Wednesday, November 12, 2003
On the path to peace, stability, and most of all, victory:
The inspiration for today’s blog comes from the 1992 movie “A Few Good Men”. Jack Nicholson received an Academy Award Nomination for his portrayal of Marine Colonel Nathan Jessup. In the now famous “You can’t handle the truth!” scene, Jessup gives a short soliloque explaining the sometimes ugly reality that is security.
In today’s conflict, there is no shortage of those who would criticize the brave men and women whose job it is to provide for the defense of this nation. The means they use, by far the most humane in the history of warfare, are decried as barbaric, inhumane, and unfair.
Would someone please tell me where it is written that war is humane and fair? Patton declared that the object of war is “to make the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.” War is inherently unfair. That being said, the only solution to war is victory. To that end, I quote the fictional Marine Colonel:
"Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg?
I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.
You don't want the truth because, deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall.
We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline.
I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand at post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to."
Those who would criticize the tactics of those involved in fighting have rarely, if ever, taken a weapon to stand a post. They would not put themselves in harm’s way nor do they have the courage to take a principled stand on anything that matters.
War is not pretty. It cannot be sanitized for your protection. Unless you are prepared to wage war in an impossible fashion, put a sock in it. Either that, or get a gun and man a post.
Here endeth the lesson