Monday, March 26, 2007

The Language Of A Warrior

Here's something Allahpundit put up at Hot Air today.

I've been criticized from multiple directions for my language and my content. Many of the people who criticize me are people I consider friends and allies. To be honest, it is very painful for me to have become a kind of outcast. I love my friends.
I think this article goes a long way towards explaining my frame of mind.

In his introduction to the published script of Full Metal Jacket, Michael Herr, the author of the Vietnam-era book Dispatches that partially inspired the movie, wrote that director Stanley Kubrick was notorious for not allowing any of his actors to deviate from his shooting script. Kubrick made one prominent exception: Lee Ermey, "the ex-Marine who had been hired as technical advisor, bugged Stanley to test him for the part of Sergeant Hartman, and he brought a lot of his own incredible language in, like Orson Welles in The Third Man."

While Austin Bay is a retired Army colonel and not a Marine D.I., his new pamphlet, Embrace The Suck, also introduces the public to military jargon. It's a pocket-sized dictionary of that same sort of incredible language, updated for the 21st century and the Global War On Terror.
In its introduction, Bay writes, "Priests, prostitutes, psychologists, cops, jazz musicians, poker players, the gang at the beauty shop—every trade has its jargon; every group a lingo or recognition code that separates 'ins from outs' and 'us from them.'"

The Common Currency of Military Slang

Lenny Bruce would certainly approve of much of the language of Bay's pamphlet, which is colorful (and often scatological), to say the least. In a recent interview, Bay told me, "You can say that war is obscene and obscenity is the common currency of military slang from the beginning of the military". As he notes, "The title is right on the edge. It's clearly got an obscene basis to it".

In his four-page introduction to the pamphlet (2007, Pamphleteer Press, LLC) Bay writes, "'Embrace the suck' isn't merely a wisecrack; it's a raw epigram based on encyclopedic experience. Face it, soldier. I've been there. This ain't easy. Now let's deal with it." He adds that the title is "indicative of a lot of military humor—there's a gallows humor aspect and a darkness to it".

No shit, we would engage in gallows humor in the situation we are faced with.

I believe we are in a war for our very lives. On 9/11, I said to my wife, "Life will never be the same. I may decide to join the military." That was a completely unprecendented statement coming from a liberal like me.

The point is, my mindset is that I am in a war. Most of us do not think that way. Most of us think the war is something that is happening "over there," and that it doesn't much threaten us.

I am constitutionally made up to see the way events are unfolding, and from that, to extraplolate where they will lead us.

Am I always right?

Hell no.

In fact, I may be wrong more often than not. But, at the same time, I do think that I have given much consideration to the issues we are faced with. And, I do believe my opinion is worthy.

I believe we are faced with an enemy (Islamofascism) which has convinced a huge percentage of its population of a terrible, evil idea; that Islam must spread itself by means of violent Jihad waged upon all Infidels (or, in other words, all non-Muslims). One can not negotiate with such an enemy. One can not trust that such an enemy will even be deterred by threat of destruction.

I would like nothing more than to be wrong in my conclusions. I feel as if I am walking on the edge of a sharp knife, morally. I feel as if I am being sliced between good and evil. All I can be somewhat certain of is that, if I don't speak up, if I don't express what I believe to be true, I will be partially responsible for horrible events that are to follow.