Someone posted on a(n extremely) Conservative message board in response to another poster who stated he’s voted for Obama:
So… The North Vietnamese were fighting to overthrow America and take away our freedoms?
I hear the same thing about Bush’s War, that our soldiers are fighting to preserve our freedom. While I don’t agree with it, I understand the reasoning that ‘fighting them there so we don’t have to fight them here’ is, in a way, ‘fighting for our freedoms’.
But really, when was the last time we (militarily) ‘fought for our freedom’?
I would say the war in Afghanistan is a fight for freedom (or sorts). Although technically, all the terrorism was (or so I think I’ve read) al qaeda, not the Afghan government, I’ve read that the Afghan government was powerless to the power al qaeda had throughout the country. Therefore kicking out the Taliban was also kicking out al qaeda from having government power as well. This would obviously give us some freedom from fear. I guess we’re fighting for our freedom to live our lives without fear and without the danger of terrorism inside the U.S. (or less danger seeing as how there is more than one terrorist organization in the world) But I guess even this is debatable.
If you ask a British soldier what he’s fighting for, he’ll say “Queen and Country.” If you asked a Russian, he’ll say “Mother Russia.” People, especially military people, need some principle to rally around. Since America doesn’t really think of itself as a nation-state, its rally-point is something a bit more abstract. As far as many American are concerned, “freedom” and “America” are roughly synonymous.
America fights for freedom because freedom is what Americans fight for.
I’ve always hated it myself. It’s just an attempt to stifle rational thought.
I generally have a lot of respect for soldiers, but to say that they generally fight for our freedom is nonsense. They usually fight to protect our economic interests. I think most of them are well meaning and want to serve, but they’re pawns of men without such noble intentions.
International politics and war can be some complex and unsettling stuff. “They fight for your freedom!” isn’t - it’s simple and warm and fuzzy. It’s designed to make us unquestioning sheep when it comes to the use of our military to enforce our foreign policy. People gladly go along with it because it makes them feel more patriotic to do so.
It’s part of the disturbing trend where the government has managed to convince a lot of people that the essence of patriotism is blind support and loyalty to government.
Tell that to the survivors of Pearl Harbor, and see what kind of response you get. Most people alive today just don’t realize how close we came to losing our freedoms in WWII. If we had lost the battle of Midway, or Guadalcanal our whole Pacific coast would have been wide open for attack. I knew some of the soldiers that survived those battles. Should we thank them and others who gave their lives in defense of this country? Yes, yes, and yes. Learn to be thankful for what you have lest it be taken from you.
During the Cold War years, we were afraid (and not completely without justification) that the Communists intended to take over the world, or at least as much of it as possible, which would certainly have put a big dent in freedom—ours and the rest of the world’s. If I understand correctly, the objective in Korea and Vietnam was, in some sense, to try to keep the Commies from doing this.
So, whether or not it’s fair to say that we really were defending our freedom in Korea and Vietnam, I think that was the mindset at the time.
It was the mindset for quite a few people perhaps but I’m not convinced. And there is the counter-argument that US troops were used to prop us often quite murderous dictatorships. It seem to be more like a battle for control of most of the world - with neither side being particularly interested in freedom.
And I think you could argue that anti-soviet ideologues within the US trampled on freedoms on a regular basis.
It might be worth noting that US immigration forms still ask “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party” I wonder how that works out for people who answer in the affirmative
Sorry me old mucker but it wasn’t a mindset,it wasn’t paranoia,the declared object of the Soviet Union during the Cold War and before was to bring the Communist system to power globally.
Underlying this was a pretty serious nationalistic undercurrent,the Soviet Union wished to have communism under Russian ,NOT Soviet,NOT Chinese, leadership and control.
Side by side with their overt sabre rattleing and taking over countries they used every means possible to subvert governments everywhere including those of the West.
It would take a book to fully relate the strategims used by the K.G.B.s fifth dept. to even hint at some of the things they did within W.Europe ,the U.S.A. and Great Britain.
If the U.S. was so set on world domination themselves as Soviet apologists maintained then they could have achieved that without too much difficulty at the end of WW2 when thay had the atomic bomb and the Russians didn’t .
If they were so avaricous and generally evil why then didn’t they wipe Russia out and start dictating world policy?
The forces of N.A.T.O. are the ONLY reason the Warsaw Pact didn’t take over much of the world and inflict their version of totalitarian government on all of us.
Please spare me the naive "Oh we 're just as bad as each other "rhetoric and the "Aren’t I a rebel for castigating my own government " sort of stuff that so many of the gullible and wishing to impress others section of the electorate have tried on so often in the past.
Yes the West did fight for and prop up some pretty unsavoury regimes as the lesser of two evils.
Any person who served in any NATO army helped preserve freedom in the world whether or not they were draftees or volunteers,whether or not they fought a hot war or were just there waiting.
While y’all weren’t necessarily fighting for your own freedom, you were fighting (at least partially) for the freedom of my parents and grandparents, for which we are a trifle grateful.
In the same way, later wars can be seen as fights for other people’s freedom. I think those who led us into Vietnam and continued the war did believe communism was an evil, freedom destroying philosophy, and did believe the fall of South Vietnam would lead to its spread, and did believe they were, on balance, protecting freedom by supporting the South Vietnamese regime and opposing what they feared was Soviet expansionism. I won’t say they were necessarily right in all of their decisions, but I think it is fair to say they thought they were fighting for freedom.
And the declared object of the other side was to introduce global capitalism. Both systems, frankly, suck (but that is not the topic of this thread). Neither is particularly conducive to freedom. Especially when one side or the other props up said nasty dictatorships. Neither side seemed to give much of a damn about the freedoms of the people in their respective client states