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Casual Nonsense


Xiphosis

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I love the 4th of July - it's right up there with Halloween tied for first in my list of favorite holidays. Guns, fireworks, BBQ, more fireworks, more guns, racing... all to celebrate a glorious and bloody revolution against an absolute monarch that overstepped his reach. What's not to love?

But perhaps more than usual, you hear the passive assertion that the military is "protecting our freedoms" around this time of year. It's always bugged me though, it seems to be based on a false premise - which is that our freedoms are being challenged at all.

They really aren't. The Taliban can't threaten your freedom, or mine, or even the freedom our government has in enforcing it's will around the globe. They're not potent, strong or widespread enough to do so. The military is simply doing their job - to conduct the wars the President and/or Congress orders them to conduct. It has nothing to do with the freedom of us as Americans. Taliban aside, Al Queda can't and in no conceivable scenario ever could, threaten your individual freedom or the freedom of our state in it's choices. This seems obvious when you consider they have no air force, navy, and are outnumbered simply by gun-owning Americans by some incredibly large ratio. They couldn't occupy Topeka, much less NYC or another large metro. All of which is, of course, obvious.

I simply can't see why this is such a common refrain and why it's said so often - our freedoms haven't been threatened since the revolution, and we already won that one folks.

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Al Qaeda and similar Muslim terrorist groups can die in a fire. If the American army can crush them out of existence, so much the better, it means that less American civilians will die in terrorist attacks. Whether they're fighting for 'freedom' is fairly irrelevant. These terrorist groups are resulting in rather draconian counter-terrorism laws, anyway, which will incline the US and other Western countries towards totalitarianism (for example, note the hit to privacy laws and the rise of modern surveillance.) Killing Al Qaeda would prevent this.

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The excuse isn't the motivation... it's the excuse. The motivation is power and authority, which is what they'd do anyway. It'd just be a different excuse.

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"Protecting our freedom" really means is "securing the resources that are required to enjoy this level of affluence and global control". It is just another propaganda phrase pounded into the heads of people who don't think very deeply. Sounds good on the surface but, as you noted, doesn't really make sense when you examine it. I would put forth that the best sort of propaganda entails a little bit of cognitive dissonance.

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@Kalasin: I'm under the impression that stomping out this groups wouldn't put an end to the policies already in place... it's not like the destruction of an enemy in the past has done so. When the USSR collapsed, one would believe that the US's military spending would go down, but it did not. It continued to grow and has continued to. All in the name of, as Xiph so rightly put it, "Protecting our freedoms", whatever that means nowadays.

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@Kalasin: Also, just to point out, we created these terrorist groups by mucking around in countries that aren't ours for the last 200 years. Islamic terrorism is a direct reaction to American and Western Europe's foreign policy and military expansion. To mask that, the leaders need to make aggressive militant statements that strike the emotional core of the fearful reactionary demographic, words such as "protection" and "freedoms" and "war on terror".

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You used that freedom to exterminate the Indians, enslave the blacks, burn the "witches", oppress your communists/gays/muslims/catholics etc and intern your Japanese-Americans amongst many other heinous things.

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our freedoms haven't been threatened since the revolution, and we already won that one folks.

Uhhhh, there's a number of wars that say otherwise. Though WWII is probably the most recent.

Past WWII, the USSR was the biggest threat, and even in the absence of violent conflict, simply having a big military was enough to protect us, no pressing need to actually use it, if its mere presence can keep the peace. And, you know, 80 million gun owning Americans aren't going to be able to stop a nuke, as excellent of a protection as they provide from an invading army.

In modern times, China is an up and coming threat to US supremacy. And China doesn't exactly have a clean human rights record. So take that for what you will.

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China is an up and coming threat to US supremacy. And China doesn't exactly have a clean human rights record. So take that for what you will.

China has already won the economic war. If you have no money you cant wage a real war and America is in serious trouble at every level when it comes to money. I wouldnt try to say anything about Chinas human rights record. The US has committed some of the worst crimes in history from torture and genocide to the use chemical weapons and they regularly topple governments or invade countries killing millions to "spread freedom"

I cant say Im looking forward to a world run by China and Russia but I wont be sad when America has to pack up its global war machine and go home.

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China is an up and coming threat to US supremacy. And China doesn't exactly have a clean human rights record. So take that for what you will.
China has already won the economic war. If you have no money you cant wage a real war and America is in serious trouble at every level when it comes to money. I wouldnt try to say anything about Chinas human rights record. The US has committed some of the worst crimes in history from torture and genocide to the use chemical weapons and they regularly topple governments or invade countries killing millions to "spread freedom"I cant say Im looking forward to a world run by China and Russia but I wont be sad when America has to pack up its global war machine and go home.

China has its own internal issues.

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You used that freedom to exterminate the Indians, enslave the blacks, burn the "witches", oppress your communists/gays/muslims/catholics etc and intern your Japanese-Americans amongst many other heinous things.

That'll learn them.

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China is an up and coming threat to US supremacy. And China doesn't exactly have a clean human rights record. So take that for what you will.
China has already won the economic war. If you have no money you cant wage a real war and America is in serious trouble at every level when it comes to money. I wouldnt try to say anything about Chinas human rights record. The US has committed some of the worst crimes in history from torture and genocide to the use chemical weapons and they regularly topple governments or invade countries killing millions to "spread freedom"I cant say Im looking forward to a world run by China and Russia but I wont be sad when America has to pack up its global war machine and go home.

You're a funny guy, you know that?

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