The U.S. Constitution – “Don’t Tread on Me”

While pondering the significance of the recent events that have ignited in the Middle East,  it is a good time to re-evaluate the real values that drive the militant Muslim extremists as compared to the fundamental values that are the bedrock of the United States.

SAN JOSE, September 19, 2012—  On the anniversary of 9/11 this year and since that day, Americans are again under attack from angry radical Islamic militants. The recent violent events occurring within the Middle East reveal quite a bit about the nature and political perspectives of the newly formed governments in Egypt and Libya. It appears that the fruit of the highly touted “Arab Spring” has grown into an embarrassment to the Obama Administration.      

Ostensibly, the reason for the recent outbreak of violence is the infamous video which insults and denigrates Islam and the prophet Mohammad. The major media outlets seem to be taking their cues from the Obama Administration which has been playing down the perspective that the attacks were premeditated and well-planned. Americans are asked to ignore the fact that the attacks just happened to occur on the anniversary of 9/11.

As the violence widened in scope over this past weekend and spilled into the current week, Americans may wonder about the realities of such a flare up of violence because up to this point in the election year, the Obama Administration has been justifying the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan by peddling the opinion that Al Quaeda is dwindling in its influence and power throughout the world.  With the radical militants chanting “we are thousands of Osamas,” it did not seem that such “dwindling” would be a proper observation.

While pondering the significance of the recent events that have ignited in the Middle East,  it is a good time to re-evaluate the real values that drive the militant Muslim extremists as compared to the fundamental values that are the bedrock of the United States. That should not be too difficult since Monday was Constitution Day, or Citizenship Day, a day when Americans are reminded of the value of the U. S. Constitution, the document which guarantees all citizens their fundamental individual rights.

Especially at this time in history, it is important to consider what makes America the nation it is today and what differentiates America from other nations around the world.  In reality, it may also prompt the question of why such attacks come against America if we are truly a nation of freedom.  The underlying question is whether the U.S. is an oppressive nation as Osama bin Laden claimed.  It is a legitimate question and one that has provoked bloodshed on more than one occasion. 

Osama bin Laden’s view, and obviously the view of those he managed to inspire before he met his demise, is expressed in his 2002 “Letter to the American people.” His perspective was that the attackers he unleashed upon the world were not terrorists, but “defiant” freedom fighters. In truth, there are many people, including fellow Americans, who could be considered fairly intelligent based on I.Q. tests, that would agree with that view and they would possibly say that the U.S. is not a “free” nation and because of the evils of Capitalism and U.S. Colonialism, that the country does not reflect the genuine conception of freedom as perceived by educated men and women, or even by people with just plain common sense.

Contrary to such a viewpoint, former President George W. Bush, not long after the terrorist assault, described the horrific violence on September 11th, as attacks against freedom itself.  And, there were many all over the world who agreed with him, many people of intelligence and many possessing plain common sense. So, which viewpoint is correct? These views continue to exist side by side, locked in tension, in the world at this moment while disturbing events explode across the globe.

Actually, an intelligent and objective appraisal of history reveals a great deal about the true nature of the pursuit of human freedom through time and reveals fundamental flaws in bin Laden’s (and other Marxist - Muslims) argument about the U.S. being “the worst civilization witnessed by the history of mankind…” Although history can simply be interpreted any way an observer desires, an honest student will observe and concede genuine causes, objective facts, and eventual outcomes of political and governmental actions.

In this light, when appraised rationally and summed up objectively, the United States shows up as a nation that places more value upon human freedom and individual liberty than any other in the history of nations. Such a statement may be considered an extremist view within the political climate of the U.S. today. Nevertheless, a couple of pivotal points in human history should be considered with regard to the freedom of humankind.

Two glaring examples of deadly serious revolutions to bring about freedom are evidenced in the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution.  The French Revolution started the same year the newly ratified Constitution went into effect with George Washington ascending to the office of the President of the United States. The Russian Revolution, beginning in March of 1917, occurred during the time of the Great War. Each began with great rhetoric and stellar ideals. Each generated outcomes that led to tyranny and absolute authoritarian states.   

The end result of the French Revolution was that it descended into chaos, widespread accusations and condemnations, and deteriorated into a bloodbath of horror during the Reign of Terror. Ultimately, Napolean Bonaparte, easily consolidated his military authority into absolute power as he seized control of France. By 1804, as Thomas Jefferson was finishing his first term as president of the young United States of America, Napolean was proclaiming himself the Emperor of France.

The French Revolution has been romanticized by many, but it is quite a disturbing period of history because a people’s revolution, intent on liberty and equality, devolved into some of the worst inhumanity in history and paved the way for Napolean’s efforts to not only dominate France, but most of Europe as well.

Likewise, the Russian Revolution, has been romanticized and idealized by many because    it began with great rhetoric fueled by the powerful ideas of Marxism-Leninism and appeared as a substantial fight by sincere freedom fighters to overthrow an oppressive regime and to establish a new government  with economic, political, and social equality. However, the outcome was entirely the opposite as the Union of Soviet Socialists Republic grew to become one of the most oppressive and tyrannical empires in human history.

Despite the ruthless treachery and intimidating power of kings and emperors in history previous to the American Revolution, our founding fathers boldly rejected the oppression and tyranny of their day and willingly gave their lives in the fight for true freedom. They boldly declared their ideals and planted the seeds of freedom that are still being harvested today. The government established through the U.S. Constitution has permitted a far greater foundation for the establishment, development, and the advancement of freedom for its citizens and people throughout the world than any other major government in the history of mankind. And because of the Constitution, the U.S. is still a nation of freedom.

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Dennis Jamison
Dennis Jamison
Dennis Jamison reinvented his life after working for a multi-billion dollar division of Johnson & Johnson for several years. Now semi-retired, he is an adjunct faculty member  at West Valley College in California.  He also currently writes a column on history and one on American freedom for the Communities at the Washington Times.


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