Friday, September 22, 2006

The Death of Sovereignty

Iraq is not a sovereign nation. Or, in fact, Iraq was not a sovereign nation. This fact was apparent in 2003, when the war was in its stages of rhetoric, and is more confusedly apparent now, albeit in a new context...

...Pakistan is a sovereign nation. President Bush made such a proclamation recently when speaking about the potential movement of American troops into Pakistan in order to follow an elusive bin Laden.

This quote is shocking. If we followed the rationale for the Iraq war to its apex, we should not have been surprised whatsoever if the war's consummation resulted in the overreaching death of the sovereign nation. For, the idea of sovereignty becomes quite confused when one nation invades another for the sole purpose of overthrowing a regime, and, subsequently, nation building.

(Of course, there can be no doubt now that this was in fact the intended purpose of the Iraq War. The toppling of Baghdad signified the continuation of Manifest Destiny moreso than the continued manifestation of the War on Terror. What was the selling point of the war? "Freedom is not our gift to the world, it is God's gift to mankind." What were the premises of Manifest Destiny? When it is boiled down to the foundations, Manifest Destiny is about the fact that there exists a God-given measure of how to rule over and use land. The flipside of this is, if a people (in this case Natives) is not properly ruling the land (in this case capitalism, liberal government, Christianity) there can be no other action than taking over that land and instilling proper rule. Could there be any higher outcome of "destiny" than living according to the rule of God (or, the God-sanctioned rule on earth)?).

The terms of "nation" are blurry. What makes Pakistan more-sovereign than Iraq is not entirely clear. One aspect is that in the War on Terror, Pakistan had a decision: it was either to be with the U.S. or against the U.S. (and thus, with Taliban and the Terrorists). Pakistan chose wisely, and thus spared themselves from the rule of God.

And yet, the War on Terror fully transcends nations. In fact, the War on Terror transcends religion, nations, ethnicity, and race.

The terrorists transcend these categories because the signularity of their actions. A terrorist attack, no matter its connection to a larger organization, is a singular occurence. There is never another guaranteed terrorist attack after the occurence of one (if there were, then terrorists would cease to be terrorists and would morph into militaries).

Terrorism requires a disjoint between agent and nation, agent and ethnicity, agent and religion, agent and race.

The United States is now confusedly piecing these categories back together. But, the War on Terror falls more on the side of terror, insofar as this War transcends those overreaching categories in the same manner that terrorists do, despite the supposedly clear division between an extensively organized military, and a terrorist actor.

Both the terrorists and United States transcend nation because as the terrorist knows no border or sings no anthem, so too does the United States confuse the status of nations (via sovereignty). What once was meaningful in the demarcation of nationality is now useless.

Both the terrorists and United States transcend religion because both misuse the premises of God. Religion for the United States and terrorists is merely politics under the guise of gods, gods that are battling over nothing particularly heavenly, the reign of their ideology on this planet. President Bush's Christianity and Osama bin Laden's Islam merely battle over the realm of whose dead god gets to rule over the flourishing of culture.

(Thus, their battle entirely excludes the True God).

Both the terrorists and United States transcend ethnicity and race, because the terrorist is faceless and has no loyalty, and the American race is merely a chimera. Both are sides of the same confused agent: the idealized color and culture that corresponds to no particular person that actually exists, and the betrayal of the true practices of actual, authentic, loyal persons. Both the United States and the Terrorists turn their backs to their real constituents.

The weak result is a War of confusion and angst, of persons disappointed by the non-correspondence of their ideals to reality. The strong result is a War that illustrates, in its negativity, the reality of the deaths of our world: the Death of God, the Death of Sovereignty, and ultimately, the murder of culture and personal identity. The faceless terrorist and the faceless soldier share the same fate: execution at the hands of the misguidance of a larger ideal.

The person that reaches for the chimera has nothing to hold onto. The person that betrays their ancestry and origin can destroy the earth because they have nothing to fight for. Together, they will self-defeat. But, the battle really seems endless.

Those of us away from the fight have a task: we are given various Deaths, which slowly present to us, in fragmented form, reality. We must rigorously piece together these fragments and we must not turn away from any mistakes or failures in the task; for, we must be the bearers of what reality reveals to us.

In the face of an endless battle of betrayal and imagination, we must steer the real away from the pull of unreality, and towards an ethical outcome.

We must stand against this battle so that we may remain ethical in our dispositions; so that our heads may soberly rest in the actuality; so that we may express this actuality with pointed, critical, and meaningful responses to the battle.

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