2005 July 04 Monday
Bush Speech Insult To American War Revolutionaries

President Bush's deceitful 4th of July speech for 2005 is an insult to the revolutionaries who founded the United States of America.

The history we celebrate today is a testament to the power of freedom to lift up a whole nation. On Independence Day, we remember the ideals of liberty that led men from 13 colonies to gather in Philadelphia and pen a declaration of self-truths. And we remember the band of patriots who risked their lives to bring freedom to a new continent.

On July 4, 1776, more than five years of the Revolutionary War still lay ahead. From the battle of New York to the winter at Valley Forge, to the victory at Yorktown, our forefathers faced terrible losses and hardships. Yet, they kept their resolve. They kept their faith in a future of liberty, and with their hard-won victory, we guaranteed a home for the Declaration's proposition that all are created equal. (Applause.)

Through the centuries, the Declaration of Independence has remained a revolutionary document. As President Kennedy said on the 4th of July, 1962, "The Declaration unleashed not merely a revolution against the British, but a revolution in human affairs."

So far so good, Nice things about the revolutionaries. But then he goes on a long tirade about the threat of terrorism. The he dishonestly ties that threat to the war in Iraq.

At this hour, our men and women in uniform are defending America against the threats of the 21st century. The war we are fighting came to our shores on September the 11th, 2001. After that day, I made a pledge to the American people, we will not wait to be attacked again. (Applause.) We will bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies. (Applause.)

Our enemies in this new war are men who celebrate murder, incite suicide and thirst for absolute power. They seek to spread their ideology of tyranny and oppression across the world. They seek to turn the Middle East into a haven for terror. They seek to drive America out of the region. These terrorists will not be stopped by negotiations, or concessions, or appeals to reason. In this war, there is only one option, and that is victory. (Applause.)

We are pursuing a comprehensive strategy to win the war on terror. We're taking the fight to the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home. (Applause.) We're denying our enemies sanctuary and making it clear that America will not tolerate regimes that harbor or support terrorists. And we're spreading freedom, because the terrorists know there is no room for them in a free and democratic Middle East. (Applause.)

By advancing the cause of liberty in a troubled part of the world, we will remove a source of instability and violence, and we will lay the foundation of peace for our children and our grandchildren. (Applause.)

Iraq is the latest battlefield in the war on terror. Our work there is difficult and dangerous because terrorists from across the region are converging on Iraq to fight the rise of democracy. The images of cruelty and suffering we see on television are real, and they are difficult for our compassionate nation to watch. Yet, the terrorist violence has not brought them any closer to achieving their strategic objectives. The terrorists tried to intimidate the Iraqi Governing Council, and they failed. They tried to delay the transfer of sovereignty to Iraq, and they failed. They tried to stop the free Iraqi elections, and they failed. They continue to kill in the hope that they will break the resolve of the American people, but they will fail. (Applause.)

The President of the United States is telling a bright shining lie. No, the war in Iraq is not a war against the terrorists who attacked the United States on 9/11.

Here once again Bush repeats the fallacy that most Iraqis care much about freedom.

The lesson of this experience is clear, the terrorists can kill the innocent, but they cannot stop the advance of freedom. This January, the world watched as the Iraqi people defied intimidation, dipped their fingers in ink and cast their votes in the country's first free and democratic election in decades. (Applause.) And last week, on June the 28th, the free nation of Iraq marked the first anniversary of the day when sovereignty was restored to its rightful owners, the Iraqi people. (Applause.)

By helping Iraqis build a free and democratic nation, we will give strength to an ally in the war on terror, and we'll make America more secure. To continue building a free and democratic Iraq, Americans and Iraqis are fighting side-by-side to stop the terrorists and insurgents. And our military is helping to train Iraqi forces so they can defend their own liberty. Our strategy can be summed up this way: As Iraqis stand up, we will stand down, and then our troops can come home to a proud and grateful nation. (Applause.)

He's trying to say Iraq is like the American colonies. But in that case American soldiers in Iraq today would be like the French who helped in the American Revolution. Picture, if you will, French soldiers fighting the British in the colonies while American colonials attacked the French soldiers. Imagine the French King proclaiming that the French soldiers would continue to do the bulk of the fighting at Bunker Hill, Lexington, Concord, Trenton, Bunker Hill, Brandywine, Cowpens, (and those are Revolutionary war battlefields for any historical illiterates) and countless other battlefields while the French patiently waited for the American revolutionaries to stand up and do the fighting.

Did the French fire the first shots at Lexington Green? I think not. Did the French fire all the shots at the British as the British soldiers retreated back to Boston? Again, NO! The analogy does not work. The Iraqi insurgents are much more eager fighters than the Iraqis who join the Iraqi government army. The Iraqi people are none too eager to stand up for the Iraqi government unlike the American revolutionaries who fought for little pay under trying conditions against the powerful British Army and Navy. The Iraqi soldiers are so untrustworthy that the US Army puts them in isolated parts of US bases because too many of them have sympathy for the insurgents.

Thanks to Greg Cochran for the tip.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2005 July 04 03:49 PM  Politics American Domestic


Comments
John S Bolton said at July 4, 2005 6:59 PM:

It sounds like propaganda or advertising; how can we tie 1776 in with Iraq? Everyone's the same, aren't they? Iraq is like Haiti, not like Germany or Japan, and extremely unlike America in the 18th century. The founders also did not believe in equality, even in theory. They were against hereditary titles and such, but they did not believe in the equality of man.

John S Bolton said at July 4, 2005 7:00 PM:

It sounds like propaganda or advertising; how can we tie 1776 in with Iraq? Everyone's the same, aren't they? Iraq is like Haiti, not like Germany or Japan, and extremely unlike America in the 18th century. The founders also did not believe in equality, even in theory. They were against hereditary titles and such, but they did not believe in the equality of man.

gcochran said at July 4, 2005 10:11 PM:

The people who ran _our_ revolution read Coke, John Locke and Montesquieu. They were familiar with history, in particular classical history: they knew quite a lot about Athens, the Roman Republic, etc. They didn't babble about the desire for freedom burning in every human breast: they thought political freedom a good thing (they'd been running their own affairs for a long time, as a benignly neglectd distant colony of the freest nation on Earth) but knew that the _difficult_ part was fanning the feebly burning desire for political self-restraint. Certain ideas and habits and prejudices make representative governemnt work, to the extent that it does work. There's the belief in a loyal opposition - that means repressing the impulse to liquidate of your enemies after you win the election. It means rule of law, an independent judiciary: that happens in people's hearts, not just on paper. Our success was based on a _distrust_ of ideology - we continued British pragmatism. It was based on a _distrust_ of democracy, on informed fears of the various ways that experiments in representative governmetn had failed in the past. It was indigenous. It was moderate. I don't remember hearing about a lot of torture, about people being stacked up naked and sodomized by the Continental Army or their foreign masters - oh, I forgot, they didn't _have_ any foreign masters. Success requires a certain minimum number of public-spirited people who won't steal everything in sight and give it to their relatives when nobody is watching.

I think that hardly anybody in Iraq is steeped in British common law or classical history. Those few that are educated probably studied technical subjects or Baathist law: we're talking clown college (no, not Princeton). I think none of them have any experience in representative government, let alone ingrained habits and prejudices supporting such a system. I think
that they don't automically reject torture as somrething that 'just isn't done' - but then neither do we anymore.


John S Bolton said at July 4, 2005 10:43 PM:

They were ideologues in the sense that they believed that one could deduce the right principles of politics from concepts of natural law. They rejected the equation of justice with equality. Bush's line sounds more like the French revolution, where liberty means freedom to riot. The founders saw British tradition as a uniquely close expression of natural law, and thought that they were going back to a purer application of that tradition. The administration is pragmatist and progressive in the sense in which these terms were used around WWI. They seem to make an absolute out of the equality of man, though, as if the hundreds of experiments in new handout democracies in the tropics, nearly all became dictatorships out of some extraordinary coincidence.

Richard said at July 5, 2005 4:15 AM:

"I think that hardly anybody in Iraq is steeped in British common law or classical history. Those few that are educated probably studied technical subjects or Baathist law: we're talking clown college (no, not Princeton). I think none of them have any experience in representative government, let alone ingrained habits and prejudices supporting such a system. I think
that they don't automically reject torture as somrething that 'just isn't done' - but then neither do we anymore."

Greg,

How many of our reps and senators have read and even understood the constitution, let alone are steeped in Brit common law or classical history. Maybe the neocon mandarinate has some training in such knowledge, but if they do, they only use it to obfuscate.

We have met the enemy and they is us.

This does worry me, but not overly. After all, it was a great scholar and former pres. of Princeton whose sold the US on benign imperialism.

John S Bolton said at July 5, 2005 9:00 AM:

Imagine Washington's troops had to live in a walled city within Philadelphia, and did not share the language or nationality of those whom they were to maintain the liberation of. Suppose that Washington did not dare to visit the liberated country, because of the hostility of many who considered him an infidel. Would any of the Bush family dare to appear in the cities of Iraq, unless surrounded by an army who had evacuated all the natives within artillery range? Are all the peoples of the world freedom loving in the same sense, or do some value freedom for aggression, while others value freedom from aggression?

Braddock said at July 6, 2005 5:41 AM:

Someone recently made a comment suggesting building a tall wall around Africa and letting Africans work things out for themselves for a few generations. Perhaps the same strategy should be used for muslim lands. That might cut down on the islamization of Europe and eliminate any need to protect the oil fields--the oil fields would be walled off. See if the arabs can eat their precious oil.

Western countries, including Europe, need to stop being so hypocritical about their economy's need for arab oil. Europeans are willing to dhimmify themselves for the oil, Americans are willing to invade countries for the oil. Saudi oil magnates want to spread Wahabist teachings to the entire world, like the bigoted supremacist evangelicals that they are. Put them behind the wall and let them teach Wahabist dogma to each other. Let them do to each other whatever they want to do.

Otherwise at least be honest about needing their oil and being willing to do what is in their nature, to get it. Yes, RP, I know what you will say--spend the hundreds of billions on battery technology and we will not need the oil. That will take decades.

Randall Parker said at July 6, 2005 8:05 AM:

Braddock,

Solutions that take decades: Sometimes there are no solutions that take a short amount of time. Look at chronic old age diseases. When solutions take a long time that is a reason to start working on them sooner, not later.

Bush's band of fools are pursuing a fast non-solution to the Middle East. They aren't getting anywhere on it except to waste lives and money and reputation.

Walls: Hey, you are preaching to the choir. Keep bad people out. In fact, keep out anyone who is not a large net gain. We have enough people as it is.

Cowboy said at July 8, 2005 10:30 PM:

Actually, there were British loyalists in the colonies that resisted both the French and the colonists fighting for freedom.


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