Thursday, June 30, 2011
Celebrating our Freedom.
We are coming up to the end of a ten-year fireworks display. Trillions of dollars have been sunk at the military-industrial complex's roadside fireworks stand, along with the costs of shipping 'em to the Middle East, and sending guys over to set them off tactically. All the booms and pretty sparky flashes, set off with one idea in mind: protecting our freedom! Or is it to punish them wot did 9/11? Or is it to spread Democracy? Or is it all bushwah?
The thought that our men and women are deployed in the most forsaken parts of the world "to protect our freedom" is Fourth of July speech rhetoric. Since the attacks of 9/11/2001, our own citizens are a good deal less free than they were before. We didn't have to endure cop-a-feel cops at the aerodrome, nor subject ourselves to ionising radiation if ticklish. This is one small (?) example. We can be listened-in-on, and the cops can break in without a warrant, if their reason is good enough (thanks, Indiana!). The question which must be asked: are you as free as you would like to be? Another question: given the diminution of your liberty, do you have a commensurate rise in security in your life? Do you feel safer now than on 9/10/2001?
If "protecting our freedom" is their stated task, I must conclude that our armed forces are doing a terrible job fulfilling their mission. If there are other things they are tasked with, that requires a different assessment. But our freedoms have taken a beating in the past decade, and all indications, at least to this Aardvark, are to bring our soldiers home. There is no clear objective in any theater of operations, unless the objective is to withdraw, as our Commander-in-Chief has announced. We have many service opportunities within - and on - our own borders, with no punishingly long supply routes. Protecting our Homeland would be the acme of Homeland Security, and there would be no need for O'bama's well-funded civilian security force. (I shall avoid any comments that would earn a tiresome "Godwin's Law" comment.)
As you enjoy your fireworks and hotdogs and homemade ice cream, as shall I, please pause to mourn our lost freedoms, and consider what you and I can do to restore them. Mull over the upcoming elections, and think HARD about who would work to maximise your freedoms (*hint* Big Government types need not apply, of any party.)
And don't stick a sparkler in your eye!