Saturday, December 24, 2005

Entertaining the Troops

The AMC channel has been running a 'Christmas with the Duke' film festival of some of John Wayne's best-known films. I was watching the classic World War II film Sands of Iwo Jima, and was struck by the dedication to the men of the United States Marine Corps, as well as the portaryal of them as ordinary men who manage to perform heroic acts under pressure. The hero, Seargeant Stryker, as played by Wayne, fulfills his mission when he himself is killed, and the men he trained pick up his letter and carry on. The movie, filmed in 1949, is still remarkable for showing some of the actual work of war, and co-starred the only three survivors of the famous flag-raising on Mount Suribachi.

That message, and the underlying support struck an even stronger nerve as I read an article posted today about the current 'celebrities' distaste for performing for the troops. It is so different from the true patriotism showed by the stars of yesterday, who were willing to far more than just 'entertain' for the troops. Many of them actually enlisted in the US military and some, such as James Stewart (USAF, Brigadier General), even fought in the war, rather than stand on the sidelines. Bob Hope went overseas as long as he was able, entertaining his way through World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War and the First Gulf War. He was loved by the troops for his indomitable spirit, and his genuine suppoort for the boys overseas. Yet today's entertainers seem to have forgotte that the men and women of the Armed Forces share the same native country as do they, and it is their blood and sweat that make America safe for the Jane Fondas to spit at them.

Reading this article, the section that really got me, though was as follows:
...many celebrities have been wary of going because they think it might be seen that they are endorsing the war. "And I say it's not. I tell them these men and women are over there because our country sent them, and we have the absolute necessity to try to bring them as much happiness as we can."

Fear is also a factor. "They're scared," country singer Craig Morton, who is in Iraq on the USO's Hope and Freedom Tour 2005, told USA Today. "It's understandable. It's not a safe and fun place and a lot of people don't want to take the chance."

I'm sorry, but to me, no it is not understandable. These entertainers make enormous amounts of money by entertaining other people, while our soliders make a mere pittance in comparison, and the comparitive value of their profession is incalculable. No singer, entertainer, journalist or film star has ever saved a single person's life, nor have they contrinbuted anything of value to this great country. In comparison, soldiers have kept us free and have allowed those same entertainers to voice thoughts which are frankly disgraceful. Under an Ismlamic system like that espoused by al Quaeda, or by the Taliban, they certainly would not be making any money- and the vast majority of their 'art' would bring them prison terms at the very least. Again, the only thing that stands between them and that unwelcome future are the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces. The least that they could do is donate a little of their time to help those same men and women sitting in foxholes feel a little better. Isn't it?

I will give some kudos to Al Franken and Robin Williams, who despite their frequent bouts of idiocy regarding current national security, do at least appear to have some idea of patriotism, and who at least are willing to go to the troops. Maybe if they spend enough time over there, they might even convince their Leftist cronies to drop the 'baby-killer' moniker, which was never true. But I won't hold my breath....

Hat tip to Matt Drudge.

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