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The Flag That Stands For Freedom?

Contrast these words: innocent until proven guilty, against these:

According to Pentagon officials, the US targets included several alleged al-Qaida members suspected of organising the attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

We are the terrorists. My soul hurts.

“They [the Americans] must have believed they knew where the al-Qaida suspects were. It seems they decided to kill everything within a certain grid square and then find out what they had hit.”

These days I find it much harder to be proud of being an American.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Hey Quilly, thanks for the blog. It restores faith in the idea that people should be paying attention to what is done in their name.

    I had a comment for one of the previous ones, but blogger ate it. Probably for the better.

  2. I just read a story in Readers’ Digest the other day about a couple who were falsely accused of abusing their child and the hell they went through as a result. When it was finally over and the beaurocrats had been forced to do what they legally should have in the first place, the Federal Judge stepped down from his bench to personally apologize for the Government. We need more like that Judge.

  3. Doug — do you think anybody read the article and actually understands your comment? I read the article and still had trouble with it!

    Morgan — welcome. I always try to live what I believe, right now that makes being an American a bit uncomfortable.

    Brian — the answer to your question is in the comments section of OC’s blog — and remember, once you open it and start reading, don’t answer the door!

    Morgan — you didn’t disprove the theory because you spelled George wrong — so naturally it worked!

    Cindy — we need fewer outrageous injustices to begin with.

    Cindra Smenits — amen.

  4. Its frequently hard to bear the burden of our government’s decisions. I read things like this, and you really have to search for the truth about what’s going on in Iraq, and I wonder where our humanity has gone.

  5. HI Quill

    Don’t be too hard on yourself. With all wars there are always innocent people hurt.

    Look at WWII. When the Allies started to bomb the German Cities to ferret out the Nazi’s, there were a lot of innocent German People killed who opposed Hitler and the Nazi’s.

    It is just a part of war my dear friend. And there is nothing we can do. Innocent people get killed.

    I am glad we (the Allies) did what we did 60 + years ago. If we didn’t we’d all be “Goose Stepping” today and the Swastika would be flying everywhere.

    I truly believe this as listening to Mum and Dad, those beggars were close a couple of times of winning. Sometimes we have to do what we need to do to prevent a larger conflict.

    Blessings to you my friend,

  6. AS long as we have war there will always things done we are4 ashamed of. We are the nation that dropped an atomic bomb on civilians after all.But it ended a war.

  7. Bill — what if your loved one was one of those innocent bystanders? Just because we don’t know the people dying, doesn’t make their lives any less valuable. And violence doesn’t bring peace. Exhaustion does.

    Dr. John — and I fear we don’t learn from our past.

  8. Quill, I support your position 100%. It seems as though too many people are just sitting back and letting the goverment do what they “have” to do, because they are the goverment and should know best and that’s why they are in the position they are in. Excuse my French but that is the shittiest excuse ever. It’s up to people like us to see the truth in what’s right and wrong and not be so complacent about what goes on in the world.

  9. Morgan — teachers notice things like spelling errors — unless they’re in their own work. Pft. And shouldn’t that be, SMeDave?

    Charlie — indeed.

  10. Love that: Us targets- suspects + alleged

    see, the way they probably reason is those constitutional rights are only reseved for Americans.
    Just as in teh phrase “God bless America!” Not “God bless the World or the balance of humanity…nono : God bless America!

    sorry, some things just make me furious!

    I would never send a prayer and say God bless Iceland! !

  11. As someone who distinctly remembers the films of the throngs of people around the world who were cheering, waving flags, and partying in the streets because they LOVED what happened on 9/11, let me be one of the few voices here to say that I support this bombing. The workers at those embassies were as innocent as anyone else. I just hate that it took 9 years to come about.

    There have been innocents killed in every battle of every war man has ever fought since the beginning of time, there always will be. We no longer have the “luxury” of a defined country or easily identifiable group of people that we’re fighting in this war. This war is going to be as messy, if not messier than any other. This enemy INTENTIONALLY surrounds themselves with innocents for two reasons; they hope we won’t shoot at them for fear of killing innocents, and second, if we do shoot or bomb them, innocents will die, and they get to claim how horrible we are.

    Make no mistake, we are fighting cowards and scumbags who intentionally hide amongst the innocent population, like the thugs Israel fought in it’s latest conflict in Lebanon. Survivors and others who were able to escape the country recounted over and over, the same stories of how the terrorists would set up mortars and such in the middle of apartment complexes, fire their missiles, and then scurry off, knowing the retaliation would be directed at the innocent people in those apartments. There were even videos on the internet from videophones and camcorders showing this.

    That’s who we’re fighting.

    Man has become pretty technologically advanced, I see it every day at work, stuff that the rest of the world won’t find out about for years and years, but MAN HAS NOT BECOME MORE CIVILIZED. Sad, but true. We’re facing an enemy much more insidious than Communist Russia ever was, or even Hitler’s Germany. In the end, even the warriors in those countries wanted to live, and wanted their children to live.

    This enemy, conversely, WANTS to die, and is willing to kill everyone, including his own family to have his way.

  12. jam –

    Thank you for your cogent demonstration of the principle of demonization.

    Permit me briefly to address the issue of why so many people “LOVED what happened on 9/11.”

    History has excoriated the American South for the misery and loss of life at places like Andersonville Prison. The prison was operational for a little over a year, 1864-65.

    History has excoriated Nazi Germany for the misery and loss of life at places like the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The camp was operational (in two different roles) 1940-1945.

    History will excoriate those responsible for the misery and loss of life at places like the Jabalia refugee camp. The Jabalia camp, like most of the rest of them, was founded in 1948. It is still operational.

    We have met the enemy, and he is us.

  13. Minka — those constitutional rights are only reserved for Americans not even us, nowadays …

    OC — Was Bellamy’s first name Adolf? (And how do you know all this stuff? [wanders off mumbling about walking encyclopedias])

    Jam — see OC’s answer, I can’t better it. I will say this, If it is wrong for them to kill, it is wrong for us to kill. Period.

    OC — thank you.

  14. “Copied And Pasted from Blogger”

    Hey Quill

    Just stopping by to let you know I’d be really upset if someone I cared for who was an innocent bystander got killed. And just because I may not know that person doesn’t make that life any less important.

    I truly believe that Peace should always be used over war, but when it has to be war some innocent people get hurt.

    Like you I look at our Country’s history and got to admit I sometimes am ashamed to call myself a Canadian.

    I don’t like what our Government did to the Japanese Canadians on the West Coast during WWII. The government uprooted them and moved them inland. Took their homes and paid them nothing. Set them up in Camps. Why didn’t the Government do the same to the German Canadians on the East Coast?

    What the government allowed to happen to the First Nations People was horrible and this wasn’t even during time of war.

    Just wanted to stop by to let you know not to be ashamed of your country, there are a lot of good people ine the United States who oppose what is going on. And watching the news they are becoming the majority.

    Blessings to you my friend.

    1/10/2007 08:12:52 PM

  15. Bill — I really did understand that you didn’t mean it was okay to kill innocent people — you only menat it is inevitable in war. And I truly hope you’re right and that the number of folks against the war are growing and gaining in power.

  16. Ok, first of all, it looks like we’re gonna have to agree to disagree on this one. I support the strikes in Somalia. Y’all don’t. People disagree.

    And I will be the first to admit that I’m not the sharpest pencil in the cup, but are you seriously telling me that the rejoicing shown on the news from six continents when the World Trade center, the Pentagon, and a lone plane in Pennsylvania were destroyed, had ANYTHING to do with the American Civil War prison at Andersonville? Hey, even I’m not stupid enough to swallow that. I was born during the day, but I wasn’t born yesterday. Sir, there were enough atrocities on both sides of that war. I had ancestors who died of starvation in Union war camps. The people celebrating in the streets of Europe, Africa, South America, etc., that were shown on the news don’t know about, and couldn’t care less about the American Civil War. I’m glad the Union won, they were right, the South was wrong, but both sides produced plenty of evil actions. None of which has anything to do with people around the world rejoicing on 9/11.

    And are you seriously telling me that the rejoicing shown on the news from Europe, Africa, South America, Southeast Asia, etc. when the World Trade center, the Pentagon, and a lone plane in Pennsylvania were destroyed, had ANYTHING to do with the Bergen-Belsen or any other concentration camp? Ain’t buying that either.

    I can almost see the Palestinians rejoicing on 9/11, because of America’s support of Israel, but the Palestinians have proved time and again, that they are their own worst enemy. Not Israel. At any rate, the Palestinians were just a drop in the bucket of all the millions partying and that were glad to see America suffer on 9/11. Their election of the terrorist group Hamas to lead them as a people speaks way louder than anything you or I could say in an argument.

    Each and every person on this planet who does not, and will not accept Islam is slated for death by Islamofascits around the world. They will not accept peace offerings, they only like diplomacy in that it buys them time to buy more guns and make more bombs. There will be no exceptions. Do you think that radical Islamists like the leaders of Iran, and Al Qaeda will let any of us live if we do not bow down and accept Islam and live their version of Islam? Nope.

    They will not. Make no mistake, the stakes for us are accept Islam and some form of Sharia rule, or be put to death.

    If you think there is any other position than these two options for us, you’re wrong.

    Have you not actually listened to, or read the words of Osama Bin Laden and Mahmoud Amadenijad? That’s exactly how they feel about us.

    Peace loving followers of Islam are pretty much silent, and tacitly agreeing to the actions of the Islamofascist.

    I, myself, have had a “Yeah, but…” defense of them put forth to me in a conversation with a Muslim.

    I see no other way out of this than to kill the Islamofascist terrorists before they kill us. Because, that’s definitely their plan.

    Quilldancer, I’m sorry to disagree with you so strongly. When you stated “We are the terrorists” I had to disagree.

  17. Jam — you are always welcome here. Please feel free to voice your opinions whether they agree with the rest of us or not. You did a great job of sticking to topics and not attacking people.

    I understand the Islamofascit agenda. I am not saying that the terrorists should go free. I am saying that bombing hundreds of innocent people to kill one guilty person is not justice. And as long as the U.S. persists in doing things like that, of course people are going to celebrate when something similar happens to us.

  18. John –

    The American South is indelibly identified with the atrocities of Andersonville – and with the greater atrocity of American Negro Slavery which precipitated the war that put Union soldiers in Andersonville (which had a far greater casualty rate than any Northern prison – see the account in James McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom).

    Germany is indelibly identified with the atrocities committed at places like Bergen-Belsen in the name of the Nazi “Final Solution”.

    America is indelibly identified with the atrocities of the Palestinian refugee camps. And with the countless attempts by the international community to ameliorate the refugee-camp situation – all thwarted by Israel (which has adroitly played the various Arabic factions off against each other to achieve their goals of hegemony over Palestine and their continued practice of what Jimmy Carter has correctly called apartheid) and by We the People, America’s sole ally.

    So I would argue that there is a direct connection between the phenomenon of Andersonville and the reaction in the Islamic world to 9/11. One of which most Americans are unaware. To their cost, I think.

    Osama bin Laden can proclaim anything he wants. It’s all useless unless there are followers. Followers who are prepared to be led by anyone who can convince them that they have been wronged, even fatally wronged; can convince them that he, and only he, has the power to lead them along the path of righteous might.

    Hitler would have remained a minor rabble-rouser among the bohemian classes of Austria had not the Western Allies foisted the macabre Treaty of Versailles down Germany’s throat at the end of World War I. That Treaty and its consequences provided the Cause through which the Nazis rose to power.

    The Palestinian calamity, and all of its ramifications, provide, so far as I can see, the same Cause to those who adhere to Islam. And permit the rise of those who would aspire to the same heights as Hitler.

    One of the saddest stories I can relate is that of the Palestinian girl, born and raised in the US and for all intents and purposes a California Valley Girl. What’s more, she belongs to a group of Palestinian Christians. She was well on her way to getting an advanced degree in marine biology. In the aftermath of 9/11, she and her family were hounded continually, and blindly, by just about every American she met, to the point that, in the winter of 2001, they had to leave the USA.

    For all I know, she’s wearing a belt of gelignite now.

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