"But war, in a good cause, is not the greatest evil which a nation can suffer. War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice – a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice – is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other."

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Phony troops and "The Kingdom"

So Rush Limbaugh has been catching a little flak from some of Congress' most upstanding members about a comment he made concerning "phony troops" i.e. men who've done other than honorable service in uniform, and are lying about their experiences either to cheat the government of unearned benefits or defame our deployed forces and discredit the mission upon which they're engaged. By subjecting his comments to the magical abacus of congressional politics, leading Democrats have equated his statements with slandering any serviceman who disagrees with him and submitted a resolution to the floor seeking to condemn him. Only in a political climate this perverse could men like Harry Reid "refuse to let this pass" and seek the destruction of an individual who has provided not only rhetorical but substantial material support to our men and women in uniform. Once Reid is finished dancing this version of the Potamac two-step, perhaps some courageous senator will submit a resolution like this one. Harry, Nancy, Hillary, Barack: those in uniform know who supports the troops with their heart and who doesn't. You're not fooling anyone.

On a happier note, I've been on leave for the last few days and have had the chance to see a couple of good movies. I saw The Bourne Ultimatum today, which, like all Bourne flicks, nicely combines action and espionage (though I've noticed that, while he's got the "action" part down, I don't know if he quite qualifies for the "hero" label, since technically he never fights traditional bad guys. Unless one is willing to condemn the entire intelligence community as "bad guys"). And last night, I saw The Kingdom, a gut-wrenching contemporary thriller based in Saudi Arabia. It was part Die Hard, part CSI, part 24, and all good. It starts with a heart-stopping terrorist attack on a softball game of American oil workers and their families and ends with a brutal urban fire-fight, and is absolutely captivating in between. Of course, two hours is hardly enough time to capture the intricacies of Saudi-American relations, but the screenplay throws in enough subtle points to show that the writer and director have done at least a little homework. The ending is truly sobering and hardly triumphalist. This may well be the best movie of the summer season.

1 comment:

Ammianus Marcellinus said...

Wait, somehow it is okay to go after moveon.org but not Rush Limbaugh? Please explain that to me.