July 4, 2005

Reflections on Patriotism

Filed under: Politics — PolitiCalypso @ 11:14 pm

In the several months since this blog started, events have occurred that could shake the American political scene for months or even years to come. It seems a fitting close to Independence Day — and a fitting entry to this blog — that these events should be expounded upon. They serve to illustrate the difference between true patriotism and the cynical use of "patriotism" for political ends, and shore up exactly who is doing what.

For example, yesterday the President compared the American Revolutionary War to the current war in Iraq, his political brainchild, support for which is flagging despite such attempts to manipulate Americans into being gung-ho for it as they were in 2003. Although there is propaganda for both sides during any war, the Revolutionary War was not the result of a lie. It was not a war of unfounded fears, but rather a result of the combination of abuses of power by the British government, an innate desire for autonomy on the part of the American people, and growing economic self-reliance of the then-Colonies. In sharp contrast, of course, the Iraq war was based on a lie. It took a colossal lie by the President and his cronies, using the fear of nuclear/chemical/biological apocalypse on American soil, to garner enough support to make the war politically viable. As the now-notorious "Downing Street Memo" shows, the Neoconservatives were arranging for intelligence to be "fixed around the policy." (Despite the American media’s ignoring this memo, it has not been forgotten by Senate and House Democrats. (Read more…)

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