Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Cost of Democracy

Freedom isn't free, they say; it sometimes takes money, blood, and commitment to a long hard fight.

Only a few radical pacifists would not agree with that in the abstract, and Donald Rumsfeld takes aim at a straw dog when he argues as he did yesterday. Plenty of folks have pointed out that the issue at hand is not whether we should fight for our freedom or not but whether this particular war could reasonably be called a fight for our freedom, so I'm going to point out something else.

Freedom isn't just costly in terms of the need to fight for it, it is costly in terms of the need to protect truth and debate. It is not just soldiers who protect our freedom through courage and bloodshed, politicians, media, and ordinary people protect our freedom by having the courage to speak the truth and to be respectful of differing opinions. Only when the people know the truth and can debate their opinions does a nation have a democracy worth defending.

2 comments:

Bill Baar said...

So keeping troops in Afganistan and the many other places we've deployed should remain...

...and we should only withdraw from Iraq?

This is what's missing for me in the "anti-war" debate that's limited to just Iraq....

I believe only a moderate Islam can defeat radical Islam, and in Iraq and Afganistan we've allied ourselves with about as moderate a group of Muslims as we'll find...

For me that was the key reseaon for going into Iraq and I wasn't convinced of it until Bush's AEI Speech were he laid out a radical democratic agenda and turned his back on his Dad's Kissenger style real politics...

(here is link to the speech http://www.themoderntribune.com/george_bush_speech_february_26,_2003_plans_for_iraq_and_iraq_war.htm )

I remember this well because I was on the Grinnell College list serv at the time and called Bush a Jacobin and recall having to explain the word to folks.

I had voted for Gore Lieberman but Bush converted me with this speech.

Turtle Mountain said...

In a world in which eight known nations possess nuclear weapons, and twenty-eight are suspected of desiring them and have the resources, war is now too dangerous to be considered a viable option.

War does not create or protect "freedom"; wife abuse does not create or protect marital harmony. War is the killing of men, women and children. War is fought by the poor, the ethnically unwanted, the young, and those so deprived of education that they may be easily exploited with promises which are rarely kept.