Support the Troops...Or Else!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

When will we start to lose our liberties in the name of this so-called war on terror? Many liberties have already been swept under the rug in the name of security by the Bush administration, but when will it become illegal to express your opinion? Perhaps the "snowball" has already started down the mountain.

Earlier this week the 2.7 million member strong American Legion (you know the building in every town) declared a "war on protestors". At the national convention in Honolulu, the National Commander, Thomas Cadmus, declared his wish for an end to all public protests and media events against the war in Iraq. What this means, I am not sure so here are the words of the American Legion:

"The American Legion will stand against anyone and any group that would demoralize our troops, or worse, endanger their lives by encouraging terrorists to continue their cowardly attacks against freedom-loving peoples."

Mr. Cadmus then went on to say: "No one respects the right to protest more than one who has fought for it, but we hope that Americans will present their views in correspondence to their elected officials rather than by public media events guaranteed to be picked up and used as tools of encouragement by our enemies."

Where do the freedoms of the average American rank with Mr. Cadmus? He had this to say about our "freedoms": "It would be tragic if the freedoms our veterans fought so valiantly to protect would be used against their successors today as they battle terrorists bent on our destruction.”

Maybe you think I am over-reacting. Certainly people wouldn't go to jail for speaking out against the government or the war? Not in America! Time for a history lesson regarding this wonderful "democracy" we have here in America and all we have to do is go back to WWI.

The First World War was very unpopular and quite similar to this war in regards to the way it was "sold" to the people via propaganda and lies. For time purposes I won't get into the Woodrow Wilson/George Bush similarities but one may be surprised regarding the anti-war movement of the day.

In the name of "security" from the Germans and other sympathizers, the Espionage Act of 1917 was passed. This act made it a crime for a person to convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States or to promote the success of its ememies, punishable by 20 years in prison and a fine of $10,000. Can you imagine how bad George and company would love to resurrect this one?

People were still marching and protesting the war at this point so the Sedition Act of 1918 was passed. This act was an admendment to the Espionage Act of 1917. The act forbade an American to use "disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language" about the United States government, flag, or armed forces. Also the act allowed the Postmaster General to deny mail delivery to dissenters.

This was America in the late nineteen-eighteens, on the verge of and then involved in a war that was vastly unpopular, a war that the President led America into on the back of lies and false "intelligence". It was a country where it was illegal to speak out against the government or the troops and hundreds of people went to federal prison.

Why is this important? We must learn from history or it repeats itself over and over. America of today is not that far removed from the America of 1918. Not only did these laws choke the life out of the anti-war movement, it may be the reason we have only a two party system of government today. Eugene V. Debs, the leading Socialist of the time, and a 4 time Presidential nominee in a time when Socialism was gaining imense popularity in America was jailed for 10 years under the Sedition Act of 1918 and the entire party was suffocated without the use of the United States Postal Service. Taking away freedom in the name of freedom, how absurd!


jj said...

That is a great post. Great information.
Sounds like fascism in the name of freedom.

Jay Denari said...


Very interesting. You're the first person I've seen who compared this war to WW1... a comparison, if true, that makes the next several years a rather grim prospect. If the pattern continues (and it looks like it easily could), we'll see serious economic depression leading to an even bigger war.

Let's hope not, and work to prevent it.

One thing you wrote, however, is wrong: In the name of "security" from the nazi's and other sympathizers,

In WW1 there were no Nazis. The party wasn't born in Germany until the 1920s as a result of the war, economic chaos, and Allied occupation of the Rhineland. There were, however, German sympathizers and many more people who simply wanted us to stay out of the quagmire in Europe.

jmcmaster said...

my bad, I didn't mean nazis, thanks for pointing that out.

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