A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Shot Heard Round the World and the Roaring Silence

My wife is a taper of movies; she stays awake into the wee hours so she can record some long-forgotten saga on a long-forgotten VHF channel. Most of these flicks are ones few have ever heard of, and most of them are thankfully forgotten, but once in a while she finds a gem. Such was the movie we watched last night; ``April Morning`` was not a memorable movie, per say, but had some terrific things about it and set me to thinking, as it could be applied to the current world situation.

The story is about the Battle of Lexington and Concord, and about a young man`s coming of age as a result of that, the shot heard round the world. This was a made-for-television movie from 1988 starring Robert Urich, Tommy Lee Jones,Rip Torn, and Chad Lowe as the young protagonist Adam Cooper. Young Cooper is a fifteen year old boy, disheartened by his father`s (Tommy Lee Jones) overprotectiveness and lack of affection, and yearning to do something important, something to earn his father`s pride. He overhears his parents discussing him, hears his father proclaim great love for his son to his mother while admitting that he finds it difficult to show it to the boy. Word of the coming of the British leads to a hurried town meeting in which it was decided to call up the militia (a meeting the young hero is excluded from by his father) and the town begins registering and mobilizing minutemen. Adam Cooper decides to defy his father and signs with the militia, and his father reluctantly allows his son to do so.

Before falling out, his father finally tells him how much he loves him, and how proud he is of him. He forewarns the young man that he is becoming a man and may be forced to assume head of household duties if the worst should occur. The worst occurs; one of the more rabid colonists fires on the British troops who are trying to disarm the Minutemen, and the soldiers open fire on the ragtag band of farmers, killing the elder Cooper. The boy flees into the woods (along with everyone else) and joins his girlfriend`s father (Urich) in engaging in bushwacking tactics against the Brits.

At the end, Adam Cooper takes his father`s place at the family table.

Why have I droned on about a B movie? Because what made this movie good was the slow evolution of Adam Cooper and his fellow townsmen as they performed what they saw as their duty, despite their absolute abhorrence of the killing. Cooper hates shooting people, hates what he is called upon to do. Several times the young boy asks his probable father-in-law if he can quit and go home, but Urich always says no, and explains the importance of duty and the responsibilities inherent in being free men. You see, the townspeople could have minded their own business, ignored the British and they would have been none the worse for wear. They didn`t do that; they believed they had a responsibility to their neighbors, to the other towns in their colony to engage the British. They weren`t willing to sit back and say ``this isn`t our fight``. They rightly understood that it was EVERYONE`S fight, and they couldn`t shirk their duty.

The point I am trying to make is that there are too many people in America who want to shirt their duty, who argue that what is happening in the Middle-East isn`t our fight. I would like to point out that the British never killed 3,000 noncombatants, never strapped bombs on themselves to kill Americans, never cried ``death to the great satan``, never vowed our elimination. They merely sought to enforce British law, which the colonists refused to recognize. They were, it can be argued, trying to enforce the Rule of Law, trying to maintain order in a situation of rebellion. We went to WAR against fellow countrymen! We were British at that time, and we fired on our fellow Brits! Why? Because of taxes and our dislike of troops stationed in our neighborhoods.

Now we have a large segment of the world population which vows to destroy us and force us into ``submission`` (Islam) and we have people arguing that it`s not our fight! We have an ``axis of weasel``, our European friends, who would rather submit as Dhimmis than fight for their culture and freedom, and people are claiming this isn`t our fight? It most certainly is our fight, and if we have to fight it alone, so be it! Those farmers who stood against the greatest armed force in the the world would be ashamed of us! They understood that some things simply must be done, and that it`s necessary to put aside personal desires for the greater good. Islam is determined to destroy us, and our revolutionary forefathers would never have questioned our engaging the enemy wherever they are found.

Wars are no longer fought in the manner in which they were engaged in the 18th century, and the increase in firepower has made the traditional standing army obsolete in many ways. People will argue that we have not been invaded. Oh, really? Invasions are no longer so obvious, but instead are done by stealth, and the perpetrators of 911 had already invaded the Republic. This must be understood-with airplanes and other modern means of transportation it is no longer possible to say that we are here and they are there. Anybody can be anywhere in a matter of hours these days. An invasion is no longer a matter of uniformed troops marching across boundaries; we`ve ALREADY been invaded, by the terror cells of our Jihadist enemies.

Did the fact that Benjamin Church or Benedict Arnold were not a part of an invading army make them any less enemies to the Patriots during the Revolution? They worked for a foreign enemy, which de-facto made them part of the invasion. Was not Sherman an invader of Georgia, despite the fact that Georgia was part of the United States just prior to the Civil War? To make the case that the enemy must march in from overseas to make them an enemy is just plain wrong. The military oath of office is to defend the Constituion against all threats foreign and domestic; this is a threat both foreign AND domestic, and it`s ultimate aim is to replace the Constitution with Sharia Law.

In April Morning, the young protagonist learns the price of manhood and liberty; it is time America does the same.

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