My Country: The World

And another idiotarian is discovered. This one makes me livid, coming from the so-called “tompaine.com”. Get this smidge of refuse:

As a patriot, contemplating the dead GIs, should I comfort myself (as, understandably, their families do) with the thought: “They died for their country.” If so, I would be lying to myself. Those who die in this war will not die for their country. They will die for their government. They will die for Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld. And yes, they will die for the greed of the oil cartels, for the expansion of the American empire, for the political ambitions of the President. They will die to cover up the theft of the nation’s wealth to pay for the machines of death.

The distinction between dying for our country and dying for your government is crucial in understanding what I believe to be the definition of patriotism in a democracy.

According to the Declaration of Independence — the fundamental document of democracy — governments are artificial creations, established by the people, “deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”, and charged by the people to ensure the equal right of all to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Furthermore, as the Declaration says, “whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.”

This trash insists that because he suspects that George Bush might have less than pure motives, we should discount the service that our volunteers won for the Iraqi people. In his hatred for “Bush and Cheney and Rumsfield” he ignores the very things that Paine fought against: despotism, nationalism, and tyranny. He is guilty of the very arguments that caused Paine to write “The Rights of Man”:

But Mr. Burke appears to have no idea of principles when he is contemplating Governments. “Ten years ago,” says he, “I could have felicitated France on her having a Government, without inquiring what the nature of that Government was, or how it was administered.” Is this the language of a rational man? Is it the language of a heart feeling as it ought to feel for the rights and happiness of the human race? On this ground, Mr. Burke must compliment all the Governments in the world, while the victims who suffer under them, whether sold into slavery, or tortured out of existence, are wholly forgotten. It is power, and not principles, that Mr. Burke venerates; and under this abominable depravity he is disqualified to judge between them.

It doesn’t matter what the White House had in mind. The result is that American volunteers — men and women who loved liberty enough to pledge their lives to the Constitution, a document where the word “democracy” never appears — fought and died to free a people suffering under a tyranny much worse than that the tyranny Paine lauded the French for throwing off.

It really disgusts me that so called libertarians are against any sort of action by the US. There is no doubt in my mind that until about a month ago, Saddam Hussain was the greatest threat to liberty in the world. Not, perhaps, American liberty, but human liberty.

Zinn praises the foreign press for giving us “the full picture of human suffering caused by our bombing”. What this press fails to show is us the full picture of human suffering under the Baath regime. You don’t see the mass graves that are five years old in the press he lauds; you only see the small fresh graves. To see the full picture of suffering in Iraq, you must look to the Iraqis. I’ll quote Awad Nasir, who’s article appears below:

The U.S. and its allies should be prepared to take a further risk, and ignore the supposedly disinterested advice of France, Russia and the Arab regimes to salvage the political and social legacy of the dictatorship. Last February, the U.S. and Britain stood firm and insisted that Iraq must be liberated, regardless of whatever anyone might say. Today, they must remain equally firm in asserting that Iraq must be democratized. They should not leave Iraq until they are asked to do so by a freely elected Iraqi regime in Baghdad.

In the meantime Jacques Chirac, Vladimir Putin, Kofi Annan and others have no authority to speak on behalf of my people.

If you truly love liberty, then there is no way that you can turn a blind eye to the tyranny that the Iraqi people lived under, and claim that it wasn’t worth American lives to free those millions of people. It would be worth a million deaths to free the Iraqi people. I can only be free if you are free; Zinn seems to have forgotten this axiom.

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