Benjamin, Aaronson, Edinger & Patanzo, P.A.

The war within the boarders of our skull.

The problem with writing an article of this nature is that from the time that the article is written to the time that you read this article, situations and events can change to the point where the article has no relevance.  With that fear in mind, we have the following thoughts.

    In addition to our adult entertainment and First Amendment law, we also do a substantial amount of criminal defense work.  Just the other day we were going to visit one of our clients in jail when in the waiting room one of the correction officers was making fun of one of the anti-war protestors on the television.  He made derogatory comments about “peaceniks” and how ridiculous the anti-war movement was.  This caused us to think.  Whether one is in favor of the war or against the war, how have we become so war oriented as a society that people who believe in peace are made fun of?  War may or may not be appropriate in this situation but peace is always the best option and certainly not something to be ridiculed about.

    On another note, one of the new reasons for war against Iraq is the spread of democracy.  First of all, this is an incredibly ridiculous concept.  This area of the world has never been democratic.  This area of the world along with the Muslim religion that dominates this area of the world does not have its roots in democracy, but rather in following the lead of a strong ruler whether that be an Imam, a Sheik, King or despot.  Simply put democracy is not cultural there.

    Yet, from our standpoint there is much hypocrisy.  Our President speaks about democratizing this area of the world.  However, his belief in democracy is almost comical.  First of all, he certainly was not elected by a majority of the voters of the United States.  There are still many who believe that he did not even win the electoral vote for the Presidency.  Numerous people believe that he was appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court who by their actions did not allow a total recount in the State of Florida.

    Then, there are our actions at the United Nations.  The United Nations is a democracy.  Each country has a vote.  Some countries have vetoes, namely the United States as one.  Yet, in the name of democracy our President has told the UN that it will not abide by the majority vote of the Security Council, that we will not listen to the democracy of the United Nations and that if they do not follow our desires we will go it alone.  (Hardly a democratic position).

    To top this all off, our President has flatly stated that he will not listen to the anti-war protestors in this country or those from around the world.  He has stated that public opinion does not matter.  Again, hardly a democratic position.  Yet, somehow he has been able to convince some of the American people that our actions in going into Iraq are for democracy and are democratic. 

The other night George W. Bush spoke to the nation and declared that in 48 hours either Sadam Hussein left Iraq or we were going to war.  We listened to his speech.  The speech scared us.  We listened to the words and realized those same words may be and could be a pretense and precursor for what is going to happen in this country in the future.

George W. Bush spoke about national security.  He spoke about the need to protect the United States and freedom.  He made a case for violating international law by attacking another country in the name of our survival, our country and our freedom.

We found that logic hard to swallow, but maybe we’re wrong.  But what struck us more was that we envisioned in the future that same speech, that same rhetoric and that same justification being used for the curtailment of our rights.  If this war brings more terrorism to our mainland, those exact same justifications will be used for the taping of your phone lines; the interceptions of your e-mails; the withholding or review of your mail depending on where it comes from; routine searches and seizures of your person; unwanted and unwarranted traffic stops; secret trials; secret arrests; and even censorship.

The other day we were driving, listening to a sports talk show host.  The sports talk show host analogized George W. Bush to Adolph Hitler.  No, he wasn’t saying that George W. Bush is a mass murderer or is ruthless and diabolical, rather he was equating the two regimes.

The sports talk show host pointed out that the German economy was in shambles when Hitler made it a us against the world type of policy.  Although our economy is not in shambles it certainly has been better and no one can dispute that George W. Bush has virtually made it an us against the world type of situation.

He pointed out that Hitler needed a scapegoat to rally the people against.  Namely the Jews.  Saddam Hussein is George W. Bush’s Jews.  He has been successful in convincing us that Saddam Hussein is the root of all evil and with his capture or demise the world will be a better place.  The same thoughts that were used against the Jews by Hitler.

He pointed out that the German parliament was virtually disbanded and became a rubber stamp for Hitler.  Unless we are mistaken when it comes to the Iraq situation our Congress is nothing more than a rubber stamp.

He went into the fact that Adolph Hitler in the name of the public good, public safety and the welfare of the country dwindled away and then eventually took away all civil liberties in Germany.  Unless you haven’t noticed, under John Ashcroft, our Attorney General, many of your civil liberties have been taken away and he has more proposals to strip them further.  In fact, John Ashcroft’s view of what is needed to protect this country is a total dismantling of the rights that we have stood for for over 200 years.

Is the analogy exactly on target?  No.  However, the analogy shows us that we as American people still need to be vigilant.  Not necessarily against Al Quaida and the terrorists that would harm us, but equally vigilant against our own government.  In the name of freedom, our freedoms are being taken away.  In the name of peace, we are starting war.  In the name of democracy, we are casting away our democratic principles.  And in the name of the United States we are becoming everything except what the United States stands for.

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