July 4, 2008

crybaby …courtesy of the Left:

Abu Ghraib. Guantanamo. CIA secret prisons. “Rendition” of prisoners to foreign torture chambers.

It’s not enough that we had good reason to be scared.

The men huddled long ago in Philadelphia had better reason. A British fleet floated off the Jersey coast, full of hands eager to hang them from the nearest lampposts.

Yet they pledged their lives and sacred honor – no idle vow – to defend the “inalienable rights” of men. Inalienable – what does that signify? It means rights that belong to each person, simply by virtue of being human. Rights that can never be taken away, no matter what evil a person might do or might intend.

Surely one of those is the right not to be tortured. Surely that is a piece of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

This is the creed of July 4: No matter what it costs us, no matter how it scares us, no matter how foolish it seems to a cynical world, America should stand up for human rights.

The world sees this, even if we are too dim to grasp it. We’ve lost respect. We’ve shamed the memory of Jefferson, Adams and Franklin.

And all for a scam. The waterboarding, the snarling dogs, the theft of sleep – all the diabolical tricks haven’t made us safer. They may have averted this plot or that. But they’ve spawned new enemies by the thousands, made the jihadist rants ring true to so many ears.

So put out no flags.

Sing no patriotic hymns.

We deserve no Fourth this year.

Let us atone, in quiet and humility. Let us spend the day truly studying the example of our Founders. May we earn a new birth of courage before our nation’s birthday next rolls around.

There are times when you wonder if supposed “journalists” writing for a supposedly reputable newspaper people actually believe what they write, or whether they just decide to write things to get a rise out of people. I’m no journalist by any stretch of the matter, but there are times when I’ll twist my posts just a little bit to liven things up around here. Heck, otherwise why bother?

I’m guessing that this is the case with Mr. Satullo’s column, because, while one might argue a true human-rights activist might express this kind of warped, one-sided sentiment, I find it hard to believe a so-called journalist really believes what he has written here. Look, we all know there are few things you can say to your average liberal that will get their noses more out of joint than to whisper “Abu Ghraib”, or “Guantanamo”, or “wiretaps”, or “eavesdropping”, or “Haliburton”, or “secret CIA prisons”, or “waterboarding”, or “torture” – I mean, it’s just too easy. I know – I try them out on my friend Paul just to make him squirm.

But really, after reading Mr. Satullo’s column you’d think the entire country laid down while the Bush administration established some vile police state where habeus corpus has been suspended and the prisons are filled with people who dare criticize the President for trampling the rights of every U.S. citizen. Are there things this country has done in its past that should cause one to pause and reflect whether it ascribed to what the Founding Fathers had in mind when this Republic was first established? Of course. Could one feel so deeply about things like slavery, or segregation, or Reconstruction, or the internment of U.S. citizens of Japanese descent during WW II, or any other blemishes on our country’s history to make one feel ashamed of being an American? I’m sure there are those – obviously Mr. Satullo’s one of them.

But let’s get a grip on ourselves here.

Mr. Satullo is right to point out that the Founding Fathers were hardly purists when it came to establishing this country – if they were there wouldn’t have been institutionalized slavery, and blacks and women and non-landowners would also have been given the right to vote. But what he’s missing here is that for every Abu Ghraib, political assassination, or perceived case of human-rights abuse at Guantanamo or a secret CIA prison (and I would argue that, while certainly open to debate among disagreeing parties these hardly rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors), one can point to dozens of tragedies or situations that have affected the world in recent memory where this country has rushed in aid in overwhelming quantities to ease human suffering – for example, following the tsunami in Thailand, or earthquakes in Iran, or Turkey, or Chile – and far more than any other country. Heck, just the other day one our aircraft carriers loaded with humanitarian aid and helicopters was turned away by that vile junta of thugs who rule Myanmar. What about that, Mr. Satullo?

…Not to mention the number of Americans who have died trying to advance the cause of freedom on foreign shores.

…Or the fact that Americans are among, if not the, most generous in the world.

…Or the fact that on any day this time of year you can find people dead or near-so in the scrub deserts of Arizona and New Mexico, lured by the beacon of freedom and the opportunity to make a new life for themselves and their families.

Have the events Mr. Satullo brings up dimmed our reputation in the world? Perhaps. Must we as patriotic citizens always be vigilant against those things that threaten our individual freedoms or damage our standing in the world when it comes to freedom and human rights? Absolutely. But, assuming Mr. Satullo’s column is not parody or written to get a rise out of people, it’s hard to take him as anything but a bitter, whining, self-loathing American liberal for whom the glass is always half-empty, there is always something to fault, the Liberty Bell is always cracked, and no matter what a Republican administration might attempt to do well, it’s never enough. There’s always something to complain about.

I feel bad for people like Chris Satullo. They are incredibly privileged to live in the greatest country in the world, warts and all, and yet they can’t take one day – one day – to celebrate how fortunate and blessed we all are to live in this country, at this point in history. Millions upon millions in the world would love to take Mr. Satullo’s place. So have a burger and a dog this July 4th, Mr. Satullo, take a nice walk in the summer air. And when you do, breathe deeply of the freedoms you have, for there are many.

Life is too short to do otherwise.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:22 | Comments (0)
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