FAO Quotables

"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist."
-Anne Applebaum

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pentagon Protester of the Week: "The smell of napalm in the morning"

NOTE:  For those who don't know,  every Monday morning the Pentagon allows only the biggest idiots best and brightest dissenters to post up on the grassy area by the Metro entrance escalators and display their signs. 

I meant to post this yesterday but didn't due to sheer neglect and gross time mismanagement.

This is my Monday column in which I sometimes pontificate and other times merely describe one of the protester's signs at the top of the metro entrance to the Pentagon. 

    It always gets me how either crazy or 'Berkeley circa 1970' these protesters look.  It's like there's some "Urban Protesters" store that they all stop at  to pick up there solid color bandannas and faded burgundy, loose button vests.  You would think that their styles would have developed in the past 40 years.  We got rid of bell bottoms for our enlisted sailors, you'd think they'd have stepped up their game, maybe rock some skinny jeans with the oversized kicks (a look I deplore, but I am an old 31 year-old), or at least some form of fitted attire that doesn't look like mormon pajamas.  But I digress....

"Reduce nuclear weapons.  Outlaw napalm.  Burn pain is the worst pain." 

    I give this protester credit.  At least they are thoughtful enough to not want to 'ban' nuclear weapons.  This middle-aged woman (MAW) wanted to merely 'reduce' them.  I only wish she had been a bit more specific.  Who does she want to reduce nuclear weapons?  I think most of the Pentagon brass is all for the rest of the world reducing their nuclear weapons, but probably not as much domestically.  Also, do you think MAW protester has a schedule?  Does she take her sign over to the White House as well?  What about Capital Hill?  The State Department?  It does take a village after all.
    Her second demand (suggestion?) that napalm be outlawed is probably a noble one.  However, she might be better served to take her sign to congress and review her high school government notes along the way as I don't see the Pentagon 'changing any laws'.
    Lastly, I must say I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE  her last line:

"Burn pain is the worst pain."

 I know this makes me an awful person but when I read those words I thought nothing about pain and suffering, instead a soundtrack (Juicy) immediately entered my mind à là Biggie Smalls, aka Notorious B.I.G.,  I think a little 'swagga' actually enlivened my step when I read 'burn pain is the worst pain' and I quietly rapped to myself in response:

'but now we drink champagne when we thirst-ay'

   And that is my digression for the day.  In case you are unfamiliar with the song (in which case you are definitely older than 40 years of age...or a quaker/mormon/west point grad...apologies to my quaker and mormon readers) it is from Notorious BIG's 1994 Ready to Die album and the actual lines are (as we sang together while popping $4 bottles of Cooks in flight school):

Birthdays was the worst days/Now we sip champagne when we thirsty/Uh, damn right I like the life I live/'Cause I went from negative to positive and it's all... (It's all good).

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