06 October 2013


by Andy Weddington
Sunday, 06 October 2013

"There are four kinds of homicide: felonious; excusable; justifiable; and praiseworthy." Ambrose Bierce

In order of release, I've read Bill O'Reilly's three thoroughly researched and well-written history books - 'Killing Lincoln,' 'Killing Kennedy,' and 'Killing Jesus.' Mr. O'Reilly (with Martin Dugard) tells riveting murder stories. 

The most recent of the trio I finished early Friday evening (started that morning). Throughout, I thought about this book in context to current events - leadership, civilian and military; women in combat; taxation; dysfunctional government; religion; and more - that I've addressed in past commentary.

Maybe it was not coincidental that Friday night, late, I received an email about an article that four more U. S. Marine Corps female lieutenants challenged the Infantry Officer Course and did not pass the initial combat endurance test - the screening tool to determine who will continue. To date, 10 females, volunteers, have challenged the course. None have come close to conquering it. More momentarily.

Some comparative thoughts, were we reliving the period, while and after reading 'Killing Jesus.'

1. To any disciples who believe Barack Obama is 'a' or 'the' Messiah or anything remotely akin, "Jeez! You're killing us."

2. The president; vice president; most, if not all, of the Cabinet; and many in Congress would be dead - assassinated from within; by public uprising; or suicide. And their corpses abused.

3. The Joint Chiefs of Staff would have realized the same fate as those cited in 2. As would many others, civilian and military, holding flag officer status.

4. The efforts today to force women into combat would not be happening. Females then (in Jesus's day) could not have completed the grueling training to become a Roman legionary nor have succeeded (survived) in brutal hand-to-hand combat (many men could not and did not). Though men and women were treated as equals in the day, responsibilities were unique to gender. What a concept! The physical, punishing rigors and gruesome realities of ground combat have not changed.  

As to the U. S. Marine Corps and women challenging infantry training, the only surprise about the Infantry Officer Course is that women continue to volunteer. At this writing, enlisted female Marines are undergoing infantry training. According to an article or two I've read some are hanging in there. But make no mistake, enlisted infantry training is not akin to the Infantry Officer Course just as recruit training is not akin to Officer Candidates School. In short, training is parallel but it does not converge; nor should it - ever. As for enlisted, the aim is to make and train Marines. Officers, too, are forged into Marines but also molded to lead Marines. Therefore, by necessity, the means for testing and developing mental and physical toughness differ. Neither is for the weak. Some is not for women. And that is fact not opinion.   

5. Enemy combatants back in Jesus's day were brutal to each other - to the captured and corpses. Ruthless. I'll not spoil the book. Some of the means of torture and killing I'd never heard of nor could have imagined (as opposing forces surely were brutal before those times and have been since). To call their methods creative is proper, and sick.

So, the brouhaha made out of Marines urinating on enemy corpses in Afghanistan a few years back is, comparatively, nothing. But that the commandant acted to taint their judicial due process then he and counsel moved to secret his actions is more revolting and troubling than the Marine's battlefield behavior. As reported, recent desperate actions by the bureaucracy to discredit (as a mental case) the Marine major (a judge advocate who was representing one of the Marines in the urination case) who brought forth the allegations against the commandant are disgusting. Roman times, or not, the commandant (et al.) should be harshly punished (life spared). A retired Marine judge advocate, in a letter published in The Washington Times last month, recommended the loss of two stars and retirement. That's a start.

6. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a corrupt, smothering and destructive - psychologically, physically, economically - tax (the Romans had alike taxes). The scope of it's burden - economic and healthcare and who knows what else - yet to be fully realized. The House's refusal to fund is playing a role in the next point. 

7. The government shut down is absurd - some symbolic; some annoyance; some inconvenience; and some shameful waste, fraud, and abuse (one example: military commissaries are closed - think of the meats, breads, produce, dairy products, and more going to waste, and the families abused, yes abused).  

8. Christianity is under assault - in schools; public forums; athletics; and the military.

9. Public anger grows.

And more is surely to come to mind. 

In closing...

Just beneath the veil of today's "civilized" society human nature gurgles and roils; ever it will. Ugly sometimes it is despite religion (or lack of) and law. Innocents often pay, with their lives, while the smug self-appointed almighty cower in relative safety and bloviate - clad in coat and tie vice glitzy tunic.

Not much, really, has changed.  

As in Rome, we, in America today, are more and more ruled - not represented. There is rare exception but not enough of a cohort there is to effectively matter. Rome fell. So unless things change, and dramatically, history just may repeat itself. When? Who knows. But when the citizenry has had enough anger will triumph. 

Bloody the uprising will be. The homicides, most of them anyway, will not be felonious.

I suggest Mr. O'Reilly's next book be: 'Killing America'

Post Script

Raised Roman Catholic and educated in a parochial school through age 14, the story of Jesus's life is familiar to me, of course. What was not familiar was the graphic descriptions, and understanding, of life and death in those times. For that truth 'Killing Jesus' is a superb book - recommend. As are the other two 'Killing' books duly recommended. 

Note: Jesus's death was felonious homicide, truly, but not in vain. Lincoln's and Kennedy's deaths were felonious, too.


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