Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Laura

And Laura Bush gives this interview on VOA, "I want to say to the armed guards and to the soldiers: Don't fire on your people, don't fire on your neighbors. Join this movement."

She said she was moved by a tiny picture she saw of Aung San Suu Kyi - the Burmese pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace prize laureate - who came to the gate of her home, where she is under house arrest to greet monks who were allowed to pass by there earlier this week. Mrs. Bush spoke of Aung San Suu Kyi's long years under house arrest, noting her husband died in Britain, while she was confined to her home in Rangoon. ...

"There is hope - absolutely, there is hope for Burma," Mrs. Bush said. "And, I think that is one of the feelings we all get as we look at these images - this very cautious hope that, this time, the people have turned a page." Mrs. Bush said the Burmese have told the world they can no longer tolerate oppression, and the nation must move on.



Aung San Suu Kyi's frail little figure in the distance recalls a Rudyard Kipling story about a broken British regiment, fleeing before an onslaught of Ghazis in Afghanistan, whose counterattack is led by two orphan boys. How if the drummers were alone? Great Power politics has abandoned Tibet to China, and may abandon Taiwan too. Why should the Irrawaddy not flow to the sea?

"We're all that's left of the Band, an' we'll be cut up as sure as death," said Jakin.

"I'll die game, then," said Lew thickly, fumbling with his tiny drummer's sword. The drink was working on his brain as it was on Jakin's.

He slipped the drum-sling over his shoulder, thrust the fife into Lew's hand, and the two boys marched out of the cover of the rock into the open, making a hideous hash of the first bars of the "British Grenadiers."

As Lew had said, a few of the Fore and Aft were coming back sullenly and shamefacedly under the stimulus of blows and abuse; their red coats shone at the head of the valley, and behind them were wavering bayonets. But between this shattered line and the enemy, who with Afghan suspicion feared that the hasty retreat meant an ambush, and had not moved therefore, lay half a mile of level ground dotted only by the wounded.

The tune settled into full swing and the boys kept shoulder to shoulder, Jakin banging the drum as one possessed. The one fife made a thin and pitiful squeaking, but the tune carried far, even to the Goorkhas.

"Come on, you dogs!" muttered Jakin to himself. "Are we to play forhever?" Lew was staring straight in front of him and marching more stiffly than ever he had done on parade. ...

The men of the Fore and Aft were gathering thick at the entrance into the plain. The Brigadier on the heights far above was speechless with rage. Still no movement from the enemy. The day stayed to watch the children. ..

The Fore and Aft were pouring out of the valley. What officers had said to men in that time of shame and humiliation will never be known; for neither officers nor men speak of it now. "They are coming anew!" shouted a priest among the Afghans. "Do not kill the boys! Take them alive, and they shall be of our faith." ...

But the first volley had been fired, and Lew dropped on his face. Jakin stood for a minute, spun round and collapsed, as the Fore and Aft came forward, the curses of their officers in their ears, and in their hearts the shame of open shame.

Half the men had seen the drummers die, and they made no sign. They did not even shout. They doubled out straight across the plain in open order, and they did not fire. ...

All that afternoon the heliograph winked and flickered on the hills, striving to tell the good news to a mountain forty miles away. And in the evening there arrived, dusty, sweating, and sore, a misguided Correspondent who had gone out to assist at a trumpery village-burning, and who had read off the message from afar, cursing his luck the while.

"Let's have the details somehow - as full as ever you can, please. It's the first time I've ever been left this campaign," said the Correspondent to the Brigadier; and the Brigadier, nothing loth, told him how an Army of Communication had been crumpled up, destroyed, and all but annihilated by the craft, strategy, wisdom, and foresight of the Brigadier.

But some say, and among these be the Goorkhas who watched on the hillside, that that battle was won by Jakin and Lew, whose little bodies were borne up just in time to fit two gaps at the head of the big ditch-grave for the dead under the heights of Jagai.

15 Comments:

Blogger Nichevo said...

Call him what you will, Kipling had - has - the ability to make me feel. I wish you had posted a link, btw, though it will google or gutenberg up easy enough.


Funny...you can almost appreciate the purity of sacrifice...almost wonder what the suicide bombers are thinking...

OTOH Jakin and Lew aren't looking for seventy virgins.

But maybe the Arab masses feel like the 'Goorkas' felt, or like I feel, after their kids go boom. In which case I'm sure they find it heady wine.

...Go ahead, Cedarford, I await your take with bated breath.

9/26/2007 11:43:00 PM  
Blogger Nichevo said...

Back to Burma...


Good for the Administration. I would have once assumed it would end in blood and fire, but I assumed Suharto would just fire on the mobs, too. Maybe this will go well.

Obviously, though naturally the US can never do anything right, they should be helped if possible.

If nothing else, perhaps China will read the tea leaves, decide it's time to flush this set, and pick a smiley face for Burma to help keep the Olympics sweet.

But surely they will not hands-off. Burma is valuable and the Chinese are not disposed to surrender of such treasures without a reason.

Frankly, I suppose the better Burma goes, the better I would have to think of China.

Perhaps that's why I expect blood and fire.

9/27/2007 01:05:00 AM  
Blogger Jrod said...

I was in Burma just weeks after 9/11. I recall an Italian gentlemen, not traveling with us, but who was participating in the same festival we were that was sponsored by a local monastery. This Italian had an uncanny resemblance to Osama Bin Laden. One of the monks participating in the festival worked himself into a frenzy over this, and literally wanted to rip the guy's head off. I don't know if there was anything more to the altercation, if the monk had actually been wronged in any way, but the sight of a monk mad with rage being restrained from beating up an Osama body-double was a sight I won't soon forget.

To me that proves that the monks are not always the pacifists they're made out to be.

A shame they don't have access to a gun locker.

9/27/2007 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Obviously, though naturally the US can never do anything right, they should be helped if possible.

Disagree absolutely and totally. Good for Burma / Myanmar for doing or not doing what they do or do not want to do all by themselves.

And not waiting for the United States to choose a side, intervene, and shower them with money and civilization.

We fought and worked each and every day for 250 years for our freedom and prosperity. I see no reason why all the other little backwards podunk countries of the world shouldn't do the same.

9/27/2007 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Nichevo said...

nahncee, that's a point of view. as i see it, i'm not one who can easily listen through the wall, hearing the neighbor beat the wife and kids, and roll over and go to sleep, or stuff cotton in my ears.

but that's just me, i know.

9/27/2007 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

nichevo, can we assume you think it's peachy-keen to allow 12 million illegal Mexicans into our country, too, and to throw the doors open for the rest of them to stampede through, lest your sleep and dreams be disturbed by the sounds coming across the border of all the wailing illiterate poverty stricken peasants?

And if not, where will you conscience allow you to draw a line in the sand?

Your example is stupid and an attempt at guilt-tripping -- you do understand that, don't you? Perhaps you're practicing to be a Saudi diplomat, trying to get Israel to stop building defensive walls because you think the Jews shouldn't be able to sleep at night either. Since we know that all Palestinians beat up on everything in sight, including their wives. Sheesh.

9/27/2007 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sabotaging Google

9/27/2007 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger Nichevo said...

nahncee: No. Actually I am fine with mines in theory, though there are practical issues. It might be nice to figure out what's wrong with Mexico and help fix it, so they stop wanting to flood in here.

Did I say take in Burmese refugees? I don't think freezing some bank accounts, maybe airdropping some radios and plastique, that kind of thing, is such a commitment. Even a few SF to rally, train guerrillas should not necessarily freak you out so.

Maybe that battered wife just needs to know where she can get counseling, job training, a shrink...or where to buy a .22.

It also has the advantage of bothering China. But as long as we're sneering at each other, maybe the Chinese don't concern you?

...And it will never at any time be necessary for you to question my bona fides WRT Eretz Yisroel (I hope you had an easy fast?). If you have any good ideas for what Israel should do about its little problem, I'm all ears.

9/27/2007 02:24:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Well, nichevo, when Nahncee is getting buggered, don't worry, the problem is not yours.Just walk on by.

9/27/2007 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger Nichevo said...

And as for guilt tripping, you don't have to feel like I feel. We can't all do everything.

I wish I were a Randian billionaire, I would be snuffing dictators right and left, I would be the anti-Soros. However, I ain't.

9/27/2007 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Nichevo said...

bobalharb said...

Well, nichevo, when Nahncee is getting buggered, don't worry, the problem is not yours.Just walk on by.

9/27/2007 02:25:00 PM


Does this happen often? ;>

9/27/2007 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

bobalbarb does get skewered with some frequency, yes. and not just by moi.

9/27/2007 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Now this is about the most interesting thing I've read in some time (via Instapundit):

Iran in a Panic.

Can anybody verify? It's plausible, I think, but I have no way to make sure.

9/27/2007 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger Triton'sPolarTiger said...

Aristides,

I'm not familiar with that source... but a very interesting read, indeed...

I find myself thinking "Oh please, oh please, oh please!!!" while rubbing my hands together with glee.

9/27/2007 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Who is moi? I'd like to know who I am getting skewered by.

9/28/2007 06:43:00 AM  

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