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What is patriotic?

Published by marco on

In the Newsday today, I see that the CIA is being rewarded for their great counter-intelligence work so far:

<q>President George W. Bush last month signed an intelligence order directing the CIA to undertake its most sweeping and lethal covert action since the founding of the agency in 1947, explicitly calling for the destruction of Osama bin Laden and his worldwide al-Qaida network, according to senior government officials. … The president also added more than $1 billion to the agency’s war on terrorism, most of it for the new covert action.</q>

Seriously, we have nothing better to do with 1 Billion Dollars than to go on a witchhunt? I you think that kind of talk is seditious, nay, unpatriotic, a lot of people agree with you. However, CounterPunch today (The “Patriotic” Attack on Democracy and Higher Education, October 22, 2001) has an article by Robert Jensen, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, talking about what it means to be patriotic:

<q>Whatever the merits of either the prowar or antiwar position, one thing is inescapable: Both are political. So, my correspondents’ real objections cannot be that I am political, but instead that my political ideas are unacceptable to them. That means their actual argument is that in times of crisis, certain analysis and ideas are not acceptable and certain views should be purged from public universities, which sounds pretty anti-American. … In my writing and speaking since Sept. 11, I have not supported terrorism or minimized the depth of the pain that Americans feel. I simply have suggested that it is important to understand the reasons that terrorists were willing to fly jets into buildings. Our president’s claim that terrorists “hate our freedoms” is embarrassingly simplistic, to the point of being childish. It is time to face honestly the way in which U.S. foreign policy — so often cruel, callous and indifferent to the suffering of innocent people — must be understood as part of this story.</q>

Is our bombing patriotic? Are we striking back for our country? Here’s 10 reasons why we shouldn’t bomb Afghanistan on AlterNet.