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Warning Against Searching for Monsters to Destroy

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The United States of America has existed for over two hundred years and during that time it has morphed itself considerably. There is the US of today, and the US of our forefathers. It is important to denote the distinction between the two. The US has developed policies over the years that have become inconsistent with the intent of this nation by our forefathers. Our forefathers spoke of freedom for the masses. Living under the yoke of tyranny of the British government, the American pioneers longed for a separate country; one in which they could freely express their ideas, their ideals and their concerns. Today, we have a nation run by fear, fear of terrorism, fear of the government, and fear of our neighbor. Here is a lecture from one of America’s forefathers, a man of great insight and courage and a former president: 

John Quincy Adams's 

Warning Against the Search for "Monsters to Destroy," 1821 

 

And now, friends and countrymen, if the wise and learned philosophers of the elder world, the first observers of nutation and aberration, the discoverers of maddening ether and invisible planets, the inventors of Congreve rockets and Shrapnel shells, should find their hearts disposed to enquire what has America done for the benefit of mankind? Let our answer be this: America, with the same voice which spoke herself into existence as a nation, proclaimed to mankind the inextinguishable rights of human nature, and the only lawful foundations of government. America, in the assembly of nations, since her admission among them, has invariably, though often fruitlessly, held forth to them the hand of honest friendship, of equal freedom, of generous reciprocity. She has uniformly spoken among them, though often to heedless and often to disdainful ears, the language of equal liberty, of equal justice, and of equal rights. She has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own. She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart. She has seen that probably for centuries to come, all the contests of that Aceldama the European world, will be contests of inveterate power, and emerging right. Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force.... She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit....  

[America's] glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of the mind. She has a spear and a shield: but the motto upon her shield is, Freedom, Independence, Peace. This has been her Declaration: this has been, as far as her necessary intercourse with the rest of mankind would permit, her practice. 
 
 

Let’s revisit some of these eloquent words, shall we?? 

“But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.”  

Yet, is not this administration culpable of this very thing?? Monster #1, Osama Ben Laden. He is still free and on the loose. It appears that this admin could care less if he is captured, yet he is supposedly the mastermind behind 9/11. Saddam is bad guy #2. Yet, now that he has been removed from the list, other “monsters” have taken his place. This is reminiscent of hydra. JQA then says: 

“She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom.” 

Yet we cater to Israel, Saudia Arabia and other nations of “strategic importance.” Suddenly, their national concerns become ours, whether they're real or not. We freely send our own citizens to fight and die in far away lands which were never a threat to us. We have become the dictatress he warned us about. We need to worry about what happens within our borders before we concern ourselves with what happens without our borders. And JQA continues: 

“[by once enlisting under other banners than her own] the fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force.... She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit....” 

Friends, let’s never forget the anguish and suffering that brought our great nation to existence. Let’s honor our forefathers who moved mountains to provide us with the country we have, and the country we can have. Their ideals are the ones to be respected. We just need to enact them. We need to return the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and remove the Patriot Act.  

He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither,” quotes Ben Franklin. 

We need to get a grip on our society before it’s too late. 

 

57 year old Californian male - I've lived in four different countries, USA, Switzerland, Mexico, Venezuela - speak three languages fluently, English, French, Spanish - part-time journalist for Empower-Sport Magazine. I also write four newsletters.

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YES! Thanks... ... by abacus on Saturday, Aug 30, 2008 at 6:21:39 PM
Comment from Ratings:   Excellent articl... by Dometria Lanauze on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 11:46:18 AM
What an excellent piece. So few today have the abi... by martinweiss on Monday, Sep 1, 2008 at 4:12:52 PM
Comment from Ratings:   Clear thinking a... by martinweiss on Monday, Sep 1, 2008 at 4:26:46 PM
I find this speech more and more relevent as time ... by John Little on Monday, Sep 1, 2008 at 5:19:39 PM
Comment from Ratings:   I have read so m... by Snoopy on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 12:19:15 AM