Are you ready for some straight talk?
In the wake of the September 11th attacks, we’ve read heard some uplifting rhetoric. But we have also heard some really stupid statements as well. Recently, retired General Richard Hawley compiled his list of the five most stupid statements and made them the subject of a speech. Edited and redacted for space and clarity are General Hawley’s comments:
1. We are not good. They are not evil. Everything is relative.
“We are good. They are evil. Nothing is relative. Saying we are good doesn’t mean we are perfect. The only perfect Being is the bearded Guy on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The plain fact is that our country has, with all of our mistakes and blunders, always been and always will be the greatest beacon of freedom, charity, opportunity and affection in history. If you need proof, open all the borders on Earth and see what happens. In about half a day, the entire world would be a ghost town, and the United States would be [flooded with people].”
2. Violence only leads to more violence.
“This one is so stupid you usually have to be the president of an Ivy League university to say it. Here’s the truth: Ineffective, unfocused violence leads to more violence. Limp, panicky, half-measures lead to more violence. However, complete, fully thought out, professional, well-executed violence never leads to more violence because, you see, afterwards, the other guys are all dead. That’s right, dead. Not on trial, not re-educated, not nurtured back into the bosom love. Dead. D-E-A-D. You get the idea.”
3. The CIA and the rest of our intelligence community have failed us.
“For 25 years, we have chained our spies like dogs to a stake in the ground, and now that the house has been robbed, we yell at them for not protecting us. Starting in the late 70s, under Carter appointee, Stansfield Turner, the giant brains who get these giant ideas decided that the best way to gather international intelligence was to use spy satellites. ‘After all,’ they reasoned, ‘you can see a license plate from 200 miles away.’ This is very helpful if you’ve been attacked by a license plate.
“Unfortunately, we were attacked by humans. It takes decades to infiltrate new humans into the worst places of the world. You can’t just have a guy that looks like Gary Busey in a Spring Break ’93 sweatshirt plop himself down in a coffee shop in Kabul and say ‘Hiya, boys. Gee. I sure would like to meet that bin Laden fella.’”
4. These people are poor and helpless, and that’s why they are angry at us.
“The terrorists and their backers are richer than Elton John. The poor, helpless people are the villagers they tortured and murdered to stay in power. Mohammed Atta, one of the evil scumbags who steered those planes into the killing grounds (I’m sorry, one of the ‘alleged hijackers,’ according to CNN – they stopped using the word ‘terrorist,’ you know), is the son of a Cairo surgeon.”
5. Any profiling is racial profiling.
“Who’s killing us here, the Norwegians? Just days after the attack, the New York Times ran an article saying dozens of extended members of the gazillionaire bin Laden family living in America were afraid of reprisals and left in a huff, never to return to studying at Harvard. Why don’t they just change their names, anyway? It’s happened in the past. Think about it. How many Adolphs do you run into these days?
“So here’s what I resolve for 2002: Never to forget our murdered brothers and sisters. And, never to let the relativists get away with their immoral thinking. After all, no matter what your daughter’s political science professor says, we didn’t start this. Have you seen that bumper sticker that says, “No More Hiroshimas”? How about: “No More Pearl Harbors.”
Don’t look for General Hawley to be inducted into the Political Correctness Hall of Fame any time soon.
William Hamilton, a nationally syndicated columnist and featured commentator for USA Today, is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy by William Penn – a novel about terrorism in the Colorado high country.
©2002. William Hamilton.