- To hell with the pig... I'm going to Switzerland.

That Pesky Constitution (Monday, July 4, 2005)

Continuing my Independence Day diatribe, the first thing I did when I got up this morning, was to find a copy of the Declaration of Independence and read it thoroughly. George W. Bush, his administration, and the whole damn GOP should read it thoroughly. It talks about unalienable rights, and governments deriving their power by the consent of the governed. It has a list of grievances with the King, some of which seem to have found their way into modern politics, in particular holding people without trial, appointing judges specifically to do his bidding, for interfering with free trade. I won't even get started on the abuses of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. It's sad that Congress could even contemplate amending the Constitution to define marriage or to ban flag burning. The first is an individual matter of conscience, and clearly protected under the separation of church and state, and by the uninfringed free exercise of religion — including the exercise of no religion at all. The second is so obviously speech under the First Amendment, it appalls me to even have to mention it.

Then of course there are the souls being held in Cuba. They are clearly being denied protection under the Fourth Amendment which protects people from search and seizure without a warrant, and under the Sixth Amendment which requires a speedy and public trial and allows the accused to confront his accuser. The fact that it is in Cuba should have no bearing, as they are not prisoners of war, and not subject to the Geneva Convention, and they are being held by the United States Government. In Article One, Section 9 of the Constitution of the United States of America, it clearly states that "the privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended." If your law or Latin is rusty, that means that any prisoner of the United States government must be permitted to file a petition to the courts to be heard. The only exceptions are rebellion and invasion, neither of which apply here, since the prisoners are not American citizens, and far from ever being in the United States, they were kidnapped by the American government from their own country, which they were trying to defend against our invasion.

I said I wasn't going to get started on this topic, but oh well. It just burns me up to hear the media (influenced, of course, by the government) talking about "terrorists" in Afghanistan and Iraq. These "terrorists" are patriots trying to defend their homelands against an all but unstoppable military invasion and occupation that threatens to completely destroy their way of life. The concept of a "Free State" is not a universal ideal. There are people who want to live in a religious state, who feel that it is appropriate to govern based on religious doctrine. We should guarantee the rights of those nations, not invade them! If those countries were powerful enough to meet the United States in normal military operations, there would be no "terrorism". But since this is not the case, the patriots of the countries we have invaded have had to resort to guerilla warfare, as their only recourse.

Using modern American ideas, one might consider our Founding Fathers to be terrorists. The Boston Tea Party was clearly an act of terror. Or rather it was an act of civil disobedience designed to rally support around the nationalist cause. The Declaration of Independence was a declaration of open rebellion and the beginning of armed conflict.

I'm tired of the term "terrorist". At worst, they are "politically motivated criminals". At best, they are revolutionaries, freedom fighters, or patriots, fighting against all odds to preserve their way of life. If an overwhelming force invaded America, you can bet that even after the United States Military was defeated, you'd have armed citizens forming insurgencies to battle the invading forces. That was the whole point of the Second Amendment — the right to keep and bear arms: so that we can protect ourselves from invading forces, and if necessary replace our current government, should it fall to far into the realm of tyranny.

Americans do not understand why people would blow themselves up for a cause. In the Catholic tradition, at least, there is an absolute prohibition on suicide, and this leads to the assumption that anyone who would commit suicide is insane. Apparently, in Islamic culture it is the ultimate sacrifice. I know that for centuries in Japan that suicide was an honorable way to die. It is unfortunate that Muslims would use this method, because while it speaks volumes about their convictions to other Muslims and to educated open-minded people around the world, their message is entirely lost on those to whom they would wish to communicate — the Judeo-Christian invaders. My point, is that (for example) in Israel, the Palestinians have been completely displaced and are a people lost in the dessert for the past fifty years. Other Arab countries will not take them in, and they had made but little headway politically. To them, violence seemed their only recourse, and violent suicide makes the action transcend murder and become a sublime sacrifice.

Unfortunately, the reality is that violence only breeds more violence, and it is up to the greater power to wage peace. Invasions, suspension of rights, the destruction of a way of life: it must all stop or there will be no peace. It is time that Americans remember the principals on which the nation was founded, and look at the root cause of the troubles that plague us. A return to the enlightened views of the past — of equality, of freedom, and of respect — would go a long way to the establishment of peace.

—Brian (7/4/2005 1:58 PM)


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