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The Lesson of The African Queen
Special to FreeRepublic ^ | 5 July 2006 | John Armor (Congressman Billybob)

Posted on 07/05/2006 3:44:04 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob

I watched The African Queen, again this week. That classic movie, starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn, offered a clear explanation of several current news events this week.

What is the lesson of The African Queen? It is this: Understand your circumstances, and set your goal based on that. In that movie, the goal was to sink the German warship, The Louisa. And that goal dictated the tactics which had to be taken, regardless of danger or odds against them, to reach that goal.

As a reminder of that fine movie, the tactics were for Charlie Allnut and Rose Sayers to go down the Ulanga River, survive the German guns at Fort Shona, survive the rapids on the river, build torpedoes, mount them in the bow of the Queen with manufactured fuses, and sink The Louisa. (That movie contains one of the all-time best bits of dialog: “I now pronounce you man and wife. Let the executions proceed.”)

Apply that analysis to the Supreme Court decision in the Hamdan case. The goal of five Justices of the Court was to strike a blow against the legal prosecution of the war by the Bush Administration. The tactics were to ignore the Constitution, ignore laws passed by Congress beginning in 1789, and ignore two prior cases of the Court itself, in order to achieve the objective.

Note that I did not say that following the lesson of the Queen is always objectively good. It was not in this instance, nor in the next one. That is the blowback from the New York Times publishing on page one above the fold details of a classified program to track terrorist money through the Belgian clearing house for about 98% of all international interbank clearances.

What was the goal here? It was to attack the Bush Administration. The tactic was to blow the cover of a classified program which was legal (all information was obtained based on warrants presented to SWIFT, the clearing house), and was effective. The article even recited some of the successes of the program, in identifying terrorists in a variety of countries.

The after-the-fact excuse the Times offered, that “everybody knew about it, so no harm was done,” is belied by the article itself. If this were true, why did the program have any successes? The top-level terrorists who handle millions of dollars would have to be dumber’n dirt to run their money through international banks, and therefore through SWIFT, if they already knew about this program. The top-level terrorists may be vicious, subhuman barbarians. But no one has suggested that they are dumber’n dirt. Apparently, it is not a job requirement for the Editor in Chief of the New York Times that he actually read the articles in his own newspaper.

But, I didn’t come to talk about either the Supreme Court or the New York Times. I came to talk about North Korea. What is the goal there? It is to end, permanently, the threat of North Korea with its nuclear and missile programs to its neighbors and to the whole world. That can only be accomplished by changing the regime there. There is no other real solution.

As former Assistant Secretary of State, Lawrence Eagleburger, said on TV this afternoon, the so-called diplomatic efforts are only “an elaborate Kabuki dance, in which they get something and we get nothing.” He’s right.

So was General Douglas MacArthur, who was removed by President Truman as Commander in the Korean War, because MacArthur thought in terms of “winning the war.” We didn’t win that war, and the consequences are that North Korea remains a threat today, just as it was when the truce – not a Treaty of Surrender – was established half a century ago.

What is the purpose of any war, at any time in human history? It is either to destroy the regime which began the particular war, or to change the future behavior of that regime.

All this prattling about an “exit plan” or a “plan for the war” only demonstrates that the people who make such comments are ignorant of the history of American wars. No war has a schedule, because the collapse of an enemy cannot be predicted. World War II in the Pacific, for instance, would have continued for up to another year, with more than a million more casualties, absent the use of two atomic bombs to force the Japanese to surrender.

Here is the “exit plan” for every war the United States has ever conducted to a successful outcome: Win the war. Clean up the resulting mess. Bring the troops home.

The same applies to the Korean War – which is still legally in effect – even though the guns have been silent for half a century.

That war spans my memory. I learned to read grown-up publications by putting the Baltimore Sun on the floor, and puzzling through the big words in that newspaper. On the upper left of every front page was a map of Korea, displaying the current battle lines.

In short, the only solution to the North Korean situation is to finish the Korean War. Though, as I wrote more than a year ago, the cleanest, least bloody way to do that is with bribery. Offer all NK Generals a million dollars each in Swiss bank accounts and amnesty for whatever they have done recently, if they turn on Kim Jong-Il, throw him out of office, and allow the reunification of the Korean peninsula under the South Korean government.

It is time for us to finish what we deliberately, and wrongly, left undone fifty years ago. (Am I the only person who has noticed that the official portraits of Kim Jong-Il look like Al Sharpton, but with a better hairdo?)

- 30 -

About the Author: John Armor is a lawyer specializing in constitutional law, who may again be a candidate for Congress in the 11th District of North Carolina.

- 30 -


TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events; Philosophy; US: North Carolina; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: africanqueen; bogart; douglasmacarthur; exitplan; hamdancase; hepburn; kabukidance; koreanwar; lawrenceeagleburger; lessons; northkorea; nytimes; supremecourt; terroristmoney
I think y'all will find this of interest.

John / Billybob

1 posted on 07/05/2006 3:44:08 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob
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To: Congressman Billybob

I have "The African Queen" on DVD and find the analogy mentioned apt.


2 posted on 07/05/2006 3:47:54 PM PDT by BipolarBob (Yes I backed over the vampire, but I swear I looked in my rearview mirror.)
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To: Congressman Billybob

excellent comparison...


3 posted on 07/05/2006 3:50:57 PM PDT by RobFromGa
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To: Congressman Billybob

Thanks, Congressman BillyBob.

Festering wounds need to be cleansed and thoroughly aired so they can heal. Time to Pop North Korea and lance the boil, Aye Aye , Sir!

PS .. If Hillary gets the nod in 2008, I look forward to a CBB 'Creature from the Black Lagoon' offering as well, assuming Obama is the Veep on the dem ticket. ;-)


4 posted on 07/05/2006 3:59:03 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi --- Help the "Pendleton 8' and families -- http://www.freerepublic.com/~normsrevenge/)
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To: Congressman Billybob

(in best whiny, preachy voice) "Can you build a torpedo Mr. Allnut? Then do so Mr. Allnut"

One of the best movies of all time


5 posted on 07/05/2006 4:07:18 PM PDT by notdownwidems (Shellback, pollywogs! 1980)
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To: Congressman Billybob
Lessons of the African Queen:

1) Never pick up a New England snob and offer her a boat ride
2) Unless shes a mechanic or has a boat to replace yours, any idea she has about using your boat as a makeshift torpedo should be disreguarded.
3) Always carry extra salt to get rid of leeches.

6 posted on 07/05/2006 4:15:22 PM PDT by Bommer (Attention illegals: Why don't you do the jobs we can't do? Like fix your own countries problems!)
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To: Bommer

4) Keep that crazy woman away from your gin.


7 posted on 07/05/2006 4:30:38 PM PDT by wireman
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To: Congressman Billybob
About 35 yrs ago, I worked in a theater that showed "The African Queen" for several months. I saw/heard the movie >200x. The script is, of course, memorized. Quotes from AQ are useful in all sorts of situations, e.g.,

[Rose] "Who could imagine that an experience of the flesh could be so stimulating?"

BTW, it's Sayer and Königin Luise.

8 posted on 07/05/2006 4:30:48 PM PDT by Peelod (Decentia est fragilis. Curatoribus validis indiget.)
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To: Peelod

I was driving on I-95 in Northern Miami many years ago and was next to a truck towing a boat. The boat looked pretty old and vaguely familiar: it was the actual "African Queen" used in the movie! Haven't a clue how it got to Miami.


9 posted on 07/05/2006 4:38:37 PM PDT by chilepepper (The map is not the territory -- Alfred Korzybski)
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To: Congressman Billybob
I watched Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939) for the first time over the weekend. I must say, not much has changed in 60 years (except for the line about getting 96 men to agree with you). Certainly, the press hasn't changed much from that movie.

-PJ

10 posted on 07/05/2006 4:42:56 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too (It's still not safe to vote Democrat.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
I love the movie, CB. Two of the best actors from the Golden Age.

BTW, I was in your neck of the woods recently. Had some great BBQ in a little place in Dillsboro. Yum!

11 posted on 07/05/2006 4:49:46 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: Congressman Billybob

I'm looking forward to being able to call you "The Honorable Bob."


12 posted on 07/05/2006 5:07:55 PM PDT by NicknamedBob (I never submit to IQ tests. That way, I can honestly say that my IQ can not be measured.)
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To: Congressman Billybob

"So was General Douglas MacArthur, who was removed by President Truman as Commander in the Korean War, because MacArthur thought in terms of “winning the war.” "

No he was removed because aside from his insubordination and disregard of direct orders, he made several tactical blunders which cost many thousands of American and allied lives.


13 posted on 07/05/2006 6:48:05 PM PDT by Dave Elias
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To: chilepepper
There are seven African Queens that I know of. For the movie they created six duplicates of the original in steel, with molded sides to look like they were made of overlapping boards. Twenty years ago, I made a special trip to the Washington Boat Show to go aboard one of these African Queens.

John / Billybob
14 posted on 07/05/2006 7:30:29 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (http://www.ArmorforCongress.com)
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To: colorado tanker
You were a half hour away. I encourage Freepers to visit for Bourbon and branch on the porch.

John / Billybob
15 posted on 07/05/2006 7:33:53 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (http://www.ArmorforCongress.com)
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To: Peelod
Thank you. I didn't have access to that.

John / Billybob
16 posted on 07/05/2006 7:35:28 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (http://www.ArmorforCongress.com)
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To: Congressman Billybob

John-

What brand of bourbon do you like? I won't come empty handed.

I would enjoy very much chatting with you.


17 posted on 07/06/2006 4:08:50 AM PDT by Peelod (Decentia est fragilis. Curatoribus validis indiget.)
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To: Peelod
I'm a Scotch drinker, myself. If you're driving a truck, you'll never make it up my half-mile gravel driveway. (You might be a redneck if the directions to your house include the phrase, "When you turn off the paved road....") Call me in advance, and I'll meet you in town and fetch you up to the top of the mountain.

I'm in the book in Highlands, NC.

Cheers,

John / Billybob
18 posted on 07/06/2006 4:55:22 AM PDT by Congressman Billybob (http://www.ArmorforCongress.com)
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To: Congressman Billybob

Nice post........


19 posted on 07/06/2006 8:35:07 AM PDT by Osage Orange (It's an easy game...this business of making money.)
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To: Peelod
The major publication of my column will be on ChronWatch.com, later today. Both of your corrections have been made in that version. Thank you very much.

John / Billybob
20 posted on 07/06/2006 9:17:31 AM PDT by Congressman Billybob (http://www.ArmorforCongress.com)
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To: Congressman Billybob

Excellent evaluation of the situation.


21 posted on 07/06/2006 9:36:19 PM PDT by OKIEDOC (Speak Softly and Carry A Big Stick)
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To: Congressman Billybob

Wes Pruden called Kim Jong-Il Howdy Doody in a leisure suit.


22 posted on 07/07/2006 4:46:06 PM PDT by Carolinamom
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