Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Another Gang of American War Criminals

There's a video of an ugly incident involving American soldiers again. So far it hasn't been in the headlines, but the mainstream media can't be far behind.

Apparently the story goes like this: the American government recruited a gang of thugs and criminals whose assignment was to go on a murderous rampage. The military was even afraid to use regular soldiers for the crime. Assassination was the mission the entire time.

The mission was discovered and several of the American soldiers were killed....but not before they committed the crime which was captured on film.

A group of unsuspecting partygoers, including women and civilians, were locked in a room, and explosives detonated in and around the room, killing all inside. The victims' panic and fear were captured, as well as the offenders making their getaway.

The video of this incident may be available to you.

It's called The Dirty Dozen, starring Lee Marvin.

This movie was made in 1967, and any guy of the proper age will still get choked up describing the scene where Jim Brown runs for the getaway truck, dropping grenades into the vent pipes. You strain each time you see it, hoping that maybe this time.....

The movie was set in World War II, but in the 1960s we still accepted this scene without qualms, even cheering for the guys to get away.

If this scene were to happen today, all the Americans would be accused of war crimes, and probably convicted and punished. Americans don't accept civilian casualties anymore.

But in 1967, we cheered for American soldiers. We cheered for them to win, because that's what Americans did. Nowadays, there is a huge chunk of the American citizenry who want war -- if it's necessary at all -- to be precise, perfect and limited. Mistakes and "collateral damage" are not permissible.

On June 6, 1944, Allied forces endured approximately 9,000 casualties, of which about one-third were fatalities.

From 1940 - 1945, there were over 400,000 U.S. military deaths, and another 700,000 non-mortal wounds.

Looking at these numbers, you don't conclude that everything went according to plan. And while these are military casualties, I haven't seen any investigations into the numbers of civilians that got caught in the crossfire. That number would probably shock all of us.

Of course, "Any man's death diminshes me, for I am of mankind," so I'm not making light of any of the numbers I've mentioned.

But what has happened to American guts and backbone since 1967? Do we understand winning anymore? Do we understand about paying the price?

Are we supposed to be ashamed of Lee Marvin?

1 comment:

TracyT said...

If you make this into a Toastmasters speech, let me know. I'd like to be there for it.