Equitable Neutrality: A Brief Speech

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

A brief speech regarding our nation's wars in the Middle East and the benefits of pursuing a policy of complete neutrality in all future foreign engagements.

“Equitable Neutrality: A Brief Speech”

On the morning of September 11th, 2001, an attack of such devastating proportions, unparalleled in its sudden and calamitous ruination, struck at the very heart of American security. The fall of the Twin Towers triggered a momentous and highly influential shift in our nation’s foreign policy. Almost overnight, millions of young men soon found themselves to yet another foreign conflict, waged not in the rustic cities and towns of Europe or the steaming jungles of East Asia, but in the ancient and timeless cities wastelands of the Middle East.

Such has been the experience of our great nation for nearly ten years. Today, fourteen years after the first American invasion of Afghanistan, our country still finds itself entrenched in the same land that has caused the fall of countless conquering armies, from Alexander the Great to the Soviet Union. The time has come to end our involvement in such futile affairs. The War on Terror will not be won in the mountains of Afghanistan or the deserts of Iraq, but by assisting those same poor souls whom decades of foreign abuse and abject poverty have driven to such extreme acts of violence.

To begin with, we must first acknowledge the tremendous effect such foreign engagements have had on both the economy and families of our great nation. To date, nearly 2,000 of our servicemen and women have perished in Afghanistan alone, compared to roughly 4,000 in our nation’s most recent offensive in Iraq. Though such numbers seem minor in relevance, one must consider the obvious toll each death incurs on American families. It is almost impossible to account for the exact number of fathers, sons, and husbands whose lives have been so needlessly extinguished abroad, young men  who, in many ways, form the cornerstone of our nation’s progress.

Such numbers pale in comparison to the number of civilian casualties in either instance; on average, more than 30,000 civilians have been killed in Afghanistan since this dreadful conflict began, many the unfortunate casualties of indiscriminate American bombing campaigns and drone strikes.

Our economy has also suffered nearly irreparable damage from such protracted warfare. In the year 2008, at the very height of America’s war in Afghanistan, our nation suffered one of the worst economic calamities since the Great Depression. Today, unemployment continues nearly unchanged since its highest peak nearly eight years ago. Our country continues to add to its crushing national debt--today set at nearly 18 trillion. To this day, we remain horribly indebted to our rival state of China.
Accordingly, our soldiers themselves are not entirely free from wrongdoing. Indeed, the wars in the Middle East have become of themselves a most pressing moral dilemma. While undoubtedly much global attention has been giving to the mass killings of Christians, Shiites, and other minorities by ISIS and affiliated groups, many members of our military have also been involved in similar crimes against humanity. One must consider, for example, the merciless killing of 16 Afghan civilians in 2012 by US Army sergeant Robert Bales, an unwarranted and brutal series of murders that ultimately drew international condemnation, becoming known as the infamous Kandahar Massacre. At the same time, the recently uncovered Abu Ghraib Scandal, detailing the harsh internment and interrogation of suspected terrorists by the CIA in Afghanistan, only provides further evidence of unacceptable misconduct. Such egregious actions only serve to further erode our government’s sense of purpose in the region, and have since greatly inflamed the sentiments of many in the Middle East, even our would-be allies.

In light of such events, it is not at all surprising that radical Islam has undergone a significant revival in recent years. The Arab Spring of 2011, the sudden period of reform and protest that has triggered democratic uprisings across the Middle East, began mainly as a reaction against American--and to that extent Western--interference in the region’s affairs. The ongoing civil war in Syria, a humanitarian crisis of awful proportions, has only served to plunge the region into further chaos. Against this background of rage and revolution, Salafist groups such as Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood have not only grown, but prospered. Bands of armed thugs, once sponsored by the United States decades ago, continue to terrorize the people of the ancient and recently-conflicted Republic of Yemen. ISIS continues to gain popular support in Iraq; with the fall of Ramadi and Mosul, the destruction of ancient cities and cultural monuments, the execution of thousands of minorities, the situation has only grown worse.

The immediate removal of all American troops from Iraq and Afghanistan is the only solution to this most pressing of crises! The United States military budget, attaining an unfathomable peak of 610 billion dollars in 2011 alone, must be immediately reallocated to fund the reconstruction of these war-torn nations! Schools will be built and maintained! Hospitals will be constructed and staffed, stocked with the best medicines and treatments available. Highways will link these nations’ diverse cities and peoples, bringing food and clean water to millions of their inhabitants. Sports venues, cinemas, and concert halls, each the hallmark of Western culture, will bring new life to these ancient peoples! The old military dictatorships and backwards theocracies will be utterly abolished! In their place will arise new tolerant and democratic governments, based not upon religion or power, but upon the equal representation of all people!

Such dreams of equitable democracy have been the cornerstone of our great nation for nearly two centuries. We, children of one of the most prosperous nations in the Western world, experience a privileged existence deemed nearly unattainable to those in the East. Have we the right, as Americans, to deny these nations the most basic of personal liberties?

It is thus the sole destiny of the United States to completely refrain from involvement in international conflicts. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, one of the greatest leaders in American history, once said that: “Our national determination to keep free of...foreign entanglements cannot prevent us from feeling deep concern when ideals and principles that we have cherished are challenged.” We, as a great people, deserve no less than the complete benefits of equitable neutrality!

Freed from the burden of military expenses, our nation will receive a massive increase in the funding of our sciences and culture. Our security will be tremendously increased. Our borders shall be made secure; our cities will become the model of the world in health and safety! Our economy will become the strongest in the world, devoid of the corrupting influences of malicious corporatism and military expense. Millions of families will once again be made whole: husbands will return to their wives, fathers to their children, parents will welcome their sons home with open arms, finally at home after years of faithful service on the foreign front.

A new peace, lasting and genuine, will settle upon the American consciousness. Equitable neutrality is truly the destiny of our great people. United as one people, as one great nation, we shall usher in a new Golden Age of American democracy and invention, standing for millennia as the true testament of the will of our noble land! 



Submitted: July 30, 2015

© Copyright 2022 Luhanst1944. All rights reserved.

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