View Full Version : Defending Independence

07-06-03, 07:26 AM
Defending Independence

Common Sense by Oliver North

Jul 4, 2003

As Americans celebrate our 227th Independence Day, we do so with more than 150,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, guardsmen and Marines in Iraq, over 10,000 in Afghanistan, 6,000 in the Balkans, tens of thousands at sea around the world in warships and several thousand more now poised for deployment to Liberia. For all of them, any fireworks they observe on the Fourth of July are more likely to be deadly than celebratory. And, if we are to believe the polls, while they stand in harm's way around the globe, an increasing number of Americans here at home are becoming war weary.

This past week, both Fox News and the Gallup organization sampled American public opinion regarding the ongoing military action in Iraq. Both polls show that since May 1, when President Bush declared major combat operations in Iraq to have ended, there has been a precipitous drop in public approval for staying the course. Dr. Frank Newport, the Gallup organization's editor in chief, told my radio audience that the 56 percent of Americans who now say they support military action in Iraq is down from a high of 76 percent in April -- a 20-point drop in exactly two months. When I asked him "Why?" he responded that, "the fact that we continue to take casualties and the failure to find any weapons of mass destruction are the primary reasons" Americans have changed their minds.

We have taken casualties. As of this writing, 26 Americans have been killed by enemy action in Iraq since May 1. And no stores of nerve agents, bio-toxins or nuclear weapons have yet been found in Saddam's treasure trove of armaments. Throw in the fact that we have yet to find either Saddam or Osama. Does this explain such a drastic softening of resolve in a nation that less than 22 months ago suffered 2,790 killed at the hands of Islamic terrorists?

Or is something else happening here? Has the mind-numbing, hyperbolic blather of Senator Robert Byrd finally taken effect? Have we succumbed to the globalist-pacifist rant from John Kerry and Howard Dean as they chase each other to the left in their quest for a presidential nomination? Or are we simply paying too much attention to the quagmire commentaries of the negative nannies in the Democrat party?

On July 2, when asked to comment on the killing of a Marine in Iraq, President Bush replied, "there are some who feel that the conditions are such that they can attack us there ... Bring 'em on! ... Our forces are ready." This prompted New Jersey Democrat Senator Frank Lautenberg to jump for the nearest microphone and proclaim that he was shaking his head "in disbelief." He then sputtered that when he was in World War II he had "never heard any military commander -- let alone the commander in chief -- invite enemies to attack U.S. troops." Mr. Lautenberg must think that at Bastogne, General Anthony McAuliffe was asking the Germans for hors d'oeuvres when he replied to their surrender demand with, "Nuts."

After hearing Senator Lautenberg and the explanations of the pollsters, I decided to conduct my own informal, admittedly unscientific sampling of American public opinion to see how deeply this sense of national dyspepsia was being felt. I called a military recruiter.

"The polls say Americans are growing disheartened," I told him. "Are you seeing any drop off in volunteers?" "Not here. We have all the high-school graduates we need for the next two months," he replied, knowing that he is one of those responsible for enlisting 185,000 new recruits this year.

The conversation reminded me of one I had on-air with a young lance corporal just east of Baghdad in early April. The New York Times had reported that morning that the Marines had outrun their supply lines and were out of food, water, fuel and ammo. I stood next to the youthful Leatherneck, told him about the story, stuck the microphone in his face and asked, "Are you hungry?"

"No, sir."


"No, sir."

"Are you short on ammo?"

"No, sir."

"Well, what do you need?" I pressed.

"Just send more enemy, sir."

Bravado? Sure. But it's real -- right from the lips of one of those who stand in harm's way defending us -- and offering the hope of freedom to others.

It was that same kind of audacity that inspired 56 patriots to gather in a hot hall in Philadelphia that July of 1776 and stick it in King George's eye. They knew it was going to be a rough go -- but they didn't shirk and whine. They signed on to the notion that we are endowed by our Creator "with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." As we celebrate that event this year we might do well to remember that enjoying "the blessings of Liberty" sometimes requires us to cinch up our belts, suck it up and get on with the business of protecting ourselves.


A central figure in world events during the past several years, retired Marine Lt. Col. Oliver L. North has provoked great controversy while gaining the respect of the vast majority of Americans. Born in San Antonio, Texas, North was raised in upstate New York. When he graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1968, he was commissioned in the U.S. Marines and shortly thereafter was assigned as a Marine rifle platoon commander in the Republic of Vietnam.

2003 Creators Syndicate, Inc.




07-06-03, 07:30 AM
Action of Second Continental Congress, July 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America


Historical Documents | About the Declaration of Independence


WHEN in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness -- That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The History of the present King of Great- Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World.

HE has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good.

HE has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing Importance, unless suspended in their Operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

HE has refused to pass other Laws for the Accommodation of large Districts of People, unless those People would relinquish the Right of Representation in the Legislature, a Right inestimable to them, and formidable to Tyrants only.

HE has called together Legislative Bodies at Places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the Depository of their public Records, for the sole Purpose of fatiguing them into Compliance with his Measures.

HE has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly Firmness his Invasions on the Rights of the People.

HE has refused for a long Time, after such Dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of the Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the Dangers of Invasion from without, and the Convulsions within.

HE has endeavoured to prevent the Population of these States; for that Purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their Migrations hither, and raising the Conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

HE has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

HE has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, and the Amount and Payment of their Salaries.

HE has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harrass our People, and eat out their Substance.

HE has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislatures.

HE has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

HE has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

FOR quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops among us;

FOR protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

FOR cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the World:

FOR imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

FOR depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury:

FOR transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended Offences:

FOR abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an arbitrary Government, and enlarging its Boundaries, so as to render it at once an Example and fit Instrument for introducing the same absolute Rules into these Colonies:

FOR taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

FOR suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with Power to legislate for us in all Cases whatsoever.

HE has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

HE has plundered our Seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our Towns, and destroyed the Lives of our People.

HE is, at this Time, transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the Works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation.

HE has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the Executioners of their Friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

HE has excited domestic Insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.

IN every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.

NOR have we been wanting in Attentions to our British Brethren. We have warned them from Time to Time of Attempts by their Legislature to extend an unwarrantable Jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our Emigration and Settlement here. We have appealed to their native Justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our Connections and Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice and of Consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace, Friends.


07-06-03, 07:31 AM
WE, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in GENERAL CONGRESS, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great-Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which INDEPENDENT STATES may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

John Hancock.
GEORGIA, Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, Geo. Walton.
NORTH-CAROLINA, Wm. Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn.
SOUTH-CAROLINA, Edward Rutledge, Thos Heyward, junr., Thomas Lynch, junr., Arthur Middleton.
MARYLAND, Samuel Chase, Wm. Paca, Thos. Stone, Charles Carroll, of Carrollton.
VIRGINIA, George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Ths. Jefferson, Benja. Harrison, Thos. Nelson, jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton.
PENNSYLVANIA, Robt. Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benja. Franklin, John Morton, Geo. Clymer, Jas. Smith, Geo. Taylor, James Wilson, Geo. Ross.
DELAWARE, Caesar Rodney, Geo. Read.
NEW-YORK, Wm. Floyd, Phil. Livingston, Frank Lewis, Lewis Morris.
NEW-JERSEY, Richd. Stockton, Jno. Witherspoon, Fras. Hopkinson, John Hart, Abra. Clark.
NEW-HAMPSHIRE, Josiah Bartlett, Wm. Whipple, Matthew Thornton.
MASSACHUSETTS-BAY, Saml. Adams, John Adams, Robt. Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry.
RHODE-ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE, C. Step. Hopkins, William Ellery.
CONNECTICUT, Roger Sherman, Saml. Huntington, Wm. Williams, Oliver Wolcott.




07-06-03, 08:20 AM
They forgot to mention us Embassy Marines.