Considering The Question Of Cartoons And Patriotism

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Editor:

One sees frequently these days the argument put forth that any and all criticism, no matter how inane, is itself shielded from criticism because the author must not be seen as unpatriotic, much less treasonous. My old Merriam-Webster defines treason as "the betrayal of a trust." While, with the luxury of distance, we debate the meaning of patriotism, a generation of our heroic young men and women fights and dies for a safer world.

Those young people, those who sacrifice the most, those who fight and die in our name, have they not invested in us a trust -- a sacred trust? Do they not deserve our support and respect? How does the incessant drumbeat of Abu Ghraib -- calling them torturers and terrorizers -- or the revelation of secret programs, and on, and on, and on, how does this advance the cause, the mission for which they fight and die?

There is no logical connection whatsoever.

I submit to you this "patriotism" is closer to a betrayal of trust.

The right to disagree with my stance is a sacred thing as well to Americans. It is a right afforded us by the sacrifices of previous generations of similar young men and women. It doesn't seem to me unreasonable to ask for constructive criticism. Most of what we see, however, is a kind of sanctimonious, shrill criticism, seemingly generated by a visceral hatred for George Bush, leftist ideology. It is an idealism tainted by an utter ignorance of history and a disdain for the U.S. and its institutions.

Osama bin Laden and his cohorts must find this divisive, unhelpful "patriotism" comforting, if not laughable.

Recently released documents indicate Osama believes that 90 percent of the battle will be fought in the media. The priestly cult, as someone dubbed the media, should keep an eye to posterity.

Steve Morgan, Pine

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