Mike DeVine’s Rule of Blood, Munich and the Rule of Law, and the Hanging of Jake Spoon
This will be a trick if I can pull it off, but I can see all these pieces coming together as easily I can see the compassion in a banker’s glass eye.
Three things which I’ll discuss separately, then try to sew them together like a fisherman’s net.
Mike Devine’s “There Will Be Blood” Speech to the Assembly
First, Mike DeVine’s excellent “There Will be Blood” piece on RedState last week: I suggest you read it again. It reads like something Patrick Henry might have said in Williamsburg once upon a time. Mike arrives at a logical conclusion we’d also reached, and it is not pretty. Neither is it escapable. The long and short of it is that when both sides call each other “Nazis”, and one side can prove it with facts, and the other side can prove it with self-delusion (another kind of “facts”, ask any psychiatrist), the fight is on.
Still, you can’t really speak of this except in hushed tones, without a lot of apprehension, but it’s as plain as day the Left won’t be beaten at the polls in 2010/2012 and then simply limp back into their cave. Through dozens of little telltale signals it’s obvious they’ve gone all-in. It’s also obvious the vast majority of them also don’t really know what “all-in” means, so, for their leadership, this may also prove very problematic. But still, we have to assume the ugliest, while praying for the best.
Like Mike, we’ve posed this question a few times, as if to ask, “Are you up to it?” Do you fully understand what undertaking this fight means?… for you will not be able to win on November 7th, then simply go back to work on Monday? At some point, they will not come back at us with “spontaneous” screaming rent-a-mobs of children, as they are doing in Arizona, but rather well-planned operations and trained mobs with real terror, mayhem, damage and injury on their minds; not just turning cars over, but far worse. And yes, a few will sink into the depths of the night and start little bomb factories and create small acts of terror which they will hope to escalate if necessary. We’ve been there before, and some of them even call Obama “pal”. In other words, they will create the full scale revolution they’re now accusing us of fomenting with the Tea Parties.
The bad news: That’s what happens if we win.
If we lose, then, true, there will be no need for underground bomb factories, or riots or Walmart fires, but rather a different kind of terrorism, known better to totalitarians, will take place. For, you see, they will have to whip us into shape. We’re not the Dutch. We won’t simply bow our heads and bow our backs to the new whip that’s a’coming. So, we will move through the easy-going “authoritarian” phase of socialism rather quickly, if at all, simply because fully a half of the American people simply “ain’t gonna go along.” We’ve already said so. In the sense that we will defend our liberty, you see, we’ve gone all-in too. And while we may not build bombs, we will wreck and deny them everything they want.
The Carolina banty rooster is right when he says we better come out of the 2010/2012 cycles on the inside looking out of power, with a strong plan to set things aright. And we, meaning a united and strong Republican Party…must be wearing body armor.
Bottom line: If we lose they can terrorize us under the color, and cover of law, and the the road back will be much longer, so look at that 7-year old and apologize to him for the world you’re bequeathing him. They will put bounties on our scalps and make us all criminals. So, the color of law must belong to us, for it is the only way the Rule of Law will survive.
Munich and the Rule of Law
Betcha never thought Munich, the event, not the film, had anything to do with the Rule of Law, but it does. A lot. And the Rule of Law, and terrorism, has a lot to do with political developments in America.
First, quickly, I finally broke down and saw Spielberg’s film by that title over the weekend and was very surprised about all the guff the right had given him about his apparent attempt to equate Mossad punishment of the Black September murderers at Munich with Arab terrorism in general. It was a puny attempt at soul-cleansing actually, which is common to the type. Cinematically, the film was dreadful, the 1986 rendering (The Sword of Gideon, from this same book) with Michael York, better in every respect. The historical accuracy of both films and the book have always been open to question, but even there Spielberg seemed to go the 1986 film one better by letting implausibility get in the way of fact.
But equally poor was Spielberg’s attempt to relate to the audience questions that rests deep in his soul about the “fairness” of it all. (Compare Leon Uris, Armageddon, about Berlin after WWII…I never knew any Jewish writer to look harder for the good in his enemy than Uris, yet never bend an inch on his own ideals of right and wrong. Speilberg should read Uris the same way Christian’s read CS Lewis, humility with an oak for a backbone.)
We’ve always had these types, Oppenheimer after he helped build the bomb and the co-pilot after he dropped it (I’m told). Covert operations always will have their questioners, just as 38 years of complacency with the Rule of Law will create its own questioners. Spielberg spun his entire message (twice) into “where’s the evidence?”, typical for any affluent kid who, 38 years after Munich, and two-three generations in America, simply couldn’t imagine a world in which the Rule and Law (equal access to the courts) and Justice weren’t as abundant as April blossoms on a dogwood. Spielberg was/is the prototype of taking and accepting the Rule of Law as a given, assuming that everything…everything…can be settled if we can just get it in front of judge. After all, that is how it had been in America, at least in his neighborhoods in America.
But in truth the Rule of Law is peculiarly American. It is tied directly to the American culture, the American experience and the Constitution, and the way it got to be was through a special breed of men and women. The Rule of Law is built on a kind of reciprocity between free men that simply does not exist elsewhere in the world. Case in point, In 1974 I was assigned the job of defending a soldier for aggravated rape of a 60-year Japanese woman. He was innocent, I could even prove it, but if the case were tried in a Japanese court I wouldn’t be able to represent him. So I asked permission from my colonel to let me ask his general to intercede. I did so based on a study I did showing that in the 23 years since Japan regained civil control, only one foreigner had ever been acquitted in a Japanese court. (Hold that thought.) My colonel ordered me not to go to the general, so the kid was tried, convicted…then, for aggravated rape! got a suspended sentence. (When he got home, he filed a congressional complaint, some people I never even knew came to my defense in front of the general, and the colonel (a rising star) was relieved, his career ended. That’s justice.)
What I learned is this, as I extended my research around the world. Only in the United States, and to a lesser degree, England, can a foreigner go to court and expect to receive any justice, i.e., the truth revealed regardless of race, creed, color, or national origin. Not in Germany. Not in Italy. Not in Brazil or China. Certainly not in Zimbabwe, where conviction rates all run in the high 90′s. The Rule of Law is not justice, but rather reveals it, and protects it. Everywhere else there is law, but no true justice. It is a thing that can be routinely purchased in all parts of the world but here.
Munich, 1972 proved all that, for in a few short weeks after the murder of those Israeli athletes all the nations of Europe began scrambling to make quiet, private accommodations with the various terrorist groups so they would leave their countries alone. This is why the original Black September murderers, even though their names were known and some international warrants out, could move about England, France and other places more or less trouble-free, even though the respective police forces and intelligence agencies knew of their whereabouts.
Indirectly, they all conspired to deny Israell justice, which is why Mossad had to try and execute those men without benefit of a courtroom. But in truth, the world conspired to deny Mankind its justice, and Humanity its reckoning. The only hold-out to this “pragmatic” view of law and justice has been the United States, and its g-damned, pestiferous Rule of Law and quaint notions of justice as if it applied equally to everyone, up and down the social order. Bush proved that in 2001.
The hanging of Jake Spoon
(The following was taken from a post I wrote last year at Least Men Standing about “torture”)
Moses Sands loved the old Texas Rangers, which he saw as the model for democratic law enforcement in the developing world. I don’t know if he every read Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove or saw the television series, but I had, so when he mentioned them in his piece on democracy in Iraq (his finest sermon) back in Ought Four, I understood what he was talking about.
He asked if I’d ever considered the difference between the uneducated, tough, even mean men who went out into the wilderness and the men they tracked down and captured? Depending on whether they were heading out to the Staked Plains or heading back to Austin, or the availability of water or provisions, they often as not would just hang those bandits on the spot, with no trial, no due process. Just a “May God have mercy on you soul…Amen”, and slap on the pony’s behind.
“What made these barbaric men different from the low-down scum they was hanging?”, Moses asked.
Then he answered himself. “For one, at the end of the day, they could hang up their guns. The bad guys wouldn’t. Couldn’t. And two, they would hang their guns up because they were invested in something the bad buys weren’t, something good, something bigger, and something that would outlive them.” (Moses always believed in the ability of the inarticulate to show the nobility of their souls in other ways. He looked for it.)
I recalled the hanging of Jake Spoon in Lonesome Dove and knew immediately what he was talking about. That scene was powerful, not so much because of the terrible weight carried by Gus and Woodrow for having to hang their old pard, but in Jake’s understanding that he had crossed a line which he could never retreat from. At least in this lifetime. It was a poignant testament to even the harshest of understandings of the differences between right and wrong. And justice.
Like Tom Sawyer’s affectionate name for Jim in Huckleberry Finn, I fully expect to see films and books to be withdrawn from library shelves in the next few years that portray such barbaric lawlessness as honorable and noble…or worse, justified. (This was Spielberg’s sentiment in “Munich”.) In fact, the committees are already getting organized. Look for it. What won’t disappear will be those who cannot hang up their guns at the end of the day.
To me, the loss of the Rule of Law in America will severe the spinal chord that connects it to “Justice”, and it will just be “law” as known in Europe. Justice, like all those rights laid out in the Constitution, in the end, comes from our Creator, so cannot be destroyed. But like all those other rights, it can be banished once again…for another two thousand years, if need be.
We now live in a world where anyone can claim “justice” or “rights” with the ease that the self-delusional can claim anything that displeases them to be “Nazi”.
In that vein, the inescapable fight that’s coming, I thought of the hanging of Jake Spoon then tried to reverse it in my mind so that Jake and that gang of murdering thugs all wore badges while they killed those farmers, and Gus and Woodrow were just ordinary citizens who came upon the carnage. The hanging, then, would no longer have been legal, would it? Indeed they would have become outlaws themselves. But justice would still have been served, for in the long run, Gus and Woodrow would still have hung up their guns at the end of fight.
This is why the Gamecock is so very right, we need to win the fight this go-round, and commence to dispensing justice.