Author Topic: A difficult lesson  (Read 2517 times)

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A difficult lesson
« on: August 11, 2006, 06:04:49 PM »
A difficult lesson ~

I once witnessed a bar fight in downtown Olongapo (The Sin City outside
the Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines) that still haunts my dreams.
The fight was between a big oafish Marine and a rather soft-spoken, medium
sized Latino sailor from my ship.

All evening the Marine had been trying to pick a fight with one of
us and had finally set his sights on this diminutive shipmate of
mine...figuring him for a safe target. When my friend refused to be goaded
into a fight the Marine sucker punched him from behind on the side
of the head so hard that blood instantly started to pour from this poor
man's mutilated ear.

Everyone present was horrified and was prepared to absolutely murder
this Marine, but my shipmate quickly turned on him and began to
single-handedly back him towards a corner with a series of stinging
jabs and upper cuts that gave more than a hint to a youth spent
boxing in a small gym in the Bronx.

Each punch opened a cut on the Marine's startled face and by the
time he had been backed completely into the corner he was blubbering for
someone to stop the fight. He invoked his split lips and chipped
teeth as reasons to stop the fight. He begged us to stop the fight
because he could barely see through the river of blood that was pouring out
of his split and swollen brows.

Nobody moved. Not one person.

The only sound in the bar was the sickening staccato sound of this
sailor's lightning fast fists making contact with new areas of the
Marine's head. The only sound I have heard since that was remotely
similar was from the first Rocky film when Sylvester Stallone was
punching sides of beef in the meat locker.

Finally the Marine's pleading turned to screams.... a high, almost
womanly shriek. And still the punches continued relentlessly.
Several people in the bar took a few tentative steps as though they
wanted to try to break it up at that point, but hands reached out from the
crowd and held them tight. I'm not ashamed to say that mine were two of
the hands that held someone back.

You see, in between each blow the sailor had begun chanting a soft
cadence: "Say [punch] you [punch] give [punch] up [punch]... say
[punch] you [punch] were [punch] wrong [punch]".

He had been repeating it to the Marine almost from the start but we
only became aware of it when the typical barroom cheers had died
down and we began to be sickened by the sight and sound of the carnage.
This Marine stood there shrieking in the corner of the bar trying
futilely to block the carefully timed punches that were cutting his
head to tatters... right down to the skull in places. But he refused
to say that he gave up... or that he was wrong.

Even in the delirium of his beating he believed in his heart that
someone would stop the fight before he had to admit defeat. I'm sure
this strategy had served him well in the past and had allowed him to
continue on his career as a barroom bully.

Finally, in a wail of agony the Marine shrieked "I give up", and we
gently backed the sailor away from him.

I'm sure you can guess why I have shared this story today. I'm not
particularly proud to have been witness to such a bloody spectacle,
and the sound of that Marine's woman-like shrieks will haunt me to
my grave. But I learned something that evening that Israel had better
learn for itself if it is to finally be rid of at least one of its

This is one time an Arab aggressor must be allowed to be beaten so
badly that every civilized nation will stand in horror, wanting
desperately to step in and stop the carnage... but knowing that the
fight will only truly be over when one side gives up and finally
admits defeat. Just as every person who had ever rescued that bully
from admitting defeat helped create the cowardly brute I saw that
evening in the bar, every well-intentioned power that has ever
stepped in and negotiated a ceasefire for an Arab aggressor has helped
create the monsters we see around us today.

President Lahoud of Lebanon, a big Hezbollah supporter and a close
ally of Syria, has been shrieking non-stop to the UN Security
Council for the past two days to get them to force Israel into a cease

Clearly he has been reading his autographed copy of 'Military
Success for Dummies Arab Despots' by the late Gamal Abdul Nasser of
Ever since Nasser accidentally discovered the trick in '56, every
subsequent Arab leader has stuck to his tried and true formula for
military success:

1. Instigate a war.

2. Once the war is well underway and you are in the process of
having your ass handed to you... get a few world powers to force your
western opponent into a cease fire.

3. Whatever you do, don't surrender or submit to any terms dictated
by your enemy. That would ruin everything! All you have to do is
wait it out and eventually the world will become sickened at what is
being done to your soldiers and civilian population... and will force a

4. Once a truce has been called you can resume your intransigence
(which probably caused the conflict in the first place), and even
declare victory as your opponent leaves the field of battle. This
tactic has never failed. Not once. In fact it worked so well for the
Egyptians in 1973, that to this day they celebrate the Yom Kippur
War - a crushing defeat at the hands of Israel - as a military victory!
No kidding... it's a national holiday over there!

President Lahoud has already begun to shriek like a school girl to
The UN Security Council to "Stop the violence and arrange a cease-fire,
and then after that we'll be ready to discuss all matters."

Uh huh. Forgive me if I find that a tad hard to swallow. He allowed
Hezbollah to take over his country. He allowed the regular Lebanese
army to provide radar targeting data for the Hezbollah missile that
struck the Israeli destroyer. He has turned a blind eye while
Iranian and Syrian weapons, advisers and money have poured into his

And now that his country is in ruins he wants to call it a draw. As
much as it may sicken the world to stand by and watch it happen,
strong hands need to hold back the weak-hearted and let the fight
continue until one side finally admits unambiguous defeat.