Friday, July 07, 2006

King George, then and now

On the 4th of July, historian Juan Cole suggested comparing the actions of the current US administration to those that lead to the American Revolution:

Our game for the 4th is to identify how many of the complaints Thomas Jefferson and his colleagues directed against Britain and King George in the Declaration of Independence could either:

  1. be directed by the current American public against the Bush Administration or

  2. be directed by ordinary Iraqis against US policy in Iraq.

The parallels between the then-monarch and the current Mad King George in the Whitehouse are astounding. As Thomas Jefferson predicted wrote centuries ago:

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation.
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury.

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences.

Had Jefferson and the other signatories of the Declaration of Independence been alive today, no doubt the Whitehouse would call them "insurgents" -- and don't think for one moment that I'm not aware of the irony of lumping humanist, secular, democratic men like the Founding Fathers with anti-humanist, religious, anti-democratic thugs like the vast majority of the Iraqi resistance. The Iraq war isn't Good against Evil, and none of the sides battling it out are the good guys -- not the Shiites, not the Sunni and certainly not the occupying Americans.

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