Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Schwarzenegger Speaks of Freedom's Power and Price

Schwarzenegger Speaks of Freedom's Power and Price
"No matter in what labor camp they slave..they hear our call, they see our light and they feel the pull of freedom."

Arnold Schwarzenegger's immigrant roots lended validity and real power to his superbly delivered speech. It is always those who have felt the boot of oppression that rally to the cause of freedom. America once felt the boot of King George, the birth of our nation was out of oppression. It is sad to see that many Americans have lost that sense of the value and price of freedom that the first Americans felt -- the sense of freedom's value that has been renewed by successive wars against tyrants and evil men. It is truly amazing that so many Americans continue to take their freedom for granted and refuse to sacrifice for the cause of liberty in the world even after the horrible events of September 11th. They forget that nothing short of eternal vigilance can secure our liberty, peace, and prosperity.

Those who have lived under oppressive regimes know better. My mother-in-law was born in Malaysia in an American missionary hospital. She recalls the oppression of non-muslims by the muslim Malaysian government, she remembers the punishment of political dissidents, the lack of freedom to criticize the government, the unwarranted, indefinite arrests and summary prosecutions. She says that her entire generation had nothing but the greatest respect for America, gratitude for the aid and hospitals provided by Americans, for American protection from the spread of communism, and for the ideal that America represented. And now she supports the war and President Bush, understanding the awesome transformative power of freedom just as she understands the cost of securing it.

Even I have witnessed tyranny. When living in China, more than once did I see a truck of armed soldiers drive up to a restaurant or a barber shop or a home, grab a man inside, throw him in the truck, and drive off. These men were not formally charged, had no lawyer, were not tried -- rather, they were subject to 'administrative detention' for however many years the government chose to detain them.

Schwarzenegger said, "America remains the great idea that inspires the world." For the women formerly under the Taliban, for the people of Iraq, for the dissidents in Iran, for the democratic reformers in China, and for the starving masses in North Korea, we must never waiver in our defense of freedom, we must never show the slightest weakness in our fight against tyranny and dogmatic ideology.

UPDATE: Ratings for Schwarzenegger's speech are very high -- so high that more people may have viewed his speech than John Kerry's acceptance speech!


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