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May 16, 2011
"On American Patriotism" - A Response To A CommenterTopics: Culture and Society, Human Interest
One of our readers wrote a lengthy and very provocative commentary in response to the thread "Modern Liberalism Is A Form Of Mental Illness" here on Hyscience, that touches upon many subjects on many levels, all of which are worthy of thoughtful discussion and response. However, the commenter's paragraph that caught my particular attention as to its assumptions and implications was:
"Hyscience, framing and supporting invasive wars which have killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in the name of 'Patriotism', as the agenda of Neoconservatives, is not 'raising the value of human life.'"Permit me to respond, and elaborate on what true American Patriotism is, and should be, as I see it, according to our Constitution, the writings of our Founding Fathers, and the values and principles of our nation's Judeo-Christian tradition.
First, let us define "Patriotism" since the term has been loosely applied from meaning the "Vaterland" of German Reunification to the Germans, to Ahmadinejad's vision of an Iranian Shiite Muslim "Vatherland" theocracy - imposing its Sharia Caliphate around the globe; and the Germans during the late 1930's thought themselves "patriotic" when they took over Czechoslovakia as "reuniting" the dispersed German people, and when they invaded France, in what they deemed just "retribution" for the humiliations and privations the German people suffered, through the demands of the Treaty of Versailles, at the hands of the Allies after WWI. As much as even Russians that hated communism during the German occupation, fought alongside their Soviet oppressors because in their "patriotism" they had one goal in common: That of repelling the Nazi invasion off "Mother Russia."
So let me begin by saying that "Patriotism" as pertains to Americans, should not be imposing our will through military means on other people, unless there are specific circumstances, and or considerations pertaining to our national safety, that compels us to do so.
Patriotism, as pertains to America, should be that we are proud of our heritage of "Freedom" in spite of all our faults and shortcomings, such as slavery, the treatment of Native Americans during the 19th Century, women's suffrage, the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII and other travesties we have committed as a people in the past, even as we evolve as a nation into our Founders' "More Perfect Union"! After all, we are a nation of humans, formed by imperfect human beings with faults and virtues. Yet, nowhere else in the world have the high ideals that are embodied in the very concept of our nation, shone so brightly in the history of mankind! For all our shortcomings and imperfections, America is always willing to reflect upon itself, learn from its past mistakes, and better itself as a nation, with eyes, not towards the mistakes of our past, but the promise of a more perfect, equitable, and altruistic future!
Patriotism, is being proud of the Judeo-Christian foundations of our nation that were the impetus, that, just as those Israelites following Moses "Out of the House of Servitude", impelled our Founding Fathers to go into the wilderness of a nascent United States and forge a nation of "Free Men", beholden to none, but to themselves, their conscience, and the Deity they worship!
Even though we are at our core a Judeo-Christian nation, from our inception, our Founders enshrined in our rights, the Freedom to worship, or not worship, according to our conscience and our beliefs! That however, does not mean, as has happened in our asinine "politically correct" world of late, that the free expression of religious sentiment ought to be curtailed on account it "may give offense" to someone else - such as removing depictions of the Ten Commandments from Public Buildings and Courts, or Nativity Scenes and depictions of the Baby Jesus from the Public Square, and virtually removing Christ from the "Christmas" holidays, which at its roots, of course, is a traditional "Christian" celebration - just because it conflicts with someone else's beliefs, or lack thereof, or because the festivities give "offense" to some Grinch! Or to accommodate any "given" religion, thus giving it in fact by doing so, a "special privileged status" not given other faiths, as has been the case lately with Islam.
As for our commenter, believe as you will, but please do not impose your aversion to religion, your atheism, your moral relativism, or barbaric "Sharia" on others, and thus by doing so, curtail their religious Freedom!
American Patriotism is cherishing our fierce individualism that leads us to, as in the case of the poet, choosing for ourselves should we wish, "...the road less traveled." and that has made, not only all the difference, but has made our country great!
American Patriotism, is valuing self-reliance. Such as that of our farmers, whom ridiculed as bumpkins and clodhoppers, yet literally feed the world!
American Patriotism is self-reliance, yet, without forgetting our duty as fellow human beings to assist our fellow travelers in this road of life, who for whatever reverses of life or fortune, may have need of our assistance and caring, of which we should give freely, and of ourselves, even as the "myrtle gives its fragrance to the wind" as the poet said. Yet, not make of our willing charity a yoke of obligation, imposed upon us by a government that taxes us beyond our means and squanders our monies into insolvency, with more care for the perpetuation of their power, than for the poor and the needy they purport to be charitable to, at the expense of our sweat and our labor!
American Patriotism is valuing the skill of our hands and the fruits of our labor; cherishing our calling, however humble, for our profession is the only true possession we have in the face of changing fortune, and the whims of fate and life; seeking not vain "baubles" and "frivolities", but the daily bread of our sustenance; knowing full well that there will always be those more adept at their skills or blessed by chance and fortune who will be more prosperous and have more than us; even as there will be those less capable or less fortunate than ourselves, who will have less. And recognizing that the Promise of America is that we have the right to "pursue" our happiness, though in fact we may never attain it.
American Patriotism is being proud of the melting pot that is our nation, where the hope and dreams of a thousand diverse peoples have been culled, to form the America that stood on the shores of Iwo Jima and planted that American flag there, under a hail of bullets, in the face of the totalitarianism, expansionism, and oppression it heroically defeated!
American Patriotism is safeguarding our borders, not because we, who have welcomed all the nations of the earth to our shores and have forged of all the races of man one nation, are shrewish and unwelcoming, but because we must insure our national sovereignty and the security of our people.
We do not frame and support "invasive wars which have killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in the name of 'Patriotism' " as liberal-progressives so often say, who have been taught to despise America and all it stands for, and are always deprecating of her!
America was drawn into WWI by Britain and France. We were attacked at Pearl Harbor in WWII. Had it not been for us, the whole of Europe would be speaking "Deutsch" now, eating "kraut", and women exposing their hairy armpits as they "Sig Heiled"!
We got involved in Korea to stop Mao's murderous Chinese "Red Army" from overrunning and slaving the whole of Korea. French failure in Southeast Asia and, again, aggressive Chinese expansionism, is what compelled us to get involved in disastrous Vietnam.
Yes, we have taken police actions in Grenada to stop Fidel's invasion of that island and Cuban communist expansionism, or in Panama to oust dope-pushing dictator Noriega, and in Bosnia - ironically enough given their animus against us - to safeguard Croatian and Bosnian Muslims from well-earned Serbian genocide.
We sent our troops to Somalia to ensure humanitarian aid was not stolen by the Warlords, but that it reached the starving population, and what we got in return from the Somalis was seeing the corpse of one of our Heroic young soldiers being dragged, spat upon, kicked, and desecrated, by the very same people he was there to assist!
Is that what you would call an "invasive war framed and supported" by American patriotism? It wrenches my heart and my guts to this day, just to think of the father of that Marine... watching on TV the mangled body of his slain beloved son, dragged like a trophy, like a piece of meat, through the dirt and the accursed soil of that accursed land! While those people his son went to help, cheered his death and danced for joy at his killing, and spat and kicked his corpse...
We got involved in the First Gulf War to liberate an ally, Kwait, from Saddam's gratuitous aggression. We did not go on to Baghdad or depose Saddam - as we should have - because our objective was not to "take over the oil fields for Haliburton" or a "Crusade against Islam" or any other "invasive war framed and supported" by our patriotism! But to liberate Kwait from Iraqi occupation.
When we invaded Afghanistan, it was because we were attacked by Jihadist Islamists on 9/11, unprovoked - much as we were attacked on December 7, 1941 by the Japanese. We went into Afghanistan to weed out Al Qaida and root out the oppressive Taliban ruling that country, that had harbored it. In the process, thousands of our young soldiers have nobly given their lives, trying to forge of Afghanistan a nation where young girls will have the opportunity to learn how to read and write and be able to get an education, where women will have a voice and a say in their own lives and not be denied their rights, and the Afghani people can have self-determination and not live under the yoke of Warlords and Chieftains. Is that an "invasive war framed and supported" by our patriotism, or rather a noble endeavor...regardless of the eventual outcome?
When we invaded Iraq, it was because all of the intelligence agencies of our allies, as well as our CIA, believed there was credible evidence Saddam Hussein was belligerently pursuing chemical weapons of mass destruction, that he would put at the disposal of Al Qaeda and other Jihadist terrorists to use against us. This, having the chilling precedent that Saddam had in fact used chemical weapons in the past even against his own people!
Most cowardly Democrats that later criticized the war, vilified President Bush about it, and who called the war "lost" before the surge, seem to forget now, how they saw those very same intelligence reports, came to the same conclusion that we had to preemptively attack Iraq if Saddam did not allow UN inspectors to come into the country to verify the existence of said weapons of mass destruction - which he adamantly and repeatedly didn't in spite of countless UN resolutions - and which later on turned out not to exist or were spirited away by Saddam into Syria, and how they voted in Congress for the Iraq war...that they would later condemn and use to further their own political agenda!
American Patriotism is returning home from serving several tours in Iraq, being away from your loved ones, in the scorching heat and the sand, exposing your life daily to bullets, mortars, IEDs and "suicide attacks," and then coming home to a bunch of malcontent ingrates that welcome you at the airport with signs calling you a murderer, a "baby killer" (though you did not perform any abortions as many of your critics do), and spitting at you; and you calmly walk by, with the dignity and composure you have earned as a true "Patriot", instead of taking one of those left-wing worms that spat on you, and justifiably wringing his neck, which you would do with ease given your training... That is true American Patriotism!
We cannot continue to be, nor should we be, the policeman of the world and referee every global conflict. However, there are circumstances, such as in Darfur or Rwanda, where by our failure to act, we were in fact complicit in "framing and supporting" the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of civilians, as our commenter would say....and that was not done, in the name of any Neoconservative "Patriotism", but out of political cowardice on both sides of the aisle!
Look at the present quagmire in Libya, where decisive action on the part of Obama would have resulted in deposing Qaddafi in a matter of days...whereas his indecisiveness and vacillation, have turned the conflict into a stalemate, where hundreds of daily casualties pay the price for Obama's lack of political courage and leadership.... and the carnage continues!
How ironic, I say to our commenter, that not invading Libya would turn out to be more "invasive a war" in Obama's ambivalence and cowardice - by "framing and supporting" the killing of hundreds of civilians and decreasing "the value of human life" - than had we as American Patriots, even as we have done in the past, done the moral, and the right thing, and intervened...when it was appropriate to do so....as Francis Bacon admonished us: "...for the uses of life"!
And talking about life, dear commenter, though it is well we husband our natural resources and care for our environment responsibly, how about concerning ourselves a bit less with whales and dolphins and polar bears, and concentrate a bit more on raising that "value of human life" to which you so eloquently allude, by extending protection to the "human life" in those who cannot speak for themselves, yet carry within their cells and genetic makeup, as much "humanity" as any other living being....the unborn, that are slaughtered by the millions in abortions!
Posted by Althor at May 16, 2011 6:38 PM
Articles Related to Culture and Society, Human Interest:
- "On American Patriotism" - A Response To A Commenter - May 16, 2011