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America and the modern sovereign nation

COLUMN

Columnist

Published: Sunday, March 31, 2013

Updated: Sunday, March 31, 2013 22:03

As Americans, we put a lot of faith and passion into word freedom.

Our history, our future and the very core of our republic is based around that word and concept.

In modern times, the term freedom has been changed and mutilated to mean something completely different when we feel threatened. When did it become the policy of the American people to fight for freedom at home while telling other people how they should live their lives?
When did it become the American policy to use the word freedom only when it is convenient?
The United States is looked at by many as the world’s policeman, and rightfully so. If people are in danger and are being attacked and destroyed without mercy or provocation, then as a superpower, it is the U.S.’s duty to intervene and help those that it can.

But, why are we going around the world and telling people that the way of life they and their fathers before them have led is wrong? Is it because it does not measure up to our standards?
The American people have become warped by fear and through propaganda into believing that the American way of life is the only righteous way of life.

Our government, along with the governments of its allies, has gone to Iran repeatedly in the past several decades and has told the Iranians that they cannot have nuclear weapons.

The possible threat should not be marginalized, but neither should the ability of a nation to make its own decisions. Iran is an independent nation, and because of that, if they decide that they want nuclear reactors within their country, then American should not interfere.

A similar situation can be seen in North Korea. Here, we have two countries that have been divided partially due to U.S. interference, and while South Korea surges ahead of its neighbors to the north, the militaristic North Korea has been left behind.

North Korea has stated time and time again that it is developing nuclear weapons, and time and time again the United States has worked to block these attempts. But what right does the U.S. have to do so?
Any conflict that is started by North Korea will be ended quickly, as the governments of Russia, China, the United States and South Korea, along with allies in the European Union, would quickly move troops into North Korea and end any and all fighting.

So why are Americans so afraid of what North Korea might do? Should not all Koreans have a mutual fear of the United States, and not the other way around? It has been estimated that there are over one million landmines in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.

Should that not serve as a uniting concern by all Korean people? I know that if there were one million landmines along the Mason-Dixon Line, I would be terrified.

Americans have a duty to protect themselves and those who ask for our help, but we also have a duty to our principles. If the United States is going to continue to be a country that proclaims to be for freedom for everyone, then Americans need to stop limiting other people’s freedom to live as they so choose under the laws and customs of their own people.

Ross Whitford can be contacted at whitford@marshall.edu.
 

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