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By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Sic Simper Tyrannis

The theme of the President as King George continues in the July 4th edition of the Washington Post as John Fabian Witt states that the Declaration of Independence was also about laws of war:

Thomas Jefferson and the Continental Congress in Philadelphia drew up charges denouncing King George III to the world. The accusations were to serve as the core of the declaration. The climactic final charges, for which the rest were prologue, indicted the king for war crimes.

Britain's navy, wrote Jefferson and the Congress, had "plundered our Seas," while its armies had "ravaged our Coasts, burnt our Towns, and destroyed the Lives of our People." Jefferson accused the British of employing legions of foreign mercenaries to commit acts of death and desolation "scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages," acts unworthy of civilized nations. He charged British forces with taking Americans hostage and compelling them to bear arms against their own country.

Of course this lesson in history is used to make a current point, that President Bush is in violation of the spirit of the Declaration of Independence through his conduct in the War on Terror and the Iraq War.

I'll leave aside the fact that the President has seen both conflicts as a fight for freedom in combating fine folks like Saddam, the Taliban, and Al Queda; certainly in line with "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. "

Instead I'll make a simple point for Professor Witt....

Thomas Jefferson wrote those words outlining the deeds of King George III as the basis for America declaring its independence, not to make some universal statement on the proper conduct of war or to drag the British sovereign in front of an 18th Century version of a war crimes tribunal. He wrote them for the simple reason that there is little basis to stick around as part of a country when your taxes go to pay for war to be levied against you... sort of a hint that at best you'll be a second class citizen.