United We Stand, Divided by Flags

‘Imagine there is no heaven, no hell, no religion, nothing to kill or die for and no need for greed or hunger. Imagine there are no countries and no possessions.’
Clear Channel was quick to eliminate John Lennon’s popular single from radio playlists during the Sept. 11 aftermath.
But why?
The massacre was caused in part by extreme religious fervor, something the terrorists killed and died for.
‘Imagine’ speaks out against terrorism and religious radicalism.
Perhaps it was the ‘no possessions’ line or maybe the idea of a country-less world that finally convinced ‘Fear’ Channel to ban the song.
The mass-production of American flags and related paraphrenalia in recent years is surely a sign that many people feel a sacred bond with those who live within our political borders.
Ethnocentric ideas emphasizing our special role in the world and supreme ideology are dangerous.
I am proud of Americans rather than America and I hope God (or Allah, if you like) blesses the entire world (not just the United States).
I do think people here can be materialistic and not so environmentally conscious but I’m not giving up hope because many Americans are filled with compassion and greatness.
The Pentagon has quietly begun a public campaign to fill all 10,350 draft board positions and 11,070 appeals board slots nationwide.
Congress has twin bills, S. 89 and H.R. 163, entitled the Universal National Service Act of 2003, sitting in the Committee on Armed Services.
Reforms aimed at making the draft more impartial along gender and class lines eliminate higher education as a refuge.
Underclassmen would only be able to delay service until the end of their current semester.
Seniors would have until the end of the academic year.
I hope everyone keeps this in mind next time they sport their ‘God Bless America’ sweatshirt, slap a flag sticker on their car or try to justify the Iraq war.
I will happily ignore my draft number because I don’t believe any country or creed is worth killing for.
‘You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one. I hope some day you’ll join us and the world will live as one.’

Kevin Collins is a fifth-year English major.