Because human life is so precious, war should never be undertaken unless freedoms rights are threatened. It is often said that our soldiers are sacrificing themselves for the country. This is precisely what they are not doing. A sacrifice entails the surrender of a greater value for a lesser one. But if a man loses his life on the premise, "I would rather die than live in slavery," it is a tragic loss not only for the country - but for freedom.
Peace at any price is only tranquality bought at the expense of your freedom. A slave at peace with its master, meaningless cog in the machine of someone else's control.
In America we know about the hardship endured by slaves. We've read about them, been taught about them. But we cannot even begin to imagine the psychological, emotional and spiritual devastation of having your very humanity stripped away. In fact, I can think of only one thing worse than knowing that your life simply does not belong to you. And that is that the condition still exists today. The Emancipation Proclamation made slavery illegal in the United States. But the harsh truth is that slavery survives. As we sit here tonight, around the globe there are still people in shackles. In some places in the world, there are people, including young children, braving the longest hours in the most imaginable pain, in the most unsanitary conditions. There are innocent people forcefully and brutally taken from their families and their homes; they are denied all of the identity and pride and esteem; they are abused and beaten - all to serve someone's selfish demands under UN auspices.
Today, the shackles are sometimes made of iron as they were over 150 years ago, but more often they are more esoteric bindings. The bindings in form of a disease like AIDS. They may be the religious restraints that forbid women from contributing their full potential, or political restraints that keep the less privelaged from ever having power. A continent at peace amalgamated with binding regimes of slavery and terror is a continent of evil. Forgetting all of the wars and the hate of the past just makes it easy to rewrite history to fit the current meme: to have peace in our time. We must learn from the past to prevent it from happening again. If we forget, we fail.
My friends, there are people in shackles and we can set them free. Dreams do not have to be deferred. Hope does not have to be destroyed. Futures do not have to be out of reach. Freedom is worth the fight.
And I might add for my favorite bloke
Europe my Europe - the cradle of civilisation
And we stand united as a continent for democracy, art, and civilisation. Civilisation = what a word and we have it in a United Europe.
How about an ode to ye ole crackpipe. "civilisation?" What a civilization we have in Bosnia , in Ireland, in Finland, Estonian and others. Quite a dream indeed. Google disagrees and so do I.
Sidney Beaulieau IV is this city's version of a rock star these days ... (By Michel Ducille -- The Washington Post) Katrina Photos and Video Hurricane Katrina brought unprecedented destruction to the Gulf Coast.
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