Best article I've read yet on the security vs freedom issue


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Malone LaVeigh
January 3, 2006, 10:24 PM
http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0103-28.htm

Some exerpts:

'Give me liberty or give me death," Patrick Henry defiantly declared at the dawn of the American republic. In the light of recent comments from some of America's present-day leaders, it appears that Henry was laboring under a misapprehension. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, responding to critics of President Bush's apparently illegal domestic spying program, has reminded us that "none of your civil liberties matter much after you're dead," while Sen. Trent Lott answered criticisms of the program from fellow Republicans by declaring, "I want my security first. I'll deal with all the details after that."

...

... On the one hand, hundreds of thousands of American soldiers are being ordered to risk their lives in Iraq... On the other, they're required to do this while the leaders of a nation made up of what our government seems to assume are hedonistic cowards emit squeaks of fear such as those that escaped Cornyn and Lott last week.

... It's both politically impossible and morally disgusting to expect one group of Americans to exhibit stoic courage and extreme self-sacrifice, while the rest of us are encouraged to be fear-ridden compulsive shoppers who squeal with outrage when, for example, it's suggested that we might forgo a tax cut in order to pay to properly equip the soldiers who protect us.

... If the cultural conditions that enabled the Iraq war were to last long enough, the American military would gradually be transformed into a warrior caste that would view the people they were ordered to protect with well-deserved contempt...

I'm sure some will disagree. "But we're fighting terrorism!" Exactly.

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longeyes
January 3, 2006, 10:32 PM
I've said the same thing on this forum several times. The day will come when the military will say openly what many already think: a big chunk of Americans aren't worth fighting for, much less dying for.

Chris Rhines
January 3, 2006, 10:32 PM
Very good article for the most part, but I have to disagree on one point:

Fortunately, the American people are not, in fact, a bunch of hysterical cowards who are willing to expose our soldiers to endless danger and hardship in the hope that doing so will make us slightly safer. Nor are we willing to sacrifice basic civil liberties every time some demagogue tries to frighten us into submission... I hate to say it, but I think the record shows exactly the opposite. The American people are both a bunch of hysterical cowards, and perfectly willing, even eager, to sacrifice basic civil liberties for the (false) promise of safety.

- Chris

Preacherman
January 3, 2006, 10:59 PM
Good article! Thanks for posting this, Malone.

I must admit, this is the second time in a week that I've been pleasantly surprised by an article on Commondreams.org. I'd basically written that site off as a source of mealy-mouthed Leftist drivel, but they seem to be including some really good, centrist stuff now. I must visit there more often and check things out.

mountainclmbr
January 4, 2006, 12:41 AM
Lukemia is a condition where the body mistakes itsself for foreign enemies and attacks itsself. The body loses its ability to tell the difference. AQ good, self defense bad. Socialist Democrats Good, Freedom protecting Republicans bad.

If Republicans abuse this I agree they should be boiled very slowly. But, the democrats have been abusing the IRS, FBI and BATFE against their freedom-loving enemies for years without any consequences. These organizations have almost unlimited power over citizens, especially the IRS. It seems AQ is good and hard-working citizen is bad. Where is the proportionate outrage?

Standing Wolf
January 4, 2006, 01:21 AM
Why, after all, should the bravest among us continue to sacrifice for the sake of a culture in which open cowardice isn't considered shameful, and in which those who claim "we" are fighting for freedom are only too happy to trade much of their own freedom in exchange for making the already extraordinary safety in which they live even more cocoonlike?

I didn't see a great deal of substance in the article.

To answer the quote question: soldiers soldier because they're proud to do so. They know they're members of a small, highly professional group who undertake tasks most folks are too afraid or squeamish to do. I doubt they fight for nations and cultures. I think they soldier because they're driven to excel in their chosen profession.

One of my neighbors is in the "sand box" at the moment. Another is on his way back to Iraq in another couple weeks. They're rather a breed apart in some ways. I doubt America appreciates them. I'm very sure the entire country of Iraq isn't worth a single drop of American blood.

mountainclmbr
January 4, 2006, 02:32 AM
I'm very sure the entire country of Iraq isn't worth a single drop of American blood.


This may be true, but we have the Feinsteins, Schumers, Clintons, Kennedys, Boxers, Rangells, etc representing us by real votes. If we are destined to the consequences of the lowest common denominator, I am sure that we are in much more real totalitarian hurt than Iraq.

mountainclmbr
January 4, 2006, 02:33 AM
I'm very sure the entire country of Iraq isn't worth a single drop of American blood.


This may be true, but we have the Feinsteins, Schumers, Clintons, Kennedys, Boxers, Rangells, etc representing us by real votes. If we are destined to the consequences of the lowest common denominator, I am sure that we are in much more real totalitarian hurt than Iraq.

Malone LaVeigh
January 4, 2006, 04:50 PM
To answer the quote question: soldiers soldier because they're proud to do so. They know they're members of a small, highly professional group who undertake tasks most folks are too afraid or squeamish to do. I doubt they fight for nations and cultures. I think they soldier because they're driven to excel in their chosen profession.
In that case, I would suggest that they (and you, if you see no substance in the concerns raised in the article) have missed the whole point of being an American. Our independence was secured by citizen soldiers who were citizens first and soldiers second. When soldiers become a professional caste more focused on their own interests than the good of the people, then they become little more good than the Praetorians and other mercenaries that fought for the Roman Empire.

But really, the main point of the article wasn't about the military, but the civilians that send them to do dangerous work while unwilling to take a few risks inherent in having a few guarantees of rights. See the other thread about the stages of the evolution of a nation.

Old Dog
January 4, 2006, 05:35 PM
When soldiers become a professional caste more focused on their own interests than the good of the people, then they become little more good than the Praetorians and other mercenaries that fought for the Roman Empire.Times have changed, M.L. It's more than a little impractical to defend a country these days with only citizen soldiers. For one thing, the incredibly high degree of sophisticated technology that we use these days demands full-time warriors. The requirements for training to use our technology, and the nature of the training itself, makes it necessary to maintain a "professional caste" of soldiers. The nature of warfare today (and dare I mention the global war on terrorism?) demands that we have a cadre of highly trained, highly skilled, intelligent FULL-TIME professionals already organized and ready to deploy. If you cannot believe this, or even find it reasonable to consider, I suggest you need to do some further research.

Speaking as one who, several times over the past twenty-six years, has been sent in harm's way by idiot politicians, I can state quite emphatically that I've never given any thought to the politicians themselves behind some of our more boneheaded military actions. This is not to suggest that I, or any of my compatriots, blindly and unthinkingly follow all orders without regard to the bigger picture; I'm simply speaking to the understanding that most of us do what we do because we freely chose to do so -- and for the most part, we enjoy our careers and find them rewarding. We accept the fact that we may not always agree with some of the reasons we're sent to do what we do ... Patriotism -- love of country and desire to serve -- is a huge reason for people to stay in the armed forces. ... Most of us do not do it for the money (well, excepting perhaps the guys in the nuclear field, doctors and aviators getting bonuses much larger than everyone else); I tend to agree with Standing Wolf's comments:
They know they're members of a small, highly professional group who undertake tasks most folks are too afraid or squeamish to do. I doubt they fight for nations and cultures. I think they soldier because they're driven to excel in their chosen profession.It's called pride. And knowing that you are part of an institution that strives to live up to much higher standards than almost any other profession ... As far as how those in the military feel about the people they're defending ... it's perhaps a sort of benevolent yet cynical fondness ...

Camp David
January 4, 2006, 05:52 PM
http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0103-28.htm=

Common Dreams NewsCenter is about as leftist liberal as you can reach...

This quote steered me away from article, "President Bush's apparently illegal domestic spying program..." Nice to know Common Dreams NewsCenter has become our Constitutional Scholarship Center!!!:rolleyes:

These leftists scream like children about measures the administration is taking to protect their security and safety... when I hear such leftists squeal, I substitute the name Al Qaeda for Common Dreams NewsCenter...it fits perfectly!

Camp David

Malone LaVeigh
January 4, 2006, 06:48 PM
The last resort of someone who doesn't have a defensible argument is to attack the source. I would also think it would give pause to some of you knee-jerk right wingers to see that a left-wing source has a better grasp of the constitution than your president.

It's more than a little impractical to defend a country these days with only citizen soldiers.
I think maybe you're confusing "citizen soldiers" with "militia". Both are excellent concepts, but are not the same thing. There's nothing stopping citizen soldiers from being full time and having all of the necessary technical and material support they need. I don't think our system of government was intended to be defended predominately by a career professional military. The latter is a real threat to the former.

benEzra
January 4, 2006, 07:29 PM
The last resort of someone who doesn't have a defensible argument is to attack the source. I would also think it would give pause to some of you knee-jerk right wingers to see that a left-wing source has a better grasp of the constitution than your president.
+1

Standing Wolf
January 4, 2006, 07:40 PM
...the main point of the article wasn't about the military, but the civilians that send them to do dangerous work while unwilling to take a few risks inherent in having a few guarantees of rights.

True.

As happened during the Viet Nam War, our elected misrepresentatives in Washington, D.C. are playing politics with the war, which isn't doing our war effort or soldiers a speck of good.

As well as I've been able to discern, the vaunted "War on Terror" amounts to a war against Saddam Hussein-ism in Iraq and another, more subtle war against America's civil rights at home. If I were an Islamic terrorist savage, I'd be greatly encouraged by the sight of my enemy pouring so much time, effort, and blood into Iraq and energetically trying to do away with the very freedom that made his country so great.

Camp David
January 4, 2006, 08:09 PM
The last resort of someone who doesn't have a defensible argument is to attack the source..
Actually the source is my first interest. In this case, a lefty progressive rag is suspect even before the first line of their propaganda is digested.
I would also think it would give pause to some of you knee-jerk right wingers to see that a left-wing source has a better grasp of the constitution...Oh really? How many Americans has liberal lefty Common Dreams NewsCenter defended from terror and how many terrorists have they dispatched?

I read the entire article; it was typical lefty propaganda and I'm surprised you swallowed it without more scrutiny or careful consideration...

:rolleyes:

another okie
January 4, 2006, 08:21 PM
"It's more than a little impractical to defend a country these days with only citizen soldiers."

I understand whatyou mean, but I disagree.

Citizen soldiers can defend our country.

It is, however, hard to fight wars in places like Europe, Iraq or Afghanistan with only citizen soldiers.

MrTuffPaws
January 4, 2006, 08:26 PM
I hate to say it, but I think the record shows exactly the opposite. The American people are both a bunch of hysterical cowards, and perfectly willing, even eager, to sacrifice basic civil liberties for the (false) promise of safety.

- Chris


Boy, ain't that the truth

georgeduz
January 4, 2006, 08:56 PM
many young kids i see and talk to are out right wimps.they tell me they will not join the army.that they are afraid they will be killed in combat,while they drink and drive,smoke weed and race there cars up and down the streets.and act like there are the toughtest ganster rapper.thats todays young men.

Baba Louie
January 4, 2006, 09:02 PM
'Twas an interesting article Malone. From a website I probably should glance through once in awhile (but I won't) just in order to assess the temperature and fervor of those who stridently believe all that "progressive" stuff. It's nice to

The Patrick Henry's of America were strident on 9-12-01 with an attitude lasting approx 6 months or so. Things cooled down on the homefront, our boys and girls in khaki went abroad to hunt down OBL and his ilk, found some of the ilk and responded as we all would were we 19 - 25 years of age and trained to do so (I'd like to think).

Meanwhile back home, the President of the Senate had a bill rushed through both houses, whilst no one actually read the text contained therein and voted upon, that allowed for coordinated snooping inside and outside the continental USA with a few extra bonus gov't brownie points thrown in for good "Security" measures... a lot of these items, like a "pre-emptive" strike on Iraq, seem to be a necessity to this Administration's way of thinking... while the populace now seems to think otherwise.

In the event Iraq invade our borders and Al-Q members be seen hanging around the local shopping malls, the American Populace might be singing a different song, ala 9-11-01. But Iraq did NOT invade the US and so far, I have not seen too many examples of jihad in my local neighborhood.

Few here at THR or TFL would ever think of giving up their freedoms for gov't approved and provided "security" since things tend to vary from one Executive & Congressional administration to the next and we feel we can pretty much take care of us & ours with minimal help from Uncle Sam. Besides, who knows what tomorrow will bring? 98% of the remainder of the American Populace however would definitely cave in and give up a few freedoms and liberties here and there for "security". Actually no "caving in" is required. They clamor for help from Mommy and Daddy government at the drop of a hat, a strong storm or an act of God.

There might be a War going on "over there" but unless that war comes to our home's front door and we actually see and feel the immediacy of someone killing our family, friends and neighbors and are forced to fight for our freedom and liberty, as Patrick Henry and his ilk did or as James Madison did when forced to flee Wash DC from the Brits... well...

Oh who cares anyway? :banghead:

Lobotomy Boy
January 4, 2006, 09:23 PM
The last resort of someone who doesn't have a defensible argument is to attack the source. I would also think it would give pause to some of you knee-jerk right wingers to see that a left-wing source has a better grasp of the constitution than your president.

Excellent point, Malone LaVeigh, but I don't think you're going go get through to Camp David. LIberty apparently has no meaning for him and he clearly has zero respect for the Constitution. Look at his new signature line:

Lock Up A Leftist Liberal/Preserve This Nation

Think about that for a minute--this man is advocating imprisonment for political beliefs. This is pure tyranny. Does anyone else on this board advocate this? Does anyone want to live in a country where this takes place? There are many such countries out there, and fortunately the United States is not one of them. This conversation is about liberty versus tyranny, and Camp David's signature line leaves no doubt that he is an ardent supporter of tyranny, so there is little point in trying to convince him to support liberty.

Camp David
January 4, 2006, 09:48 PM
LIberty apparently has no meaning for him Quite the contrary... my guy in Washington has done something to preserve it!
...and he clearly has zero respect for the Constitution... I want this nation preserved; that is why I support this administration, support the Constitution, and support those fighting the War on Terror. You obviously have joined the enemy camp.

Chris Rhines
January 4, 2006, 10:09 PM
I want this nation preserved; that is why I support this administration, support the Constitution, and support those fighting the War on Terror. You obviously have joined the enemy camp.

I have never in my life been so tempted to use the ignore button... :rolleyes:

- Chris

Lobotomy Boy
January 4, 2006, 10:14 PM
Anyone who advocates locking up a person for political beliefs is a tyrant. Tyranny is the enemy of liberty. Hence you are a tyrant, thus you are my enemy. So as far as you are concerned, yes, I have joined the enemy camp.

kimberkrazy
January 4, 2006, 10:21 PM
I agree with most of what you are saying but I think it was Jeferson who wrote people who are willing to give up freedom for security deserve niether. This is a Democracy and we can't have a president with the power of a king.

Malone LaVeigh
January 4, 2006, 10:48 PM
You obviously have joined the enemy camp.
Oh, please include me in that camp.

/s/ Malone "Ich bin ein Berliner" LaVeigh

GigaBuist
January 4, 2006, 11:04 PM
that is why I support this administration, support the ConstitutionYou might be contradicting yourself there. IIRC the 4th Circuit just laid the smack down on the Executive branch for not chagring Jose Padilla with a crime for just over 3 years of imprisonment. That's not from some keyboard commando, like me, saying that it was illegal, that's a Federal Court.

Gordon Fink
January 4, 2006, 11:26 PM
http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=2098042&postcount=49

~G. Fink

Justin
January 5, 2006, 12:58 AM
Actually the source is my first interest. In this case, a lefty progressive rag is suspect even before the first line of their propaganda is digested.

I will note the following is written above title of the article at the link:

Published on Tuesday, January 3, 2006 by the Rocky Mountain News (Colorado)

Let me spell this out using easily understood words: this write-up was first in The Rocky Mountain News before getting linked and re-displayed on Common Dreams. Certainly it's one thing to engage in the fallacy of attacking the source, but it's something else entirely when you don't even care enough to check to make sure you're even hurling invective at the right source.

Not only do you continually show a complete and utter disregard for rational debating style, but you have a facticidal streak a mile and a half long.

But I'm sure you'll happily ignore my post and keep right on truckin' there, hero.

Preacherman
January 5, 2006, 01:05 AM
Camp David, you're treading a very fine, hairy line between debate and abuse. Please don't step over it...

As for your diatribe about the "leftist" source, please see my first post in this thread. I agree that in the past, Commondreams has been a hotbed of one-sided radicalism, and I've largely ignored it for that reason (just as I routinely ignore conservative sites that are equally one-sided and radical about their point of view). However, twice in the past week, here on THR, there have been links to articles on Commondreams that have surprised me by their balance and overall integrity. If Commondreams is getting to the stage of being more balanced in what it posts, great! More power to them! I'll happily start reading their output.

Balance is important, and it's also important that we recognise efforts to maintain a balance in those with whose point of view we disagree. I'm not about to vote in accordance with Commondreams' agenda, but I'll be delighted if they move toward being a more dispassionate, even-handed disseminator of political news.

Again, Malone, thanks for posting this. It's been a useful engine for debate, and I've learned something about some of our members through it... :rolleyes:

Zundfolge
January 5, 2006, 01:20 AM
I want this nation preserved; that is why I support this administration, support the Constitution, and support those fighting the War on Terror. You obviously have joined the enemy camp.
What is this nation? Is it the people, the land, or the Constitution?

While I agree that the left has gone overboard in attacking Bush for doing things that I guarantee you Kerry or Gore would have done, Bush is NOT doing whats best for this country when it comes to preserving liberty.

The Patriot Act is NOT respect for the Constitution. Reducing liberty for the sake of security is NOT respect for the Constitution (in fact one of the Constitution's authors flatly said that those who trade liberty for security deserve neither).


While I honestly believe Bush is a good man and believes he's doing what is best for this country, and I honestly believe that the leftists in the DNC would be doing the same (plus they would be disarming us for "security"), I believe that people such as yourself who tell the rest of us we're traitors because we don't blindly follow you are the ones who will destroy this country. Road to hell is paved with what?


What's really going to happen here is that President Hillary is going to use the powers that Bush has handed the government to do more damage that 100 747s full of box knife wielding Islamofascists and you're going to be whining about how Hillary is such a tyrant when the keys where handed to her by the Bush administration. I hope you're proud of yourself.

Preacherman
January 5, 2006, 10:29 AM
What's really going to happen here is that President Hillary is going to use the powers that Bush has handed the government to do more damage that 100 747s full of box knife wielding Islamofascists and you're going to be whining about how Hillary is such a tyrant when the keys where handed to her by the Bush administration.

Amen, brother! It's not so much the present application of the Patriot Act and other legislation that worries me: it's what could (and probably will) happen when a less scrupulous administration takes over and uses the same machinery to become onerous and oppressive taskmasters. This is the thin edge of the wedge, and we need to clobber it NOW, before it becomes impossible to do so later.

(And BTW, this danger doesn't only threaten from the Left: there are several Right-wing types whom I think would be even worse than the Left if they had this much power in their hands...)

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