Thursday, April 29, 2004

"The Pendejo Got What He Had Coming"

James Taranto points to a University of Massachusetts graduate student (Rene Gonzalez) who says of Pat Tillman:

"However, in my neighborhood in Puerto Rico, Tillman would have been called a "pendejo," an idiot. Tillman, in the absurd belief that he was defending or serving his all-powerful country from a seventh-rate, Third World nation devastated by the previous conflicts it had endured, decided to give up a comfortable life to place himself in a combat situation that cost him his life. This was not 'Ramon or Tyrone,' who joined the military out of financial necessity, or to have a chance at education. This was a 'G.I. Joe' guy who got what was coming to him."

If you put this together with the immediately preceding post, you really have to wonder about people who think like this. Why are they here? We don't restrain them. Any number of people would cheerfully buy Mr. Gonzalez a one-way ticket to France or Saudi Arabia or Haiti or Burundi or any other place he might like better. How about Cuba? Because of the propaganda value, Castro would welcome with open arms anyone who wanted to leave the U.S. for Cuba. For a while. :-)

Update (4-30-04): Reflecting on this post last night, I realized that I responded viscerally. The word "pendejo," which most people in South Texas are familiar with, and the phrase "got what was coming" set me off. But my statement that you have to wonder about people who think like this stands. I do wonder.

Implicit in Mr. Gonzalez's world view is that there is nothing in this country worth fighting for, that no one would be worse off if we lost the war to the terrorists, that an Islamic theocracy is no more loathesome than our present system. That leaves me speechless. There is nothing about our country that is guaranteed. If enough people think like Mr. Gonzalez, sooner or later we all will get to experience first hand the merits of Third World despotism.

Struggle as I may to understand people like Mr. Gonzalez, all I can come up with is that they are too hate-filled to see that the glass here, while perhaps not full to the brim, is well past half-full. Wanting to correct existing inequities is fine, but inability to see that we have much to cherish is a peculiar form of blindness.

As you might expect, James Lileks has some thoughts on this.

2nd Update (4-30-04): Mr. Gonzalez apparently will apologize to the family of Pat Tillman.

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