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Kamala Sarup: US Independence Day

Fourth of July: The US Independence Day


Kamala Sarup
Nepalnews.com

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved a formal Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson and other committee members. This is the first document representing some unity among The US (the first time this name is formally used) and July 4 is the traditional date for celebrating the independence of the U.S.A.

On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress, the informal governing body among the 13 rebellious British colonies, approved a "Resolution of Independence" introduced on June 7 by delegate Richard Henry Lee of Virginia. At this time, from the American point of view, the 13 colonies ceased to exist; that is, they were then 13 independent (sovereign) nations. However, Great Britain continued to view them as rebellious colonies and attempted unsuccessfully during the next five years to subdue them with force.

US patriotism, as in other countries, runs from one extreme to another among its citizens; that is from fervent nationalism to utter apathy. Patriotism in the US reaches a high level during a time of war, such as what we have seen in Iraq today, although there are many US critics of this war, especially when the US is not winning.

Nevertheless, for the next few days there will be millions of flags and buntings displayed all around the US. This week, many TV channels will show many old war movies. Because of the Iraq war, many autos have been displaying the yellow ribbon sticker with the slogan,"Support the troops" for many months, but they become more convincing on July 4.

However, some Americans are opposing Iraq war, and saying that President George Bush and his advisors have turned Iraq into a mess in the name of `war against terror.' His mistakes have resulted in more blood and treasure lost, and higher oil prices, which affect the prices of good bought by ordinary Americans more than by rich ones.

President George Bush (File photo) Upon being elected to the office for the second term, President Bush adopted a program of large tax cuts and increased defense spending. Thus, current costs are being paid by additional debt, which will be paid by future generations in the form of higher taxes, or inflation, or both. As an economic policy to stimulate a moribund economy by higher government spending and increased consumer demand for goods, the statistics on economic growth and unemployment showed that it has failed.

President Bush has also allied with the "big money" segments of the republic (the upper 2%) at the expense of 98% of the Americans. The result is a widening gap in income distribution that fosters more dissension among economic classes and less market demand that inhibit economic growth for everyone.

But on the other side, Bush has more empathy. After Sep 11, President Bush, wiping tears from his eyes, said, "Many nations and many families have lived in the shadow of terrorism for decades - enduring years of mindless and merciless killing. September 11 was not the beginning of global terror, but it was the beginning of the world's concerted response. History will know that day not only as a day of tragedy, but as a day of decision - when the civilized world was stirred to anger and to action. And the terrorists will remember September 11 as the day their reckoning began."

George Bush said the United States and its allies were ready to "whip terrorism". After the attack, American people are saying that the US is strong and that terrorists' act cannot shake the foundation of America.

The wars undertaken by the U.S. are to eliminate terrorism in the U.S.

Combating international terrorism had become the world's prime objective after terrorist attacks on the United States. The UN General Assembly had also adopted a resolution underlining the need for strengthening multilateral cooperation on disarmament and non-proliferation as a contribution to the fight against terrorism. There could be neither peace nor progress as long as there are terrorist threats and destruction.

Many of the important treaties that help to address various threats to mankind include the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the Biological Weapons and Chemical Weapons Conventions. UN should continue to work towards global disarmament and a complete elimination of weapons of mass destruction. The long-term control and elimination of Weapons of Mass Destruction can only be achieved through a comprehensive and rigorous system of international treaties and obligations that are verifiable and universal.

This year had been a significant year in terms of disarmament and arms control. The Moscow Treaty was a major bilateral achievement. A group of countries, the G-8, also took an important initiative to prevent the proliferation of sensitive technology and material related to weapons of mass destruction and reduction of conventional weapons.

As a general principle, all disarmament obligations should indeed be rigorously enforced - compliance is an absolutely vital issue for the effectiveness and credibility of disarmament activities. Non-governmental organizations, media organizations and peace and human rights organizations could play in promoting and implementing missile control and disarmament.

Disarmament and arms control measures should remain a high priority. The UN must unite and act collectively to strengthen and enforce the non-proliferation regimes. We, Nepalis, are also equally alarmed by the growing danger like organized crime, and trafficking in small arms and light weapons.

Will the US be able to deal with different kinds of terrorist threats? Will the US be able to control small arms shipments to terrorists?

Support a voice for peace, which is recognized worldwide - stand up against a system, which considers the massacre of humans. The goal of less war and less violence would be helped by reasoning about what causes terrorists to become terrorists.

Congratulations on 229 years of Democracy!

*************

(Article was published in nepalnews.com. Kamala Sarup is an editor of http://peacejournalism.com/ )


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