Friday, September 09, 2005

Freedom to die?

It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defence, we would sanction the subversion of one of those liberties which make the defence of our nation worthwhile.
- Earl Warren, jurist (1891-1974)

The United States of America has fought for well over two centuries for the causes of liberty and freedom. Most wars over that period have been fought for those causes, no matter where in the world they have been.

It would serve us well to consider carefully what those terms mean, liberty and freedom, to keep their meanings in the forefront of our minds before we send young adults to kill and be killed in their names.

What kind of freedom does a young man have who is sent to his death in a war? Does "freedom" include the freedom to die for a cause which is unjust or in which he does not believe?

It would also pay us to consider that those states that do not build up large militaries and arsenals and search for causes to fight for never seem to get into wars. Switzerland, for example, has not been involve with a war for 500 years. Nor does anyone want to attack Switzerland.

Canada, criticized by many of its own people for its undersized and underarmed military, is known around the world for its peacekeeping efforts today. In the past, when it was more associated with the UK, it was also known for its war successes, with little thought being given to making peace.

We are what we want to be.

We should consider whether what we want to be should be shaped more by our leaders or by ordinary citizens.

Leaders don't necessarily always lead their people in the right direction because they are more interested in their positions as leaders than they are in the direction that they lead their people.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help people consider what they want themselves and their country to represent.
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