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Iraqi Declaration of Independence (words by Jefferson)

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posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 06:01 AM
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I must confess that I make no claim to the original thought for this comparison. I was stirred to investigate further by the UK satirists Bremner, Bird, and Fortune but the point is a good one.

In 1776 Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. In it he wrote a list of justifications why Independence from the British was necessary. The "oppression" was laid directly at the feet of King George III.

Please re-read that list and ask yourself if your new 'King George' is just as bad and you'll see that the USA has become exactly what it once despised.

And ask yourself would an Iraqi today be justified in using almost every piece of the Declaration to describe the actions of 'King' George W Bush ?



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 mean time exposed to all dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws of Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States: For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For depriving us of many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury: For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments: For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with Power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. 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, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & 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.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions.

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.


usinfo.state.gov...




posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 03:28 PM
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Without necessarily defending G-dub, allow me to make a few observations in the name of fairness.


Originally posted by John bull 1
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

There is little if any analogy between the British occupation of the colonies and the American occupation of Iraq. The military which was rendered independent and superior in the former case was the military subordinate to the government which was responsible to the colonists.
The army which is independent and superior to Iraqi authorities is not an Iraqi army, but an American one which is osstensibly carrying out the reasonable duty, supported by historical precedent, of occupying and pacifying a vanquished hostile power.
It can obviously be argued that US forces are not behaving in a manner conducive to their supposed goal, and therefore might be assumed to be doing something else, however this does not make the relationship between an occupied foreign power and its occupier analogous to the situation of a citizen being oppressed by an army which marches under his own flag.
Feel free to argue that the war is immoral or illegal though. I don't necessarily respect either of those principles (international law or morality- the former because it is arbitrary, only acknowledged where convenient, the later because I consider morality and ad populum fallacy), but at least you would have a fairly sound argument there, and I would make no common cause with Bush as far as his true goals are concerned, although I would consider his means theoretically valid.



For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:


Again there is a distinct difference because the US is occupying a defeated belligerent. (Yes, we initated the conflict. That does not necessarily cause Iraq not to qualify as a belligerent.)


For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States: For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world


American troops killing in Iraq are no more murderers than the British who opened fire at the grossly exagerated "Boston Massacre", to which Jefferson presumably refers. Americans who had been protesting and throwing snow started throwing rocks. A British soldier went down, the British defended themselves. Likewise the Iraqis (and non-Iraqis who have travelled to Iraq to prosecute a Jihad against us) are making themselves combatants and can legitimately be fired upon.


For depriving us of many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury: For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:


Big difference between those captured during martial conflict between sovreign powers and citizens treated in that manner by their own government.


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.


Last I heard, nobody is being drafted into the Iraqi army.


He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions.


This is far and away the most analgous charge in the list, except in one respect. The American colonists wanted Britain to make war on the Indians. They were mad at Britain for stirring them up in the French and Indian War and not finishing the job. Take Bacon's Rebellion as an example of this. For America, having stirred up Al Qaida in Iraq now, failure to fight them would infact be more similar to the offenses which Jefferson refers to than to simply leave. Granted that in stirring them up we've pretty much already committed the sin, but the implications aren't what some might want them to be.


To sum up- The kindest thing I could say about Bush is that he and everyone who in his administration who has contributed to this war effort are woefully inept in matters of strategy.
While I could be taken for a Bush supporter in that as a general principle I do not believe that unilateral belligerence can or should be forgone as a foreign policy instrument, partially as a result of my rather cynical (i'd prefer to call them pragmatic) views on international law, the UN, and morality, I nevertheless consider myself wholly without favor for him at this time because it has become evident that if he and his administration are not incompitent then they simply aren't representing the interests of the United States first and foremost.

For those reasons, I have to take a few exceptions to the parallel you draw between the causus belli of our revolution and the reasons which could be cited for the "Iraqi" insurgency (perhaps more aptly referred to as the Fundementalist Islamic Insurgency in Iraq).



posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 05:59 PM
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America being compared to King George is inaccurate in my opinion. A better comparison would be to compare America to France who helped us during OUR revolutionary war. If France had occupied the colonies during the revolutionary war, but only for a short time until we could build up our own military, what would people be saying about France?



posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 07:05 PM
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In several ways Herman is right, but unfortunately not in the ways he might think.

France's decision to aid our revolution was purely selfish. It was calculated to harm a rival and help France regain influence in a region of the world where political and military developments had recently left them impotent. This meshes nicely with some of the goals America has achieved by the invasion of Iraq, namely spiting the UN, especially France and Germany, while simultaneously regaining a strategic presence in the region which we have had very little pull in for recent decades due to the fall of the Shah in Iran, not to mention the further slippage of our grip on the region as Turkey moved towards EU membership and Israel's military might became threatened by the growing specter of an Iranian deterrent.

Another parallel can be drawn in that not long after France aided the United States, they sought undue influence over American foreign policy, eventually causing America to prosecute an undeclared "Quasi-War" against them at sea. Similiarly, it is to be expected that if America ever really releases Iraq, and they should stray, that we will attempt to put them in their place.

Most of all though, you ask what people would have said about France if they had occupied America after the revolution. This is irrelevant.
First of all it is a false analogy, in that France was our ally in the preceding war, whereas America was Iraq's enemy in the preceding war.

Additionally, you suggest that France would have been justified though condemned in occupying America after the revolution. The fly in the buttermilk is that they wouldn't have been justified. You are attempting to carry the presupposed justice of what they actually did to an entirely separate action which they might hypothetically have taken.

Let me draw up a similar situation to demonstrate the logical implications of your question.

One day, I went to a gas station, found a robbery in progress, foiled the robbery, bought a pack of cigarettes, and went home without doing anything wrong. Everyone agrees that what I did was great.

Later somebody else goes to another gas station, finds a robbery in progress, foils the robbery, then for no reason at all shoots the clerk in the face after stopping the robbery.

You could then come along and say "Sure, shooting that clerk in the face seems awful to some people, but people would have said the same thing about Vagabond if he'd done that after stopping the robbery, which is unfair since we all know that what Vagabond did was good."


That's what I love about being in the middle politically- I can fire in any direction and never hit anyone who is on my side.
Just because some of what America is up to in Iraq is permissable, at least in my judgement, does not vindicate the entire affair.



posted on Oct, 4 2005 @ 02:12 AM
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OK. I think I understand your point.

It's Different............................ because it's us.

Kind of poor responses really. You're taking the comparisons too far so as to undermine them. Yeh, King George III didn't have tanks either.

[edit on 4-10-2005 by John bull 1]



posted on Oct, 4 2005 @ 12:31 PM
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Originally posted by John bull 1
OK. I think I understand your point.

It's Different............................ because it's us.

Kind of poor responses really. You're taking the comparisons too far so as to undermine them. Yeh, King George III didn't have tanks either.

[edit on 4-10-2005 by John bull 1]


I certainly never expected this sort of a reply from you JB1. I suppose we are all human though, and humans, being so greatly composed of water, will often take the path of least resistance. It is far easier to be dismissive than to engage in a discussion which respects the subtle but important differences between the two situations.

It's not different because it's us, it's different because it's different. You have made a false analogy. If the war in Iraq were taking place instead in Puerto Rico, or an American state, your case would be far stronger.

I agree with you in principle; the war in Iraq is either A. Being prosecuted in a ridiculous manner. or B. Being conducted in such a way as to yield maximum benefit to interests other than those of the United States (perhaps more in the interest of certain corporations to which many prominent Republicans, including Dick Cheney, have ties), or both. That is all well and good. The problem arises in that you have made a bad analogy which takes the case against the war in Iraq unrealistically far in hopes of relating it to the American Revolution, which presumably would cause many Americans to see your point of view if the analogy was valid.

1. Iraq is a sovreign nation which lost a war to the United States.

2. Troops have a legitimate right to defend themselves with violence when violence is taken against them. This undermines both Jefferson's point in reference to the Boston Massacre and it's analog in Iraq where US troops are doing quite a bit of killing.

3. Jefferson's point on the transport of individuals overseas for farce trial has no bearing on what is happening in Iraq for several reasons.

A. The Declaration of Independence was made before the fullscale outbreak of the revolutionary war, and we can deduce from this that those taken by the British were not captured in the course of military conflict, and thus could not be treated as prisoners of war (or any similar make-believe classification which Bush and co might see fit to invent), but those taken in Iraq are infact being taken in the course of military conflict and as such are POWs (don't bother trying to trap me into defending the "enemy combatant" thing- I won't go for it).

B. The individuals taken by the British were British Citizens, but those taken by America in Iraq are not American citizens. Clearly to be treated like a foreign prisoner is more appropriate when the prisoner in question is in fact a foreigner.


Poor replies by left foot JB. I've treated your point fairly, I've taken the time to build my argument on reason, and I invested as much energy against Herman's reply as I did against yours. You meet this with 5 mocking and dismissive sentences which make no attempt to engage in an exercise of reason. Tell me more about poor responses; if necessary, use words.

Just to humor you, I'll include a "good response":
JB you're infallible- I implicitly agree with with anything and everything bad you can possibly say about "King George".




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