So, today we celebrate Patriot’s day, don’t we?
I know, most of us would not consider this ‘celebrating’ per se, but I am sure that the people behind the patriot act which gave them all the additional power over you and me, certainly think of 9/11 as a day to celebrate a great success.
I could go into my usual anarchistic rambling, but I let my favorite anarchist ramble for me, because he is certainly more eloquent than me, and why should I try to re-invent the wheel.
So, here is Larken Rose…Â Â Â (again!Â I know.)
Supporting the Troops
My disclaimer: Telling the truth when everyone agrees may feel good, but it’s pretty useless. Telling the truth is far more important when it goes AGAINST what most people think. So I will. If you think the way 99% of people think, prepare to be offended by the following.
Amongst all the discussions about this war and that war, this policy and that policy, this military issue and that military issue, it seems that almost everyone feels obligated to constantly throw in, “But of course we should all support the troops.”
I don’t. And here’s why…
Morality does not change based on birthplace or citizenship. Whether something is good or bad doesn’t depend upon whether it’s an American doing it, nor does it depend upon where in the world it is being done. So let’s set aside pack-mentality nationalism, and the usual excuse of “This is war!” (which usually means, “Right and wrong don’t count right now!”), and consider whether “our troops” actually deserve support.
Suppose there are criminals in your town. (This won’t take much imagination for most of us.) Now suppose that a bunch of cops with machine-guns are barging into one house after another, at random, looking for the crooks. Would it be okay with you when they showed up at your house? Well, that sort of thing wasn’t okay with the people who wrote the Constitution. The Fourth Amendment in particular stated that law enforcement has no right to come into your house without your permission, unless they have probable cause (more than a suspicion or wild guess) to think that a crime is happening, or that evidence of a crime is there.
Of course, a cop’s job would be a lot easier if he didn’t have to respect individual rights. He could barge in where ever he wanted and rummage through everyone’s stuff (contrary to the Fourth Amendment), randomly stop people and forcibly interrogate them (contrary to the Fifth Amendment), take peoples’ stuff or punish people on a whim, lock people up without charging them with anything (contrary to the Fifth and Sixth Amendments), and so on. Of course, he’d be an evil fascist, but his job would be a lot easier.
Now watch some footage of U.S. troops on Iraq. What are they doing? Barging where ever they want, with guns drawn no less, randomly stopping people and forcibly interrogating them, detaining people without charges, taking property and punishing people without a warrant or even probable cause, and so on.
Um, why is that stuff good over there if it’s bad over here? The sad but accurate answer, for most Americans, is that the victims are not Americans, so their rights don’t really matter. From the perspective of the regular folk in Iraq, there is a foreign military occupying their country. Ever wonder how that would feel? Wouldn’t it be swell if China, for our own good, decided to send Chinese troops to drive tanks around our cities and towns, setting up random road blocks and check points, questioning people at random, searching where ever they wanted, and so on? Would you feel good about that? How about if they said, “Well this is WAR, so we HAVE to do this!”? Would that make it okay?
The American troops in Iraq are not good guys. They are invaders, whose job it is to violate individual rights on a daily basis. Of course, the excuse is that they’re going after really nasty people, and they NEED to be able to do that stuff. Right. And that’s what every tyrant in history has used as an excuse for depriving individuals of their rights. It’s been the default excuse for theft, torture and murder since the beginning of recorded history. Committing evil in the name of combatting evil is both hypocritical and patently stupid. Incidentally, it’s also EXACTLY the same excuse that the foreign terrorists use to justify their atrocities: desperate times call for desperate measures, so they NEED to ignore individual rights for the “greater good.” It’s the creed of U.S. troops and foreign “terrorists” alike.
Many Americans thought it was outrageous for the Supreme Court to say that, at least in certain cases, military folk shouldn’t be doing searches and arrests in Iraq without first obtaining warrants, which requires showing “probable cause.” Why is that outrageous? Let’s try the shoe on the other foot: “The Chinese people were outraged today when the Chinese High Court ruled that Chinese troops in the U.S. can’t search homes or arrest people without first showing probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed.” Wouldn’t you consider that a good thing?
Once upon a time, some radical extremists declared that they believed it was “self-evident” that ALL men are created equal, and endowed with certain inalienable rights. Since then, some have opined, with good reason, that what they MEANT back then was that all white males are created equal. Well, we’ve come pretty far since then, but today it just means “all Americans are created equal.” How about Iraqis? Nope. They must have been sick the day inalienable rights were handed out.
Now, in case there are any flag-wavers anywhere whom I haven’t offended yet, I’d like to give the ultimate example of how incapable of objectivity Americans are (not that the nationalists of other countries are any better). On 9/11/2001, something really nasty happened. Why was it so evil? Because thousands of innocent civilians were intentionally murdered in order to achieve a political goal.
Now, for the trivia question. What was the largest terrorist attack in history, and who committed it? I’ll give you a hint: it killed about FIFTY times as many innocents as died on 9/11/01. I’ll give you another hint: When it happened, almost all of America cheered.
It happened on August 6, 1945. It was the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima, by the order of President Truman. And three days later, he ordered the second worst terrorist act in history: the bombing of Nagasaki, which killed about TWENTY times as many people as died on 9/11/2001. (Keep that in mind if you’re one of those who are unable or unwilling to even consider the possibility that some in “our” government would do the same to American civilians to serve the tyrants’ agenda.)
Let’s review: killing lots of civilians, in order to bully a government into changing its ways. When Arabs do it, it’s called terrorism. When Americans do it, it’s heroic and righteous. “But we needed to, to end the war!” Well duh, the ones who kill civilians ALWAYS say it was necessary, and think that the ends justify the means, or they wouldn’t do it. That doesn’t change the patently obvious fact that the American terrorists murdered a couple HUNDRED THOUSAND Japanese civilians, in order to instill suffering and terror, in an attempt to intimidate the Japanese government into changing its behavior. And Americans do some amazing mental gymnastics to try to avoid facing the fact that that makes “our” government the biggest terrorist in history.
So do I support “our” troops? No. In fact, “we” don’t have troops. GOVERNMENTS have troops, and they are always used, first and foremost, to provide power to the governments they serve. They certainly don’t represent me, and I don’t want their “protection,” if the price is the constant violation of individual rights. And this is true even if “our” troops only violate the rights of people who have darker skin, wear funny clothes, and talk funny. I guess that makes me un-American.
(P.S. If anyone in the armed forces actually wants to defend freedom, my advice is: quit the military, join a militia. You swore an oath to defend the CONSTITUTION, from all enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC. If you think some guy wearing a turban, hiding in a cave in Afghanistan, is a bigger threat to the Constitution than your own congressman*, then you need your head examined.)
(* If you happen to live in Ron Paul’s district, I take it back.)
PS: wondering how many know that this picture up there is against the law. Yes, there is a law codifying the conduct in regards to the flag, and using the flag to scantily drape a sexy shape definitely means to dishonor the flag. There is no penalty for doing this in the code but it’s probably just as bad as protesters burning the US flag on the steps of congress.Â In other words, that’s a good picture then, isn’t it?