Jimmy Doolittle’s Raid

Monologue from the 5-15-2011 Roderic Deane Show on BlogTalkRadio:

We are all grateful for the death of Osama bin Laden, two weeks ago today. But in the wake of his death, I’ve gotten an uneasy feeling about what we really accomplished, sad to say. Did we just put a nail in the coffin of terrorism, or did we merely advance the re-election efforts of Barack Obama?

I want to offer you two momentous announcements. The first is Barack Obama’s address to the nation on May 1st, 2011, at 11pm EDT, telling the American people about the death of Osama bin Laden. Keep in mind that Obama spent a full 9 and a half minutes telling us about the events of 9/11 and the history of our pursuit of Osama bin Laden. I hate to say this, but he said absolutely nothing that we didn’t already know, having lived through 9/11 a mere 10 years ago.

[Audio1: Barack Obama: Intro]

He should have stopped right here. For the next 3 minutes we were treated to a history lesson about what 9/11 meant to us, which led us to here:

[Audio 2: Barack Obama: Me, Myself and I]

Okay, so, Barack Obama was the only one on the planet that was focused on getting bin Laden. Pardon me while I barf in my shoe. Oh, but wait! Obama goes on to tell us how significant his achievement was:

[Audio 3: Barack Obama: Most significant achievement in war against al Qaida]

Spare me. But he wasn’t finished. After more lecturing about what bin Laden’s death means to us, Barry said this, as if we can’t possibly understand what his leadership has meant to us:

[Audio 4: Barack Obama: I’ve charted our history in pursuing al Qaida]

I spared you the rest of his speech on purpose. Thank God I was sleeping when it first aired.

I next want you to hear the news about Jimmy Doolittle’s raid on Japan, delivered from a movie newsreel at the time. Keep in mind, most people in the 1940’s had to get their news from AM radio, newspapers, and movie-house newsreels. Unfortunately, those newsreels are now called advertisements, and they precede every single movie we watch. They remind us to head out to the refreshment stand for more popcorn and candy, but, trust me, they don’t carry the weight of the newsreels during WWII and, in all fairness, their not intended to. That period of history was a different time that none of us should ever hope to experience again. Although our current challenges are different, they are no less monumental. Listen to what our parents and grandparents heard in 1942, 69 years ago, before their movie started:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Now, let’s juxtapose the word of Jimmy Doolittle’s raid with the news of Osama bin Laden’s death. Where was the emphasis? Was it focused on the heroism of the fighters involved, or was it about a self-centered politician’s attempt to insert himself into quasi-significant war-time event that simply does not have the same relevance as Jimmy Doolittle’s Raid? I’ve searched in vain for a speech from Franklin Roosevelt claiming credit for the “gutsy” acts of Jimmy Doolittle. They don’t exist.

Although FDR did green-light Jimmy Doolittle’s raid, he was far more interested in the psychological impact of the event on the Japanese and the morale benefits to our troops and citizens. He took no credit for the event, but simply acknowledged its importance by his consent to take action.

We live in a different time than our parents or grandparents did during WWII. Our armies are all-volunteer now, although I submit to you that the warriors of WWII were primarily volunteers. Our fathers and neighbors rushed to enlist. We must acknowledge the commitment of our armed forces and continue to be inspired by their heroism, both now, then, and (hopefully), well into our future.

If you want to learn more about Jimmy Dootlittle’s Raid, a great option is to watch the movie “Pearl Harbor”, starring Ben Affleck and Kate Beckinsale from a few years ago. It gives you a feel for the raid in the second half of the movie and is well worth the watch.

I understand that Disney has secured the rights to “Seal Team 6”, so expect a movie sometime before the 2012 election in an effort to shore up Barack Obama’s re-election. I know I’m being cynical, but I’ve come to expect nothing less from Hollywood these days.