Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day thoughts

I've seen and heard ,repeatedly, the statement that the military protects our freedoms. That's a popular saying, but it's not really true. I'm not a pacifist by any means--I fully accept we need a strong military. But what the armed forces do (sometimes) is protect our physical safety, not our freedoms. The Taliban, as horrible as they are, are not going to conquer America and make our women wear headscarves. Even the most passionate advocate of the Iraq war in 2003 didn't argue that Saddam was a threat to the 2nd Amendment.

In fact, most wars lead to a drastic reduction of freedom. To list just a few examples:

1. Lincoln arrested thousands of anti-war Northerners and shut down hundreds of papers during the Civil War.

2.During World War I (please read Walter Karp's The Politics of War for a great analysis) numerous measures were passed by the government restricting freedoms, such as the Espionage Act.

3.FDR had his Japanese relocation scandal during World War

4.The aftermath of Korea led to the rise of witchhunts against "subversives" who perhaps wanted the Communists to win the war.

No comments: