So when I typed in that title it reminded me about the scene in Braveheart where William Wallace leads the charge and yells FREEDOM!!! He was leading the charge against England, fighting for independence in Scotland.
When we in America think of freedom we often think of our Founding Fathers leading the charge against England for independence. This is a good thing because I think many of the people who founded our country had a pretty good understanding of freedom. However, I find too many people in America who look favorably at the freedom our founding fathers established for us yet think we have that same kind of freedom today. Too many people don't take the time to actually think about true freedom. I see some Americans that use the word freedom the way our government tends to use this word. I find that in some contexts this word is used synonymously with security. This is very dangerous. Because many Americans do not have a concept of freedom they give up their freedoms very readily for protection.
Freedom at it's core is not security but liberty. Security to an extent can create an environment that fosters liberty but in some cases these two concepts can be directly opposed to one another. My concept of liberty comes from the Declaration of Independence and men like John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, James Madison, F. A. Hayek. I believe that Noah Webster also defines liberty well in his dictionary. Noah Webster wrote the first American dictionary and has been called the “Father of American Scholarship and Education”. To read his definition you can go to this link: http://1828.mshaffer.com/d/search/word,liberty.
So what do I mean when I say that Americans use the word freedom the way our government tends to use the word? I see people in the U.S. federal government who have justified actions in the name of freedom when more accurately the actions were supposedly done for security reasons. . For instance lets talk about Iraq. First we had intelligence of WMDs in Iraq so that was the justification which was presented for invading. Then when our military invaded and supposedly didn't find these WMDs the justification for the Iraq war was that our military was fighting over there for the freedom of Iraqi citizens and so that we could have another ally for freedom and the "War on Terror". Now I don't know why it was hard to find WMDs or why it wasn't reported if they were found. Saddam Hussein had used some WMDs killing Kurds in a genocide.
Ultimately I don't know what actually went down in Iraq. I tend not to believe most of the things I hear in politics. But here are a couple of interesting questions that need to be addressed and I will end with these. My hope is that Americans will wake up a realize what true freedom is.
If we have the justification to invade Iraq to give Iraqis freedom why are we not intervening in the genocides in Darfur and giving them freedom? Is there something that Iraq has that Darfur does not (i.e. resources)? How can a country spread freedom when freedoms are lost in the country every day? Hopefully these are some good questions to ponder.