In light of events that have been transpiring, and in light of those that have, with mixed fortune, come to pass in generations since this nation's founding, I'm beginning to firmly believe that patriotism in the world at large has been doing far more harm than good, especially in this country. After all, since 9/11, the embracement and unequivocal zeal embodied in phrases like "God Bless America" and "Beacon of Freedom in the World" have led many passionate citizens to justify American actions abroad and at home, which many nations, particularly in tradionally friendly Europe, have come to criticize. After all, is there any difference between telling a future terrorist at an Al-Qaeda training camp or a Pakistani madrasa that God wants Americans to be killed because they're infidels ( a gross distortion of the values and role of religion) and telling a soldier in training at a US Army base that his country wants him to kill the enemy because he loves his country and American freedom is at stake (which is a often gross distortion of the consequences of the failure to achieve a desired political outcome)? Is there a difference in telling a Palestinian teenager to strap a bomb to himself and walk into a pizza parlor because the Israelis stole his father's land and telling an Israeli soldier to go kill Palestinians because they want to destroy Israel? Does "loving" your country mean going out to wave a flag and then standing mute while your president wants to invade another country because he has nothing better to do except spitting out rhetoric that "American lives are potentially at stake here"? Don't get me wrong, I respect the military because I believe that it's their job to defend those who can't defend themselves. That's not a job I would take lightly at all. Yet, I don't believe that it's their job to invade another country on the supposition that it has the capability of harming people pre facto. Does loving your country mean you have to distiguish between how many Americans are killed in an incident and how many foreigners or "others" were killed also? Does this mean you have to hold your fellow American's life more dear than some dirt poor immigrant from Tibet? Does being patriotic mean saying that American interests are more important than some other country's or group of countries interests? Don't borders change? Aren't the lines that we surround are pieces of dirt with just sets of infinite dimensionless Euclidean points? Haven't humans gotten over them yet?