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July 25, 2007


chris from flickerbulb



i don't understand how one can "desecrate" a THING.

it was not the people who fought for this country's freedom who were written on.

it was not freedom itself.

it was a colored piece of cloth that is a symbol of a political organization.

a symbol that - for reasons i admit am am completely lost on -
gets people all riled up, but a symbol nonetheless.

if one loses their wedding ring it does not unmarried them make.

it's a FLAG.

it's a picture.

a visualization of an idea.

it's the perfect medium upon which to express such holy anger at the outrageous acts that the flag's country has engaged in.

when organization x behaves badly, let's say enron, we post their logo along with the bad news.

the flag is the united state's logo --- and we've behaved terribly, killing thousands of people on false pretenses.

good for those brave enough to face the consequences of pointing this out in such a controversial way.

Pete Ross

He who desecrates any flag, religious symbol or person, only desecrates himself. Any act of desecration reflects only the character of the actor.

The flag, like the Bible, represents different things to different people. What it means to each of us also makes a statement about each of us individually. To me, it represents the sacrifice of all those who risked life and/or limb to secure the unprecendented liberty and self determination we enjoy in America. I accept the right of others to have a different opinion. That right is protected by the very ideals the flag represents. To consider "courageous" an act that denegrates this particular flag seems ignorant. To "courageously" denigrate a flag (assuming there could be such a thing), one would need to urinate on the Saudi flag in Medina, or the Iranian flag in Tehran. In either case, I believe it would be unwise, yet courageously unwise. I'd personally enjoy the spectacle of "courageous" Indiana faculty so demonstrating. Admittedly, I'm not as good a Christian as I hope to be some day.


Gray Rider

From the viewpoint of a former soldier, this soldier acted in cowardice. He should know better than anyone the painstaking steps the U.S. military takes to avoid harming civilians. Take one look at the rules of engagement we're instructed to follow and you'll understand. While I was in Iraq, there were several mosques in our area of operations that terrorists were using as headquarters, yet we were unable to engage them. I was personally sniped at by the enemy but was unable to return fire because I could not positively identify which local was responsbile (although I had a pretty good idea). A soldier from my unit performed CPR on an Iraqi child that had drowned and saved his life, this in the middle of performing a combat patrol in the heart of the city.

I accept the fact that people have a legal right to mistreat the American flag. The soldier in question is hyping an inaccurate and ignorant cliche, apparently trying to gain attention at the expense of his fellow troops. There is nothing courageous about that.

chris from flickerbulb

i have no doubt that the military is doing it's best to protect innocent lives.

i have zero doubt that almost every citizen soldier of the united states is doing his or her best in this as well.

it is not the miliatary, however, that the US flag represents, it is the united states, and the government that we the people elect to represent us to the world.

this (supposedly) elected government is not doing *its* best to protect innocent lives, and it engaged in this conflict on false pretenses.

for this soldier to open himself up to the scorn of fellow soldiers for showing what he believes in such a controversial (with them) way is courageous, as you admit.

i also think it is wise --- it has gotten john blogging, us talking, and no doubt others are thinking too.

i hope that each of us can reflect upon what this soldier is communicating: that we ought to be ashamed for destroying innocent lives over a willful lie that we were fed by our government.

it is also to our shame that so many of us view those lives as so worthless.

Gray Rider

The people that truly view those lives as worthless are the ones who pack their cars with explosives and drive them into the marketplace. Or the ones that pretend to be pregnant women in need of help but are really suicide bombers. America continues to get bashed because it is the strongest country in the world. If we intervene, we're imperialists. If we stay out, we're accomplices to genocide.

Occupying Iraq was a serious mistake--invading was well-overdue. How many U.N. resolutions were passed before someone (the U.S.) finally did something? 15 over TWELVE YEARS! (see http://www.state.gov/p/nea/rls/01fs/14906.htm) How many times were inspectors invited in and then kicked out? Enough for people to bury their dirty laundry or haul it somewhere else. We know Iraq had weapons of mass destruction--they used them on the Kurds. (The Kurds I met, by the way, were very pro-American).

America's record is certainly not white as snow, but no other country gives more and does more to help others. Furthermore, the opportunities in America are why so many people want in instead of out. The occupation and reconstruction plan for Iraq was definitely not well-planned, and for this I blame the administration. We should all be working together to find the best way forward. But we should save our venom and scorn for the terrorists and insurgents that truly have no regard for innocent life, who slaughter women and children with the same ease that they prepare their dinner.

It's great to be in America discussing openly how we feel about it!!

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