C'est Plus Ca Change.....
I woke up at 3 a.m. this morning and tossed and turned and
finally gave up and decided to start my day. I did laundry,
emptied the dishwasher, checked my e-mail, and kept the fire
in the fireplace going. This is another bad day for me, one
of those secret anniversities of the heart.
I brought Hugh into school early this morning (7:30 a.m.)
and John and I went to Junction City. He had an appointment
for a routine physical. The doctor said he was quite healthy
and said whatever diet he was on, it was working. John
replied he didn't know that he was on a diet. "Of course,
not, dear." I told him when he repeated this converation to
me. "It's on a need-to-know basis only." I have increased
the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables in our diet,
reduced the amount of fat, and everyone's portions are
smaller than they were a few years ago. It's true I make a
lot of treats but many of these are given away so from one
pie, we're probably each lucky to get one piece.
As a reward. tonight he's getting one of his favorite treats
for dinner--stuffed French bread. It has all kinds of
things--sausage, two kinds of cheeses, an egg--that are not
good for someone with high cholesterol, which is why he gets
it so seldom, but sometimes it's just important to be a bit
indulgent. It also handy for me as it's a very easy recipe
and I'm tired so I really appreciate having something simple
There was an editorial in yesterday's local newspaper about
the Marine who shot someone who appeared to be faking he was
dead a week ago Saturday. As the news reports stated it
"A Marine shot an unarmed insurgent in a Fallujah mosque."
The editorial stated
"Enraged Iraqis are calling the killing a war crime. The
rules of war are clear that wounded, unarmed fighters who
pose no threat must not be harmed."
What rules of war? It may very well have been a fatal
mistake for that Marine to assume that the man was really
wounded, was really unarmed and posed no threat. And there
are very good reasons for NOT making those assumptions.
An AP story published last week described an incident
"In Fallujah, where U.S. Marines and soldiers are still
battling pockets of resistance, insurgents waved a white
flag of surrender before opening fire on U.S. troops and
Waving a white flag of surrender and then shooting are NOT
against the rules of war? Only we are required to follow
the rules? As another editorial writer, this one in
Sunday's Indianapolis Star, wrote
"In Iraq, America faces insurgents who hide, store weapons
and fight from hospitals, homes and religious places and
from among civilians, booby-trap their own dead as well as
those of our soldiers, disguise themselves as women and
noncombatants, and fake surrender as a prelude to
murder-suicide. So what was that young Marine in Fallujah
to do? Wait until a faking Iraqis blew him, his buddies and
the camera crew up? He played it safe: He's alive and so are
the embedded journalists.
The French expression "C'est plus ca change, c'est plus la
meme chose" (the more things change, the more they stay the
same) came to mind when I read these reports. I've just
finished reading Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh
Hour: Armistice Day, 1918 by Joseph E. Perisco, about the
last days of World War I. There are a number of stories
about how the armistice was ignored because people wanted
revenge or more glory even though all sides wore uniforms
and had agreed to follow the Geneva Convention. When the
message went out that hostilities would cease on the
eleventh hour on November 11th not all heeded that message.
"A British patrol entering a deserted village east of
Valenciennes came across a wounded German lieutenant propped
up against the wall of a house. He told them, in flawless
English, that his men had abandoned the town two hours
before and he hoped a British field surgeon might treat him.
Given this information, the leader of the patrol began
marching some two hundred men into the village square. As
they arrived, machine guns appeared to sprout from every
window and a church tower. More than a hundred dead Tommies
piled up in the square."
Terrorists, like those Nazis, don't play by Marquis of
Queensbury rules. They have dressed as women and civilians,
they have surrendered only to detonate themselves as the
troops draw closer, they have tripwired buildings and cars
and they have unerringly played upon our weakness - the
essential goodness of our troops.