Ed-Line News: An Occasional Tongue-In-Cheeky Political Satire Columnby Ed Rampell
Sand Bernardino, California, 2 January 2016 (Ed-Line News)
For the first time in the 127-year history of the Rose Parade, due to security concerns on January 1 the Pasadena Police Department’s Rapid Response Teams patrolled the Tournament of Roses armed with AR-15 semi-automatic rifles.
Talk about Guns N’ Roses!
Americans better get used to this and other high security measures as the new normal - at least as long as the Braniacs in Washington, D.C. continue to use the same consistently ineffective strategies to fight the terrorists that the Defense Department, spy agencies, et al, have unsuccessfully deployed since at least 9/11. The White House, Pentagon, Langley, etc., flail about, studying military history, intelligence analyses, satellite surveillance photos and more, cluelessly seeking a battle plan for beating beheaders, suicide bombers and the like.
But candidate Donito Trumpolini, who is running in the U.S. pres-il-duce race, has a better idea. He looks to Hollywood instead and knows how to definitively win and vanquish the enemy, once and for all. Il Donito calls his new, get tough line of attack: “The Lee Marvin/Marlon Brando Surefire Method for Defeating Terrorists.”
In Robert Aldrich’s 1967 World War II classic The Dirty Dozen, Major John Reisman (played by Lee Marvin) selects and recruits 12 soldiers who have been court-martialed and convicted of committing violent crimes, including murder, in order to carry out a mission of sabotage and assassination against the Nazi high command by parachuting behind enemy lines. Captain Stuart Kinder (Ralph Meeker), a psychologist, describes the dozen military misfits facing execution or long prison sentences at hard labor for their crimes as:
“Just about the most twisted, anti-social bunch of psychopathic deformities I have ever run into! And the worst, the most dangerous of the bunch, is Maggott [Telly Savalas]. You’ve got one religious maniac, one malignant dwarf, two near-idiots... and the rest I don't even wanna think about!”
To which the rules-breaking, results-driven Major Reisman replies:
“Well, I can’t think of a better way to fight a war.”
In Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 Vietnam War master piece Apocalypse Now Marlon Brando portrayed renegade Green Beret Colonel Kurtz who declares:
“Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not, then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies! I remember when I was with Special Forces... We went into a camp to inoculate some children. We left the camp after we had inoculated the children for polio, and this old man came running after us and he was crying. He couldn’t see. We went back there, and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile. A pile of little arms. … And then I realized... like I was shot... like I was shot with a diamond... a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought, my God... the genius of that! The genius! The will to do that! Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we, because they could stand that these were not monsters, these were men... trained cadres. These men who fought with their hearts, who had families, who had children, who were filled with love... but they had the strength... to do that. If I had ten divisions of those men, our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have men who are moral... and at the same time who are able to utilize their primordial instincts to kill without feeling... without passion... without judgment... without judgment! Because it’s judgment that defeats us.”
The way to defeat the terrorists is by finding pitiless warriors who will adapt terrorism’s despicable, reprehensible, ruthless tactics and mercilessly use them against the irregular enemy. But where, you may ask Il Donito, can America find such soldiers without pity?
In other words, the way to defeat the terrorists is by finding pitiless warriors who will adapt terrorism’s despicable, reprehensible, ruthless tactics and mercilessly use them against the irregular enemy. But where, you may ask Il Donito, can America find such soldiers without pity? And Trumpolini will merely point out the obvious:
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“Goddammit, this is AMERICA!!! We are not descended from fearful men: Our ancestors were the Salem witch-hunters and Charleston slave drivers! We stole this whole continent fair and square right out from beneath the moccasins of the original people who lived here! We ripped off about half of Mexico from its rightful owners! We enslaved Africans, bought them and brought them over by the boatful in chains, whipping them, forcing them to work our plantations. We overthrew the independent Hawaiian kingdom and took Alaska from the Eskimos. When it comes to genocide and slaughter, America doesn’t take second place to any country on Earth!
“Americans have been eternally at war at home and abroad - against our endless enemies, indigenous and external - since before we were even a country. During one of our countless wars, we firebombed civilians at Dresden and Tokyo, and nuked noncombatants at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, massacring hundreds of thousands! And this is what we did during World War II, when we were the good guys! Imagine what America does when we’re the bad guys - which is most of the time! Don’t get me started on Vietnam and shock and awe in Iraq - even though they had no WMDs!”
The point is, since before its founding America has been overflowing with maniacal mass murderers. What we need is someone like Lee Marvin - say, the NRA’s CEO, Wayne LaPierre - to recruit these ruthless killers to go fight the terrorists. Where to begin? Why, in our prisons, where a number of mass shooters languish behind bars, their true talents being wasted and neglected when they should be set loose on the battlefield to fight the terrorists. Here are just a few examples from the talent pool of potential fighters whose gifts are being squandered in prison instead of being put to good use on the battlefield:
- Jared Lee Loughner - On Jan. 8, 2011 shot dead six people (including a nine-year-old girl and judge) and wounded another 13, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head while holding a meeting with constituents outside of a supermarket;
- James Eagan Holmes - On July 20, 2012 he opened fire at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater screening a Batman flick, killing 12 and wounding 58;
- Dylann Storm Roof - On June 17, 2015 this lone white gunman mowed down parishioners during a prayer meeting at a historic Black church in Charleston, South Carolina, wounding one and killing nine, including pastor and state senator Clementa Pinckney;
- Robert Lewis Dear - On Nov. 27, 2015 he shot-up a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Colorado Springs, wounding nine people and killing three, including a police officer.
Some may recoil in horror and scoff at the notion of recruiting mass shooters to go fight the terrorists. But the fact is that as early as 2009 - when Major Nidal Hassan waged jihad with a semi-automatic FN Five-seven pistol at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13 and wounding 32 more military personnel - the enemy has been adopting this mass murder method because it has proven to be so extremely effective. In 2015, the Jan. 7 Charlie Hebdo shooting of 12, including cartoonists and the other Paris gunfire rampage on Nov. 13 slaughtering 130 and wounding 368 people, as well as the Dec. 3 San Bernardino sneak attack killing 14 people and wounding 21 others at a Christmas party, stepping up use of this highly efficient, made-in-USA tactic of carnage.
Critics may also contend that America doesn’t have enough mass shooters to carry out the mission of eliminating the country’s opponents using unconventional warfare against us. But they forget another fertile source of recruitment: Police and vigilante shooters of unarmed Blacks. With one major difference: Unlike the mass shooters who survived their ordeals, most of the law enforcement and self-appointed, freelance paladins aren’t imprisoned, they are walking around in the land of the free as free men.
In this war without mercy we have to face the facts: These gunmen aren’t mental incompetents or psychopaths or sociopaths - they’re officer material! And even if they are madmen - well, they’re our madmen, in the finest tradition of U.S. domestic terrorism. Let’s suit them up and ship them out to shootouts in the Wild, Wild Middle East, ex post facto, pronto Tonto.
Those who cringe at Donito Trumpolini’s get tough strategy should he be elected pres-il-duce have to face reality and realize there’s a method to his madness: We have to fight fire with fire, terror with terror. Because everybody knows the best way to put out a fire is by pouring more oil on it. It takes one endtimer to know another: As Colonel Kurtz put it in Apocalypse Now: “The horror… The horror…” Because in America: “Je suis Charlie Whitman!”
Ed Rampell is a L.A.-based freelance film historian, critic, author and wag who contributed to New Times L.A.’s “The Finger” column and Hustler Magazine’s “Asshole of the Month” column. He co-authored The Hawaii Movie and Television Book.Rampell appears in an episode of the Asylum Entertainment series “Demons in the City of Angels,” about blacklisted screenwriter Bobby Lees, airing on the Reelz Network at 9:00 p.m., January 9, 2016.