Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Patriotism sucks?

When reading the words of many authors categorically describing patriotism as bad, I kind of resisted the idea when I was younger. Why can't you love your country, I thought. Why can't you be proud of your country?
(Sorry, I can't recall any of the author's names).

I am starting to get the basic idea behind these authors' words, considering the Iraq war.

Thinking about American President George Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech not even two months after the invasion of Iraq, the question that immediately comes to mind is "Could they not have known better?" Should they not have known that the war was far from over? 96% of the casualties in Iraq occurred after that speech (Wikipedia).

They could have known better. In fact, "they" did know better, but not as a group (which is why "they" is not a good word to use here). There have always been dissenting opinions. There always were people, both in politics and the military who warned of the dangers of the Iraq war, and who were anything but convinced the mission was accomplished. But these people have retired, out of protest, or have lost their jobs because of their opinions and the warnings they felt compelled to give (in fact, compelled by their love of their country).

And here is where the current flavour of patriotism comes in. Patriotism which creates a climate where it is OK to fire people who do not stand behind the Cause. Where it is easy to dub dissenters as un-American, unpatriotic, defeatists. And where it becomes wrong, un-American, to listen to people who disagree with the party line. This kind of patriotism is like plugging one's ears and running into a minefield singing lalalala so one does not hear the warnings.

The saying goes "A good friend is somebody who dares criticize you". The American government has managed to lose a good many of their good friends.

I am not going to repeat the discussion about good and bad patriotism here. It is clear what I think from the above paragraphs.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said! Eventually, the United States will fall from within due to the actions of the very same "patriots" referred to in your post. The so-called "Tea Party" people, and the new breed of Puritans that seem to want to do nothing but destroy people's lives for an ideology that seems godly (small G) but in the end is from the pit of Hell!

7:21 PM  
Blogger SunRa said...

Well spoken. I couldn't agree with you more. These hateful jingoists are such closed minded people that they use the excuse of patriotism for their inexcusable hatred of just about anybody in a similar way the Germans did in the 1930's and 1940's. Unfortunately yhey'll continue to use it as an excuse for starting wars against any nation they claim are "terrorists" and don't kowtow to America.

7:54 PM  

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