22 March 2010

Fast of the Ninth Day.

The Destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem by Francesco Hayez.
For nearly 2000 years, Jews have fasted on the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av (Tisha B'Av), thereby commemorating the destruction of the Temple by Roman legions in 70 A.D. Will future generations of American ex patriots similarly mark the 21st day of March? On this black morning, such thoughts flood the mind. One recalls somber, grief-stricken Parisian faces in old news films as Hitler's Wehrmacht jackbooted into their city. As les citoyens de Paris then, so we now — adrift.

Colonel Allen West. In any tempest, there are sources of purchase, and this one is no exception. One such is Colonel Allen West, candidate for the House in Florida's 22nd Congressional District. Colonel West's personal story is inspiring; his positions on the issues (also here), uncompromising; his spirit, indomitable. He will take the fight to the Temple's would-be despoilers.

A student of military history, West recalls the heroism of Joshua Chamberlain, a Union colonel who turned the tide at Gettysburg. Applying, his predecessor's example (see also "The Lesson of Phidippides") to our present predicament, he writes as follows:
"... As casualties mounted, water ran out, and so did ammunition. The men of the 20th Maine Regiment felt all was lost. Chamberlain knew that if he retreated, the entire Union Army would be encircled, destroyed, and there would be nothing to prevent General Robert E Lee ... from marching south to Washington DC.

"Chamberlain then uttered the one word that would save the day ... : “Bayonets”! It was a word command [sic] never given by a Union Commander to that point, the spirit of the bayonet and the offensive initiative had always been with the Confederate forces. ...

"I say 'Bayonets' to let us all remember the story of Little Round Top [Chamberlain's position]. Let us all remember the leadership and courage of Colonel Joshua L Chamberlain. Let us all remember that regardless of how bad it may seem, we don’t quit, we don’t retreat, we don’t surrender……..WE CHARGE! That is the American spirit, that is what we all must embody in this 2010 election cycle year." [Emphasis added]
Colonel West pledges to reverse yesterday's assault on American values. His website is here; his recent address to CPAC, here, May his words, his eloquence and, above all, his fighting spirit inspire us.

[Revised 26 March, 2010. The author has no connections to Col. West or to his campaign.]

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