I just finished reading Alex Kershaw's The Few, which is about the first seven Americans to join the RAF in WWII. In the end, there would be three squadrons of Americans who would risk their citizenship, in the face of US law, to fight on the side of the British.
Of those seven men, six were dead by 1942, one survived the war. Of the three squardons of Americans, many would later become American aces in American planes in the 8th Air Force's 4th Fighter Group.
But every one of them chose to fight for what was right without consideration of money, fame or even their own birthright. Sure, some wanted to fly the fast Spitfires over England, but most joined up to stop the Nazis. They knew they were going to where the fight was because the British needed help.
Robert Asahina's Just Americans discusses how Japanese Americans volunteered for the US Army. While some were later drafted, while their families sat in concentration camps, 22 of these men would later win the Medal of Honor. They served a country which denied them basic rights of citizenship for reasons based in greed and paranoia.
The acts of these men were selfless, they placed their values above their lives. When they were asked to oppose evil, they didn't write about it, they went out of their way to confront it at risk to their lives.
The cheap talk and violent blather of the right is just that. They fantasize about Churchill and World War II in ways that best befit a bad novel and not the acts of humans. They want to be heroes without heroism.
The people they claim to admire put action before words, but what we have are a bunch of blowhards, people who talk big and do nothing who want to wrap themselves in the cloak of heroes.
As we discuss the Iraq war and Bush's insane escalation, we need to remember, those cheering the loudest have risked the least.
posted by Steve @ 12:21:00 PM