Monday, May 03, 2004


My Country, Right And Wrong
April 29, 2004: "ICH" -- "My country, right or wrong." I've always subconsciously ascribed those words to some great American soldier-statesman, perhaps George Washington or Nathan Hale. I expect many have likewise assumed. Perhaps that's because it's been a soldier's credo and an inspiration to generations of patriotic Americans. In fact, that verbatim phrase, My country, right or wrong! was emblazoned between the painted flag and the field elevation notice that graced the portal of the flight operations shack on an Arctic airbase where I was stationed for a time. Stand on that flight line, and you read those words: "My country, right or wrong!"
My country, right or wrong!

As an American I suddenly see America as being hardly recognizable as my country at all, right, wrong, or indifferent. I cannot help but be repulsed beyond words by her actions in my name. I am repulsed by a once-proud and always courageous military suddenly run by a herd of civilian murderers and thieves and being used as their personal pirates. At the head of them struts a miscreant whom every evidence declares should have been charged before a military court's martial for desertion in time of war long before being allowed to steal and subsequently disgrace our country's presidency and her people.1 Yet, this never befell the fortunate son. Instead he "soldiers" on a free man. He remains free to arrange the indiscriminate slaughter of uncounted thousands of men, women, and children in a defenseless country, civilians who have done nothing to America more onerous than living upon the world's second largest and most priceless oil reserves. Make no mistake, those oil reserves are what the deserter and his criminal handlers lust for beyond human and humane reason.
We are truly a nation whose majority population believes in, My Country, right or wrong.
But that phrase, its origins and its true meaning will resonate with and disturb free thinking Americans every time we hear it, and the more often we hear it, the more clearly it illustrates how far we've fallen as a peoples.

For the phrase - My country, right or wrong - as a direct quotation, is incorrect. In fact, just like virtually everything else the majority of Americans are willing to believe, it's wrong as hell.
The actual quotation, as spoken by the celebrated German-born, United States Senator, Carl Schurz back in the Nineteenth Century, is very different from that with which we've grown familiar and to which we've obediently ascribed in the post-millennial darkness that is Twenty-First Century America. It's worlds-apart different. It's true meaning diametric to the blind obedience implied by the corrupt, "My Country, Right Or Wrong."

Of course those self-appointed guardians of mindless loyalty who so fondly call themselves patriots in today's kinder, dumber America, would not only encourage the popular corruption of Schurz's actual, and brilliantly Jeffersonian original words, but would be very happy to never so much as see the entire statement in historically accurate context. So, on the assumption that our self-appointed leaders and simplistic herd of "patriots" would have lost interest in this tome by now, (we are, after all, several pages deep, and still no hint of cartoons or feel good platitudes) here's what the man - and true patriot - Carl Schurz actually said. You'll find it incredibly relevant today.

"My country," declared Senator Carl Schurz, "If right, to be kept right, and, if wrong, to be set right." What, I ask, could be more different from the simplistic if not wholly mindless, My Country, Right Or Wrong, to which we've become conditioned?

Nothing, that's what. Nothing could be more different in its meaning and intent as the foundation of a democratic republic than those two phrases are, one from the other.

But that's not all Senator Schurz said that day. "The American people" Schurz continued, "should be specially careful not to permit themselves to be influenced in their decisions by high-sounding phrases of indefinite meaning, by vague generalities, or by seductive catchwords appealing to unreasoning pride and reckless ambition. More than ever, true patriotism now demands the exercise of the soberest possible discernment."
Like the author, Dom Stasi, I didn't know the attribution of the quote and had always taken it at face value. My country, right or wrong, warts and all ... stand by her always. That's the failing of the bastardized quote most have come to know and that of our leaders and countrymen who ignore the warts and never question our policies, motives or direction. Stasi is a Chief technology officer in the satellite network industry. There's much more to this piece discussing its relevance in the current 'campaign' both at home and abroad. Go read the whole thang.


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