Towards A Good Samaritan World

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


That's been the lesson of the past three years, but this account of the battle of Fallujah drives it home. It brought tears to my eyes. Not of sorrow, and not exactly of joy; of hope, and of wonder. Like Moses before the Burning Bush. Excerpting doesn't do it justice, and don't let it deter you from reading it, but here are a few bits:

The whole time the enemy was firing mortars and rockets at the apartments. Honest to God, I don't think I saw a single Marine even distracted by the enemy fire.


My whole life I have read about the greatest generation and sat in wonder at their accomplishments. For the first time, as I watch these Marines and Soldiers, I am eager for the future as this is just the beginning for them. Perhaps the most amazing characteristic of all is that the morale of the men is sky high. They hurt for the wounded and the dead but they are eager to continue to attack. Further, not one of them would be comfortable with being called a hero even though they clearly are.

Extraordinary, remarks Andrew Sullivan. (Which is where I got the link.) Maybe. Or maybe it's quite ordinary. Maybe a lot of Americans would put their lives on the line for a cause if the time came. Maybe in the way they do, every day. Well, not rich kids, not trust fund kids, but the working poor who could fall through the cracks and starve if they screw up, and yet they find the strength to push on. Courage, whether in Fallujah or in the daily operations of capitalism and economic growth, reverberates to the ends of the earth.

And this appeared on The Corner (hat tip, Tim Blair):

I am also a professor at a military-related institution, and my little brother is an enlisted Marine (a sniper with 1-3) in Fallujah. This weekend he called for the first time since the battle began. He informed us that a large number of the residents of Fallujah, before fleeing the battle, left blankets and bedding for the Marines and Soldiers along with notes thanking the Americans for liberating their city from the terrorists, as well as invitations to the Marines and Soldiers to sleep in their houses.

That is so sweet!


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