My company Cherry Tree publishes American values-based children’s books. One of our series, called Special Hops, focuses on a team of soldier rabbits that protect farmyard animals. These adorable-but-tough rabbits raised a few eyebrows. In one of the stories, Operation Rocky Freedom, we teach children the theme of encouraging worldwide democracy and helping the oppressed.
This illustrated kids book is indeed a positive allegory of the Iraq War, but it is so much more. It is meant to distill a core American value, that of freedom being a human right. In a post-isolationist America, foreign policy is no longer a Left versus Right issue. The official goals of the U.S. Department of State are, “to create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community."
This speaks to not only the policies of the Bush administration at the beginning of the 21st century, but also the policies of Woodrow Wilson (a progressive Democrat) during World War I, and Abraham Lincoln (the first Republican) during the Civil War. In fact, these three presidents held the same (or very similar) views of the United States’ duty. In the Declaration of Independence, we sought to form a nation based on the premise that all men are created equal. Our foreign policy is based on this premise, that freedom is a human right (via our creator or via nature) and, therefore, the United States’ duty to protect that freedom.
This is indeed an abstract concept. That’s why we created soldier bunnies; to help children begin to grasp the principles this country stands for.