"[America] goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom."
by:
John Quincy Adams
(1767-1848) 6th US President
Source:
Speech before the House of Representatives, July 4, 1821; quoted in William Bonner and Pierre Lemieux (Editors), The Idea of America (Les Belles Lettres, 2003), p. 237
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Reader comments about this quote:
I would doubt that One in this GW Bush administration even knows the existence of this quotation. And even if they did they, obviously, would ignore it.
 -- A.Jurgensen, Stuart, FL     
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    If only the present administration would read some of our history - O how things may be diferent - will we never learn...
     -- Robert, Sarasota, FL     
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    A terrific warning to those who would entagle us in foreign matters. The current political climate does not allow our leaders to consider the wisdom of Adams quote. Even if they were to hear they would not yield to such reason for they are not American in fact, but only, american by virtue of birth, caring not for their countrymen or their freedoms. They care only for maintaining the good opinions of their fellow "Internationalists", and serving the avarice of their masters. May they each find their place in Infamy, after they are hanged.
     -- Brian D. Pickett, Tampa, Florida, USA     
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    Boy, those were the days!! When the world still thought the US was one of the good guys.
     -- Sr_reek, Corozal, Belize, Central America     
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    ...yet the U.S. keeps doing exactly that (i.e. Iraq) which usurps "the standard of freedom."
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
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    Deliciously eloquent.Like many of our Founding Fathers,these "Men of Vision" spoke words of timeless truth that so appropriately warn tomorrows "Guardians of Liberty" to be ever mindful of the status and health of our beloved REPUBLIC.Oh how we need these "men of vision" today.
     -- CAP     
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    How inspiring this quote is. As others above, I wish the current administration read this to know what our country is all about.
     -- Eva Silver, Los Angeles     
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    MAKE DON RUMSFELD READ THIS EVERYMORNING BEFORE HE SCANS THE OBITUARIES.
     -- BRIAN, RICHMOND     
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    An exellent concept for the early 19th century. A disaster for the 21st. The world has changed, and unless we want to find ourselves facing a totalitarian enemy made up of all the rest of the world, we must act globally to protect our interests.
     -- Reb, Jerusalem     
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    He didn't like the U N with out even meeting any of them. It's not just our interest we are protecting, it’s our ass.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    Reb, what is preventing the US government from becoming the totalitarian enemy?
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Sadly the UN has done a pretty good job of turning the simple minded into socialist sheep (or "blind" patriots) who actually believe their BS. Never has their been a more eloquent, and far seeing document of Liberty than the Constitution of the US. And unless we all want to band together and goose step our way through sovereign nations for "security" purposes we had better get on this Amerifascist thing now! The White House doesn't give a flying F@*k about any of us anymore. Bush/ Tree/ Rope...some assembly required.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary, Canada     
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    I'm sure the "progressives" here would be cheering for the American military marching through country after country as long as they were wearing blue helmets.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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    We are preventing our government form becoming the totalitarian enemy E Archer! You will know when it is happening when we can no longer can say things like this in places like this. If you pay attention you will see that this very thing is under foot in congress right now. The "Fairness Doctrine" for one. They lie about people that the leftist in congress do not like. They attempt to shut up anyone that has the public ear’ and disagrees with them’ by launching a smear campaign of lies.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    The only way to prevent the US government from becoming totalitarian is to enforce the rules our servant government must follow. If a president wants to wage war, Congress must declare it -- then you fight to win, end of story. But you don't turn on your fellow man and take away rights to habeas corpus, take away the right to petition the government for redress, violate everyone's privacy, strip search (figuratively and literally) people exercising their right to travel, take away the right to warranted searches, take away the right to lawful money system, and on and on. Talk about brainwashed -- what freedom are we defending if the Gestapo can listen in on your phone calls, read your email, report dissenting opinions to the 'authorities', search your house without warrant and without your knowledge, search your luggage behind closed doors, and charge people as terrorists for simply refusing to obey unconstitutional laws??? Freedom is under attack here in America -- and it is the government leading the charge while the Sheeple just bend over. If the people really knew what was going on, there would be a revolution tomorrow.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    We have no Gestapo. If your phone calls are being listened to it is because you are conversing with some one that is deemed a threat to us. Or if it was during the Clinton administration it was because they thought you might have info that would help their corporate contributors. Thank God we have an administration that isn't going to just shove their head in the sand like Bill and Hillary did.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    I certainly do not "thank God we have an administration" like GWB's!! That is just more religious fanatical BS -- our 'god' is better than 'their god' and we are waging war on 'them' to protect 'us' from their fanatical religious ideology -- talk about double-speak. Yes, your phone conversations are being recorded (telephone, email, web blogs) -- they have been for decades and stored at Langley for if/when someone wants to recall them. The voice and data messages are scanned for certain keywords and brought forward for review. The recorded conversations cannot be used in court unless a warrant is issued -- in which case they may even review calls recorded prior to the warrant date. Recorded calls can be used to target those who pose a threat to the NWO -- or for competing for powerful positions in government. The Bush administration merely wants to be able to use those recorded calls officially without warrant -- and so do the Clintons -- they are all on the same side, global hegemony. The Gestapo would have loved to have had such power -- and the FBI/CIA have it, and use it -- and surveillance upon the citizenry continues to increase -- another sign of advancing fascism and the police state. Take your own head out of the sand.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Perhaps we should send these quotes to the Senate and make them write these lines a thousand times..
     -- Robert, Somewhere in Europe     
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     -- jim k, Austin      
    Instead of being the world's leader in peace, prosperity, liberty, abidance of law, justice and protector of individual sovereign inalienable rights, the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land follows the dictates from those such as Bush(s) the torturer and Mr. Obamunist Goodwrench the assassin in fomenting war, devastation, tyranny, chaos, injustice and the right of the god/state. Without the said theocracy prosyliting, financing and training the world's terrorists so much of today's ills would be non-existent. The quote is spot on !
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or      
     -- Mary - MI      
    Non-Interventionist John Quincy Adams who was NOT an Isolationist!
     -- Mary - MI     
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    I wonder if Warren is starting to see the light yet. Since his last post, the NSA has been caught tapping any and every phone call and internet browser request they can get their hands on. They have installed 'snooping' routers in key locations to capture the content of millions of calls. Warren, a real patriot is not a blind supporter of the Republican party -- a patriot is someone who insists his servant government act within the bounds WE THE PEOPLE have set forth. You want war? Then have Congress declare it, and the reasons for doing so -- then bomb the hell out of them and be prepared to annex the enemy's country -- because unless you subject them absolutely, like the Germans and Japanese, their culture and their very understandable hatred will continue until they rise up and have their own war for Independence. Wake up, man, the tiny country of Afghanistan is NO THREAT WHATSOEVER to the US -- NONE, PERIOD. This is utter and complete propaganda. The US needs war to seize control of the valuable assets (oil) of the Middle East - as our country is on the brink of economic collapse -- war is our primary export! All the rest of the world, other than the US and Israel, consider the US to be the greatest threat to peace in the world -- what freedoms are we actually defending? BS, utter and complete BS.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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