‘He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.’

The title of this entry is from the Declaration of Independence.

But it resonates today in light of the United State’s occupation of Iraq: “He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.”

And this, from the same document:

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

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

And this:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

I know I’m just a rambling liberal, but I couldn’t help thinking of Iraq when I read these lines in anticipation of this year’s 4th of July.  Food for thought, from our American ancestors.

The conclusion of the Declaration still makes me want to stand at attention and observe a moment of silence:

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.

“…our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

What a punch.

Peace to all this July 4th.