Monday, July 04, 2005

Not Dominion, but Liberty

Reflection on this Independence Day, from The Nation
...America was founded in opposition to empire. The Declaration of Independence was a manifesto against colonialism. And the founding generations abhorred imperialism.

Their opposition to empire was not merely rooted in their own bitter experience. It was, as well, rooted in a faith that American freedoms and democracy would suffer in the nation embarked upon a career of empire.

So, while Bush suggests that other lands must be occupied to preserve liberty at home, the patriots of our time recall will do well to recall words spoken on another July 4. ..on Independence Day, 1821, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams appeared before the US House of Representatives:

She has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own.

She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart.

She has seen that probably for centuries to come, all the contests of that Aceldama the European world, will be contests of inveterate power, and emerging right.

Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be.

But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.

She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all.


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