Posts Tagged ‘tanks’

Remembering Tiananmen Square

June 4, 2014

For me, Tiananmen Square comes down to this moment that I still vividly remember:

I watch that man stand in front of a sixty ton tank and what I see is raw courage and the true beauty of the human spirit.

Imagine doing that.  A column of massive tanks is heading down a street to impose dictatorship and something in you snaps and you determine that you will stop it with the only thing you’ve got: your body.  Hundreds of tons of metal in those tanks are coming at you, and you STAND.

There are at least four tanks, one right behind the other (and probably several more behind those): one man, one incredibly brave human being, stopped them all with his act of defiance against brutal dictatorship.

We don’t even know who the man was.  He was probably intercepted and hauled away by secret police as he returned to the crowd and executed by the brutal regime.  His act, seen by millions and maybe billions of human beings, is anonymous.  And in a way that is fitting, because he represents ALL of us who defy totalitarian authority.

We think about the Tiananmen Square Massacre.  How many died in the crackdown?  An Orwellian State has made sure that no one will ever know.  The death toll is probably in the thousands, but the scene was scrubbed by government worshipers and the same government worshipers have banned any discussion of the event to this very day.

Because you don’t have freedom in such a government colossus.  THAT’S why the man stood in front of the tanks: because it was the only freedom he had left under this totalitarian State.

I have thought about that unknown “tank man” who stopped a column of tanks armed with nothing except raw courage and the sheer will to resist a power-mad government many times.  It sends shivers through my spine every time I watch it.

But I have also thought of the driver of that tank.  Not much talk or thought has been about him.

This tank driver was driving his tank for the brutal regime.  And obviously, the same brutal regime that brutally cracked down on thousands of people who were trying to stand up for human freedom and human dignity wanted that tank driver to crush that hero who placed his body in front of that tank.  I imagine the tank commander was screaming, “What are you doing stopping?  What are you doing turning?  Drive OVER him!  Run Him down!”

But that tank driver refused.  He would not run his tank over that noble human being.

I imagine he was never seen again, either.

Ultimately, that’s the only time such a heroic resistance can get off the ground: when the foot soldiers of evil look around and realize that what they are doing IS evil and stop.  And refuse to obey their wicked orders.

Today, on this 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, I salute both of these unknown heroes.  I salute the Chinese people for producing such men who would so love the human spirit that they would courageously die for that love.  I resolve to be like these men against whatever “tanks” of State oppression I am facing.  And I call upon others to resolve to be like them.

Update: I found this picture.

Look at all the tanks lined up as “tank man” makes his stand!  I count at least twenty – and again, there are probably more behind those.

The next time you helplessly ask, “What can I do?  I’m just one person!”  Think of the one person who stopped God-only-knows how many tanks in their tracks!!!

Freedom is not unique to Americans; it is – or ought to be – the natural state of all human beings.  Elite American warriors yearn to find the kind of love for freedom that we see here; and our SEALs and our Delta Force operators and our Special Forces bond incredibly closely with hearts of men all over the world whose hearts resound with the same beat of freedom that theirs does.  The tragedy is that there are few such men today and there are more men than ever who want to take the ever-diminishing freedoms we have away from us.

The SOG who fought and died in Vietnam had a motto: “For those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor that the protected will never know.”

Do you want to really know what freedom tastes like?  The please STAND UP and FIGHT for it.

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10 Questions Obama Won’t Answer In His Libya Speech

March 28, 2011

1. How is your Libya policy not more “Bush-ish” and hawkish than George W. Bush’s with your unprecedented standard of intervening in the Middle East whenever non-American lives are threatened?  How is this not “humanitarian imperialism” and far worse than anything Bush did given the undefined and open-ended nature of it?

“By almost every metric you can use in terms of being a muscular executive – acting alone without congressional authority, extending the Bush policies overseas, particularly in the War on Terror and Afghanistan and Iraq – he’s been more hawkish than George Bush,” Halperin remarked.

2. Why are we in Libya when even your own Secretary of Defense clearly states that it is not in the United States’ vital national interests to do so?

On “This Week,” ABC News’ Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper asked Gates, “Do you think Libya posed an actual or imminent threat to the United States?”

“No, no,” Gates said in a joint appearance with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “It was not — it was not a vital national interest to the United States. but it was an interest.”

3. Why are we in the middle of Libya’s civil war, given that the man leading the rebels actually fought against American troops in Afghanistan and his fighters have al Qaeda links?

… Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,” but added that the “members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader”. […]

Mr al-Hasidi admitted he had earlier fought against “the foreign invasion” in Afghanistan, before being “captured in 2002 in Peshwar, in Pakistan”. He was later handed over to the US, and then held in Libya before being released in 2008…

4. Why shouldn’t you be impeached using your own or now Vice President Biden’s standard that you used to demonize George W. Bush when you were both Senators?

Barack Obama: “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” Obama responded.

Joe Biden: “This is something I know. So I got together and brought a group of Constitutional scholars together and write a piece I’m going to deliver to the whole United States Senate in pointing out the president has no Constitutional authority to take this nation to war against a country of 70 million people unless we’re attacked, or unless there is proof that we are about to be attacked. If he does, I would move to impeach him. The House obviously has to do that – but I would lead an effort to impeach him. The reason for my doing that – I don’t say it lightly, I don’t say it lightly.”

5. Will we get involved in other wars as dictators dictate?  What about Syria and the Sudan and so many other regions where leaders routinely brutalize their own people?  Will some dictator carefully reading over your speech understand what your policy is?  Will such a dictator realize he’d better not do “x” because he will have to deal with the power of the United States?

6.  How will the mission in Libya not be a complete failure and embarassment to the United States given your announcement that “Gaddafi must go“?  And is it or is it not our policy for Gaddafi to be forced out of power?

7. When exactly – and I mean when exactly – are you planning to leave Libya?

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S.-led military action in Libya has bolstered rebels fighting Moammar Gadhafi’s forces, but the international operation could continue for months, the Obama administration says.

NATO’s top decision-making body was to meet Sunday to expand its enforcement of the no-fly zone to include air strikes against Libyan ground targets.

The military progress follows deep criticism against Obama from lawmakers upset that the administration hadn’t sought greater congressional input on Libya.

8.  Just when did U.S. intelligence say that Libyan tanks and trucks aquired the capacity of flight, such that they are being annhilated by the dozens in your no-fly zone?  Should the inability of American M1-Abrams tanks to fly not be seen as a crisis given this development?  If our vehicles could fly like Gaddafi’s apparently can, wouldn’t that help us with global warming?  And if Gaddafi’s tanks and trucks AREN’T flying, just how does this not exceed the stated U.N. mandate?

9. Why did your Secretary of State just call a clear dictator in Syria who is gunning down his own people in the streets for protesting a “reformer”?  And just why have you personally refused to give the oppressed protestors and people of Syria so much as a single nod of verbal support?  Why is your administration literally supporting a violent terrorist dictator over the oppressed Syrian people?

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton referred to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad as a “reformer” this weekend, despite Assad’s atrocious human rights record and the regime’s violent crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators, which has resulted in over 60 deaths in the past week alone. According to Clinton:

”There is a different leader in Syria now, many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer,” she said.

10. Will you personally apologize to George W. Bush, given that you endlessly demonized him, only to then turn around and go further than he did?  How about your criticism of Bush’s acting unconstitutionally when Bush had far more constitutional support (such as Congress’ authorization) than you did?  how about your criticism of Bush for Gitmo when you haven’t bothered to close it?  Etc.?

[From the Washington Times]: Mr. Obama has less legal and moral justification for his Libyan campaign than Mr. Bush did in Iraq. Mr. Bush received congressional authorization for the use of force; Mr. Obama has not. Mr. Bush forged a broad coalition of nearly three-dozen countries to topple Saddam Hussein; Mr. Obama’s coalition is much narrower, with fewer countries. Mr. Bush’s goal was regime change; Mr. Obama’s is to protect some civilians from Col. Gadhafi’s airplanes but not from his tanks or artillery – which makes no sense.

Here’s another set of questions that Obama undoubtedly will not even bother to try to answer in his speech tonight.

There’s a reason Obama’s Libya war has less American approval than any military act in the last four decades.

I know this is actually an 11th question, but it would also be nice if Obama delivered his speech under a giant blow-up of this photo and explained just WTF made him damn fool enough to be the first U.S. president in history to shake hands with Muammar Gaddafi?!?!?