In launching the Iraq war and the war on terror, George Bush said “you’re either with us or against us.”
We now know that the entire justification for the Iraq War was false from the get-go. And Saddam Hussein – while an asshole and tyrant – did not pose a threat to the West.
So what about Americans (us included) who protested the Iraq War at the time? Were we – as loudly proclaimed by those pushing for war – “Saddam-lovers”, “apologists for Saddam” and “propagandists” for Iraq?
The same thing is true for the frothing-at-the-mouth warmongers and Putin …
Specifically, Putin is an authoritarian asshole. The Russian government spies on everyone, and cracks down on free speech. If someone living in Russia criticizes Putin, Lord only knows what would happen to them. I’m very grateful that I was born in America, and not Russia.
As we’ve previously noted:
Putin is certainly no saint. A former KGB agent, Putin’s net worth is estimated at some $40 billion dollars … as he has squeezed money out of the Russian economy by treating the country as his own personal fiefdom. And all sides appear to have dirt on their hands in the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
But knuckleheads who label all Americans who criticize U.S. foreign policy towards Russia as “Putin-lovers” or “propagandists” for Russia are as bad as Bush during the Iraq War.
Those of us who criticized the Iraq War before it started have been proven right. On the other hand, those trying to shut us up were wrong.
That’s what patriotism is all about …
Postscript. Those who love America are willing to criticize her actions when they are stupid:
“It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error.” – United States Supreme Court in American Communications Association v. Douds
“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country.” – Teddy Roosevelt
“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.” – Teddy Roosevelt
“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” – Mark Twain
“The citizen who sees his society’s democratic clothes being worn out and does not cry it out, is not a patriot, but a traitor.” – Mark Twain
“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” – Thomas Jefferson
“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” – Attributed to Thomas Jefferson (but not confirmed)
“To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men.” – Abraham Lincoln
“All that is necessary for the forces of evil to prevail in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke, British statesman
“Liberty has never come from government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of government. The history of liberty is a history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of limitations of government power, not the increase of it.” – Woodrow Wilson
“Those who are willing to trade freedom for security deserve neither freedom nor security.” – Benjamin Franklin
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Activism is the rent we pay for living on the planet.” – Alice Walker
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