"When they allow a talk show host to play them like a two-dollar banjo, they demonstrate what kind of backbone they'll bring to the job later on, if we elect them. After they get elected will they continue to allow Jeff Crank to put a nickel in them and wind them up every Saturday morning?"

Barry Noreen, former columnist, Colorado Springs Gazette

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

FUNERAL RITES

By

ROBERT HARKINS

As the Russians move in on Adolph Hitler’s bunker, so close now that the National Socialist supermen under siege are able to hear the rattle of their machine guns, a frustrated Adolph Hitler, pistol in one hand and cyanide capsule in the other, commits suicide. His body and that of his new wife Eva Braun are tossed into a ditch just outside his bunker and are cremated without love, honor or expressions of sanctity. The last of the Gestapo pour gasoline on the remains, toss in a match; and the rest is history.

President Eisenhower offended at the indignity of Adolph’s death, commands that his remains be gathered up. There is not much to be had however: A handful of worn out Zeig Heils, a really cheap wedding ring, a small square patch of Adolph’s singed mustache and a few scorched, cock-eyed water color sketches from the Fuhrer’s pre-Nazi days as a starving artist.

The troops are solemnly assembled in disciplined ranks: American, English, and Russian. The joint Chiefs of Staff, an ailing President Roosevelt, a grim, disapproving Winston Churchill and the mischievous jokester and mass murderer Stalin stand together. Together they are a symbol of the peace that will follow the Yalta accords, the liberation of Poland and Stalin’s promise to let be a free and democratic Eastern Europe.

Together they sing Deutschland uber Alles as the German flag somberly descending is taken in hand and turned reverently in sacred folds. An American honor guard fires a crisp, sharp salute from their M1s. A few soldiers caught up the passion of the moment, fire off a magazine or two from their automatic weapons. The prayers complete, a band plays excerpts from Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), by Richard Wagner, Hitler’s favorite Jew hater.

A poet, in basso profundo, recites Volk poems of long dead Reichland heroes who were, in no small part, an inspiration for Hitler’s Third Reich and Final Solution. True to his values, the funeral complete and justice done Eisenhower orders that Adolph’s remains be dumped back into the muddy ditch—where, of course, they belonged.

While the New York Times and Washington Post praise General Eisenhower for the upholding of American “values” and the perfection of dogmatic political correctness, there are a few objecting phobics, mostly white males, many of whom served in the First World War and indeed, quite a few who fought at Normandy and Iwo Jima. They contend impiously that in honoring a mass murderer with funeral rites, a ruthless killer of men, women and children, a monster who tried to destroy every living Jew, the United States and its president are engaging in an unprecedented, irrational and unpatriotic act.

They ask: Churchill tell us again of the murder of 40,000 English civilians, men, women and children in the London Bombings. And to all: Have you not seen the death camps, the tumbled, emaciated and scattered bodies of the dead, the hollow, dark eyed children, the Russian soldiers still and frozen to the winter earth.

Of course, those who protest are quickly shouted down. Leftists immediately create a new condemnatory epithet and pass it along to academia, the press and Hollywood. Together, as always, they shout down the stupid, insensitive and valueless white males this time labeled Nibelunglied Phobes.

Ah well, I might have writ a profoundly offensive scene were it not fiction absurd, indeed, ridiculous. What rational human being would honor a mass murderer, a tyrant, a man who intended the immolation of a Western people. What kind of man would order funeral rites for one who in the name of his religion prayed daily to Allah for the death of all Americans?

Now here is an even more lurid fiction: The corpse of Osama Bin Ladin was taken aboard an American ship. His body was gently washed and wrapped in a clean, white shroud. Someone skilled piously performed funeral rites in harmony with his Muslim faith. The service lasted forty-five minutes. The eulogy told in English was translated immediately into Arabic. Finally, Osama Bin Ladin, mass murderer of Americans, was lowered gently to the tide—and “eased” religiously unto the eternal sea—in perfect harmony with the funeral rites of Islam.

I’m joking of course. Who— in the name of the United States of America— could possibly grace a mass murderer of Americans with funeral rites reserved for heroes: A murderer who lacked the courage to wear a uniform and face British, American or European soldiers. A man who sought always the death of the innocent and defenseless? Who could possibly honor a man with funeral rites who in the profession of his insatiate hatred of all things Western killed off 3000 Americans in high-octane fire? Have we not seen these Americans, their frail bodies falling, human beings barely visible against the enormous bulk of the twin towers— as they jumped and fell to their deaths? Americans do not accord the honor and grace of funeral rites to cowards and mass murderers.

The rest, I assure you, is science fiction as incredible as the tale I tell of the German Reich. About the funeral service for Osama Bin Laden. You can take it from me it never happened. We are, after all, a warrior nation. Our fathers and forefathers—and our mothers make no mistake—were warriors. They were men and women centered in the mind and virtues of courage, grace and gravitas.

We may honor an enemy who wears a uniform and faces us in honorable battle. But we do not honor terrorists hungry for the death of men and women who work in offices, dine out with their children at restaurants or ride subways back and forth to work.

Homer’s Achilles honored with the rites of death the warrior Patrocles slain by Hector in honorable battle, face to face. The Athenians honored Pericles though his strategy against the Spartans would fail Athens. Caesar’s legions faced the mighty Gaels and conquered all. They were warriors. They marched to battle in soldier’s garb. They faced front. Their wounds were to face and chest and forearm. Appeasement was not their way.

Appeasement is not our way.

Funeral rites for the mass murderer Osama Bin Laden! A fiction, absurd and ridiculous. I tell you, it never happened.

Not in America.

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