Too Long For Comments
All set now? Okay.
This may get long, but I'm going to try to address everything that he brought up.
I'm not perturbed with you. I think you are wrong as you can be about the global war on terror, but should you show up at my door tomorrow, I would invite you in, offer you a cold beer, and we could sit face to face and argue this. It's not personal.
No matter what perspective I use, there are far fewer parallels between our troops and suicide bombers then Ted Rall displays. I can, however, make many more comparisons between suicide bombers and environmental activists. In fact, I think I'll publish my own cartoon by the end of the week doing just that.
I did make fun of the Muslims who not only protested, but threatened death to anyone who dared print the Danish cartoons. The difference is that while I think Red Rall is blithering idiot, I also believe that he is free to peddle his ware wherever he desires. I won't be threatening him with beheading, but I will refuse to buy any paper and/or magazine that carries his cartoons. That's the difference. I vote with my dollars, they threaten to seperate your head from your shoulders. Seems simple enough to me.
Most importantly, and I know you are still a bit preturbed over the last little discussion we had on my blog, exactly what is the difference between a patriot and a terrorist? I'd like to know really what your thoughts are... I mean, essentially, the framers of the constitution could be considered terrorists since they fought against the government of the country at the time... and the men fighting against US and UN forces in Iraq, arguably are not all iraqi, but they ARE fighting for their perceived freedom. The iraqi forces fighting against the occupation are doing exactly what I would expect you to do if a foreign power came in and overthrew our government and tried to install one of their own design... wouldn't you frank?Terrorist vs. Patriot.
First, let's discuss the founding fathers. They fought against the British government, because they wanted a representative government that guaranteed freedom and liberty for its citizens. They declared their independence, and prepared to defend their rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". But when they wrote the Declaration of Independence, they didn't hide in some cave, issuing orders for their minions to attack while they hid out from the fighting. They didn't wear masks to hide their identities, and they didn't leave prams full of explosives in crowded markets. They didn't execute women and children in an attempt to free themselves from the British. They organized an army, and they fought bravely, but civilly (for the most part), for their independence.
Do I consider the force that we are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan to be equivalent to the founding fathers? Short answer; no. The government we overthrew in Iraq was an oppressive, totalitarian regime that regularly executed thousands of its own citizens. Saddam was a threat to the citizens of Iraq, his neighboring nations, and to any free, peace-loving country in the west.
We came in, deposed the dictator, helped the country to organize their own government, ratify a constitution, hold elections where the citizens elected their own government, and are actively training the local army and police force to be self-sufficient so we can leave. If we were occupiers, or imperialists, we would be actively crushing anyone in the country who opposed our will, and we would all be swimming in oil.
The difference between what we are doing there and what would happen should someone invade America are such polar opposites, it all but makes the comparison laughable.
We live in a free society, where we have the liberty to chose our own government. Anyone who invades our country is going to be doing so with the hopes of overthrowing our representative government in order to set up their own dictatorship, or in the case of those fighting in Iraq, their own Islamic theocracy. Anyone who wouldn't take up arms to defend against that type of invader isn't worthy of the freedom they currently enjoy. But again, you wouldn't find mass graves where Americans were kidnapping the invaders, beheading them, and dumping the bodies in shallow graves. Or there wouldn't be video on Liveleak or Youtube of Americans singing "America the Beautiful" while a 12 year old saws off the head of a member of the invading Army. But we've seen both of those things in Iraq, minus America the Beautiful.
When we pushed Saddam's forces out of Kuwait in '91, Bush 41 came under intense fire for not "finishing the job". Why is it that everyone thought that taking out Saddam was such a good idea 16 years ago, but bad now? And why was it that so many in Congress thought that invading Iraq was such a grand idea 4 1/2 years ago, but now want to act like they never had a hand in it? Why was Saddam such a threat just a few years ago, but now everyone thinks that Iraq was some kind of happy playground under him?
In fact, I think it's time to bring this out again. One after the other, Democrats tell us why Saddam was a bad man and should have been acted against. And yeah, they can all claim that Bush lied to them, but listen to current Presidential hopeful John Edwards pontificate about his inside knowledge as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Hillary saying that there cannot be peace in Iraq without regime change. Bet you don't hear anything even close to that from her now.
Anyway, back to your comment.
Those fighting us in Iraq are fighting for anything BUT their perceived freedom. They don't want a free Iraq. The last thing they want is a citizenry that realizes that it has the right to self-determination when it comes to their government. What they want are a people who are scared shitless of what will happen to them should they violate anything imposed under sharia law. They want women who wear the burqa, and men who grow their beards, give up alcohol and cigarettes, bow to Mecca 5 times a day, and promise to help kill the infidel.
One more comparison of our army to theirs. Ted Rall, in his cartoon, makes a reference to religious fervor. Let me ask you this, what religion do you have to be to join the U.S. Army? I'll answer that one for you; there is no religious requirement. Our military is made up of people from every walk of life, and every religion imaginable, standing shoulder to shoulder, fighting for the freedom of the man or woman on each side of him to pray to whomever or whatever he choses to worship. Or to not pray or believe in anything. Let me see you try that as a part of the insurgency. They not only require you to be Muslim, but will actively force you to convert or they will send you to meet Allah.
Now let's look at the treatment of prisoners. Whatever perceived abuse there may or may not have been at Abu-Ghraib, it pales in comparison to what will happen to you should you fall into the hands of our enemies. Our troops know that when you are engaged by the enemy, you win that fight or you die trying, because what they will do to you if you are captured is unspeakable. You will be tortured, and I'm not talking about forcing you to watch them flush a Bible down the toilet. I'm talking about drill bits through your knees or hands, fingers cut off, eyes gouged out, and anything else you can or cannot imagine. But you're never going to hear about that on the nightly news, because it doesn't fit into their preconceived notion that the "insurgents" in Iraq are morally equivalent to our founding fathers fighting the British.
Who do I consider patriots? Patriots are the Sunni's who are coming forward to point out members of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Patriots go to the polls in Iraq to vote, when they know that if this current fight doesn't succeed, they will most likely end up in a shallow grave somewhere. Patriots are those Iraqis who are putting their lives on the line every day to fight the insurgents who are trying desperately to destabilize the region so that they can move yet another Arabic nation into sharia law.
The mask wearing, IED planting, women and children executing, car bomb driving terrorist we are currently fighting in Iraq are the worst kind of cowards in comparison.