We hold these truths to be self-evident.

...But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security....

The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good....

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power....

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands....

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Read the rest. Discuss.

Comments

  • LT (unverified)
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    The conclusion has a lot to say:

    We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

    We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

    Something to think about: Could all the debate over DSCC intervention in our US Senate primary election boil down to something like

    "What part of "free and independent states" does Schumer not understand?"

  • DJ (unverified)
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    Shameful is the implication made by highlighting the following text: He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries...

    You can probably find the name of a so-called mercenary from your home town on this list of heroes. On Independence Day of all days, BlueOregon strikes a disgraceful new low.

  • (Show?)

    The right-wing now thinks quoting the Declaration of Independence is a "disgraceful new low"?

    I really cannot think of a more perfect example of the pure hatred of everything that America stands for from the Republican party.

    DJ, if you hate the founding principals of this nation so much, why don't you just leave it?

  • pat malach (unverified)
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    Apparently you missed today's news report that highly paid military "contractors" now outnumber relatively poorly paid U.S. combat troops. That list of "contractors" includes foreigners paid by the U.S. government to provide security and training. Sounds like a mercenary to me.

    That's what you get when Donald Rumsfeld privatizes the Army so that companies like Halliburton (currently trying to move HQ overseas) can make billions off the war while U.S. soldiers go without necessary equipment.

    Of all the shameful things on this planet, surely wanton ignorance is near the top of the list.

  • (Show?)

    DJ... The reference to foreign mercenaries is not a reference to American military personnel. They are, of course, to be honored.

    However, there are tens of thousands of independent contractors - i.e. mercenaries - in Iraq profiting from this war.

    To be sure, the analogy isn't perfect, but it's apt.

    The privatization of military force is a cancer eating away at America's moral standing in the world. After all, our leadership has taken us to war, but the only sacrifice asked of us is to "go shopping"?

    If this is a war about the future of civilization, why aren't we being asked to do something - conserve fuel, donate supplies, support a draft.

    No, this war isn't about that. This war is about one-upping the President's daddy. That's what George W. Bush has always been about.

  • (Show?)

    On to Yorktown we go! How perfect -- thanks for the posting...

  • DJ (unverified)
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    Steve writes: The right-wing now thinks quoting the Declaration of Independence is a "disgraceful new low"? Steve - through your inability to either see or admit the feigned implication made by the highlighted foreign mercenaries text, either you insult the intelligence of every reader on this board -or- you reveal your own naivete. Which is it?

    Pat writes: Apparently you missed today's news report that highly paid military "contractors" now outnumber relatively poorly paid U.S. combat troops. That list of "contractors" includes foreigners paid by the U.S. government to provide security and training. Sounds like a mercenary to me. Pat - that's not really today's news ...merely recycled for 4th of July media consumption. Paid military contractors have been part of the military structure since before the days of Eisenhower's military-industrial complex speech. Are paid Iraqi soldiers US mercenaries too? Is the man who drives the water supply truck that keeps US soldiers alive any less heroic because he's being paid for it? What do you suggest as an alternative to a volunteer force, whether active duty or private? Apparently Kari prefers an involuntary draft of 180,000 to replace the 180,000 civilians he disparages who currently work in Iraq under US contract.

    As Sun Tzu writes in "The Art of War": Avail yourself of any helpful circumstances over and beyond the ordinary rules." While the islamofascist students of Sun Tzu recruit medical doctors, BlueOregon frets about paid US miltary contractors. Advantage islamofascist.

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    No, I don't prefer an involuntary draft. Don't be silly.

    Here's my point: President Bush tell us that this is a war for the future of civilization. If it really is, why doesn't he make the case for a draft? Why doesn't he ask the American people to fund the war with their tax dollars? Why doesn't he at least ask us to do something, anything, besides "go shopping"?

    I'm not suggesting a draft, or a tax increase. I'm wondering why the President hasn't suggested those things -- if indeed this is a war for the future of our civilization.

    The only explanation? Not even the President believes his own rhetoric.

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    "He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance."

    Hmmm, progressives (of various stripes) gave us almost all of the "multitude" of offices we now live with. Are you advocating getting rid of, oh, even ten percent of them? But I did notice that this part was not emphasized in the post.

    Bob Tiernan

  • poidog (unverified)
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    Actually it is DJ that insults the inteligence of every reader here with his love for fascism, authority, and corruption. And speaking of naivete, what will it take for DJ to realise that he is just one more brain washed idiot that has fallen for the lies carefully crafted in right wing think tanks to lead us all into subservience to a small minority of ulra rich corporate masters that care nothing about our constitution or future. You know, when we here people like Ann Coulter, Limbaugh, and O'Rieley spewing their obvious hateful lies, at least we have the knowledge of knowing that it is mostly show business directed towards agitating sensible people and selling something. But it's really scary when you actually meet people that believe this crap and are willing to sell off what is left of our country. Most of these people seem to have traded the responsibility of thinking for becoming blind boot licking followers of tryanical, fascist authoritarians.

    On this fourth of july I salute and embrace every American that remembers what our history is really about and the sacrifices it took to make the gains against the authoritarian despots that are once again threaten our future and freedom. I also ask that real patriots and Americans recognize that DJ and all those who support the neo-con movement and current corrupt administration, are the enemies of both freedom and America. I think the most recent developements suggest that this war of words with the enemy has pretty much exhausted itself. If our democratic leaders are unwilling to stand up and take our freedom and country back at this point,it leaves us patriots little choice but to exercise the right our constitution gives us to overthrow our current insurgent government. Happy 4th.

  • BlueNote (unverified)
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    Happy 4th of July. The Declaration of Independence is one of the two most eloquent statements ever written in support of freedom. The Magna Carta is the other. The Magna Carta was written around 450 years prior to the Declaration of Independence, but it is pretty cool. I think the US Bill of Rights was based to some extent on the Magna Carta.

    Freedom is an interesting concept. I'm not sure that either Dems or Repubs of today really believe in the concept of freedom. Most of my Dem friends believe that the government should have the power to control people's lives (for their own good of course). My Republican co-workers believe that big businesses, millionaires and corporations should have the power to control people's lives (in the interest of capitalism, free enterprise and the American way).

    I know that people say that Libertarians are just Republicans who like to smoke pot, but sometimes I ask myself what Thomas Jefferson would say about the degree of control that govt. and big business has over all of our lives today. All things considered, I think Jefferson, Adams, Madison and others would probably be Libertarians rather than supporters of either of the major parties.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Steve - through your inability to either see or admit the feigned implication made by the highlighted foreign mercenaries text, either you insult the intelligence of every reader on this board -or- you reveal your own naivete. Which is it?

    I understand the military has been looking at recruiting young men from foreign countries with a promise of citizenship. Sounds close to "foreign mercenaries" to me as does enlisting resident aliens with a similar promise. How about the bribery in other countries (Romania, Bulgaria, etc.) to have them send contingents to add to the "coalition of the willing?"

  • East Bank Thom (unverified)
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    your inability to either see or admit the feigned implication

    Oh, this is rich. In the same post, DJ admits seeing Pat's explanation which ably clarified DJ's (willful?) misunderstanding. One needn't try to read Kari's mind to see clearly the analogy to KBR paid gun types. Perhaps' DJ should outsource to Halliburton his future straw man battles.

    It takes the temerity of a Baathist holdout to continue to support Bush's pre-emptive war. After the last vet has ultimately been properly cared for, the final price tag for this mission not accomplished will easily top a trillion dollars. Imagine in 2003 if Bush had proposed blowing 500 manned space shuttles out of the sky. What if it came with the promise that one particular region of the world could be made terrorist free. This has been the cost so far (3745 US deaths) and all we managed to do is give the old terrorists a convenient place to practice while simultaneously creating new ones. When will this national nightmare finally be over?

  • Roberto (unverified)
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    It is interesting that there are those who honor these words and find them inspiring as applied to the situation of 225 years ago, but cannot apply the principles, concepts and ideals therein to the situation of today.

  • East Bank Thom (unverified)
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    Hmmm, progressives (of various stripes) gave us almost all of the "multitude" of offices we now live with. - Bob Tiernan

    Is this the same Bob Tiernan from the GOP whose political career dead ended a few years back? Tis a pity if so. As i recall, he can boast many years of service to the state and country, but on this fine Independence Day seems to be relegated to lurking about Democratic watering holes pulling stats like the above out of his... secret file.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Kari is basically making the "why doesn't Bush go back to 1940" argument--something a lot of people don't want to debate.

    As I told someone today at a party, "we're already in a war" isn't sufficient. I dearly love the 1940 election for a number of reasons--not the least of which is that I got 3 term papers out of that election and McNary's role as VP nominee.

    The Friday or so before the 1940 GOP convention, there were 3 rather large bold headlines on the NY Times (used that in one of the term projects). FRANCE FALLS TO NAZIS SELECTIVE SERVICE PASSES KNOX AND STIMSON.

    Those were serious times. There was a draft passed by Congress, and 2 famous Republicans (as I recall, one was a military officer, one had been GOP VP nominee in the past, or something like that--famous people) were added to the FDR war cabinet. Interesting convention, btw with an interventionist nominee and an isolationist platform.

    If we are in a war for the future of civilization, nothing is stopping Bush from being a serious as FDR was in 1940 about adressing the problems. That Bush hasn't done anything that serious undercuts the "for the future of civilization" argument.

  • Anon (unverified)
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    Mercenaries = Blackwater

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    It is interesting that there are those who honor these words and find them inspiring as applied to the situation of 225 years ago, but cannot apply the principles, concepts and ideals therein to the situation of today.

    Very well said, Roberto. People of various political persuasions regard laws and principles as tools to gain power and ascendancy over others, but these laws and principles don't apply when they create problems for themselves. This obviously applies to the Bush Administration and most of the GOP, but there are very few in the political arena that can be self-righteous in this regard.

  • randy2 (unverified)
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    DJ:

    Shameful is the implication made by highlighting the following text: He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries...

    ***How ironic, in the week that it is announced US taxpayers are supporting 160,000 "contractors" -- accountable to no one doing thing in our name.

    ***OK - not sure how many of the "contractors" are foreign -- but "mercenary" seems an apt description.

    Randy2

  • DJ (unverified)
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    The shame continues at BlueOregon.com. Other than mine, not a single word here of gratitude on the 4th for our soldiers who preserve the independence we celebrate. The best Keri could offer is an, "They are, of course, to be honored." Well, of course they are...silly me for thinking that typing a few keystrokes was necessary to show it. While all of you sit on your hands waiting for someone to ask you to make a scarifice, you can't even take the time to lift a finger to recognize those who actually do sacrifice.

    What do you do instead? Disparage those making the effort to keep your freedom alive:

    Was Eugene Armstrong a mercenary? He worked on reconstruction projetcs for Gulf Supplies in the Middle East and was captured and beheaded by al-Qaeda in 2004.

    Was Jack Hensley a mercenary? He worked with Armstrong and was beheaded days later by the same al-Qaeda group.

    How about civil engineer Kenneth Bigley, was he a mercenary? He was kidnapped with Armstrong and Hensley and beheaded the following month.

    How about Paul Johnson who worked in Saudi Arabia and was captured and beheaded by al-Qaeda earlier in 2004 - was he a mercenary?

    Was Nick Berg a mercenary? He was a freelance telecommunications contractor beheaded at the hands of Zarqawi.

    The same Zarqawi terrorist group killed South Korean Kim Sun-Il working in Iraq as a translator to US military supply contractor. Is a man who supports supplying the US soldiers that Keri, of course, honors - a mercenary to be denegrated on Independence Day here at BlueOregon.com? Or is Kim someone who made a sacrifice for the US cause while YOU waited for your president to tell you to roll up your sleeve and give blood, to donate to your local food bank, to help your co-worker with two young children whose husband is serving his second extended tour? Must you always be looking for someone to blame (your government) and someone to tell you what to do next (your government)???

    I'm sorry folks, but Rosie the Riveter is a thing of the past. If it's sacrifice you're offering - get off your whiney butts and go find a neighbor in need and do something for them.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Or is Kim someone who made a sacrifice for the US cause while YOU waited for your president to tell you to roll up your sleeve and give blood,...

    If I recall correctly, YOUR president and the one the rest of us are stuck with recommended that the people go shopping to keep the economy going. Most likely most of the Blue Oregon bloggers opposed the war in the first place and are working in one way or another to end it and bring the troops home. As for the people who got us into this war, I'll bet very, very few of their children or other relatives are making any sacrifices or volunteering to serve in Iraq. What are Barbara and Jenna Bush, Jeb Bush's kids, Chelsea Clinton and Chuck Schumer's kids doing to help the troops in Iraq and achieve victory or success?

  • Anon (unverified)
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    DJ - Spare me. And you have not a word of condemnation for the psycho delusional President and his enablers who send send our young men and women to be killed because for Bush to stop the slaughter now would be political suicide! Bush cares more about his own sorry butt than the lives of our soldiers. Did that somehow escape your atttention? Maybe because you are a weak-minded kool-aid drinker, engaging in the most shameful, transparent and idiotic demagoguery imaginable? Yes, I think that's exactly it. Bring it on! Mission accomplished! We've turned a corner! Freedom is on the march! Meanwhile, no body armor actually capable of stopping bullets, meanwhile no armor for humvees...

  • (Show?)

    Happy fourth, one and all--

    "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." --George Orwell

  • james Mattiace (unverified)
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    I think it is interesting that no one above has seen fit to mention that July 4th 1776 isn't the actual independence day of the United States. We go around saying "Happy Independence Day" and all the while historical facts get muddled. July 4th 1776 was the day the Declaration was announced. The actual war didn't end until October 19 1781 (that would be 5 and a half years later) and the peace treaty, which in fact recognized independence, wasn't until September 3 1783 (seven and a half years later).

    It would be similar to you and your spouse announcing you were planning on having a baby on Jan 1 , actually getting pregant 5 years later, and delivering to term the following fall. Do you celebrate Jan 1 as the baby's birthday?

    Its ridiculous. How can anyone call July 4 "Independence Day" when no independence was achieved? As as for those soldiers (homegrown and foreign) "fighting to defend my independence" I would kindly ask them to stop. I don't recall it being threatened by the people they are shooting. I'd rather they not die anymore for something that didn't need defending. (at least not from enemies with-out)

    James Mattiace

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    Its ridiculous. How can anyone call July 4 "Independence Day" when no independence was achieved?

    The first step to independence, and the most important step...is declaring it. Calling out a tyrant, telling him to stick it where the sun don't shine...that's what "independence" is all about.

    Not everyone who claimed their independence got to live their lives as free men and women, as buckets of blood were spilled in fighting tyranny. But ultimately it is in your heart --and soul-- where your freedom and independence is to be found.

  • BOHICA (unverified)
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    James Mattiace,

    Maybe because of what John Adams wrote (He was off by 2 days):

    The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore.

  • DJ (unverified)
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    Bill Bodden: If I recall correctly, YOUR president...

    Anon: And you have not a word of condemnation for the psycho delusional President...

    You two only further illustrate my point...with 363 other days in the year to freely attack the pathetic shortcomings of this commander in chief, you can't even take a breather and reflect on the sacrifices of US soldiers past and present who give you the right to do so. Every diatribe against GW on July 4th and Veteran's Day reflects the pettiness of the person delivering it. It's like not being able to attend an honored family member's birthday party without ruining it by getting into a pissing match with the brother-in-law you detest. No decorum here at BlueOregon.com whatsoever.

    Anon also says: Meanwhile, no body armor actually capable of stopping bullets, meanwhile no armor for humvees... Anon - In case you didn't realize it, the makers of the equipment we need more (not less) of are known here at BlueOregon as the war profiteers, and the people who deliver those supplies to our soldiers in the field are known here as mercenaries. It's not easy being a liberal who supports the troops but not the war, is it?

  • pat malach (unverified)
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    It seems most regular posters on Blue Oregon had better things to do on July 4 than REPEATEDLY pick fights with people by putting words in their mouths and creating false premises, and then posting inane and misguided ramblings (complete with quotes from Sun Tzu) about honor and patriotism.

    Most people had better things to do. "DJ" is the exception.

    First of all, Independence Day is not the equivalent of Veterans Day or Memorial Day. It's the day we celebrate our declaration of independence from the rule of tyrants.

    It's a perfecty fitting day for any patriot to point out the despotism of a dangerously cold and narcisstic self-proclaimed "war president" and his self-serving Svengali vice president, who've shown nothing but contempt for the rule of law and the founding principles of this country.

    If you don't like that, I suggest finding the nearest meeting of your neighborhood Torries so you can further plot how to prop up the king.

  • DJ (unverified)
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    Pat - that's how you liberals like your debate, isn't it: one-sided. Since you find them so difficult to say, let me put a few more words in your mouth.

    Thank you veterans, soldiers, and those who support them, on Pat's behalf, for demonstrating through action that freedom and independence are not free. Thank you for preserving the independence we celebrate on Independence Day, and for preserving Pat's inalienable right to use it as a platform for political attack.

  • (Show?)

    Yes "veterans, soldiers and those who support them"--thank DJ for sending you to die and be maimed and not giving a rat's ass about it except to "thank" you. Thank him/her for supporting the abrogation of your rights and denuding of your benefits, and thank him/her for treating you like shit when you get home.

    And make sure to thank DJ for not going in your place.

  • DJ (unverified)
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    torrid - beside lending first-hand support to families of soldiers on tour, I support them by poking holes in nonsensical liberal arguments like yours that truly define treating them like shit. How do you support them?

  • (Show?)

    DJ, give it up. Observably you are wrong, and we are right. The war never should have happened, was an illegal action under both international and domestic law, and its forced continuance is a death sentence for dozens each day. These are obvious facts that you refuse to accept. That's your right, but don't dare pretend that it marks you as anything but a dupe at best.

    You are NOT supporting the troops, you are KILLING them. YOU are responsible, not me. I support them by seeking to bring them out of an unnecessary and calamitous conflict. The blood is on your hands, and history will condemn you as I strongly do now.

  • (Show?)

    I should amend that last post. I too am responsible, despite the fact that I wouldn't have voted for Bush if you held me at gunpoint, and warned from Day 1 that war in Iraq was a monumentally stupid idea. I clearly have not done enough yet to stop what was happening, and as a proud citizen of the US I must take responsibility for what is done in my name.

    I am responsible. DJ is culpable.

  • tl (unverified)
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    DJ - if it is true you lend "first-hand support to families and soldiers on tour", then I salute you.

    To assume that anyone who questions the war or the president has no concern for or and lends no support to our soldiers is untrue. It is also untrue, I believe, to assume that all who favor this war and support the president's agenda also give support to the troops. Pasting a made in China "Support our Troops" ribbon magnet on the back of your car doesn't count for much, in my opinion. I don't accuse you of this. I am just very tired of the worn-out suggestion that those who oppose the war and the president do not support our troops.

    I can think of nothing more honorable and support of our troops than to END THE WAR, BRING THEM HOME, and provide them satisfactory medical care.

    I think this cartoon really sums up my feelings about supporting the troops: Doonesbury on Supporting the Troops

    tl

  • tl (unverified)
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    DJ - if it is true you lend "first-hand support to families and soldiers on tour", then I salute you.

    To assume that anyone who questions the war or the president has no concern for or and lends no support to our soldiers is untrue. It is also untrue, I believe, to assume that all who favor this war and support the president's agenda also give support to the troops. Pasting a made in China "Support our Troops" ribbon magnet on the back of your car doesn't count for much, in my opinion. I don't accuse you of this. I am just very tired of the worn-out suggestion that those who oppose the war and the president do not support our troops.

    I can think of nothing more honorable and support of our troops than to END THE WAR, BRING THEM HOME, and provide them satisfactory medical care.

    I think this cartoon really sums up my feelings about supporting the troops: Doonesbury on Supporting the Troops

    tl

  • Red Cloud (unverified)
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    Bob Tiernan tried to find irony or hypocrisy here:

    "He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance."

    I'd find in that an apt description of this administration's tactics of concenterating power in disregard of Congress, and, I guess, of the judiciary. Secret courts and tribunals, Republican commissars within agencies . . .

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    you can't even take a breather and reflect on the sacrifices of US soldiers past and present who give you the right to do so

    DJ: You seem to be ignoring the fact that the American-British invasion of Iraq is an illegal war and in many ways conforms to Medal of Honor winner General Smedley Butler's assessment of war - "War is a racket." I sympathize with the younger troops on the ground and recognize and respect their beliefs that they are doing good in Iraq and defending America, but the fact is they were lied to and are dying and being maimed physically and psychologically because of misplaced trust in their military leaders who wouldn't sacrifice their chances of second careers in the military-industrial-media complex by refusing to obey illegal and immoral orders in accordance with the Nuremberg Principles, the Geneva Conventions and the United Nations Charter.

    The military has the best and worst of people in its ranks. The best are the young men and women who believe they are doing good and often show exemplary personal courage and integrity. The members of medical units must surely be included in this group and respected by all sides. But there is Abu Ghraib, Fallujah and other sins in which inhumanity prevailed in all ranks from the "rotten apples at the bottom of the barrel" to the moral bankrupts at the top. These have contributed to a fomenting hatred among Iraqis and others that appears to have encouraged the recent acts of attempted terrorism in Britain and may be encouraging future acts in the United States. So instead of making America more secure, the military, at least part of it, may very well be making it much less so.

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    East Bank Thom: Is this the same Bob Tiernan from the GOP whose political career dead ended a few years back?

    Bob Tiernan: Nope. Different clan.

    East Bank Thom: Tis a pity if so. As i recall, he can boast many years of service to the state and country, but on this fine Independence Day seems to be relegated to lurking about Democratic watering holes pulling stats like the above out of his... secret file.

    Bob T: Now get back to the question -- did progressive (New Deal, Fair Deal, Great Deal, Good Deal, Save the Children Deal etc) give us almost all of our "multitude of offices" or not?

    No lurking, but a fair question. I find progressives (so-called) to be statists in their own right. Just admit it.

    Bob Tiernan Tiernan Clan of Millis, Mass.

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Red Cloud: I'd find in that an apt description of this administration's tactics of concenterating power in disregard of Congress, and, I guess, of the judiciary. Secret courts and tribunals, Republican commissars within agencies . . .

    Bob T: I can't say that I can argue with you here, but the point is that there's a precedent for probably every single thing he's doing, and he's aware of how progressives (so-called) revere FDR for example (you know, the one who had black newspapers burned during the war, and had a secret trial and execution for captured Nazi saboteurs, and had his own "McCarthyism" used against opponents and others who had advocated neutrality earlier (including a young Gore Vidal and JFK, tho' they weren't targeted so far as I know, but Lillian Gish was shut out of movies for some time).

    History is interesting. Facts are stubborn things, too.

    Bob Tiernan

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    ... but the point is that there's a precedent for probably every single thing he's doing, ...

    Surely, you are not implying that an action perpetrated by a predecessor (precedent) makes it okay to repeat that action or a version of it.

  • (Show?)

    ... but the point is that there's a precedent for probably every single thing he's doing, ...

    Why is it that, once again, the right-wing, Republican or otherwise, can't seem to make, much less support, any of their arguments without basing the whole thing on actions from the past? Whether there is a precedent or not isn't the point. The point is that what THIS president is doing is harming this country, period. Whether past leaders did harm to this country is immaterial...the point is that THIS one definitely is. If you want to demand that arguments be based on facts, I'm all for it, but stop using that tired, old line to keep running away from the facts of TODAY's argument.

  • DJ (unverified)
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    torrid writes: DJ, give it up. Observably you are wrong, and we are right. The war never should have happened... Bill Bodden writes: DJ: You seem to be ignoring the fact that the American-British invasion of Iraq is an illegal war... Guys...please quote an excerpt of the comment in which I said otherwise. You can't, because my comments don't take issue with your positions on the war. My comments take issue with BlueOregon (Kari apparently) for using the headline July 4th post to take a swipe at our troops and/or those supporting them in the field, while failing to post anything honoring their service. And my comments take issue with all bloggers who followed suit.

    tl writes: I am just very tired of the worn-out suggestion that those who oppose the war and the president do not support our troops. tl - I agree, but actions (or lack therof) speak louder than words. Yours are some of the more balanced comments on the board. But given the stage opportunity (Kari) and the opportunity to comment (everyone else) I think most unbiased vistors to this thread would be hard pressed to identify anything other than hate for the president on the agenda, with the troops we all supposedly support an unmentioned silent afterthought. Silent afterthought is far from honor and support.

    Lastly, some here (Pat Malach) differentiate between Veterans Day and Independence Day, believing only Veterans Day is reserved for honoring our soldiers. Let's test that view by taking a look at how Vet Day 2006 was marked here at BlueOregon.com:

    • In the second comment in the thread, Kevin gives props to Kulongoski for his obvious and genuine dedication to veterans, active service personal and their families.

    • Kudos to BlueNote further down the comment list for putting honor and respect ahead of his anti-war views when he wrote this: I respect and honor all soldiers, whether dead or alive. My late father was a decorated soldier in WW II in the Pacific. I have his medals and I think of him often.

    So, other than Kevin's and BlueNote's, all other 22 comments made no mention of honor for US soldiers past or present. I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

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    So, other than Kevin's and BlueNote's, all other 22 comments made no mention of honor for US soldiers past or present. I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

    Could have something to do with the fact that it isn't what the topic of the thread was about and you deciding that the topic should change simply because you see fit doesn't change that.

  • DJ (unverified)
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    Oregonian37 - how do you conclude "All of Oregon loses when we lose one of these kids who have so much to give. ...Governor Kulongoski talks to David Sarasohn about Oregon's fallen soldiers." is not about our US soldiers??? Please, at least credit Kari/BlueOregon for posting a worthy Vets Day topic.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    So, other than Kevin's and BlueNote's, all other 22 comments made no mention of honor for US soldiers past or present.

    Richard Perle, one of the neocon instigators of the war on Iraq, admitted that this war is illegal. Authorities versed in international law have stated this is an illegal war. If the military is an active protagonist in an illegal war then it is committing war crimes. So, why should it be honored? A case can be made for forgiving the younger members of the military for their follies, but there isn't much to be said for the older and more senior leaders in the military who should known better or, if they knew better, didn't have the moral courage to do what was right. As Lt. Ehren Watada and others who had the courage to resist did.

  • anonymous (unverified)
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    The first paragraph is something every American should know by heart and no kid should ever graduate past the sixth grade without knowing.

    Bill Bodden, thanks for the mention of Gen. Smedley Butler's book. Few people realize it, but Butler exposed a plot to overthrow the U.S. government and constitution, then establish a fascist state. This led to congress' McCormack-Dickstein Investigation of 1933 which verified the existence of the plot and implicated some of America's biggest Robber Barons, including JP Morgan and DuPont. Once the names of the implicated conspirators became so powerful, the committee shutdown and no further action was taken (at least not publicly). Those of you who simply can't accept any kind of conspiracy theory should take note.

    The U.S. has been before and is now under attack from within by traitors to our Republic and Constitutional values. Great Americans throughout history, from Thomas Jefferson to Andrew Jackson to Dwight Eisenhower to John F. Kennedy have tried to warn us of this. Only if one studies this vector of history which is not taught in public schools and is seldom hinted at in college curricula does the PATRIOT Act, Executive Orders for Martial Law, North American Union, etc, begin to make sense. The "war on terror" and belief that Bush honestly thinks he's protecting America and "national security" is a complete joke.

  • DJ (unverified)
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    Bill Boden: If the military is an active protagonist in an illegal war...why should it be honored? ...A case can be made for forgiving the younger members of the military for their follies, but there isn't much to be said for the older and more senior leaders in the military who should known better...

    Bill - the US is 231 years old. The Iraq war is 4 years old. Independence Day and Vets Day are about both present and past. Are you going to deny honor and gratitude to all of the dead in Arlington and every other military cemetery because of the current war? If you can't fly your flag for today's vet, fly it for all those like BlueNote's father without whom you'd likely be speaking German.

    There is no such thing as a soldier who served honorably and needs your forgiveness. Did our once young and brave men who returned from Vietnam need your forgiveness too? It is attitudes like that which made their return to the states the ungrateful and unsupportive experience that for too many it was.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    No, it's literally true. "We hold these truths to be self evident". And they are left self evident. "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" are not codified in our laws.

    The Constitution then creates the operational definition, that you shall not be deprived of life or property with due process of law, but the "truths" are left to be self evident.

    It should be, "we hold these truths to be self evident, and if you think we're actually going to give you a process for redressing denial of pursuit of hapiness, you don't know how human power politics work". Sounds great though.

    And as AG Dick Thornburg used to say when he would go to every business luncheon he could get invited to, "Remember, private enterprises are not bound by the constitution". Why waste breath? You debate high brow principles like you're strolling through the garden with Aristotle. Let's keep it simple. Want to talk about just governing? How about we get an Attorney General that isn't a crook? Name the last 15 Attorney's General. Name 15 corporate monsters as bad. You can't. The Attorney's General belong on a post office wall. Truths? Our LAWS aren't respected by our highest officials.

    Too bad Zoe Baird never made it. Proves my point though. Now if Zoe were AG, the question would be meaningful. Oh well, "life" and the US don't pair well.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    DJ: The history of the US military is a mixed bag. It has actions for which we should be very grateful. World War II is one, but that has its Jekyll and Hyde components. When American and British lawyers were drawing up charges for the Nuremberg trials, they listed everything they could think of that the Germans did that was criminal. Washington and London had to delete several items off the lawyers' lists since the Allies were also guilty of similar crimes. For example, the fire bombings of civilians in Dresden and Hamburg.

    South Korea can be claimed to some extent as a just war because it led eventually to the democracy that now exists there. However, Harry Truman wasn't concerned with democracy when he sent troops into Korea. The United States installed and supported the dictators that ruled there for many years until the South Korean people got rid of them.

    Then to go back in history there were the many massacres of Native Americans committed by the U.S. Army. There are also the events in Central America mentioned by Smedley Butler in his memoirs. The invasion of the Philippines and suppression of the Filipinos are horrible stains on our military's history.

    If the British hadn't the understanding that the United States would join them and the French in the First World War, then they might have agreed to a truce in 1917 when they and the Germans were bogged down in the mud in Flanders and northern France. Because the war continued until November 1918 hundreds of thousands of people died for nothing. At dawn on November 11th, the Americans, British, French and Germans knew an Armistice was to be signed at 11:00 am that day. Nevertheless, General Jack Pershing ordered his men to fight up to the last minute so that many soldiers died needlessly minutes before the clock struck eleven and the Armistice was signed.

    Vietnam? I made the mistake of supporting that one. Not much to be proud of there when events such as My Lai and the Phoenix Program are considered.

    There are events in the history of our military to be grateful for with the victories in World War II at the top of the list, but an attitude of "my military right or wrong" is not in the interests of any nation that wants to be a democratic republic. And it is an attitude that has contributed to the psychological traumas suffered by many of our young men and women in Iraq who can't accept some of the things they have had to do and can no longer deny they were wrong.

    As I said before, the military has the best and worst of people. I have no intention of dishonoring the best with blanket praise that also gives credit to the worst. Give credit to and honor the best. They deserve it. But should we also honor those that have tarnished the reputation of this nation and its military?

    Militarism has been a factor in the decline and fall of many nations and empires. The United States is at risk if it gives blind allegiance to a military that is supposed to give its allegiance to the nation.

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    DJ, I was referring only to the actual article posted here as open discussion...my apologies

  • Rebel Dog (unverified)
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    Glad to see mercenary sorted out so nicely, Kari. Thanks for the clarification.

    So, the company that manufactures the land-mine detection equipment is mercenary, since they make lucre off the war, but my gen-X neighbor that says, "I don't care about no stinkin' rag heads. The military is how minorites in this country get money for college", is "of course, to be honored", and not a mercenary.

    Of course. What else would one expect of a progressive?

    You cannot be against the war and unconditionally support the troops. I am delighted with the argument though. Every time I hear a rabid conservative say, "it's not the soldier, it's the policy", I remind them to have the same attitude when they confront criminal violence. It's not the gunman, it's the society. At last, everyone is progressive!

  • DJ (unverified)
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    Bill B - that's an interesting history capsule; you're a better student of history than I.

    It's difficult to find a military campaign flown under any flag that does not have examples of bad apples. Less than three years ago "UN peacekeepers" from several nations on duty in the Congo were charged with rape, prostitution, pedophilia and cover-up of the investigation.

    If the litmus test for honoring those who put their lives on the line is to judge all by the actions of the few, the day will come when those who do the armchair judging (most of those on this thread) have no one to answer the call in their own desperate time of need.

    Bill, if you're still lurking, maybe you can listen to this audio and respond with a comment. It's from 1973, a political, military, and economic lowpoint in our nation's history. Maybe you can explain to me how a Canadian was able to see the virtue of America through the fog of those events, yet Americans themselves - especially those who identify as Progressives - can't manage to see or even admit to themselves that she has any virtue today.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    I read the transcript. Presumably, I'm supposed to jump now to the other end of the political spectrum. Forget it. I'll try to remain fixed in the extreme center. As I indicated in my earlier posts, I recognized the best and the worst in the military. The same goes for the nation as a whole. It is intellectually dishonest to take one aspect and ascribe its qualities (good or bad) as representative of an entire nation or group of people. If we are to improve this nation we have to support the good and reject the bad. If people are to paint an honest portrait of this nation and its military they can't just use one color - black or white. Gray is closer.

  • DJ (unverified)
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    Bill, you should listen to the audio, if only to hear the tone of his delivery - defiant and incensed.

    You say It is intellectually dishonest to take one aspect and ascrib its qualities (good or bad) as representative of an entire nation or group of people. Yes, you're kinda making my overall point there Bill. And that's the problem with the theme of this post intended to mark Independence Day at BlueOregon. Throughout, the thread oozes intellectual dishonesty by ascribing bad qualities of our military as representative of the whole, with hardly any mention of positives.

    One more thing Bill. Above, you reference Richard Perle's admission that the Iraq war is an illegal war. What you fail to mention is that he also said: "I think in this case international law stood in the way of doing the right thing ... international law ... would have required us to leave Saddam Hussein alone, and this would have been morally unacceptable."

    So, here's my question: How can you on the one hand dismiss US action in the Korean War (a war Congress did not declare) by saying, "South Korea can be claimed to some extent as a just war because it led eventually to the democracy..." and on the other hand condemn US action in Iraq as illegal and therefore unjust? Democracy did not come to South Korea until 34 years after the Korean War ended. Do you have a crystal ball showing you the future of Iraq three or four decades out?

    The only way to reconcile your comments on South Korea with your position on Iraq is to concede that from your point of view, history will determine how just or unjust this illegal war in Iraq really is.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    So, here's my question: How can you on the one hand dismiss US action in the Korean War (a war Congress did not declare) by saying, "South Korea can be claimed to some extent as a just war because it led eventually to the democracy..." and on the other hand condemn US action in Iraq as illegal and therefore unjust? Democracy did not come to South Korea until 34 years after the Korean War ended. Do you have a crystal ball showing you the future of Iraq three or four decades out?

    Just because the Korean War could be claimed to some extent as a just war on the basis that South Korea eventually became a democracy doesn't mean the same future will apply to Iraq. It may, but then again it may not. The British tried to convert Iraq to be part of its empire and was kicked out after losing many men. That could be the precedent for the American empire in Iraq. Only time will tell, but when we look at comparable scenarios with other empires - France in Algiers and Indo-China, Belgium and Portugal in Africa, the Netherlands in Indonesia, etc. - it appears the odds for success are against the Bush/Cheney push for empire. And the Iraqis.

  • DJ (unverified)
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    That could be the precedent for the American empire in Iraq. Sorry Bill, but if you believe America intends an empire in Iraq, you'd have to believe Germany, Japan, and South Korea are American empires today. If you really believe that, fixed in the extreme center you are not. On the fence, yes. In the center, not.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    ... if you believe America intends an empire in Iraq,...

    Perhaps you will find "Sorrows of Empire" by Chalmers Johnson more persuasive.

    ... you'd have to believe Germany, Japan, and South Korea are American empires today.

    America's empire follows a different pattern using military bases and corporations instead of governors and proconsuls. In Japan the people of Okinawa would like nothing better than get rid of the American bases on their island, but American pressure on the Japanese government thwarts the Okinawans in their desire.

  • DJ (unverified)
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    In Japan the people of Okinawa would like nothing better than get rid of the American bases on their island, but American pressure on the Japanese government thwarts the Okinawans in their desire.

    Fact: America gave Okinawa back in 1972. Added fact: Plans are on the table to move all but 5,000 US servicemen to other locations in the region. That can hardly be called "empire building."

    Okinawa was once an independent nation known as the Kingdom of the Ryukyu Islands. However, in 1609 Okinawa was conquered by force and occupied by the Japanese clan Satsuma. Yet they remained the Kingdom of the Ryukyu Islands until the Meiji Restoration took place and formed the Government of Japan. In 1879 the islands were officially recognized as the Japanese prefecture, Okinawa.

    The US military presence in Japan and on Okinawa began at the end of World War II. Although the US occupation in Japan ended in 1952, US administration continued on Okinawa until 1972. In 1951, when the San Francisco Peace Treaty was officially recognized, Okinawa legally became a possession of the United States. In 1972, control of Okinawa was reverted to Japan The US-Japan security relationship is defined by a number of documents, including the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, which commits both countries to meet common dangers, and a Status of Forces Agreement that governs the legal status of US forces and their dependents stationed in Japan. The US forces on Okinawa occupy about 10 percent of the land in the prefecture. Japan provides part of the cost of the forward deployment of US forces throughout Japan, through an annual burden-sharing payment. This payment was about $4.9 billion in fiscal year 1997.

    Much of the news has focused on complaints of a small group of Okinawan landowners who protest US use of their property for military operations. According to the US military, less than 1 percent of the 32,000 owners object to military use of the land, which falls under the US -Japan security agreement. Some Okinawans object to the noise generated by US operations, especially around the Air Force's Kadena Air Base and Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma (which are located in the middle of urban areas), and risks to civilians from serious military accidents, including crashes of aircraft. However, there is no consensus among Okinawans on the bases. Since the employment of Okinawans on U.S. bases is not inconsequential, there is even a sizable though silent constituency in favor of the status quo.

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    "Sorry Bill, but if you believe America intends an empire in Iraq, you'd have to believe Germany, Japan, and South Korea are American empires today."

    <h2>In which one do we have the $1bil embassy?</h2>
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