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In the colossal movie Braveheart (1995), Mel Gibson’s character, Scottish freedom-fighter William Wallace, gave, without a doubt, the greatest war speech in movie history. The men of Scotland were facing a vastly superior number of English troops before the Battle of Stirling Bridge, and many of them had already begun retreating in fear. Here is the exchange:
William Wallace: And if this is your army, why does it go?
Veteran: We didn’t come here to fight for them!
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Young Soldier: Home! The English are too many!
William Wallace: Sons of Scotland! I am William Wallace.
Young Soldier: William Wallace is seven feet tall!
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William Wallace: Yes, I’ve heard. Kills men by the hundreds. And if HE were here, he’d consume the English with fireballs from his eyes, and bolts of lightning from his arse.
[Scottish army laughs]
William Wallace: I *am* William Wallace! And I see a whole army of my countrymen, here in defiance of tyranny. You’ve come to fight as free men…and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight?
Veteran: Fight? Against that? No! We will run. And we will live.
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William Wallace: Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you’ll live…at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin’ to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take…OUR FREEDOM!
[Scottish army cheers]
William Wallace: Alba gu bràth!
Army: ALBA GU BRÀTH! ALBA GU BRÀTH! ALBA GU BRÀTH!
Watch the movie clip here:
Alba gu bràth (pronounced al-op-pa goo bra) is a Scottish Gaelic phrase that translates to English as, “Scotland forever.”
In the real Battle of Stirling Bridge (which took place on September 11, 1297 in the First War of Scottish Independence), William Wallace and his band of 2,300 Scots went up against some 13,000 seasoned English troops, including 3,000 cavalrymen. When the battle was over, more than 5,000 English troops lay dead; and the Scots had achieved a crushing victory. Of course, England went on to defeat the Scots in subsequent battles; and William Wallace was betrayed, seized, disemboweled, and beheaded. And, sadly, Scotland never totally gained its independence. It is still a subject of the British Crown today–but maybe not tomorrow!
Even as I write this column, Scotland is voting on secession from Great Britain. By the time some of you read this column, the issue may have been settled. It’s impossible to predict the outcome. They say the vote is too close to call.
Pat Buchanan wrote a great piece on the impending vote:
“No matter how the vote turns out on Thursday in Scotland, either for independence or continued union with Britain, the disintegration of the Old Continent appears almost inevitable.
“Already the British government has conceded that, even if the Scots vote for union, Edinburgh will receive greater powers to rule itself.
“Cheering for the breakup of the U.K. are Catalans and Basques, Bretons and Corsicans, Tyroleans, Venetians, Flemish, all dreaming of nations of their own carved out of Spain, France, Italy and Belgium.
“Europe’s secessionists have waxed ever stronger since the last decade of the 20th century when the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia splintered into 22 nations and Czechoslovakia broke in two. Abkhazians and Ossetians then broke from Georgia as Transnistria fought free of Moldova. Chechnya went to war twice to escape from Russia. Secessionists now battle Russia in Ingushetsia and Dagestan.
“The decomposition of the nations of Old Europe is the triumph of tribalism over transnationalism. The heart has reasons that the mind knows not, said Pascal. And the wild heart is winning.”
Buchanan continues: “Here is Niall Ferguson in the New York Times wondering how these crazy Scots could think of seceding from England.
“‘The economic risks are so glaring that even Paul Krugman and I agree it’s a terrible idea. What currency will Scotland use? The pound? The euro? No one knows. What share of North Sea oil revenues will go to Edinburgh? What about Scotland’s share of Britain’s enormous national debt?’
“A Scottish vote for independence, Ferguson wails, ‘would have grave economic consequences, and not just for Scotland. Investment has already stalled. Big companies based in Scotland, notably the pensions giant Standard Life, have warned of relocating to England. Jobs would definitely be lost. The recent steep decline in the pound shows that the financial world hates the whole idea.’
“Niall Ferguson is not the kind of fellow who would have been out there at midnight dumping the King’s tea into Boston harbor in 1773.
“And he would surely have admonished those stupid farmers on the Concord Bridge that if they didn’t put those muskets down, they could wind up ruining the colonies’ trade with the Mother Country.
“‘What currency will we use?’ Ferguson would have demanded of Jefferson in Independence Hall in 1776.
“Yet it is not only in Scotland where peoples are deciding that what separates them is more important than what unites them.
“Secessionism is ablaze all over the world.”
See Pat Buchanan’s column here:
Right now, there are strong separatist movements in England, France, Spain, Sweden, Austria, Greece, Italy, and Germany. Even Russia and China are dealing with strong secession movements: Russia in Crimea and China in Tibet. With the Middle East descending into chaos, the African continent is predicted to quadruple in size over the next 35 years. No doubt, tribal conflicts will drastically change the map of “The Dark Continent” during that time.
And then there is Texas!
A Reuters News report states, “The upcoming vote to decide whether Scotland should be independent of the United Kingdom has bolstered those campaigning to split the state of Texas from the United States.
“Texas Nationalist Movement president Daniel Miller, who wants the state’s legislature to put the secession question on a statewide ballot, said Scotland’s Sept. 18 referendum is a good sign for his movement.
“‘If Scotland can do it, so can Texas,’ Miller said.
“The top U.S. cattle-and oil-producing state would be the 12th largest economy in the world, larger than Mexico or Spain, said Miller, whose organization has campaigned for secession since the late 1990s.
“Miller said Scotland’s referendum has increased interest in the Texas movement and the fact that a free Texas would lose big federal institutions like NASA and multiple military bases was of no concern to him.
“‘Win or lose, the Scottish referendum is both serving as a source of inspiration and information about what’s happening here in Texas,’ Miller said.”
See the report at:
No matter which way the Scottish vote goes, there is nothing that can ultimately stop the global tidal wave of secession that is now beginning to sweep the world. And I say this is a good thing. Why? Because, the larger the country is, the larger the government is; and the larger the government is, the smaller freedom is. Just look at the most populous states and cities within the United States. What do you see? A mushrooming Police State, that’s what you see. Where are the battle lines for liberty being drawn today? In the more sparsely populated and rural states, that’s where.
Let’s face a cold, stark reality: the U. S. government is TOO BIG to accommodate liberty. At some point, some sort of secession will come to America. It is inevitable. It may or may not happen in my lifetime; but it is inevitable.
As the federal government in Washington, D.C. continues to swell (and it will continue to swell, no matter which major party controls Congress and the White House), the freedoms and liberties of the citizenry will continue to shrink. And at some point, secession will be the only answer for the William Wallaces of this country. Again, it is inevitable.
And for those conservatives and Christians out there who claim to love freedom and, yet, somehow want to hold on to the delusion that we can miraculously recapture the liberties we enjoyed in pre-World War II America by changing Washington, D.C., all I can say is, these good folks are living in a fantasy world. The America that we Baby Boomers grew up in is gone forever. Washington, D.C. is NEVER going to let us go back to that ancient world. NEVER!
The one caveat to what I just said would be if we could see a large number of America’s pastors restore the patriot pulpit and liberty fever to their churches. Even a sizeable minority of liberty churches could change the course of the country. But, again, Washington, D.C. will not relinquish its tyrannical choke-hold on the states without a fight. But pastors and churches still hold the power to help lead the nation to a revival of liberty. No doubt about it.
I’m trying to do what I can to be part of this revival with my Liberty Church Project. Please go to the website at:
Remember what Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed. That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive to these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles and organizing its Powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Do you see that, folks? “Any form of Government.” There is nothing sacred about our form of government. Yes, it served us well for some 170 years or so; but it’s not the form of government that is sacred–it is LIBERTY that is sacred. The form only exists to protect liberty. When the form no longer protects liberty, it is time to “institute new Government.” And that always requires SECESSION. Would the models of 1787 and 1791 serve us well again? You bet they would–along with “new guards” to further protect our liberties from the kind of encroachments we have witnessed for the last almost seventy years.
The myth that Abraham Lincoln saved the Union is just that: a myth. Lincoln did not save the Union; he enslaved the Union. A forced union is not a union. Every problem we are having with Washington, D.C. today has its roots in Abraham Lincoln. EVERY SINGLE PROBLEM!
The southern states had as much right to separate from the Union in 1861 as any battered woman has to separate from an abusive husband. The right of separation is a divine right. If Jehovah God recognizes the right of husbands and wives to separate (and He most certainly does), what makes you think that states (which are mere creatures of–and inferior to–the families created by God) do NOT have the same right? Absurd!
The slavery issue was (and is) a mere smokescreen to obfuscate the truth of what southern independence was truly about. And the pro-unionists today can use any issue they want to try and justify a forced union, but the fact still remains that liberty-minded people maintain the right to “alter or abolish” “any form” of government that no longer secures the rights of the people as much today as they did in 1776.
It is not necessary that the Union be preserved, but it is fundamentally necessary that LIBERTY be preserved. And if, at some point, secession is the vehicle that must be used to preserve liberty, I am 100% for it.
If Scotland leaves Great Britain, the tidal wave of separation will have begun in earnest. Even if the vote for independence fails, the movement has already begun. And for you folks who believe Lincoln was right when he forced the southern states into submission, do you now believe that, should Scotland declare its independence, the British Crown should send troops to Scotland and subdue it by force? And if not, why not? What makes it right for Abraham Lincoln in 1861 and not right for David Cameron in 2014? Furthermore, how can you celebrate America’s Independence Day, because that is exactly what King George III tried to do with our forebears, and we celebrate the day that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and the boys SEPARATED from the Union Flag?
Furthermore, if Scotland does secede, and secede PEACEFULLY, that tells us that it is very possible for secession to take place without violence. In fact, most of the separations that have taken place in Europe recently have been peaceful. If done lawfully, separating states can be fully recognized as independent, sovereign nations and fully integrated into interstate trade and commerce–and can also enjoy the military alliances of neighboring states in much the same way that the U.S. and Canada do now. I doubt that the mood of the American people would tolerate another tyrant like Abraham Lincoln who was willing to sacrifice over 600,000 American lives to force people to stay in a political marriage that they wanted out of. I don’t think that would fly today.
And, while I’m on the topic, I’ll say this: if somehow Texas should declare its independence, it would start a chain reaction in this country that would be unstoppable. Personally, I would be willing to vote for a new “Republic of Columbia” that would encompass the Rocky Mountain states–along with Alaska and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. And, no, we wouldn’t have to worry about the liberals in Seattle and Portland; they would all run to Mother Kalifornia.
What William Wallace started in 1297 is being played out in 2014. For me, I shout with Braveheart: Alba Gu Bràth!
© Chuck Baldwin
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