A symbol of real courage

19 year old Jessica Lynch’s oddessy did not begin when her armored vehicle was blown up by a bomb. She survived and her gun jammed without being able to fire a single shot. Injured, she was captured by the Iraq’s and taken to hospital, where she was treated kindly and the Iraqi’s actually tried to get her back to the US forces ! But finally she was ‘rescued’ by the US forces and taken back to the US. And then her oddessy really began ….

For the Pentagon spun a different tale. According to them Jessica fired and defended herself, fighting off the Iraqi’s till she finally ran out of ammunition. She was then captured and brutally treated by the Iraqi’s till a courageous rescue operation was launched.
Jessica became a national hero. A symbol of courage. A tiny female ‘Rambo’. Hollywood started to write scripts on her story.
But now Jessica is tired about carrying the burden of that lie. Tired of being a myth, she is trying to reclaim herself by telling the truth.
That to me is a symbol of real courage. Hats off to you, Jessica

32 thoughts on “A symbol of real courage

  1. Pentagon has a team of best writers in the world.
    And their agents who sell all these stories are great.these movies make lotz of money for thier producers too.Even if its a flop they have their own best selling trade guide in the world,which tells everyone about”how successful is there movie” Ha ha..

  2. Sanjay, it’s true that the pentagon lied about this incident. But is is also true that it was possible for individuals in the US army to speak up and speak out against this lie. There are some checks and balances which enabled this senate commitee to carry out a public investigation. Pat Tillman’s brother was able to call the people responsible liars on national TV.
    How true is that anywhere else?

  3. hi cinda…
    (this comment is related to Shekhar’s earlier post LOVE AND ABNADON… but since its been quite a while i am posting my reply to Cinda here…sorry for the inconvenience)
    Cinda, you asked me to translate the poem written by Nida Fazali…
    it is beyond my capacity to translate that poem in English… at the most i can translate the meaning but it will be of no use…
    in short the crux of the poem is where the poet expresses his grief about the pathetic world man has created and asking God to throw some light!!!
    thank you…take care…tata…kedar…

  4. I have noticed that American population is generally ignorant about how the rest of the world functions. They start come out of their comfort zone only when their asses start feeling heat, like in Iraq.
    Some people at work asked me what Indians think about 9/11. I said latest impression about terrorism in my mind is Bombay blasts. They asked me who was responsible for that. I was wordless for a minute. I said do you know that US has been supplying arms and money to Pakistan since decades? I asked them do you know that in India we have been facing terrorsim, since 1947. Thankfully, I did not mention thousands of years. They had no clue.
    It cracks me up every time I see the consternation on their faces, when they talk about injustice, fairness, mosquitoes, poverty and of course ethics. It takes a lot of courage to face the truth and their bloated egos and heads are way above reality.

  5. Who knows..Sid, may be this individual is a character of this whole script. Which is representing that how free and great this system is.Setting examples of freedom of blah blah. To kill thousands of people,You need to have that license and flag of freedom, which tells the world “How great and full of justice this system is”.

  6. Nav,
    The American population is no more or no less, “ignorant about how the rest of world functions”, than other developed nations, including the average college educated Indian, for that matter.
    And to blame the Bombay blasts on America, however, tangentially, is very unfair. Last I checked, our Govt. and civil society were in agreement on the perpetrators. No?
    Or, out of sheer frustration, are you are looking to blame someone because you know powerful people in our own Govt. and Film Industry are in cahoots with, and are protecting the scum responsible for the blasts.
    Instead of blaming others, why don’t we ask our own Govt., what is preventing us from going into our neighbour’s house and capturing the terrorists? Did the neighbour ask permission from Uncle Sam or give a damn, before entering Kargil?
    p.s. as the old desi saying goes – agar apni murgi padosi ke ghar may anda dale, to padosi ka kya kasoor.

  7. hey guys…
    yes i agree that society is made up of us!… and based on this fact bringing the society into the discussion seems logical…
    but what i feel is that the act of Jessica prevails any society or its legal or administrative system in particular…
    a tiny female Rambo was a cute sarcastic comment, dude!!!
    any society is bound to fail one day…because it is based on an ideology…and ideologies change with space and time and hence cant be fundamental… Marxism failed, colonies went down…the dream land america is losing its grip…in this chaos to stand up and talk about the facts is certainly an act of courage!!!
    hats off to Jessica…!!!
    thanks dude for the wonderful post!…

  8. We become the media-mythologised creations “others” make of us when they write about us, without knowing us, without walking besides us, let alone in my rather silly 4″ heels. We become these celluloid-cyberpeople, marketable to Holly / Bollywood. The Pentagon has a department which liaises with Hollywood (for a small fee of course) about getting the milatairy machinery and references right. Go Arnold!
    I’m so please she is trying to reclaim her legend, I hope she makes her own film, tells her story as it was because it is infinitely more powerful than the Disney-fied version of it. But she can keep on her flak jacket, when we start to reclaim our lives and therefore ourselves, we force a shift in others’ perceptions and I’ve said before , right here, change is a killer. Much easier to consume the tabloid version of me or whoever than to take the time to look beyond the Wikipedia entry.

  9. just saw Robert Rodriguez’s and Quentin Tarantino’s “Grindhouse”. That’s the biggest shit you can watch in your life. It’s the example of how you can imagine and execute a filthy shit…It’s very easy to execute that kind shit with a 100 Million. An example of filthy thinking and sick imagination…”Thats what this country is all about”.
    But to create a line like “To be or not be..!” YOU DON’T NEED that kind of a budget but you need a 100 million worth of creativity.
    But here everything is about money..and it’s easy to make money that way. The news we listen to and the heros we see – “are they really heros for the generations to come…..or are they just money making figures for this fake materialistic society??”.
    When one person has a monopoly on everything then you can’t ever imagine a better world.
    Thats what the story of this world is. The story of the powerful world…..Profit,profit,profit…
    In this kind of world , we don’t know whom to believe or whom to not.

  10. Anuj,
    I think I did not make my point clear. firstly, an average Indian does not act as saviour of world’s ethics when he kills people left and right for money. We watched on TV in horror when the twin towers came down in US. Do you think anybody in US knows about Punjab’s plight or about any of the Bombay blasts. I am blaming US for being the modern day Ghauri just for monopolizing world economics and Britain for being its sad and pathetic accomplice. Instead of trying to come out of the cold war mire, it is sinking further deep.
    I hope you have not forgotten Vietnam and Afghanistan. How do you know Pakistan did not ask for Uncle Sam’s permisssion for attacking Kargil? US supported Pakistan in 1971. Who is showering billions on Pakistan in the name of protecting world from terrorism. Do you think America is not in an alliance with China and Pakistan. How did US make so much progress after World War II..I think arms dealings had a lot to do with it.
    Does not mean that Indian population is doing all the right things. It does not have a backbone yet and I do not see it growing one any time soon. But Anuj, I can tell you this much Indian people who possess some IQ and education know way more about the world than an average american with similar attributes does and are more willing to learn.
    And more importantly, people like you and Indian media will not write about what’s great in and about India, you will write about crime, corruption and glorify all that is rotten. I haven’t seen a single story that writes about good in normal people in a long time. Have you ever rewared an honest person? I hope when somebody in India asks you for money for doing their job, you say no.I hope when in India, you drive within speed limit, and follow a safe distance. I hope when you see goons slapping the bottom of a teenage girl walking on a crowded road, and you try to stop them. If you have done it, hats off to you. Everybody can bitch about what is wrong, it takes guts to put things right.
    I will say what is true about US policies here in US to the US citizens. And I will say what is true about India to Indians.

  11. Bravo Nav ! what you wrote is absolutely true . I have not been able to agree on opinions in a while on this blog , but i totally agree with what you said !
    Action , not words – but first Indians need a to de-learn a lot of biased information – and get many facts right !
    But speaking of spin doctors – US or the west has sustained its eminence based on whole range of falsities. For a country that can Bluff ( acording to some reports ) about Moon Landing , faking a high risk Rescue mission is game !
    Maybe the americans can learn a thing from our Police and their ‘encounter’s ! Hollywood has corrupted Americans into a bunch of teens and toys !

  12. I think Jessica has done the right thing because there is nothing as powerful as the truth. She shunned all the false adulation in favor of her honor, which is indeed very courageous. We often talk about the heavy handedness of the American army around the world, but when a genuine soldier comes out in favor of the truth, we must applaud her. We have similar examples of people in India who have always fought for the truth – Kiran Bedi is one, and we love her for that. We must also appreciate the culture of accountability of the US, which allows every one to be examined and speak for themselves, and therefore helps the general populace to form a better opinion on any particular event. The similar kind of transparency that has come in the Indian media over the last few yrs has also gone a long way in making our democracy much better.
    Himanshu – NY

    Dear Shekhar,
    This refers to the discussion we had here about the Indian villages sometime back. I saw a very interesting clip on CNN about IT jobs now being done in villages in places called ‘Gram Centers.’ These centers are being sponsored by Satyam in the villages of Tamil Nadu right now. A very interesting comment in the clip is a by a guy named Krishna, who says that his friends tell him that they work only in the agricultural field, but he works in both agricultural and IT fields. Krishna spends most of the day working in the Gram Center and in the afternoon works with his father in the rice fields – a very unique combination.
    To see the clip, click on any video on cnn.com and the new window opens up. In the Search Video box, search for India and many clips will show up. The clip is titled “Big-City jobs go small village.” This is a big change and I hope this phenomenon spreads to other villages and generates more jobs.
    Himanshu – NY

  14. America prefers to accept the “dream” version of reality…why do you think Hollywood is popular and successful ?
    In fact it is founded on this idea – but then this distorted and one-sided view is also propagated and peddled by Bollywood films, just with a different emphasis..
    The Brits have a very grounded and earthy view of “reality”, so much so that “common” views and the lowest common denominator is catered for in their media…but then they never landed a man on the moon – that takes a big dream (& deep pockets…)

  15. Another symbol of courage…!
    George J. Tenet, the former director of central intelligence, has lashed out against Vice President Dick Cheney and other Bush administration officials in a new book, saying they pushed the country to war in Iraq without ever conducting a “serious debate” about whether Saddam Hussein posed an imminent threat to the United States.

  16. Dear Nav or nav,
    Your idea that the US Clinton administration was behind the attack on Kargil in 1999 is really warped and completely wrong. You seem to be regurgitating some vary grand reconstituted, propagandist lies.
    Say what you will about the current Bush administration. I do not care. Bush, Karl Rove and VP Cheney are murderers looking out for their own wallets. I never voted for these people.
    Perhaps our current president lives in the Hollywood dream you propose but you are mistaken in regards to the minds of the American people. Your generalizations about the citizens of the US is narrowminded and blatantly ignorant, especially US Democrats. I strongly suggest you watch this program:
    This is what we believe. It is certainly what I believe. You do not speak any truth whatsoever. You know nothing about the policies of the Clinton administration.
    Americans today are shocked at the backlog of legal cases, that have nearly crippled India’s judicial system, regarding violations of India’s public obscenity laws like the recent case of Richard Gere and Shilpa Shetty. Americans are shocked by the amount of time and money spent in this manner, over a harmless gesture for a great cause, while chronic poverty in India continues (which is the real obscenity).

  17. Agree with u Trevor. The general understanding of the Americans is much better than at least ours. We still don’t know how to elect leaders or react to situations. The Gere issue is only a matter of embarrassment for most of us. But we are a young nation with lots of backlog baggage, I am sure we will learn soon. But it was the Clinton government that fired missiles at Afghanistan even without declaring a war (I think in the pretext that there are training camps there). Do u really think that American foreign policy depends a lot on the political party in power?

  18. Trevor & Aditarya
    A Corporations main purpose is to make profit. No matter what, when a new CEO comes on the seat the basic constitution remains the same. The only thing that changes is how to generate more profit out of this same shop.
    When you live in a big expensive house, maintaining that house is expensive too. A country with such a huge infrastructure needs $1 billion/day of foreign investments to run smoothly. That investment can only get here if this shop guarantees the investors that we are strong and capable enough and your investments are safe.
    Now to prove all this “machoness” it’s a necessity to create an imbalance in the other parts of the world. After all one will be a champion only when others are lost.
    So Aditarya, it’s not the party who makes policies, it’s the need that make policies….

  19. Trevor,
    Looks like I never thought about Democrats while makong generalization about American population. I like Bill Clinton, not because he belongs to a certain party, but his intelligence and charisma is unmatched. Well I am not a big fan of of cigars, but I certainly like the way he handled American politics during his tenure. May be I should remind you that John Kerry represents Democrats too, and that the discerning American population elected Bush not once but twice.
    About your comment on lack of kissing in public, well we have a sizeable popultion, so i would infer that we know how to kiss, we just prefer not to moan and groan in public. Also, why this restriction came to your mind only after Gere got in trouble. We have been living with this law for many years now.I believe US laws also bar some sort of public “indecency”. I have read in newspapers about George Michael. Backlog of judicial cases is an entire research project for which you will have to learn more about history of india. As for Richard Gere making a contribution towards India’s “chronic” poverty, he can do something about Philadelphia neighbourhoods, we don’t need him in India.
    We are a rich and brave nation, always have been. We have conserved our heritage to an extent that deserves accolades despite thousand of years of barbaric attacks.

  20. Trevor or trevor whatever,
    It is a well known fact – what was formerly known only to Indian Intelligence ( oh yeah , we do have some ) , the fact that USA actively and covertly propped up the State-sponsorship of Islamic Terror by a rabid Pakistan .
    It is another fact that it went a full circle ( something we call ‘Karma’ in India ) and you guys got back a taste of your medicine on 911.
    Successive American governemnts and administrations have been stupidly ( as only expected from a Juvenile nation state ) inimical to India – weknow the reasons why .
    The British had a vested interest in splitting India into Pakistan and India ( isn’t that strange – you take 1/5 landmass of India out and what’s left is still India ! )
    The Pax Britannica – was passed onto the new pupil of Imperialism and milked up to become what we now see as an equally bombastic Pax Americana.
    India and Hinduism are the only civilization , culture with all the ingredients to overthrow the bluff games and lies perpetrated in the name of both Organised religion and Material economic values. The very prosperity and comming to power of India ( either as a civilization or as a nation-state are inimical to the myopic west ).
    Its like as if a kid stealing cookies in a jar is afraid of mom waking up ! – Mother India , after all is the Mother of all civilization , knowledge and true human freedom.
    There are many instances in recent history of how USA and UK have repeatedly undermined India and have tried to harm its interests in many spheres -i can write a whole lot , but will leave it to you to do some homework – it is entirely a different matter that the Courage , resourcefulness and that enigmatic ‘Spiritual Strength’ of Indian colossus is just way to beyond the reach for Pax Americana or Britannica -which is why each of their evil designs have failed so far – and as we Indians know will continue to fail. Grow up , America !

  21. An act of immense courage indeed; goes on to show that all that hulabaloo around a lie would have made her very uncomfortable. Not everyone can be that courageous.
    Rudra, do you think we should also introspect as a nation. Why do we always blame it on Brits and Americans? The choices have been of our people in the past and still choices are ours. Do you really beleive that we were politically naive when British tried to divide us?
    That we should have national pride is one thing, but do you think that saying India and Hinduism are the only civilization, culture etc is being sensitive to other cultures.
    “Coming to power of India”- Are we? Just because our GDP is growing and is expected to grow? we are not there yet, and if we are’ the question is; is the change rooted in our indigenous thoughts of religion and culture.

  22. shashi,
    Yes , we should introspect as a nation – but which nation are you talking about ? There was a two-nation in one-state theory of Jinnah that landed us 1 million dead in 1947, as a result of his ‘Direct Action’ on hapless Hindus .
    We as a nation have alwasy ever only intrsopected – in fact way too much that we boudn our own hands into strange concoctions of Buddhist values – values which led us to laydown arms when we were attacked by Huns and Greeks and much later by the warriors of Islam. If ‘Kshatriya Dharma’ was follwoed properly in the spirit of Bhagawad Gita , India would not have suffered.
    Obviously , not everyone looks so deep into the causes of why india lost its war-fighting traditions and became an introverted , inward looking nation . It is the cause of our downfall.
    The tide is now changing – as more and more young people travel world wide and learn of cultures , we now realise how profound our roots really are.
    Whn you quote me , i’d rather you quote me completely , instead of peacemeal tangentials , mate ! India and the Vedic culture were a global reality and while it receded to a point that india even allowed europeans to lord over its material body , the indian power surge is undeniable and the new resurgence of culture is uncappable. Philosophically , morally , spiritually and quantitatively , India is the only civilisation that has the ingredients to offer true fredoms to mankind as a whole – sincce it is unbounded by exclusivism .

  23. I agree with you, Rudra. Shashi, if you can look beyond last few thousand years, you might see what our civilization was about-on all levels. I think this is the time to come out of this mass introspection and “act”. We need to become a nation of Kshatriyas as Rudra said in our actions. We have to catch hold of the thread of our genius. Last few hundred years have permeated lack of virility in our genes. That’s one “evolutional” mutation we have to let go.

  24. My apologies Rudra, I picked up some quotes of yours thinking these are the key points. Some clarifications
    1. I am talking about India of today.The likes of Jinnah and Iqbal’s could be big villians for Indians but again we should not blame only them. There is a suggested reading: India from Curzon to Nehru and After..
    2. When I say introspect, i dont intend to say, we don’t act. But act with awareness of our past. We never stopped fighting wars, and the fact remains that we always fought wars amongst ourselves all through the history; and as you would know, British were able to take advantage of our situation because we wanted favours, we were divided and we did not have a collective identity.
    3. I am as proud of my roots as you are. I appreciate your point that India is not bound by exclusivism, although from your post it is not easy to judge that, when you talk about India, you quickly jump to Hindu’s, Kshatriya Dharam etc.
    If you have time to respond, I am also inclined to know, what is your message to Indians that reflects we are following Kshatriya Dharma.
    Thanks Nav and Rudra for responding.

  25. Shashi, Rudra, Nav,
    We are all very proud of our past and very rightly. But when are we going to stop living in the past or take shelter in spirituality. I don’t feel our Indian mentality was very different even in the past. We were always the same kind of people. The difference I feel was in our leaders. More accurate would probably be our system. Our Political system was very different. That kind of authoritarian system suited us better and it probably does even today, though I know in a modified way. 60 years of backward movement shd be enough to understand that there is something hugely incorrect with the system itself. We have already lost our cultural identity and are on the verge of losing our national identity also. By that I dont mean religion 2 much but that also is a vital part of any identity. Hinduism has been denounced too much in our own land and there has been a constant effort to be like the west. What we need is a massive overhaul to our system of governance if we are to advance in the r8 direction. Sadly nobody is even considering that bcos a borrowed constitution has been made to look like a sacred document. I cannot criticize our leaders at the time of Independence. I think they did their best considering the circumstances and resources. But we as a nation have always been afraid of changes and improvements or even original thinking. What do u feel?

  26. Shashi,
    India and hinduism are inseparable, I believe. For me hinduism is not a religion in the modern sense of the word, it is culture, an art of living, if we can look past past few hundred years…
    aditraya, i think you need to know more abt india’s history during independence struggle as well before that. i think we have made serious mistakes but also serious bounds forward for example in terms of women’s place in society. right now, i see ourselves as wideeyed yet depressed nation, ready to blame everybody arnd for our plight, but does not mean that if somebody is stabbing me, I cannot stand up and take an action.
    i think we have lost a sense of direction, especially the indian men. Please don’t take this as a sexist remark, but this is my general impression. i think women are making more gutsy moves. it may be related to too many expectations from men at a very young age. I don’t see the same spunk in my brothers that I saw in my dad or his generation. This might be a coarse generalization, but I hope you get the idea.
    What do you think, Shekhar?

  27. Dear Rudra or Karma Rudra whatever,
    Your ignorance and hubris shine very brightly with a statement such as this my friend:
    “It is another fact that it went a full circle ( something we call ‘Karma’ in India ) and you guys got back a taste of your medicine on 911.”
    Such insensitivity breeds karmic events as well.
    “You have no power here! Now begone, before somebody drops a house on you!”
    – The Wizard of Oz
    “As men think so they are, both here and hereafter, thoughts being things, the parent of all actions, good and bad alike, and as the sowing has been, so will the harvest be.”
    – The Tibetan Book of the Dead
    Good luck and do your homework!!!

  28. Nav,
    “aditraya, i think you need to know more abt india’s history during independence struggle as well before that.” Can u elaborate plz…I am all for India’s glorious past… I was only commenting on whats happening after independence…feel free to criticize me….I get alternate views only from this blog…

  29. Aditarya,
    I agree with you nowhere more than when you say ‘ a borrowed constitution has been made to look like a sacred document’.
    ‘India that is Bharat’ of 1947 is not the same as ‘bharatvarhsa’ – or even ”Mahabharata’ – Greater India that once comprised most of inhabited Europe , 5000 years ago.
    Many common civilisational values are independent of the cocnstitution and have been in existance for millenia ! Indian secularism for instance is the best example of this perversion – what is a natural disposition of a welcomming , hosting Indian cultural value that always believed in ‘ Sarva Dharma Samabhava’ has been made our to be an article of the constitution !
    Constitution is the outcome of the civilisational value system and not vice verca. Jews in India are
    testimony to this. In 107 of 108 countries they were strewn , only One land did welcome them and kept them unmolested – that is India – there was no secularism then !
    In contrast , When Aurangazeb became the Islamic monarch of Moghul India , he imposed Jazia ( Tax on Non-Muslims ) – Indic populations paid the ‘holy’ tax and yet upheld their faith ! They also withstood ‘holy Jihad’ and surreptious Christian Propoganda used by the British to segment the Indian Population.
    As a student i used to ask my Pinko Friends why they did not evolve an original Indian Worker’s movement -why ‘Marxist’ , ‘Leninist’ , ‘Maoist’ versions of Commie philosophy ?
    Indian Civilizational Genius comprises of inclusivism with a Global outlook and with its inherent Vedic Articles of faith , Earth would indeed turn into a sared space for all Living entities – something a retributive , myopic , materialistic , Military industrial complex of the West can never offer !

  30. Hi Rudra,
    I m entirely in agreement with u. Hinduism is synonymous with tolerance. There r two very important points about this that is generally ignored or not understood. Just like u said, even the most barbaric of the Muslim rulers and various other pressures were not able to change the religious composition of India except for some small pockets. Where ever else in the world they went, they were successful in conversions. Secondly, that immunity might not hold good anymore bcos most of the Hindus today r not that religious and tolerance, that is only one of the many aspects of Hinduism, has become their only aspect of looking at Hinduism. What I am trying to say is that the tolerance that was once our strongest shield is now the best weapon against us. Hinduism is as much about tolerance as it is about Karma. No karma is equal to bad karma. Hinduism probably is the only religion in the world that says there r three and not one way to God. It is the only religion in the world that says even the non believers can attain God. That is why it is considered a way of life and not a religion.And there are so many interpretations of Hinduism that each person can adapt it to his needs.
    But this is where we both agree. Tell me where u dont agree so that we can have a healthy argument. It would be fun to argue with an intelligent person like u 🙂 Na na..just kidding.

  31. Jinnah was the only politician in Indian history to be known as the best ambassador of Hindu Muslim Unity for more than 30 years.
    When a secularist Indian nationalist pork eating Muslim Jinnah was alienated, questions should have been asked about Gandhi and Nehru and poor leadership that they were providing.
    Nobody asked those questions. Hence the mess that the subcontinent is.

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