When the Devil grabs you by the throat

We have just experienced the greatest political/military defeat in American history.  It is a historic watershed moment of presidential ineptitude and piss-poor senior military judgment on a grand scale.

Because of the actions of a morally, intellectually, and physically courageous USMC LtCol — soon to be a veteran — the nation is forced to focus on and debate accountability for one of the weakest political and senior military actions in our history.  But the tragedy is also still moving forward.

With the announcement of the last plane out, and looking forward beyond August 31, 2021, there are two historic battlefield losses that come readily to mind as perfect examples transcending the day the battle ended, when pure evil took command of the defeated: the aftermath of the fall of Singapore in World War II and the takeover by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.  If ever there were a Devil, real or symbolic, that presents pure inhuman evil, the aftermath of both the fall of Singapore and the Cambodia victory of the Khmer Rouge puts such a nasty figure in play. 

Before putting a historic spotlight on the documented horrific Imperial Japanese war crimes against British and Commonwealth troops along with innocent civilians, a personal note must be made.

Evil can be vanquished.  I am named after my uncle, who was killed in action on Iwo Jima, and my family fully recognizes the brilliant leadership of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, who brought Japan away from the vicious code of Bushido that allowed and even justified horrific torture and death for those who surrendered.  MacArthur's gifted leadership genius created the modern shining example of the open, decent, and vibrant society that is modern Japan.

With the military fall of Singapore, in which 80,000 or so British and Commonwealth troops surrendered to roughly 30,000 Japanese troops, the war crimes against those in captivity were yet to come.  It was bad — very bad — for those held captive.  The consequences of what Winston Churchill called the worst defeat in British history were not just the day of surrender, but the following years of WWII, until those left behind were liberated.  It is estimated that 50,000 prisoners died in captivity, and many were tortured.

The second example of evil grabbing a nation's citizens by the throat was the fall of Cambodia to the Khmer Rouge and then the killing fields to follow.  If there were ever a moment in modern history after WWII where, metaphorically, the Devil grabbed an innocent population by the throat, it was the brutal Cambodian genocide of between 1.5 and 2 million deaths.

Safe and comfy, writing behind a computer screen, some may try and put in a memory hole the whole disgusting mess leading to the last U.S. aircraft lifting off from Kabul.  But accurate, fact-based reporting will bring well earned complete dishonor to the Biden administration.  Today, right now, please do not put those left behind in such a memory hole, because simple justice and respect for humanity and the sacrifice of our veterans require ongoing, transparent, worldwide accountably for those abandoned to control by vicious, proven fanatical killers.   

Soon to be a veteran, LtCol Scheller, USMC and many others who served will still trust and believe in the great dream that is our nation, and they will neither forgive or forget as the Afghan death toll rises.

Image: newsonline via FlickrCC BY 2.0 (cropped).

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