28 July 2004

Who's responsible?

Barbara Ehrenreich makes some pointed comments about the relationship between our principles and our new gulag archipelago.
Today, those who believe that the war on terror requires the sacrifice of our liberties like to argue that "the Constitution is not a suicide pact." In a sense, however, the Declaration of Independence was precisely that.

By signing Jefferson's text, the signers of the declaration were putting their lives on the line. England was then the world's greatest military power, against which a bunch of provincial farmers had little chance of prevailing. Benjamin Franklin wasn't kidding around with his quip about hanging together or hanging separately. If the rebel American militias were beaten on the battlefield, their ringleaders could expect to be hanged as traitors.

Katherine R, posting at Obsidian Wings, adds this observation ...
We do not need to take anywhere near that kind of risk, or any risk at all. Our leaders answer to us --- slowly, reluctantly, and only when they think it puts their re-election in danger, but in the end they do answer to us. We have a say in all this. We do not have to become this kind of country. We do not have to torture people or send them to torturers. We do not have to let Jefferson's eloquent phrases become empty slogans mouthed to justify anything. We do not have to put up with this shit.
... reminding us that, in a democracy, we all have moral responsibility for our nation's actions.

No comments: