Thursday, March 20, 2008

Five Years On . . .

What an interesting convergence of information. We have just passed the 5th year anniversary of the U.S. military action in Iraq. Last night, during the various national news broadcasts, the television news covered this milestone. This morning, I turned on BBC News and heard an announcer talk about the war “five years on.”

The phrase caught my fancy. And it got me to thinking. I have just begun watching the HBO series on John Adams. Based on the book by David McCullough, which I read several years ago, this series covers the life of John Adams, second President of the U.S. and one of the architects of the American Revolution.

The convergence is that the same amount of time—five years—is what it took for the 13 colonies to achieve their independence. They declared their independence from King George III in 1776, and achieved military victory, with the surrender of General Cornwallis in 1781—five years.

As the 5 year anniversary of the war in Iraq was noted, President Bush asserted his absolute personal conviction that the goal of freedom for Iraq is worth whatever the cost. And as I watch the John Adams series, I can’t help but ponder the differences.

The colonial leaders who fought their way toward freedom from King George III anguished over the right course. The Continental Congress debates pitted the fiery New Englanders, who were front line in protesting the unfair tariffs imposed by England, against the pacifist conflict-avoiding Quakers in Pennsylvania. John Adams was thoroughly disgusted with the seeming hesitancy of the Pennsylvania delegation. But he knew, in his bones, that they ALL had to unite to achieve their independence.

When the Declaration of Independence was finally adopted, all 13 colonies had united in their opposition to King George III. Freedom was not an idea that some external entity suggested they try. They had experienced the increasingly unjust governing by the crown, and worked their way toward a new way of governing as 13 different colonies all united in one goal.

Five years on. Freedom is not fairy dust that you can grab a handful of and sprinkle it over a country. Enough said.


Anvilcloud said...

What a quagmire of futility to be caught in.

Cathy said...

It is depressing to watch the continued carnage.

Did you see the first installment of HBO's 'John Adams'.

Probably the finest thing we've ever seen on TV.

KGMom said...

AC--quagmire indeed.

Cathy--yes I did see the first AND second installment. And recorded them too. Very well done. I loved the McCullough book on which the series is based.

Mary said...

Five years...too long. Too much - enough already. Good post, Donna. I watched video of the "Shock and Awe" lately. It's been a very long five years.

JeanMac said...

I will always remember the day of the invasion as we were holidaying in your fair country.

Ginnie said...

Five miserable years that never had to's shameful and we will be paying for it for years.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

In the light of America's high minded origin, it has always been sad to me that the US is so often on the wrong side of other nation's struggles.

I always like to think there were more than 13 colonies otherwise you cut off the other North American British colonies from our shared history.
What became Canada was largely moved toward statehood my those of your people who could not support the revolution, United Empire Loyalists. It took a little longer but we too created an independent state with a vibrant "democracy".