Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Please Explain

I tend not to introduce political topics on this blog because people so hate each other over these differences, and I just don't want that here. However, I have a serious question that I would like you to answer in clear, non-hateful speech.

Why do people consider opposition statements against President Bush and the situation in Iraq as treason? What makes it so horrible? Why should any American citizen suspend his/her right to speak as they feel?


Liz Self said...

I don't understand why people consider these statements "treasonous" either. It makes no sense. There's this great quote in "The American President" -- I looked it up -- that says, "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil who is standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours." Freedom of speech is the foundation of this country. My guess is that my parent's generation remembers Vietnam and how troops were treated when they came home. They feel like by not supporting the president or not supporting the war, these people are figuratively spitting in the face of those troops who have fought and died there. The reality is, you can support the military and those who are serving their country in this way without supporting the actions they've been ordered to take.

Trixie said...

This is absolutely not treason. It is your right as an American to voice your opinion. It is our duty as citizens of the world to seek a peaceful conclusion to this conflict. In truth, though, I believe that people have such strong anti-protest feelings because it shows a divided front to the enemy. Our soliders understand that they are protecting our right to vocally, publically disagree. Our soliders would prefer to train other troops, extend peace-keeping activities, and provide aid and comfort. No soldier wants to fight. All soldiers are prepared to fight. So it is really not a case of our soliders viewing us as uncaring bastards. It is really more a sense of the divided front. Parents don't like it when one of them changes position or countermands a decision in respect to the kids. It is seen to undermind the parent who made the initial decision. Same theory works here. Unified front. I believe that people see us as appearing weaker because a portion of our population so vehemently disagrees with the Bush position. These small photo ops are then blown up and aired around the world to make it seem like a larger segment of the population. It adds fuel to the fire of the insurrgents and the terrorists. There is a wedge they can exploit. I think they are trying to exploit it now with the last tape where a truce is offered (although it isn't really a truce so much as a chance for him to get his shit together again). Some people in the peace movement will say "There you go. He want peaces. Let's withdraw." These people just don't get it.

I have friends serving there and other friends who are civilian contractors. My family is a military family with insights from troops just returning and just deploying. Bottom line is that the city is not secure and is worse off than it was before the invasion (buildings crumbled, electricity is spotty) BUT that the people are doing very well. The winners in this invasion were the rural villages. The losers were the cities. We wrecked havoc on this country and need time to rebuild it. However it is taking to long. The people need to feel secure there but they don't - yet. Rural schools are starting where there were none before and they are open to girls. However the violence in the cities is real. If my city had been leveled and if electricity had become a commodity, then I might be pissed as well. Especially when after all this time, the US can't seem to get the grid stablized. Would I be ripe for recruitment? Possibly. The point is that most people in the cities are literate (even women) and most held some kind of job. Now many are without work not because of lack of skills or demand but because the building is gone, the plumbing and electricity is unreliable, and security remains an issue. Curfews still exist in some parts. So how are people to make a living? Literate, educated people? The smartest people are leaving or have already left. It's a brain drain. Given this information and the US's inability to secure the country - - why is it surprising that people are joing the ranks of the opposition there? The more who join - the more Americans die - the more peace rallies at home.

For what it is worth, I say fix the damn place, find qualified people to run it, and get out. Not just in politics but in everyday life: fix the electricity, find someone to manage the power company, and then let them run it.

Sarabeth said...

Trixie, I’m going to use your parenting analogy for a bit if I may.

Parents can disagree as to how to discipline a child as long as the criticism is given when the child is not present to hear it. The real problem is disagreeing when the child can hear. The child thinks that the other parent is on his/her side, which is not always the truth of the situation. In fact, the parent may just want to conduct the discipline differently or wants to stop a potentially troublesome approach to a problem.

An author and thinker, David Brin, coined the phrase and idea of CITOKATE. That is Criticism Is The Only Known Antidote To Error. If we don’t criticize and continually evaluate, then errors will arise. This is my main problem with the Bush administration: Criticism is seen as deleterious, an unnecessary distraction. Those in power act as if they have thought of everything and are immune to error. Alternative viewpoints and dissent are often called out as traitorous, treasonous, and aiding and abetting the insurgents and terrorist.

Isn’t that just what the terrorists want? A society that bows to their will and word with no room for dissent? A tyrannical regime? I don’t want that, and I would hope that the Bush administration doesn’t want that. With all their rhetoric about criticism and disagreement, logic (however, twisted it may seem) can bring one to the conclusion that Bush wants people to follow and not question, much like what Islamic radicals would desire.

And, I too want us to rebuild Iraq now that we’ve made a mess.

Kell said...

If speaking out against the president is bad, every folk festival in this nation - from Newport past Winfield - will be shut down - and all ticketholders shot. All the "Don't blame me, I live in a Blue State" t-shirts repossessed... All the "Hush Little Baby, don't you cry - daddy's gonna buy you an alibi" songs burned... And all the boys wearing flowy skirts strung up and hung.

We'd have to kill Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, The Dixie Chicks, not to mention everyone but Britney (and ain't that a shame?) sigh.

It's not treason. It's a vote.

Maverick said...

To me, the people who say "It is treason," don't understand what that term means and are using it to shame the speaker. Treason means a violation of allegiance toward one's sovereign or country; especially, the betrayal of ones' own country waging war against it or by CONSCIOUSLY AND PURPOSELY acting to aid its enemies. If all a speaker is doing, is saying, I don't agree with this or that - guess what, that is freedom of speech, one of the very reasons the Founding Fathers created this nation - to have a voice and not to be thrown in the dungeon for voicing that opinion.

Treason is the non-commissioner officer who purposely exploded a grenade in the mess tent during mess. He waged war and betrayed his fellow soldiers by killing them. THAT is treason.

And we have an Iraqi doctor visiting our city and we asked him how it was going, tell us, please don't hold back. His words not mine, "It is the center of the country that is bad, the north and south are so very good. And it is non-Iraqis that are the problem. If we could close down the borders, we would be in so much better shape. Things are so much better now than under THAT MAN."

Keep talking and talking. It is one of our Rights!