Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Line In The Sand

“There are only two sides to this question. Every man must be for the United States or against it. There can be no neutrals in this war; only patriots and traitors.” -Stephen Douglas

Kudos to Mason Conservative and the quote he pulled from Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power by Richard Carwardine. While the quote refers to Democrats and their views on the Civil War, one cannot help but feel this quote is applicable to today more than ever. The other day, there was an anti war rally. Attending the event were Senators Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. Clinton spoke of how we cannot cut and run from Iraq by setting a date for troop removal. Upon saying this, she was promptly booed from the crowd. Kerry, on the other hand, said he regretted supporting the war.

It is an interesting situation here as Democrats find themselves once again drawing their battle lines on the issue of Iraq. With the upcoming election, the popular position is to say things in Iraq are not going well, etc. etc. However, the fact is that the troops deserve all of our support no matter what.

Now, I know what a number of people are going to say. We support our troops, but not the war. Really? If that is the case, then why are you saying the hard work they are doing is wrong? If you listen to John Kerry, Jack Murtha, and the folks from Shock Magazine, then you should scream out against the troops, call them baby killers, and seemingly spit on all those brave men and women who are out there, PROTECTING OUR COUNTRY, ENSURING OUR FREEDOMS THAT LIBERALS LOVE TO HIDE BEHIND, AND TRYING TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE.

So, the line has been drawn in the sand. Which side do you plan on standing on?


Kevin said...

Hello, I commented below. I enjoy your blog. I especially like your "Fact of the Matter" endings. It's good to hear a conservative teacher voice...makes me think outside of the box a little more than I would like to admit.

Idunois said...

thinking outside of the box? I just think thats interesting because the you are either for it or against it attitude does not require much thinking only following. By presenting those with oppositional views as a traitor or enemy of the state you denote freedom and therefore are against the initial standings of the United States.
Supporting the troops is a different notion than supporting the war. By supporting the troops you send care packages to help raise the military morale or you send letters to give them an idea of what is going on at home; thoughts that people still care. By supporting a war, you are supporting death not just an ideal. We may say that without destruction there is no construction, but it is easier to destroy than to create. Freedom is not free, but we can not allow a line to be drawn upon opposition view points. The lines discourage opinions and only encourage a hatred between the different view points. You speak of President Lincoln, but it should be the Founding Fathers who should be quoted. Remember President Thomas Jefferson, who believed that the people must be allowed the right to overthrow the government as to constrict the government from ever trying to control them. Freedom is not free but if we all begin to agree, then we know we have truly lost our freedom and found the controlled state.

BDM said...

If we want to start quoting the Founding Fathers, then it is best to remember that when it came to the Constitutional Convention, the idea of using the word democracy was taboo. In fact, the general belief was that giving the people too much power in the government was a bad thing. Also remember that when the country was having its government formed under the Constiution, Thomas Jefferson was the Emissary of the United States to France, thus not part of the creation of the government. His views were vey much influenced by a number of European thinkers.

As for the line in the sand, remember that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Terrorists and other people who would sooner see the downfall of this country will do all they cna to exploit that weak link. When we have media who's primary goal is cause trouble and destroy the work of those men and women who fight to protect us, then the enemy wins.

Craig said...

I find it terribly distressing that a history teacher has such an ill informed opionion of the duty of citizens of this great nation of ours. Not to mention the use of a quote by one of this nation's great orators taken completely out of context to imply that dissenters of the War in Iraq are traitors.

There is a rather large difference between supporting our armed services and holding the opinion that going to war in Iraq was wrong. Our armed services are an instument of the civilian government and have sworn an oath to uphold legal orders from their Commander in Chief, the President of the United States.

Invading Iraq was wrong but soldiers do not have the freedom to dissent. It is our duty as citizens to speak out for our men and women who serve. It is our duty to tell our lawmakers when they have failed. To simply keep our mouths shut and continue to watch the administration blunder in Iraq would be unpatriotic. We invaded Iraq under false pretenses and failed to plan for the most basic of needs that we should have known would have to be tended too after the Iraqi army was defeated.

After 9/11 we did the right thing in taking on the Taliban in Afganistan. Then we invented a crisis in Iraq and all but forgot Afganistan and the other regions of the world were we could make a real and positive difference.

BDM said...

I should point out that is was ONE AM when I wrote this, so it isn't as if I was running on full cylanders. It seems everyone goes on a reactionary outlook on these things. So Craig, first, when people judge our soldiers and declared them guilty before they even have a chance to prove their innocence, there is something wrong.

Second, saying that I am not informered is a bold statement for anyone to make. That is my final comment on that.

Third, you are entitled to your opinion on the invasion of Iraq, but what do you say about the human paper shredders Saddam had? The electrocution chambers? The fact that he violated UN sanctions? The fact that we know he has used weapons of mass destruction in the past in a war against Iran? The fact that even Saddam's generals were convinced they had the weapons right up to the US invasion?

As for our "blunders", 12 million people get to vote is a blunder? Women getting an education and voicing their opinion is a blunder? Killing off terrorists is a blunder? Bringing democracy, in one form or another, to the Middle East is a blunder?

Perhaps opening yourself up and looking at everything might give you a chance to reflect. If you still believe in what you believe, then fine.

Other food for thought, Harry S. Truman was not fondly looked at when e left office in 1953 thanks to Korea. Now he has been vindicated thanks to history. Read David McCollogh's biography on the man. You might learn something!

Craig said...

Personally I am glad to see Saddam gone. I am glad that the citizens of Iraq are able to vote in "free" elections. Those things do not justify the invasion of a sovereign nation. As the lone remaining super power in the world we have a duty to wield our power very, very carefully. Saddam was contained, there was no clear and present danger to the US, and we had very little internation support for what amounted to unilateral military action. I think it was wrong. But I am not a traitor and I am in my opinion very patriotic.

I was raised in a military family. I have friends and neighbors both active and retired who have served in Iraq and Afganistan. One of my highschool classmates died in Iraq in 2003 and I have visited his grave at Arlington. I support our troops 100%. It is the administration that I have a problem with.

There is also a difference between ill informed and uninformed. My argument was that the quote was used in the wrong context and that the implication is that people who have reasonable grievances with the adminstration's policies are traitors. I also disagreed in the manner in which Clinton used are armed forces in places like Somalia and Bosnia. Not the fact that he used them because I think it was right for us to attempt to help the people of those countries, but the manner in which his administration deployed our forces and increased the level of risk and likelihood of failure.

I should probably have couched my words a bit in my first response. My intent was not to attack you and I apologize if it came off that way.

Idunois said...

A quick response to certain questions...
Media is not a bad thing. Media is needed and expressed heavily by the Bill of Rights when they proclaimed Free Speech. Media keeps the government in check since politicians know that any faults of theirs will be expressed throughout the media. This should not be looked down upon. A controlled media should be frowned upon. We do not want to only have information that the government wishes us to have. That is as you said weakening the power of government over the people, just as the Founding Fathers had wanted. As for Thomas Jefferson, let us remember he was the first Secretary of State, 2nd Vice President, 3rd President and also the writer of the Declaration of Independence. His views were influenced by European thinkers but as were all the Founding Fathers. There was no pure American thought at that time, all thoughts had come from Europe, only the Founding Fathers had embraced the Lockean, Smith, and other views in order to promote a social benefitting society that was not controlled by the government.

"As for our "blunders", 12 million people get to vote is a blunder? Women getting an education and voicing their opinion is a blunder? Killing off terrorists is a blunder? Bringing democracy, in one form or another, to the Middle East is a blunder?"

It has been proven that voting can be frowned upon as it is irrational. Most economists do not vote for the theories upon the voting system. These theories reveal how different voting systems or strategies can change the winner using the same voters. Is that a bad thing? I love the United States, but thought I would place a rebuttal for the arguement on the blunders of voting.
Women getting an education, we all know is fantastic. We want to educate everyone, but I do not see what this has to do with the comments we had made.
Killing off terrorists a blunder? Well, many different views can be founded on this, as Che Guevarra was a terrorist and his death has only caused him to become a martyr to a socialistic cause. Young Americans embrace his face on their t shirts, hats, buttons to promote this "utopian" society.(even though the utopia will always fail)
The last question upon Democracy in the Middle East is easily defined as a blunder. We did not give a choice to the people to define their own government. Democracy does not mean freedom. Freedom is what the war was about, but the war is now over; it is a time of rebuilding. In this time of rebuilding, the people of Iraq not our government should decide their own destiny. Perhaps the best thing for the country to do is break off into smaller countries to break away the tension between the quarrelling parties. Freedom is what the Iraqi people had cheered us on as we passed through the streets three years ago. Now they fear us, because we, after three years, have not left and are only policing them without their consent in the name of safety. Safety for whom?
I want to put notice I do not state my dislike or like for our politicians in office. We each have our own opinions upon the matter. I am only stressing that we can not draw lines. The open minded individual is the true American as they are able to learn from their own mistakes or through anothers teaching. Being able to be rational, not to follow a program that labels one on either the left or the right. Those who vote purely on labels have lost touch with their own rational thoughts. Irrational rationality is common throughout society as we all can not know everything about every topic, but to allow ourselves to be irrationally rational states that we know we do not know everything about these topics and are willing to change our opinions once we learn about the topics we don't know.