Reason | Jan 18, 2021 | 0
Blindness on Iraq War “Patriotism”
A recent op-ed in the New York Times by Democrat Tammy Duckworth demonstrates that when it comes to “patriotism,” liberals are as morally blind as conservatives.
Duckworth’s op-ed goes after conservative Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson, who recently questioned Duckworth’s patriotism by suggesting that she didn’t love her country. Naturally, Duckworth, who lost her legs while serving as a soldier in the U.S. military in Iraq, took umbrage over Carlson’s attack and responded quite vociferously in her op-ed.
Much of the controversy involves meaningless exchanges that regularly take place between Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives. That’s mostly because both leftists and rightists believe in the welfare-warfare state way of life.
But there is one aspect of Duckworth’s op-ed that deserves addressing because it so clearly shows that when it comes to war, the left-wing is as morally obtuse as the right wing.
Even knowing how my tour in Iraq would turn out, even knowing that I’d lose both my legs in a battlefield just north of Baghdad in late 2004, I would do it all over again. Because if there’s anything that my ancestors’ service taught me, it’s the importance of protecting our founding values, including every American’s right to speak out.
So while I would put on my old uniform and go to war all over again to protect the right of Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump to say offensive things on TV and Twitter….
What Duckworth obviously still hasn’t come to the terms with is that her military service in Iraq had absolute nothing to do with protecting the right of freedom of speech of the American people. That’s because neither the Iraqi regime nor the Iraqi people were threatening the freedom of speech of the American people.
What Duckworth obviously still doesn’t recognize is that it was the U.S. government that was the aggressor in the Iraq War. She was part of a military force — the most powerful in history — that attacked and then occupied an impoverished Third World country that had never attacked and then occupied the United States or even threatened to do so.
Yes, I know, U.S. officials called the operation “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” But that was just propaganda. The operation had nothing to do with bringing freedom to Iraq, any more than it did with protecting the right to Americans to exercise freedom of speech. The purpose of the operation was to replace Iraqi dictator (and former U.S. partner and ally) Saddam Hussein with another U.S. stooge.
Moreover, let’s not forget that every U.S. soldier who served in Iraq, including Duckworth, was serving in an illegal war. It was illegal given that there was no congressional declaration of war against Iraq, as the Constitution requires. It was also illegal under international law because it violated the principle against wars of aggression established by the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal.
Let’s also not forget about the countless Iraqis who were killed in the process. By being deprived of their lives, they were also deprived of their right of freedom of speech.
Leftists and rightists can engage in their meaningless debates on “patriotism” all they want. Just leave out the part that holds that invading and occupying a country that has never attacked the United States protects the right of Americans to exercise freedom of speech because that just isn’t true.
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