Escape from Chelm
by Daniel Sargis
05 May 2004
a former member of the Republican Guard to a command position in Fallujah
is like smothering a fire with more logs.
The good news is
that Thomas Hamill, the American civilian held hostage in Iraq since April
9, has escaped. In spite of the best efforts of terrorists and liberals
alike, Hamill did something very American...with faith in God, he took responsibility
for himself. Hamill saw his opportunity; kicked open a door; and ran
into the open arms of an American patrol. The bad news? The town
of Chelm still flourishes and always will.
Imaginative author Francine Prose, in her incredibly funny “The Angel’s Mistake,”
tells a story set in the imaginary town of Chelm. Chelm is the creation
of an angel who made a mistake...the angel was carrying a bag of “stupid
souls” and mistakenly dropped them all in one town. The results...
"the wise men and women . . . put their brilliant minds together and solve
The people of Chelm are chock-full of ideas...from going barefoot in the
snow to keep their shoes from getting wet to wearing their hats upside down
in the rain to keep dry. The story ends when these wise citizens, in
need of light, decide to burn the town down. Of course the firemen
try to smother the fire with logs. The moral of the story...the town
is incinerated and the “stupid souls” of Chelm are finally disbursed, just
as "the angels had intended." Chelm is a case study in the lunacy of
And speaking of upside down hats...Lt. Gen. James T. Conway, the top Marine
commander in Iraq, must have been tirelessly thinking about his pension when
he approved former Republican Guard Maj. Gen. Jassim Mohammed Saleh as commander
of the “1st Battalion of the Fallujah Brigade.” Hamill takes a step
forward and Conway takes two steps back.
What sophistry of reason possessed General Conway when he picked a member
of the former Baath Party to head the Fallujah Brigade? Of course,
General Saleh is a Sunni and closely aligned with the very people in Fallujah
who are murdering American troops. And, according to the Washington Post,
“Conway acknowledged that some of the participants (in the Fallujah Brigade)
would be people who fought against his Marines over the past month.” As a
show of good faith, Saleh immediately declared that there were no “foreign
fighters” in Fallujah.
When one “stupid soul” viewed the actions of another “stupid soul,” it was
time for “Plan B.” So, Saleh was replaced with General Amer Bakr al-Hashimi.
General al-Hashimi is viewed as a better choice because he refused to join
Hussein’s Baath Party. Reuters describes al-Hashimi as a “general
with a history of standing up to Saddam Hussein.” Of course al-Hashimi
confirmed his independence this past week when questioned by a reporter for
his take on having served under Saddam. He unflinching proclaimed,
“I feel proud.” Better try to douse that fire with some more gasoline.
In the midst of this madness, the citizens of Fallujah, posing as masked
terrorists, openly celebrated "victory over the Americans" in the streets
while the dauntless Fallujah Brigade looked the other way and American Marines
withdrew from their positions. In a move worthy of the Spanish, America
found justice for all of its citizens murdered in Fallujah by empowering
the murderers. Yo Quiero Taco Bell!
While Chelm-like American commanders are pushing tinhorn Iraqi generals around
the Ouija board, the Arab world is in a dervish over the treatment of a few
Iraqi prisoners at the hands of the “sadistic” Americans. In an unbelievable
twist of “stupid souls,” some American soldiers committed “sadistic, blatant
and wanton criminal abuses” at Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib prison, according to
an internal U.S. military report. Of course all of this takes place
in front of a Fallujian backdrop of peace-loving Muslims playing soccer with
American body parts.
While Saddam sits out his relatively pampered incarceration playing arrogant
mind-games...Americans continue to die. While peace-loving Saudi Muslims
tie the body of a shooting victim to the bumper of a car and drag it in front
of school children (summoned by gunfire from inside the Ibn Hayyan Secondary
Boys School to watch the body being dragged), the Arab world is hypocritically
silent. But interrogate a Muslim with a bit of purpose and, according
to the voice of terrorism (the New York Times), bin Laden’s “worst anti-American propaganda was true.”
The only “truth” presently known is that some Americans were stupid enough
to take pictures of this fiasco. Did anybody ever wonder why it took
Jordanian officials less than 12 hours to have terrorist cell leader Azmi
Jaiousi singing like a canary about the bomb plot which could have killed
80,000 people in Amman? Rest assured that the Jordanians, unlike the
“sadistic” Americans, did not interrogate their prisoners with shish kabob
and rice pilaf 3 times a day.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan "was deeply disturbed by the pictures of
Iraqi prisoners being mistreated and humiliated by their guards."
He was, however, speechless about the previous “Blackwater atrocity," in
which four Americans were killed and mutilated by a festive mob. Annan
continues to deny any wrong doing in the U.N. run “oil-for-food” program.
Funny how Annan was mum about the 30 years that Hussein ran torture cells
in Abu Ghraib prison when the payoffs were rolling in.
At least Thomas Hamill is heading home. While the “stupid souls” of
Chelm keep trying to smother a fire with more logs, members of the Hamill
family's local Baptist church in Macon, Mississippi prayed for Hamill around
the clock. While the “stupid souls” of Chelm walk in the snow barefoot
to keep their shoes dry, Thomas Hamill had the American grit to take a hike
on his peace-loving Muslim captors. And had those peace-loving Muslim
captors actually murdered Hamill as they threatened to do...the Arab world
along with Kofi Annan would have fallen silent. May God bless the “stupid
souls” of Chelm.
Daniel Sargis, a freelance writer, is a principal in a private investment development company. His website is dansargis.org.
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