Sunday, February 25, 2007

Amazing Grace – A Movie Review

Last Night my wife and I went to Michael Apted’s movie Amazing Grace, staring Ioan Gruffudd. Many will recognize Gruffudd as Horatio Hornblower from the A & E series.

It was a wonderful film, sparking in me a great interest in the conflicts and struggles surrounding the end of slavery in the British Empire. Like all good literature, the film is full of lessons and the lessons of Amazing Grace are particularly important because they instruct those who seek to end today’s evils.

The Hero, William Wilberforce, was revealed as one of the truly great men of history. The genesis of the song “Amazing Grace” presents one of the truly master poems of human inspiration.

Here are some informational clips from the movies web site for your consideration:

“William Wilberforce

“Harriet Beecher Stowe praised him in the pages of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Novelist E. M. Forester compared him to Gandhi. Abraham Lincoln invoked his memory in a celebrated speech. In the houses of Parliament, Nelson Mandela recalled his tireless labors on behalf of the sons and daughters of Africa, calling Britain "the land of William Wilberforce—who dared to stand up to demand that the slaves in our country should be freed."

“William Wilberforce (1759-1833) led the twenty-year fight to end the British slave trade, a victory now regarded as He finally succeeded in March 1807 and continued to fight for abolition until, days before his death in 1833, he saw the institution of slavery abolished throughout the British colonies. Not limiting himself to just abolitionist work, he dedicated his life to what he called his "two great objects:" abolishing slavery in the British Empire and what he called "the reformation of manners [society]." To this end, he advocated for child labor laws, campaigned for education of the blind and deaf, and founded organizations as diverse as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and the National Gallery (of Art). "Good causes," it has been said, "stuck to him like pins to a magnet."

John Newton

The legacy of William Wilberforce is tied to his relationship with John Newton. John Newton, an ex-slave trader turned minister and abolitionist, wrote the lyrics for the hymn Amazing Grace and became Wilberforce's spiritual counselor. He set his young protégé on the path of service to humanity. It was only after Wilberforce underwent what he later described as his "great change" or embrace of Christianity, that he became a reformer. Newton knew this to be true, and invoking the deliverance language of the Old Testament Book of Esther, told Wilberforce that it was "for such a time as this" that he had been placed in a position as a powerful Member of Parliament to secure the abolition of the slave trade. It was in the House of Commons, Newton stated, that Wilberforce could best serve God. (Wilberforce biographer and Amazing Grace lead historical consultant, Kevin Belmonte)”

The Lyrics of the Song

Amazing Grace (How sweet the sound)

That sav'd a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found,

Was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,

And grace my fears reliev'd;

How precious did that grace appear,

The hour I first believ'd!

Thro' many dangers, toils and snare,

I have already come;'

Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,

And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.

His word my hope secures;

He will my shield and portion be,

As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,

And mortal life shall cease;

I shall profess, within the vail,

A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,

The sun forbear to shine;

But God, who call'd me here below,

Will be for ever mine.

The film begins with an intense Parliamentary debate over the American Revolution. A young Wilberforce was for abandoning the war and giving America independence. He was challenged by another MP who demanded he tell the difference between surrender and appeasement. “Time” was Wilberforce answer, but then he went on to explain the real reason that Britain must give the colonies their independence – JUSTICE. This is the thinking of a rational mind. It is not the difficulty or the cost of the cause that commends it – it is its justice. As we examine the causes for which America goes to war, or good men take up cauases, justice - not cost - must always be the deciding factor. As we consider the causes for which we will dedicate our resources, our determination or political support, it must not be the difficulty of those causes but their justice that we consider.

Two parallel plot lines evolved in the movie which enabled the audience to follow Wilberforce and his associates’ decades long struggle against slavery while becoming invested in his life at the time of his great and life threatening struggle to pass the just laws that would end slavery.

What is most instructive in the story of William Wilberforce is his perseverance. Although he faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles he never gave up the struggle for what was right. All of the excuses for maintaining slavery: economic, political, social, and even scientific and religious arguments could not dissuade him from the course of rectitude; nor did the fact that the struggle would be long, and for long futile, deter Wilberforce and his associates from doing the right thing.

This is the great message the struggle against the millennia old abomination of slavery teaches us today. Evil must be endlessly resisted. Whether that evil is a religious fanaticism which, with blood and terror, would establish tyranny upon the earth or an insidious choice that reduces the most helpless of humans to chunks of meat to be discarded or employed in the tinkering experiments of “scientists”; those who recognize evil must stand forever for the right.

Amazing Grace receives my highest rating as a movie because when you come out of the theater you are different than when you went in; because it tells a story, a true story, that all men need to know and consider.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

It Has Already Started

It is with no small regret that I turn my attention to presidential politics. Are we not to have peace from the incessant quest for power, will we never be able to set aside politics long enough to save and run our country? NO.

With this understanding in mind it must be worth our time to consider the agenda and motives of the political parties involved and assess the candidates.

Democrat Party, the pro-Slavery, pro- Abortion party, pro-Tax party.


1. The killing of the unborn. This is still the overriding Democrat goal. Angry women are the largest single constituency of the Democrat party, and they must be coddled at any cost.

2. Appeasement. Anti-war affectations are more a political tactic than a core conviction. Since a strong national defense is an item on the Republican agenda, Democrats must be for the opposite position. Contempt for the Military and a blame America first attitude e form the basis for Democrat talking points in this. The fate of Joe Lieberman is instructive when considering this aspect of the Democrat agenda.

3. Environmental stagnation. Again this issue is forced upon the Democrat party by the size and power of this special interest group. The fiction of Global Warming – made laughable by this winter’s record cold snap, has formed a rallying point for socialists, Luddites, and human haters.

4. Racism. Maintaining a division of America along racial lines is also a source of votes for Democrats. Blacks are kept on the plantation by the exploitation and creation of victim hood. The Duke “rape” accusations are instructive here. Ginning up divisions between Hispanics and other whites is also a key strategy in maintaining racism as a source of Democrat power. Thus the media push to redefine illegal alien as representative of the American Spanish speaking population has become an incessant drum beat.

5. Socialism. As people become wealthier and more independent, they become less susceptible to the Democrat political machine. Thus maintaining as many poor and uneducated people as possible is an overriding Democrat goal. This is best achieved by redistributing wealth from those who work to those who don’t. When there are more welfare recipients than taxpayers in America, the indigent will form the permanent entitlement driven majority the Democrats need to maintain their power.

6. Maintain control of the mainstream media. This is the source of power for both the media and the Democrats in America. The manipulation of the mindless mob is the key to getting the votes of the masses. Thus we have the Democrats pushing a “fairness” doctrine that would give lies equal play with the truth.

By the way – I would like to go on record – I do doubt the patriotism of many Democrats.

Now a look at the major Democrat Candidates. The first thing to note is that there are no Major Democrat Candidates. This is an assembly of character mites. But these are the ideal figure heads for the agenda above.

1. Hillary Clinton – Who in some years in the U.S. Senate has done exactly nothing. She is proclaimed the world’s smartest woman by the left wing media machine but the only demonstrated measure of her intelligence is that she lived with a cheating husband for years and had no idea of how abused she was. Her constant vacillation on the war in Iraq and the War on Terror show her total lack of conviction on this issue. She stands for abortion and racism. Having never done anything Hillary is safe from any criticism of her record and indeed the perfect Democrat to head their ticket.

2. Barack Obama – As a complete political unknown Obama has the only resume more appealing to Democrats than having a do nothing record. Let me repeat - no record at all is the only superior position from a do nothing record. Democrats love the blank slate. They can then write Obama to be whatever the moment requires. Here is an interesting aside on Obama from Key Black S. C. leaders back Clinton. They say Obama would ‘doom’ Democrats if he were to win nominating.” State Senator Robert Ford said, “Then everybody else on the ballot is doomed. Every Democratic candidate running on that ticket would lose because he’s black and he’s at the top of the ticket – we’d lose the House, the Senate and the governors and everything.” If a white republican would have said something like this he would be politically destroyed. (See Senator Trent Lott) Democrats here demonstrate a trait that Republicans lack, they are willing to abandon almost every core belief in order to gain political power. (Recall their attacks on the last woman nominated to the Supreme Court) By the way the Democrats’ willingness to lose a war to terrorists is the ultimate proof that anything but abortion is on the table if it gets them power.

3. John Edwards – Don’t make me laugh, again.

4. Al Gore – He will soon have an Oscar and a Noble Peace prize. The nomination as the Democrat Presidential Candidate would give him the triple crown of vacuous acclaim. The fact that he is a proven loser only heightens his victim status. Watch out for this one.

Republican Party – The pro-war on terror. Pro-liberation of Iraq, pro-life, pro-conservation of recourses party.

1. Victory in War – It is a difficult task to support war, everyone hates war. With terrorism checked in the U.S. and on the run in the rest of the world America is wondering why we have to keep fighting.

2. Cutting taxes. The tax cuts were the salvation of the American economy seven years ago. The Republicans have literally built a golden egg laying goose. It is now tempting to cut that goose open. Republicans will find it increasingly difficult to deny the growing demands of the “want mores” in the American electorate. I myself am looking at retirement and free health care for my hopefully long and golden years. As I consider having it paid for by young folks who work but don’t vote; four years without Republican restraints on entitlement spending begins to look pretty promising.

3. Racism. Republicans refuse to recognize the important racial divisions in America. They disagree with the “affirmative action” programs put in place to exploit race and challenge the stereotypes that provide identity for large sections of the American population. Some are foolish enough to confuse language with national identity. Republicans must learn that it is our ideas not the words that express them that make us a nation.
4. Exploitation of natural resources. Republicans are for opening up domestic oil reserves and for the managed use of natural resources. That the media and the well funded enviro Nazis are geared up to defend “wilderness” at any cost will surely provide plenty of mud to fling at the greedy Republicans who seek to reduce our dependency on foreign oil at the pretended expense of caribou and spotted owls.

5. Capitalism. The Republicans are locked into a philosophy that requires hard work to produce wealth. This policy leaves out the growing number of Americans who have been taught that they don’t have to work. The Republicans will soon find themselves in trouble with a growing population of entitlement dependent voters. “Tax the rich” sounds very good to the poor who hate the owners of the business for which they work just like they hate the teachers who forced them to study to get passing grades in school.

6. The New Media is increasingly pulling away from left wing control. But even as people listen to right wing talk radio, the radical antics of some on that front damage the causes they claim to support. As right wing radio grows in influence it too will be tempted to pander to the more radical elements of its listener base. Becoming a mirror image of the left will not advance the ideas that are needed to strengthen America. Fox NEWS is a promising bastion of fair and balanced information but it too must beware of pandering either to rightwing kooks or to the establishment for acceptance.

By the way I would like to go on record that turning on the President and the war by Republicans in order to garner the support of the left wing media or to attempt to soften the anger of the anti-war constituents will help neither their country nor their political aspirations.

Now a look at the Major Republican candidates. The biggest problem facing the Republican candidates is that the Democrat controlled, and controlling media, will be defining them. Watch to see how this insidious process has already started to divide Republicans. Republicans are made weak by the very dedication to principles that are also their strength. They will shoot themselves in the foot in order to hold a perceived moral line. They are more that willing to throw the baby out with the bath water, if that water makes them mad enough. The Democrats on the other hand will swallow almost, ALMOST any bitter pill in order to gain power.

1. Rudy Giuliani. He has done great things. He saved New York when it was in debt and crime ridden to the point of decay. He was there to strengthen his city and his nation when both needed him most. His weakness is that he is being defined by the liberal press by his failed marriages and his stance on abortion. These are the very bitter pills that some conservatives will hesitate to swallow. They will not listen to Giuliani’s words but to the slogans of his enemies magnified through the media and allow the election of a Democrat who will actively scuttle all the things they are seeking. I myself wish Giuliani were more clearly anti-abortion, but I can wait and realize that the judges he will appoint are the key, not his personal opinions. Does this mean that I am willing to abandon my most cherished cause to prevent the election of Hillary Clinton? It means that I know that a Hillary presidency would lead to far more infanticide than the election of a pro-choice Republican.

2. Mitt Romney – Promising; he has been a most successful governor, he is NOW strongly pro-life, and he looks good. The challenge that faces him is again that the Media will convince conservatives that Romney’s Mormon religion disqualifies him from their support. Thus the lie that Mormons aren’t Christians will be turned against Christians. The will eat each other like dogs while the wolves devour the flock.

3. John McCain. Don’t make me cry, again. McCain is a do nothing bomb thrower, who was invented as a candidate by the left wing media. He was the media’s attempt to create another Ross Perot to divide the Republican vote and sop up President Bush campaign war chest. He did.

I am now left to lament that the man I would most like to see running for President has no chance. I am for Joe Lieberman. How I would love to vote for a Giuliani/Lieberman
Ticket?. Wouldn’t it be great if America could come up with a sort of unity presidency ticket? But wanting what’s best for America as long ceased to be the dominate issue in politics. And in a nation full of people who are taught not to think there seems to be less and less hope as time goes by.

I am hopeful for a nation that has the courage and wisdom to elect men like George Bushes one and two and Ronald Reagan But then I remember that the same people elected Bill Clinton twice and Jimmy Carter.

Jimmy Carter was the Barack Obama of his day. A pig in a poke that America, weary of war and driven mad by years of Anti-American, anti president media blitz. America bought Jimmy Carter hook line and sinker. Carter went on to preside over double digit inflation and interest rates, to see the spread of Communism across nations in Africa and Latin America, the rise of Islamic fanaticism in Iran, now the world’s worst terrorist state, the lynch pin in the axis of evil, and America tumble into Malaise and long for a painless suicide. I am afraid that course opens for us once again. I wonder if we will survive this time, or will the ignorance induced stupor get us to drift off before someone shows up to open the windows.

Oh, and by the way – Carter got the Nobel Peace Prize. He is still “alive”, can an Oscar nomination be far away?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Rooting for Ahab

With its propensity to get everything wrong, Postmodern Relativism has inverted Ahab and Moby Dick; has made the hero a fiend, the monster majestic. That this fraud could be so easily and completely perpetrated on America’s “educated elites” is only understandable when one realizes that, of the thousands of professors and students dissecting Moby Dick, almost none have actually read the book. Of those who have, few are capable of placing the story in proper context. Couple the Relativist drive to call evil good and good evil with the new environmentalism which imagines any thing wild, from forest fires to malaria viruses, praiseworthy while despising all the works of man, and the elevation of Melville embodiment of evil, the white whale, into some kind of nature fetish was inevitable.

What a pity, we lose the power of the book, the magic of the poetry, and meanwhile Ahab, the personification of man’s nobility, is labeled depraved in the lectures that program lit students in the “blame the West, blame the man,” cultural of guilt. It is not my intention here to present all the proofs of my position. I admit that the references I will sight will be pulled out of context but I am confident that further discussion and deeper readings that revel the background to these quotes will only strengthen my claims.

As a quick aside, I want to mention how pleasant it is to read Herman Melville, a man who wrote outside the influence of Ernest Hemingway and the high school English teachers who exalted him. It is so pleasant to share an idea with an author who credits you with the ability of following a thought through a sentence of more than eight words.

Proposition One, The Whale is Evil:

Moby Dick – Malignant – “It was hardly to be doubted, that several vessels reported to have encountered, at such or such a time, or on such or such a meridian, a Sperm Whale of uncommon magnitude and malignity, which whale, after doing great mischief to his assailants, had completely escaped them,. To some minds it was not an unfair presumption I say, that the whale in question must have been no other than Moby Dick.” (Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, Barnes & Noble Books, New York, 1994, pg 176) Moby Dick representative of the gliding demon in the seas of all life – “How it was that they so aboundingly responded to the old man’s ire – by what evil magic their souls were possessed, that at times his hate seemed almost theirs; the White Whale as much their insufferable foe as his; how all this came to be -- what the White Whale was to them, or how to their unconscious understandings, also, in some dim, unsuspected way, he might have seemed the gliding great demon of the seas of life, -- all this to explain, would be to dive deeper than Ishmael can go.” (pg 185)

Evil embodied in the hue, white – “. . . there yet lurks an elusive something in the innermost idea of this hue, which strikes more of panic to the soul than that redness which affrights in blood. “This elusive quality it is, which cause the thought of whiteness, when divorced from more kindly associations, and coupled with any object terrible in itself, to heighten that terror to the furthest bounds. Witness the white bear of the poles, and the white shark of the tropics; what but their smooth, flaky whiteness makes them the transcendent horrors they are? That ghastly whiteness it is which imparts such an abhorrent mildness, even more loathsome than terrific, the dumb gloating of their aspect. So that not the fierce-fanged tiger in his heraldic coat can so stagger courage as the white-shrouded bear or shark.” (pg187) “What is it that in the Albino man so peculiarly repels and often shocks the eye, as that sometimes he is loathed by his own kith and kin? It is that whiteness which invests him, a thing expressed by the name he bears, The Albino is as well made as other men – has no substantive deformity – and yet this mere aspect of all-pervading whiteness makes him more strangely hideous than the ugliest abortion. Why should this be so?” (pg 189)

Moby Dick maims Ahab, murders whale-men again and again, and kills the son of the Captain of the Rachel. Moby Dick is the unthinking force of nature which man must tame in order to become God’s steward on earth. Moby Dick is the fear that must be faced; the evil that must be mastered for man to manage his own soul.

Proposition Two – Ahab is the Hero:

Ahab is the Master - “What will the owners say, sir?’ Let the owners stand on Nantucket beach and out yell the Typhoons. What cares Ahab? Owners, owners? Thou are always prating to me, Starbuck, about those miserly owners, as if the owners were my conscience. But look ye, the only real owner of anything is its commander; and hark ye, my conscience is in the ship’s keel. – On deck!” “Captain Ahab.” Said the reddening mate, moving further into the cabin, with a daring so strangely respectful and cautious that it almost seemed not only every way seeking to avoid the slightest outward manifestation of itself, but within also seemed more than half distrustful of itself; “A better man than I might well pas over in thee what he would quickly enough resent in a younger man; aye and in a happier, Captain Ahab.” “Devils! Dost thou then so much as dare to critically think of me? __ On deck!” “Nay, sir, not yet: I do entreat. And I do dare, sir – to be forbearing! Shall we not understand each other better than hitherto, Captain Ahab?” Ahab sized a loaded musket from the rack (Forming part of most South-Sea-men’s cabin furniture), and pointing it towards Starbuck, exclaimed; “Therein one God that is Lord over the earth, and one Captain that is lord over the Pequot. __ On deck!” (pg 473)

Ahab “defeats” the St. Elmo’s fire, and the fears of his crew - “The boat! the boat! cried Starbuck, “look at the boat, old man!” Ahab’s harpoon, the one forged at Perth’s fire, remained firmly lashed in its conspicuous crotch, so that it projected beyond his whale-boat’s bow; but the sea that had stove its bottom had caused the loose leather sheath to droop off; and from the keen steel barb there now came a leveled flame of pale, forked fire. AS the silent harpoon burned there like a serpent’s tongue, Starbuck rasped Ahab by the arm –“God, God is against thee, old man; forbear! t’is an ill voyage! Ill began, ill continued; let me square the yards, while we may, old man, and make a fair wind of it homewards, to go on a better voyage than this.” “Over hearing Starbuck, the panic-stricken crew instantly ran to the braces – though not a sail was left aloft. For the moment all the aghast mate’s thoughts seemed theirs; they raised a half mutinous cry. But dashing the rattling lightning links to the deck, and snatching the burning harpoon, Ahab waved it like a torch among them; swearing to transfix with it the first sailor that but cast loose a rope’s end. Petrified the men fell back in dismay, and Ahab again spoke: -- “All your oaths to hunt the White Whale are as binding as mine; and heart, soul, and body, lungs ad life, old Ahab is bound. And that ye may now to what tune this heart beats; look ye here; thus I blow out the last fear!” And with one blast of his breath he extinguished the flame.” (pgs 503 – 504)

Ahab fixes the broken compass of the Pequot – “Men,” said he, steadily turning upon the crew, as the mate handed him the things he had demanded, “My men, the thunder turned old Ahab’s needles; but out of this bit of steel Ahab can make one of his own, that will point as true as any.” “Abashed glances of servile wonder were exchanged by the sailors, as this was said; and with fascinated eyes they awaited whatever magic might follow. But Starbuck looked away. With a blow fro the top-mal Ahab knocked off the steel head of the lance, and then handing to the mate the long iron rod remaining, bade him hold it upright, without its touching the deck. Then, with the maul, after repeatedly smiting the upper end of this iron rod, he hammered that, several times, the mate still holding the rod as before. Then going through some small strange motions with it – whether indispensable to the magnetizing of the steel, or merely intended to augment the awe of the crew, is uncertain – he called for linen thread; and moving to the binnacle, slipped out the two reversed needles there, and horizontally suspended the sail-needle by its middle, over one of the compass-cards. At first, the steel went round and round, quivering and vibrating at either end; but at last it settled to its place, when Ahab, who had been intently watching for this result, stepped frankly back from the binnacle, and pointing his stretched arm towards it, exclaimed, --“Look ye, for yourselves, if Ahab be not lord of the level loadstone! The sun is East, and the compass swears it!” (pgs 512-513)

Ahab speaks before he finally defeats Moby Dick, albeit at the cost of his own life: “. . . Oh, now I feel my topmost greatness lies in my topmost grief. Ho, ho! From all your furthest bounds, pour ye now in, ye bold billows of my whole foregone life, and top this one piled comber of my death! Towards thee I roll, thou all destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee. Sink all coffins and all hearses to one common pool! And since neither can be mine, let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, though tied to thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear!”

“The harpoon was darted; the stricken whale flew forward; with igniting velocity the line ran through the groove; --ran foul. Ahab stooped to clear it; he did clear it; but the flying turn caught him round the neck, and voicelessly as Turkish mutes bowstring their victim, he was shout out of the boat, ere the crew knew he was gone. Next instant, the heavy eye-splice in the rope’s final end flew out of the stark-empty tub, knocked down an oarsman, and smiting the sea, disappeared in its depths.” (pgs 566-567)

Whether the stricken whale died or not is open to debate, Melville is, at the last, not clear. But that Ahab was not defeated, although destroyed, remains the powerful lesson of the book. As America faces a “Mission Impossible” we might well ask where we can find a hero like Ahab.

I was so disappointed in the mini-series of Moby Dick staring Patrick Stewart. It seemed that if anyone could fill Gregory Peck's boot – it seemed to me to be Picard. Surly he would portray Ahab as Ahab was meant to be. Instead they reduced Ahab to a cowardly crazy man. What was even more disappointing about the made for T.V. version is the racism that infused the plot line. In strict contrast to the book, where representatives of all races are deliberately given the positions of most importance, the movie made the crew into a mass of gibbering savages and their bigoted Quaker masters. I couldn’t stand to watch the program in one sitting. I did force it down in bites like bitter herbs, hoping for some satisfaction. It never came.

In the book, I also love the relationship between Ishmael and Queequeg, that George Washington of cannibals. I enjoyed their marriage, surly a “merry” one, and how they knelt together to worship the God of the Universe manifest in a bit of burnt wood and their sacred friendship.

There are many manifestations of the Ahab style hero found throughout history. Often there are those who brand them monomaniacal, and mock them; only to find, that, in the end, they were the true heroes. Reagan’s great success by sticking with his attack on the evil empire till it sank and died, is a great example. Especially because many thought he could never win!

To better understand Moby Dick, I recommend you read two other books written by whale-men. The best is called The Cruse of the Cachalot by Frank T. Bullen. It is easer reading than Moby Dick, and just a beautiful, perhaps even more exciting as far as the whaling goes. The second, though not on a par with the other two is Whale Hunt by Nelson Cole Haley.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Mashing America; the “Truth” on Television

I used to watch MASH. We got our first cable hookup back in 1981, when we were living in Jackson Hole Wyoming. I was excited to find out that I could watch MASH three times a day. I hadn’t started watching MASH until after Henry Blake died, but I’d seen it all in re-runs.

Now I can’t stand to listen to the program, the revulsion is actually physical. Wrapped in a saccharin coating this T.V. show has contributed to a mind set that lays the foundation for appeasement. I once heard Paul Harvey say that MASH had put war out of stile in America. In those days of comparative safety and peace, that didn’t seem so bad. Now in a world where an insidious enemy would hunt us all into extinction Appeasement is a very dangerous delusion. Because a generation of Americans has grown up force fed the anti-war agenda of the 4077th we are all in danger.

A quick examination of the characters reveals the subtle but powerful message of the program. The “good guys” are all in Korea under protest while the few who support America’s difficult but necessary mission are portrayed as fools, fiends, or psychopaths.

On one side we have Hawkeye, Trapper, B. J. and Klinger. Their contempt for America oozes from the script. Their resentment for those whom they blame for the war is pervasive. If you’re against the war, be you souse, a cross dresser, or philanderer – you’re the good guy.

At the other extreme are those who show any semblance of support for their country. Frank Burns, Hot Lips Hulahan, Colonel Flag, and a never ending stream of “Regular Army” guys who are in Korea only to kill and exploit. If you support the war, you’re a fool, a crook, or a killer.

In a recent conversation it was claimed that Frank Burns wasn’t representative of anything he was just a fool. This is the dangerous subtlety of the show. Of course Frank was an idiot, and as an idiot he didn’t like Communism. Colonel Flag is a joke, I was told while watching an episode in which Flag swaggered around the MASH unit threatening to execute a sixteen your old boy. Of course he’s a joke and made all the things connected with him a joke – including CIA and patriotism.

The Chinese and North Koreans only put in rare appearances. There is a lovable bomber pilot, Five o-clock Charlie, whom the wise Dr’s guide in to blow up an American ammo-dump while the “good guys” cheer the destruction of the arms that might have prevented the casualties they will lament in the next scene. There is the compassionate Chinese Dr. who magnanimously offers to hand over wounded prisoners and then lectures the Americans and America on the injustice of U. S. actions. Mean while Frank and Margaret pay the price of supporting the war by being presented as self serving idiots. In show after show the underlying theme is the same, sweet teenage American boys suffer and die, and for what? In the words of the MASHers, “for nothing.”

We are never presented the atrocities on the Communists, the evils of totalitarian dictators who mass murder and enslave. There is no mention of the Communist and Soviet goal of world domination. In episode after episode, America and its military are accused and debased. We have colonels who use black soldiers as cannon fodder; supply offices that steal and deal with the medical supplies needed to save the dying; an insane general who demands a black helicopter pilot dance for his entertainment; a statistician who revels in predicting the death of soldiers, a company commander who waists his soldiers lives to gain fame, an incompetent desk jockey sent to the battle front to gain points for retirement; and unremittingly, General Macarthur is made the butt of jokes and baseless accusations. I could go on and on – every episode brings forth another “ugly” America to contrast with the wise and knowing Dr’s of MASH 4077.

Pacifism is a narcotic. It brings on a seemingly pleasant euphoria, but one which is totally false, unreal; a stimulation of a co-opted mind. The only tool of the pacifists in a world where evil is a reality is appeasement.

I have a favorite Star Trek episode. (The old Star Trek with Kirk and Spock). Kirk and Spock follow Dr. McCoy into a time gate and find themselves in 1930’s America. Spock is passed off as a Chinese who got his ears caught in a rice picker. They meet a girl and McCoy saves her from being rundown by a truck. In that instant the *Enterprise* disappears, there is no future. Spock applies his logic and revels the cause. The woman McCoy saved would go on to maintain the pacifist movement in the U. S. long enough for Hitler to prefect the Atomic bomb and win the war. There would be no future.

The danger of appeasement is that it sounds so easy. Surely “they” want what we want. If we could just jump in a jeep and drive to the peace talks then it would all be over. Just ask Hawkeye.

Years ago I found a book in the University Library. It was full of political cartoons from before World War Two.

The first picture illustrates the words of FDR. There is now an unholy alliance to dominate and enslave the Human race, but MASHed Americans are not interested in hearing about it, are not willing to recognize it even exists. To them it is not as real as a T. V. show in its thirtieth year of re-runs.

The second visualizes the condition of the appeasers. War is hell; no one wants to deal with it. So they turn their backs while the world gets ready to blow.

The next step is presented by this graphic fantasy. The storm has already begun, and America cowers behind the umbrella of appeasement deceived by the false hope that we can stop the floods should they come on us.

Munich was the consummation of appeasement. Britain, the trained cat, was used by the “master of lies” to aiding and abetting the death of Czechoslovakia. Thus the Appeasers in the US would make the American people the allies of the terrorists in their quest for world dominance. They are already cracking the whip.

The guy with the sword represents the French; the chubby chap is Jon Bull, the personification of the British people. Uncle Sam was hunkered down on the beach. How long will the flesh and blood of the free people of Iraq sate the Muslim beast?

When Hitler turned on Poland, France and Britain thought they could put an end to evil. Boy, were they in for a shock. When we are at last forced to face the terrorist killers, how well will we do?

With a bit of bravado, this cartoon shows John Bull finally getting his courage up. But we all know it is too late to win. Only America saved the day. Will it soon be too late for us? This is Osama’s dream. Who will save us then?

And when Europe is gone, and the world in the hands of a nuclear powered Islamic super state how will we survive? Britain looks tough in this cartoon, the lion so fierce. But how could they have stood without our help, no longer than Iraq can if we abandon them to the terrorists. They will be turned from a rock of defiance to a stepping stone toward our destruction.

Pretending that the Islamic Radicals will be our friends if we give them power in “their part of the world” is as foolish as Chamberlain’s hope for "peace in our time". It is the false hallucination of the MASHed mind.

It is fitting that the MASH theme song, soaked into the American mind by the incessant re-running of that fantasy, intones, “Suicide is painless, it brings so many changes; suicide is painless after all.” This is the siren call of the Appeasers; this is the promise of the pacifists, this is the fate of a MASHed America.