Friday, September 19, 2014

Burned head to foot an American soldier desperately clings to life

The Face of War


Fine, But First Try To Answer These Questions 

How does it feel to be cut in half 
_____ by a sudden burst of machine gun bullets?

What does it feel like at the precise moment 
_____ when a bullet enters your eye, and pierces your brain?

Can you imagine having your lower jaw smashed by bullets
_____ and then see its bloody, splintered fragments 
__________ drop to the ground ?

What is it like to take a direct hit to the skull? 
_____ Would you know that you were dead?

What sensations must a person feel 
_____ as his body is being consumed by fire?

What might be the thoughts of someone 
_____ just thrown to the ground and kicked, 
__________ whose hands have been tied behind his back, 
who then gets chained by his heels 
_____ to the rear end of a vehicle 
__________ about to drag his still-healthy, still-unbroken 
_______________ young body over stones, gravel, 
____________________ dirt and thorny stubble?

How does it feel to have the flesh ripped off your cheeks? 
_____ To have all the flesh on your hands torn off 
__________ exposing bones and tendons?

How does it feel to have grit and gravel 
_____ embed themselves in your eyes? 

How does it feel to be torn 
_____ limb from limb by a jeering mob? 

Exactly how does it feel to have your head 
_____ stomped to jelly by hobnailed boots? 
Or your genitalia ripped out by the roots 
_____ and stuffed into your screaming mouth?

How does it feel to be smart enough to realize 
_____ you are suffering and dying for the sole purpose 
__________ of lining the pockets of international bankers, 
____________ ___ global industrialists and the suppliers 
____________________of war materiel with gold?

Exactly how would you react to being held down 
_____ and having your teeth kicked down your throat, 
__________ your eyes gouged out, 
_______________ your ears and your nose sliced off, 
____________________ or a glass rod inserted in your urethra
_________________________ and then smashed to pulver?

How would you feel when you are forced to eat 
_____ ground glass or drink hydrochloric acid?

How would you feel if you were sodomized by barbarians 
_____ then buried up to your neck in sand 
__________ and systematically stoned and kicked to death?

How does it feel to be held down and deliberately blinded by acid?

How does it feel to be maimed by “Friendly Fire?"

How does it feel to be flayed alive 
_____ and then slowly cut to ribands?

How does it feel to be forced to kneel before your captors, 
_____ hands tied behind your back
__________ while you wait to have your head hacked off
_______________ by a hand held knife?

How? How? How?

But much more important is


__________ WHY?

____________________ WHY?


American soldiers witnessing the destruction of a Japanese bunker

How, when we need to ask questions like this now more than ever, could we imagine even for a moment we have no need for the healing power and redeeming grace of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?

Agnus Dei, qui tollis pecatta mundi, miserere nobis


  1. well at least the Generals are finally standing up to Mr. Incompetent, Do Nothing! That's something.

    How about the military's feelings about going over to "fight" Ebola, is that better??

    And please Mr. Free Thinker stop questioning The great King Barry!

  2. The first answer that comes to mind rings out out from Hillary Clinton, speaking for the political, social and financial elites in this country who will never have to experience any of this, because they will never experience it:

    "What difference does it make?"

    That is the elite's answer. Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein are war profiteers, so the more the merrier for political cockroaches like them who infest and rot our body politic.

  3. How does it feel if millions more than those who suffer in battle actually have these things done to them in their homes and in the streets of their homeland?

  4. How does it feel to be smart enough to realize
    _____ you are suffering and dying for the sole purpose
    __________ of lining the pockets of international bankers,
    _______________ global industrialists and the suppliers
    ____________________ of war materiel with gold?

    That is the most important question of them all, FT. If the majority were able to think for themselves instead of living like lambs who do not know they are being housed and fed just to be led to the slaughter, true representative government might have a chance, and things might eventually right themselves. But no, people are always looking for someone to play father and mother in their lives, so they can continue to live as children, and remain free from having to take on responsibility. Since that it obviously the case, it's no wonder demagogues, messianic figures and charismatic pop-cultists abound.

    ---------> Katharine Heartburn.

  5. Want? What does "want" have to do with it?

    True freedom is not freedom of choice made from a safe distance, like choosing between Coke or Pepsi. Rather, true freedom overlaps with necessity: one makes a truly free choice when one’s choice puts at stake one’s very existence – one does it because one simply “cannot do it otherwise.” When one’s country is under a foreign occupation and one is called by a resistance leader to join the fight against the occupiers, the reason given is not “you are free to choose,” but, “Can’t you see that this is the only thing you can do if you want to retain your dignity?”

    -Slavoj Zizek, "Against Aristocratic Pride: Shakespeare and Radical Politics"

  6. Katharine,
    Definitely some truth in that.

    Not the whole story, but certainly part of it.

    And on we go -- into the abyss. Whether we fight nor not.

    As for me, I will put up a fight. I will "not go gently."

  7. This non-war with ISIS has another problem, which will result in more horrors that we can't begin to imagine right now:

    ‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Commander Admits Alliance with ISIS, Confirms PJ Media Reporting

  8. _____ GOOD NEWS from ABROAD _____

    Scottish independence:
    Scotland votes No

    Scotsman [UK],

    Alex Salmond’s dream of independence has been shattered after Scotland voted to stay part of the United Kingdom. Scotland today rejected independence and voted to remain part of the United Kingdom at the end of the most intense political campaign the country has ever seen. The silent majority finally raised its voice on a tense yet utterly compelling night of political history. ...

    Scotland votes No:
    what happens now?

    Telegraph [UK], by James Kirkup

    Scotland has voted against independence. Here’s a quick look at what happens--and doesn’t happen--now: The Union stands. That is all. A political union that has lasted for 307 years continues. Scotland remains part of the United Kingdom. Border posts are not thrown up in the Cheviots. Britain’s nuclear-armed submarines remain based in Scotland. The pound, though it may wobble, does not tumble on currency markets. Billions of pounds invested in Scottish banks mostly stay put. As do the banks. The biggest constitutional crisis in British history does not happen. ...

    Scottish independence:
    referendum results - live

    Telegraph [UK],

    by Georgia Graham

    Latest 04.59: John Curtice, professor of politics at University of Strathclyde says it is likely to be No and by a bigger margin than any recent polls suggested. 04.57: Scottish Borders opts for No by big margin - Yes: 27,906 No: 55,553. 04.55: THE VOTE SO FAR: Yes: 1,036,810 (46.34%) No: 1,200,695 (53.66%). 04.53: ...

    Daily Mail [UK], by Matt Chorley

    A miserable Alex Salmond boarded a private jet at Aberdeen airport this morning, as his dream of Scottish independence was shot down in flames by voters across the country. In a bombshell first result, Clackmannanshire--rated by Credit Suisse as the most likely to vote Yes--dramatically rejected independence by 54 percent to 46 percent. After Orkney and the Shetland Islands also voted no, it emerged voters in Mr Salmond's own backyard in Aberdeenshire also look set to have rejected separation ...

    Scottish independence campaign - live

    Telegraph [UK],

    by Matthew Holehouse

    12.40 In Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, a demonstration takes place in support of Scottish independence. "I support the Scots. Their referendum is going peacefully, without war. I'm very jealous, and I wish them all the best," tells Natalia Isaeva tells the patriotic Russian channel LifeNews. Why´s it significant? Moscow watches the referendum closely. In part, because Scottish independence puts a big question mark over the future of Britain´s nuclear arsenal, and the NATO patrols that intercept stray Russian flights. ...

  9. FT,
    Is it definitely good news that Scotland has not seceded.

  10. 'And on we go -- into the abyss. Whether we fight nor not.

    'As for me, I will put up a fight. I will "not go gently."'

    That's all well and good, AOW, but don't you think it would be a good idea to husband your strength and focus your intelligence on learning exactly what forces we most need to fight, and for whose benefit we are doing battle?

    I mean it seems obvious to me that "our side" is not really "OUR" side anymore.

    I also believe we could only save ourselves by using whatever strength we may have left to fight FOR principles, ideals, virtues and positive values in which we honestly believe, than in fighting AGAINST --- anything.


    In short follow the advice given by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ:


    Flailing away in a perpetual state of high dudgeon only works towards the destruction of no one but ourselves.

  11. I detect two themes in this post:

    1. A Smedly Butleresque rejection of fighting wars for US corporate interests.

    2. A sympathy for those who suffer the misfortune of being overrun by murderous islamic hordes.

    Despite the graphic imagery, the counterpoise between the two themes is delicate and subtle.

    What I got out of it: We are fighting the wrong wars! And we are doing it poorly!

    We should not be fighting these half-assed wars cooked up by oligarchs. Instead we should be fighting real evil, and we should be going General Sherman on their evil asses until they no longer exist on the planet.

    Sadly, this seems to be a foreign idea nowadays.

  12. I'm glad we concur on Scotland, AOW.

    The best thing about it, of course, is that the decision was made without a shot being fired. Alex Salmond, troublemaking would-be demagogue, was put in his place, and the passions of ignorant, hot-headed, peasants and rebellious malcontents were quelled by an orderly democratic process.

    There may be hope for a triumphant revival of Common Sense and respect for Good Order yet.


  13. SilverFiddle,

    It's a flat out attempt to arouse awareness of and empathy for the plight of those poor souls caught in the crossfire of conflicts caused by the vain, selfish, power mad ambition of heartless megalomaniacs.

    That would include every imperial impersonation of force, murder and subjugation the world has ever known -- a long long list that knows no geographic, historic, ethnic, religious or ideological boundaries.


    1. Legitimizing our Capacity for Cruelty and Bloodlust

    2. Ambition to Steal and Exploit

    3. Whipping up Frenzied Desire Among the Rank and File to Extirpate a Targeted Enemy

    4. Mob Rule aka GroupThink

    5. Acceptance of the Failed Belief that We Could KILL OUR WAY to JUSTICE, PEACE, FREEDOM and EQUALITY.


    Please feel free to add to the list, as ling as you avoid stupid accusations aimed at government officials judges or fellow bloggers.

    "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves."

    ~ Shakespeare

    "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root."

    "Men will lie on their backs, talking about the fall of man, and never make an effort to get up."

    ~ Thoreau (1817-1862)

  14. Jehoshophat O'Shaughnessy said

    I know what you're saying. This sums it up.

    "Doing the same thing over and over again in hopes of achieving a different result is one of the classic definitions of insanity."

    Isn't that about it?

    Obama is just another asskisser to the oligarchs, no different from the Bushes, right?

  15. I don't understand why you are so excited about the results, FT.

    The fact that Cameron let it get this far is a blow to his Thatcherite government which I'm sure you support.

    England will be moving to the left. I'm hardly surprised that a majority of Scots did not want to go through the pains of secession but they are historically left and they will get concessions from London.

    Sorry, FT, you lost as soon as the vote became reality.

  16. Should remember that Scotland has a sizable constituency of natural conservatives, whom Thatcher alienated and have yet to be wooed back.

  17. FT,
    I don't flail away in a perpetual state of high dudgeon -- although I am angry and frustrated that the West will not see the evidence before their very eyes. Furthermore, we live in the Information Age, with the best research tool ever at our fingertips in our homes.

    The vote to arm the Free Syria rebels is a huge mistake. HUGE!

    we could only save ourselves by using whatever strength we may have left to fight FOR principles, ideals, virtues and positive values in which we honestly believe, than in fighting AGAINST --- anything

    Agreed -- unless that something is threatening our very existence and will not listen to reason, no matter what.

    I don't like war. But I also believe that there are things worse than war. When those things worse than war show up, war should and must ensue in order to prevent something much, much worse from happening.


    Have you read Charles Krauthammer's most recent column in the WaPo? See this. Excerpt:

    What was the Islamic State thinking? We know it is sophisticated in its use of modern media. But what was the logic of propagating to the world videos of its beheadings of two Americans (and subsequently a Briton) — sure to inflame public opinion?

    There are two possible explanations. One is that these terrorists are more depraved and less savvy than we think. They so glory in blood that they could not resist making an international spectacle of their savagery — after all, they proudly broadcast their massacre of Shiite prisoners — and did not quite fathom how such a brazen, contemptuous slaughter of Americans would radically alter public opinion and risk bringing down upon them the furies of the U.S. Air Force.

    The second theory is that they were fully aware of the inevitable consequence of their broadcast beheadings — and they intended the outcome. It was an easily sprung trap to provoke America into entering the Mesopotamian war.


    Because they’re sure we will lose. Not immediately and not militarily. They know we always win the battles but they are convinced that, as war drags on, we lose heart and go home.


    ...[W]hen the enemy deliberately draws you into combat, it is all the more imperative to show the world that he made a big mistake.

    If you can't see the entire article without a subscription to the WaPo, let me know, and I'll send you the entire piece.

  18. Silverfiddle,
    We should not be fighting these half-assed wars cooked up by oligarchs. Instead we should be fighting real evil, and we should be going General Sherman on their evil asses until they no longer exist on the planet.

    I agree.

    Otherwise, what are we bequeathing to our posterity?

    As for the oligarchs, we need a political purge. "Is there not a righteous man?"

  19. FT,
    I agree with you about the greatest evil.

    ISIS and those of that ilk have those qualities in spades!

    "Our side" (the West) is far from perfect, but we are not THAT. Yet.

  20. FT,
    In short follow the advice given by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ:


    So, what do you make of Jesus' actions toward the money changers in the temple? Hardly a peaceful display.

  21. A solution to the problems of internal division here in the United States? See Angry with Washington, 1 in 4 Americans open to secession at Reuters (dated today). This "movement" crosses party lines.

  22. "Burned head to foot an American soldier desperately clings to life"...

    That's life?

    You have to wonder what's wrong with the war mongers crawling out of their holes today in the Western world, apparently charging headlong into WW III.

    Why not just take the advice of investment guru, Madman James Cramer, and by some stock in some companies (General Dynamic, Raytheon, Lockheed-Martin) that will benefit from war and destruction of the world.

    That way you can join this upstanding gentleman and get a warm fuzzy feeling of lusting goodness as you watch your stocks rise while the world burns, along with those idiotic enough to place their lives in harms way for the greed and avarice of those seeking to benefit for their own benefit from mayhem and destruction.

  23. _______ KILLERS ______

    _____ I am singing to you

    Soft as a man with a dead child speaks;

    Hard as a man in handcuffs,

    Held where he cannot move:

    _____ Under the sun

    Are sixteen million men,

    Chosen for shining teeth,

    Sharp eyes, hard legs,

    And a running of young warm blood in their wrists.

    _____ And a red juice runs on the green grass;

    And a red juice soaks the dark soil.

    And the sixteen million are killing –– and killing

    _____ and killing.

    _____ I never forget them day or night:

    They beat on my head for memory of them;

    They pound on my heart and I cry back to them,

    To their homes and families, dreams and games.

    _____ I wake in the night and smell the trenches,

    And hear the low stir of sleepers in lines--

    Sixteen million sleepers and pickets in the dark:

    Some of them long sleepers for always,

    Some of them tumbling to sleep tomorrow for always,

    Fixed in the drag of the world's heartbreak,

    Eating and drinking, toiling –– on a long job of
_____ killing.

    Sixteen million men.

    ~ Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)

  24. Hard as a man in handcuffs

    Interesting line and open to several interpretations because a man in handcuffs can have many different emotions -- a series of them or simultaneously.

  25. ______ Recessional (1897) ______

    God of our fathers, known of old,   
    ___ Lord of our far-flung battle-line,   
    Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
    ___ Dominion over palm and pine—
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,   
    Lest we forget—lest we forget!

    The tumult and the shouting dies;
    ___ The Captains and the Kings depart:   
    Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
    ___ An humble and a contrite heart.
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,   
    Lest we forget—lest we forget!

    Far-called, our navies melt away;
    ___ On dune and headland sinks the fire:   
    Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
    ___ Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!   
    Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,   
    Lest we forget—lest we forget!

    If, drunk with sight of power, we loose   
    ___  Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,   
    Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
    ___ Or lesser breeds without the Law—
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
    Lest we forget—lest we forget!

    For heathen heart that puts her trust   
    ___ In reeking tube and iron shard,
    All valiant dust that builds on dust,
    ___ And guarding, calls not Thee to guard,   
    For frantic boast and foolish word—
    Thy mercy on Thy People, Lord!

    ~ Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

  26. If I had the right –– or the temerity –– to give this poem a name, I would call it “To Those Left Behind.” Emily never gave titles to her poems, they are always identified by simply the first line.

    We think always of the brave men horribly killed in battle, but too little attention has been paid –– I feel –– to the widows and orphans, mothers, fathers, younger siblings and close friends forced to suffer the pain of losing a loved one, a helpmate, a guide, and a companion.

    After all, for the dead it is over –– their suffering, one would hope, is at an end. Those left behind, however, must somehow carry on and find find new purpose in living. This poem, I feel, addresses their situation eloquently.

    We grow accustomed to the Dark ––
    When Light is put away ––
    As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp
    To witness her Good bye ––
    A Moment –– We uncertain step
    For newness of the night ––
    Then –– fit our Vision to the Dark –– 
    And meet the Road –– erect –– 
    And so of larger –– Darknesses ––
    Those Evenings of the Brain ––
    When not a Moon disclose a sign ––
    Or Star –– come out –– within ––
    The Bravest –– grope a little ––
    And sometimes hit a Tree
    Directly in the Forehead ––
    But as they learn to see ––
    Either the Darkness alters ––
    Or something in the sight
    Adjusts itself to Midnight ––
    And Life steps almost straight.

    ~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

  27. ________ DOVER BEACH ________

    The sea is calm tonight,
    The tide is full, the moon lies fair
    Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
    Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
    Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.

    Come to the window, sweet is the night air!
    Only, from the long line of spray 

    Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land, 

    Listen! you hear the grating roar 

    Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling, 

    At their return, up the high strand, 

    Begin, and cease, and then again begin, 

    With tremulous cadence slow, and bring 

    The eternal note of sadness in.

    Sophocles long ago 

    Heard it on the Agean, and it brought 

    Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow 

    Of human misery; we 

    Find also in the sound a thought, 

    Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

    The Sea of Faith 

    Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore 

    Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled. 

    But now I only hear 

    Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar, 

    Retreating, to the breath 

    Of the night wind, down the vast edges drear 

    And naked shingles of the world.

    Ah, love, let us be true 

    To one another! for the world, which seems 

    To lie before us like a land of dreams, 

    So various, so beautiful, so new, 

    Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, 

    Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain; 

    And we are here as on a darkling plain 

    Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, 

    Where ignorant armies clash by night

    ~ Matthew Arnold (1867)

  28. Some may enjoy heroic-sounding accounts of historic slaughter and conquest –– 'tis a decorous, romantic way to portray violent aggression, rather like Delacroix's "Liberty Storming the Barricades" with bare breasts and head held high –– but I rather doubt anyone would enjoy taking part in the carnival of carnage poets and minstrels have glorified in words of mythic splendor.

    As for me:

    I'd rather dine on Havilland-Limoges
    Than hurl a javelin for a Doges.
    Delicate viands decorously consumed
    Beat being slashed, then crushed and doomed.
    Why is it "manly" to yearn to die
    In blood soaked mud 'neath a pitiless sky?

    ~ FreeThinke

  29. Veterans Today has an excellent article posted "The Geo-Politics of World War III" containing sources of good information and insight into the behind the scenes manipulations occurring taking the world to the brink.

    A lot of links to excellent source material capturing the words straight from the horses' mouths, so to speak.

  30. From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
    And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
    Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
    I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
    When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.

    --- Randall Jarrell

  31. Thanks, Waylpn, I'm glad not be alone in believing that evil geniuses pulled strings behind the scenes for the past hundred years -- at least -- to exploit tensions, reopen and pour vinegar and salt into old wounds, create havoc, then reap a harvest of increased wealth and power from the maelstroms the were instrumental in creating.

    'Tis said "the love of MONEY is the root of all evil." I don't think so. The lust for POWER -- the ability to DOMINATE and push others around at will -- is a much greater evil, though the two may go hand-in-hand.

    I think the correct term for the moral and spiritual malignancy is MEGALOMANIA.

  32. Ah yes Ducky! "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner," isn't it?

  33. "A ball turret was a Plexiglas sphere set into the belly of a B-17 or B-24, and inhabited by two .50 caliber machine-guns and one man, a short small man. When this gunner tracked with his machine guns a fighter attacking his bomber from below, he revolved with the turret; hunched upside-down in his little sphere, he looked like the foetus in the womb. The fighters which attacked him were armed with cannon firing explosive shells. The hose was a steam hose." -- Jarrell's note.

    The poem was first published in 1945.

  34. AOW and Silverfiddle, would ISIS be calculating our going medieval on their asses, retiring and blending in with the civilian population and after we start killing civilians they can recruit and widen the war?

    Maybe we can drop the kind of tonnage we dropped on Vietnam. That turned out well.

  35. Maybe we can drop the kind of tonnage we dropped on Vietnam.

    I brought the N. Vietnamese to the Paris negotiating table. Good idea, duck!

  36. Duck,
    would ISIS be calculating our going medieval on their asses, retiring and blending in with the civilian population and after we start killing civilians they can recruit and widen the war?

    Possibly. Indeed, likely, IMO.

    That doesn't mean that we should do something. However, my choice of something is different and follows a two-pronged strategy.

  37. The man who was the top Marine general from 2006 until his retirement in 2010 says President Barack Obama’s strategy to defeat the terrorist group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is doomed to fail. “I don’t think the president’s plan has a snowball’s chance in hell of succeeding,” retired Marine General James Conway, who served as the 34th Commandant of the Marine Corps

  38. Mankind has time and again proven itself incapable of sustained righteousness. Therfore it should be evident that no man made religion is capable of leading mankind to it.

  39. Wouldn't you know it? Just when you thought the weasel, Henry Kissinger, might have disappeared down some rabbit hole never to be heard from of seen again, he weighs in with his latest doorstopper, "World Order" admonishing that Iran is the real enemy to fear, not ISIS. Seems like the plan spoken about by General Wesley Clark in the above link, is alive and well—conquering seven Arab countries in five years. Although the timetable is running behind schedule, trust good old Henry Kissinger to make sure the ends are not in douby.

    BTW, he likely came over on the same boat that brought the virus of the Frankfurt School to this continent, along with Adorno, Marcuse and other nefarious no-good-niks.

  40. Ducky:

    Isis knows we lack the testicular fortitude to go medieval on them, but I'm sure they are setting traps.

    It has already been shown that the jihadis outsmart western governments every time.

    We haven't won a war since 1945.

    Until we can figure out how to win, we need stay out of them.

  41. Testicular fortitude, hmm. Better to posses big balls rather than big brain?

    We simply chose the wrong conflicts, and for all the wrong reasons.


  42. The Charge of the Light Brigade


    Half a league, half a league,
___ Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
___ Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
___ Rode the six hundred.


    "Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
___ Someone had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
___ Rode the six hundred.


    Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
___ Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
___ Rode the six hundred.


    Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
___ All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel'd from the sabre stroke
___ Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
___ Not the six hundred.


    Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
___ Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
___ Left of six hundred.


    When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
___ All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor the Light Brigade
___ Noble six hundred.

    ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

  43. The look on the face of that maimed child resting its poor head on that shocking pink pillow says everything your poem and the poems you quoted said concentratedly and even more poignantly.

    And here we are again about to embark on another one way ride into the Valley of Death on the orders of yet another set of fools and madmen. Most of the comments here show these horrible images have fallen on blind eyes. People see and hear only what their prejudices tell them, and so the vicious cycles never end.

    If I had a child, I'd rather give it fast acting poison and see it safely dead rather than let it be ordered by brainless bastards to march into the Jaws of Hell.

    - Christina Nagel

  44. " Silverfiddle said...

    Isis knows we lack the testicular fortitude to go medieval on them"

    "Why do people say 'grow some balls'?

    Balls are weak and sensitive!

    If you really wanna get tough, grow a vagina. Those things take
    a pounding." --Author Unknown

  45. Silver... Good idea... Unless and until a majority of Anericans support a strategy of war designed to win, with all the resulting death and destruction, it's better to take a pass.

    And unless we have a plan to pay for it approved beforehand, we should wait even longer...

  46. What we SHOULD do is

    1. Bar entrance to all Muslims and people from Muslim nations

    2. Outlaw the practice of ANY form if Islam in the West. Forfeit ownership of all mosques. Convert those properties to uses more compatible with the customs and mores of Western Civilization.

    3. Detain, intern and systematically deport all Muslims and those who sympathize with them or attempt to advocate for their "constitutional rights" to undermine and destroy the West at will.

    4. Make a NEW law that makes mandatory recission of American Citizenship to ANYONE who shows even the faintest desire to accept and support these people in OUR midst.

    5. Enforce all of his ruthlessly at gunpoint.

    THAT would make a good start toward solvng the problem, and it wouldn't require ANYINE to be KILLED -- unless they RESISTED INTERNMENT and DEPORTATION, of course.

  47. I've no moral qualms about killing fascists.

  48. 2. Outlaw the practice of ANY form if Islam in the West. Forfeit ownership of all mosques. Convert those properties to uses more compatible with the customs and mores of Western Civilization.

    3. Detain, intern and systematically deport all Muslims and those who sympathize with them or attempt to advocate for their "constitutional rights" to undermine and destroy the West at will.

    4. Make a NEW law that makes mandatory recission of American Citizenship to ANYONE who shows even the faintest desire to accept and support these people in OUR midst.

    5. Enforce all of his ruthlessly at gunpoint.

    Spoken like a true fascist. Each one of the above is counter to the American constitution. It is interesting to note that the people who constantly accuse Obama of ruining that great document are the one who want to piss on it as a reaction to fear.

  49. Whoa!

    "I have no qualms about killing fascists." A blanket statement.

    How very christian of you jez.

  50. Where is Archie Bunker when we need him?..

  51. It seems the righy tighties are the very personification of Archie Bunker.

  52. HA HA, good one silverFiddle...

    ACLU Defends Nazi's Rights to Burn Down ACLU Headquarters

    NEW YORK—At a press conference Monday, American Civil Liberties Union officials announced that the organization will go to court to defend a neo-Nazi group's right to burn down ACLU headquarters.

    ACLU president Nadine Strossen told reporters that her organization intends to "vigorously and passionately defend" the Georgia chapter of the American Nazi Party's First Amendment right to freely express its hatred of the ACLU by setting its New York office ablaze on Nov. 25.

    "I am reminded of the words of Voltaire: 'I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,'" Strossen said. "While the ACLU vehemently disagrees with the idea of Nazis torching this building, the principle of freedom of expression must be supported in all cases. If we take away these Nazis' right to burn down our headquarters, we take away everyone's right to burn down our headquarters."

    Buddy Carver, president of the Georgia chapter of the American Nazi Party, praised the ACLU for taking on his case. "I would like to thank Ms. Strossen and all the other nigger-loving bleeding-heart liberals at the 'ACL-Jew' for defending my constitutional right to express my loathing of them with hundred-foot-high flames," said Carver, sporting a tan uniform and swastika arm band. "We must finish the job Hitler was unable to."

    Replace Nazi with Islamist, and the n-word with infidel, and it fits perfectly.


  53. "What fools these mortals be!"

    Wm. Shakespeare

  54. Just a bit for conversation, FT.

    Is music at all adequate to communicating the horrors of war or is that ultimately a visual task?

    I only ask because today's concert opened with the Shostakovitch 3rd String Quartet.
    A moving work but given what we know was it nearly a complete expression of those horrors? As a eulogy music is clearly effective but it has limitations.

  55. Hi, Ducky,

    Very briefly: Music probably has the greatest power of all the arts to evoke empathy for the human condition. It goes far beyond the graphic in that at its best it can take us directly to the wellspring of genuine emotion.

    Bach's two settings of the Passion and many of his great organ works come instantly to mind in this regard.

    Mozart reaches this level in much of his more lyrical, highly expressive operatic arias and slow movements. Beethoven achieves it most often in his in his slow movements.

    Many of the music dramas of Wagner reach this exalted level as well as do several of the Tone Poems of Richard Strauss the symphonies of Mahler

    Probably better than any other work I can think of Strauss's Salome evokes the horror of a barbaric, pagan, sex-crazed, power-obsessed world where human life is held in very low esteem, and brutality reigns supreme.

    Music may not be able to present a LITERAL DEPICTION of WAR as such, but it does something even more important to those who understand and appreciate it fully. It recreates the ESSENCE of whatever motivates human beings to act as badly -- or as nobly -- as they do in the heart of each receptive listener.

    Goethe said:

    "Die Musk ist die rein geistigste aller Kuenste."

    __ Music is the most spiritual of all the arts. __

    It's a very big subject you touched upon, Ducky, one for which too few show any awareness or concern.



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