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Tuesday, July 04, 2006


I am not a nationalist. Nationalism brings to mind the Germans who allowed themselves to be misled by Hitler; Mussolini and his squadristi; and more recently, the Serbian Christian thugs who were inspired by Milosevic to commit genocide against thousands of Kosovar Albanian Muslims.

I have never been impressed by flag waving, blaring anthems, or uniformed masses marching before reviewing stands. The nationalistic parades of Nazis, Soviets, and the Communist Chinese that played on the television news and in old films when I was growing up, quite frankly, left me cold. I find similar demonstrations by American hegemonists equally repugnant.

Displays of military might like artillery being dragged down the street and fighter planes doing flybys in formation seem more a symbolic cover for the inadequacies of mini tyrants like Kim Jong Il of Korea than an expression of freedom loving Americans. Freedom and militarism are opposites - to embrace one is to relinquish the other.

I do not celebrate nationalism and militarism on the Fouth of July - I celebrate INDEPENDENCE without all of the jingoistic trappings!

So...Thank You NEW YORK TIMES for finally doing your patriotic duty!
Nicholas D. Kristoff put it best when he called for us to "be wary of Mr. Bush's effort to tame the press. Watchdogs can be mean, dumb, and obnoxious, but it would be even more dangerous to trade them in for lap dogs."

Participatory democracy requires that the public be informed thus the
"secret" doings of Bush, Cheney, and their operatives must be exposed. These men are employees of the American people and have to answer to us. Bush and Cheney have squandered any credibility once afforded them so therefore cannot be trusted with the power inherent to the offices they occupy.

Keeping INDEPENDENCE in mind, I applaud the values expressed on the flag pictured above. I have just ordered a magnet and several "Embrace Democracy" window clings to adorn my car and my living room window. You too, can "show your support for a strong and vital democracy" by clicking here. Perhaps our complacent fellow Americans need to be reminded that "Debate, Dissent, and Question" are the basic tools wielded by responsible citizens to maintain democratic freedom.

Today my family and I will celebrate INDEPENDENCE together by discussing current events while enjoying a simple multicultural meal of grilled bratwurst with good German mustard, caramelized onions, sauerkruat and potatoes, Greek salad, melon, and Margaritas. I hope that you and yours likewise enjoy the day and each others company!

Here's to discussion and debate!
Mmmmmm... My son sure makes a good Margarita!
..................Kitchen Window Woman...............................


Blogger DEANBERRY said...

Purge the CFR at the voting booth in 2006. America’s freedom depends on it: http://deanberryministries.org/index.html

11:28 PM  
Anonymous Paladin said...

I'm intrigued by your statement that Freedom and militarism are opposites - to embrace one is to relinquish the other.

Upon what reasoning do you base that?

I would think it fairly apparent that a society could enjoy both states simultaneously.

Should one exist in a perfect utopia (ie, no negative external forces to contend with) freedom could be enjoyed without militarism (a policy of aggressive military preparedness.)

One could easily find himself under the thumb of a brutal dictator, who uses militarism to quash personal freedoms. So militarism without freedom is a possibility. But this would be a horrific society in which to live, and I would think other citizens of the world would be morally compelled to end this brutal regime.

So upon what do you base your assertion that they are mutually exclusive?

3:03 PM  
Anonymous JollyRoger said...

Paladin, as always, completely ignores the evidence before him.

Nationalist, militarist regimes invariably become either totalitarian or near-totlitarian States. Eisenhower (a guy who might have had some insight into such things) knew it, I know it, and all thinking people understand it.

Places that are constantly projecting force outward inevitably do so against the will of the population (as we have seen in the cases of Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq. Not to mention the lesson of the USSR.) States that insist on doing this will have to repress the will of the people, or they will have their Governmental structure fundamentally altered.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Thank you for a very patriotic post. Nationalism and patriotism are often confused (especially by wingnuts) but they're totally different. There is an excellent Newsweek column that clearly spells out the differences between nationalism and patriotism. (I just now posted about it -- hope I don't sound like a hustler or a used-car salesman :) )

12:45 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

I have several books that address the tolalitarian nature of militarism. Militarists are outwardly aggressive while purporting to protect "the state" or "freedom" as claimed by the current American Administration. Inwardly, militarists protect their hierarchial organization with cult like devotion. Military organizations will always protect themselves first through manipulation and lies. Truth is their most feared enemy.

The military's covering up of recent misdoings and war crimes committed by members of the American military is nothing new - it has been going on for years. I learned during my stint in the US Army NEVER to believe or trust anything the American military says.

Perhaps armchair militarists could better serve their country by studying the writings of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Ike sure was something!

It looks like we were thinking along the same line. I went to your link and printed the Newsweek article. It looks like a good one. I am going to have some iced tea and read it. I also did a search and found that Wikipedia has a pretty good breakdown on the defination of and development of militarism. It is importamt to educate people as to the difference between militarism and patriotism.

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Paladin said...

I've kept coming back to this set of posts and re-reading because something was just not sitting right... finally, I think I've put my finger on it and I'm anxious to see the liberal's response to my question...

When does a government cross the line from simple military preparedness to militarism?

3:17 PM  

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