Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
You are not an American, at all. You might be a citizen of the US and a beneficiary of all the rights and privileges thereunto appertaining, but
you're no American.
I won't argue this. Maybe I'm not an American by the standards you--or even everyone else--hold an American to. But at the same time, as much of a
cliche as it may be, I honestly do feel that old saying "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll fight to the death for your right to say it."
Show me the nation getting ready to invade America and I'll stand right next to you on the front line if you'll have me. Show me a nation that will
make for decent PR if we invade it and I'll sit that one out.
There is a quality attached to the name American that is not attached to the condition of being a citizen. Those who would refuse the call of their
nation in dire times do not, by definition, possess the requisite character.
With all due respect Grady, what are these dire times that require me to take arms? We are being threatened by terrorist activities, I will in no way
deny that. But how exactly will me being forced to join the military prevent a bomb from going off in a bus, or another plane hitting another
building? Will I happen to be the lucky one to take out bin Laden and bring all of al Qaeda to its knees? I doubt it. Even if I were fortunate
enough to fire that particular shot, the rest of the operation would still continue, and perhaps even worse--they'd feel even greater reason to
attack the US.
Keeping in line with the above quote, I consider WWII dire times for the US, and for the world in general. Even Desert Storm I hold in higher esteem
than many previous actions, as well as the current Iraqi action. At least in Desert Storm there was an obvious invasion happening, an overt violation
of national boundaries. The initial attacks in Afghanistan in search of bin Laden I feel were necessary, and had my services been demanded at the
time I would have gone without a question.
You comment later on about "conscientious objector" status. While your statement is true, with all due respect once again, it honestly has no
bearing. I wasn't discussing trying to get out of the draft through legal means; I was saying that I would leave the country.
There was a concept I learned in a poli sci class a while back that struck me as a rather ingenious definition and blatantly obvious, and I hope I do
not come off as condescending or sounding like a school-brat in describing it here. It's called "voting with your feet." When your city council
does something fairly bad, you vote against them in the next election--rather obvious. If they do something that you just flat-out cannot live with,
if it gets really bad, then you move. Instead of voting with the ballot, well, you get the idea.
That's what I would be doing. If the leaders of this country do something that I flat out do not agree with, and I absolutely cannot live with, then
I move. There's plenty of other nations in this world that, while they aren't as good as America, are reasonable alternatives. We all have our own
opinions of what America is, and in holding with my own opinion I will always be an American no matter where I live. But if the USA turns into a
nation that I personally feel is un-American, then why should I stay here?
Based upon McCory1's knowledge of the war in Vietnam, I would suspect that he doesn't have sufficient understanding of the war on terror to pass
judgement on its validity. He would do well to think long and hard about the benefits of his citizenship and what he believes those benefits are
worth. He might also consider all those who have laid down their lives all around the world and in countless conflicts to further the cause of liberty
that he so cavalierly exercises.
I do not claim to be an expert on any war, and I honestly would appreciate you pointing out where I am wrong with my understanding of Vietnam. As far
as my claim as to Ho Chi Mihn trying to found a sovereign nation, I cite
Ho Chi Minh declares Vietnam's independence. The French refuse to acknowledge this and reoccupy Indochina as a colony.
Similar information can be found from
, or a
. Granted, it most definitely is not the whole story, but it's the start of it. I know that I cannot comment on the
validity of the war on terror. I only know what I hear on CNN, which is rare, on here, and second hand from those who half-way keep up with it. I'm
not privy to cabinet meetings or senate commitee discussions, so I'm sure there's quite a bit going on that I have absolutely no knowledge of.
I know Iraq was alledgedly harboring terrorists. I say alledgedly because I honestly don't know for sure, not because I doubt it. As far as that
goes, there could be many countries harboring terrorists that we would never expect, countries with hidden agendas that far surpass anything Saddam or
Kim Jong might have/have had. It depends on how paranoid you want to be. I know Saddam was supposed to have had WMD's. If he did and there wasn't
any way that we would've been able to stop them with NORAD and all of our monitoring and anti-ICBM technology, then we really should be spending a
bit more on R&D. Yes, he could have supplied terrorists with them, but so could any of the other nuclear capable nations, even those we think are our
Will any of this fighting ever stop terrorism? I don't think so, unless we completely level and restructure all of those countries that are against
us in our own image. I personally don't think that's the way to do it, but of course I'm not running the show (I can hear the sighs of relief
right as I type....) I'm a firm believer in "to each their own," and as ECK referenced, "turn the other cheek."
In regards to those who have died for our liberties, I have nothing but the utmost respect for them, although I'm sure you'll find that hard to
believe. In regards to those who have died for a politician's glory, they have my respect as well, and my honest sorrow that they had to die. But
there is most definitely a dividing line between the two. There was a point in time where we might have ended up speaking German, Italian, or
Japanese. I highly doubt we'd ever have been speaking Vietnamese, Korean, or Iraqi. Those men and women had no reason to die. They could have been
the next president, governor, mayor, scientist, anything that may have benefited society even in the slightest. Even if it was just the person who
gave you a smile while you filled your tank and made your day a touch brighter. They didn't need to die.
If that makes me un-American, then so be it.