Article Overview:   When asked how proud citizens were of their nation, 80 percent of Americans said they were "very proud" of their country.   Less than 40 percent of the French and less than 20 percent of the Germans said they were "very proud" of their countries.   What does it mean to the world when the vast majority of a nation supports its Principles of Vigilance?


Wednesday--November 12, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 791
America's Role As "Sentinel Of Global Vigilance" Strikes Fear In "Nations Of Complacency"
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Nov. 12, 2003-- There's a fear swirling around the world that America is becoming a "Sentinel of Global Vigilance."   That fear comes from the "Nations of Complacency."
      The problem with global relations is America's unilateral attitude against Terrorism.   It attacked Iraq without world support.   The Nations of Complacency sat back twiddling their diplomatic thumbs.  Now, they argue America is a bully.

Critics of American policy regurgitate Nazi German's history

        Critics of American policy regurgitate Nazi Germany's history when it wooed and cooed other nations, including Great Britain, into thinking it was going to follow protocol and ask every one's permission before taking action.   Instead, Germany thundered through Europe and gobbled up everything in sight before the rest of the world knew what happened.  Critics complain America is setting itself up to attack anyone anytime.
      The pre-emptive attack policy America employed by storming into Iraq to eradicate Terrorism's biggest threat in the Middle East--Saddam Hussein--has polarized many nations who once believed America would sit at the negotiating table until other nations slapped an endorsement on strategies and tactics they considered worthy of America's actions.
      The United Nations Resolution 1441 changed all that.   Instead of standing behind America's urgency to attack Iraq, sparks flew.   Nations worried about America's might refused to support the attack with troops or money.  Prominent among these were France, Germany and Russia.
     Now, the question of America's role as a benevolent world leader is being brought into question, and some are concerned that America's wrath can shift from Iraq to them without "prior approval."

Nations don't like bulls snorting in the china closet in international politics

      Nations don't like other nations dictating to them.    They don't like Goliaths stomping around the Davids.    They don't like bulls snorting and pawing in the china closet of international politics, for if the bull gets too angry, he just might gore them en route to his next target.
      The fear of America's strength and power isn't new.   In the 19th Century, Alexis de Tocquerville coined the word "American exceptionalism" to define the differences between America's role in the world and the role of other nations.   At the time, Tocquerville cited the power, might and diversity of America as a nation unlike any other, and, because of its unique diversity and countless resources, it could throw a monkey wrench into the engines of global politics by seeking to expand and proliferate its beliefs upon those who might not want to wear the same cloth that created the weave in America's flag.
      The Economist Magazine published an in-depth analysis of this "national exceptionalism," and its data suggests, at least to this reporter, that America may be well on its way to redefining the role of great nations in the 21st Century.   That role, I believe, is not a malevolent one that Nazi Germany embraced, but rather a benevolent one whose beneficiaries are the Children's Children's Children. 
       I would call the role being defined by America's actions the role of "Sentinel of Global Vigilance."   And, I would define the fear being issued by other nations as Complacency, the impotency of national purpose beyond their own borders.

Data from the November 6, 2003 The Economist

       Before I expand on the values of America's shifting role as "Sentinel of Global Vigilance," let me share some of the data from The Economist.   Readers can pour over the data from the link provided, and read a host of information better reported by The Economist than I can provide here.
       The key issue regarding America's role as the "Global Sentinel of Vigilance" comes down to national pride.    It is axiomatic that if you are proud of who you are and what you stand for, you want to spread that pride to others.    America's diversity as a nation, unlike nations such as Germany, France and Russia, allows it to want all others to enjoy the freedom and liberty that is part and parcel of America's legacy.
       Most nations are individualistic.  Put another way, they are selfish.   They want not diversity but uniformity.   Their immigration laws tend to quash an infiltration of other cultures into their societies for practical as well as historic reasons.  The more diverse a nation the more dilution there is to the culture within.
      But, keeping a nation close knit also limits its vision.   It clouds the ability of its citizens to see the world from various angles tends to make its cultural values inbred, promoting isolationism rather integration, and feeding its young brittle perspectives that are more nationally selfish than selfless.

America's multiracial and multi-ethnicity .....makes separatism almost impossible

    America's multi-racial and multi-ethnic, multi-political and multi-cultural population makes separatism almost impossible. 
      A fact in point is the attack on the World Trade Center by the Terrorists on September 11, 2001.   More than a third of the nearly 3,000 victims were from other nations, and a vast majority had roots in other nations, other cultures.  They were enjoying the fruits of freedom and America's vast trough of diversity when their lives were cut down.    The following site will give you a brief glance at some of their backgrounds--(9/11 diversity).
       But the crux of the issue regarding America's role as "Global Sentinel of Vigilance" comes from one five letter word--P-R-I-D-E!
       In its powerful survey of America's role throughout the world, polls were conducted regarding how other citizens of other nations viewed their national pride.  The leader of the pack was America.

The "are you proud" and other graphs from The Economist Magazine

     When asked how "proud" citizens of nations were regarding their countries, 80 percent of Americans stated "very proud."   The British scored less than 60 percent, the French and Italians less than 40 percent, and the Germans, less than 20 percent.
      The other factor was religion.  Americans have a penchant for religious belief.  In a broader sense, they advocate a spiritual belief that far exceeds the levels reported by other nations.
      Religion, whether one agrees with it or not, promotes selflessness versus selfishness.  It involves the "principles of sacrifice," and while not all religious people are "saints," the idea that a society subscribes to a "power greater than itself" suggests that it is more willing as a whole to "suffer" for causes than societies more secular in nature.
      To many nations, the idea of America's national pride frightens them because it suggests the citizens of America will support actions they deem "worthy" of their nation's legacy.   It means they may not be willing to duck and weave and try to find the "easier, softer way" to escape the moral and ethical responsibilities outside their own borders.
      And, it may mean that can become "righteous" in their efforts--evangelistic in their attempt to "convert" the unwilling to accept their "way of life."
      Historically, the world has been ruled by the idea of "sovereignty."   Under this edict, each nation has the "right" to do what it wants to do, and people who stick their noses or paws into the affairs of others are "imperialists," threatening the stability of the world to act in selfish rather than selfless ways.
       The United Nations has proven a prime example of nations binding together to try and keep their noses out of other nation's business until the threat posed by such nations is so critical that only a blind and deaf body would deny the necessity to act.   
         America has broken that mold.

Not everyone sees America as the "White Knight"

         By attacking Iraq, it shattered a long-standing rule of "global complacency" and shifted America into the saddle as the Sentinel of Global Vigilance.  But not everyone sees America as the "White Knight" riding the land of demons and dragons.
               Some see America as the "Black Knight" using its "righteous indignation" as a vehicle to smash global unity.   By standing alone in the face of Terrorism, America has flexed its Vigilance Muscles and thumped its chest to the United Nations and other world leaders that it will act to repair injustices whether the rest of the world agrees or not.

Some see America as the "Black Knight" smashing global unity

         This tosses out the essence of diplomacy--compromise.  Without diplomacy--seeking the agreement and support of others--there is no negotiating, no compromise of "if-you-do-this-I'll-do-that" that tends to weaken the primary mission and feed agendas not necessarily linked to the primary one.
         Turkey, for example, sought to arm-twist America into spending billions of dollars in aid before they agreed to support the war, and, in the final analysis, retreated when American negotiators grew angry because each time they met the Turks wanted more money--a form of diplomatic blackmail.
         Unilateralism is dangerous, of that there is no doubt.   But unilateralism as a policy is advocated against primarily by unilateral nations.   The nations that oppose unilateral actions by the United States tend to be those nations that most jealously guard their sovereignty and their lack of diversity.    They are nations who want to keep themselves "separate" from others, who guard their borders and culture with such ferocity that their own citizens find it virtually impossible to say:  "I'm very proud of my country."
         One of the biggest critics of America's actions in Iraq is France.    Less than 40 percent of its citizens are "very proud" of their country.  Another, Germany, ranks less than 20 percent in the "pride" arena.        

America's great battle between communism and democracy offers freedoms to all our citizens

        National pride is symbolic of national purpose.   America's national purpose has been for countless decades to offer the same freedoms our citizens enjoy to all nations.   The great battle between communism and democracy, ending with the crumbling of the Berlin Wall, was one such example.
         In a similar way, so was America's unilateral stand against Terrorism by attacking Iraq.   Americans, beneficiaries of freedom, didn't blink an eye about removing a tyrannical leader who gassed tens of thousands of his own people to death and gave $25,000 to suicide bombers for killing innocent people.
        The "pride of America" is not the pride of "white imperialists" either.  America's demography shows that the white population will soon become the minority in this nation.   One only needs to view television commercials and count the number of white actors versus "people of color" to realize that America's heartland of pride today is a potpourri of people, from all walks of life, all cultures, all ethnicities, all various types and forms of religiosity.

Americans represent the world community

      Americans represent the world community.  If there is a United Nations at the grass roots level, it is the citizens of America.   They are the Voices of the world.
       And, they relate their respect for America by the polls--showing 80 percent are "very proud" of their country.   That's four times the number of citizens in Germany who feel "very proud" of their country.
       But, what is "their country?"
       America has changed as a result of Nine Eleven.
       Perhaps better put, it has evolved.   Matured.   Grown up.
       I believe that the Terrorist attack forced many Americans who cared little about world affairs to shift their views.    They realized that at least one nation out of nearly 300 that comprise this global community had to stand up and fight for the future safety and security of the Children's Children's Children.

Americans enjoy the cornucopia of freedoms

      I believe that deep in the marrow of Americans--whether they were born here or came to enjoy the cornucopia of freedoms allowed by our liberties--the citizens looked out and saw a world hiding in the shell of Complacency, turtled in the security of sovereignty, cowering in the corners of selfish egotism that they had the right to collectively dictate what was right on face value.
       I believe they realized that citizens of America are really Citizens of Vigilance, people to be reckoned with.   Tocquerville realized that in the late 1800's, and his words "American exceptionalism" could be translated today into "American Vigilance."   He may have been foreshadowing the growth of America as the "Global Sentinel of Vigilance."
       But, unlike the common "sentinel" America's role is not militaristic as it is being reviewed by other nations fearful American troops will march unilaterally into their nations and unseat dictatorial governments it deems threatening to world security.
       Americans are first Parents of Global Vigilance.   If they have "pride" it is the "pride of the parent" that soars their statistics well above other nations.   When our troops fight and die in other nations, it isn't to conquer them, it is to liberate the Children's Children's Children from the tyranny and oppression of a life limited by selfish leadership.

Parent of Vigilance striving to protect the rights of the Children's Children's Children

      A Parent of Global Vigilance is one who believes Fear can be driven out with Courage, and Intimidation sent running by installing Conviction, and Complacency banished by the most vital of all purposes--to protect the rights of the Children's Children's Children.
      Over many years of struggle, Americans have proven their ability to support the Constitutional Rights of Citizens.   Painfully, the Constitution has come under many attacks, and each time, like the straw in the wind, it has bent and supported the weak and meek, elevated the rights of the individual while maintaining the unity of the whole.
      One only has to look at those who press against America's borders, seeking to enjoy the countless fruits flourishing on the Tree of Liberty.    They succor themselves on them, and take the knowledge of freedom and liberty with them, to pass on to their children, and to wish the same upon their relatives and friends who may live in the suffering of nations that deny such rights.   South Koreans wish the same benefits they have upon their brothers and sisters to the north.   Iraqi-Americans wish the same benefits of liberty and freedom for their kin, as do free Iranians here in America.
      It comes back, however, to national pride.
      When 80 percent of a nation is "very proud" of being a citizen, it suggests that "pride" extends itself far beyond the self.   American pride may well have more to do with the evolution of its children's freedoms and liberties than the individual right of the parent to achieve beyond his or her expectations.

I am most proud of America for what it is to my children and offers to my grandchildren

      I am most proud of America for what it is to my children and offers to my grandchildren, and, I am most willing to shout my pride in America not as a chest-thumping individual, but as a person who knows my parents before me, and those before them, fought for the children of the world.
      Nations who fight to protect not only their own children, but children everywhere, regardless of race, color or creed, have a pride that rises above arrogance and self-seeking.
      It makes them Nations of Vigilance, composed of Parents of Vigilance.
      Unlike empirical tyrants seeking to gild their own lilies,  Nations of Vigilance seek to protect the rights of the children without seeking rewards other than the satisfaction they enjoy that if they are willing to protect another's child, their willingness to protect their own will never wane.

I believe America will continue to be the Global Sentinel of Vigilance

   Today, America is under great pressure to recant its position as the Global Sentinel of Vigilance.   I believe it will refuse that choice.
      Instead, I believe, it will continue on its path as the world's reminder that our first duty is to the Children's Children's Children of all nations.   When that happens, Tocquerville's foreshadowing will become sunlight.
     Then, the Nations of Complacency will convert into Nations of Vigilance, all subscribing to the Pledge of Vigilance.   
      We will be not only an "exceptional America" then, but an "exceptional world."    

Nov. 11--Why Young Men & Women Volunteer To Die For Freedom

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