Monday, September 20, 2004

Note to John Kerry

Stop alienating our allies. I'm not referring to the two countries who call themselves "Europe", fancy themselves to be "the world", and pass the days dreaming of ways to engineer American embarassment and failure without having to do anything. I'm talking about the people who choose to stand alongside us, or at the very least do not choose to actively undermine us. It's not a very nuanced definition of 'ally', but it's one that works.

For decades now, the reward you've reserved for anyone showing fidelity to our country is your expectoration. Is there no one whose conduct could be so loyal or noble as to evade your scorn? Or is it such conduct which draws your deprication? What else can you imagine you're doing when you dismiss as nonexistant every ally who has helped us in Iraq, is still helping us in Iraq, when you insist that we chose to "go it alone" in Iraq? You're throwing away international goodwill as if it were medals ribbons.

Every time you insist that we chose to "go it alone", you dismiss thousands of allied soldiers serving honorably in Iraq. With that casual omission, you odiously -- and repeatedly -- cast off dozens who have died in service to their countries, representing them as our allies. Even Tonga, whose contribution of 45 good troops is (as calculated by Mark Steyn) proportionally equal to a contribution of 13,500 from Canada, becomes non-existant with a wave of your haughty hand. Exactly how did you come to be so worthy of waving it? And at whom do you think you wave it?

When it came time to reup it's commitment of 360 troops, El Salvador raised it to 380. They're not just sending whatever dregs of the barracks they'll be pleased to be rid of for a while either - have a look at the people whose existance you won't deign to acknowledge.

One of his friends was dead, 12 others lay wounded and the four soldiers still left standing were surrounded and out of ammunition. So Salvadoran Cpl. Samuel Toloza said a prayer, whipped out his switchblade knife and charged the Iraqi gunmen.

In one of the few known instances of hand-to-hand combat in the Iraq conflict, Toloza stabbed several attackers who were swarming around a comrade. The stunned assailants backed away momentarily, just as a relief column came to the Salvadorans' rescue.

"We never considered surrender. I was trained to fight until the end," said the 25-year-old Toloza, one of 380 El Salvador soldiers whose heroism is being cited just as criticism is leveled against other members of the multinational force in Iraq.
"My immediate reaction was that I had to defend my friend, and the only thing I had in my hands was a knife," Cpl. Toloza said.

This may be unfamiliar to you. In case you've been curious for the last 30-some years what a couple of the words describing the medals you cited yourself for mean -- 'gallantry', 'valor' -- now you know. I'll wager Cpl. Toloza didn't wind up in Iraq because he was refused another deferment.

"We didn't come here to fire a single shot. Our rifles were just part of our equipment and uniforms. But we were prepared to repel an attack," said Col. Hugo Omar Orellana Calidonio, a 27-year army veteran who commands the Cuscatlan Battalion.

"Our country came out of a similar situation as in Iraq 12 years ago, so people in El Salvador can understand what is happening here," said Calidonio, referring to a civil war between the U.S.-backed government and leftist guerrillas that left some 75,000 dead. The military was held responsible for widespread abuses.

"We came here to help and we were helping. Our relationship with the people was excellent. They were happy with what we were doing," Calidonio says.

These are allies; regardless of the onerous task and times -- or perhaps even because of them -- they're there helping both us and the Iraqi people, and doing so with pride. How did you become posessed of the notion that you might be large enough to diminish such men at a whim? I believe Cpl. Toloza is due an apology. I'm looking squarely at you.

OUTNUMBERED British soldiers killed 35 Iraqi attackers in the Army’s first bayonet charge since the Falklands War 22 years ago. The fearless Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders stormed rebel positions after being ambushed and pinned down.

Despite being outnumbered five to one, they suffered only three minor wounds in the hand-to-hand fighting near the city of Amara. The battle erupted after Land Rovers carrying 20 Argylls came under attack on a highway.After radioing for back-up, they fixed bayonets and charged at 100 rebels using tactics learned in drills. When the fighting ended bodies lay all over the highway — and more were floating in a nearby river. Nine rebels were captured.

An Army spokesman said: “This was an intense engagement.” The last bayonet charge was by the Scots Guards and the Paras against Argentinian positions. (Source)

And the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders aren't even there in your version of the world - we're "going it alone". I'm sick of watching you shun or denigrate the honor of your betters, John, and there are far more of them than you seem to think. These men deserve better, even from a self-professed war criminal. All of our allies deserve better - stop spitting on them.


Blogger Babbling Brooks said...

This post is brilliant. And so I am riding your coattails.

By the way, I'm extremely proud of my self-restraint in this instance. You'll notice I refrained from any and all Buffalo jokes in referencing your work. Not even a shot at the pathetic Bills. ;)

5:49 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

B, we're from Buffalo. We know we're from Buffalo. If you won't even bend to the effort of making a wisecrack about it, we take that as an insult!

6:30 PM  
Blogger Babbling Brooks said...

OK, if yer gonna be like THAT about it...

I think the Sabres are going to have a better 04/05 season than the Bills. And that's only because the Sabres won't be playing.

There, ya happy?

11:50 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Better, thanks. ;)

What do the Blue Jays, Sabres, and Bills have in common?
None of them can play football.

4:14 PM  

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