Posted on | November 11, 2010 | 116 Comments
Stacy has greased the skids here, but there will be a hiatus in regular blogging activity for the Smitty portion of this blog duo at the close of this post. I hold orders to activate in mid-November and report to Kabul, Afghanistan in time for Christmas. Bandwidth, and latitude for skylarking online will not exist until the end of 2011.
The attentive may recall that I’m a Navy reservist, and Afghanistan hasn’t much coast. Welcome to the modern, double-Jointed world, where Semper Gumby (always flexible) is the watchword. Have you supported Project Valor-IT yet?
As a staff REMF, it’s unlikely that I’ll be in harm’s way. This is really one year in an isolated locale, supporting the a few doughty Americans. Should some sort of combat situation come upon me, there in the capital, things shall have gone really awry. Unlikely. Also, as a 40-something ship driver from the Navy, there is no interest in reliving my non-existent Rambo days. Let’s be crystal clear on that. Besides PowerPoint, I’ll be doing staff officer sorts of things.
But don’t thank me; thank Americans, from the Founding Fathers forward to the Tea Parties, to my electrician brother-in-law who just runs around fixing things all day. The exceptional American dedication to individualism, the ideals of the Constitution, and the courageous soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines in whose bigger footsteps I follow make it all worth it. I’ve benefitted so much from the American people, educationally and otherwise. Thus, it’s with a sense of gratitude to you that I depart on this set of orders, finishing out my Navy Reserve career in active duty style.
The post title is a bit of Gaelic meaning “War or Peace:”
Probably the best known playing of Cogadh no Sìth was at the Battle of Waterloo when Piper Kenneth MacKay of Tongue played the tune. Kenneth MacKay was a piper with the 79th Cameron Highlanders. As his regiment was forming a square to defend themselves against the charging French Cuirassiers, the proudest cavalry of its day, Kenneth MacKay stepped outside the square and took up his pipe to play Cogadh no Sith. And there outside the square he marched despite the repeated charges of the French cavalry, all the while playing Cogadh no Sìth.
So, the tune is a Piobaireachd, which is either a sort of beautiful tone poem, done correctly, or a regrettable disaster if I’m the one working out on it. But “War or Peace” was also a poem, a tiny fragment of which survives, in its sweet, fatalistic Scottish glory:
Cogadh no sith, cogadh no sith,
‘S coma leam, ‘s coma leam,
Cogadh no sith;
Marbhar sa cogadh,
No crochar an sith mi.
War or peace, war or peace,
Alike to me, alike to me,
War or peace;
I will be killed in the war
Or hanged in the peace.
The “War or Peace” link concludes:
The words complemented the mindset of the Cameron clan who were accustomed to rally to the cry:
Chlanna nan con thigibh a so’s gheib sibh feail.
Probably that rhymes in Gaelic. In English, it’s:
‘Come, you sons of hounds, and I will give you flesh’.
And that the attitude that must be presented to the enemies of liberty; Taliban in Afghanistan, or Progressives closer to home. Thinking you stupid, they will continue to say that you ‘vote against your own interest’, and turn down their bread-and-circus substitutes for Liberty. Liberty ain’t cheap, and rejecting Progressivism may resemble pain for a while. That’s not pain. That’s Socialist weakness leaving the country, and don’t let these liars sell you otherwise. Stand and deliver, the way a Progressive cannot, for, at heart, modern Progressivism is a synonym for cowardice.
If I’ve done you any favors, I’d ask that you make this the single most linked post in this blog’s history. I do have one other project that I want to get out, and something for Pearl Harbor day, but the regular features I’ve been doing are in a hangfire for the nonce.
Yes, there is a ‘Dread Post’ positioned in Draft, backdated to November 2009. Pray that Stacy lacks occasion to publish it.
Now, you sunny beaches know how I feel.