Friday, July 4, 2008

Declaration


"When forced, therefore, to resort to arms for redress, an appeal to the
tribunal of the world was deemed proper for our justification.
"This was the object of the Declaration of Independence. Not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take.
"Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it was intended to be an expression of the American mind, and to give to that expression the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion.

"All its authority rests then on the harmonizing sentiments of the day,
whether expressed in conversation, in letters, printed essays, or in the
elementary books of public right, as
Aristotle, Cicero, Locke, Sidney,
&c. "



4 comments:

Nikki said...

Happy 4th Courtney! You go Girl! thanks for practicing your right to free speech everday in this awesome nation of ours! you are a talented writer and I am privilaged to have you in my circle! Be safe and God Bless America! :)N

Karen said...

Happy 4th, Courtney. Keep up the good work.

Findalis said...

Isn't it amazing what a handful of European men can do when left to their own devices?

Happy Fourth.

Ben Sutherland said...

Here's the preamble, Courtney.

"...with respect to our rights, and the acts of the British government contravening those rights, there was but one opinion on this side of the water."

That's the difference, isn't it? Something tells me that trying to bull your way through this one without persuading others that its good policy is not likely to get good historical reviews. You can argue that that is just argument or debate, but that happens to be a bad argument.

If the Administration or neoconservatives really think that you can bull your way through such arguments and that victory redeems you, I think such people are likely to get a very rude awakening to the world.

Many British and other imperialists reasoned similarly. And they were and are all wrong. You can try to adapt the argument differently. It still doesn't get around the fundamental issue. You really either anticipate the realities you will face better, or you deal with the consequences and history will remember the consequences much more than your words. That will be true about the Iraq war as well as any threats or action on Iran. If it's bluff, you deal with the consquences of trying to bluff your way through such circumstances without backing it up. If its not bluff, and Israel takes action, you deal with the consequences - all of them, not just the ones you like - and democracy will correct for the mistake.

Thinking you can war or threaten war through every difficult matter of international policy is a foolish, foolish mistake. It misunderstands the mindsets of those you are dealing with. It engages, ups, and give palpable reason to their paranoia, which drives such policies and much of the appeal of radical Islam in the first place. It rationalizes policies of fear that terrorists and repressive regimes thrive on. It strengthens their hand, politically. And undercutting that political support is the only long-term solution.

If you do not understand that, then you are setting yourself on a course to make many, many tragic and foolish, foolish mistakes of international policy. Many people will die as a consquence of that pride. And whether folks acknowledge it or not, it is still the responsibility of those who advocate such policies.

The big people of the world are and will continue to take responsibility for that more fundamental mistake.

And what separates leadership and everyone else is the ability to take responsibility for such mistakes.

Democracy does correct for this, long term. Because noone likes to fail forever. That's why reason catches up, always, eventually, with our stubborn denials. Because reality does not care what we think of it. It just is. Many, many foolish world leaders have thought that they could use power to determine such realities in the direction that pleased them. They have all been wrong. And will all continue to be. Because it ignores the much more fundamental shaper of world history: conscience.

And a stronger conscience is what makes for leadership and vision.

Everything else is bullshit.

And the failure to face up to the reality has been the downfall of every major power that still does not stand since the beginning of human history.

Happy Independence Day, Courtney. Talk later.

Ben