A monstrous piece of hypocrisy if ever there was one; considering that many of the founding fathers who signed their declaration owned slaves, for which descendants of whom spent two centuries (through civil war and later through massive protests) to win equality. Equality, if true, was only achieved for black citizens in the USA through bloodshed and new laws.
As for Native Americans, those who survived being hunted like wild animals were left to rot on reservations. Although some of Native American tribes and artifacts are memorialized in the names of football teams, missiles and military helicopters, these people also appear to have a long way to go before the American dream becomes reality for them.
If the "Home of the Brave" accepts that the those who lived there first, and immigrants who have arrived since, are indeed created equal; then Uncle Sam miss-fires delivering the "Land of the Free."
A domestic prison population of more than 2 million seems to me a failed attempt at freedom. In Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where Al Quaeda suspects are caged like animals, in breach of the Geneva Convention, and any concept of justice, further mocks US-liberty altogether. Is it a double standard for Uncle Sam to preach the unalienable "right to life," while these military prisoners face execution? Depriving killers, rapists and other criminals, their constitutional right to life is one thing, but willfully jeopardizing the lives of not-yet-convicted citizens is another. Removing individual freedoms is precisely what the USA resolutely persists upon with prisoners in Cuba.
Despite the abolition of the death penalty by more than 100 countries, and considerable evidence that a proportion of death-row inmates are innocent, mentally deficient or were according to international law children when they committed the crimes of which they've been convicted, the US Federal Government and many States practice capital punishment. Uncle Sam shares status with Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and Libya -- or the "AXIS of Evil," to quote George W Bush-- by practicing the death penalty. Other paragons of life and liberty include: Belarus, China, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, India, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, the Palestinian Territories, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.
Gun lobbyists support the Right to Bear Arms, even though civilian deaths by gunfire outnumber all its military casualties during the 1900s; WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, and The Persian Gulf War.
Never mind that this right was for a different purpose. Enacted at a time when arms were archaic -- single-shot, powder-and-ball rifles -- law permitted citizens to defend their country if needed, since the Constitution forbade the maintenance of an army. But don't bother reminding Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his boys in the Pentagon.
As thin on the ground as life and liberty may be in its heartland, Uncle Sam always has plenty of firearms for export. Operation Iraqi Freedom - or more accurately, as far as we cynics and acronym addicts are concerned, Operation Iraqi Liberty (OIL), billions of US dollars spent wresting the Iraqi citizens from the grip of a "terrible tyrant." What largesse, what selfless generosity! And yet blatantly bogus, and a cynically selective double-standard.
Oil-rich Iraq earns bombers while North Korea sits in waiting, and desperate Liberia begs. Saddam Hussein, and his supporters are hunted down like rats on the pretext of weapons of mass destruction while the Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, stocked with nuclear weapons, earns trusted-ally status. Pakistan allows the US military refuge for Afghanistan and Iraq. Idi Amin, the former dictator of Uganda, lived-out his life and died unpunished in sanctuary of Saudi Arabia. Where was the US when Ugandan's needed their dictator ousted? Every rotten, corrupt, repressive regime from the Congo to Zimbabwe, China to Burma, Nicaragua to Guatemala gets away with murder. The United States couldn't give a damn about anyone whom doesn't suit its own interests.
Even the foreign aid Uncle Sam doles-out, despite sanctimonious claims to the contrary, is self-serving. Pro USA rhetoric lines the media, while money fills the pockets of the leaders who oppress their own people. And most funds come with the conditions to spend only on US goods and services (Israel). Witness the way the Bush administration is currently lavishing funds for the rebuilding of Iraq on selective corporations like Bechtel Corp., and Halliburton Corp.
What about global "free trade?" Poor nations are bribed or strong-armed into dropping protective tariffs against Uncle Sam's goods while Washington DC subsidizes sectors of its own economy, ranging from farming and automotive, to weapons manufacturing.
As late US President Calvin Coolidge so memorably proclaimed, "After all, the chief business of the American people is business," nothing has changed since 1925. With the Bush regime it is business as usual, however hard it works to convince the world into believing otherwise. Life and liberty are rights for those Americans who can afford them, and the pursuit of happiness is, as always, at the planets' expense.
Uncle Sam, lets face it, is an Uncle Sham. If he is determined to stay on top of us, blithely referred to as the "free world," its time the USA acts the part, if not outright altruistically, at least a good deal more genuinely avuncular.