To speak one’s mind.

Read this. (Stolen from Soapbox Girls).

Now, pretend for an instant that I’m American.

I love my country. I am proud to be an American. I love that I have freedom of expression. I love that I can do whatever my ambition allows me to do. I love that I can criticize my government. Or can I? Apparently not since sept. 11, 2001. The article above is one of just about a dozen or so I’ve read recently that show that no one is allowed to critique American policy right now. The Backstreet boys, who came out of this sounding surprisingly intelligent after their commentary about whether the U.S. was an ‘arrogant’ country, have been forced to retract the statement. College professors have been censured for saying negative things. Michael Moore has received innumerably complaints for his words. Bill Maher was forced to apologise for his words also.

I thought this “war” was in defence of Liberty, Freedom and the American Way? Was this attack not termed an attack on American Ideals? I certainly remember similar rhetoric being spouted by various media outlets.

I was reading somewhere the other day (I can’t remember where, or I’d link it), someone thanking their colled professor for teaching them that criticizing the current president is not criticizing the Country. A critique of American foreign policy is not an un-american act. Indeed, it is a most American of acts.

And why, as Ari Fleischer says, do ‘people have to watch what they say and watch what they do’ at this time? An Air Canada plane was returned to LA with a 2-fighter-jet escort after a man caught smoking in the bathroom uttered ‘an anti-American threat’. This is just ridiculous.

I almost think that the most amazing thing an American could do at this time is to voice any and every concern about current U.S. policies to their politicians. The similarities to Vietnam are becoming clearer and clearer : sending troops into a vastly foreign country half-way around the world with no clear targets or objectives, with no limits on the level of American involvement. What will the U.S. do when there are 20 000 U.S. soldiers on the ground, and they start getting killed? The Afghanis, like the Vietnamese, have beated several different armies in wars before. And don’t forget that their leaders are U.S.-trained.

Maybe I’m being paranoid and over-reaching, maybe not. But I know one thing’s for sure. I’m glad that I’m not an able-bodied American of fighting age right now.