Saturday, May 19, 2007

America Stands for Freedom

In his 1982 Christmas Day radio address, President Ronald Reagan read a letter from Ordnance Man, First Class, John Mooney, written to his parents while aboard the aircraft carrier Midway. Of this letter quoted below, President Reagan said, "To me, it sums up so much of what is best about the Christmas spirit, the American character, and what this beloved land of ours stands for -- not only to ourselves but to millions of less fortunate people around the globe."
"Dear Mom and Dad," he wrote, "today we spotted a boat in the water, and we rendered assistance. We picked up 65 Vietnamese refugees. It was about a two-hour job getting everyone aboard, and then they had to get screened by intelligence and checked out by medical and fed and clothed and all that.

"But now they're resting on the hangar deck, and the kids -- most of them seem to be kids . . . are sitting in front of probably the first television set they've ever seen, watching `Star Wars'. Their boat was sinking as we came alongside. They'd been at sea five days, and had run out of water. All in all, a couple of more days and the kids would have been in pretty bad shape.

"I guess once in awhile," he writes, "we need a jolt like that for us to realize why we do what we do and how important, really, it can be. I mean, it took a lot of guts for those parents to make a choice like that to go to sea in a leaky boat in hope of finding someone to take them from the sea. So much risk! But apparently they felt it was worth it rather than live in a Communist country.

"For all of our problems, with the price of gas, and not being able to afford a new car or other creature comforts this year . . . I really don't see a lot of leaky boats heading out of San Diego looking for the Russian ships out there. . . .

"After the refugees were brought aboard, I took some pictures, but as usual I didn't have my camera with me for the REAL picture -- the one blazed in my mind. . . .

"As they approached the ship, they were all waving and trying as best they could to say, `Hello America sailor! Hello Freedom man!' It's hard to see a boat full of people like that and not get a lump somewhere between chin and bellybutton. And it really makes one proud and glad to be an American. People were waving and shouting and choking down lumps and trying not to let other brave men see their wet eyes. A lieutenant next to me said, `Yeah, I guess it's payday in more ways than one.' (We got paid today.) And I guess no one could say it better than that.

"It reminds us all of what America has always been -- a place a man or woman can come to for freedom. I know we're crowded and we have unemployment and we have a real burden with refugees, but I honestly hope and pray we can always find room. We have a unique society, made up of cast-offs of all the world's wars and oppressions, and yet we're strong and free. We have one thing in common -- no matter where our forefathers came from, we believe in that freedom.

"I hope we always have room for one more person, maybe an Afghan or a Pole or someone else looking for a place . . . where he doesn't have to worry about his family's starving or a knock on the door in the night . . ." and where "all men who truly seek freedom and honor and respect and dignity for themselves and their posterity can find a place where they can . . . finally see their dreams come true and their kids educated and become the next generations of doctors and lawyers and builders and soldiers and sailors.

Love, John."
This is why we should teach our children how great America is and why we should be patriotic. While it's people are not perfect, America stands for freedom and hope in a troubled world where evil men wish to exercise unrighteous dominion to take away our freedom to worship God and seek for better lives for ourselves and our families.

23 comments:

Curtis said...

Too bad evil men have taken America over to the point where we actively fight against freedom. America should be greater than this, but with our capacity to do great good, comes our capacity to do great evil as well. We have been involved in great evil for a while now and the people of America need to rise up against the secret combinations that have taken over as the Book of Mormon warns us.

TylerD said...

Ah Curtis, I suspected this post would elicit a comment from you. I appreciate your concern for secret combinations--after all, the Book of Mormon does warn us to beware them as you mentioned--but I disagree that evil men have taken over America. They're in the government to be sure, but there are far more good, honest people at all levels of government fighting to protect and defend our Constitutional freedoms. I know of what I speak. I work in the seat of power doing exactly that.

Of course, if you're concerned about secret combinations at the highest levels, I would strongly encourage you to vote for Mitt Romney in the California Primary. He's an honest man of principle, dedicated to doing what is right for Americans. He's not in the race for power and glory, the motives which lead to secret combinations.

Curtis said...

I don't trust Romney. I know he's LDS and all, but his policies would keep us on the same course we've been on under Bush. I have been impressed with Ron Paul though I don't agree with every thing he says. I do like what he has been saying about US foreign policy though. He has been the only person in the republican party speaking the truth as far as I can tell.

Anonymous said...

Chuck Hagel is a straight shooter as well. One of the rare few, plus he's not someone who's so extreme on other issues that it undermines his sensiblity and credibility when he talks about our wars and occupations.

Dan said...

Tyler,

They're in the government to be sure, but there are far more good, honest people at all levels of government fighting to protect and defend our Constitutional freedoms. I know of what I speak. I work in the seat of power doing exactly that.

Not in this government. Maybe in previous ones, but this one is certainly the most unconstitutional government that ever existed in America's history.

America does not stand for freedom, Tyler. America stands for its interests. If America truly stood for freedom it would never have participated in Operation Ajax. If America truly stood for freedom, it would never have supported Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, never had sold weapons to Iran during that same conflict. If America truly stood for freedom, it never would have supported Pinochet's dictatorial coup in Chile over a democratically elected government.

Freedom means that sometimes you have people deciding not in your favor. This is not what America wants in the world. America wants countries around the world to do as it pleases. This is America, Tyler. I'm sorry, but that's the reality of it all. America has blinded you into believing it really stood for freedom so that it could with greater ease do ethically and morally questionable actions, like overthrow democratically elected governments in other parts of the world. Hey it is in the name of "freedom," so it must be good. Alas, that is not the case.

If America truly stood for freedom, it would be pleased that the Palestinians freely elected Hamas to govern their territories. But alas, we were not. Why? Because Hamas is not in America's interest. Hamas was freely elected. We should rejoice. But we don't.

America does not stand for freedom. Mayhap long ago it used to. But today it does not.

TylerD said...

Dan and Curtis, you're both misguided and wrong. An imperfect foreign policy, occasional mistakes, and a small number of dishonest people does not change the fact that America as a whole stands for freedom. Reread the main post. You can't argue with the logic of that young sailor.

shiningcity said...

People who are determined to dislike or even hate the United States of America will always credit it with evil or bad motives, and/or will exaggerate it's mistakes, and will unquestioningly believe untruths that support their philosophy.

No nation in the world's history has freed more people from murderous dictators as the USA. There's a reason why people who have lived under communist dictators, and were freed by us, love and honor this great country.

It's tragic that our own citizens so dislike this country--or say they love it while calling it a terrorist nation, or say they love it while calling it's motives evil and it's actions murderous.

I, however, am grateful to live in a country that has freed millions and millions from tyranny. I'm grateful to live in a country that has the will to protect itself while bending over backwards to not hurt civilians when it does have to take the war from our shores. I'm grateful to live in a country where our soldier are called liberators and saviors by the people they liberate.

But I know that what I say won't disabuse curtis and dan of their dislike of America. I'm just grateful to be able to see this country for what it is.

Curtis said...

If we are such a freedom loving nation then why did we just free the worst terrorist in this hemisphere, Posada Carriles, who blew up a passenger plane in the 70's, instead of turning him over to justice? If we are so freedom loving, why did we support Suharto in his genocide of over 200,000 East Timorese from the 70's to the 90's? Why then did we support coups over the freely elected governments of Venezuela, Brazil, Guatemala and Haiti? Why did we support the coup against Allende in the 70's and then support the terrible Pinochet? Why did we kill nearly 3 million people in Vietnam and 600,000 in Cambodia virtually creating the movement that brought Pol Pot to power? Why did we support Suharto's massacre of his own people in 1965 wherein he murdered over 500,000 of his own people, mostly landless peasants? Why do we disrespect democracy when governments like Turkey vote by parliement not to let us use them for an airbase from which to attack Iraq after the wish of 90% of their population? Why did we support death squads in El Salvador? Why did we unleash a terrorist organization against the freely elected government of Nicaragua in the 80's?

Of course the answer to these questions is that our government doesn't really stand for freedom. We stand for that which will make our big corporations the most money. I believe there are good men in government somewhere, but they are really not that evident in this government. We are principly run by secret combinations at this time. Remember that almost all men, when they have received a little authority as they suppose, will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion. Our government leaders are not immune from this tendency, and this tendency has made us into a kakistocracy.

shiningcity said...

Curtis, You just made my point. You only give the worst possible motives to the USA. You don't want to see the real reasons why we have done things. You isolate facts in such a way that you can attempt to prove the USA is bad.

You and I just disagree on the merit of the basic components of what America is. You fundamentally think capitalism is bad. Because the USA is a capitalist nation, you are going to see everything through the prism of anti-capitalism/anti-Americanism. Unfortunately for you, you're blind to reality and to the beauty of what America stands for.

Again, I quote from the original blog entry: "As they approached the ship, they were all waving and trying as best they could to say, `Hello America sailor! Hello Freedom man!'.... And it really makes one proud and glad to be an American." This is not an isolated occurence.

Curtis said...

Tyler, obviously, most red-blooded Americans would be all for freedom around the world as the Sailors in your post are. I have no issues with that. The little people who have no real power in this country are comprised of a mix of good and bad, but I think as you do that there are many good who would give you the shirt off their back. I'm not disputing that.

What I'm saying is that those who are truly in power are not like that. They know exactly what they are doing. They want freedom to rape and pillage other's lands without regard to human rights, or with as little regard as possible. The US government overthrew the democratically elected government of Guatemala in the 50's and installed a brutal military dictatorship just so that we could protect the profit making capabilities of the United Fruit Company. The military dictatorship did horrible things to the general populace to keep them from rising up. Of course the average US citizen wouldn't condone this and when this finally did break thru the media, the people were outraged and the United Fruit Co. had to change their name to Chiquita Banana. For the most part, the general population of the US is kept in the dark thru a complicit media. I give you an example since you have a hard time believing me. Try believing the words of George Kennan, the main architect of post WWII foreign policy planning. He had a huge hand in planning as a high ranking official in the State Dept, the head of policy planning. He said the following:

"we have about 50% of the world's wealth, but only 6.3% of its population.... In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity.... To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives.... We should cease to talk about vague and ... unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better."

This is what has driven our policy for a long time now, not freedom.

Curtis said...

Oops, that was Shining City I should have directed that last comment to.

TylerD said...

Curtis, I appreciate your concern for secret combinations. As a federal law enforcement officer, I worked to reveal and eliminate them. However, your efforts to defeat secret combinations by portraying America as anti-freedom only work to strengthen those very secret combinations.

I say this because reading your posts makes me (and certainly others) feel dark inside and disturbed. That could be the Spirit confirming that your message isn't true.

The vast majority of Americans believe in the principle that all people should be free and that freedom is worth fighting for. By continuing to promote the idea that America is not about freedom, you are deenergizing the very people who you should be uplifting and encouraging to root out those secret combinations that exist.

If I'm reminded that America is the greatest bastion of freedom in the world and exists to fight Satan and his efforts to bring everyone into captivity, then I'll do all I can to continue that fight. However, you keep trying to convince me and everyone else that America is evil and always seeks to destroy others' freedom. If that's true, then why should I try to help secure for the rest of the world the freedom that will permit them to receive the gospel?

The purpose of this blog is to uplift people and encourage them to seek after truth and righteousness. Your comments are serving to counter that.

Curtis said...

Tyler,
It is a good thing that you seek to lift people up and to get them to seek after truth and righteousness. When I'm around a good person I always feel uplifted by merely being in the presence of that person and I'm sure you must be that sort of person.

We both agree that truth is a good thing to seek after. Unfortunately, we disagree on what the truth is in this instance. As I said earlier, I don't think the majority of the American people are freedom hating evil people..., quite to the contrary, I think that most people in this country are good at heart and would give you the shirt off of their back.

I have always wanted to know what makes things tick. I am a physician because I wanted to know how the human body works, or how science in general makes things work. I am a Mormon because I sought after the truth about God and what makes things things tick spiritually. There came a time in my life where I wanted to know what makes foreign policy or international economics/politics tick too, and so I studied it carefully. I've found that the principles that we all believe in, good moral fiber kind of stuff, is not what our foreign policy is based upon. It is greed and a lust after power and the popularity of the world that drives our policies.

There is a scripture in the D&C which states that we need to waste and wear out our lives to bring things of darkness to light.

That is what I try to do. Since they are things of darkness, they don't make you feel all cheery inside. The dark feelings you experience reading my posts are meant to be that way, not because the things I say are not true, but because news of secret combinations are not supposed to make your bosom burn.

This situation is not without precedent. In the book of Helaman, the Nephites, who were God's chosen people here, were essentially all seduced to partake of the Gadianton society until they were all card carrying members of that society. The government was totally infiltrated and laws were perverted and it was a mess. Now our nation is in a similar predicament. Moroni tells us in Mormon 8 that there is a great secret combination that will seek to destroy the freedom of all nations and that we must not let that secret combination get above us or the sword of the Lord will come down upon us heavily. The Lord tells us in 3Nephi 16:10 that our nation will be full of wickedness and that we're about to be ripped to shreds like a lion tearing apart a flock of sheep. This warning is repeated again twice in 3Nephi and then in Mormon 5:22-24 and then again in D&C 87. We're going to vexed with a sore vexation the Lord says. There are many more warnings against us in the scriptures.

Sure we generally want freedom for all people as Americans, but that is not what our government is all about right now.

So, if you want to give an uplifting message that is good. However, it needs to be a true message or it is just an illusion. I grew up feeling good about my country as well and love my country. I want my country to do good. I want my country to be better. I don't want my leaders to be warmongers. I don't want our nation to be idolatrous.

President Kimball told us in the June 1976 Ensign that we (in the Church) are on the whole an idolatrous people. He called us a warlike people and essentially called us false patriots. His message is not an uplifting one, but it is a necessary one to hear so that we can be duly chastised and change our ways. The way our country is currently is most abominable before the Lord my friend. Surely the prophecies of his coming wrath are near to fulfillment.

If we want to feel good about our nation, we need to first cleanse the inner vessel. Then the soul of our nation will cease to be a graveyard.

TylerD said...

Curtis, I appreciate your effort to share your message in a more uplifting way, but you're still wrong. You are so misguidedly wrong.

Relying on a few quotes from the scriptures or a recent prophet, and pointing here and there to a few unpleasant incidents in our nation's past don't make you right. To the contrary, it makes you look like the crazy sign-bearer on the street corner yelling that the world is coming to an end. He decides to focus his life on a single belief and then makes his vision of the world wrap around it. He sees signs of impending disaster everywhere he looks.

For every quote you can find of Pres. Kimball saying "We are, on the whole, an idolatrous people" (Ensign, June 1976, p. 6.), I'll find you many General Authorities tellings us how righteous the saints are by and large. While we struggle with individual problems (e.g., various forms of idolatry, pornography, or whatever), the membership of the Church as a whole is doing its duty and living its covenants which is the only reason why the Church continues to grow. Otherwise, if we were all corrupt, it would be a stumbling block to the progress of the Church, but we know it's a stone that will roll forth and fill the earth. I also believe that many, many Americans are also living in accordance with the light they have been given. Of course, many are not, but your message of defeatism and negativity will motivate nobody to cleanse the inner vessel.

You have incorrectly compared the Nephites' state in the Book of Helaman to the state of our nation today. Clearly there is much wickedness today, but unlike the Nephites of that time, there are many righteous people in America and its government today. Furthermore, while those Nephites were headed toward destruction, the gospel will continue to roll forth and grow until it fills the earth. That can ONLY happen if individual freedom continues to spread throughout the earth.

And lastly, we'll have to agree to disagree as the cliche goes. We are in Iraq and Afghanistan seeking to protect our freedom and the freedom of the peoples in those countries. Of this I have no doubt. We should continue to pray that our leaders and military will have the necessary wisdom to stop terrorists and others who seek to bring the world into captivity.

shiningcity said...

Many people claim that leaders of the United States are evil and, as you say Curtis, "they want freedom to rape and pillage other's lands without regard to human rights, or with as little regard as possible." You sight no evidence that our leaders had the intent to rape and to pillage. You must think that your interpretation of historical events negates the need to actually prove your claims of evil intent.

I have to laugh sadly because you see our history with blindness to the evil we fight. It's like our real enemies are invisible to you and all you see is us fighting, and since you can't see our enemy, you think we're just evil warmongers. Alas, how do you make someone see who has willful blindness? How do you get someone to acknowledge the massive looming tornado while being absolutely determined to only see the people running indoors and calling them crazy for doing so. You keep saying we've supported and partnered with evil people, so we must love to murder and rape, too. Do you see what I'm trying to get you to see? You refuse to acknowledge greater enemies that we must at different points in time team against to fight. Your blind hatred of the elected and appointed leaders of the United States of America is astounding. You must have little regard for the citizens of the United States because apparently we like to elect evil, murder-loving, rape-loving, slave-loving leaders. What does that make us? Either stupid dolts or ourselves evil. See how those of us who don't see this country the way you all do wonder why you all hate it--and us--so much?

Up to this point and to this day, this nation while making some mistakes and individuals doing some bad things, is overwhelmingly a righteous nation, a liberating people, and an example to the world.

And again, sadly, you are determined to see us as the greatest evil, so it makes sense that you'll keep seeing the US as crazy warmongers while in reality we are fighting real and dangerous enemies. Watch the Sixth Sense (again if needed). It's like you're Bruce Willis. You only see what you want to see.

Curtis said...

Tyler,
Yes, we do disagree and that's how it has to be.

President Kimball said that when he compares where we are now and where we should be, he is "appalled and frightened," in that same article. That doesn't move you even a little bit? Surely we are a better people for living the basic principles of the Gospel, but we are not where we are supposed to be, which is why we do not live the Celestial law and instead live the lesser laws of tithing etc.

The scriptures tell us that the Gospel will go forward to the ends of the earth, not under the umbrella of a so-called freedom, but that those who will not take up the sword against their neighbor will necessarily be drawn to Zion as we will be the only people that will not be at war one with another (D&C 45). Joseph Smith said that the Gospel will not go forth among all nations until the destroying angel has done it's dastardly deed. Bruce R. McKonkie talks about this in his book, "The Millenial Messiah." Check it out.

Lastly, it is obvious that we are in Iraq to control the resources of the region. The only thing we have to do with freedom over there is the liberating of 655,000 spirits from their bodies.

Curtis said...

Shining City,

No evidence eh? Here's a beautiful piece of classical evidence for you. Guatemala, 1954. We went in and overthrew the democratically elected leader in order to protect the profitability and land of the United Fruit Co. (Chiquita Banana) and then supported the military dictatorsip that took over to the tune of thousands of deaths over the next 20 years or so, of peasants who were kept in fear so they wouldn't rise up against this horrible government. They did things like throwing babies into the air and catching them on bayonets. OK, that's way too graphic, but what do I have to provide to get thru to you people? The United Fruit Co. actually lobbied Congress to get Arbenz overthrown because they were going to have to sell their land to the government for the price they had been paying taxes on for many years instead of the true value for which they should have been paying taxes. This is the definition of a secret combination. They seek gain at the expense of life. Read all about it here in the National Security Archives:

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB32/index.html

Or in a more user friendly format at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_PBSUCCESS

If that doesn't impress you why don't you continue by reading the memoires of one of most decorated military men in US history? Major General Smedley Darlington Butler.

http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm

What was the greater enemy we were defeating when we trained Suharto's military, provided financial aid, sold weapons to, and gave the green light for Suharto to invade East Timor where near genocide then took place for 20 years while Indonesia killed off a quarter of the population? Read all about it here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indonesian_invasion_of_East_Timor

What do you know about the School of the Americas? Here's a little more evidence for you:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_of_the_Americas#Human_rights_abuses

We are not the most evil people on the earth today. There is evil in all nations and governments doubtless. But, since we have more power than others, our capacity for evil is increased. The American voting public is largely unaware of the secret combinations that run this nation and thus do not seek for change. You are in the same boat my friend.

See if you can assign a benign motive for the atrocities I've provided links to above. You'll have to stretch pretty far.

Curtis said...

I don't know why the links I posted didn't paste in full, but you can find them by wikipedia searching for "school of the americas", "indonesian invasion of east timor", "operation pbsuccess", and by googling "War is a Racket" by General Smedley Darlington Butler. Enjoy.

TylerD said...

Curtis, you're clearly not in touch with reality. Your claims are unfounded. You've finally revealed your position sufficiently that any fair-minded person will see you're greatly mistaken.

Curtis said...

We accept the reality we perceive. Of course you will not seriously check into any of the allegations I've made so what can I say?

shiningcity said...

Curtis,

Unfortunately, you're so far out there, I have nothing more to say.

tylerd,
Keep posting positive, meaningful, and truthful blogs.

Curtis said...

Man, no wonder you guys can go on living in happy-go-lucky-ville. You say I'm so far out there that you have no need to comment, yet I have provided you with fairly strong evidence that the US has acted against the freedom of people in foreign nations in favor of filthy lucre. If you choose to ignore this it is to your own detriment.

Anonymous said...

Cutis;
I have checked out your sources and can find most of the. To those who decry his statements, the book "War is a Racket" is an eye opener (it was for me). Most importantly was the write up of the history of the marine who wrote the book. When he got fired by the mayor for busting the booze joints of the rich, his creditability was established with me. He walks the walk.
I agree, this is the greatest nation in the world. But we are corrupt. I have been a silent partner to this corruption by doing nothing. I suspect that many of the Nephites and Laminites were the same way. We don't want war. Be enlightned as much as you can. VOTE. As President Hinkley says "I don't claim to know everything", neither do I. I wish Colin POwell would run. I believe he is a square shooter. Curtis & tylerd, you both have good points and perhaps you miss some points. Check out what the other one is saying from their point of view. I personnally know of a maintenance person who was at the Moscow embassy during the cold war era. He was not allowed outside During May Day parades. As he talked with people over there, he found out the military vehicle were going around in a big square loop. So the amount of Soviet machinery we saw on TV was large, but was actually relatively small. Why wasn't this reported by our "Free Press"? Vote those suckers out of Congress.