THE ANTI-AMERICAN LEFT IS BORN
For the second time on this blog site I quote Karl Marx's satirical critical witticism of Hegel: "Hegel remarks somewhere that all great, world-historical facts and personages occur, as it were, twice. He has forgotten to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce". Perhaps, like Marx, I too can add a twist to this aphorism. Oscar Wilde said that "life imitates art more than art imitates life". Lets see if I can sew the giraffe's head onto the elephant's body. How about "All great artistic themes in history appear, as it were, twice. First as a tragic representation of profound truth, second as real life absurd farce".
In Francis Ford Coppola's cinematic adaptation of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Apocalypse Now, Captain Willard heads down river in search of an Army operative, Colonel Kurtz, who had gone very much off the reservation. In a paradoxical morality play, Kurtz had become so distraught by the horrors war had rendered, he rebelled by endlessly recommitting those same horrors, but without the false pretense of purpose or meaning. The death and torture machine Kurtz established down river was visible to all who approached, as heads, corpses and skeletons lined the entrance to his encampment. Willard fittingly releases Kurtz from his self inflicted psychic hell by hacking him to death with a hatchet/machete while Jim Morrison sings "this is the end, beautiful friend". Brando/Kurtz memorably leaves this movie-world's stage straining out the whisper "the horror....the horror". Apocalypse Now - Kurtz Dies
I am pretty certain you have already figured out where I am heading, but, hey, lets just get on with it. Apocalypse Now, surely one of the great movies of the last 50 years, definitely caught and reflected the historic change in this country's intelligentsia's values and morals that occurred during the Vietnam war. A new anti-American, anti-military world view was born. Kurtz, who was identified early on by his superiors as a future leader of the military, was the logical final perfect product of this inherently corrupt system. Killing for killings sake. Evil beyond all evil. A giant genius had lost its way.
Even Kurtz himself was aware, at the end, that he was merely and only a deranged product of this system. Willard/Sheen also recognized that he too was a trapped product of the same deranged system. There was simply no way out. He mentally survived his ordeal through self aware emotional detachment. America was lead by senseless killers. They created other senseless killers to seek out and destroy any senseless killers whose crime was to merely create a parallel and equally corrupt system. A nihilistic nightmare was this aptly titled "Apocalypse Now".
THE AMERICAN MILITARY ADAPTS
Sound a bit "hauntingly familiar" yet? According to my "elephant with a giraffe's head" aphorism, this artistic tragedy is now being replayed as a real life farce. While I am tempted to spend the next 1000 words describing the utter hypocrisy of the left during that era, let me just assert the following. Very cogent and legitimate arguments can be made against almost every aspect of Kennedy, LBJ, and Nixon's leadership in the Vietnam War.
Yet their failures and/or misdeeds pale in comparison to the horrors committed by the North Vietnamese in South Vietnam and the Pol Pot led Khmer Rouge in Cambodia upon our ultimate desertion from South East Asia. About this the left has been permanently silent, as they always are when America is not involved. When was the last time the American left had anything bad to say about Hussein, Castro, or Hugo "Scarface" Chavez? The stereotypical military American, as portrayed by the left soon after the Vietnam war, was that of a deranged victim of a power crazed oligarchy or the victimizer themselves. Lt. Calley was the poster boy for John Kerry's infamous "Genghis Khan" congressional testimony.
How did our military react to this truly degrading attack by our home grown left? It reacted by becoming a stunningly entrepreneurial and flexible institution. Rather than fight the tape of public perception it learned and it adapted. It not only adapted, but it massively improved its ability to fulfill its one and only mission: to prevent, fight and win wars. It accomplished this feat while also virtually leading the social changes occurring in the broader society. It eliminated the draft; it was and is the most color and gender blind institution in America. It has no interest in knowing its soldiers sexual preferences. And it has managed to become the most respected of American institutions. Not a bad turn around. If the military were a stock, there would be no recession.
THE FOUR DONKEYS OF THE APOCALYPSE
And then came Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Pat Leahy and Eric Holder. They are still hunting for Colonel Kurtz even as they promised to hunt for Osama bin Laden. They obsessively need to replay the Captain Willard trip "down river". Oh, I know. They are not going after the military per se. They already did that throughout the entire Iraq war. The left already got their demands met when they put on trial a 20 year old female soldier at Abu Ghraib who "tortured" the enemy by looking at them naked. This time it is the CIA the left is going after, which, technically, is not one of the branches of the the military. However, this time the "left" includes the president, the secretary of state, and the attorney general.
But instead of Kurtz's hanging heads and skeletons we have doctor supervised "water boarding". Let me state this right up front. I am in favor not only of water boarding but real torture if the situation requires it. The procedures put in place by Bush and his CIA reflect a pragmatic, moral and civilized approach to a dangerous enemy. And if, under those same sets of approvals and procedures, more than water boarding is required, then thats the way it goes.
But the military/CIA is a hell of a lot smarter than me. They figured out a way to trick their captives into thinking that perhaps body parts were going to be cut off; when in fact they were not exposed to any real physical danger. I also emphatically state that if people got paid as much as football, baseball, basketball and hockey players to be water boarded, instead of "soccer moms" we would have a country full of "water boarding" moms. Water boarding works because the prisoner does not know the end game. If an athlete knew the end game was never going to be death, they could be mentally and physically trained to become elite "water boarders". Anything that Christopher Hitchens can do once, elite athletes can be trained to do 200 times.
Does this really have to be explained to our leaders? Water boarding is psychological deception. But it only works when the end game is not known. Yet our 4 donkeys of the apocalypse seem hell bent on making someone pay for a successfully prosecuted war; even if they have to pretend to believe water boarding is torture. I am also very sure that these 4 are hypocritical cowards. Let us hypothesize the following.
Lets pretend one of our 4 heroes is in a room. A guy comes in with a shotgun and ties up that person, mistakenly leaving the victim's right hand free next to a security alarm. The terrorist sets the timer to the shot gun, which is also attached to the security alarm, with an easy to read clock as it begins to tick backward to zero from 60 seconds. The criminal informs the heroic one he has a partner in the next building who is coordinating an anthrax attack on the local neighborhood. The criminal knows it will take 60 seconds to get out of the building before the shotgun blast goes off (lets not get too caught up in my thriller writing abilities--"24" won't be calling soon). The criminal also knows our heroic moralist is vehemently against water boarding. Our intrepid politician knows that if he presses the button, the timer will stop and a security detail will arrive to that location next door. The protocol for the security detail when it arrives is to make a threat assessment and, if warranted, can submit the captured criminal to water boarding.
The only difference between the above scenario and real life, is that the politician has to give up his own life too, not just those of others, to live by his "moral principles". What percent of the people in this country who are against water boarding would press that button? Your guess is as good as mine. But if we control for those who are suicidal my guess is approximately 100%. I don't need to also provide an example if it was a member of that person's family. What gives these people the right to play politics or to morally preen at the expense of American lives?
I feel like I am jumping through hoops to state the obvious. Obama feels more comfortable with Mafioso like Chavez and Castro than he does with his own CIA. He tells these criminals in Latin America they are equal partners with the United States and then comes home to initiate criminal proceedings against people 10 times smarter and more courageous than him. These are citizens who figured out how to scare homicidal maniacs into confession by forcing them to do something Christopher Hitchens did voluntarily.
Our enemies bomb restaurants, shopping malls and night clubs, shoot their own citizens in soccer stadiums, behead Americans on the internet, fly planes into buildings, imprison or shoot their citizens who speak out against the government, threaten to vaporize Israel off the planet and who knows what else. Yet we have these 4 pompous freaks wanting to criminalize sticking a guy's head under water in a bathtub?
It no longer matters to me what their motivations are. I could care less about their "political base", their Bush hatred, their supposed idealism or any other self evident garbage of that nature. What matters to me is what they do and its impact. Their fake moralism is of no interest to me. These people are anti-American regardless of intent. They will keep on hunting for Kurtz until America no longer exists. These people need to be voted out as soon as possible. Next date is November 2010. Keep alert. We can get rid of them.