Freedom's requirements

Posted: Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Imagine the United States today had we protested and not fought the Civil War. Imagine the millions of lives that could have been saved had France chosen to stop Germany when they could easily have done so instead of protesting and giving Hitler the time to amass strength and power. Imagine the world today had we not won the Cold War. And imagine the world tomorrow if we don't stop tyranny, dictators and terrorists.

I don't care if you are for or against the war in Iraq, the fact is, at this very moment, many young men and women are over there fighting and dying to give you the freedom and right to express your opinion. They deserve your deepest gratitude, respect and support, because they are earning it. In my opinion, the reason we are in a war at this time is as much the fault of the world's protesters as it is the Iraqi regime. Had not France and Russia chosen money over world peace, and if the world's protesters would have protested against the Iraqi regime instead of the fight for freedom and free rights, we may have been able to resolve this diplomatically. Their failures in judgment have further bolstered the Iraqi regime to think they could continue their deception, and have led us to where we are today. I know there are those who will read this and will think that by protesting the war, they are somehow supporting the troops. They are wrong. What supports the troops is having a world united against those who ignore human rights, against those who ignore personal freedoms, and against those who support terrorism. Until that happens, we will continue to have wars.

The basic freedoms we enjoy and take for granted every day come at a price. I spent the last 20 years serving in the Marine Corps and Coast Guard defending your freedom. Today I am exercising my right of free speech to support our troops and protest against the protesters - the actors and actresses who use their celebrity status to influence others, the crowds who ignorantly rally against our president without having even a basic understanding of the situation, those who come to our country to enjoy our freedoms then protest against our government, those who are not willing to serve their country to defend their own rights, and other countries who don't have the courage to defend the basic rights all people of the world should enjoy: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of movement. Shame on all of you.

Michael Patterson

Lieutenant, USCG (ret)

Juneau



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