Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Before We Move on to Something Else

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Before We Move on to Something Else

There are a couple of other points I want to mention before the September 11 anniversary moves too far behind us.

Think Progress provides a detailed timeline of the issues that have arisen from the September 11 attacks. There are five concepts they track:

– The steady increase in international terrorism and the growth of al Qaeda
– The campaign to block and obstruct the work of the 9/11 Commission, and the failure to carry out the commission’s recommendations
– The failure to stabilize and rebuild Afghanistan
– The downgrading of the hunt for Osama bin Laden
– The steady decline of America’s image abroad

Every item comes with its very own cited (and linked> news report. It's probably worth a browse, but it will undoubtedly make a place for itself as an invaluable resource in the months and years to come.

Yesterday in his post at AMERICAblog on the anniversary, AJ quoted Patrick Henry at some length, and I'm going to do the same. We all know the phrase that came at the end of this speech--"Give me liberty, or give me death"--but I'm not sure if I've ever read the full speech before. Henry was addressing a problem very different in its details than what we're facing, and some of the words can easily be misconstrued when taken from their context. But the basic issues are the same, and they're just as vital to us as they were to Patrick Henry. Here's a good chunk of it.

No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

Read the rest, if you're so inclined.


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