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?
12, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 791
America's Role As "Sentinel Of
Global Vigilance" Strikes Fear In "Nations Of Complacency"
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
American policy regurgitate Nazi German's history
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
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
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
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.
multiracial and multi-ethnicity .....makes separatism almost
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
But the crux of the issue regarding
America's role as "Global Sentinel of Vigilance" comes from one five
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
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
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
America has broken that mold.
sees America as the "White Knight"
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.
America as the "Black Knight" smashing global unity
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.
great battle between communism and democracy offers freedoms to
all our citizens
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
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.
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
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
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.
Vigilance striving to protect the rights of the Children's
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
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.
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."