General Question

damien's avatar

Do you think the American 'freedom' reasoning is overused sometimes?

Asked by damien (2394points) February 27th, 2009

I was watching Barack Obama on the news earlier and he was talking about the war in Iraq and how they’ve been fighting for American’s freedom. Maybe I’m looking at it from the wrong angle, but I don’t see how fighting a war in another country (with no-one invading yours) is fighting for freedom.

On British news, when they talk about out troops overseas, they approach it from the angle of us going over to help them or to protect interests, and other similar reasons. I understand why freedom is such a big part of American society, but do you feel it’s correct to say you’re fighting for freedom in Iraq or Afghanistan?

I truely hope I’ve worded this well as I really don’t want to offend anyone. I know a lot of these kind of questions are often meant as lighter fluid, but this isn’t intended to be.

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29 Answers

Johnny_Rambo's avatar

If anyone knows and has made statements about America’s unwarranted pre-imptive strike against Iraq, it is Barack Obama, so yes, you are mistaken. It was the Bushies who sold us the ” Freedom For Iraq ”, not Obama.I dont believe he said that, you must’ve misunderstood. Obama voted against the Iraq invasion while serving as Senator from Illinois.

Zaku's avatar

Sounds like the theme song from the 1980’s G.I. Joe cartoon: “Fighting for freedom, wherever there’s trouble, G.I. Joe is there! A real American hero…”

Bush overused it way beyond the pukespeak point. I’m surprised to read that Obama has repeated it about Iraq.

dynamicduo's avatar

Of course it’s overused. It’s a very loaded word. It’s one of the biggest rallying points a politician can say – it’s very hard for another politician to counter the point as it can be seen as that politician “opposing freedom”.

No, I don’t believe it’s correct to say that our military troops (Canadian) are fighting for our freedom. Then again, here in Canada we do not use this loaded “freedom” word as often or in the same context as it’s used in America.

wundayatta's avatar

What is scary is that such rhetoric works.

TaoSan's avatar

Yeah, I wonder if the Iraqis still want our “freedom” once they find out you’re as free as your credit score is high here, lol

noelasun's avatar

I always feel very skeptical when people use the word freedom potitically-
No one really knows what it means. At best, we have only our own definitions to rely on.
Sayinf that we’re fighting for freedom without a clear cut idea of what that freedom is seems too dangerous and wasteful a fight to be drawn into.

cookieman's avatar

When discussing Iraq with a GOP-wannabe co-worker, I said it was a shame so many troops were dying for a war we should not have started.

He responds, “So you don’t want to live in a free country?!”

Huh?

TaoSan's avatar

@cprevite

Are you for real? That is so ridiculous and embarrassing!

augustlan's avatar

It is total bullshit. Our freedom has been eroded more by our own politicians (Patriot Act) than by anything Iraq has ever done. I’d much rather hear the straight-up truth, than such mumbo-jumbo.

kevbo's avatar

As Kristofferson and Colbert mused last night, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”

@cprevite, et al, its such a shame we just spout this stuff without thinking.

Harp's avatar

Nobody really thinks about what “freedom” actually means when they hear it anymore. We’ve been conditioned through countless repetitions to have a Pavlovian response; whenever someone says “freedom”, our hearts go up into our throats, we see the flag snapping in the breeze, and we want to grab a musket. The word bypasses our brains altogether and speaks straight to the heart.

Which is why it’s so useful in political discourse. If you’re trying to get people to rally behind your cause but don’t want them to think too much about the reason, you can just throw the “F” word out there and some of them will fall into line without asking the hard questions.

cookieman's avatar

@TaoSan & Kevbo: I know. The one bad thing about an otherwise good job – I’m surrounded by people that think and speak this way – including one of the owners.

oy vey

Jack79's avatar

It’s all about British and American English. Here’s some examples:

freedom=capitalism
free trade=capitalism
democracy=capitalism
war on terror=war for capitalism
terrorist=someone who doesn’t support capitalism
freedom fighter=same as terrorist, but supports capitalism
evil=anyone who doesn’t support capitalism
God=capital

I think you got my drift ;)

Jack79's avatar

kevbo’s answer above refers to the original meaning of the word “freedom” in British English, which is not the sense GWBush and other politicians have used it. Kristofferson refers to a state of being free, without any strings attached. Politicians refer to a country’s freedom to give all of its natural resources to the US.

jessturtle23's avatar

We are pretty free to do as we please and say what we want. Europe tries so hard to not offend anyone that they have no freedom of speech. Yeah, in Amsterdam you can get drugs and hookers legally but you can’t make a movie about a religion you don’t agree with without going to jail. Is that really a perspective that deserves to be reasoned with or that we need to defend ourselves against? Pretty backwards. I may not agree with the Iraq war and it meaning freedom for our country but it is pretty bad ass that all of these men and women have gone over there and risked their lives for us. I probably wouldn’t do it. @Jack79 Where are the natural resources that we are getting out of Iraq? We got screwed in that deal.

TaoSan's avatar

@jessturtle23

Hm, try getting laid off by Greedy Corp., fall behind on a few bills, and see how free you are with a credit score of 684. You’re not even “free” to get a job anymore, no one will take you anymore, right? And, oh, you won’t be able to rent anything outside Cockroach Ville anymore either.

You’re as free to do as you please as Experian, Equifax and Transunion want you to be.

Thank you but no, I think the majority of people prefer a little limitation in their freedom of speech over being victims/slaves. And slaves we are, except our shackles now are 29.9% interest rates on our credit cards and big-screen TVs.

As for Iraq, don’t worry, Haliburton, KBR, Blackwater and oil companies are getting quite a bounty out of it, you’re just not included.

Jayne's avatar

Look, boys and girls, it goes like this. Freedom = democracy. All democratic states support the U.S., because we are the perfect manifestation of democracy. Any non-democratic state hates us because they envy our way of life. Thus, war for freedom = war for America. The logic is inescapable.
(lolz!)

TaoSan's avatar

@Jayne

Priceless :)

Jayne's avatar

Actually, the charge is $19.95. I accept PayPal.

jessturtle23's avatar

@TaoSan What does getting laid off have to do with anything I said? Or credit cards? Did you even get laid off because I did and I don’t need someone trying to teach me about debt or Cockroachville. You have the freedom to chose where you are going to work or if you are going to work at all. No one forces you to work. If you just got by on what you could afford then you wouldn’t have to worry about high interest rates on credit cards. If a person loses everything at least it isn’t compounded by having to shut-the-fuck-up about it. I would much rather be able to say what I want when I want it then drive around in a new car and have the biggest TV on the block.

TaoSan's avatar

@jessturtle23

You seem to forget that the “scoring industry” has very well established that the score is the measure of all things.

If you do not take credit, you’ll be just as undesirable as someone who doesn’t pay their bills.

How is that for “freedom”? You’ll be free to “do as you please” as long as you conform to “consumption society”. Be a milkable cow, and the system will allow you to move about freely….. somewhat. You’ll be able to enjoy your “freedom” within the confines of what is made available to the “sub-prime” section of our society.

You’re completely missing my point. You’re not free at all. If the scoring industry deems you unbankable/uninsurable, how free are you?

Edit:

You say: “You have the freedom to chose where you are going to work…”

Yes sure, try getting hired ANYWHERE, if Fair Isaac has deemed you “bad apple”.

Jack79's avatar

…or you could just take a raft to Cuba, where everybody has a job ;)

jessturtle23's avatar

@taosan- If you are dubbed a “bad apple” that has nothing to do with why so many Americans are getting laid off. It means you are crappy at your job and you should try something new.

TaoSan's avatar

Errm,

People get laid off -> After a lay off have trouble paying bills -> KABOOM

Welcome to the subprime world.

My wife is a social worker dealing with such families every day. I dare to assume that you haven’t been exposed to this problem yet, no wonder, it’s quite sneaky. People who are affected don’t like talking about it as it is embarrassing.

jessturtle23's avatar

Yeah, I have been exposed to it. I lost my job and can’t find another one and I have to live with my parents again at 27.

TaoSan's avatar

@jessturtle23

I’m sorry to hear that, and wish you the best of luck.

Pertaining to this thread though, how free to do as you please are you now?

Judi's avatar

@TaoSan ; Don’t get me tarted on credit scores and people who are “under employed” with no medical insurance and have a medical emergency! They have just joined the ranks of the shunned because their credit will be decimated.

TaoSan's avatar

@Judi

I think the fact that your FICO score is the single most determining factor of your life totally slips under the radar.

Whenever I strike up a discussion about it, it seems that people are entirely unaware of the ramifications attached to this horrible industry going haywire without even being noticed.

And why not? It all seems so simple, doesn’t it? Be a good person, pay your bills, and all should be well, right?

If only it were like that.

I say it again and again, in this country, you’re as free as your credit score is high.

The scoring industry has spent millions over millions every year to lobby laws and hire public opinion makers to portray every group criticizing their “product” as “deadbeat-friendly”, “naive” or what have you. I’m surprised over and over again how well they manage to stay under the radar.

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