What is patriotism? You can describe it many ways but the words of Patrick Henry
often come to mind:
"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
Give me liberty or give me death. What does it mean?
Patriotism is love of country and for what that country stands. It doesn't mean you have to love the President but when we are at war we should stand untied. You don't have to agree with the means or method but the goal. Our goal is always protect our liberty first. Our secondary goals are usually to protect our allies and to help spread democracy and freedom.
Patriotism should not be confused with jingoism. Jingoism is an extreme form of Nationalism that characteristically has a belligerent foreign policy, such as Hitler's invasion, occupation of Europe and plan for jewish extermination. Hitler did it for Germany's glory. That, my friends, is jingoism. Many try to claim that the Bush foreign policy is similar to Hitler's. I have only two things to say about that:
1. You obviously failed history or had a really crappy teacher.
2. Self-defense, preservation of liberty and liberation are not belligerant. It's been our way since our founding.
What is treasonous
Violation of allegiance toward one's country or sovereign, especially the betrayal of one's country by waging war against it or by consciously and purposely acting to aid its enemies.
Some anti-war protesters
are doing such things. Like Rebecca for instance:
"And the first thing is that we need to support the Resistance of Iraqis in Iraq. (applause) Right. These are people who are risking their lives to get the United States out of their country. And we have to see them as our allies. We have to see them as our main allies."
There is a way to express dissent in a thoughtful patriotic manner. Rebecca's way and the way of her supporters isn't the way. Her way is treasonous. Supporting the people that are actively working to kill our men and women is wrong.
Many anti-war people are simply anti-war and anti-violence. I disagree with them but I respect that position and there is a way to communicate that position without being a traitor.
If you are anti-war do your best to support the President and our country by expressing your dissent in civil, thoughtful terms. Because supporting the Commander In Chief is what patriotism demands in the middle of a major war.
For example, Sue Niederer
is a woman that lost her son in Iraq. She is anti-war and her position is reasonable. It is peppered with pain and anguish but she is still thoughtful in her dissent:
INDC: Well, in Iraq, what the soldiers have been sent there to do … is it a waste of time? Do you think that your son and the troops have done any good in Iraq?
Sue Niederer: I think when they brought down Saddam Hussein, yes, they did good. This was the original mission. Once Saddam Hussein was toppled, then it became time to get us out of there. Our mission is accomplished, as even President Bush, oh, excuse me (mock spits) BUSH, okay, said: we have accomplished our mission. We do not really need to be there any longer, but we’re now committed to a minimum of 2005, 2006. Our mission is accomplished. They do not want us there, they want to govern themselves. And that’s fine, that’s exactly the way it should be. Allow them to govern themselves and get us out!
She's angry but she does not support the insurgents. She does not call our soldiers baby killers and murderers. She does not want the soldiers to kill their officers. She believes they accomplished their mission and she wants them home. I disagree with her but I have not lost a child and I do not know her pain. He arguments are morally consistent and that is all I can ask for and something I can respect.
Do you have to support the war effort blindly to be a patriot?
But you must at all cost express your dissent without aligning yourself with our enemy. You must not support those that wish us or our soldiers dead. To do otherwise make you a traitor, whether you realize it or not.
Our soldiers fight for freedom. They fight for you and for me. Whether we want them to or not, we owe them and ourselves civility at all times and at all costs. Be it with our support or with our dissent.
We owe our soldiers and our country our best. We owe them our patriotism.
Rosemary Esmay, Iron Blogger Republican