Thursday, July 05, 2007

The 4th of July applies to whom?

Profound reflections from Bigtree:

"This Fourth of July is yours, not mine," he said "You may rejoice, (I)must mourn. What to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelly to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy - a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour."

It is, in fact, this very contradiction between our nation's aspirations and its government's actions that many Americans ignore as they both celebrate our nation's independence from tyranny and oppression, and continue to tolerate the tyranny and oppression that our nation has fostered in Iraq with Bush's invasion and occupation.

"How can we continue to boast of the genius of our own past liberty from the imperialism of the British monarchy while our nation's military is actively oppressing the citizens of Iraq with tightened occupations in Baghdad and Ramadi? How can some Americans be so sanguine about our nation's revolutionary past, even as they blindly accept the repression of those in Iraq who are at the mercy of the false authority we fostered under the heavy hand of our military?

As Americans celebrate here at home with flags and fireworks, where is the freedom to be found in Iraq? Where is the freedom in our deadly checkpoints restricting free movement of Iraqis in their own country? Where is the freedom to be found in the face of our weapons that are pointed directly at the heart of the Iraqi community in the continuing, U.S. led, search and destroy missions?

Where is liberty to be found under our perpetual occupation? Where is liberty's refuge from the 'collateral' killings of innocent Iraqis that our government and military obscures behind talk of 'rolling back the insurgency' and 'defeating terrorism? Where is the liberty in the massive round-ups and detentions of innocent Iraqi men, women and children?

Where is the justice in the summary executions in the field by our soldiers of 'suspected' insurgents? Where is the justice in the indefinite imprisonment of Iraqis (many for years) without charges, without access to evidence, and without access to counsel?"

Read it all....

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