Posted by bsflag2007 on Monday, February 26, 2007
Sunday Morning we watched the snow fall – and the names of the troops killed in Iraq scroll down the tube. I make a point of reading the names and ages, a masochistic personal exercise. This week there were several 18 and 19 year olds.
Around the same time these “babies” were losing their lives – some other 18 year olds and their buddies were busy beating each others brains out with baseball bats in the Mount Hebron High School parking lot.
Howard teen charged in fatal baseball-bat beating
18-year-old allegedly involved in fight at Mt. Hebron High School
Thinking about this heartbreaking juxtaposition reminded me of a little family lore. My mother was called to school to speak to the “vice” principal about something stupid involving senior week and toilet paper . She was finding both the vice principal and the conversation very tedious – particularly when he started ranting about how “when he was in high school he had to worry about going to war” and how spoiled American kids were “nowadays” .
As the story goes….. she quoted Thomas Paine:
“If there must be trouble let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.”
When he didn’t understand her point she clarifed with her own little rant about “that’s why their fathers went to war … so they could worry about throwing toilet paper in the trees….” and then something about a bumbling idiot.
Thinking about this 30 year old exchange – I mentally drifted to some other “the more things change the more they stay the same” quotes and quips that seem as relevant today as they did when they were first uttered.
Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country. quote verified at snopes.com
or: Theodore Roosevelt:
To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. (1918)