by Bernie Quigley - Daily Kos diary 3/31/07
Revenge is the secret and unspoken motivator in warfare. Beneath Sun Tzu, beneath Clausewitz, there it the driving and motivating press to restore human equilibrium after a disturbance has occurred in the force: Revenge will be in equal and opposite counterforce to the insult which has disturbed it.
In one of the greatest war movies ever, Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai,” the master director makes this point. After the Samurai have completed the fighting, a village chief comes forward to open a peace conference. But something has to be done first: An old peasant woman’s innocent grandchild has been killed in the fighting and this has to be settled first. The prisoner of war who killed him is brought forth and constrained in the village center. The village chief parts the crowd and the old woman comes forth to beat him to death with a hoe. The two tribes have found equilibrium. A peace conference can go forward now.
Every war has its price which must be paid before equilibrium can be reached and peace talks can begin. The price of Southern secession was the burning of
But like the final detail before the peace conference in Kurosawa’s masterpiece, there is still one detail to take care of. The Ayatollah Khomeini and the taking of 63 American hostages by Iranian students on November 4, 1979. This has not yet been avenged.
The Ayatollah triggered Ronald Reagan’s ride to power and changed American culture. The taking of the hostages began the action and passion of the third generation of post-war politics. The taking of hostages split liberal
But this action, which Jimmy Carter said gave him “the worst year of my life” has never been avenged. Equilibrium will not be found in the
That is why those big ships are circling in the Gulf. That’s why the Saudis, our allies in the region, have suddenly split. That’s why the shy Congress of Peeps turns a blind eye and the milquetoast Democrats who seek the Presidency today are silent on the rapidly approaching invasion of
Now this story will end as it began in 1979, in
Only Wes Clark speaks up. Only Jim Webb.
Revenge is one of the most primal factors in historical and human activity. Most of us will forget about
But revenge is long memory. It does not forget. And those avenged never forget.