We see a man living a normal life. He has a wife, a couple of kids. He sees jets crash into towers. Thousands of his countrymen are killed. He steps forward to do his duty. Congressman, one-per centers and generals are delighted, “Someone has to make these bastards pay, better him than me or one of mine”. So off he goes. But, instead of sending him to the place where the evil-doers who did the evil thing were hiding, he is sent to another place on a mission to dismantle WMD’s sure to doom the civilized world. Government intelligence told them the WMD’s were there. Many fight, die, lose limbs and minds but never find them. They learn the hard way that the words “government” and “intelligence” have no business sharing the same sentence.
Along the way our hero loses half of one foot and suffers severe brain injuries. Highly qualified experts examine the man, repair him and declare him ‘good to go’ – half foot and all. But the finely decorated officers and him he can go home to spread the good word about his adventures and recruit more like him. “Like him” being the operative words. Stay away sons, daughters or anyone sharing even a trace of DNA with a member of Congress or a one-per center family. So, he calls his family to report the good news. As he’s packing to be reunited with his loved ones he’s told, ‘no wait’ instead of sending you home, go to the original land of the evil doers.
Soon after arriving in the land of evil-doers he is an eye-witness to his best friend having a leg blown off his body. The next night the man exits the super-secure camp carrying automatic weapons and proceeds to slaughter 16 innocent men, women and children in their sleep. Secretary Piñata (if you hit him hard enough will candy fall out?) and others say, ‘he was stressed because of a domestic situation’, ‘he snapped’ and ‘alcohol may have played a role.’
The inefficient, quota-driven incompetents who declared him ‘ready for another tour’ after having his brain exposed and half his foot removed had nothing to do with it. The ‘domestic situation’ was in no way related to the sudden change in orders diverting him from the LazyBoy recliner in his living room to watching his friend dismembered. The ‘notion’ than a husband and father of two just might reach his breaking point after three tours in Iraq never occurred to anyone. And then… there was the bottle! Yes, he had too much to drink! That’s what did it.
No one’s to blame. Not Secretary Piñata. Not the morons who said the man was ready for combat. Nothing to see here folks, just move along.
The American military was made great not just on the backs of loyal, hard fighting grunts on the ground. Mature, responsible leadership from above played a role too. Today’s military as well as political and business leaders are ‘make-believe’ mature, image-only responsible and far courageous enough to accept any responsibility for their actions. Yet, they demand your son, daughter, brother, sister, father or mother die for them.
Sixteen innocents lay slaughtered. An American family is in ruins. Everyday there’s another story of how a veteran from Iraq or Afghanistan has killed a handful of strangers, murdered their sister or committed suicide. I served our country. I recall the officers and NCO’s who commanded me as being tough, demanding but still human and decent souls. I trusted them. That was almost 40 years ago. Times have changed.
Now, I truly believe there isn’t a single honest, decent human being occupying a position of senior responsibility in our entire government or military. Why? Because, these days, in order to attain such heights it’s necessary to lie, cheat, steal and even kill to get there. Decency, accountability and responsibility are all casualties of our own cultural war. But don’t feel too bad. You can always just blame a bottle for it.