Which Side Of The Line?

“I, George W Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September 11th, 2007, as PATRIOT DAY………in witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand seven…..”

It is fitting to remember the innocent lives lost to the antics of religious and political madmen six years ago today. Terrorism, just like any government-sponsored war or military incursion, takes its toll mainly of the innocents. They have no wish to be involved. They may even hold views sympathetic to those of the perpetrators. Their only aim is to live in peace with all around them, and are unable to grasp why others fail to display similar feelings.

George W Bush has declared today – PATRIOT DAY.

Webster’s definition of “PATRIOT” is:

“one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests.”

And what, you may ask, is wrong with that?

At first glance, probably not a lot, but what if the “authority” and “interests” within that country become at odds with the views of its populace, or the interests of other nations? Is it still “patriotic” to defend the authority of a government obviously out of step with its own people, or inflicting suffering on other innocent nations from misguided or illegal acts?

Adolf Hitler and 1930’s Germany were condemned by history for their nationalistic political regime, whose principles were encapsulated in the Nazi Party.

Webster’s definition of “NATIONALISM” is:

“a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups.”

Is a nationalist the same as a patriot?

No. But there’s a very fine line separating the two. On which side of that line do you stand?

Today’s American administration is not patriotic, it is nationalist. Those members of the Project for the New American Century – including Vice President Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Zalmay Khalilzad, I. Lewis Libby – are not patriotic. They are nationalists, just as surely as any member of the Nazi or Fascist governments of Germany and Italy pre-WW2.

Which side of the line are you on?

In the best traditions of George W Bush, his nomination of “Patriot Day” comes as no surprise. He could have chosen “Remembrance Day”, or simply, “9/11 Day”, but the chance to gain political points was just too unmissable. He, and his advisors, knew there were plenty of Americans still stirred enough by false pride to jump on the name as symbolic of the Great American Struggle for freedom and democracy for all, whether they want it, or not.

There’ll be plenty in this country saluting the flag; proclaiming America the greatest nation on earth; supporting, from the bottom of their hearts, the government and troops presently attempting to inflict “Americanism” on other sovereign nations…….

But, wait! Isn’t that “NATIONALISM”?

According to Webster’s definition, it is.

On which side of the line are you standing?

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2 Replies to “Which Side Of The Line?”

  1. “I confidently trust that the American people will prove themselves … too wise not to detect the false pride or the dangerous ambitions or the selfish schemes which so often hide themselves under that deceptive cry of mock patriotism: ‘Our country, right or wrong!’ They will not fail to recognize that our dignity, our free institutions and the peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of true patriotism: ‘Our country—when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right.’”—Schurz, “The Policy of Imperialism,” Speeches, Correspondence and Political Papers of Carl Schurz, vol. 6, pp. 119–20 (1913).

  2. Flimsy – Carl Schurz, the great Radical Republican. We could do with a few more like him in the GOP today. I wonder what would be his opinion of George W Bush, and his foray into Iraq? In fact, I wonder how he would view today’s Republican Party?

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