Monday, July 07, 2008

Watered Down 4th of July Tributes

Orange & Wet
Originally uploaded by mdt1960
I've been on a glorified hitch-hiking trip since June 23 with a truck driver documenting the truck driving life. Chris, the driver I speak of, wears a cowboy hat, listens to NPR and and loves NASCAR—go ahead, try to fit this guy to any given stereotype. It ain't happening. Nevertheless, that's another story for another day.

While delivering a truck load of goods with Chris over the Fourth of July weekend, we tuned in to Sirius Radio's NASCAR show "Tradin' Paint" somewhere in West Virginia. In their tribute to America on the Fourth, hosts Steve Post and Danny "Chocolate" Myers along with the various NASCAR personalities interviewed went on and on about how the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are over there doing such a great job preserving our wide-ranging freedoms including our freedom of speech.

Not to diminish the radio show itself, but I found its attempt to pay tribute to America on that particular day to be rather banal—in other words, a bunch of George Bush party line bullshit.

Not that I don't support the troops, I simply don't buy that particular line about preserving our freedoms via these psuedo-wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. When Adolf Hitler was banging down everyone's door back in the '30s and '40s, I believe our troops engaging the Nazis preserved our freedoms. But it's a real stretch to think that Saddam Hussein or a ragtag group of terrorists running around in Afghanistan or Pakistan are (or were) threatening my freedom or anyone else in this great land. We should only be using our troops to strike down Osama bin Laden and then call it "Mission Accomplished." There's no war to be lost or won over there, just a rat or two that needs to be greased. I feel better about saying that the troops we have in Germany and Korea are preserving our freedoms than those in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In short, I don't believe our assorted freedoms are any safer today than they were before we invaded Iraq or Afghanistan nor are they any safer than before or after September 11, 2001, or Oklahoma City in April of 1995. Whatever freedoms we have lost—or feel we have lost—are the result of our own elected leaders and the paranoia they have instilled in us.

1 comment:

Morgan said...

An after-thought:
Perhaps we should just stick to the primary reason for celebrating this historical event rather than finding some modern day application—a declaration of Independence from England. Maybe someday we can reconsider this when we finally become "energy independent."