Tag Archives: war

Liberty

Police State or State of Insanity?

Below is a video of a man in Texas who was arrested and disarmed by officers after someone called the police. Watch the video and let’s discuss.

Two Sides

In my attempt to remain level headed I want to examine both sides of the story here.

The Officer 

On one side we have the police officers. They received a call about a man carrying a rifle while walking down a Texas road. Their heart begins to pound because anytime you have to respond to a man with a gun your life could be in danger. Guns do have the potential to kill and when entering in a situation as such one must be prepared.

The police see the man and an intimidating weapon and a slight panic sets in. They ask the man to turn over his weapon and he gives them an attitude. This automatically makes the situation worse. The cops stop following protocol and act in self interest. Their first concern is disarming a man who seems aggressive – this isn’t by the book, but things are moving so fast that it’s easy to see why mistakes are made.

Gun violence has been all the talk on the news and in precincts everywhere. Tensions are high and protecting life is top priority.

The Armed Citizen

The man is a veteran and purposely chose rural Texas as a place to call home. He chose rural Texas because he believed that values he holds dear are upheld here. He has been desensitized by weapons after carrying one for several years in Afghanistan. He is a proud man and fought to defend the rights of all Americans and he wants to exerciser his to the utmost – that includes legally carrying a gun.

When the officer stops him he feels violated. This is America. This is Texas. He is just a man protecting himself and his son. The officer, who is a little panicked, tries to grab the citizen’s weapon away. This is it – unacceptable – this is exactly the kind of fascism and lawlessness the former soldier fought for to protect. It is inexcusable that any man try to take those rights away – the ones he was literally willing to die for.

The citizen is infuriated. This stamps on everything he believes in – and his son is there to watch.

Clarity

When you see it from both sides it kind of becomes obvious why there was so much conflict. Both sides had a good point, but both failed to realize the other had their own perspective. I would even go as far as to say that perhaps neither were wrong completely, but both failed to see the other person’s point of view. Both were hyper aware of the gun and less aware of the situation. The cop was trying to protect his own life (as far as he knew) and the citizen was trying to protect his rights and beliefs (which he was obviously very passionate about).

How the Media has distorted Judgement

When I first watched this video I felt a lot of emotion. Then as I contemplated it – I realized a lot of those emotions were not my own. They were implanted by the media. They were thoughts and ideas that someone else told me to think. Carefully formulated rhetoric designed by the anti-gun and pro-gun lobbies to persuade judgement. It seems like this has affected almost everyone’s ability to judge the situation without bias.

We know the ideas: Guns are bad. People with guns kill people. Universal background checks. Common-sense laws. The Government is bad. The Government wants to take guns away so they can control us. Blah blah blah.

Maybe what we need to do is sit down and rethink this whole issue. Forget the guns and think PEOPLE. We need to educate people. We need to change the culture. People are both the problem and solution.

Side Note: The New Vietnam?

I also see a frightening pattern regarding returning veterans. Will this be a new pattern? Returning vets realizing they fought in Iraq based on a lie the Government sold based on Nuclear weapons that didn’t exist. A war that was never declared and never ended? Will proud vets return home to a population that quickly dismissed their cause and doesn’t appreciate their sacrifice? In the end I can see nothing good from the kind of endless war we’re in. History forgotten is quickly repeated.

war

North Korea and the Possibility of Nuclear War

The U.S. will be adding 14 new ground based interceptors in response to threats made by North Korea. This comes at a time when the white house claims they can’t even afford public tours. So I have to ask myself what’s going on here.

I have two key theories:

1. This is an excuse for additional military spending and continued weaponization of the country. North Korea is the new “terrorist threat” in an new fearmongering tactic to prevent American’s from complaining about increases in military spending while public services continue to be cut. Simply, a new threat to justify cutting teaching jobs while maintaining the bloated military, or

2. Is the situation with North Korea much, much more serious than we thought?

Drones and Children

Someone I know sent me this link today. It is a list of 47 children who have perished due to Drone strikes under the Obama administration.

I think this list is meant to be an interesting juxtaposition to the “crying for the children” Obama presented to the public after the tragedy of Newton, Connecticut.  Leaving many Americans wondering what makes the Newton County children any more a tragedy than the deaths of 47 innocent brown children over the past few years.

Grey Area

Of course it isn’t that black and white. Some might argue that the end justifies the means as related to the deaths of 47 middle-eastern children. They are casualties of war – a sad consequence of terrorism and radical Islam even. War is dirty and the loss of innocent life inevitable while those children slaughtered in Newton remains completely unjustified and purposeless.

Still – I can’t help wonder why Obama doesn’t occasionally take a step back and express his deep regret for every innocent life lost as result of Drone attacks – especially the children. Especially in a war against “terror” and not against any particular nation.

Doesn’t the Administration owe it to every country to apologize for the death of their citizens as result of our mission to kill a particular individual? Maybe not – I don’t know how this works. What is the etiquette in a war like this? And no doubt a legion of right-wingers would be waiting to pounce and call Obama weak at the first apology uttered.

Reflection

I guess what I’m saying here is that tragedy is everywhere and we should take time to reflect on the cost of war. We should appreciate and mourn the loss of every life – not just those in our own nation.

For myself – I wonder why the death of 22 children in Newton is so much more difficult a pill to swallow than the death of 47 children in some distant land I can’t fully conceptualize? This post goes out to all 69 of the innocent lives lost as result of someone else’s mistakes.  A sad reality of the world we live.

U.S. International Relations: Where is our place?

I have read a variety of blog posts and articles lately regarding the United States’ role as related to international affairs. We are arguable the most influential country in the world so I think it’s fair to say that when we as a country speak others listen. What is the moral obligation of such a country and have we overstepped our boundaries?

Overwhelmingly I think almost everyone would agree we have gone to far. In fact, I think this is almost intuitive.

Even if most people don’t realize that our Government is directly responsible for the coo of numerous democratically (and not democratically) elected leaders for their own political gain, that we have smuggled weapons, facilitated the drug trade, participated in the assassination of leaders, and much more – most people still agree that the Government has overstepped its boundaries.

Even our aid is bad medicine. Who are we as one nation to have such influence on the way others live there lives? Especially when the impact is a negative one. Our “aid” in the continent of Africa, for example, has been proven again and again to have resulted in the perpetuation of poverty and violence. Far from eradicate their problems we have only magnified them. Yet we still feel this need to intervene – is it our culture?

We have even hurt ourselves. We are trillions in debt as a country, yet we send billions in “aid” to other countries every year. In what world that makes sense I’m not sure. We struggle with poverty, natural disasters, crime, and culture still today! So why do we as a nation feel so justified in direct and physical intervention elsewhere?

Ask yourself this. Will history define us as a modern day beacon of peace and hope or will history call us a Tyrant? I think we already know the answer to that question.

Where do we go from here?

In the meantime “peace loving liberals” will demand that the richest of our citizens fork over more tax dollars – further funding the Government. We will continuously demand social justice. Our bills will continue to go unpaid and I promise you nothing will change.

This is fact: We cannot improve this nation with a foreign policy of imperialism and intervention. If anyone has any illusion anything will change here at home without a change elsewhere they are delusional. If things do get better – consider this – it will be paid for at the expense of some poor brown bastard you’ve never met.

If our economy gets better, if our products become cheaper, if oil prices go down, or if the United States manages to start enough wars and sell enough weapons to kick-start our economy back into shape ask yourself: Why.

Your solution to social and wealth inequality is to to put more tax dollars in the pocket of the biggest Governmental tyrant in world history? Laughable.

Smarties on Facebook comment on the US Embassy Attack in Libya

Another awesome blog post by the liberty loving Holden!

Why do I bother with Facebook? Is it because I’m bored? Because I like self-torture? Because I’m just a lame ass with no life? No, it is actually because I have a few female “friends” who sometimes post pictures of themselves dressed up and looking fine. And I like to trade gaffes with a few good buddies on there too, especially my boy Atty!

Apart from the hotties and my buddies, I don’t know why I remain “friends” with the majority of the other geniuses on the dumbass social network. Maybe it’s to help remind me that there are plenty of super awesome, well rounded smarties out there just dying to spout off their half-witted opinions and draw people like me into fruitless, dead end arguments.

Today’s WINNING post of the day comes from a former Army Ranger I went to high school with. He’s actually a pretty decent guy. I see him around town from time to time and he’s fun to have a quick chat with, great sense of humor, and always has funny stories. But the guy has totally been brainwashed by the military.

In this guy’s eyes America is THE moral force in the Universe. We are justified to march into any land and assert our ethical authority. We are the global police force for good. He believes in a strong police presence in all aspects of daily life and proudly boasts that he, as an officer of the law practices a healthy “Catch and Release” program, meaning if you aren’t guilty, what do you have to worry about.

I guess he’s never heard of the concept of Innocent until Proven Guilty…

Suddenly he’s not feeling like such a nice guy anymore. Suddenly… he feels like a Nazi overlord with a whimsical sense of humor and a few decent Hitler jokes he quietly whispers in your ear before blowing smoke in your face and screaming at you to get back in line and show him your papers!

Today he was commenting on the American Embassy attacks in Libya. While I think it’s upsetting our embassy got ran over and Americans died, I’m wondering why the fuck we’re there in the first place.

Oh yeah, it’s because WE INVADED THEM AND INSERTED OURSELVES THERE!

Instead of commenting on this guy’s post, I’ll just leave my comment here and you guys can have the conversation with me. At least we might have some intelligent conversation in this venue.

My comment: “What business did we have being in Libya anyway? We killed Gadhafi for what? Oil? Because he pissed a few European leaders off? We rained bombs on them then put our castle up on their land. If this were done to us, would you not expect the same behavior against our aggressors putting up shop on our sovereign soil?”

Feel free to blast or praise in the comments.

-Holden

“When the drones hit, they don’t see children.”

Drones have replaced Guantánamo as the recruiting tool of choice for militants; in his 2010 guilty plea, Faisal Shahzad, who had tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square, justified targeting civilians by telling the judge, “When the drones hit, they don’t see children.”

We are fighting “Muslim Extremist” we are told. People who want to kill American’s because we are rich and free. They hate us because we are Christians. The people in the middle east are insane, violent, and hateful. That’s why they tell us we are at war – with terrorism.

We have so successfully taken the human element out of battle that it barely touches our heart. We barely find even the most mild of interest in the headlines. “12 killed by Drones in Pakistan”, “Drone strike on Iran border”, and the list goes on. We are killing terrorist, not humans, we are at war with terrorism, not people, and killing is as easy as a video game when young men fly missiles into the homes of our enemy even with their family inside – I guess killing children doesn’t serve to radicalize anyone. Right?

War should be gruesome, grotesque, and bloody. That only serves to remind the people how horrible it is. When we take those elements out – the wars never end, the killing never ends.

Plus – other countries are watching. What future effect does our actions have?

Justly or not, drones have become a provocative symbol of American power, running roughshod over national sovereignty and killing innocents. With China and Russia watching, the United States has set an international precedent for sending drones over borders to kill enemies.

Muslim Extremist
People are people. People are motivated by survival, anger, and the need to take action. It is all too easy to blame terrorism on religion. “They are Muslim’s who hate Christians and Jews.” Is that really the case? Even if it is true for a very select few – how much easier is the United States making it on their recruitment efforts?

Would you rise up against your enemy if a Drone strike killed your wife and children, destroyed your home, evaded your lands?

How many terrorist attacks have their been in Japan or Costa Rica – two countries without a military? Think about it.

There have been at least 2000 deaths (publicly acknowledged by the government) since 2004 caused by Drone attacks. Estimated loss of civilian life is unknown.

Loss of Liberty in America
It is foolish to believe that militarism has not harmed us at home as well. We have given up an almost infinite amount of privacy and liberty to aid our “war on terror”.

The Patriot act made it legal for the Government to invade our privacy – all in the name of safety. How many years will that legislation haunt us after the fighting is over? As we speak American citizens are being murdered without trial when they found themselves on the President’s “Kill List”.

Even if they are criminals – which I am sure many are – can we really justify the death of an American citizen without trial? Can we justify blatant violations of the constitution? What presidence does this set for future use by the military? Who makes these decisions, who decides if you are an enemy, who has that right if not the people themselves? A trial by one’s peers is the only justice. Is it not true that our liberties are most important to us in times of war than in times of peace? We must uphold them not when it is easy, but when it is most difficult!

What about the Long Term?

Mr. Blair, the former director of national intelligence, said the strike campaign was dangerously seductive. “It is the politically advantageous thing to do — low cost, no U.S. casualties, gives the appearance of toughness,” he said. “It plays well domestically, and it is unpopular only in other countries. Any damage it does to the national interest only shows up over the long term.”

Will our children be better off because of this war? Will drone attacks help the world in the long run? Is this a popular ploy that keeps American casualties low and pole numbers high – yet makes death tolerable and other countries despise us? These are important questions for our future. Before you support the war effort decide for yourself what type of future our actions are building. Is this a war for a means to an end or perpetual – will killing and war be like maintenance on a car. Necessary to maintain our spending and superpower status? I think you know the truth already.

Peace is sustainable, War is not
$1,452,000,000,000 in direct spending. That doesn’t include loss of productivity at home, life, indirect costs, other Government agencies like the FBI, CIA, and more.

Countries overstretch, go bankrupt, make enemies they either have to destroy completely or fight with forever, powerful countries become weak from war, and are eventually overtaken by the strong. That will be are fate if we cannot end this perpetual war.

It’s not like the days of antiquity either – when two kings could meet in the battlefield and come to a peace agreement and end it all. Rather we have made enemies, many of them, spread across the world. There is no single person we can come to an agreement with to end the fighting.

Rather our only strategy can be a long term peace strategy. We must build rapport, respect, and trust with our enemies in hope we one day become friends. Without that we will suffer the same fate as all other great empires.

Summary – A Foreign Policy of Peace
If you are a conservative that supports the war consider these facts:
1. It is a fallacy that terrorism is born out of Islam. The truth is their religion unites them with commonality and their hatred, anger, and radicalization is developed over time.
2. We are breeding a culture of radicalization and anti-Americanism in countries abroad. More war will only breed more war. Peace is the only option to stop this process.
3. The use of Drones is immoral. It desensitizes us from the cost of taking a life and makes us look insensitive to the rest of the world. It also establishes a precedence for other world powers.
4. The short term cost of this War is costly.
5. The long term cost of this War is even more costly. (perpetual war, perpetual enemies, bankruptcy, the fall of an empire, radicalization)
6. The loss of Liberties at home is happening now – using “the war on terror” as an excuse.
7. We are setting an example for other nations.
8. A strong national defense without nation building is more ethical, cheaper, and sustainable than what we have now.
9. Peace is sustainable.

This post was inspired and in partial response to Canadian Rattlesnake.