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Belmont Club

Can’t beat the …

July 31st, 2008 - 5:21 pm

There’s a new Colonel in command in Fallujah. PJ O’Rourke described him as a formidable man. “Some call him a genius. Others blame him for the deaths of millions. There are those who say his military reputation was inflated.” Yes, it’s Colonel Harland Sanders. The North Shore Journal reports that Kentucky Fried Chicken, Fallujah is now open for business:

The KFC is the first to open for business in the city. Before improved conditions in the city, insurgents threatened business owners, demanding money to support acts of terrorism. After a quick visit to the Fallujah Business Center during routine operations July 16, Marines with Regimental Combat Team 1’s Security Platoon and with Information Operations, talked with employees at the franchise to evaluate its success.

“We stopped to check up on the KFC to see how things were going,” said 1st Lt. Michael C. Bryant, platoon commander with Battery M, 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, RCT 1. ”You can tell that the area is returning to normal, especially when you see fast food places in the area doing so well.”

The KFC Empire. Coloring the map redImperial Rome raised victory arches and monumental statuary in the path of the conquering Legions. The British brought the civil service, cricket and high tea behind Tommy Atkins to the furthest corners of the earth. Kipling wrote, that “never was isle so little, never was sea so lone, but over the scud and the palm-trees an English flag was flown.” But the only thing that marks the advance of the US Armed forces across the map of tyranny are a succession of little children asking, “can I have fries with that?” Colin Powell was asked at Davos Switzerland by the former Archbishop of Canterbury about the American conception of power. Powell understood that the question was also an accusation and he rose to the defense.

“There is nothing in American experience or in American political life or in our culture that suggests we want to use hard power. But what we have found over the decades is that unless you do have hard power — and here I think you’re referring to military power — then sometimes you are faced with situations that you can’t deal with.

I mean, it was not soft power that freed Europe. It was hard power. And what followed immediately after hard power? Did the United States ask for dominion over a single nation in Europe? No. Soft power came in the Marshall Plan. Soft power came with American GIs who put their weapons down once the war was over and helped all those nations rebuild. We did the same thing in Japan.

So our record of living our values and letting our values be an inspiration to others I think is clear. And I don’t think I have anything to be ashamed of or apologize for with respect to what America has done for the world. We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and we’ve done this as recently as the last year in Afghanistan and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in, and otherwise we have returned home to seek our own, you know, to seek our own lives in peace, to live our own lives in peace. But there comes a time when soft power or talking with evil will not work where, unfortunately, hard power is the only thing that works.”

He might have added that American power comes not only in hard and soft varieties. There is also extra crispy.


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