A Few Good Men

Reposted from the old blog because it’s still true over a year later.

There’s nothing I hate more than people who are too stupid to realize that Jack Nicholson’s character in A Few Good Men was the bad guy. He declared himself a law unto himself, and that’s not what America wants, it’s not what we should want, and it damn sure isn’t what we need.


The movie does consist of more than Nicholson testifying. It begins with someone being killed in a homophobic hazing ritual, and ends with his killers and their commanding officers being convicted, and with Tom Cruise’s character realizing that the law isn’t just a game, that the ideals of America are protected not just on the fences of Guantanamo Bay, but in the courtrooms and voting booths of America.

This rant was inspired by the latest authoritarian ramblings from the Whole Wheat Blogger (but comes to mind almost every time I hear the President discussing foreign policy, or the consequences of the last election). Our buddy seems to think that drawing a cartoon portraying the tarnish that a massacre of children brought to the Marine Corps is equivalent to tarnishing the reputation of the Corps.

No, no, no.

When a squad of Marines opened fire at women and children at close range, when they exacted retribution on non-combatant civilians for an IED attack, they tarnished their own reputations, the uniforms they wear, and the flag sewn onto it. Obviously, most Marines are not committing atrocities, they’re working hard to make Iraq better. But the Marines have also shown disdain for the softer approach that Army troops took in areas like Haditha, and are known as “the most aggressive close quarter troops the Americans have.” The wages of such aggressive tactics are the occasional massacre, and the attendant dishonor to the entire nation.

Comments

  1. #1 Monte Davis
    August 4, 2007

    My brother, a USMC officer in Vietnam, said of the court-martial of his peers who killed civilians avoidably: “Not to prosecute them, not to be ashamed of them, would be an insult to every Marine who experienced the same pressures and didn’t behave that way.”

    What makes Nicholson’s character evil (and Whole Wheat Blogger an idiot) is the way they tap-dance around that linkage, claiming special respect for the warrior without acknowledging the special responsibility for self-discipline — and discipline by the system when self-discipline fails.

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