Thursday, July 05, 2007

Independence Day?

Happy 4th of July?
By Guest Blogger Yesi King

As many U.S. residents stock up on beer, barbecue and chips, and families happily sit around excited circles to anticipate the crackling and luminous fireworks that will light up the sky for the most revered of American holidays, many people across the globe suffer from U.S. policies. This day is a reminder of the ‘freedom’ we have and enjoy. However, the irony in Americans enthusiasm lies is the mentality that promotes perceptions like “don’t forget what this day is all about,” or “don't let us forget those brave men and women that fought and died so that we might have the freedom to speak up when things are not as they should be...” Such patriotism is instilled in the institutions of this country in an attempt to quiet dissent over government policies that at the same time promote quite the opposite.

Read on at: Muslamics

Put Away the Flags
By Howard Zinn

On this July 4, we would do well to renounce nationalism and all its symbols: its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out America to be blessed.

Is not nationalism -- that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder -- one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred?

These ways of thinking -- cultivated, nurtured, indoctrinated from childhood on -- have been useful to those in power, and deadly for those out of power.

National spirit can be benign in a country that is small and lacking both in military power and a hunger for expansion (Switzerland, Norway, Costa Rica and many more). But in a nation like ours -- huge, possessing thousands of weapons of mass destruction -- what might have been harmless pride becomes an arrogant nationalism dangerous to others and to ourselves.

Read on at: The Progressive

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