As I have held before, there should be a special hell for those who forward inane stupid emails with the breathless admonition to “forward it to all your friends.” The terrorist bombing of Mumbai locals has inspired one such idiotic email which is making the rounds.
It is addressed to the terrorists with the endearment “Dear.” It basically says (I will spare you the details, in case you haven’t already seen it) that we don’t care to be bothered by the bombs and we don’t really care about the hundreds killed; we are Mumbaikars and we just get up, and go about our business earning our next buck.
You have tried hard to bring death and destruction, cause panic and fear and create communal disharmony but everytime you were disgustingly unsuccessful. Do you know how we pass our life in Mumbai? How much it takes for us to earn that single rupee?
Clue to the writer: they have brought death and destruction, not just “tried to bring death and destruction.” The terrorists have done that consistently and with resounding success. Wake up and react instead of celebrating your passivity and attempting to raise cowardice to a high virtue.
Why have Indians suffered so regularly and consistently from terror and invasion? I think it is the general passivity which reached its pinnacle with Gandhi’s dictum “eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.”
[I have elsewhere written that Gandhi got it backwards: The old eye-for-an-eye thing of the Bible. Gandhi noted that that strategy would make the whole world blind. My analysis suggests that it would have the opposite effect. If you can guarantee that anyone who pokes anyone else's eyes will have both his eyes poked out, everyone would think a million times before they give in to the temptation of poking anyone’s eyes out. In a Gandhian world, people who enjoy poking people’s eyes would have a terrific old time and a good number of people will have to go through life blind or at least semi-blind. In the non-Gandhian world, no rational person will find it beneficial to poke anyone’s eyes out.]
It is somewhat puzzling. How did Indian become so? The Bhagavat Gita, the most important book to the majority Indians, endorses courageous action and war against those who commit injustice and violence. The Sikh Gurus were clear about how to respond to aggression and violence. Responding with timidity to violence is guaranteed to encourage the naturally violent to greater aggression.
I am against initiating violence. But I am also totally against others who initiate violence. If we do not respond appropriately to those who initiate violence, we are complicit in and guilty of the subsequent and future violence.
India is at war with forces that seek to destroy it. Its enemies are motivated by envy to some degree but to a very large degree it is an ideological war. Whatever be the motivation, India is a soft target and that is why it gets hit repeatedly. India lacks the killer instinct which is required for stopping aggressors.
I think we need to re-read General Patton’s speech to his soldiers. Here it is for the record.
A General Talks to His Army
“Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country. Men, all this stuff you’ve heard about America not wanting to fight, wanting to stay out of the war, is a lot of horse dung. Americans traditionally love to fight. ALL REAL Americans, love the sting of battle. When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, the big league ball players, the toughest boxers.
Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. I wouldn’t give a hoot in Hell for a man who lost and laughed. That’s why Americans have never lost and will never lose a war. Because the very thought of losing is hateful to Americans. Now, an army is a team. It lives, eats, sleeps, fights as a team. This individuality stuff is a bunch of crap.
The bilious bastards, who wrote that stuff about individuality for the Saturday Evening Post, don’t know anything more about real battle than they do about fornicating. Now we have the finest food and equipment, the best spirit, and the best men in the world.
My God, I actually pity those poor bastards we’re going up against. My God, I do. We’re not just going to shoot the bastards, we’re going to cut out their living guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We’re going to murder those lousy Hun bastards by the bushel. Now some of you boys, I know, are wondering whether or not you’ll chicken out under fire. Don’t worry about it. I can assure you that you’ll all do your duty. The Nazis are the enemy. Wade into them. Spill their blood, shoot them in the belly. When you put your hand into a bunch of goo, that a moment before was your best friends face, you’ll know what to do. Now there’s another thing I want you to remember. I don’t want to get any messages saying that we are holding our position. We’re not holding anything, we’ll let the Hun do that. We are advancing constantly, and we’re not interested in holding onto anything except the enemy. We’re going to hold onto him by the nose, and we’re going to kick him in the ass. We’re going to kick the hell out of him all the time, and we’re going to go through him like crap through a goose. Now, there’s one thing that you men will be able to say when you get back home, and you may thank God for it. Thirty years from now when you’re sitting around your fireside with your grandson on your knee, and he asks you, “What did you do in the great World War Two?” You won’t have to say, “Well, I shoveled shit in Louisiana.” Alright now, you sons of bitches, you know how I feel. Oh! . . . I will be proud to lead you wonderful guys into battle anytime, anywhere. That’s all.”
General George S. Patton, Jr.
3rd Army speech
England, 31 May 1944
6th Armored Division