What does it mean to be a patriot in war time?”The True Patriot,” a documentary by Castleton State College junior Mike Weins address essential questions about what we as Americans should do to be patriotic and leaves us with a resounding call for responsibility.
Ultimately the people control the country, not the government. Patriotism is loving the country, but also questioning what it does.
We must examine whether our government is acting ethically. It is our duty to learn from history and fervently stand up for what we believe is right. This is what it means to be an American. This is what our founding fathers fought so hard for, and carefully protected in our constitution.
When an elderly couple was interviewed by Weins and asked why they protest the war they said, “This is why we stand out here every week, because we don’t want to leave you a world we have made that is terrible. I feel sorry for you.”
To me they are true patriots, acting out of love for future generations. They care so deeply for the country that even in the twilight of their lives they protest for change.
The film also asks area residents why are we in this war and what are we doing for the Iraqi people?
The official reason for the war is to find weapons of mass destruction, right? Well nothing was ever found, not one WMD! So how is it that this war has come about and more importantly, were we lied to by our elected officials?
Some think that our president relied on “cherry picked” information to support his own agenda using the opportunity 9-11 presented. Others hold on to the belief that there were weapons that were later destroyed. I think one of the most provocative questions raised in the film was whether we are really in this for natural resources.
Are we, the world’s most prosperous nation, driven to such extremes of consumerism that we must wage war and destroy lives in order to feed our greed?
And what is this war doing to Iraq? Well it’s destabilizing the country, and the Middle East. It’s sad to say, but they were safer under their former dictator then they are under American occupation.
How are we to resolve this conflict? What does “victory” entail?
One opinion expressed by a local Rutland resident was that we should form a real coalition of the surrounding nations, people who have a vested interest in the stability of Iraq and with the help of the UN turn it over to them, and get our troops home now.
Overall, I think this was very good film. It gathered together the views held by men, women, young, old, student, teacher, soldier and veteran. The film leaves us with a sense of mission, that this is our country and our time, and it forces us to think — what are we going to do with it?