24 thoughts on “Memorial Day with Sgt. Rock

  1. To all those in the U.S. military, past and present, living and dead, I salute you.

  2. All animals fight, but only man has made war an art. Perhaps this exaltation stems from the fact stems from the fact that the full spectrum of human identity – courage and cowardice, nobility and savagery – are so apparent in their purest forms. The moden man my choose to call himself moderate, but he knows full well that everything is defined by extremes. As such, soldiering is the most honest, most human of all professions.

    And it only took two panels to say all that.

    God bless anybody who takes up a gun for their country.

  3. “When I go home people’ll ask me, “Hey Hoot, why do you do it man? What, you some kinda war junkie?” You know what I’ll say? I won’t say a goddamn word. Why? They won’t understand. They won’t understand why we do it. They won’t understand that it’s about the men next to you, and that’s it. That’s all it is.”
    -Black Hawk Down

  4. Sometimes, I go whole days without remembering how awesome Kanigher and Kubert are. I’m just glad you’re there to remind me.

    As to what those panels say to me: War is a goddamn waste, and trying to glory it up only means you can forget the only true thing about it: Some poor kid, dead in the ground.

    I ain’t hassling soldiers, only wishing we didn’t need them.

  5. Great minds think alike…I also paid tribute this Memorial Day by using Sgt. Frank Rock in my blog…and then I posted a video of Hitler rapping…take that you damn Nat-zis!

  6. You’ve got to salute a man that could take out a Panzer with his bare fists…

  7. Personally, I find the “all war is bad” mentality to be a bit simplistic. I’m not saying that there aren’t unjust wars, or that war’s a big picnic, but sometimes the only way to set the world right is by blowing up parts of it.

  8. >>sometimes the only way to set the world right is by blowing up parts of it.

    This is about as offensively simplistic a formulation as I could imagine.

  9. A better way to put Trevor’s point (I think):

    We sleep safe in your beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.
    ~ George Orwell

  10. That quote got messed up. It should read:

    We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.
    ~ George Orwell

    (though my accident makes the quote unintentionally funny).

  11. Woah…and I thought the Hitler Rap was gonna’ get some complaints….everyone hates Rick Astley…well, not me…but I do hate Hitler…even though mom told me, “it’s not nice to hate.”

  12. That’s a great pair of panels. Very moving. Very appropriate.

    And man, did those guys makes some good comics or what?

  13. This is about as offensively simplistic a formulation as I could imagine.

    Because diplomacy has never failed, right?

    And good call on the Orwell quote, Wolfe.

  14. Not wanting to simplify a rather complex subject but:

    Trevor Said: “sometimes the only way to set the world right is by blowing up parts of it”

    Well, probably the people (including a lot of children) who have ever been on the blowed-up side of things might have a different point of view: be it soldiers in the first World War trenches being mauled by enemy barrage, or citizens of Gernika, London, Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Baghdad, Tel-Aviv, gaza, Beirut, Somalia, New York, etc… Who might rather think “I don’t want this to ever happen to me again, or to anybody else”

    Also… I think there are not enough films or comics about the First World War: should there be a bit more, maybe the “blowing up parts of things to set things right” school of thinking would reconsider its theories, or at least,be more elaborate in exposing them.

    Diplomacy is far from a perfect means, but if it had worked in August 1914, a lot of young men would have been able to help in constructing their future, instead of becoming mince-meat in the five subsequent years.

  15. How can you know that diplomacy has failed when you’re unwilling to even try it?

    War is young men dying for old men’s fears. There’s nothing especially holy or noble about it.

  16. Orwell’s quote doesn’t seem like it’s promoting war so much as it finds a necessity for the act, meaning there’s a necessity for war.

    What it doesn’t say is that war’s the only or primary option. War is a sacrifice on lives, resources, and general livelihood.

    Diplomacy also doesn’t mean giving into demands (that’s appeasement). Rather, one can negotiate on very tough terms. The Cold War itself was based on this ideal, and thank God diplomacy won out over actual conflict.

    We also ignore when diplomacy and dialog has actually worked. As in more recently between us and North Korea, or Hezbollah and the Lebanese government. More instability results from a lack of diplomacy than from attempting to work it out on the table. One can make the argument that even the Greeks, who had constantly been steeped in war, could have benefited through diplomatic solutions rather than being in constant conflict.

  17. There’s definitely a time and place for diplomacy. Usually, two relatively sane parties can work out their differences diplomatically as opposed to resorting to violence (shocking that we’re even having this conversation in a blog dedicated to the art of face-kicking). The Cold War is a somewhat flawed (there was violence during the cold war – hello, Vietnam?) but good example (we didn’t actually start nuking each other). The Soviets weren’t insane, and they weren’t stupid.

    However, there are times when the enemy is more akin to a rabid dog that must simply be put down. All the diplomacy in the world did nothing but enable Nazi Germany to grow stronger. Sadly, we didn’t employ enough diplomacy in WWI, leading to the over-use of it in the early days of WWII.

  18. I see Vietnam as a reason FOR diplomacy if anything. The country itself was within a civil war, and America’s involvement had more to do with fear of the “domino effect” more than anything involving appeasement.

    It’s really situation dependent. Nazi Germany taking over Europe is an obvious case for war, particularly in 1939 when Poland was effectively invaded. The first Iraq War is another, where Kuwait was being invaded. And really, these are highly justified wars that make sense, where diplomacy wasn’t going to do anything.

    But events such as the current Iraq War and Vietnam shows what happens without diplomatic solutions. There needs to be a degree of tolerance, else the face-kicking may cause untold reverberations.

  19. Orwells quote, you will all reflect, could equally be as perfectly valid if said by a citizen of a free country referring to the conscript troops fighting an invading army, or conversely if said by a politiburo member referring to the KGB.

    Being a soldier isn’t some free pass confering nobility on all your acts. Even fighting murderous agressors isn’t a free pass. Or do we feel that the Redcoats who visited terror on India after the “Rebellion” were noble simply because they wore a Redcoat for their Queen?.

    People (especially the US people who lately have made a fetish of it, but not exclusively them)who say “Oh our noble soldiers” ignore the actual facts. Soldiers are a group of people who have said “The world is complex, and it is difficult to truly know the truth of any war or event. Even so, I abrogate my responsibility to CHOOSE whom I kill, and assign that responsibility to . . . politicians”.

    Which isn’t to say that no soldier can be noble, many of them are extremely so, but they are that inspite of their choice to become the states sanctioned killer, not because of it.

    War is an admission of failure, and in some cases an active embrace of failure because of political expediency.