Taunting in a Time of War

As we pass the 6th Anniversary of 9/11, one thing is clear — America has lost the art of the taunt.

Don’t confuse that statement with a call for further coarsening of the culture, or for people to engage in more insulting discourse — we already have plenty of that over at the liberal hate blogs. Just take a trip into New York City or Boston, or Philadelphia or Chicago and at any given time, you can be told to “drop dead” in dozens of creative ways and foreign languages. That’s the great global tradition of insults — I am talking about something different, something special, I am talking about the uniquely American, lost art of the Taunt.

“American’s,” as George C. Scott, so eloquently put it in the 1970 Movie, Patton, “love a winner — they hate a loser.” But what they love even more than a winner is — a taunter.

A taunter is a guy who not only defeats you — in war, in a game, whatever — but also gets into your head and makes you feel badly about losing. Defeat isn’t enough; you have to regret, even for a moment, even getting into the game — at that moment you aren’t just beaten, you are defeated: you are less of a man. Dirty Harry didn’t say, “you’re under arrest, sir.” He told the stickup man, “Go ahead, make my day.” Game, set, match.

Think of the great taunting moments in sports — Babe Ruth’s called home run blast in the 1932 World Series; Muhammed Ali, standing triumphantly over Sonny Liston in 1966, the entire bleacher crowd at Fenway Park in 1986 targeting the young Daryl Strawberry with chants of “Daryl — Daryl, Daryl” until he nearly cracked. In fact, despite the fact that the Mets went on to win the World Series against the Sox, it drove Strawberry to an addiction to crack…(of course, the fact that he was forced to play in Queens may have also played a role.)

Politically and in wartime, taunts have served an important purpose, to rally the troops and to pull just a few more drops of gas out of a nearly national gas tank. Remember John Paul Jones’ famous retort to the British “I have not yet begun to fight.” Remember Division Commander General Tony McAuliffe’s response to a German surrender demand at Bastogne, “Aw Nuts”, Douglas MacArthur’s “I Shall Return” and President Bush, standing on the rubble of the World Trade Center saying, “I hear you. And the people who did this will hear from us.”

All these were the right sentiment at the right time, a way of saying not just Drop Dead, but instead — challenging the manhood of our enemies.

Sadly we have lost that ability; our kids have been labeled bullies for doing a victory playground sack dance and our politicians labeled insensitive for calling the jihadis savages.

This lesson has not been lost on Osama Bin Laden or Al Qaeda — “TAUNT” That was the headline on the Drudge Report, for most of 9/11/07 — Bin Laden calling us out, telling us we were beaten and weak. Osama was telling us that weren’t man enough to take him down. Osama was telling us not only did he knock down our towers and hit the Pentagon on 911 but also that he was recruiting an army of martyrs to do it again and again and again.

The American press is enabling bin laden and his taunts. They are building a platform from which to trash talk us. Bin Laden is setting the tempo of the game. Petraeus is giving his report, up pops Bin Laden, America is going to have an election, up pops Bin Laden, Britney Spears is making her come back…well you get the point.

We are held to a different wussy liberal standard: when we taunt the jihadis by italicizing the Koran in non mullah or non ACLU approved ways — it causes a tremendous stink — in fact it leads to riots. Dittos for when we DRAW, pictures of Muhammed or when we water board these cave dwellers. Don’t upset them, don’t anger them, don’t torture them — you might enrage them…what are they gonna do, knock down a building?

Take a look at the Popeye or the Mickey Mouse Cartoons of the World War 2 era…old Walt Disney knew how to taunt Tojo’s military and Hitler’s war machine. Even the Three Stooges did brilliant send ups of Hitler and Mussolini. Look at the descriptives that mom and dad and gramma and grandpa used to describe our enemies…every one of them was designed to strip the humanity of these savages who would destroy America.

But we better not get ugly; Keith Olbermann or David Gregory or Terry Moran might get upset at the behavior. They might be forced to do a special report — comparing everything to Mai Lai and Watergate. Don’t target they weapons stockpiles in mosques or call ’em names while you hit them with Daisy Cutters — Sean Penn might have a fit.

The left wants us to apologize while simultaneously striking our foes — scratch that, they just want us to apologize for putting those towers in the way of Al Qaeda. They want us to submit, to surrender but never hit back, even verbally.  Its absurd; hell we ought to start talking abou reparations to the worldwide jihad movement now before any one gets their feelings hurt.

Well, I for one say it ends now: it’s time to go full court taunt. We need to strike these guys at their core — at their manhood. We need to portray Osama and Mahmood foot tapping each other in a men’s room stall. We need to recut Brokeback Mountain with Bashsar Assad and Ayman Al Zawahiri as the lonely cowboys…We need to call these jihadis the sissy men that they are and laugh at them. We need to stop respecting our enemies and start beating them. They need to be dehumanized because they are not human.  We need to make ’em quake with our taunts. We need to beat them AND make them feel bad. Our national honor demands it.

Who’s with me? Hey, Osama:  be afraid. Be very afraid.  We’re sending a bunch of little blue-haired grannies to kick your butt.  They’re sick and tired of being searched at airports.