Duty, Honor, Country
Vol: 68 Issue: 28 Monday, May 28, 2007
According to the liberal left, US forces routinely “torture” prisoners using techniques such as sleep deprivation, extremes of hot and cold (by “extremes” here, we are talking about turning down the air conditioning or turning up the heat) withholding food or water (for short durations, humiliation, and a technique known as ‘water-boarding’.
“Water boarding” causes no physical pain and causes no physical damage. It involves covering someone’s face with a towel and pouring water on it until they get the sense of drowning –and, of course, they DON’T drown.
In essence, what is defined by the Left as ‘torture’ is no worse than what the average Marine Corps recruit was subjected to in America in 1969. Instead of water-boarding, in 1969, we had the gas chamber.
The gas chamber was filled with CS gas, something like the tear gas used on civilians during a riot, but harsher. Recruits were sent in there wearing gas masks. The instructor would pull off a recruit’s mask to teach the recruit how to ‘clear’ it and put it back on.
The purpose for the gas was to induce a state of panic. The purpose for the training was to teach a recruit to respond calmly in a REAL gas attack, despite the panic.
But after each recruit had properly cleared and re-donned his gas mask, we were all ordered to take them off altogether, still in the gas chamber, while standing at attention.
Then, in a sealed room so thick with CS gas that one could scarcely see the drill instructor five feet away, we were required to sing the first two stanzas of the Marine Corps hymn.
After completing the chorus, we were ordered to file out in an orderly manner.
Any former Marine who experienced the gas chamber would laugh at ‘water-boarding.’
During the first three days I was at Parris Island, I was not allowed to sit down, let alone sleep. After three days of standing at attention on the ‘yellow footprints’ or standing at attention in the JRC barracks (in FRONT of perfectly good racks (bunks, for you civilians), we were ‘herded’ like cattle, carrying footlockers and seabags containing almost 100 pounds of gear, across the depot to our barracks.
Throughout recruit training, Marine recruits in 1969 were forced to stand at attention for hours at a time, often punctuated by seemingly impossible bouts of physical exercise. (I recall once being ordered, “bends and ******** [can’t say what WE called them — but they were four-count squat thrusts] one MILLION of them. Ready. . . Begin!”)
We didn’t actually have to do a million of them. What it really meant was that we would PT until the last man dropped.
I went to Parris Island in January. At 0430, it was around eighteen degrees. We would stand outside in the freezing weather at attention, before being marched to the drill circle where we would then run laps equalling three miles.
THEN we would march to the mess hall for breakfast.
By mid-day, the temps in South Carolina would climb into the eighties sometimes, even in winter. Marine recruits would PT for hours in the heat. And there was a particularly nasty punitive exercise called “up and over shoulders” usually reserved for an infraction involving a weapon.
I once dropped my rifle and experienced “up and over shoulders.” The exercise involved raising the rifle over one’s head, bringing it down once in front, and once behind one’s head, over and over, faster and faster, until at last, you’d bring the thing down ON your head, knocking off a few sparks in the process. I nearly knocked myself cold. I had a bump that lasted a week.
I “Googled” ‘torture’ this morning. The first headline read, “UK Army Must Come Clean on Torture.” The second headline was “CIA Torture Program Ensnares Innocents.” There were two stories about actual (non-military) torture by sicko criminals.
It wasn’t until half-way down the page that one came to the story headlined: “al-Qaeda Torture Center Discovered.”
Halfway down the page?
Google displayed the top four hits on the front page. None were from an American newspaper. When one dug deep enough, when one did find an American newspaper story, it was the same AP report, over and over.
Few that I found cared enough to even do their own reporting on it. Most simply ran the wire service story, because it was, well, on the wire services.
The Los Angeles Times had what appeared to be an original report, written by Alexandra Zavis. Since everybody else was simply going by the AP or Reuters story, we’ll focus on the LA Times piece to take a look what al-Qaeda thinks is torture when they are the ones doing the torturing.
Acting on a tip from local residents, U.S. forces in Diyala raided a site in palm groves south of the province’s capital, Baqouba. There, they discovered some forty-two individuals being held by al-Qaeda terrorists.
The LA Times reported: “Some of the captives appeared to be suffering from heat exhaustion. Others gave harrowing accounts of having been hung from the ceiling and tortured, said Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, another military spokesman. Evidence of abuse, including broken limbs, appeared to back up their account.
Some of the captives said they had been held for four months, Garver said. Most were middle-age men, but one said he was 14.”
The AP report gave its first paragraph to the fact that US forces rescued forty-two victims of torture, “some of whom had be hung from ceilings and tortured for months,” it said. But that was ALL it said. The rest of the report was given over to details about US deaths, including a running total for the month.
In essence, while obliquely referencing al-Qaeda’s torture chambers, most of the article was crafted to keep the attention focused on the dangers facing US troops.
(So John Edwards, etc., ad nauseum would have lots of ammunition available for the growing “surrender now” faction of what is becoming the world’s largest supercower.)
I have to wonder. What kind of people are they? What kind of people could argue in favor of giving Iraq to these animals on the grounds that it is ‘not our fight’? When middle-aged men and fourteen year-old boys are tortured for months by al-Qaeda’s professional torturers, WHOSE FIGHT SHOULD IT BE?
A week ago, national news programs were showing video (over and over again) of a 91 year-old man being repeatedly punched in the head by a car-jacker while a half dozen people stood close enough to be captured by the same camera frame. Much was made of the fact that they did nothing to help this poor old man.
After indignantly chastising those cowardly onlookers, the anchors turned their attention back to covering the reasons why America, as a country, should do the same thing in Iraq.
Cowardice is cowardice, whether or not it is six cowards in California or 54 cowards in the US Senate.
Whose fight should it be? If you happen on a rape in progress, should you walk on by on the grounds it isn’t YOUR wife, mother or sister?
If you are Harry Reid, John Edwards, Barak Obama or Hillary Clinton, the answer is evidently ‘yes’.
al-Qaeda doesn’t ‘torture’ its prisoners the way the US ‘tortures’ al-Qaeda detainees (or US Marine recruits.) They use blowtorches, Black and Decker cordless electric drills, knives, ice-picks and Procter-Silex Steam Irons.
They hang their victims by the arms until they come out of their sockets. The use steam irons against bare skin. They drill through kneecaps and elbows and hands, sever limbs, poke out eyes, cut out tongues, or blowtorch unprotected flesh.
What kind of people could advocate averting their eyes and walking quickly away, mumbling something about it not being ‘our fight?’
This isn’t politics. It is humanity. We can stop this. We can’t stop it without cost, but we CAN stop this.
Today is Memorial Day. All weekend, the networks have been running old WWII propaganda movies depicting the brutality of the Nazis and Imperial Japanese, and the heroism of those who fought to end their reign of terror.
We’ve been bombarded by stories of courage from a bygone era, punctuated by news reports from quisling politicians urging America to withdraw and cower within our own borders, allowing these animals free reign in Iraq on the grounds that it is not in our back yard.
And worse, besmirching those few, brave Americans with the courage celebrated by those old war movies as ‘occupiers’ and ‘torturers’.
John Edwards used Memorial Day to tell America that “Congress let America down” by funding our forces in Iraq without attaching a ‘timetable for withdrawal’, in essence, a date certain for surrender.
Said Edwards, “If you disagree with him, you’re unpatriotic. I want to say to George Bush: I am a patriot, and I disagree with you, and we need to be leaving Iraq, and I speak on behalf of most Americans.”
If John Edwards is “a patriot” we need a new definition for the word to replace the existing one. The dictionary defines “patriot” as “one who loves or defends his own country.”
If John Edwards is a patriot, then “patriot” must be redefined as; “one whose self-interest trumps national interests.”
Too harsh? Who attacked and killed 3000 Americans on September 11? Was it, ummm, 19 members of the Swedish Olympic Ski Team? 19 members of the Boy Scouts of America? Or even, 19 members of the Iraqi Revolutionary Guard?
Or was it, 19 members of an international Islamic terrorist franchise under the name of al-Qaeda?
Now, who ran the torture camp southeast of Baghdad raided by US military forces?
Was it members of the Swedish Olympic Ski Team? Members of the Boy Scouts of America? Or even, members of the Iraqi Revolutionary Guard?
Or was it members of al-Qaeda who attacked America on September 11 and have sworn to set up similar camps in America if the chance presented itself?
So, did John Edwards, the ‘patriot’ (or any of the rest of the ‘patriots’ on the Left) risk losing the election to call for the elimination of the threat before it made it to America’s shores?
If John Edwards is the definition of ‘patriot’ then how would the Left define “duty?” The dictionary defines it as: “work that you are obliged to perform for moral or legal reasons.”
Do Americans today have less of a moral obligation to defend Iraqis from al-Qaeda’s torturers than did our grandfathers to defend Europeans from Gestapo torturers or Imperial Japanese torturers in the 1940’s?
What about “honor”? The dictionary defines ‘honor’ as: “the reputation, self-perception or moral identity of an individual or of a group.”
What is America’s reputation in the enemy camp? ” We can conclude that America is a superpower, with enormous military strength and vast economic power, but that all this is built on foundations of straw.” – Osama bin-Laden February, 2003.
If you started suicide attacks you will see the fear of Americans all over the world. Osama Bin Laden, April 2003.
The Americans: These, as you know, are the most cowardly of God’s creatures. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, February 2004.
What about America’s ‘self-perception and moral identity’?
“The United States an ‘occupying force,’ it’s hard for me to say those words.” – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, March 14, 2007.
(But it gets easier every time he repeats them. Practice makes perfect)
“Why would we expect George Bush to level with us about Iraq? He never has.” John Kerry, Sept 14, 2004.
(As with Harry Reid, Kerry’s charges gained resonance with repetition)
ABC/Washington Post Poll 11/02/05: “Bush Intentionally Lied about the Case for War” Yes – 55%
CBS/NYT Poll 12/06/05: Yes 52%
CNN/Gallup Poll 10/30/05: Yes 53%
We already know how Edwards, his co-candidates and the Left define ‘country’. “Country” is Blue State America. Red State America is some other country called “JesusLand.”
“Torture” is what Americans do to al-Qaeda (and US Marine recruits), not what al-Qaeda does to middle-aged men and 14 year-old boys.
(That, evidently, is legitimate resistance to the Nazi-like occupation of American forces of Iraq. Just ask Rosie O’Donnell.)
The Iraqi Kurds have a word for ‘duty’. It is pewana. It means ‘commitment’. The Kurds have a word for honor. It is ar akakan. It means ‘responsibility.’
They have a word for John Edwards, et al, AND those with whom his cynical quisling rhetoric finds resonance on a day like Memorial Day.
Unfortunately, I can’t print it in a G-rated publication.
But there IS a three word definition for what our forces are ACTUALLY doing in Iraq, and on this Memorial Day, I am proud to say it boldly and loudly: Duty, Honor, Country.
May God bless the forces defending freedom in faraway lands and may God grant them victory over the animals who would torture middle-aged men and 14 year old boys.
On behalf of honorable people who WOULDN’T avert their eyes and ignore the beating of an old man, or the walk quickly past the rape of somebody else’s sister, mother or wife, may I again offer my heartfelt thanks on this Memorial Day.