Courtesy Josh Pesavento
The word was out. Mass murderer Osama bin Laden was dead.
The terrorist who has orchestrated the deadly attacks of 9/11 had been killed by American troops, and America was celebrating the news. Some ventured into the streets party, others took to the Internet to express their pleasure on Twitter and Facebook.
voiced his opinion. The 24-year-old professional basketball player tweeted, “It took 919,967 deaths to kill that one guy.”
That tweet would get him more recognition than any shot he’d made in his three seasons in the National Basketball Association. Just as he might steal the ensuing inbounds pass and take it back right back to the hoop for a slam-dunk, Douglas-Roberts followed with another tweet that read, “It cost us (USA) roughly $1,188,263,000,000 to kill that…guy. But we winning though. Haaaa. (Sarcasm).”
Many readers called foul, and Douglas-Roberts discovered what it is like to express a thought that runs counter to impassioned, maybe even virulent, patriotism. He was verbally mauled by such thoughtful retorts as, “Shut your dumb f*cking mouth” and “if you don’t like America then get the F out bro” and “you ignorant un-American piece of sh*t…we don’t want you in America.”
Congressman Ron Paul
can likely relate to Douglas-Roberts. When he stood up during the 2008 Republican primaries
and voiced his opposition to America’s foreign policy, he was mocked and derided in much the same manner.
In October of 2001, Dr. Paul introduced bills suggesting the United States utilize Letters of Marque and Reprisal against terrorists as an alternative to launching a war.
Kent Snyder, chairman of the Ron Paul 2008 Campaign, explained in a press release
, “Article I, Section 8, Clauses 10 and 11 of the U.S. Constitution grant Congress the power to offer a bounty and appoint stealth warriors, private companies and individuals, to capture or kill an enemy such as Osama bin Laden and his fellow terrorists, as well as seize their property.”
The White House and the media ignored his suggestion. His legislation didn’t pass. However, the manner in which bin Laden was ultimately taken down lends credence to Paul’s argument.
Bin Laden wanted to bankrupt America, and did a pretty good job of leading us to the brink of economic collapse. The cost of our War on Terror is mind-boggling.
by the Congressional Research Service released in March said the war on terror has cost $1.28 trillion dollars. A Washington Post article
by Linda Bilmes and Joe Stiglitz put the cost in excess of $3 trillion. Ezra Klein suggested, also in The Washington Post
, $3 trillion might even be a low estimate because we need to also figure in how the airline industry and its passengers have been affected.
The national debt was $5.8 trillion in 2001. It has skyrocketed to more than $14 trillion.
Maybe Douglas-Roberts can gain some reassurance from the fact that much of what Ron Paul was maligned for saying years ago is now widely gaining acceptance.
Does patriotism sometimes leave us unable to differentiate between criticism of our leaders and criticism of our country? Do you think there is a difference?