Skip to comments.One if by land...
Posted on 12/06/2008 11:53:15 AM PST by pickrell
In the early and mid 1770's, we suffered from a dearth of heroes. None were bullet-proof, embued with special powers and devoid of character flaws. None were without families and relatives to be held hostage, none would have been welcomed at the gay parties of the nobles of Europe, where family and title reigned supreme. No, that solitary shiny figure did not ride in from the countryside to slay the oppressive dragon of Distant England.
I've come to the conclusion that that was our secret weapon. When rebellions of the distant and recent past were "won," the Generallissimo or Mega-madman who brought off the coup was unobstructed when he invariably seized the throne. As such, there were no real revolutions at all, merely presses on the remote control to change the channels.
But when 32,000 British Troops sailed to put down the rebellion in the American Colonies, they were faced by less than 12,000 of the most unmilitary farmers, craftsman and commoners who ever brought a furious red face to a drill sergeant. Sadly, many of the impromptu Colonial "officers" suffered under the British notion that an officer's commission was something to be bought and then exploited. It seemed then, that 32,000 of the best equipped, finest-dressed and most exquisitely drilled and trained troops, serving for several pennies per day, were about to surround a third of that number... of undisciplined rabble who were merely fighting for their homes, their lives, and their children's future.
It was going to be an embarrassing butt-kicking, but I have to say the Brits brought it on themselves.
If we had been lucky enough to be able to leave the messy work of rebellion to the single-handed resolution of The Hero, and once all the tedious slaying business was then over, we had then simply replaced George III with His (newest) Colonial Majesty King Arnold Pectoral, no one would have noticed the difference.
You see- no cause would have existed to rethink those political "realities" that everyone had always accepted. (Sadly there were many who readied a coronation for the "other" George, who headed the Continental army. Fortunately, though, Washington was to allow none of that, for whatever reasons in his most secret thoughts. This was where greatness emerged.)
I wonder how many of today's citizens realize just how this came to be? Are they taught that, except for a few "far-right-wing-extremists", the rebels were not fighting to divest themselves of British citizenship... but rather instead- to win it! That they had repeatedly petitioned George the Third back in England to remove the assaults upon their rights as Englishmen. That it would only have required the King to acknowledge that they were not assets to be stripped, or fields to be harvested, but rather full citizens to be treated with the same dignity as Londoners, for them to return, possibly forever, to the fealty of the Crown. That until with bitter resignation their hand was finally forced, the outcome could have been quite different.
And yet the arrogance of the Parliament and the King would have none of that. When complaints were heard and resistance felt, the knee-jerk reaction was to summarily declare them in rebellion and put them down. There is a sense in most of the early colonial declarations... of profound regret. And a clear-eyed understanding that once they were well out from under their fealty to England, they would also find their commerce out from under the protection of the most powerful navy in the world, His Majesty's Fleet. They knew that the British, the French and the Barbary Pirates would extract humiliations and tribute- yes the stark ransom payments("...millions for tribute but not enough pennies for defense...")- from an newly emergent and powerless United States. Worse was even to come when American citizen-sailors were regularly removed from our ships, stopped at sea by British and French warships, and "pressed"- read kidnapped-, into the British Navy. And yes, we were powerless to do anything about it.
At least then.
Just until the wrongs and depredations finally forced a terrible resolve to arise to spend the hundreds of thousands for defense, and build a blue-water navy. Just until the last holdouts realized that "Setting a new tone in the Atlantic" was a fool's agenda. That those who are weak and concilatory will assure there will always be increasingly more to become concilatory and weak about. Just until finally we built the ships and trained the Stephen Decaturs to man them, and turned them loose upon the Islamic pirates of the Barbary Coasts, smashing them into cowering submission. No lawyers covered that war. No Journalists covered that war. Yet even then there were fits and starts which hamstrung those who knew what needed to be done. And even that war was protracted years past where it might have ended, had all notions of tribute been forever rejected by our politicians.
Strangely, after the Barbary wars, the other great sea powers decided to leave our shipping alone. For it was that all of the other great seafaring powers had been paying tribute- in cash, weapons and even warships- to the same Islamic pirates for decades. Their astonishment that the United States, acting as, well- let's be frank about this- unilateral cowboys threatening to stir up the entire Ottoman Islamic empire by actually attacking those pirates, both at sea and in their ports- left jaws dropping all over Europe. After all our attacks would create more Islamic pirates than they ever killed. At least that was the notion in Paris. For a period of time until the outcome was known, our reputation among the rest of the world was at a low point not to be reached again until 200 years later, (in the next Islamic raids.)
The only way for Adams, then Jefferson and finally Monroe to be redeemed in the world's eyes, would be for this outrageous interference into the internal affairs of the Tripoli and other Barbarian governments to be ended and suitable crushing reparations paid by the offending Americans, for the peaceful pirate ships that were being destroyed.
When these ridiculous Americans refused to pay and then smashed the Pirate fleets with their little emerging navy, it became surreal. The combined great European powers had previously repeatedly failed to best these pirates and eventually resigned themselves to paying ramsom, both in tribute and for sailors overwhelmed anyway in spite of tribute payments. And these payments were in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
What the powerful don't often understand is that their power comes from the acceptance of conditions as they are. That if they push far enough, and stupidly enough, that any final hesitancy on the part of those once tolerant to them will finally dissolve. That by their disdain for the ideas and aspirations of those whom they take for granted, they forfeit the support and the income stream from those same "embarrassing, lower-station dolts" whom they must tolerate with a sigh. History is crammed with those who confused patience and perseverance on the parts of increasingly angry and disillusioned citizens... with impotence. After their downfall, they usually rent an apartment in Paris and join the throngs of other "formerly important persons," writing unread books about the unfairness of it all.
Nine score and 9 years later, the bruised remnants of the Republican Party are told by the same sort of "realists" that all of our recent reverses are caused, not by pushing down and stripping the conservatives of their voices and aspirations, but simply because they haven't pushed them down and stripped them far enough yet! That the decoder rings for entrance into the agenda-setting chambers of the GOP now have a new combination and that dogs and conservatives are no longer welcome.
We are told that the liberal policies which produced havoc in our financial markets obviously aren't liberal enough. We are told that we must abandon the strategies of the war on terror which have kept the country safe for seven years, and instead allow Al Quaida to escape the politically disastrous trap for them in Iraq, and allow them to return to a planned diaspora of terrorists to all corners of the world to face only ill-equipped and untrained policemen, and baby-blue helmeted U.N. pre-hostages, instead of facing serious Marines in Iraq.
Also that apparently not enough money is being billed to tomorrow's children, and not enough sovereignty has yet been conceded. That since it has been getting colder during the last ten years, that we need to pay Global Warming money- tribute- to hire all the new U.N. Icebreaker Ships necessary to clear the frozen shipping lanes.
And astonishingly, these things are being openly spoken not only by the Democrats, but also but those Republicans desparate to mortgage tomorrow in order to assure re-election today.
Worked out pretty well this election, didn't it?
And now as we lay on the fire-swept beach much like at Tarawa or at Normandy, no Hero will emerge to smite the enemy for us. It is going to take individuals, who would rather find a Hero to follow, to instead become their own leaders. It will take wading into the enemy fire and watching as a brutal number of us pay a heavy price.
But most importantly, it will take a recognition of just what stupid leadership forced us to attack where the enemy is the strongest and most prepared, and simply assumed that the losses were necessary... just as long as they didn't extend to claim too many of the senior officers.
Well, we are on that fire swept beach, now, strafed by the machine-gun tactics of a concrete-bunkered, emplaced media. And we are being told that any consevative who dares raise his head now will suffer terrible retribution. And we are hearing much of it... from behind us....
As has often been asked- has the time finally come to establish a Conservative Party which does not approach Regimental Headquarters of the GOP with helmet humbly in had, to be sternly lectured to and assigned the honors of perpetual latrine duty, instead of staff intelligence?
When is it time, then, to finally declare:
"............ When, in the course of political events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to raise up among the responsible electorate of the United States, a separate Party and a separate set of beliefs, upon which the future of the Nation may be assured instead of being rent asunder, a decent respect to the tradions of the Nation requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. When the leaders of a political party so abandon the responsibility to the future generations of this nation, in a depraved submission to the absolute tyranny of a monolythic and Eurocentric Press, then the change cannot be derided as owing to light and transient causes.
The duty of any party is to advance the interests and protect the rights of those who support that party. That party must demonstrate the strength to stand against those policies which may seemed desirable in the present, yet which loot and usurp the liberties, wealth and protections of those who are yet unborn. Just as those in decades and centuries past spent so many pains to construct a form of society and a form of government which would insure the present protections and liberties of the citizenry, so too were they anxious about the protections of future and distant generations which could be lost due to the incaution and ignorance of the citizenry.
We have endured with patient suffrance, leaders more attuned to their personal fortunes and advances than to the duties of their offices.
When it becomes evident that the views of American Conservatives are no longer welcome, and no longer carry any weight, in the strategies and objectives of the Republican Party, then only a foolish nostalgia shall prevent those Conservatives from throwing off such a party, and establishing a new Party to advance and protect those liberties won at such a cost by our ancestors...."
The thinking seems to be that we await that leader, the Hero, who shall raise a lamp and show the way. Yet this seems merely a way to avoid our debts to those who raised their own lamps at such potential cost in the past. They often didn't have the luxury of waiting to be led.
Even worse, having watched many who paid lip service to conservative principles, merely to use that to feather their own nests and beat their own drums, many now say that anyone who raises a lamp must have his own motives. And those who braved the fire on Omaha and Tarawa were also just looking to survive the day. Such cyncism is easy... from those who hold forth so... in the comfort and safety of their own homes.
For the record, George Washington was denied a commission in the British Army. John Adams as a short, rotund, pie-faced country lawyer would have found no fame other than in the American revolution. Nearly everyone who participated in the greatest advancement in human rights ever to sweep the planet was looking to his own interests. They were what we refer to technically as- humans. But they were also looking to their children's interests, and to every grandchild's interests. And so they were technically what we also refer to as- Heroes.
Just because a man plants acres of fruit trees against that awful day when drought hits the grain farms and famine stalks the land- doesn't make him less the hero when he drives his excess produce through terrible dangers to sell it in a hunger-ravaged town. Yet there are those who would sneer at his aceptance of money for his fruit. But they sneer from their public-funded, tenured offices at the University. They never seem to donate all of their salaries to buy fruit for the townspeople. Strange.
He needs to raise that lantern. He needs to run that risk of being excoriated and beaten for being a profiteer- by selling that fruit for enough profit to insure that his children can also plant vegetable farms against the time of the fruit blights.
Everyone who works, plants, and builds against the day that his work or production is desparately needed, needs to raise his own lantern, and declare that we shouldn't blindly eat the seed-corn, and indebt our children into economic bondage through protections of those industries, unions, and workers who had always felt themselves entitled to earn more than everyone else, and to be free of the risks of hardwaship that should only apply... to everyone else.
Lanterns need to be raised to insure that no child in our country, as yet unborn, shall ever be forced to kneel to Mecca or anywhere else that he or she may suffer. Yet also no child may be prevented from kneeling to the being they acknowledge as Supreme. The freedom of religion was never designed to be a freedom from religion, just as the right to pursuit of happiness was never designed to be a freedom from the troubling sight of others achieving happiness.
All of these simple ideas. All of these once understood and treasured. All once defended, and thought inviolate- yet are all now being threatened.
Raise a lantern, smash a pirate, and plant an orchard. Tomorrow will come.
And conservatives will be needed to teach again.
I need to go buy more ammo today after reading this, who knows maybe a local militia will be calling for recruits to defend the Constitution.
No sarcasm tag here folks.
Defend from enemies within.
How? They hold all the cards.
I missed and left in 3 bloody typos! I should have re-read it again! Fix them if you get a chance.