Challenge # 82 November - December 2003
The Theodore M. Schmerzl
Institute* offers a dramatic new proposal for solving the problems of the
Bush Doctrine, as well as two major conflicts in the Middle
East. Transmitted by S. Langfur.
"I lift my lamp beside the golden door." – The Statue of Liberty,
welcoming immigrants into New York
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
has opened the golden door of citizenship to those
who join its army in liberating Iraq.
This move reflects not only traditional American generosity, but also the
difficulties in which Washington
has entangled itself. The 130,000-strong US liberation force (which already
includes 37,500 candidates for citizenship) has begun to resemble a line of
sitting ducks. Every day we read of casualties. We look for progress toward
democracy and find mere chaos. Troop morale is in the pits.
In launching this war, the Bush Administration overlooked a
basic principle: Where
a dictator remains in power, it is not because people want him but because the
socio-economic forces conducive to democracy do not exist. If an army comes
from outside and topples the dictator, the forces conducive to democracy still
do not exist. Either a new dictator takes over, or the country endures a
political vacuum until the necessary forces come into being. In an undeveloped
land, where the social structure is tribal, this process will likely take a
The American liberation army, in its present form, does not
have a long time. "The Congressional
Budget Office has calculated that on the basis of current rotation
schedules, the Pentagon
will run out of fresh troops for Iraq by the spring of 2004." (Time
Given such thin forces, it is hard to see how the Bush
Doctrine can move ahead, "preserving and extending an international order
friendly to our security, our prosperity and our principles." (Principles of the New
American Century.) As the grim statistics mount in Iraq, fewer
will want to join the fray. And what about the rest of the Doctrine, which
looks forward, in the coming years, to the liberation of Syria, Lebanon,
Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan and more? "Multiple deployments around the
world are already taxing the endurance of US forces… 'Hordes of active-duty troops and
reservists may soon leave the service rather than subject themselves to a life
continually on the road,' writes Michael O'Hanlon, a military expert at the
Brookings Institution in Washington."
Science Monitor July 7, 2003)
In the light of these problems, we at Schmerzl
consider it a stroke of genius on the part of the Bush Administration to have
opened the golden door of citizenship to those brave men and women who are
willing to take their chances in an American uniform. Although the program is
merely in its fledgling stage, we believe it offers the best, indeed the only
conceivable solution. How else can Washington raise an army big enough and
strong enough, with high enough morale, to carry out the Doctrine? The
37,500 pre-citizen GIs already in Iraq
are the pioneers, we predict, of a future golden-door army many times that
size, "preserving and extending" America's interests throughout the
globe. We applaud the Military Citizenship Act proposed by Senator John Cornyn; it expedites the naturalization process for
soldiers and shortens the application period from three years to two. To the
numerous downtrodden of this earth, those "huddled masses yearning to be
free," the immense rewards of US citizenship – for themselves and (eventually) their
families too – will offset the risks of the firing line. In their native
countries, these unfortunate people may have viewed the US as the ultimate cause of their misery, but Washington's new policy
gives them the chance to be at last on the winning side.
We wish to suggest, nonetheless, one major refinement to
the "Golden Door Policy" (as we would like to call it). The need is
urgent, but it is an unfortunate fact that most of the world's huddled masses
do not have sufficient military training to jump right in. Nor do they have good
English. There is one group, however, which is already trained for such
work. Many of its members have better than basic
English (it is required in their schools); as for those who don't, they have
Arabic. These people would jump at the chance, we are confident, to enter the
golden door. Moreover, the risks they would be taking are not substantially
greater than those under which they live in their present abode. The group is
substantial enough, furthermore, that it can form the nucleus, if not the
whole, of the large and spirited army that the Bush Doctrine requires. By
tapping this collective, finally, Washington
will gain, as an additional "bon-bon", the long-sought solution to
another intractable conflict as well.
The discerning reader will have guessed that the group in
question may be found in the State of Israel. He or she will no doubt exclaim,
"Are you crazy? America
has bent over backwards to keep Israel
out of its Iraqi adventure. The last thing it wants is that the Arab world
should see it using Israelis in Iraq!"
On the contrary, we say: the Arab world will back our proposal to the hilt.
We ask your patience, until you have heard us out.
First, we are talking about a specific group of Israelis,
namely the lower classes. On the one hand, they have had military training
since their youth, many for as long as thirty years. They will merely be going from one liberation to another. They are experienced in
siege, assassination, interrogation employing various degrees of physical
pressure, sealing villages, search and destroy,
impersonating the enemy – you name it. If some, like the Europeans, raise moral
concerns, we shall remind them that the soldiers in question are taught a code
known as "Purity of Arms". (See front cover.) They hail, moreover,
from the region's only true democracy, so they will spread the aura of
wholesome freedom emanating from our president. They will serve as his
"light to the nations" in this poor benighted region.
On the other hand, in Israel itself these very same
people are steadily losing their civilian jobs. Israel began to globalize its
economy, we recall, about twenty years ago. Many labor-intensive industries
have gone abroad. Those industries that cannot move, such as construction and
agriculture, have availed themselves of globalization in another way, importing
laborers from Asia and elsewhere who are willing to work long hours at a
pittance. Unemployment among Israelis, therefore, continues to rise (now
topping 10%, that is, some 276,000 people – more than we need for starters). For a long period, the state
bolstered their incomes by various means, but following the decline of
high-tech, the economy is now so weak, and the deficit so large, that the
government has cut back drastically on welfare allotments, as well as reducing
salaries in the public sector. On their own, the Israeli poor do not have the
financial means to leave the country and establish themselves elsewhere. They
have, in short, no prospects. Simply none.
Service in Iraq,
in return for American citizenship, will open to these seasoned soldiers and
their families the only chance of a decent life that they are ever likely to
get. Since the Iraqi engagement is only one of America's many pre-emptive wars to
come, we may be confident that they will continue to enjoy further job
opportunities in this field for the remainder of their working lives. They will
also amass points in the U.S. Social Security system, assuring them of handsome
benefits when and if they reach retirement age.
As for those who
lose their lives in the line of duty, we propose that they be granted immediate
posthumous citizenship, as is presently done with the Latinos. We believe that
citizenship should be extended, as a further inducement, automatically to the
immediate families of those killed, together with guaranteed minimum incomes,
guaranteed health care and what not. We must not sell America cheap,
however. As a condition for such benefits, the U.S. should require that the family
of the late soldier provide its oldest son, as soon as he reaches the age of
eighteen, to take the father's place. Thus we shall have a constant re-supply
to the liberation armies, and the enemy will know that the killing of the
liberation forces will only result in their replenishment by younger and hotter
blood. We can foresee, indeed – if the matter is correctly handled – special units
consisting of soldiers bent on avenging their fathers' deaths. These units will
be a match, in their ferocity, for Islamic fanatics. We must only be careful to
keep them overseas.
We also propose that the families of golden-door soldiers
be required, as a condition for citizenship, to place all their present and
future children "first on the list", so to speak, in the event that
troops are needed in future generations to preserve and extend America's
interests throughout the globe.
If it be asked where the US will obtain the money to meet
its obligations to the families of those who lose their lives, we answer with
(1) Not many will be killed. The kind of work we are
talking about has proved, until now, to have a relatively low mortality rate.
As long as American citizens do the dying, even a low rate has a dramatic
impact on national morale. If the dead, however, are not yet Americans, the
impact will be much slighter.
(2) If the mortality rate should rise, necessitating large
outlays to meet obligations to the families of the dead, money is simply not a
problem for America.
It can always go deeper in debt. The creditor nations, fearing universal
collapse, won't dare call in their chips. The whole industrial world will buoy America up.
The real beauty of our proposal, however, is yet to be
stated. Not only does it make up for the shortage of American troops in
Afghanistan, Iraq and other lands yet to be liberated, but it solves, in a
unique and unexpected fashion, the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In showing how this will occur, we shall also defend our
earlier assertion: The
Arab world will back our proposal to the hilt. The difficulty in dismantling Israel has always
been with its lower classes. One could envisage life becoming so intolerable
that the upper-class Israelis would leave (as many have done), for they possess
the money and connections to resettle elsewhere. The problem has always been
with those who lack the financial means. Our proposal will give them this
opportunity. They will line up outside our recruiting stations as they did,
seven months ago, for gas masks.
After the new soldiers have fought their way to U.S.
citizenship, their families may then apply. A wave of newcomers from Israel will not
be a major national burden. Americans will respond with their customary
big-heartedness, grateful that other people's families are taking the
casualties for them. The new recruits, by this time, will have made Iraq safe for business; increased oil revenues
will surely offset the costs of transit camps for their families on America's
shores. Nor will the immigrants have a difficult time dissolving in the melting
pot. As mentioned, many have English already. They are relatively close in hue
(closer, at any rate, than many others among the downtrodden) to the good
old-fashioned white American. They are Jewish, it is true, but there is nothing
wrong with that.
Although the first generation or so
will have to live on welfare (since the American economy too is losing its
labor-intensive industries), the U.S.
economy, unlike Israel's,
remains unsinkable for the reason stated above. Within the course of five or ten
years, as America expands its pre-emptive thrust to meet the challenges of
other nations nearing the nuclear threshold, most of the Israeli lower class,
we predict, will seize the expanding job opportunities abroad and swell the
ranks of liberation armies throughout the globe.
On seeing this trend, the remnant of Israel’s upper classes will understand that
the "game is up", so to speak, and relocate to various lands as well,
leaving only the settlers in the West Bank and Gaza. (We cannot please everyone.) Some
Israelis, it is true, will find it emotionally difficult to abandon the heroic
but ultimately hopeless Zionist enterprise. We have in mind, however, an
enterprise no less heroic – and much more realistic. It is a task for which the
Zionist experiment may be seen as having been mere preparation, a mission for
which, we dare to believe, Divine Providence itself has raised this army of
stalwart souls: to take the Doctrine of President Bush and turn it into
Reality. In the words of our illustrious founder, Theodore Schmerzl:
"If you will, it is no nightmare!"
WASHINGTON need only explain these necessary consequences,
and the Arabs on the street will enthusiastically back the proposal. The
disappearance of Israel
may cause difficulty, indeed, for the Arab regimes, which have survived
through the decades by diverting their people's rage from domestic ills toward
the Zionist enemy. Yet if the President is serious about exporting democracy,
as we know he is, he can only welcome a process that will give these
dictatorships a little shake and make them more responsive to their peoples.
Our proposal will satisfy everyone (except the settlers,
the Arab dictators and the opponents of American liberation). Jobless Israelis
will have found a welfare state that is able to support them. The Palestinians
will regain their long lost land. The Americans will have sufficient troops to
wage many more years of pre-emptive war throughout the globe. In short, we do
not see how the proposal can fail. On the contrary, it alone can answer America's manpower needs, while solving two major
conflicts of the Middle East in a single,
ingenious stroke. n
* The Theodore M. Schmerzl
Institute is a Washington "think
tank" located in Hessen, Germany.