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Thread: Chris Satullo: A not-so-glorious Fourth. The Philadelphia Inquirer philly.com

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    http://www.philly.com/inquirer/colum...us_Fourth.html

    Put the fireworks in storage.

    Cancel the parade.

    Tuck the soaring speeches in a drawer for another time.

    This year, America doesn't deserve to celebrate its birthday. This Fourth of July should be a day of quiet and atonement.

    For we have sinned.

    We have failed to pay attention. We've settled for lame excuses. We've spit on the memory of those who did that brave, brave thing in Philadelphia 232 years ago.

    The America those men founded should never torture a prisoner.

    The America they founded should never imprison people for years without charge or hearing.

    The America they founded should never ship prisoners to foreign lands, knowing their new jailers might torture them.

    Such abuses once were committed by the arrogant crowns of Europe, spawning rebellion.

    Today, our nation does such things in the name of our safety. Petrified, unwilling to take the risks that love of liberty demands, we close our eyes.

    We have done such things, on orders from the Oval Office. We have done them, without general outrage or shame.

    Abu Ghraib. Guantanamo. CIA secret prisons. "Rendition" of prisoners to foreign torture chambers.

    It's not enough that we had good reason to be scared.

    The men huddled long ago in Philadelphia had better reason. A British fleet floated off the Jersey coast, full of hands eager to hang them from the nearest lampposts.

    Yet they pledged their lives and sacred honor - no idle vow - to defend the "inalienable rights" of men. Inalienable - what does that signify? It means rights that belong to each person, simply by virtue of being human. Rights that can never be taken away, no matter what evil a person might do or might intend.

    Surely one of those is the right not to be tortured. Surely that is a piece of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

    This is the creed of July 4: No matter what it costs us, no matter how it scares us, no matter how foolish it seems to a cynical world, America should stand up for human rights.

    No, not even the brave men who picked up a quill, dipped it in ink and signed the parchment that summer day in Philadelphia lived up perfectly to the creed. But they did something extraordinary, founding a new nation upon a vow to oppose all the evil habits of tyranny.

    That is why history still honors them.

    But what will history think of us, of how we responded to our great challenge? Sept. 11 was a hideous evil, a grievous wound. Yet, truth told, it has not summoned our better angels as often as our worst.

    We have betrayed the July 4 creed. We trample the vows we make, hand to heart.
    Don't imagine that only the torturer's hand bears the guilt. The guilt reaches deep inside our Capitol, and beyond that - to us.

    Our silence is complicit. In our name, innocents were jailed, humans tortured, our Constitution mangled. And we said so little.

    We can't claim not to have known. The best among us raised the alarm. Heroes in uniform, judges in robes, they opposed the perverse logic of an administration drenched in fear, drunk on power.

    But did we heed them? Hardly. Barely . . .

    We were so busy. Soccer practice at 6. A credit card balance to fret. The final vote on Idol.

    We left it to those in power to keep our precious selves from harm. Whatever it took.
    We took the coward's way.

    The world sees this, even if we are too dim to grasp it. We've lost respect. We've shamed the memory of Jefferson, Adams and Franklin.

    And all for a scam. The waterboarding, the snarling dogs, the theft of sleep - all the diabolical tricks haven't made us safer. They may have averted this plot or that. But they've spawned new enemies by the thousands, made the jihadist rants ring true to so many ears.

    So put out no flags.

    Sing no patriotic hymns.

    We deserve no Fourth this year.

    Let us atone, in quiet and humility. Let us spend the day truly studying the example of our Founders. May we earn a new birth of courage before our nation's birthday next rolls around.

    [line]To comment, e-mail csatullo@phillynews.com.
    Note: In a few weeks, Center Square will move to the A-section of The Sunday Inquirer, while continuing to appear in the Saturday Local News section.

    08:19 AM, 07/01/2008 is it o.k. for the enemy to chop off someones head, then show it on t.v.? a lot of bad things happen in war. thats why it is called war.

    Posted by mwhisted 08:42 AM, 07/01/2008 Mr. Satullo needs to study his history; War is hell, both sides in the late 1770’s executed nonuniformed combatants. The British were fond of bayoneting wounded rebels . Like Cindy McCain says I have always been proud of my country!

    Posted by Rauol Duke 09:43 AM, 07/01/2008 No matter what happens in life, only you have control of your own actions. This is how God will judge you.

    Posted by FrankMar 10:26 AM, 07/01/2008 Are you kidding me? The absolute worst that America could do is still head and shoulders above the best that our enemies do. Think we made more enemies? I don’t. I believe that the goal of Islam is world domination. Seen any beheading videos lately? So we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t. When you blame America you blame all its people …. the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’m curious; do you include yourself in the blame? Or are you just another self-righteous blame America leftist who feels he’s above the rest of the uninformed, uncaring masses? Think about what you’re saying and how it might sound to the enemies you say we’ve spawned. They would never speak of themselves that way no matter what heinous acts they commit in the name of their god. You make us sound weak, confused, and unsure of ourselves. Well sir, speak for yourself. Please don’t include me in your libelous commentary. document.

    Posted by wek 10:31 AM, 07/01/2008 Gee same, don’t we tell the world that we’re supposed to be better than our enemies? Satullo once wrote a “column” which was supposed to be a “Cliff Notes” synopsis of the presidential candidates (the field was once a lot more crowded than now) that absolutely infuriated me. It was lazy, jingoistic and stupid. I cannot believe that the same person just wrote these words. He’s absolutely right, and this was said beautifully.

    Posted by porterk 10:41 AM, 07/01/2008 There are many of us "out here" who have tried urgently, often desperately, to bring this whole issue to the forefront of attention of the American people. Here in Chester County, for example, some of us have attended conferences about the torture issue, then returned and worked hard to heighten people's awareness - often not only to the "who-cares?" response but also to downright hostility for even raising the issue, even in our religious organization (many of which are in total denial). Common, ordinary Americans will suffer the effects of not only their malfeasance, but their nonfeasance with regard to this issue. Someone at one of the anti-torture conferences warned us that eliminating torture as our now-national policy will take generations - just like abolition of slavery. And torture is an issue on that level - the same level of perfidy as slavery. And, from what some of us have experienced, that statement was absolutely right. The Bush administration has embedded torture into our legal system, as Americans put their heads into the sand. It will take years to abolish torture. And history will not judge us kindly.--Karen Porter, The Chester County Peace Movement, ccpeacemovement@aol.com document.

    Posted by Jack Klompus 10:44 AM, 07/01/2008 Oh holier-than-thou Chris. Do you practice being a self-righteous, melodramatic jerk in the mirror or does it just come naturally to you?

    Posted by Gibba Mang 10:48 AM, 07/01/2008 I rue the day when George W Bush and Dick Cheney are forced to testify, underoath, their knowledge and support for these heinus crimes.

    Posted by Rauol Duke 11:10 AM, 07/01/2008 Jack Klompus, Why do you hate America? Why do you want the terrorist to win?

    Posted by Jack Klompus 11:19 AM, 07/01/2008 Raoul - as a racist, warmongering, right wing, neocon, Bushitler, McSame kinda guy I think you need some "hope" with a side order of "change." Or maybe I can be taught "awareness" by porterk - he went to conferences, you know. Haha right out of "Stuff White People Like."

    Posted by Jack Klompus 11:20 AM, 07/01/2008 I'm sorry. I'll let the "peace movement" try to improve my "awareness."

    Posted by George Tomezsko 11:21 AM, 07/01/2008 "Abu Ghraib. Guantanamo. CIA secret prisons. "Rendition" of prisoners to foreign torture chambers." More anti-American drivel from the America-is-always-the-bad-guy left. This column is also about forty years too late. It's premise harks clear back to the Sixties, when it was much more campy and in vogue to make those kinds of arguments. And speaking of prison camps, what about Treblinka? The Soviet Gulag? KGB secret prisons? I daresay the atrocities and torture that took place in these institutions made the places Satullo cited look like picnic grounds.

    Posted by wek 11:44 AM, 07/01/2008 Uh...any particular reason why my comment was rejected?

    Posted by Nick4102 12:44 PM, 07/01/2008 For those of you who agree with this drivil of an artical, I have a very simple solution. LEAVE, GOOD-BYE, SEE YA we won't miss you. Go to that mystical country that is better than the U.S. Oh yeh that's right there is none. This artical is written because the the same people it puts down died defending it. So Chris you PUTZ, shame on you, July 4th is to not just celebrate but to pay respect to all those brave people.

    Posted by Gibba Mang 12:59 PM, 07/01/2008 Hey Nick...why don't YOU leave the US instead since you support tactics used by dictators. Just imagine how much better our country, and our lives would be, without those mentally challanged neocons who worship at the feet of Bush/Cheney. Keeping America, and Americans, safe doesn't mean throwing out the Constituion or Genevia Convention.

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    I heard of this on rush and posted it on another forum.

    This guy can go to hell.

    the 4th is about Americas Birthday, not politics.

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    I think I have made this 'rant' every Independence Day. Every nation/culture that uses the Gregorian Calendar has and enjoys the 4th of July. Only we Americans are blessed to celebrate our INDEPENDENCE DAY on the 4th of July. Just as it is Christmas and not X-mas or Solstice Mass or what ever New Age babble, our

    INDEPENDENCE DAY approaches! Thank God. Thank GOoDness.

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    I don't agree with everything he wrote, but there is a difference between holding the government accountable for wrongs they do, and equivocating what we do to what other nations do.

    Just because the Russians or Al Qaeda or anyone else is "worse" doesn't make what we do OK.

    I agree that it should never be permissible to participate in intrinsically evil acts hoping for a good result. We shouldn't torture prisoners on the chance that we might get something useful to save lives. We shouldn't violate American's civil rights on the chance that it might make us "safer."

    It is sometimes surprising to me how some gun owners can be such staunch advocates of the human right to self-defense while supporting policies that trod all over the rights of others to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

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    bobernet wrote:
    It is sometimes surprising to me how some gun owners can be such staunch advocates of the human right to self-defense while supporting policies that trod all over the rights of others to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
    i hope you aren't talking about those who blow themselves up in crowded rooms and point guns at our soldiers.


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    bobernet wrote:
    I don't agree with everything he wrote, but there is a difference between holding the government accountable for wrongs they do, and equivocating what we do to what other nations do.

    Just because the Russians or Al Qaeda or anyone else is "worse" doesn't make what we do OK.

    I agree that it should never be permissible to participate in intrinsically evil acts hoping for a good result. We shouldn't torture prisoners on the chance that we might get something useful to save lives. We shouldn't violate American's civil rights on the chance that it might make us "safer."

    It is sometimes surprising to me how some gun owners can be such staunch advocates of the human right to self-defense while supporting policies that trod all over the rights of others to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    +1

    Morality is not a zero sum game. Neither is immorality.

    All the ammendments are sacred...not just the 2nd.

    Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire,
    a troublesome servant and a fearful master. - George Washington

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    yeahYeah wrote:
    bobernet wrote:
    It is sometimes surprising to me how some gun owners can be such staunch advocates of the human right to self-defense while supporting policies that trod all over the rights of others to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
    i hope you aren't talking about those who blow themselves up in crowded rooms and point guns at our soldiers.
    People who blow themselves up are dead and can't be tortured. People who point guns at soldiers get shot, and can't be tortured.

    If you mean people who look like them, or people the government suspects might be like them - then yes. I mean them and every other living breathing human. If they are guilty of a crime, they should be punished. If they *may* be guilty, they deserve every protection and benefit *you* should receive if the JBT's decide to call you a "terrorist" some day.

    Do you think gassing and burning the Branch Davidians was OK because "it's for the children?" Or is it only not OK because they were white and didn't wear turbans?


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    bobernet wrote:
    I don't agree with everything he wrote, but there is a difference between holding the government accountable for wrongs they do, and equivocating what we do to what other nations do.

    Just because the Russians or Al Qaeda or anyone else is "worse" doesn't make what we do OK.

    I agree that it should never be permissible to participate in intrinsically evil acts hoping for a good result. We shouldn't torture prisoners on the chance that we might get something useful to save lives. We shouldn't violate American's civil rights on the chance that it might make us "safer."

    It is sometimes surprising to me how some gun owners can be such staunch advocates of the human right to self-defense while supporting policies that trod all over the rights of others to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
    So what are you saying, that terrorists that are entirely devoid of any basic human morals have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?
    I think they are already pursuing their happiness by blowing everyone up or getting some poor bastard to do it...last time I checked, that makes one a bad person.
    Under your line of thinking, I should throw my guns in the incinerator, because if I shoot the guy thats stabbing my wife, I might be taking away his right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness! Heaven Forbid!!!!


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    Strawman. When you want to actually interact with an argument and not a caricature, let me know.

    Since I'm feeling generous tonight, I'll play the game with your ridiculously inappropriate analogy.

    Some guy told this guy who is the mechanic, of this guy who cuts the hair of this guy who I know at work that Joe might be planning to rape my wife.

    I go find this "Joe." I kidnap him, and tie him up in my basement. I beat him, torture him, starve and freeze him, all while trying to figure out if he and his buddies are going to rape my wife. The cops find out I kidnapped the guy, so real quick I move him over to my buddy's house. My buddy is MUCH crueler than I am, and proceeds to electrocute Joe, burns him, beats him, cuts him. He feeds him maggot infested food (when he feeds him). Keeps Joe locked in a tiny box out in the sun with no food or water for days at a time. Then brings him back in for more torture.

    Whoops, turns out I got bad information and Joe is not a rapist, doesn't know my wife or I, and was just a victim of malicious gossip.

    Did I do anything wrong? Yes, or No.

    Thanks for playing this round of "it's all OK cause they're terrorists!"

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    Hmpf, I found the article fairly good.

    I guess that makes me Un-American. And a "leftist", whatever that means anymore. So be it.

    bobernet, +1 on everything you've said here so far. Stick around, please.

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    bobernet wrote:
    yeahYeah wrote:
    bobernet wrote:
    It is sometimes surprising to me how some gun owners can be such staunch advocates of the human right to self-defense while supporting policies that trod all over the rights of others to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
    i hope you aren't talking about those who blow themselves up in crowded rooms and point guns at our soldiers.
    People who blow themselves up are dead and can't be tortured. People who point guns at soldiers get shot, and can't be tortured.

    If you mean people who look like them, or people the government suspects might be like them - then yes. I mean them and every other living breathing human. If they are guilty of a crime, they should be punished. If they *may* be guilty, they deserve every protection and benefit *you* should receive if the JBT's decide to call you a "terrorist" some day.

    Do you think gassing and burning the Branch Davidians was OK because "it's for the children?" Or is it only not OK because they were white and didn't wear turbans?
    for the record, i was totally against the Branch Dividian saga...
    i hate to hear this "for the children" crap.

    on the other hand, the leftist seems to think that blasting Britney spears is torture. these people get treated better then the prisoners in our own country, so give me a break. if they aren't american, then they should not be entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. sadly, the country is headed in that direction.

    My brother served 2 tours in Iraq and came face to face with the enemy - my views are a little different then yours because my brother shed blood over there for us. I do not agree with torturing people and i do not agree with hugging them and appeasing them. if their goal is to take life in such a brutal disgusting way, they do not deserve to live.

    Like I say - my opinion is different as my family has shed blood there.

    you guys are entitled to your opinions...

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    if they aren't american, then they should not be entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. sadly, the country is headed in that direction.
    And well we should be headed in that direction. We never should have strayed from that direction. Let me quote something you might recognize, "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights..."

    "All men" not just Americans. "Endowed by their Creator" not by the US government.

    My brother served 2 tours in Iraq and came face to face with the enemy - my views are a little different then your because my brother shed blood over there for us. I do not agree with torturing people and i do not agree with hugging them and appeasing them.
    My grandfather was a turret gunner in WWII. He was an aircraft mechanic in Korea. He served in the civil service for the Air Force another 2 decades after retiring honorably from the Air Force. My father-in-law served in the Army infantry during Vietnam. I served in the US Navy, and watched a helicopter crew from my ship bite it. My uncle served honorably as an air crew member of the Air Force in Vietnam. My brother-in-law is this very moment deployed as an Army Blackhawk pilot. His troop is stationed at Taji, Iraq. He is on loan to another division about 20 miles from the Iran border.

    Save the patronizing for someone else.

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    it seems your family has a great military lineage. I am not patronizing at all, i am darn proud of what he did and it means a lot to me.

    this war is all political now...this article was designed to piss people off. I don't believe a lot of what the liberal media says. they seek to bring this country and our troops down...so their credibility in my eyes is next to nothing.

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    Hmpf, I found the article fairly good.

    I guess that makes me Un-American. And a "leftist", whatever that means anymore. So be it.

    bobernet, +1 on everything you've said here so far. Stick around, please.
    The politics of today aside, I agree that we have betrayed our founders in so may ways and for that we should be ashamed. It should stir us to a new resolve.

    But Americans today are too full of themselves to have room for anything else inside. They don't get involved, don't help your fellow man and continue toturn a blind eye and this is what we get.

    I Love America! This Fourth of July for what Americais today, I mourn;for what she once was, I celebrate; and for what she might one day become, I work, hope and pray!



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    "The spirit of 1776 is not dead. It has only been slumbering. The body of the American people is substantially republican. But their virtuous feelings have been played on by some fact with more fiction; they have been the dupes of artful maneuvers, and made for a moment to be willing instruments in forging chains for themselves. But times and truth dissipated the delusion, and opened their eyes." --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Lomax, 1799. ME 10:123

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    Do not let the sting of this man's rebuke inflame your pride, or turn you to scorn without thought; his words ring true.

    Every American should be shamed by some things which today pass for Justice, should weep for the abuse of Liberty which has been tolerated. To insist on pride for its own sake when we find ourselves wanting of that courageous endeavor which would merit it is a great folly. We should not celebrate Independence Day to pay homage to ourselves. Rather, we must observe it to celebrate what is Right in our nation, and the Righteousness of the principles that founded it, and, ultimately, the fact that we as Americans can empower ourselves and strive always to Right what is wrong.


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    I agree with the first 7 sentences and after that is mostly utter crap.

    "Put the fireworks in storage.

    Cancel the parade.

    Tuck the soaring speeches in a drawer for another time.

    This year, America doesn't deserve to celebrate its birthday. This Fourth of July should be a day of quiet and atonement.

    For we have sinned.

    We have failed to pay attention. We've settled for lame excuses. We've spit on the memory of those who did that brave, brave thing in Philadelphia 232 years ago."

    This part and only this part is very true. We have allowed the government to ignore and abuse the United States Constitution, the rights of the People and the sovereignty of the states. We have allowed socialism to creep into every aspect of our lives. We have willfully allowed infringements upon our God-given and constitutionally protected rights by that same government. We have forsaken the sacrifice and wisdom of our Founders in numerous facets most often in the name of fairness (socialism), safety and security for children (people up to whatever age gov't picks this week as an excuse to lord over the people) or the environment (unproven, unrealistic, usually false propositions). WE have indeed strayed. We have indeed destroyed lives. Most often through "government compassion" and confiscation of wealth and income at the point of a gun and threat of jail.

    I think the one addition I would make to the constitution is the requirement that every bill passed by congress requiring anything of the People or restricting any action of the People, be prefaced with, "At the point of a gun and with the threat of loss of life and liberty, we, the member of the United States Congress do hereby restrict or prohibit the People from..." Perhaps such a preamble to every act of congress would make our representatives and the People more aware of what we have wrought, what we have lost and what we continue to lose.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    bobernet, great posts throughout this thread. Welcome to OCDO; I look forward to reading more from you.

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