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Freedom Isn’t Free February 28, 2011

Posted by frrobins in Current Events, Memories, Politics.
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“Freedom isn’t free!”

I used to seethe when someone would fling that in my face. I was an angry college student, doing everything in my power to prevent the invasion of Iraq. I wrote my representatives. I went to war protests. I tried to talk some sense into people. I voted in the 2004 elections. It was to no avail. Iraq was invaded despite my efforts.

That mantra would get under my skin when some pro-war supporter threw it at me. Of course freedom isn’t free. Unlike them, I didn’t see how invading Iraq would protect my freedom, or the freedom of the Iraqis. Freedom can’t be imposed on people. It’s something that the individual person has to fight for him or herself.

Right now, this battle is being fought in Libya. By protesting their government, demanding change, holding their representatives accountable they are demanding their freedom. For some, the cost is their life. For those still fighting, I wish them luck.

Recently, people have earned their freedom in Egypt and Tunisia. I hope that the people in those countries work to create a government that serves the needs of the people rather than fall to the danger of having a new tyrant put in place.

Freedom is not found by invading foreign countries. Nor is it found by unquestioning obedience to a political leader. While I voted for Obama, if he decides to invade Libya you bet I would object. Freedom is not earned by slapping an American flag sticker on your car and continuing on with your day. It is gained by keeping oneself informed of the actions of one’s own government, by questioning that government, by letting one’s representatives know your opinions, and by voting a representative out of office should s/he not meet one’s needs.

When a young woman writes her elected officials, she is earning her freedom. When a man joins in peaceful protest with others, he is earning his freedom. When a brand spanking new 18 year old votes for the first time, she is earning her freedom.

I am heartened by what is going on in the Middle East. Back in college, I used to tell people that when the Iraqi’s hunger for freedom was greater than their fear of their government they would rebel on their own. And that victory would be greater than one imposed on them because they themselves would have earned it.

In Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and other countries, this is proving to be the case. They have taken the first steps on a long road. I wish them luck in navigating the bends and avoiding the potholes.

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Comments»

1. jonolan - February 28, 2011

All your precious Leftist talk is utterly meaningless to the man with the rifle and the orders and will to use it.

Sometimes people need military aid to oust their tyrants and the forces those tyrant’s use to enslave them.

That was true is Iraq and it may well be true in Libya.

Freedom isn’t free and the only reason the means you advocate seem to be “earning it” is because other better men and women put their lives on the line to pay the bulk of the bill.

frrobins - February 28, 2011

First, I think you need to go back and read what I said rather than react to what you think I said. I didn’t say anything about the military. One of the points of my post was that the US needed to leave other countries alone because freedom can’t be imposed, and I said nothing about how those countries get freedom on their own. Egypt’s victory is partially due to the EGYPTIAN military coming to the aid of the protesters. What these places don’t need is the US mucking in their affairs.

The people in Egypt didn’t need the US. Neither did the people in Tunisia. And Iraq is in a pretty sorry state of affairs with our “help.”


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