Tuesday, August 15, 2006

"earning" freedom

I've seen this pop up enough times it's gotten on my nerves. It's almost always talking about the Iraqis - though sometimes it's the Afghanistani or other middle eastern folk. And it's usually in conjunction with the phrase 'we can't give freedom'.

What? "They're earning their freedom."

Bull. The conjunction phrase is absolutely true: we cannot give freedom. We can create the conditions. We can let it be taken with no difficulty - with no strings and no hassles, as a child takes freedom from a loving family.

But "earning" freedom implies we have the right or ability to deny it -- and worse, the ability to give it once it's 'earned'.

Smell the coffee, folks. If we're using that phrase, we've seriously misapplied our priorities and energies. We can guide and help and push. We can encourage them to take their freedom. But we cannot judge them 'ready' for it.

And any attempt to do so is at best sanctimonious patronization which WILL be resented.


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