02 November 2005

Secret prisons? So what?

While the (anti?) American press are letting the world in on our covert prison system we can recall that one year ago today Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh had his throat slit by Mohammed Bouyeri.

Now, why do I link the two? Because the secret prison story is supposed, by some, to raise concerns about what kind of people we are becoming in the war on terror. Mohammed Bouyeri is a fellow traveller with the kind of people we are holding. We have not become anything like him. To kill, or merely to hold prisoner--even to torure--does not make us like "them." Why? Because they are the agressors: we would not be doing whatever it is we are doing but for the attempt to get them before they get us. Mohammed Bouyeri knows what kind of war he is fighting; and he knows how his ilk are fighting it. We are still doing better then our enemies: if we fought the way they do, we would just slit the throat of every Arab-looking person and every Muslim we could find. As it is, we still try to discriminate between those who are participants in the war against the West and those who are trying to live at peace with the West.

Those poor people (sniff) in those awful covert prisons (sniff, sniff) are getting better from us than they would extend to us.

The only way to do any fighting is the way Sean Connery put it in "The Untouchables." Remember? It went something like this: He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue.

Or better yet, and a real treat, how about this bit of the "Patton Speech" from the 1970 movie, "Patton" (and based on historical research, by the way):

...When you were kids you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, big league ball player, the toughest boxer. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost and will never lose a war, because the very thought of losing is hateful to Americans....

Now, we have the finest food, equipment, the best spirit, and the best men in the world. You know, by God I, I actually pity those poor bastards we're going up against, by God, I do. We're not just going to shoot the bastards; we're going to cut out their living guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We're going to murder those lousy Hun bastards by the bushel.

The Nazis are the enemy. Wade into them. Spill their blood. Shoot them in the belly. When you put your hand into a bunch of goo that a moment before was your best friend's face, you'll know what to do.

Now there's another thing I want you to remember: I don't want to get any messages saying that we are holding our position. We're not holding anything. Let the Hun do that. We are advancing constantly and we're not interested in holding onto anything except the enemy. We're going to hold onto him by the nose and we're going to kick him in the ass. We're going to kick the hell out of him all the time and we're going to go through him like crap through a goose.

Now, there's one thing that you men will be able to say when you get back home. And you may thank God for it. Thirty years from now when you’re sitting around your fireside with your grandson on your knee, and he asks you: "What did you do in the great World War II?" You won't have to say, "Well, I [wrote excrement for the Washington Post]."

Alright, now you sons-of-bitches, you know how I feel....

That's all.

Pretty much sums it up for me.


Gone for now said...

Resolve, my friend..it is a virtue of honorable gentlemen, and there simply are not enough gentlemen remaining in our society. The system of party politics does not allow for sustained conflict with a united, resolute front. Destroying the opposing party and gaining power at any cost is the primary aim of our modern leaders. All else is sacrificed to that idol.


James Frank Solís said...

Yes, Andy, you're right, of course. Integrity is another missing element, given the inconsistency with respect to CIA leaks. Prosectution is the order of the day with respect to the Valerie Plame affair. Protection is the order when it comes to the covert prisons.


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James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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