Saturday, July 7, 2007

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel

This was a quote made by Dr. Samuel Johnson, one of England's most famous literary figures on the evening of April 7th, 1775. It is said that the reason why he said this is still pretty unclear, as it is not clear as to what or who he was referring to with this quote. Well, here's my own analysis of quote, and I shall view this in light of the administration of the President of USA, Mr. George W. Bush. Again, my main source for this and my reference shall be Wikipedia.

September 10th, 2001. It has been 8 months since Mr. Bush has been in office, and his popularity ratings among the American public have fallen down to a low of 50%, which is really shameful for a President of such a developed country. The next day, all that changes. The people who felt they were the safest on the planet are made conscious of an enemy hiding from them but ever watching them - the terrorists. The Bush administration left no stone unturned in raising the feeling of Patriotism in the country. From books to clothes to bags, even diapers (Wal-Mart) adorned the stripes and the stars. When Bush aimed his guns on Afghanistan, his approval ratings leaped up to almost 90%. In the cloudy atmosphere created by the 9/11 attacks, Americans took an increasing liking to their commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

On October 26th 2001, the Congress passed an act called the 'USA Patriot Act', which basically empowers the Government to do anything with anyone they feel is making them afraid - the terrorists; without allowing them to consult a lawyer, or by invading any country that they feel is threatening them, or has links to the al-Qaeida. I guess my smart readers would have realised by now that I am moving on to Iraq.

In October 2002, many leaders of the Christian right sent an open letter to Mr. Bush outlining a just war on Iraq since Saddam Hussein possessed nuclear and biochemical weapons. There was a decreasing support for this invasion in the first few months of 2003, less than 31% in support as per a New York Times poll. Bush's State of the union speech in January that year and Collin Powell's presentation in UN in February that year changed all this. The support percentage jumped up by 7 points to 38. USA invaded Iraq in March. The nation was now triggered into madness, with more than half the population supporting the war even if weapons of mass destruction never be found there. Bush got reelected as the President in 2004, with his campaign focusing on the war against terrorism. By 2005, the military had sort of become the image of the US, with about 3 quarters of the population looking upon it as the most important institution. On July 4th 2005, the Council of Churches took a stand against the war calling it dishonourable. Ever since the support for the war is decreasing rapidly, and Bush's popularity ratings are dropping ever more, with only 32% supporting him.

As of today, USA is still to withdraw from Iraq. I personally believe the invasion was for oil and nothing else, and more innocent Iraqi lives were lost in this battle than American soldiers. There have also been reports of American soldiers harassing and assaulting Iraqi prisoners. Well, I think it wouldn't be wrong to summarise that America has invaded the freedom of two countries under the Bush administration. Educated Americans are able to see this easily and criticise the government, but their strength is too little. I believe America is slowly turning into a police state and the Americans are kept in the dark by the administration. If this goes on like this I think slowly we will have a government that makes decisions against the will of the people but the people can't do much about it. Slowly we may have a country where patriotism shall be the only refuge of the scoundrel.


MM said...

God Post Tallur, God Post! :)
Keep writing more SSS... tujhse jyadaa expectation nahi tha, par, u have surpassed all my expectations :P
Keep posting n keep me updated!
MaMu Bhai

Bastet said...

Nowadays "patriotism" has become a cliche . It either represents Jingoism [fanatical, chauvinistic nationalism] else, just empty political jargon, used for procuring votes. Sometimes one wonders, what differentiates Bush from Hitler, or even Bin Laden .. Hitler was fanatic about his race, Bin Laden about the "kaum", Bush about "US" .. And, all use the ends to justify the means, and would go to any extent to realise their beliefs. Most of their deeds are for Power, the actual Cause being forgotten somewhere along the path.But the fact that each of these had a huge following speaks something about the herd mentality of the public. Well, looking at the success of these people in getting the Power they so desired, I guess 'Patriotism' would in fact come to be the First resort of all scoundrels!

Tallur said...

@MaMu... Thanks! And yeah sure will :)

@CB... Couldn't agree more... yeah it does seem that these people have taken patriotism so much for granted that it surely isn't their last resort anymore :)