A cheerleader's job, so to speak, is to support the home team. They don't pick the coach, the team, the plays or opponents. Their only function is to shout "Hurray for our side."
A citizen's job in this country, is just the opposite. We're responsible for the whole ball game. We choose the coach and team, and if we don't like the way they're performing it's our duty to say so, and anyone who criticizes or intimidates you for doing so had better take a refresher course on the Constitution. In fact, many of the citizens who made this country live up to its promise of "land of the free" openly opposed the government, and often popular beliefs. They were abolitionists, suffragettes, labor reformers, civil rights campaigners, environmentalists and more.
As for those Americans falling in with the flock, following the fearless leader into the fray to vanquish the foreign foe of the day, crying "Hurray for the U.S.A.." some may call it patriotism, but I call it cheerleading. And as for those saber-rattling armchair warriors, perpetually playing our flag like it was the ace of spades - the holy trump card - our flag doesn't represent any person, political party or policy, right or left. It stands for 50 states, one nation under the Constitution, a constitution the current administration and evidently many Americans have little regard for, and to fly it for any other cause is defamation.
So while cheerleaders cheered, supporting the home team and rarely questioning the validity of the arguments, our nation, with its overwhelming military might, invaded Iraq. And the "formidable" Iraqi army, that great threat to our nation, crumbled like a house of cards.
No weapons of mass destruction, chemical or biological weapons were used against our troops, nor can any be found. They might have been destroyed before the war, but isn't that what Mr. Bush demanded? And despite Mr. Bush's rhetoric, no links have been found between Hussein and 9/11.
This means that without provocation we attacked a small and battered nation, intentionally assassinating its leader, and our justification turned out to be a ruse. So it appears that under the policy of preemptive engagement we can attack a sovereign nation pretty much because we feel like it. More frightening than that, strategic first use of nuclear weapons is also considered justifiable by this administration.
Please America, stop cheerleading and get informed.