Thursday, April 29, 2010

... governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

The title of this post comes from the Declaration of Independence. This is a very powerful statement, both threatening to government and placing extreme responsibility upon the governed. Because government derives their right to govern from us, when government infringes upon unalienable rights, we are collectively responsible for their actions.

What Israel has done to Palestine is a modern example of "a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism. ... it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security."

Though the Declaration of Independence was written to justify the self defense of the colonies against abuse, at no point does it hold the governed innocent for government abuse of those not consenting to be governed. Under the name of the War on Terror our government kidnapped people, held them without trial, and tortured them. These citizens of other nations did not consent to be governed by us. Some of these people did nothing wrong except to be of the wrong religion and in the wrong place. If our declaration of independence was justified; if the very beliefs that formed the basis of our form of government as expressed in the Constitution are still our beliefs today, then we have a moral duty to correct these wrongs and insure that they never happen again.

This is not an issue of the past. We are still holding innocent people only because they can not be returned to their nation of origin. We still have innocent people held in chains (literally). When we do release them they are kept in chains and locked to the floor of the plane as we return them to their country.

There is one and only one way to insure that no leader of the United States ever treats humans as inhumanely as we have recently. That is to take the leaders, all of who consented to be governed, and give them what they what they took away from so many. We must give them a fair trail and if appropriate send them to prison.

The logical question, and one I was asked is "what can I do?" I too feel that what I do is insignificant. This is what Patti Smith said in an interview.
Well, I mean, I would never call myself an activist ever. I don’t really—I mean, I hope that I am a humanist and sort of a good citizen. I really think of the people who are out there in the front lines every day and I am so grateful to all of you. I am sort of- I think of activism on many levels for people that are out in the trenches and then citizens who can do just small things, the smallest things.

This blog is one of my "smallest things." It does good only if it is read. Patti Smith's music only has an impact if people listen to it.

Murat Kurnaz was born in 1984. In 2001 he was detained, abused, and held at Guantanamo, even though he did nothing wrong or against our country. After five years he was returned to Germany, and when his parent removed his chains (yes his parents) he fell down because he didn't know how to walk without chains. This gentleman is now trying to help other victims of our government, and to live without bitterness.

This is a link to Patti Smith's song about Murat Kurnaz.

Please help Patti Smith make a difference by sharing her song.

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