Tuesday, September 11, 2007

JMO - War against terrorists

I was reading the papers I normally do several times at week, especially after listening to the full six hours of testimony by General Patraeus and Ambassador Crocker yesterday. Interesting stuff. And USA Today has an interesting summary of the different reports on Iraq. It's worth cutting out and reading.

Anyway, while reading the USA Today front section I noticed a full page ad by FreedomWatch. Well, they need someone to explain the facts and reality to them. It's not a war against terrorism. According to my American Oxford Dictionary, which I keep by my desk, the definition of terrrorism is, "the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims."

Got that? Terrorism is used by every nation in and out of war. That's every nation, and especially the United States. We fire bombed Dresden into the ground in WW II killing almost all of the civilian population. We dropped two nuclear bombs on Japanese cities. We tried to bomb North Vietnam and Cambodia into the Stone Age. We dropped tons upon tons of Agent Orange on the jungles of Vietnam irrespective of the civilian population.

And for what? Victory? It was anything and everything in the name of political victory. Remember it was a war against Hitler and then a war against communism. It woudn't suprise me if the U.S. is one of the biggest killers of innocent civilians in modern warfare after Hitler and Stalin. But we did ours in the name of democracy and we won so we can claim the right it wasn't terrorism?

In Iraq we fighting terrorists. Plain and simple. A bunch of different groups with their own agendas against other Iraqis and against occupying forces - remember we invaded, attacked and are occupying Iraq in the name of something - I forget because George Bush keeps changing the reasons since January 2003. We would be or do anything different if we were an Iraqi?

And now we have partitioned off and isolated every part of Baghdad, and we control the access to each of the areas with checkpoints requiring residents have cards to be detained, or worse, arrested. We're using isolation and intimidation against a civilian population to "save and protect them." Somehow, that sure sounds like terrorism to me. But we're not terrorists?

I don't question terrorists attacked us on September 9, 2001, but they also killed innocent civilians from 87 other countries, not just the US. So, let's get off our high horse and be a part of the world. We don't seem to understand what's is like to be the oppressed anymore, and we treat everyone like the enemy because they're not "like us."

But does that give us the right to claim our acts aren't terrorism and theirs is?

America isn't about flag waving and preaching "values" while oppressing another nation's innocent people. America is about democracy and working with nations to be a partner for them to become the nation they want, not what we, meaning military-industrial complex, want. It's about their freedom, not ours.

And before you go ranting at me, read my thoughts on patriotism. I'm a Vietnam-era vet and having served my country, I can say what I want. And I'll defend the right of everyone, even those disagreeing with me, the right speak their mind, and not oppress the words of anyone, especially if you don't like them.

You can't call yours patriotism and mine not because I disagre. We're all partriots because America is about that, the rights of the individual and their freedom of speech. Especially if you serve to defend it.

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