Iraq Through a Rebel’s Eyes

By Andrew Greene

Posted on 10/16/2006
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The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in Government.

Thomas Jefferson was a rebel, as so many of his comments demonstrated. He also was a gun enthusiast, and not the bird-shooting kind. His gang of insurgents fought the British with the eighteenth century equivalents of assault rifles, RPGs, and roadside bombs — and that is why they are worth recalling when our conversation turns to Iraq.

Before going further, I should declare that I am a patriot, but a qualified one. My loyalty is to the kinds of ideas Jefferson put in the Declaration: the sanctity of property, suspicion of power, and extra suspicion of the state. I am saying so now because some of what follows might sound deeply unpatriotic to the modern ear, but I think it would have sounded just fine to Jefferson’s classical one.

The shock of September 11th did some damage to my political resolve. The murder of three thousand innocents was an act so outrageous that it demanded a quick and violent response. So, like many Americans, I wanted to see someone punished, and the federal government appeared ideally placed to do the punishing. I silently agreed with the plan to go after the bombers and their friends.

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