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Patriotism: Does This Justify Every Atrocity?

Joined: 6/27/2013
Posts: 19
Elizabeth YW
Patriotism isn’t what most people think it is: charging up to the frontlines to serve and fight and possibly die for your country’s cause of war. Patriotism isn’t making bombs to be dropped on innocent men, women, and children living in an enemy country. Patriotism isn’t charging into a country, fighting a dirty war, and later sparing your generals from prosecution for war crimes. This month is a patriotic month, a month to love and hail this country. This month is a month to speak the truth.

The Founding Fathers created our country under to Constitution. They created our country out of love for its people and anger against the oppression of the British. They labored to create the Bill of Rights, protecting citizens against a possibly corrupt government. What would they think about murdering civilians, aiding to the spying of America’s own citizens, and acting high and noble about barging in wars which we were not supposed to?

Don’t get me wrong. I love America. I love democracy. Patriotism, according to the dictionary, is “love for or devotion to one’s country.” I believe otherwise; that patriotism is good judgement in decisions that will affect the country, thereby expressing true love for and devotion to one’s country. After Pearl Harbor, frenzied Americans rallied on the streets to “kill J*ps.” The Congress quickly made the decision to put innocent Japanese Americans into concentration camps. This was an example of revenge and hatred that is so often borne from misguided love. As Ghandi would probably say, this was an example of “an eye for an eye” which “left the world blind.”

Take Vietnam. America believed and still believes that Communism is an international plight, so they charged into Vietnam. However, this backfired. The use of Agent Orange damaged the environment and caused many birth defects. This, too, was driven out of patriotism and love for one’s country; they wanted to stop Communism from spreading and eventually reaching America. Just because of this, most American soldiers were pardoned from their crimes: murdering, plundering, looting, and assaulting villagers.

I love my country, but am astonished by the excuses we make for every American mistake. Edward Snowden, who released the papers containing proof of America spying on its own citizens, was prosecuted for opening America’s eyes. The excuse: “patriotism”. This is a show, a show of law and order and “patriotism.” This should be a show of judgement and logic and devotion to America. This should raise America up the bar, not leave it tripping and falling from the banana peel of misguided love and devotion.

This month is a month to celebrate America and our love for her; barbecues, parades. This month is a month to show our devotion to America and hail her for everything she’s done for us; parties, sales. But beyond the pork chop, the waving of the flags, and the discount jeans, ask yourself this: Are we, the citizens of America, underlying ourselves as we continue to show “patriotism?”

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Comment by jag

Joined: 7/6/2013
Posts: 5
Congress made no desicion to put millions of Japanese in concentration camps. That was the act soley of FDR through Executive order 9066, an illegal executive order never authorized by congress. In Vietnam, we went to defend allies from invaders in the North. We were protecting the South Vietnamese from invasion, murder and rape. Incidents of debauchery on the behalf of American soldiers are heavily exaggerated and such incedents were actually rare.
Posted: Friday, October 25, 2013 8:31:01 PM
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