January 21, 2005: Headlines: Presidents - Kennedy: Speaking Out: Inaugurals: Aspen Daily News: Kennedy, for all his personal and sexual demons, understood without equivocation that the New Frontier he foresaw needed the clean-burning fuel of personal sacrifice. If America were to get what it wanted in the world, then we would have to give without necessarily expecting anyone would give anything back in return

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Special Reports: January 18, 2005: Ask Not: January 21, 2005: Headlines: Presidents - Kennedy: Speaking Out: Inaugurals: Aspen Daily News: Kennedy, for all his personal and sexual demons, understood without equivocation that the New Frontier he foresaw needed the clean-burning fuel of personal sacrifice. If America were to get what it wanted in the world, then we would have to give without necessarily expecting anyone would give anything back in return

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-48-182.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.48.182) on Friday, January 28, 2005 - 9:34 pm: Edit Post

Kennedy, for all his personal and sexual demons, understood without equivocation that the New Frontier he foresaw needed the clean-burning fuel of personal sacrifice. If America were to get what it wanted in the world, then we would have to give without necessarily expecting anyone would give anything back in return

Kennedy, for all his personal and sexual demons, understood without equivocation that the New Frontier he foresaw needed the clean-burning fuel of personal sacrifice. If America were to get what it wanted in the world, then we would have to give without necessarily expecting anyone would give anything back in return

Kennedy, for all his personal and sexual demons, understood without equivocation that the New Frontier he foresaw needed the clean-burning fuel of personal sacrifice. If America were to get what it wanted in the world, then we would have to give without necessarily expecting anyone would give anything back in return

Give them liberty
By Thomas Watkins/Aspen Daily News Staff Writer

Let the word go forth that the inaugural address of President John F. Kennedy in 1961 shows that nearly half-a-hundred years later we the people are not willing to bear any burden or pay any price - large or small - to bring our ideals to a suffering world.

Kennedy, for all his personal and sexual demons, understood without equivocation that the New Frontier he foresaw needed the clean-burning fuel of personal sacrifice. If America were to get what it wanted in the world, then we would have to give without necessarily expecting anyone would give anything back in return. Kennedy asked: "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." The Peace Corps and sundry other agencies were founded to spread our red-white-and-blue goodness to the world in systematic fashion. No one in the New Frontier doubted altruism might benefit us as a nation down the line, but there was a selflessness inherent in the quotidian acts of sacrifice that bespoke the best of what lies within us as a country.

The price to be paid for these programs was immediate and personal in the 1960s, with idealistic Americans packing off for years of sacrifice in remote and underdeveloped countries. People were energized in other ways as well. At great personal cost and sacrifice - at the cost ultimately of his health - my own father ran for Congress in 1964 because he was so inspired by Kennedy's call to serve. As the Vietnam War radicalized the Sixties, people paid the price to fight for their freedoms - racial, sexual, political, and otherwise.

In his Inaugural Address this week, President George W. Bush, after the slimmest of electoral victories, reached back with all his might for a Kennedyesque invocation, a rallying cry that could be heard throughout the world. In the address, Bush said "freedom" 27 times and "liberty" 15, as if they might ring by mere repetition.

"All who live in tyranny and hopelessness," he intoned, "can know the United States will not ignore your oppression or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you."

One could ask - or ask not - if the Iraqi people have yet to stand up for their own freedom, but that is perhaps another question for another inauguration day. The point herein is that America was attacked by terrorists September 11, 2001. The mastermind of the plot, Osama bin Laden, has never been found "dead or alive," to quote the President's own wild Western words. Though bin Laden and 14 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia, we retaliated by attacking Iraq because of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) that did not exist.

For want of those weapons we now brandish our freedom like a sword and our liberty like a saber.

Here's the kicker from President Bush's Inaugural Address: "The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one."

And there you have it: freedom and liberty are now officially installed as state-mandated anti-terrorist devices, just as the tsunami became not a humanitarian crisis but an "opportunity" to spread our influence, according to new Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. In the Bush Administration, freedom in the world is not so much about them as it is about us and our need for assurances of security after 9/11.

"Americans, of all people," Bush said in his address, "should never be surprised by the power of our ideals."

President Bush is of course right about the abiding power of liberty and freedom. The United States of America exists as a nation because of that power. But what price freedom? The lives of 1,000 dead American soldiers - or 10,000? The flesh of 10,000 wounded - or 100,000? Those who have sacrificed in Iraq with their lives and limbs have paid the ultimate price, all in the name of "freedom." But their sacrifice takes place thousands of miles away, for reasons unclear, and their bodies lie behind a curtain with caskets unphotographed under penalty of law.

We the people, in contrast, can continue our individual lives, unbothered by any sacrifice that might bring freedom and liberty to the oppressed at some immediate personal cost. In his 1961 Inaugural Address, it was President Kennedy who said we must "let the oppressed go free." But now we ask not what we can do for our country, but what other countries might do for us.

As President George W. Bush might paraphrase the words of a great American patriot: Give them liberty or give us death.

Michael Conniff is the Editor-at-Large at the Aspen Daily News. He can be reached at michael@aspendailynews.com.





When this story was posted in January 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

January 22, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: January 22 2005 No: 391 January 22, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
Spread Freedom but not at gunpoint 22 Jan
Dodd has ring side seat at Inauguration 21 Jan
Peace Corps works in Georgia 21 Jan
Trey Aven monitored Ukraine elections 21 Jan
RPCV group makes quiet indie-pop 21 Jan
Anthony Shriver considers race for Florida Governor 20 Jan
Thomas Tighe says internet brought funds to DRI 20 Jan
Stacy Jupiter researches Australia ecosystems 20 Jan
Libby Garvey is education activist 20 Jan
David McIntyre captures medals on land and in water 19 Jan
Carol Bellamy new president of World Learning 18 Jan
Reed Hastings crossed "Latino Caucus'' 18 Jan
RPCVs sponsor Freeze for Food to aid Colombia farmers 18 Jan
RPCVs urge Bush to aid Democracy in Ukraine 17 Jan
Tom Petri proposes changes in student loan program 17 Jan
Golden Globe Win for Jamie Foxx in RPCV's "Ray" 17 Jan
Stephen Smith is new consul-general in Australia 17 Jan

Ask Not Date: January 18 2005 No: 388 Ask Not
As our country prepares for the inauguration of a President, we remember one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century and how his words inspired us. "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."
Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion Date: January 8 2005 No: 373 Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion
Senator Norm Coleman, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee that oversees the Peace Corps, says in an op-ed, A chance to show the world America at its best: "Even as that worthy agency mobilizes a "Crisis Corps" of former Peace Corps volunteers to assist with tsunami relief, I believe an opportunity exists to rededicate ourselves to the mission of the Peace Corps and its expansion to touch more and more lives."
RPCVs active in new session of Congress Date: January 8 2005 No: 374 RPCVs active in new session of Congress
In the new session of Congress that begins this week, RPCV Congressman Tom Petri has a proposal to bolster Social Security, Sam Farr supported the objection to the Electoral College count, James Walsh has asked for a waiver to continue heading a powerful Appropriations subcommittee, Chris Shays will no longer be vice chairman of the Budget Committee, and Mike Honda spoke on the floor honoring late Congressman Robert Matsui.
RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid  Date: January 4 2005 No: 366 Latest: RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid
Peace Corps made an appeal last week to all Thailand RPCV's to consider serving again through the Crisis Corps and more than 30 RPCVs have responded so far. RPCVs: Read what an RPCV-led NGO is doing about the crisis an how one RPCV is headed for Sri Lanka to help a nation he grew to love. Question: Is Crisis Corps going to send RPCVs to India, Indonesia and nine other countries that need help?
The World's Broken Promise to our Children Date: December 24 2004 No: 345 The World's Broken Promise to our Children
Former Director Carol Bellamy, now head of Unicef, says that the appalling conditions endured today by half the world's children speak to a broken promise. Too many governments are doing worse than neglecting children -- they are making deliberate, informed choices that hurt children. Read her op-ed and Unicef's report on the State of the World's Children 2005.
Changing of the Guard Date: December 15 2004 No: 330 Changing of the Guard
With Lloyd Pierson's departure, Marie Wheat has been named acting Chief of Staff and Chief of Operations responsible for the day-to-day management of the Peace Corps. Although Wheat is not an RPCV and has limited overseas experience, in her two years at the agency she has come to be respected as someone with good political skills who listens and delegates authority and we wish her the best in her new position.
Our debt to Bill Moyers Our debt to Bill Moyers
Former Peace Corps Deputy Director Bill Moyers leaves PBS next week to begin writing his memoir of Lyndon Baines Johnson. Read what Moyers says about journalism under fire, the value of a free press, and the yearning for democracy. "We have got to nurture the spirit of independent journalism in this country," he warns, "or we'll not save capitalism from its own excesses, and we'll not save democracy from its own inertia."
RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack
RPCV Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the U.S. consul general in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia survived Monday's attack on the consulate without injury. Five consular employees and four others were killed. Abercrombie-Winstanley, the first woman to hold the position, has been an outspoken advocate of rights for Arab women and has met with Saudi reformers despite efforts by Saudi leaders to block the discussions.
Is Gaddi Leaving? Is Gaddi Leaving?
Rumors are swirling that Peace Corps Director Vasquez may be leaving the administration. We think Director Vasquez has been doing a good job and if he decides to stay to the end of the administration, he could possibly have the same sort of impact as a Loret Ruppe Miller. If Vasquez has decided to leave, then Bob Taft, Peter McPherson, Chris Shays, or Jody Olsen would be good candidates to run the agency. Latest: For the record, Peace Corps has no comment on the rumors.
The Birth of the Peace Corps The Birth of the Peace Corps
UMBC's Shriver Center and the Maryland Returned Volunteers hosted Scott Stossel, biographer of Sargent Shriver, who spoke on the Birth of the Peace Corps. This is the second annual Peace Corps History series - last year's speaker was Peace Corps Director Jack Vaughn.

Read the stories and leave your comments.






Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Aspen Daily News

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Presidents - Kennedy; Speaking Out; Inaugurals

PCOL16673
93

.


Add a Message


This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Username:  
Password:
E-mail: