coming danger but panicked, failed to understand the nature of the danger, and tried to extinguish a minor fire by poring on it petrol.|
|e||In the new world we have entered, the only path to peace and security is the path of action.||Not every action will bring peace and security. The correct action will, a wrong action can be worse than no action at all. This is common knowledge and common sense. Only a political demagogue can call for any action (rather than the correct action) just to give the panicking public an impression that “the government is doing something about it”.|
|6||a||As we defend the peace, we will also take advantage of an historic opportunity to preserve the peace. Today, the international community has the best chance since the rise of the nation‐state in the seventeenth century to build a world where great powers compete in peace instead of continually prepare for war.||As long as the world order is based on the concept of “great powers” there will be no peace. Peace will be established and preserved for ever once the world order is based on the principle of equality of all the people under the law, be they individuals, groups, or nations — be they “great” or “small”.|
|b||Today, the world's great powers find ourselves on the same side — united by common dangers of terrorist violence and chaos. The United States will build on these common interests to promote global security.||The terrorist violence is the direct result of the world order based on the principles of “great powers” and of “might is right”.|
When smaller nations suffer injustice at the hands of “great powers” and cannot redress these injustices by peaceful means, the only options left to them are either to accept injustice or to seek to redress that injustice by the only means available to them — terrorism.
If the United States Administration wants to promote global security, it must work towards replacing the present chaos with a world order based on the principle of equality of all nations under the law. This also means abandonment of politics as a method of government and establishment of government based on truth, honesty and justice.
|c||We are also increasingly united by common values.||It is important to clearly state these values. The word “values” as in “we are fighting for our values” has been frequently used by political demagogues to justify their aggressive behavior.|
|d||Russia is in the midst of a hopeful transition, reaching for its democratic future …||The word “democracy” has been heavily used by politicians throughout the world, as something which is “good in itself” and claiming that they themselves are “democratic” while their opponents are not. So, there sprang up Popular Democracies, National Democracies, Social Democracies, etc.|
The suggestive meaning of the word “democracy” is “government by the people”, as opposite to government by a single person or a group of people.
Government, however, is an administrative task which cannot be performed by all the people acting at the same time. It has to be performed by a group of people headed by a single person. So, in practice, democracy means the method of appointing a government by elections in which people take part.
Election of a government by votes only allows for a periodic change of government. It does not guarantee that the elected government will be honest, competent and effective.
The only way to ensure that a government is honest, competent and effective is to ensure that every person holding a public office is obliged by law, under fear of heavy punishment, to prove that every statement made by him is true, relevant to the matter in hand, logically valid, and, if implemented, is capable of achieving the correct results.
There is no country in the world today where such law is in force. As a result most people in the world depend on government by political demagogues, fumbling from scandal to scandal,while crime and corruption of every kind prevails.
Electoral government in Americaand other Western countries was the result of a natural development in the specific conditions ofthose countries. It was not imposed. The fact that America is one of the most prosperous countriesin the world is not due to democracy in itself — it is a result of many factors.
Attempts to impose electoral government in countries with different conditions does not turn thesecounties into Americas. Hitler was elected democratically, which did not prevent him becoming adictator. Oswald Mosely, a British admirer of Hitler, could not reproduce his idol's success in Britain, because of the different culture of that country. Democratically elected governments in Pakistan have invariably been corrupt, and were replaced by military dictatorships. Democratically elected governments in some countries of Africa had been worse than some dictatorships. Some Arab countries with traditional hereditary governments are more prosperous and more economically liberal than some democracies.
President Putin himself have discovered from his own experience that in the conditions under which has came to power in Russia an American type democracy was unsuitable, and that he had to becomean iron‐fisted “Russian oligarch” to save Russia from chaos and government by organised crime.
The very idea of “democracy” is based on the assumption that government power is a privilege, rather than a duty.
Because power is seen as a privilege, everyone is assumed to want to “participate” in government. And because government power is understood as frivolity, everyone wants to “influence” the government to promote one's wishes.
If, however, the powers of government are limited to performance of the government duties, and these duties are based on the principle of equality under the law and strictly defined and controlled, government becomes just another boring and difficult task, which nobody willwant to do, any more than the passengers of a bus want to drive the bus instead of the bus driver.
It does not matter whether a government is elected, hereditary, or emerged from some form of independence struggle. What matters is that the government powers are used for the purpose of government, rather than abused to favour one group of people at the expense of another.
|e||Russia is … a partner in the war on terror.||Russia has joined the “War on Terror” campaign in exchange for being given free hand in its war against the Chechens. Does the American administration see themselves as partners in Russia's genocidal war against Chechnya?|
|f||Chinese leaders are discovering that economic freedom is the only source of national wealth.||This is a most welcome development.|
No government should have right to interfere with legitimate economic activities of private individuals, either within its area of governance, or outside of it.
Free trade is a God‐given right, not a favour or concession on the part of any government. Interference with this right by governments is abuse of government powers.
|g||In time, they will find that social and political freedom is the only source of national greatness.||“National greatness” belongs to the world of 20th century nationalism. It is time to accept that all nations are equal under the law and before God. But each person is individually responsible for the results of his actions for better or for worse.|
|h||America will encourage the advancement of democracy and economic openness in both nations, because these are the best foundations for domestic stability and international order.||The issue of “democracy” has been dealt with in Paragraph 5d above.|
Encouragement of economic openness is a good intention, which is best achieved through establishment of supra‐national government institutions.
|i||We will strongly resist aggression from other great powers — even as we welcome their peaceful pursuit of prosperity, trade, and cultural advancement.||Any form of military aggression by great powers, or small countries is a criminal act. The best way of preventing such acts are total disarmament of all nation states and establishment of a supra‐national police to deal with any forms of aggression.|
|7||a||Finally, the United States will use this moment of opportunity to extend the benefits of freedom across the globe. We will actively work to bring the hope of democracy, development, free markets, and free trade to every corner of the world.||The issue of “democracy” has been dealt with in Paragraph 5d above.|
Development and free trade are an absolute necessity, but they can only flourish under a world order based on strictly impartial rule of law, rather than on “balance of power” or “politics”.
|b||The events of September 11, 2001, taught us that weak states, like Afghanistan, can pose as great a danger to our national interests as strong states.||It is most unfortunate that the US Administration misunderstood and misinterpreted the lessons of the 9/11 and of the role of Afghanistan in these events.|
The events of 9/11 did not require support of any state. All the equipment used by the hijackers was obtained in the US. The flying skills were also learnt in the Western counties. It might be true that the plot itself was developed by persons who happened to be in Afghanistan or that the hijackers received guidance and directions in Afghanistan. But these facts are purely incidental. The plot could have been developed anywhere in the world, and the same is true of any guidance and directions.
The operation of the 9/11 did not depend on the existence of any military style training camps, or huge international financial operations attributed to the al‐Qaida organisation, nor did it depend on the poverty or wealth, or the system of government in Afghanistan. All that was necessary for that operation was for a group of some 20 persons to be sufficiently motivated to undertake such operation.
|c||Poverty does not make poor people into terrorists …||This is true.|
Terrorism is the result of inability to redress an imaginary or real injustice by peaceful means. In countries with developed legal systems commercial disputes are resolved in civil courts.
In countries without a developed legal system the only way of resolving a commercial dispute is use of violence, or threat of it.
The very essence of a developed legal system is criminalisation of use of violence as a means of resolution of disputes and vesting the task of resolution of disputes into an independent and impartial system of administration of justice. It is absence of such system at the international level that leads to terrorism.
The present War on Terror conducted by the Unites States is an equivalent of a group of musclemen taking the law in their own hands in a lawless city. This cannot eliminate terrorism. Only an impartial supra‐national legal system will make terrorism a thing of past history. Just as the establishment of legal systems in the European nation states lead to the disappearance of the once common system of resolution of civil disputes by means of a duel (a pistol shoot‐out, or a sword fight, between the disputing parties).
|d||Poverty does not make poor people into … murderers.||Addition of the word “murderers” to the word “terrorists” in this case appears to be purely rhetorical. And the purpose of this appears to be common swearing, like in “You, murderous filthy scum”. This only shows that the members of the American administration still have not recovered from the shock of the 9/11, and from the outrage and bitterness caused to them by these events. This is most unfortunate, because these feelings prevent the members of the American administration from developing a clear understanding of the issues involved in the task of establishing a free, peaceful and secure world. As long as the judgment of the members of the American administration is clouded by the traumatic experiences of the 9/11, they will be acting in a state of diminished responsibility, which is dangerous for the United States and for Mankind.|
|e||Yet poverty, weak institutions, and corruption can make weak states vulnerable to terrorist networks and drug cartels within their borders.||Poverty can be conducive to some crimes and, if it is blamed on a government, can cause resentment and acts of terrorism. It can also be the cause of spread of diseases and other undesirable phenomena. But drugs are just as much a problem in the developed wealthy nations and the events of the 9/11 were not caused by poverty.|
|8||a||The United States will stand beside any nation determined to build a better future by seeking the rewards of liberty for its people. Free trade and free markets have proven their ability to lift whole societies out of poverty — so the United States will work with individual nations, entire regions, and the entire global trading community to build a world that trades in freedom and therefore grows in prosperity. The United States will deliver greater development assistance through the New Millennium Challenge Account to nations that govern justly, invest in their people, and encourage economic freedom.||These efforts can only succeed under a world order based on the rule of impartial law, rather than on “balance of power” and “politics”.|
|b||We will also continue to lead the world in efforts to reduce the terrible toll of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.||While the origin of AIDS is still subject to controversy, there is little doubt that its spread in the second half of the 20th century was due to “sexual liberation” and decriminalisation of homosexuality.|
Initially the disease began to spread among homosexuals (usually referred to by politicians as “high‐risk groups”), then it spread to the heterosexual population through promiscuous sex, use of intra‐venal injection by drug addicts, failure to observe adequate hygiene in blood transfusions, etc.
The role of homosexuality and sexual promiscuity in the spread of AIDS was clearly demonstrated in Afghanistan. Under the Taliban government, which enforced the traditional Islamic Shari'ah law, any form of sexual activity was allowed only within the framework of heterosexual marriage, and AIDS was practically unknown. After the removal of the Taliban government and increased contact with people from non‐Islamic countries AIDS has reached Afghanistan.
Increased contacts with the West have also brought AIDS to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
It is clear that the terrible toll of AIDS is the result of failure by the Western governments to foresee the consequences of decriminalisation of homosexuality and encouragement of sexual promiscuity especially among young people.
It should be noted that prevention is the best of cures.
|9||a||In building a balance of power that favors freedom, the United States is guided by the conviction that all nations have important responsibilities.||Nations cannot have any responsibilities whatsoever, only individuals acting singly or in groups can be responsible for the result of their actions.|
Of especial importance is the responsibility of individuals vested with powers for the purpose of government. And yet it is people in positions of power that only too often use their powers to avoid any responsibility for the results of their actions.
This issue has plagued Mankind throughout all human history, and is still unresolved — “Who is governing the government?”
The task of liberation of Mankind that the American Administration is taking upon itself cannot be accomplished without resolving this issue. The only way to resolve this issue is to abandon politics as a method of government and replace it with government by truth, honesty and justice.
|b||Nations that enjoy freedom must actively fight terror.||It is possible to fight a terrorist organisation. It is impossible to fight terrorism.|
Terrorism can only be eliminated by removing its causes — the absence of workable peaceful means of redressing injustices caused by governments.
As long as there are no workable peaceful means of redressing injustices caused by governments, victims of such injustices will try to redress such injustices by taking the law into their own hands and committing acts of violence by whatever means are available to them.
|c||Nations that depend on international stability must help prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction.||Weapons of mass destruction should be prohibited for all nations, great or small.|
But as long as some nations have WMD and other nations are afraid of being attacked with such weapons, these other nations will try to obtain or develop WMD. All nations have right to defend themselves, not only Israel.
But, if all nation states abandon use of any weapons and maintenance of national armies, and entrust the responsibility for their security to a supra'national police, then this problem will be resolved.
This is the same as the nationals of a nation state, who depend on their security on a national police, rather than on their own personal weapons. Are they less secure, than they used to be when each person had to carry a personal weapon to protect himself and redress his grievances?
|d||Nations that seek international aid must govern themselves wisely, so that aid is well spent. For freedom to thrive, accountability must be expected and required.||It is not enough to expect and require from governments that they perform their duties honestly, competently and effectively. Such expectations and requirements must be enforced by law — the impartial supra‐national law without which the task which the American administration have set themselves cannot succeed.|
|10||a||We are also guided by the conviction that no nation can build a safer, better world alone.||This is true.|
|b||Alliances and multilateral institutions can multiply the strength of freedom‐loving nations.||Alliances and multilateral institutions belong to the world order of the past centuries — to the gangland model of government. Alliances make sense only if some nations are seen as friends, while others as enemies. Friends form alliances against common enemies. This is how it was up to now.|
But in a world governed by rule of impartial law alliances lose their meaning. If any form of aggression is a crime, then there is no need to gang up to protect oneself from any enemies, nor will it be legal to gang up against others to commit some act of violence against them. So what is necessary are not multilateral institutions, but supra—national institutions which will ensure the safety of all.
This is similar to the Federal Government of the United States, which assures the safety of all the States of the Union. Would the United States be a safer place, if all the states composing it became “sovereign” little kingdoms feuding between themselves for power, glory and prestige of their little kings? But this is what has been going on at the international level.
|c||The United States is committed to lasting institutions like the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the Organization of American States, and NATO as well as other long‐standing alliances. Coalitions of the willing can augment these permanent institutions.||The United Nations and other World institutions should be strengthened and transformed into workable supra‐national government. All regional alliances should be either made world inclusive and merged into the supra‐national government or disbanded — no friends, no enemies, just equal citizens of one world.|
|d||In all cases, international obligations are to be taken seriously. They are not to be undertaken symbolically to rally support for an ideal without furthering its attainment.||All international obligations, which are honest and necessary, and not based on imposition by force or by fraud, should be legally binding and enforceable by the impartial supra‐national government.|
|11||a||Freedom is the non‐negotiable demand of human dignity; the birthright of every person — in every civilization.||This is true. And it should be truly universal, rather than limited to friends and allies of this or that super‐power.|
|b||Today, humanity holds in its hands the opportunity to further freedom‐s triumph over all these foes.||It is most unfortunate that “these foes” are not clearly and unambiguously identified.|
Is it Yasser Arafat besieged by the Israeli tanks in a building about to be razed by the Israeli bulldozers as they did it in Jenin?
Or is it those Palestinians who do not want to put up with the Israeli occupation and resist it by the only way available to them?
Or is it those idealistic British Muslim youngsters who having heard that the world's greatest super'power is bombing a Muslim country, went to Afghanistan and joined the Taliban as volunteers, and are now kept by the US administration as “unlawful combatants” in Cuba?
Are all these the real “Foes of Humanity”?
Stalin used to say in such cases “Enemies of the People”.
|c||The United States welcomes our responsibility to lead in this great mission.||The mission of liberating Mankind from wars, terrorism and politics is indeed a great mission, which, if performed successfully, will bring great benefits to the Human Race.|
But to perform it successfully, the American administration will have to “rise up to the occasion”. They will need to develop a global world view, rather than that of a nation state.
The pride and arrogance of a 20th century “super‐power” will have to be abandoned.
The mind set of “friends”, “enemies”, “alliances” and “national interests” will have to give way to the mind set of one world where all nations large or small, rich or poor are equal under the law.
They have to overcome the trauma of the 9/11 and their obsession with “anti‐terrorism” and to develop an informed and objective view of the phenomenon of terrorism.
They have to learn to put the same value on the blood of an Afghani, a Palestinian or a Mexican as they put on the blood of an American or an Israeli.
They will have to learn that justice is not a favour to be bestowed on one's friends and denied to one's enemies, but an instrument of honest government, and an absolute right which must be given to every one in equal measure.
May God give the Government of the United States the wisdom, vision, humility, honesty and sense of justice required for their great task and guide them in their noble endeavour.