Category "What Is Patriotism?"

Area Man Passionate Defender Of What He Imagines Constitution To Be

December 1st, 2009 by Andy in What Is Patriotism?

This was just too funny to not post. Comedy often says it better than anything else.

Spurred by an administration he believes to be guilty of numerous transgressions, self-described American patriot Kyle Mortensen, 47, is a vehement defender of ideas he seems to think are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and principles that brave men have fought and died for solely in his head.

“Our very way of life is under siege,” said Mortensen, whose understanding of the Constitution derives not from a close reading of the document but from talk-show pundits, books by television personalities, and the limitless expanse of his own colorful imagination. “It’s time for true Americans to stand up and protect the values that make us who we are.”

Read The Complete Article from The Onion, “America’s Finest News Source”

Martin Luther King, Jr. - Time To Break The Silence

January 19th, 2009 by Andy in What Is Patriotism?

The Beyond Vietnam speech. This is where Martin Luther King’s dream was turning into lucid vision. The kind of vision which if you don’t keep quiet enough about can get you shot. Coincidentally, this bold and pointed analysis and prescription was delivered by MLK, Jr. exactly one year to the day before he was he was killed.

The truth of these words is beyond doubt but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government’s policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover when the issues at hand seem as perplexed as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty; but we must move on.

Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation’s history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movement well and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us.

Over the past two years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of Vietnam, many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. At the heart of their concerns this query has often loomed large and loud: Why are you speaking about war, Dr. King? Why are you joining the voices of dissent? Peace and civil rights don’t mix, they say. Aren’t you hurting the cause of your people, they ask? And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live.

There are most likely not many members of the local diversity committees and chambers’ of commerce, not many prayer breakfasts and church memorials, mayorial gatherings and city council resolutions which spent too much time quoting from this one. Yet this is where the rights movement that MLK, Jr. helped lift up to the next level was really beginning to zone in on the deeper target, where the rubber began truly hitting the road.

Read the complete text of this clarion call speech Here

A Young Marine Speaks Out

December 31st, 2006 by Andy in What Is Patriotism?

A Young Marine Speaks Out
By Philip Martin

I’m sick and tired of this patriotic, nationalistic and fascist crap. I stood through a memorial service today for a young Marine that was killed in Iraq back in April. During this memorial a number of people spoke about the guy and about his sacrifice for the country. How do you justify ’sacrificing’ your life for a war which is not only illegal, but is being prosecuted to the extent where the only thing keeping us there is one man’s power, and his ego. A recent Marine Corps intelligence report that was leaked said that the war in the al-Anbar province is unwinnable. It said that there was nothing we could do to win the hearts and minds, or the military operations in that area. So I wonder, why are we still there? Democracy is not forced upon people at gunpoint. It’s the result of forward thinking individuals who take the initiative and risks to give their fellow countrymen a better way of life.

When I joined I took an oath. In that oath I swore to protect the Constitution of the United States. I didn’t swear to build democracies in countries on the other side of the world under the guise of “national security.” I didn’t join the military to be part of an Orwellian (”1984″) war machine that is in an obligatory war against whoever the state deems the enemy to be so that the populace can be controlled and riled up in a pro-nationalistic frenzy to support any new and oppressive law that will be the key to destroying the enemy. Example given - the Patriot Act. So aptly named, and totally against all that the constitution stands for. President Bush used the reactionary nature of our society to bring our country together and to infuse into the national psyche a need to give up their little-used rights in the hope to make our nation a little safer. The same scare tactics he used to win elections. He drones on and on about how America and the world would be a less safe place if we weren’t killing Iraqis, and that we’d have to fight the terrorists at home if we weren’t abroad. In our modern day emotive society this strategy (or strategery?) works, or had worked, up until last month’s elections.

My point in this; to show that America was never nationalistic. If anything they were Statalistic (giving their allegiance to the state of their residence). This is shown in the fact that the founders created states with fully capable and independent governments and not provinces that were just a division of the federal government. These men believed that America was a place where imperialistic values would be non-existent. Where the people trying to make their lives better by working hard, thinking, inventing and using the free market would tie up so much of normal life that imperialistic colonization and the fighting of wars thousands of miles away for interests that are not our own would be avoided. They believed this expansion of power could be left to the European nations, the England, France and Spain of their time. However this recent, and current influx of nationalistic feeling has created an environment where giving up your rights, going to a foreign country to fight a people who did not ask for us to be there, nor did their leader do anything to warrant us being there, and dying would be considered honorable and heroic. I don’t believe it anymore. I don’t believe it’s right for any American to go along with it anymore. Yes I know that we in the military are bound by the UCMJ and somehow don’t fall under the Constitution (the very thing we’re suppose to be defending) but sooner or later there is a decision that every American soldier, marine, airmen and seamen makes to allow themselves to be sent to a war that is against every fiber this country was founded on. I know that when April rolls around I will be thinking long and hard on that decision. Even though we in the military are just doing as we’re told we still have the moral and ethical obligation to choose to do as we’re told, or to say, “No, that isn’t right.” I believe that if more troopers like me and the professional military, the officers and commanders, start standing up and saying that they won’t let themselves or their troops go to this illegal war people will start standing up and realizing what the heck is going on over there.

The sad fact of the matter is that we are not fighting terrorists in Iraq. We are fighting the Iraqi people who feel like a conquered and occupied people. Personally I have a hard time believing that if I was an Iraqi that I wouldn’t be doing everything in my power to kill and maim as many Americans as possible. I know that the vast majority of Americans would not be happy with the Canadian government, or any other foreign government, liberating us from the clutches of George W. Bush, even though a large number of us would like that, and forcing us to accept their system of government. Would not millions of Americans rise up and fight back? Would you not rise up to protect and defend your house and your neighborhood if someone invaded your country? But we send thousands of troops to a foreign country to do just that. How is it moral to fight a people who are just trying to defend their homes and families? I think next time I go to Iraq perhaps I should wear a bright red coat and carry a Brown Bess instead of my digitalized utilities and M16.

Notice I never once used the word homeland in any of this. I have a secondary point I want to bring up now. Never once was the term homeland ever used to describe the country of America until Mr. Bush began the department of homeland security after the 9/11 attacks. Taking a 20th century history class will teach us that the most notable countries in the last century that referred to their country in this way were Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. Hitler used the term fatherland to drum up support, nationalistic support, for his growing war machine. He used the nationalism he created in the minds of the Germans to justify the sacrifice of their livelihood to build the war machine to get back their power from the oppressive restrictions the English and French had put on them at Versailles. This is the same feeling that has been virulently infecting the American psyche in the last hundred years. This is the same feeling that consoles a mother after her son is killed in an attempt to prosecute an aggressor’s war 10,000 miles away. It’s also known as Patriotism these days, but I say, “No more.” No more nationalistic inanity, no more passing it off as patriotism. Patriotism is learning, and educating oneself to understand what their country really stands for.

I heard a lot during the memorial service about how the dead Marine did so much good for others and how his helping others was like a little microcosm of America helping because we have the power to do so. Well if we have the power to help people why aren’t we helping in Darfur where hundreds of thousands of people have died in the last 10 years. Saddam was convicted and sentenced to death for killing 143 Shiites who conspired to assassinate him. (I know all you “patriotic” Americans would be calling for the heads of anyone who conspired to assassinate supreme leader Bush). And yet we spend upwards of 1 trillion dollars and nearing 3,000 lives to help these Iraqis when they don’t even want us there. Not to mention we don’t have the legal justification to be there. I guess we should wait around for the omnipotent W Bush to decide who we should use our superpowerdom to help next. It’s about time to throw him and the rest of the fascists out. Moreover it’s about time to start educating Americans about their past and history, and letting them know that imperialistic leaders are not what the founders of this great country wanted.

————————–

Philip Martin has been a Marine for 2 years. He is in the infantry (a “grunt”), and spent 7 months in the al-Anbar province of Iraq. He went on more than 180 combat patrols in and outside of the city of Fallujah, where he was hit with 2 IEDs (luckily never injured) and was involved in a number of firefights. He is currently stationed in Twentynine Palms, CA, and due to return to Iraq for a second deployment in April 2007. He is 21-years-old.

Original publication of this letter on Lew Rockwell

Tattooing Muslims For State Security

December 27th, 2006 by Andy in What Is Patriotism?

This is really sick and disturbing.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - When radio host Jerry Klein suggested that all Muslims in the United States should be identified with a crescent-shape tattoo or a distinctive arm band, the phone lines jammed instantly.

The first caller to the station in Washington said that Klein must be “off his rocker.” The second congratulated him and added: “Not only do you tattoo them in the middle of their forehead but you ship them out of this country… they are here to kill us.”

Another said that tattoos, armbands and other identifying markers such as crescent marks on driver’s licenses, passports and birth certificates did not go far enough. “What good is identifying them?” he asked. “You have to set up encampments like during World War Two with the Japanese and Germans.”

At the end of the one-hour show, rich with arguments on why visual identification of “the threat in our midst” would alleviate the public’s fears, Klein revealed that he had staged a hoax. It drew out reactions that are not uncommon in post-9/11 America.

“I can’t believe any of you are sick enough to have agreed for one second with anything I said,” he told his audience on the AM station 630 WMAL which covers Washington, Northern Virginia and Maryland

“For me to suggest to tattoo marks on people’s bodies, have them wear armbands, put a crescent moon on their driver’s license on their passport or birth certificate is disgusting. It’s beyond disgusting.

“Because basically what you just did was show me how the German people allowed what happened to the Jews to happen … We need to separate them, we need to tattoo their arms, we need to make them wear the yellow Star of David, we need to put them in concentration camps, we basically just need to kill them all because they are dangerous.”

Can we really honestly claim to be that surprised by all this, though? As Herman Goering, one of the leaders of the Third Reich, pointed out and unfortunately rather succinctly I might add…

“Naturally the common people don’t want war, but after all it is the leaders who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.

Read The Complete Report

Republicans The Real Cut-And-Run Cowards

September 30th, 2006 by Andy in What Is Patriotism?

Right on, Bob.

They like to question the courage and patriotism of Democrats for being unwilling to shed more American blood and waste billions more on a pointless war, that the country was lied into and that’s made us far less safe and more despised throughout the world. Aside from the fact that the majority of Americans no longer support the Iraq war — and, thus, they must all be cut-and-run defeatists as well — it is the Republicans who have shown themselves to be the lily-livered cowards among us.

Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their whole craven cabal are scared stiff — and they want us to all be very afraid as well. How frightened are they? They’re so afraid that they are willing to go against everything this country stands for, in a blind panic that they think will somehow protect their sorry asses from the big, bad terrorist bullies.

They are so damn scared that they’re willing to take a country that was founded on individual liberty and turn it into a police state — all out of fear.

Read The Complete Post by Bob Geiger

The new legislation passed by our compliant Reichstag, uh, I mean, Congress, have now officially declared Bush to be King Fuhrer. Ein Reich. Ein Volk.

It’s 1798 all over again, and we have our new Alien & Sedition Act. It will also go down in history with the same putrid stench of shame and regret. If history continues, that is.

Geiger’s post has lots of reactions from people, many of them pretty good. This is but one example…

We are in a national folie-a-deux, a well-known psychiatric pathology in which crazy people drive the sane insane in a manipulative emotional dance.

What is happening to us IS pathological. We are being led by sociopaths who see no problem in pursuing narcissistic self-aggrandizement at the expense of thousands of lives. We have been pulled through the mud by the current administration, and are no better than the worst despotic regimes over which we claim moral superiority. Our “moral superiority” is delusional.

“Cut and run”??? Reframe this language. What we need to refer to is “tough love.” It’s the only way to break an addiction, in this case the administration’s addiction to evilness like torture, conquest at all costs, pathological lying, Orwellian doublespeak. This isn’t cutting and running. It’s moral survival.

Get some balls, America, and wake up.

Amen.

Fake Patrotism, The Last Refuge of Scoundrels

September 29th, 2006 by Andy in What Is Patriotism?

A good post from a site I know little about, but lays into the BS of today’s ’superpatriots’ masquerading as Americans.

This Republican administration has discovered the perfect scam. They’ve found they can rob the country blind, break the nation’s laws, and lie their asses off—all while governing incompetently—and get away with it all as long as they invoke the holy words of “national security.”

The formula is simplicity itself: If someone asks why you did something, you reply, “It was necessary to keep America safe.” Similarly, if you are asked why you want to do something, then you can’t go wrong with “It is necessary to keep America safe” or some Fox-tested alternative, such as “It is necessary to fight America’s enemies.”

In other words, fake patriotism is working out very nicely for the G.O.P.

How unfortunate, though, that it’s socially unacceptable to come out and publicly say, for instance, that Dick Cheney and the others are only acting when they wax patriotic and claim to be fighting our enemies and working to make America stronger. The reality is that they’re nothing but profit-driven businessmen—and crooked ones at that. If only society could declare that the thugs in the White House are not even politicians, definitely are not leaders, and certainly do not have our best interests at heart.

Let’s face it—they owe their allegiance to the people and companies with whom they do business. Period.

Read The Complete Post

Rumsfeld Likens Iraq War Opponents to Those Who Appeased Hitler

August 31st, 2006 by Andy in What Is Patriotism?

Wow. Well, if this isn’t a sterling case of psychological projection at work?

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday the world faces “a new type of fascism” and likened critics of the Bush administration’s war strategy to those who tried to appease the Nazis in the 1930s.

Who are these ‘appeasers’ you speak of, Mr. Rumsfeld. You mean those of the like of Prescott Bush, grandfather of George W. Bush, who was on the board of directors of the Nazi-owned Union Banking Corporation, shut down in October of 1942 under the Trading With The Enemy Act. He was also actually a business partner of Fritz Thyssen, the chief financier of Hitler and his rise to power. There are countless other examples of ‘conservative’ American businessmen applauding Hitler, and encouraging business and ‘appeasement’ of him into the war. The GOP is on record for openly discouraging attempts to confront him during that entire period, seeing him as a positive for Germany and the world. You mean that kind of appeasement of the Nazis, Mr. Rumsfeld?

Speaking to several thousand veterans at the American Legion’s national convention, Rumsfeld recited what he called the lessons of history, including the failure to confront Hitler. He quoted Winston Churchill as observing that trying to accommodate Hitler was “a bit like feeding a crocodile, hoping it would eat you last.”

“I recount this history because once again we face similar challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism,” he said.

New type of ‘fascism’, as opposed to the more generally understood form of it which you are so clearly practicing?

“Can we truly afford to believe that somehow, some way, vicious extremists can be appeased?” he asked.

The certainly cannot, which is why there is a tireless effort on behalf of those who believe in the the promise and ideals of this nation to actually see them lived up to, and to rid our nation of warmongering extremists who believe the rest of the world should be bludgeoned into submission to our every corporate board of directors whim.

“Can we truly afford to return to the destructive view that America - not the enemy - is the real source of the world’s troubles?”

Rumsfeld spoke to the American Legion as part of a coordinated White House strategy, in advance of the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, to take the offensive against administration critics at a time of doubt about the future of Iraq and growing calls to withdraw U.S. troops.

Rumsfeld recalled a string of recent terrorist attacks, from 9/11 to deadly bombings in Bali, London and Madrid, and said it should be obvious to anyone that terrorists must be confronted, not appeased.

Of course, but how this is done is the issue at hand. When confronted with a yellow jacket nest in my garage, I don’t go after it by simply swinging wildly at it with a baseball bat. There might be a better way to make sure it is effectively removed without releasing a hundred more, and getting myself stung to death in the process. But that wouldn’t be macho enough for you, nor make you and your friends filthy rich from the military-corporate complex you so effectively control and profit off of.

“Those who know the truth need to speak out against these kinds of myths and lies and distortions being told about our troops and about our country,” he said.

That is exactly what many of us are trying to do, Mr. Rumsfeld. If you would stop spinning so many myths and lies, too numerable to name here (though just starting with your claims about knowing exactly where WMDs were in Iraq, tying Bin Laden to Hussein, and lying about the death of a real American, Pat Tillman, would be a good start).

Rumsfeld made similar arguments in Reno about doubters of the administration’s approach to fighting terrorism, saying too many in this country want to “blame America first” and ignore the enemy.

No one is ‘blaming America first’, as you so disingenuously assert here. We blame you, and your effort to conflate your ruling clique with the nation is a hallmark trait of the very fascism who seem to want to project upon your personal enemies (which are anyone who questions your absolute rule).

Rumsfeld and his clique are ill. Truly, clinically ill.

Read The Full Piece Here

Keith Olbermann goes above and beyond the call of duty with this excellent essay and much needed public declaration regarding Rumsfeld’s musings. He calls forth the spirit of one of America’s greatest citizens, Edward R. Murrow, and narrows in on the fact that yes, there is fascism, indeed. Watch The Video Here

William Rivers Pitt weighs in on this issue as well with his take on just who are the ‘Fascist Appeasers’

Update: Frank Rich weighs in with this eviscerating historical reminder about the actual appeasement of these ‘fascists that Rumsfeld and his clique have had over the years. The chutzpah of these people know no bounds, obviously relying on American’s propensity to amnesia to bail them out once again.

Donald Rumsfeld’s Dance With the Nazis

Professor Leaves BC After Refusing To Support Invitation To Condoleezza Rice

July 18th, 2006 by Andy in What Is Patriotism?

Wow.

I really question whether I have the nerve and the principles to do something like this. Even if this person had certain safety valves in place (publishing opportunities, other income, major savings to fall back on, etc…) it does not detract from the sheer ballsiness of the act. Lord knows we need a lot more people doing it today.

Dear Father Leahy,

I am writing to resign my post as an adjunct professor of English at Boston College.

I am doing so — after five years at BC, and with tremendous regret — as a direct result of your decision to invite Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to be the commencement speaker at this year’s graduation.

Many members of the faculty and student body already have voiced their objection to the invitation, arguing that Rice’s actions as secretary of state are inconsistent with the broader humanistic values of the university and the Catholic and Jesuit traditions from which those values derive.

But I am not writing this letter simply because of an objection to the war against Iraq. My concern is more fundamental. Simply put, Rice is a liar.

For cynics who feel this is of no consequence, and what did this single individual really change by taking this self-sacrificing action, its worth remembering what Russian author and dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn remarked to colleagues who questioned the wisdom and effectiveness of his going public with his anti-Soviet writings: I may not be able to change what is happening, but it is not going to happen with my complicity.

Amen.

Read the full letter by Steve Almond Here

Telling The Feds To Go To Hell & The Reasons Why

July 14th, 2006 by Andy in What Is Patriotism?

Wow. This guy is pissed.

America’s Image Abroad - A Telling Fact

July 13th, 2006 by Andy in What Is Patriotism?

A telling sign of the sad state of America’s reputation and profile in the world today.

Courtesy of ESPN Magazine….

“For security reasons, the US team bus was the only one of 32 team buses at the World Cup that was not adorned with its country’s flag.”

Hmm, wonder why? People in the States seem to want to plaster it on just about anything and everything. Guess they figured those socialist Europeans must just hate freedom. And if ‘they’ hate us ‘because of our freedoms’, then that might explain why the Bush administration is making such efforts to eliminate those very same American freedoms we too often take for granted. That way, if we don’t have those freedoms of ours any longer, then ‘they’ won’t hate us anymore and won’t attack us.

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