Saturday, October 25, 2008

Blog #6 - Free Speech During War Time - Treason or Acceptable?

During the Great War, the United States went to great lengths to stop people from expressing their views on the war and the draft. According to historian Sean Dennis Cashman, Wilson that war "required illiberalism at home to reinforce the men at the front. We couldn't fight Germany and maintain the ideals of Government that all thinking men shared...once led into war, [Americans] will forget there ever was such a thing as tolerance" (505). So, in order to set Europe free from tyranny, we had to restrict America more of its rights.

Historian Howard Zinn has written at length that part of this suppression was done to keep Americans from expressing their anti-war sentiments/feelings:

- Why should we get into a war that we have no interests in? This is only about European colonialists, not U.S. interests;

- Why should I be drafted to go protect France or Belgium? (only 73,000 volunteered in the first 6 weeks after Wilson declared war on Germany in April 1917);

- Why should we spend millions and millions of our tax money to do this?;

- Why should we join a war that current French soldiers are beginning to mutiny against? (in essence, why we should we join a losing fight?);

- Why should we break away from our tradition of isolationism? It's served us well for this long (if it ain't broke, don't fix it);


So Wilson and Congress together got tough on this kind of anti-war talk and anti-draft interference w/ the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918. The Supreme Court affirmed that we do NOT have the right to free speech as long as it creates a "clear and present danger" (much like yelling "FIRE!" in a crowded theatre like Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes so eloquently phrased it in the 1919 court decision, Schenck vs. U.S.).

A speech like this one by Eugene Debs is the kind of thing that got him in trouble and thrown in the big house:

"Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder. ...the working class who fight all the battles, the working class who make the supreme sacrifices, the working class who freely shed their blood and furnish their corpses, have never yet had a voice in either declaring war or making peace. It is the ruling class that invariably does both. They alone declare war and they alone make peace. They are continually talking about their patriotic duty. It is not their but your patriotic duty that they are concerned about. There is a decided difference. Their patriotic duty never takes them to the firing line or chucks them into the trenches." (emphasis added)

*Debs was sentenced to jail for this speech and while in jail ran for President under the Socialist Party for which he received almost one million votes in 1912 and in 1920! Website for Debs: http://www.eugenevdebs.com/

But my question still remains:

  • is questioning your country's conduct during a war o.k.?

  • Should asking questions about how the war is conducted, about the tactics being used (torture, waterboarding, etc.), about how the goals are being met (or if they're being met at all), or is it all worth the sacrifice of all the young men and women's lives??

  • Is this line of questioning during war time o.k. or does it make you unpatriotic? Why?

    Minimum of 200 word response - due Monday, October 27th.

58 comments:

Elliott Hall said...

I don’t feel that questioning your countries conduct during a war is okay. If your congress and government felt that it was better to go out and fight the war you have to trust them. It does no good second-guessing if you should have gone out to fight in the war. If after the war you see the negatives of what happened it is all right to say we shouldn’t have fought, but not during the war. I don’t feel it is worth all of the lives of the young men and women out there because many of people die out there and they should know what they are getting themselves into. I feel that you really shouldn’t question during the war, yet I don’t feel that makes anyone unpatriotic even if they do question it. I would say if someone questions if we should have gone out to fight, they should just keep it to themselves. People are allowed to have there own opinions and may express it whenever they feel like it. But I would rather have people wait until the end of the war to express their opinion on the issue. That is my take on when people should express their attitude towards a war in which we par took in.

Tim T. said...

My way of thinking is that when you protest against the war because when the American army goes to war that means we are protecting the rights of the American people. When the Great War was happening I do not think there should be a draft for all 18 year old boys and older, if you wanted to go to war then they should let them. You must put this in perspective the Germans were advancing from Germany and their allies, they were ripping through the American allies and the German submarines were attacking our boat. People say the French could take care of themselves but they couldn’t, if we did not help them, then what if we needed help in a war they would not come to the rescue. The people who are going to protest do at the white or the capital building, some people go to far there were reports that they were protesting at a solders funeral. Come on people do you want people chanting and saying bad stuff about were he worked and what he did, like serve for you country. Protesting the Great War or any war, I would not see that as treason because the founding fathers made the law and they made freedoms that worked for the whole country.

tatiana Boinais 4th hour said...

Blog #6
The cost of war is unmeasured and incomparable. Not only does it take the lives of thousands of men and women, it also rips apart families, and divides a country. Everyone has a different opinion, and sometimes people forget to see things through the eyes of others. I think that this is the cause of the removal of civil rights during world war one. I think it is absolutely barbaric that people where stripped of the right to express their values and concerns. As an immigrant and a citizen I know that America is one of the most patriotic countries in the world. I also know that America takes pride in their democratic values, and government. However it seems that with every section we read in the book America, or at least it’s leaders, violate this principle. I think that freedom of speech wasn’t recognized as an important civil right for nothing. Everyone should be able to ask questions, and it’s not un-patriotic to question a war. When people everyday are losing their lives and being tortured, maybe everyone should be questioning the values of a country, or the reason for fighting in the war. Many people believed that America was fighting the war for the Europeans. Many people today don’t appreciate the war in Iraq, however we still have our rights, and our freedom of speech. Taking that away was unjustifiably undemocratic.

Zac Felice said...

The right to freedom of speech is an unalienable right, meaning it can’t be taken away under any circumstance. That statement shows how wrong it was for Woodrow Wilson and Congress to create the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918. On top of that, the right to know what the county you live in is doing in a time of war is something that should be freely presented to citizens. The fact that citizens weren’t even able to know what was happening during the war is immoral and unjust.
Next, asking about the war, for example torture, should be open to talk about, and the fact that there actually was torture is corrupt. To ask about a war in a time like that does not make you unpatriotic, and it actually shows a side of curiosity and interest in the countries partakings. On a side note, personally, I think it’s very wrong that Eugene Debs was jailed for speaking out, and that it’s a great thing that he not only ran for president in jail, but got almost 1 million votes. That shows how much the United States really needed somebody like Debs.

Jeff Anderson said...

blog #6
No I not think that quetioning your countries conduct during a war because first you have freedom of speech and it is not wrong to think wrong of your contry if you still love it and you are not thinking of betrying it I dont see any thing worng with it. No and to the second question. Yes because it is mostly worth all of those peoples lives, well because thesen people are puting there lives on the line and they are fighting for the country,and the secong part of the question no because I think that even though these people put there life on the line they knew what they were geting into and people should not have to hold there opions so that they will not fill gilt about it. For the thrid question no I not think that it makes you unpatriotic, because if you still love the U.S and you have nothing agaisnt us then no you are not unpatriotic in my opion.

Allison Woodberg (2nd hour) said...

I think that it is okay to question your countries tactics and reasons for war, during a war. I think this is acceptable because freedom of speech is a right we have, and it shouldn’t be limited, just because of what is going on in the world. If we don’t allow everyone to share their voice, then really what kind of country are we? That is defying many principles the United States is based upon. Another reason I think that people should be able to speak freely about what is happening during war times, is because if we don’t allow people to speak their minds then we could be disregarding many good and valid points of view. If we were to listen to what people’s opinions are then it could actually help the country to be more successful and there may be less resentment towards the government. I also think that people should have the freedom to openly discuss whether they think that it is fair to be treating people the way we are, and whether the real problems of the war are being solved. If our government didn’t try to put restrictions on people’s thoughts and opinions then it might make people more inclined to want to help with the war.

Anonymous said...

Alexandra Sewell, Second hour


I think questioning the war tactics is a good way to go: if we ask questions about an unfair war, then maybe people will listen and then pull out of this pointless war. Since when was it ok to torture someone, or hurt innocent people? Is “patriotic” to invade another country and hurt other people..? Does that help The U.S.A’s image? Patriotism doesn’t always just mean showing love for your country, but not making it look bad, even in a war over nothing, but something so stupid as oil. If we wanted oil, then we could have drilled through Texas and Alaska. It would make more since, cause less confrontation, and, less costly on the American people. But I guess Bush likes drama. I do not believe that asking questions about a war and not believing in it makes you “unpatriotic”. I think quite the opposite actually: you want what is best for the country, so that makes you patriotic. Saying that asking questions about a pointless war (every war is pointless, it is only legal murder...) is like asking if you still love your sister after you ask her about something stupid she did. War is not worth the bloodshed, money, or the time to fight. It is just another way to make Americans dislike the government even more.

Erik young said...

Freedom of speach is one of the basic principals that the country was founded on, when we were fighting for independance wasnt one of the issues facing america was that we had no freedom of expression. I believe that the americans should be allowed to express thier views on the war but they should not be allowed to go to extremes like violence especially when the troops across seas needed thier support, i think the people should have expressed thier views on the war but not on the people fighting the war, because they are truely heros. No, saying how you feel about something is not treason but i think trying to stop the war effort would be because if we are already in a war, why would u fight to lose the it? i would understand if people were trying to prevent a war but not if they were interfereing in an on going war, because that could cost more american lives.

Jaimmie K. 4th said...

I think that questioning the countries conduct during war is more than o.k. Why should innocent people not be aloud to ask any questions if they are risking their lives? I don't think it is considered "unpatriotic" at all. As American's we have our five freedoms that the government gave to us. If anything it is "unpatriotic" for the government to take away one of our five freedoms just so they don't have to answer any of the questions being asked. Also if you look at the situation from a different perspective, it seems "unpatriotic" to not speak your opinion. Say you got drafted knowing nothing of the war, yet you know if you ask questions you will be thrown in jail. How did they think that was acceptable back then?
The question that was blue, the second bullet point, makes tons of sense! We (the government especially) never think before they act. If they had just thought about any of the wars for more than three seconds before they happened, we wouldn't have to worry about ripping families apart or killing millions.

Chika Uchendu, 2nd Hour said...

I think it is perfectly fine to question your country’s conduct during a war. It is your right to speak freely and have you own opinions. Does this change once a country is in a war? They do not. America is supposed to be the “best country on Earth” so limiting speech would contradict the freedom we constantly speak of. It seems a bit shady that the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918 were put in place to limit speech. I do not think that free speech actually caused danger as the Supreme Court had ruled. I think it is only fair to allow the public to know about war tactics. I’m sure that if people found out about torture or other methods they would not support the war. I also think that if people knew HOW we had made our progress they would be against it. By keeping people un-informed, they cannot disagree with tactics or methods that they don’t know. Even if young men and women are sacrificing their lives, the country should still be able to have information. And if the cause they are fighting for is really noble, there should be no problem with them sharing information about it.

Johanna Hilbert said...

I think that it is every person’s duty to question the conduct of a war and it doesn’t make you unpatriotic at all. People should be curious and ask questions. They should distinguish between right and wrong and made their voices heard if something is unjust. When I think of patriotism, I think of what is best for a country. In my opinion it does make you unpatriotic when you just sit there and let other people make decisions over you.
The politicians just talk and negotiate and, let us hope, figure out what is the best for the country, but in the end, they don’t go out there and fight in the trenches. They are not the one who are exposed to the new warfare. They are not the one who see their friends dying in front of their own eyes.
During the Great War, I think, everything was very new to the people. Many immigrants had just left Europe, because of famine, political persecution or poverty and now they were sent back. Young men who wanted to build a new life for them and their families had to leave and didn’t know what to expect. I don’t think they knew how cruel this war was. In some way they helped Europe and especially during WW II America played a big role. Also, we see during WW II how important it was to sometimes stand up against the government. Think of the French resistance or the very few Germans.
All in one, I don’t think you should take away a person’s freedom of speech. It is against the Constitutional right.

Ani G said...

During war time, free speech was treason. If you were to talk against the government or to print, speak, or publicize against the war, or against the country, you were prosecuted with a trial (at least that right wasn’t taken away). If people were suspected of treason against the country, your mail could be open, and privacy completely hacked. Although this isn’t “right” the president was trying to doing everything he could to keep his country safe. The prying into privacy didn’t just act on people who were saying “I hate the war” or “this is wrong”, it was acted on the traders and spies who were plotting against the United States. Being against the war, does not make you unpatriotic; however you can not go out and work actively against the best interest of the country. The president is the one who has authority to declare war; he then seeks approval and support from the congress and senate. When voting and electing a president, you are giving your consent to that person and party that their going to share and hold the same values and ideas that you do. The person who can represent what you think is best for the country.

Anonymous said...

Faith P.
4th hour

This line of questioning the government’s decisions during a time of war does not make any United States citizen considered unpatriotic. To say this would be an insult to everything our country has stood for since we first broke free from our hostile rulers of Britain. The exception to the rule of free speech is perfectly reasonable for not yelling “fire” in a crowded building or movie theatre, for that would cause much commotion and many people could be seriously injured in the chaos. To question the decisions the government is making for you and your country is simply showing a concern for you, your family and friends, and your fellow citizens. To call concern for the people who you care about unpatriotic is absolutely insulting and should not be tolerated. Although we were at a crucial time of war during the Great War, there is no excuse for taking away any of the rights given to U.S. citizens in the First Amendment. If the government had listened to its citizens, answered a few of its questions and maybe considered their concerns valid, as they were, it could of not only calmed everyone down a lot, but perhaps we would have been able to end the war sooner, with less casualties.

jamie ray said...

I think that war is a very tough thing for many people to handle, because of the many soldiers that could be family fighting in wars. I therefore think that questioning your countries conduct during a war is ok. I think you should be able to have the say and your thoughts spoken about the war if it is something that is harming you directly. I don’t think that people should speak about the war or question it that do not know much about it, I do not think that is the right thing or ok. The freedom of speech is a right that can’t be taken away under any terms, even if war is conducted. I think that questions about how tactics or how the war is conducted are okay to ask, but it depends in what matter they are asked. If people or groups of people are picketing and in outrage about the war, I think this is an unpatriotic thing because the government didn’t just send us to war to sacrifice the young men and women’s lives, they had meaning and thought behind it to protect our country. I do believe though that people should be able to express their feelings in the way the war is worked in a rational matter.

Jake Chmara said...

I believe that questioning your country’s conduct during a war is completely acceptable. The citizens of the country should be able to understand how their own country is going about war and what they are doing in the process. It is not just the business of government officials or military officers to know how a war is going to be conducted and how the country intends to proceed. I believe that every person in a country that is involved in war should know everything that there is to know about the war. Knowing more could influence people’s votes in political elections and help the country run better. I think that if the people do not know what is going on in their own war, then they basically do not know about their government. I don’t think the war is worth the sacrifice of the many men and women’s lives. War doesn’t even solve anything. Asking questions during war time is completely acceptable and is not unpatriotic whatsoever. The government should be willing to answer the questions of the people during a time of war. Why should the government want to restrict people’s speech on the war? Does the government have something to hide? The only reason the government would not want their war questioned is if they were conducting an unnecessary and unpatriotic war.

Jake Prosyniuk 2nd Hour said...

I think that the people should support their nation’s actions in war. During a war, a nation needs as much support from its people as possible to win, and without this support, victory is near impossible to achieve. A nation should support the methods used to win the war, and if the people believe their nation went to far in a past war, they can question it once the war has finished. The right to free speech should remain unlimited, yet negative propaganda put out by anti-war activists should be limited during wartime, for the maximum support of the nation. After all, we are fighting to protect our values and our way of life, why should we question how we go about doing this? Many people that are against the limiting of free speech ask the question “If we start limiting speech, where do we draw the line of what you can and can’t say?”. They are correct on this matter, that these limits might add up to give people no right to speak freely at all; however, during war, the government can simply limit the number of anti-war ads and campaigns that are launched, to keep the moral of people high, and make people want to win the war.

Romain Ducasse-4th Hour said...

“Is questioning your country’s conduct during war o.k.?”

I think questioning your country’s conduct during war can and can’t be o.k., because normally you are supposed to support your country at all times, it is a sign of good citizenship, but i also think people should have their own opinions about thing, its the human right. People should have the right to believe weather or not what their country is doing is wright or wrong, this judgment depends what people believe in. Altho believing that what your country is doing is wrong is technically considered “not being a good citizen” people should have the right to believe in what they want. In the past when a country was in a war, men over 18 had to fight, if they didn’t they were considered unworthy citizens by the people of their village now days it is less curtail, only if you are enrolled in the army, then you have to participate in the battles, and be O.K. With the decisions your country is taking. I believe citizens of any country should be able to have their own opinions on the decisions their country is making weather or not they are are going to be considered unworthy citizens.

Adrian D. said...

In any circumstances I believe that undermining your government in time of war isn't a very good idea nor does it help anything in the situation. I think that if there are issues that need to be taking care such as issues like how many people are being chosen, prisoner methods, and such are becoming bad situations that the government and only the government access the problem beacuse if the public gets involved it can end in bad relations between the running of the country and the make of the country, government to people. Therefore it is okay to question these subjects within Congress but not open publicy. However certian issues can and should be dealt with the public such as issues like keeping men and women past thier contract in the war still. This could be a very big issue and must be dealt with the families and the government must make sure that they get home and satisfy the families. As for the last question I strongely believe that not asking questions in during the war is not unpatriatic, it just means that you want the best for your country but the best is too leave the government do what they must do and let them take care of bussiness. Thank you.

Bryan Glesmann said...

The Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act 0f 1918 may have been the most questionable acts that have been passed by the government. Freedom of speech is the first amendment of the United States constitution, so the people should have the right to protest the war and speak out against the government if they please. This is dense of the government to take part of that away because our country doesn’t completely understand why we entered the war, and they have the right to disagree with the government. Also, the people should be allowed to know what kind of tactics our country is using in the war; torture for example. Torturing soldiers practically contradicts our beliefs and values that were written in the constitution, so the President shouldn’t keep information like that away from the public. Asking questions to try to find out more about this war does not automatically make someone unpatriotic, besides in whose mind is someone unpatriotic when they do not believe we should be fighting in a war that did not even concern us until we decided to get involved. Fighting for your country is a large part of patriotism but did Germany invade America? No. We were fighting mostly for other countries so it should be alright to protest your governments decisions if they are rash.

Anonymous said...

BLOG #6

Is questioning your country's conduct during a war considered acceptable or treason? Well I believe expressing your views through speech is very acceptable when dealing with war. The people’s views are protected by the first amendment, which is freedom of speech. If some one wants to protest or support the war they should be aloud to.
I also think that asking questions about the war are not unpatriotic or uncivil, we as the people should have the right to know what is happening in the war. Although going to war is sometimes a necessity we should think about how we are sacrificing America’s men and women. This is a very strong topic when going to war, but it is acceptable to ask. My believe is that it is ok to ask questions about war, if they are pro-war or anti-war there is always a way to express your views, but going over the limit is personally unacceptable.
Some topics to question are over the limit such as how we torture, or what tactics we use while in the war. Expressing these feelings are a little over the top unless there is a serious problem occurring about those questions, it is ok to express emotions.

Julia Chesbrough said...

From my lifetime experiences, I've always been told that asking questions is okay. In fact, it's encouraged. Also from my own personal views, individuality is extremely important. If you have a question, don't be shy. Even if everyone else is against what your standing for, keep standing. If we are going into a war that the government is encouraging patriotism for, and you don't feel there's any patriotic way to handle it, then by all means stand up. If our government is taking our tactics way to far, and you find it inhumane, then say something. Chances are there's plenty of people thinking the same thing. For the American government to take away freedom of speech, that means they must know what they are doing is unjust. If they knew what they were doing to win the war could be easily justified and forgiven, then they wouldn't care about what the people thought, because they knew it was right. But since they silenced the real opinions of the public, they must have been covering something up. Obviously we know now that this war had to benefits to America, and that our tactics for winning were heartless. In my opinion, questioning your countries involvement in war is fine, because it's your freedom of thought.

Anonymous said...

I think you should not question your country not ok during a war. The country has other things to worry about the war then your accusation towards the country. Even if there is a draft, and congress approved of it, we should fight for our country. I would much rather fight in the war for 2 years then being in jail. Even if u do not approve of the war you should still supposed our troops in the war.
If the country is using torture to get information out, I think they should do something about that. It is unethical to use torture to force information out of you. Even if you tell them the information what makes you think they will stop the pain. If we are fighting in a war and there are goals I hope they are going to be accomplished or the war was useless. In WW1 when we lost millions of young and young women in the war, I don’t think It was worth it but we didn’t really have a choice to stay out of the war. Germany was sinking our ships. I think when u question the war it makes


Kyle Dewald 3rd

Katie Nicholls, 3rd Hour said...

To the first question, (Is questioning your country’s conduct during a war o.k.?), I think that questioning your country’s conduct during a war is completely fine because you’re allowed to have your own thoughts about war, you don’t follow everyone else’s opinion, you’re your own person.
To the second question, (Should asking questions about how the war is conducted, about the tactics being used (torture, waterboarding, etc.), about how the goals are being met (or if they're being met at all), or is it all worth the sacrifice of all the young men and women's lives??), I think that it is not worth it to sacrifice the lives of many young men and women because all we would have to do is think about what we are going to do before we mindlessly make decisions.
And finally, to the third question, (Is this line of questioning during war time o.k. or does it make you unpatriotic? Why?), I think that it’s okay because you’re allowed to have your own thoughts about what’s going on and you don’t have to agree with what our government thinks is right. Everyone has their own opinions, so they should have the right to say what they believe in.

Brett G. 4th hour said...

I think questioning your country’s conduct in war is ok. Everyone has their own opinions and is entitled to believe what they want. That is part of the freedom we get being American citizens. But I think you can’t argue your opinions to the point where it is distracting the country and actually making things worse. So I think whatever the government decides to do is the right thing and you should back them up on that. You should help your country as best as possible. You never like to see anyone die but I think it is worth the sacrifice of peoples life’s because you are trying to help the world and save more peoples life’s now and in the future. Asking questions during war times though does not make you unpatriotic. You still most likely want your country to succeed and win the war but you just disagree with how they are doing it. People probably don’t like how we did things like torture and waterboarding so they then can think and try coming up with new ways. Like I said earlier everyone has the right to have their own opinion and they can think anything they want with that and it doesn’t make you unpatriotic.

Ariel M. said...

The rights that we have make us Americans. In the time of war I think questioning your country’s conduct during a war ok. I think it should be ok because we have our rights like the freedom of speech and the freedom of protest. These rights are inalienable, and absolutely cannot be dissolved at anytime including war. Also asking questions about how the war is being carried out is totally acceptable. The main reason is that we have the right to know. If the war is going badly and the goals are not being met, it is a waste of time, money, and lives and we shouldn’t be there. This line of questioning might make you seem unpatriotic, but sometimes its better to be considerate about the future.

Sarah Z, 4th hour said...

No, I do not think that we should be questioning the countries conduct during war because if the government feels that fighting is the right thing to do for the country then you should trust them. I also feel that the people should trust the government, but they should know what their country is fighting for. If the Americans do not know what we are fighting for then why are we fighting? I also think that asking if or if not the war is meeting its goals is not okay because we should know what the goals are, and if we are meeting the goals. I feel that America is one of the countries in the world with the most pride. Asking questions does not change this because we want to be able to know what is going on so we can either support it or be against it. If we support it then we will have a bigger pride because of how proud we are to be fighting for the things we want. I also think that taking away the right to Freedom of Speech is wrong because in my opinion that is one of the most valued rights of the American people. I feel that we should have the right to say what we feel.

Anonymous said...

During times of peace and times of war citizens should have access to relevant information. Citizens should be able to question what the government is doing or not doing. In 1917 during World War I congress passed the Espionage and Sedition acts that stopped people from saying anything negative about the war. These acts violate the constitution. The first amendment prohibits the U.S. government from passing laws that do not give U.S. citizens the right of free speech. If people can not speak out about what they believe then they cannot hold their government accountable for its actions. Our government is founded on the belief that its function is to represent the people. If people are not informed about the actions of their government and are not free to express their opinion, the government may not act in accordance to what many people believe is in their best interests. If we are not informed and free to comment, then the government may not be representing the people.

Participation in a war is a huge risk to our life and liberty. People only want to go to war for reasons that matters to them and that affect their lives. Governments always need to be held accountable because they have so much power. This is true in times of peace and in times of war.
Tessa Dickson Hour 2
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Shelby Lowe said...

I feel that questioning your country is okay, but only at certain times, and this time with what your country is going through would not be the right time to question its conduct since it is in a war. But, I also believe that the country has a right to know what things are happening with the people the country maybe captures or takes. And the people of the country can’t be oblivious to everything that is going on with the war and the things happening with the men over seas or across the country in the dangerous war front because there is more then one member from almost every family in America. I feel like protesting against America during the war would be unpatriotic, but asking questions about the war or things going on in the country during the war is okay and trying to get involved and be concerned during the was is okay, because the wars that go on are dangerous and hurtful to many families all across America. But with the Select Service Act, I think this act is very unreasonable because I think the people who go to war, it should be their choice because it is such a life changing decision. And the men that go to war should be suitable people, not just random men and women off the streets in any health, I think they should be healthy people so they aren’t guarantied a death in the war based off their health.

alex chmara said...

I think that questioning the war is perfectly appropriate. The average everyday American knows next to nothing about war and what really goes on in it. Those people have the right to know how their own country is progressing through the war and the way that they are going about it. The different views on war and how it should be conducted of different people are surely not identical, but there must be a widely accepted way of handling the situation. I don’t believe that questioning your country’s conduct during a war is unpatriotic. Just because we all live in the same country doesn’t mean that we all have to have the same beliefs on war. Each and every one of us is entitled to our own opinion and by questioning the situation only expresses that right. There might be a point in which the questioning becomes too much and there just aren’t enough answers, but you can’t deny someone their right to be concerned for their country. The common people get their chance to have their say in topics like this when we have elections for political offices like the presidency. There must be an effective way to give the common people a larger part in what the country does without tearing itself apart of indecision.

martin hermez said...

-Is questioning your country's conduct during a war o.k.?

Yes it is very much OK, simply because the people have a right to know what is going on around them inside their nation, and plus the U.S. is always gloating about freedom of speech, and such so yes the people should be able to questions what their country is doing. I have lived in the U.S. for nearly five years now, and I have to say that before leaving Iraq one of the biggest things that I heard people say was that, America is a free nation. You do not have to keep your thoughts to yourself all the time, you can speak in public about issues that you disagree with that the government is doing, or engaging in, without being personally hurt by the government. I have come to see that it is in fact true, America is a free nation and the U.S. people should be able too (and do in most cases) protest the ideas or “conduct” of their country if they disagree.

-Should asking questions about how the war is conducted, about the tactics being used (torture, water boarding, etc.), about how the goals are being met.

Yes questions should always be asked about the tactics being used, and the ways that all the goals are being met in the war, and if they are met at all. People should have the right to ask these questions, because it is their sons, and daughters (in some cases) that are fighting the war, and not the people in congress who are simply sitting in a room giving orders to the U.S. soldiers putting their lives in harms way.

-Is this line of questioning during war time o.k. or does it makes you unpatriotic? Why?

Well this is kind of a repeated question from question one, but yes it is okay to ask question because like stated before it is the American people that are fighting the war, and not, President Wilson, so they have a right to know what is happening to their sons and daughters. So overall it does not make a person any less patriotic if they ask questions that they have a right to ask.

Anonymous said...

I think that questioning your countries conduct is fine during war. Everyone has their own thoughts and they have a right to express them at anytime, whether it’s during war or not. We have a freedom speech and it cannot be taken away for any reason. So for Woodrow Wilson and Congress to create the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918 was wrong. The government shouldn’t be holding anything from us so yes we should have a right to know what our plan is and how we are coming along in war and it shouldn’t be hid from us from our own government. I think that asking all these questions during war time is perfectly fine. We should have a right to know how well our military and government is doing during war and nothing should be hid from us. If we are denied this right to ask about war to our government we are going against the constitutions and the right of freedom of speech.


-Alex B 4th hour

matt trogu said...

I think that freedom of speech during the war is very acceptable because the freedom of speech is something that can not be taken away from a person. I think this because many of the people that go to war may die and be injured. So if the people of America think that it is wrong to be in another country battling then they should be able to say what they want. Also people should be able to protest because it is the people’s money that the government is using to do to war. If Woodrow Wilson thinks that the people shouldn’t be able to talk then he should pull the troops out of the country. When the army goes off to war they are protecting the people and if the people think that they are in any sort of danger then they should be able to say this and express their feelings to the United States government. This is why it is important to let the people protest the war while going on.

Eric Pace 2nd hour said...

Q: Is questioning your country's conduct during a war o.k.?
A: I think that questioning your country’s conduct during a war is ok because what if someone wants to know to know what you r going to do. I mean they don’t need to know if you are torturing people or how you’re going to do it. They also don’t need to know about the tactics that they are using because someone might soil it. But if people want to know then they have to right to know. One thing that people would really want to know is that is if the goals are being met and if they are failing. If they are failing then people might want to know and pull out so it does not risk more men and women’s lives. I think if u question during war time it is ok. That really does not make you unpatriotic because if u want to know them you have the right to know. You can still support your country and ask questions about the war. That does not make you unpatriotic. Some people might think that it is but it is all upon your opinion and what you think.

Yedo Lee 4th said...

I don’t feel it’s right to the question the country’s conduct while in war. If the government and congress feel its okay then you have to trust them on everything they do. After the war you see bad things then its okay to say this shouldn’t have started then its okay, but not during the war. I don’t think we should have to send all of those people into war and most of the people in the war should know what to expect from war. If someone questions about the conduct then they should say it after the war, but not during the war. People have their own opinions on different and they should be able to express whenever they feel like it. I think that people should express them after the war has ended, but not before because its causes disruptions and have more people thinking about what to do, if they should go to war or not.

Ayana M. 4th said...

Questioning your countrys conduct should be okay. Why not? You have freedom of speech and if you have questions as to why your country is fighting a battle you should not be punished or looked at as wrong for that. Questioning safety, tatics, and or torture should be acceptable especially if you are concerned about someone in the war. How can you punish someone for asking questions? Like said all the time "The stupid question, is the question not asked at all", so if someone has a question it should not be rejected. Someone speaking their feelings and letting it be known how they feel to the goverment its a right that they have and a right that shouldnt be taken away.thats not fair. Asking a question about the war and the goals of the war amnd such shouldnt be seen as unpatriotic either, but more so patriotic. Asking questions and being concerned shows that you care for your country and even if you dont agree with the govermnt thats not being unpatriotic. You are not suppose to be patriotic to the men in office, but to the country that you live on, and you are doing that by caring about your country which includes asking questions, even if you dont agree with the people in office.

Anonymous said...

I think that questioning our countries conduct during a war is fine because we have a freedom of speech and we should be allowed to speak our point of view, if we disagree with some of the dictions that our government made. I also think we have the right to know what’s going on during the war. If the U.S. government is trying so hard to stop us from speaking out then they are violating our freedom of speech amendment. When it comes to asking how the war is conducted or what tactics are being used I don’t think the government needs to answer that because if the other countries find out it will change the whole war and screw everything up, and the word will travel about our tactics . But we should have the right to speak our opinion on the war but not questions about tactics. I think that questioning during the war time is ok because if the government is not saying anything we should be able to ask questions about the war. I also don’t think it makes you unpatriotic because we have a freedom of speech and we have the right to ask questions.

Alex C. -2nd hr.

Anonymous said...

Well I can see why the government took away people rights to freedom of speech during the war, because the government wanted to worry only about the war not what the people thought about the war not what politics thought about the war, not here is what I see the problem could be, If Americans said things about the war that were anti-American statements, that people could say was non American, like these statements that people might say could give other people the wrong idea about the people, the idea it could give people would be that they don’t care about the government they have anti-American ideas, Now here is what I see the good part of what the government is doing by taking away the peoples rights to freedom of speech, it helps the government focus on the war and not the opinions of the American citizens, yes it’s unfair because there rights are taken away but it helps in the long run because Congress and the government focus on the war instead of the Americans complaining about there rights being taken away because the government has better things to worry about.

Jake O. - 2nd Hr.

Jayla Anderson ..4th hr said...

I think questioning our country's conduct during a war is o.k. because why shouldn't we no why a war is being fought for? Its our tax dollars being put in for the war.It is unjust that the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918 we couldn't not question a war being fought. When we should be questioning our country's tactics like if we use torture.We may not like the reason a war is being fought for and it maybe just wasting lives of Men and Women so is thats the reason we can't question.. It may be unpatriotic to question a war because you should trust the government and not question it.We desire the right to know what is going on what were fighting for and not blindly follow what ever goes.

Alex Grigorian said...

In my opinion the , people should be able to speak out against the war if they want. I believe that if people want to fight for their country they will, and if not they won’t. If people want to speak out about their opinion about not wanting to fight then that is their right. By putting the law that congress put in place, they are taking away some of the very principles that the United States of America was founded on. Freedom of Speech. I understand that at the time we needed men to fight and these anti war people were changing a lot of peoples minds about the war, stopping them from enlisting, but if these people are making them do that then they are making them realize what their true beliefs are. If I was alive during this time I would very easily join the army. I have grown up around people that are from countries where enlistment is mandatory, and most of them don’t want to. If we imagine the homes of some of these kids as the United States then we can see a perfect example of what it was like during this time. One time when I was over at one if their houses, we were eating dinner and my friend got into an argument about how he didn’t want to join and fighting was stupid. Now we take my friend and think of his as the anti war protesters in American during the WWI. Then we take this kids father and think of him as the government. Because my friend protested and spoke out against his countries beliefs, the father punished him. Because of this, my friend lost a lot of respect for his father and lost his trust in him. This could happen or could have happened in American. If we tell the people that they cannot speak against what we believe then the people would loose respect and faith in the government which could lead into great chaos.

Morgan Pullns 3rd Hour said...

Blog # 6

Is questioning your country's conduct during a war o.k.? Well it depends on who/what is asking. For an example if a soldier thats about to be in the war is questioning about why they are in war or etc... they should have the right. But if its a citizen questioning just because then it shouldn't ok. 1st of all because if their president said it then it had to be some kind of reason. 2nd they are just wasting there breathe because its not like the war is just going stop and drop right then and their. Now should asking questions about how the war is conducted, about the tactics being used (torture, waterboarding, etc.), about how the goals are being met (or if they're being met at all), or is it all worth the sacrifice of all the young men and women's lives?? Well yes I guess it could but by asking those question what is it doing is it really making a difference. If the goals are being meet or not, its still there chocie to stop or not. Is this line of questioning during war time o.k. or does it make you unpatriotic? Why? To me it's not ok and its making you unpatriotic. You are suspose to be backing up the U.S. wheather you agree or dissagree because this is your home and country if your not happy then move...

Morgan Pullins

Ryan Lesson said...

Yes. I think that we sould be able to question our countries war conduct. We shouldn't be able to just go into war and get drafted into it without knowing what it's for. For all we know we could just be going into a war that isnt worth fighting. We should be told what we are going to do in the war. All of our tactics should be explainded to the young men and women in the army. Torture and other things like that should be informed to the people so, we can approve or disaprove of it. People should have the rite to question a wars goals and what were fighting for and, if thats worth the sacrifice of the american soilders. I think that we should have the rite to question war even during the war. The people have the rite to what is going on in the war and, the progress that we are having. These people who question the war tatics should never be jailed for speech. Questioning the government should never have a penelty of being jailed. The government should answer these questions and update the american citizens of the war. Wars conduct should always be questioned to show if its humane or inhumane. LIke so that people wont get tortured or having innocient people being killed.

Donavin Camarata 3rd hour said...

Questioning your country’s conduct during a war is o.k. because If we didn’t question our conduct how would our freedom of speech be affected? It would be like every time there is a war we cannot have ALL of our rights presented to us? Instead have them restricted from us and possibly punished for using OUR rights? Asking questions about how the war is being conducted should be allowed and should be answered by the government. If for example tactics being used such as torture on innocent civilians is being done we should have the right to know that and stop those actions from occurring cause it is not right for us to torment people for our own benefits even during war. We should also be able to ask if our goals are being meet(such as if we successfully defended or assaulted an enemy base) because we should be allowed to know whether or not American men and woman’s lives are being wasted, or actually used for a good cause. This line of questioning during war time is o.k. because it lets you speak out your view and as an American you are entitled to your rights, and those rights include freedom of speech. This does NOT make you unpatriotic, because it is not wrong to use your rights, however it is unpatriotic when you are being punished for your own rights.

Anonymous said...

Blog #6
Speaking out during a war about our country should be up hold, no matter what. It is a good way to make sure your country’s actions and goals are not being changed. If you see something wrong about the way the soldiers/government is doing, you can’t keep it all to yourself. I’m not saying speaking out is unpatriotic; I’m saying it’s unpatriotic not saying anything. The reason why is because if you allow the error in your army/government to go unchecked, it might turn out to be a bad mistake and it may cost you something. And just like what Eugene Debs said, “The working classes…..have not yet had a voice in either declaring war or making peace. It is the ruling class that invariably does both”. One person/class shouldn’t say what they think. Everyone should speak their mind. Why should the upper class say we can’t say anything? And another thing too, saying what you think is part of being a democracy. If we say nothing, is it democratic? Should we take away the right that we had fought to enforce? Isn’t it part of our Bill of Rights?

Andrew B.

Anonymous said...

I think that the methods used in the war are totally acceptable. Although, I do not think that torture is acceptable. Now that security is at its highest in years because of the war and 9/11, the army is cracking down on terrorism and intruders. The men responsible for the attacks on the world trade center’s shout be tortured and put to death. They killed hundreds of people and affected so many people’s lives and deserve to pay for what they did. I do not think that torture is acceptable in any way to people who do not deserve it. But, terrorists and Islamic intruders and terrorists should be tortured. – Nate Zakaria

Anonymous said...

I think that questioning our countries conduct during the war would be ok because if our government is doing something that the people do not agree with then we should not have to stand behind them and support what they are doing . I think it would be better to ask our government how the war is being conducted because you can not always trust the government. They could be doing something that the people do not know about and that is not ok. The people are entitled to know what is going on .I also think it is not alright for the government to spend money on trying to keep people quite about what the government is doing, because if the government is doing what they believe is right then the should be spending the money on the war and not worry about what the people are saying about them. - Thomas Gorman 2nd hour

Veronica Gordon said...

I think that it is okay to question your countries tactics and reasons for war, during a war. I think it is ok, because freedom of speech is ok. Also everyone has the right to say and beleive what they want to. In 1917 during World War I congress passed the Espionage and Sedition acts that stopped people from saying anything negative about the war. This was put in action so that people didnt break out in fights and extra bad things didnt happen plus the war its self. These acts violate the constitution. The first amendment prohibits the U.S. government from passing laws that do not give U.S. citizens the right of free speech. I dont understand how these laws were passed even though it wouldnt give people the right of freedom of speech.

BOBBY HAAG 3rd hour said...

I do not think its alright to question and bother our country's conduct during a war. Our country decides to go into war for a reason. We probably will not understand what is fully going on during wars or why we chose to enter or start one. Until the war is over and we can all clearly see the results whether there are gains or losses, that is then the time where we can make or judgements. Until the war ends we should not question the conduct. I personally think war is unnecessary to settle problems with, but until any war is over, that is when we should question our country's conduct.

Annie H. 4th hour said...

Personally, I think that questioning our countries conduct during war is completely fine. People, especially in the United States should have a right to think for themselves and ask a question when they don’t think something is happening right or if they don’t understand why it is happening. I think it would be wrong to take away these rights and it wouldn’t be living up to the vision of freedom in America. I do not think any of the tactics of war are worth all of the men and women’s lives. I think that people should question the government as much as possible because then one day, possibly, the government might realize how bad war really is for our country and what an effect it has on the people in our country. I do not think it is unpatriotic because you want to help your country by asking questions, to help the country become better. And as long as you still support your country no matter what, then your fine. If people never asked questions about how the government runs things, we would still be living with many unjust laws that have been eliminated because people protested against them and succeeded.

Allysa Hayes 3rd said...

Is questioning your country's conduct during a war o.k.? I don’t feel like questioning your country's conduct during a war is ok. If the government feels that the country needs to go to war at that time then you should trust there judgment. A lot of people have different opinions on the war’s and how the government work and should work. Should asking questions about how the war is conducted, about the tactics being used (torture, water boarding, etc.), about how the goals are being met (or if they're being met at all), or is it all worth the sacrifice of all the young men and women's lives? Yes the people should ask question so they will have information about what’s going on or what is going to happen. Just by asking questions don’t mean that they are going to change things on the spot or stop the war rite then and there because something’s not rite. Is this line of questioning during war time o.k. or does it make you unpatriotic? I just feel that people have freedom of speech and they can say what they want when they want and cant nobody do anything about it but just take it in.

Anonymous said...

Blog #6
The United States has been wasting a lot of money on the war in Iraq. We are still fighting the war for no reason. It is wasting a lot of our money on something that does not even matter. Someone should be asking questions about how this war is going. What is being done to innocent women and children? I think we should have a conference with the president just concerning the war. George Bush does not even have a good reason why we are in the war. Innocent women and children in Iraq are dying by bombings. Also people are risking their lives in suicide bombings in Iraq.—Kiara Massey 3rd Hour

Lisa S 3rd said...

During the Great War, the government set rules saying that the American people could be prosecuted for talking out against the government and the choices being made about the war. I think that this violates our rights as American citizens and shows hypocritical behavior from the government. In our rights, it is said that we have the freedom of speech, by saying someone could have been thrown in jail for speaking out for what they believe in, is sending the message that we don’t have that freedom. I think people today should have no restrictions on talking out about their opinions on the war. The government can’t tell you to like the war if they’re not giving the people every detail about it. Some people might support the war, but not the torture of prisoners, or the bombing of assumed harmful areas that end up being harmless. By bringing someone to court over what they say is a sign that someone has too much power and also is insecure with the decisions where they can’t push the criticism away because they know what their doing is right. Especially during war time, civilians will speak out for what they want to happen, this doesn’t mean they aren’t patriotic for their country and the soldiers sacrificing them selves for the greater good, it just shows that they don’t agree with the decisions being made and the reason why the troops were even brought there to begin with.

Dallas P said...

I think that in this critical point and time of the country. I believe that it is ok for the government to fine people and send them to jail. But I fell that there should be a line at some point where people can express their feelings without being sent to jail or being fined thousands of dollars. I think that we didn't have to go to such extreme measures such as throwing people in jail for decades but maybe a month or two so that we can get the point across. I believe that Debs had a right to express his opinion on the fact that most of the government officials are so quick to be Patriotic, but they won't gear up and go to war with a man would has just left to fight. So I do understand that people shouldn't question the government’s choices about the war, but should also be able to express their opinions. In the future I think that it wouldn’t happen again as far as people being sent to jail for 20 years but maybe a fine to someone who made false statements or outrageous accusations about the government. But all in all I am undecided on this point because I could clearly pick any side.

Christen said...

No I don’t think that questioning your countries conduct during a war is ok because, you have freedom of speech and a right to your opinion. it is nothing wrong to think wrong of your country if you are not thinking of betraying it I don’t see any thing wrong with it. the right to know what the county you live in is doing in a time of war is something that should be freely presented to citizens. The fact that citizens weren’t even able to know what was happening during the war is immoral and unjust. And to the second question ….Yes because it is mostly worth all of those peoples lives, because these people are putting there lives on the line and they are fighting for our country, and the second part of the question no because even though these people put there life on the line they knew what they were getting into and people should not have to hold there opinions so that they will not fill guilty about it. For the third question no I don’t think that it makes you unpatriotic, because if you still love the U.S and you have nothing against it then no you are not unpatriotic.

Tim Moore said...

1. I think that questioning our country's conduct during the war i ok because we need to still have principles during the war back in the United States of America. If we don't question then problems might happen they we should have solved during the war. 2. I do not think think it is worth all the young men and women bcause it is loses that could be saved and so if people in the United States of America ask questions then there is more of a chance that a person could be saved. If people ask questions then the United States of America government will have to answer to prove that their tactics of war are not unreasonable. 3. I think it does not make you unpatriotic becuase war is never a happy thing even though some people think it is. It causes death and government problems and it gets many countries involved. If the people of the United States of America are not concerned about what the governemnt is doing and how they run things then the ar could turn out even worse for the fellow citizens of the United States of America. There for it si not unpatriotic to ask questions about the United States of America war tactics.

Anonymous said...

Is questioning your country’s conduct during war o.k. or is it treason? My option is that you have freedom of speech and why can’t you be able to use your freedom of speech and ask questions when it comes to the issue of your males in the family being drafted into a unknown territory and you just want to know why. The definition of treason is “is the crime that covers some of the more serious acts of disloyalty to one's sovereign or nation.” In asking many questions and putting your view of the war and expressing that is no “crime” but your right of an American. I think asking questions is patriotic because you’re worried about the welfare of many American people.
Asking questions about how the war is conducted, about the tactics being used, and about how the goals are being met is all about expressing your rights as an American citizen why would you want to know how your government is getting answers from innocent to non innocent people some not even knowing any information at all. No I don’t think this is worth the sacrifice of all the young men and women’s lives. This is my option on the subject at hand.
---Sharaya Solomon-4th hour

Timpriss Ratliff said...

I would think that questioning your country's conduct during a war o.k because there might be more things that need to be happening for the soliders. There could be other things that are being conducted that isn't right or will make problems. Its never worth of sacrificing all the young men and women's lives.Even though its a great thing to try and say things to make the world a better place. But their are some people that want to do things the way they want to even if it's not good for the world.This line of questioning during war time is o.k because people lives are getting sacrificed and there doesn't need to be war anyways. I wouldn't think that it would make anyone be unpatriotic.

Megan Shanburn said...

I think that questioning your country's conduct on a war is okay. I think this because everybody needs to be heard because one little thing said can change the whole country. I think that if a country is not asking for war, then why should you fight them? its pointless. Is it supposed to just be another point in history? Loosing the lives of our brave young men and young women is not worth it. Especially is its not that big of a deal. Like said above "if it aint broke, dont fix it" says a whole lot. Why risk many American lives, our own people, in a fight that doesn't even have a good reason to be fought? If there is a war going on for a while and hasnt accomplished anything, then your just killing and damaging things for no reason. Goals should be met in a war. And you should also think about the innocent people in the other country. Should we waste their lives because we dont like their government or way of life? My point is, if there absolutely just has to be a war, then go for it. But if its not worth it, or isnt getting anywhere...then just don't. Why risk peoples lives?

elaina 4th hour said...

-Questioning your country’s conduct during a war is okay. I feel that as citizens of the country we have a right to opinion and a right to wonder why they would do certain things. I feel that we have the right to question certain things and we shouldn’t get our freedom of speech taken away when it comes to certain things. If it’s not hurting anyone then we have a right to say it and I don’t believe that it actually would hurt people. It’s just an opinion.
-Asking questions about what they’re doing in war is absolutely our right to know. We should be able to ask how the war is going and if it’s not going good we should have a say in if they should get out of it or stay there. We shouldn’t risk so many incredible people’s lives for a war that is completely ridiculous and unnecessary.
-This line of questioning during war time is definitely alright. It doesn’t make you unpatriotic to ask these kind of things because we have a right to know what’s going on with our troops and why were sending our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, moms, dads, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles to war. Why they’re risking they’re lives for us. Why we pay an insane amount of money for people we love to die. We definitely have a say in all of this.