War, Personal Opinions, and the Death of Free Speech

I’ve actually been holding off on my opinions about the invasion of Iraq and the bombing of Baghdad, mostly because I’ve been having such strong feelings about the precipitation of such an action as well as the consequences. What with all the discussion and the twenty-four hour media blitz-like coverage, it’s utterly impossible to avoid talking about this thing. Sorry , but you might as well just build a bunker with a huge screen TV, a dvd player, and no cable feed whatsoever. Bring along all available seasons of Stargate SG-1 and Farscape, and I think you’ll be happy. But if you poke your nose outside that bunker, be expected to debate about this war, because opinion are like assholes. Everyone has one. (I forgot who said that first)

Prior to the onset of war, I was against it. But now that we’re in it, let’s win big. We’ve already put our men and women in harm’s way and there’s no turning back on this one. You can go out in the streets and protest all you like, but we’ve shed blood over this. There’s no turning back. My support resides behind every man and woman who’s in a uniform, putting their lives on the line for victory. I’m backing them, because they’re doing the one thing I cannot. And I can’t help but admire the courage and bravery they exhibit, just for showing up over there. Yes, they follow orders, and they’re probably furthing the political agenda of a retard, but they decided to serve America. I have family and friends in the armed forces; they joined before Bush was even elected. It’s not their fault they have to follow those orders, but they do it anyway. So that’s why I’m supporting this war, and our troops. Because I certainly don’t want them to come home and be rejected like Vietnam veterans were. That was bullshit, and still is.

That’s my personal opinion. Having one is a right I’ve been privileged with by birth. Being able to write here exactly how I feel without fear of governmental reprisal is something we’ve all taken for granted at times. In the past, we’ve sent our forces abroad to fight to protect those freedoms. Sure, we opposed US involvement in World War II, but not after Pearl Harbor. Holy shit, all isolationistic movements were brought to an abrupt halt when Pearl was bombed and we lost a lot of sailors and soliders. There was some asshole in Germany and an Emperor in Japan who was revered like a God by his people. One threatened world domination, the other just wanted room to grow.. and wanted it badly. My grandfather lied about his age to join up when Pearl was bombed. He ended up serving in the Army Air Corps and attached to the B-24 corps that flew from England. He flew twenty-five missions, which he obviously survived. And then, nearly foolishly, went backto fly twenty-five more. When he came back, he stayed in as an Air Force reservist and then went off to fight in Korea, when the North Koreans decided they wanted to attack and move against the United Nations. His actions inspired my sisters to join up, and both of them have served the Air Force with distinction. Like my grandfather, they signed up to protect me, my family, and the American way of life. They’re far braver than I am. My opinion on this way is that our armed forces have sacrificed a great deal of life and blood to this country, and I’ll not let those sacrifices go by, just because I’ve no faith in their commander-in-chief. Presidents come and go, but we have people who’ve served their entire lives for America. That’s where my loyalty is, and always shall be.

Freedom of speech and opinion seems to be a walking casualty these days. Those of us who have opinions contrary to those of the majority in America are subject to public ridicule and I often sit back and wonder about that. Aaron Sorkin once wrote, “I don’t understand how people can say they love America, but clearly can’t stand other Americans.” I can’t think of a better phrase to suit how I feel about this whole perspective on people speaking against their government. When has it been wrong to have an opinion? Do all Americans have to agree with one another in order to have harmony? Perhaps, but then what the hell kind of existance is that? America prided itself in the past as bein a diverse nation, but I think my Canadian friends have it right when they say America isn’t about diversity, it’s about assimilation. I’ve been a proponent for diversity in opinion and perspective, but the close-minded nature of the majority of citizens is alarming. Has it always been so? I’m so eager for the next generation to hurry up and mature, because after watching MTV for the past couple of days, I’m convinced they appear to be of a more open personality than their parents. I’ve heard enough of the ‘turn the Middle East into a giant parking lot’ opinions to last me for a while. Though I just nod and smile, inside I feel like reaching over and shaking them violently. You’re talking about nuclear holocaust like it’s the right thing to do. Would you allow that sort of thing to happn on American soil, you self-centered arrogant bastard? But, he’s entitled to his opinion, just like everyone else.

Or so we’re led to beleive by the First Amendment.

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1 comment

    • inetmonkey on March 23, 2003 at 01:52

    I just don’t care to dwell on it every waking moment and voice my opinions to anyone and everyone who will listen. It’s like these retarded assholes who always spout, “Remember September 11th!” How in the BLUE FUCK am I EVER going to be able to forget it?

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