Monday, October 04, 2004

Navarone-ing the Debate...

Mr. Atos

The Guns of Navarone was, no doubt, a great movie. It ranks among the top ten classic war movies which include in no particular order, In Harm's Way, The Dirty Dozen, Where Eagles Dare, Battle of the Bulge, Midway, Kelly's Hero's, The Battle of Britain, and The Sands of Iwo Jima. The spirit of the great war epic stirred the American fighting spirit often during the darkest days of conflict and definitely beyond, in perpetuity, as a reminder of the sacrifices made by good men for a noble cause. That was a cause that was no more or less clear than the conflict we are in today.

There was a lesser known sequel to that great classic, made in 1978, called Force 10 From Navarone. Besides the fact that few great movies emerged for the seventies, this particular movie had a popular sibling to which it could hardly compare. Critics savaged the film both then and now. Surely, it would have earned a 'slab' from
The Unblinking Eye. Nevertheless, to this then ten-year-old boy, the movie assembled all the ingredients of greatness. It had guns, planes, soldiers, action, girls (Barbara Bach - yikes!), spies, tanks, trains, Nazi's... and lots of dead ones. It had Hans Solo, The Spy who loved me, Apollo Creed, Captain Quinn, even Jaws. Not only did the good guys destroy a fantastic bridge, but they blew up a gigantic dam to do it... thus killing even more Nazi's. What more could a boy want? Critics be damned, it was a veritable action smorgasbord well worth the $2 dollar matinee price; all seven times.

Even that movie bore lessons and reminders to be heeded in the current conflict. One scene maintains particular significance with regard to last week's Presidential debate, as will be illustrated shortly.

Much has been made about the debate performances. Less has been offered in terms of the substance. Pundits on both sides of the political aisle conferred victory on Kerry. He looked and sounded good. President Bush maintained a concise message that was consistent with his policy and played like a slogan. To the 'Old Media' that values symbolism over substance, issues were irrelevant; as is Kerry's failed Senate record, and a schizophrenic foreign policy persona. Consensus proves that 'Old Media' still maintains some influence over the 'New Media,' where content was subordinate to style yet again. But, the content of the debate involved the question of US sovereignty and security. It is a critical issue in the minds of serious Americans across the spectrum. On that, President Bush prevailed without question, as indeed he did with the debate as a whole.
Hugh Hewitt is in a clear minority of journalists that get this one right. The President managed his opponent like Alistair MacClean tackling a dam. Which takes us back to Force 10...

When the remains of the team finally got around to the task of destroying the Nazi bridge, they found that they needed to drop a mountain reservoir on top of it. Miller, the pompous British explosives expert that successfully sabotaged the great Nazi fortress of Navarone, rigged the Yugoslavian dam similarly to crumble. One expected the same fantastic firestorm of explosions and fire, to rip through the massive structure blowing to pieces before the wall of water plunges through the remains. Waiting on the edge of my seat, the charges were set as instructed with no time to get away. KaBOOM!

Nothing happened. The object stood firm.

Everyone cursed Miller. (Joe Scarborough would no doubt have called his performance "pathetic."). Miller sat quietly on the hillside overlooking the dam through the early morning mist, calmly smoking his pipe in good bloke fashion. Finally he said, "Give it time. You've got to let nature take her course." Miller knew his opponent, and capitalized on its weaknesses and the fundamental flaws inherent to its foundation. He didn't need the fireballs and massive ordinance of Navarone to topple this foe. He merely used a couple of rucksacks full of the enemy's own munitions placed accordingly. His meek assault, however, fractured its inner structure, mortally wounding it against the massive potential of cataclysmic destruction. The behemoth began to give way - pipes blew, walls shifted, concrete cracked. The inevitable truth poured through the breaches, infiltrating and undermining any resistance or argument the object had offered. Water pouring down its face, the great barrier collapsed.

Likewise, the enemy forces succumbed to the onslaught of fluid destruction. Crossing the bridge for invasion, its foundations came under the assault of an eroding principle that chiseled away resolve and disintegrated the fragile integrity. Their great bridge collapsed, dashing the enemy's hope of ever reaching their objective.

Miller was vindicated.

The President likewise proved to be a formidable saboteur to his opponent's concrete-like prowess, as Kerry is learning in the aftermath of his mortal engagement. Let's review the cracks:

1. The Global Test for national defense.
2. Cancellation of more critical weapons systems.
3. Denigrating members of the Coalition alliance... especially Poland.
4. Ignoring and denigrating the President of the Republic of Iraq.
5. Affirming that soldiers are dying for the President's mistake in Iraq.
6. Assertion that there are no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq... "none."
7. Kerry: 'I have a plan... go to my website.'
8. Expressing pride in his historic and ongoing disrespect for the US Military.

The Democrat's Presidential Candidate is hemorrhaging fiercely. The foundations are cracking. President Bush is now letting 'nature take her course.'

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