…. What is civil liberty to the dead when we didn’t secure first the safety of the living before they died? That’s putting the cart before the horse…
When in doubt, look it up in the dictionary. Oxymoron is contradiction. It is inconsistency of meanings or actions used at first blush for special effects. A nation ruled by oxymoron faces a threat of catastrophic proportion.
Let’s unravel this threat in a down-to-earth way. When someone calls you a wise fool, you are neither wise nor foolish but something else. It is hard to locate where you are or what that makes out of you.
Confused, we tend to resent this kind of remark on one hand, and on the other treat it as a compliment and let it go at that to a point that in the long run our ego becomes addicted to such contradiction … an oxymoron. And that’s where it leads us down the road to perdition. As oxymoron junkies we can think of ourselves as a nation addicted to contradictions. We are in this precarious situation. We desperately need a fix.
Needless to say, we are facing a grave danger when we let oxymoron addiction run our life. Notice the spate of oxymoron happenings that had so far threatened our way of life: We have those violent peace rallies that a lot of us believed led to our defeat in Vietnam, and now we are hanging on the edge of defeat in Iraq as the Democrat Congress that supports our troops to win the war in Iraq prepares to cut off funding to force them to withdraw and lose the struggle to our enemies. In this war on terror, to survive becomes the first call of the day.
Peace rallies, yet violent. Support our troops to win the war yet withdraw and lose the war … terrible oxymoron.
Notice carefully that it is from the Left side of this nation’s brain that tells us that to lose the war to the enemy, all we have to do is quit Iraq, yet from the Right side of the brain comes this overpowering voice that we have to spend billions of dollars and let our soldiers get killed in harm’s way, because we need to win the war in Iraq.
It should no longer surprise us why this oxymoron booby trap caught this nation right in the middle. As a nation, it is hard to locate where we stand. What it looks like to me is that we lost our direction down this road to hell.
To put an oxymoron language to it, congressional support is badly needed to win a loss of this war in Iraq – a self-defeating oxymoron that vandalizes the American public into thinking not as the crow flies – to borrow this idiom for a moment [to think straight] — but as to how the posture of the Hunchback of Notre Dame contorts to an ugly attraction if not distraction. Many American minds, both in Congress and in the academia let alone those of dissenters in the streets of Washington, D.C., are at a terrible loss, twisted in captivity as if on bended knee are begging for deliverance.
We have a community of intellectuals in the academe that claim to love this country more than anyone else, by attacking it as a fascist American Empire that kills brutally more than those savages of terror do.
In the Internet for example, Prof. Ward L. Churchill is published as an intellectual who loves America and the American people more than enough to call dead Americans in that infamous 9/11 terrorist attacks “Little Eichmanns”, who more than deserved their tragic fate in the hands of terrorists. Eichmann was Hitler’s executioner of millions of Jews in Holocaust.
There is this fountain of awe and stupefaction where wonderment springs eternal. Think of the enemy within that takes advantage of a divided nation since time immemorial … chameleon attackers since Pearl Harbor and 9/11 that we could not nuke. In one breath they claim to be patriots who loved America more than Benjamin Franklin and Patrick Henry ever did, and on the next breath attacked America, naming this country as the world’s most vicious evil empire on earth. In this illustration, look what’s happening: How can one love and hate so much at the same time is a riveting puzzle. Does it mean that they love America because it is an evil empire, or hate America because it is not an evil empire? As a scientific study, this elevates Oxymoron into a science of a fickle, not necessarily a freaking, mind.
In the Media, we have this exercise of freedom of expression to suppress the freedom of others who express their own. Enterprising but intolerant people in the Media bludgeon the federal government to submission for suppressing free speech. In this mode of intolerance, the Media itself is suppressing the freedom of a responsible government to protect the people when in the spate of continuously rising terrorism it needs to enforce security measures to maintain peace and societal order and secure the safety of citizens in peril, and a nation in a clear imminent danger.
It is quite disturbing to watch in national television candidates for president in this coming 2008 presidential election [i.e. the recently held November 2007 Democratic presidential debate in Nevada] who are promising the American people that in their agenda of governance when they become president, civil liberty comes first before the security and survival of the nation – a very dangerous oxymoron that leads us down the road to perdition.
What is civil liberty to the dead when you didn’t secure first the safety of the living before they died? It is a pinnacle of a pygmy mind at work, in the highest order of irresponsibility for a president-elect who has such a bizarre order of priority in governance.
This kind of oxymoron puts the cart before the horse. It is only in fantasy that perhaps the cart could lead and pull the horse. But even that is too weird for Hollywood’s adaptation of Cinderella in a magic pumpkin public contraption or in the wonders of Alice in Wonderland. What it does is send a chill down the spine when we imagine an elected president who is addicted to a horrifying oxymoron of this kind. When this happens, expect a forerunner of all our political and social problems in life that court our doom perhaps even sooner than later.
One of what have been eloquently described as “the most respectful and peaceful” public demonstrations organized by several peace movements – so the Liberals, their radical associates and the leftist media claim, which of course online Conservative publications refute as disorderly and out of control – occurred on January 27, 2007 in Washington, D.C. In this incident, records show that the demonstrators did not only disrespectfully but savagely spit on a pro-Iraq-war veteran named Joshua Sparling who along with other veterans was in the scene similarly exercising his right to free speech by protesting against the anti-war demonstrations. Free speech at the other end of the great divide is not free speech but aggression to be suppressed by any means possible, even by spitting on someone’s face out of spite. This televised spark of contradiction in full view of the American public is an anathema of historical proportion.
In this prototype of contradictions shown in national television that similarly runs across the land, oxymoron has written an indelible landmark in stone. Law-abiding hooliganism [notice the clash of meanings] in the holding of freedom rallies has its outstanding success. Here oxymoron in its naked reality is unparalleled.
It also created a similar monument of incongruity in the recently concluded Democratic presidential debate in Nevada that I just mentioned. When in the audience a young solder who had been deployed to Iraq stood up to be recognized, all the candidates clapped their hands in standing ovation … thanking this soldier profusely for fighting in Iraq, almost admiring with solemn reverence the young man in uniform not only as a returning hero but also as some kind of a god. That was after each candidate had declared in their debate that the war the soldier had fought was an “illegal war”. In effect, he was actually a soldier whose revered heroism was just an empty hustle and bustle in the wind. This ultimate farce dazzled millions of the viewing audience who without a mind’s eye, could not see through the façade of political cajolery … a gentle flattery, if you may.
Had this soldier been brought home dead from Iraq for fighting a war that was “illegal”, he would not have been buried with honor or the burial that deserved the highest honor the country could bestow, would have been picketed and protested.
In short, to these angry war dissenters, this soldier’s death in what is menacingly perceived by the presidential candidates as a “criminal war”, would have been outrageously denounced, thus a life that had been sacrificed to defend freedom and for love of country wasted, and perhaps with a good measure of condolence, a teardrop of regret that just goes down the drain.
Public outrage against this abominable ingratitude to our fallen heroes pressured Congress to pass the Respect for America’s Fallen Heroes Act on May 29, 2006. Such showing of exemplary love for and worship of our soldiers by those who hated them intensely for fighting a war that they do not like, should never be countenanced. At first blush, a soldier is extolled as god-like in the pedestal of admiration by those who needed votes to become President of the United States, and at the next wink of an eye, condemned for dying in what they thought was an “illegal” war that they personally did not approve.
When oxymoron rules a nation, our infallibility is in a mortal quandary. Direction-wise, we are in limbo as to where this would lead us to. What we need to do is to summon our courage to bell the cat for alarm. For, in here lurks this most dangerous institutionalized culture of contradictions … a hidden menace to our way of life and national security that tragically the unsuspecting public even hardly noticed.
Copyright Edwin A. Sumcad. Access November 16, 2007.
The writer is a veteran diplomat-journalist for more than 45 years and a recipient of excellence awards in journalism. He is a former Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations; he is also an economist, a lawyer and an Association of Southeast Asian Nations specialist on fiscal policy and regional industrial cooperation. His human interest writings and editorial insights appear in other publications and published in several websites. A brief comment may be e-mailed to email@example.com.