My response to a responder to an essay I posted on my site:
OK, the Blame America First Club submission to my web site has to be answered. Of course, if you weren’t so hesitant to leave a email address, I could respond personally. But the submission form says “Optional” and that's pretty obvious.
I’ve thought about that phrase ever since you inducted me into the club.
The first thing I want to do is to thank you if, as you say, such patriotic Americans as Senator Barbara Boxer, Representative Bernie Sanders, Representative Dennis Kucinich, Ed Shultz, Ralph Nader and especially my friend Cindy Sheehan are members. I feel that I’ m in good company, although I only know one of those people personally. (More about Cindy’s arrest at another time)
The second thing I’d like to do is to let you know that you probably don’t include your email address because, as your submission shows, you have no legitimate argument against my points of view. You merely utilize the submission form to attack me personally.
However, of the personal attacks that I’ve received, the Blame American First Club is fairly easy to respond to.
By the way, if I didn’t want to be attacked personally, I wouldn’t have created my site or my blog and I wouldn’t have my column, "Open Mike - Soundoff” at the studio8 forum. I would also stop writing letters to the editor. Personal attacks are for those, as I mentioned, that have no legitimate argument.
I’m not sure for what you’re accusing us of blaming America first, so I guess I can choose one of the many topics about which I’ve written, the so-called “war” in Iraq.
The way I’m going to go about this is to take the phrase one word at a time. That should be easy since the phrase contains only three words ( I won’t include the word “club”)
I’m absolutely certain that, no matter one’s politics, everyone blames someone for the fiasco in Iraq. Many people blame the 9/11 hijackers, some blame Saddam Hussein, some blame The Regime, but everyone blame’s someone. “Conflicts” like Iraq and Vietnam just don’t happen. Something has got to initiate actions which kill thousands of people. So, I dare say that you even blame someone for what’s going on in Iraq.
I’m going to skip the word “America” because it’s a bit more complicated than “blame” and “first”.
I can only assume that the word “first” implies that we in the club blame America without giving any thought to facts. In that regard, let me remind you that the one fact you mention to back up your accusation is what happened on September 11, 2001. In fact, on September 18, 2003, the front man for The Regime admitted that Iraq was not involved in 9/11. He’s the guy that most of you think sent troops to Iraq. I think this quote, made six months after the invasion, proves my point that a regime, or a “cabal”, as Lawrence B. Wilkerson, former chief of staff for Colin Powell, calls it, controls the government of the former United States of America. It’s a regime in which George W. Bush plays a very small role. Aside from Dubya’s statement, for which I’m certain The Regime scolded him, that one and only “fact” has been disproved over and over again.
In the case of the murders in Iraq, we were rallying, marching, meeting, holding workshops, etc. in the summer and fall of 2002. We knew that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. UN inspectors were still searching and hadn’t found any. The Regime in essence did invade Iraq before UN inspectors completed their weapons inspections. So who, other than our government, compelled us to invade Iraq?
But do we really “blame America first” for the invasion of Iraq?
America is a nation. Dictionary.com defines a nation as:
a. “A relatively large group of people organized under a single, usually independent government; a country.
b. The territory occupied by such a group of people…”
Our “club members” define America that very same way.
First, America is land and water that is set within certain, predefined boundaries. We will never blame land and water for starting a war.
Secondly, America is the 250 million people who walk upon that land. That’s it! If I was ever to die for my country, that’s what I would be willing to die for. I wouldn’t be willing to die for the buildings, the corporations nor the government.
People in the government make up only a very small percentage of America. However, those people have the power to decide to invade a nation. Those people, admittedly, have access to information that may convince them to make the decision to invade a nation and we know that. Since we know that they have access to such information, we first must believe what they tell us, assuming that they wouldn’t allow Americans to be harmed or killed for disingenuous or edacious reasons.
Before the Iraq invasion, however, many of us knew that The Regime may very well have been misleading the nation.
The Regime was saying that diplomacy was failing, but didn’t tell us who the American diplomat was who was meeting with the Iraqi government. That’s because there wasn’t any American diplomat meeting with the Iraqi government. Diplomats from both parties must meet in order for diplomacy to exist, let alone work.
It was saying that there were stockpiles of horrible weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Yet, UN inspectors had been in Iraq for quite some time and hadn’t found anything close to a stockpile of weapons. Mark Ritter, a former US Marine, led one of the UN inspection teams and came back saying that The Regime was lying about Iraq’s possession of WMD. He was there! He was the closest thing that the former United States had to a diplomat in Iraq. He was very believable while warnings about “mushroom clouds” seemed a bit far fetched and melodramatic.
The Regime had made it clear, even before it was selected in 2000, that one of its goals was regime change in Iraq. It made it clear when it was TheProject for the New American Century. It seemed obvious that Iraq would be invaded if it ever took over the reigns of government in the former US.
The Regime immediately identified 19 Middle Eastern men in an almost suspiciously expeditious manner as the people who hijacked planes on September 11, 2001. None of the 19 men were Iraqi. 18 were Saudis and 1 was Algerian. Nothing about that fateful day gave us any reason to invade Iraq.
America is land and the people who occupy that land and none of us know most of the 250 million occupants personally. Consequently we would never blame America for anything. We do blame the government of America, however. It, with malice aforethought, invaded a nation that had done nothing to this country and was not the slightest threat. Further, we spent resources invading that nation after The Regime had told us that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. These are resources that could have been used to capture those who we said carried out the 9/11 attacks.
Finally, we in the “club” make up part of the population of this land and we consider ourselves Americans. We act and work on behalf of America, as we define it.
We spend a great deal of time writing to and meeting with government officials to try to make this a better place than we found it and especially better than it is now.
We spend hours talking with people, trying to convince them to see all sides of issues, not just the infotainment that passes as the mainstream media.
Those who can physically do it go from house to house, handing out flyers and talking to people.
Those of us who are not physically able to walk long distances spend time stuffing envelopes and calling people.
And many of us inform. As I said, too many people don’t see the whole picture, so to speak. We write and hope that people read. We thank you for at least reading, by the way.
Until David Ray Griffin and families of victims of 9/11 spoke out, there weren’t many, including me, who knew how many unanswered questions there were about that day.
Recently, 35 year US Marine veteran and present member of Congress, John Murtha, who in the beginning was caught up in the 9/11 frenzy, proposed a house bill which was intended to get us out of Iraq within six months. Do you think that he belongs to the Blame America First Club?
Do you think that former Marine Scott Ritter belongs to the Blame American First Club?
Do you think ultra conservative Libertarian Pat Buchanan belongs to the Blame America First Club?
Those people and the rest of the “club” aren’t blaming America, we’re blaming The Regime. Furthermore, I believe that we’re working harder to turn the former United States of America back into The United States of America than many who claim to be “patriotic” but do nothing more than to affix magnetic signs made in China to their SUVs which say “Support Our Troops”.
On a personal note, I’m 55 years old, but have been told that I have the back of an 80 year old and that there’s no surgical procedure that can be performed to improve the condition. Yet, I’ve attended rallies, spoken at rallies, sung at rallies, marched against the murders that are taking place in Iraq. I can barely walk a half a mile, but I do as much as I can. And I know other members of “the club” who overcome great odds to work very hard to get this country back.
Besides being too cowardly to leave me a personal email address so that we can discuss just what “blame America first” really means, it appears to me that you move forward with personal attacks on me, someone you’ve never met and with whom you won’t allow yourself to have a mature dialogue, without using facts to back up your attacks. Your debating style is born of ignorance and blind faith in a government, not the support of a nation.
I believe the club to which I, and those you mention belong should be the “love America first” club. We want the unwarranted killing of Americans to stop. We want the rights of Americans protected and a government that’s creative enough to know how to do that while remaining aware of potential threats to America. We want Americans to have more of a say in what its government does and we want the government to tell us the truth about matters of life and death.
If America is threatened and the government shows us that it’s threatened, we will be the first to support the government’s actions to protect America.
Thomas Jefferson said that “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Would you call Jefferson a member of the Blame America Fist Club?
My advice to you or anyone else who resorts to immature personal attacks in lieu of factually supported arguments is to not enter into a debate unarmed.
"Wrong is still wrong even if everybody's doing it. And right is still right even if nobody's doing it." – Anonymous Texas Ranger while testifying at the trial of a murderer