Can American troops fighting in Iraq be likened to Santa Claus
bringing gifts to the Iraqi children? Or, are they mere ugly
Beasts of Terror roaming the land to pillage and plunder it?
Maybe the movie, Elf, can help us see how American troops are
the hands that rock the Cradle of Vigilance.
Sunday--November 23, 2003—Ground Zero Plus
Rocking the Cradle Of Vigilance
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Nov. 23, 2003--
Yesterday, I wrote a story about Saluting Dead Presidents.
In it, I spoke of the "Cradle of Vigilance."
Today, I want to rock that cradle.
helped the world regain the "spirit of belief"
My wife, daughter, son-in-law and three
grandchildren just returned from seeing the movie, "Elf."
It was about a nation of Complacency, a world that had forgotten how
to believe in its future and to pass that future belief down to the
It seems Santa's sleigh was running out of
gas--spiritual gas. It was the "spirit of belief" that
fueled Santa's sleigh, and, over a number of years, the belief in the
"spirit of Christmas" had dropped so dramatically that Santa needed
a jet engine to power his sleigh filled with toys and gifts to the
children of the world.
But, alas, the engine wasn't working well.
Wrapped around the failing jet engine and
decline of Christmas Spirit was the story of a giant Elf played
by Will Ferrell of Saturday Night Live fame. He was trying
to fit into a human world after spending thirty years trying to fit in
as one of Santa's elves.
Like all good holiday films aimed at the
hearts of parents and children, the story unveiled the journey of a
man of belief into a world dominated by disbelief. It was the
world of the child versus the world of the adult, of the world of
innocence juxtaposed to the world of human stain, of good versus evil,
or selflessness vs. selfishness.
In the end, of course, Christmas survived.
As we're hanging by fingernails on the ledge of Christmas lost, a
single Voice begins to sing, rallying the world to harmonize its
belief in Santa. The sleigh flies solely on the "spirit of
belief" without the aid of the jet engine.
The film is about rocking the "cradle of
Vigilance." It's about standing up for what is right in
the face of all the things that are wrong. It's also about
Complacency, and how Fear and Intimidation worm their respective ways
into the minds of adults, depreciating the value of Christmas.
who plays the Elf's
father, learns the hard way about the need to love his children
Christmas is not a holiday as many
would think, but rather a simple reminder of our obligation to
treasure the gift of the children over all others.
James Caan, who plays the Elf's father in the movie, learns the
hard way about the need to love his children more than any other
single thing in the world.
His Beast of Terror put money
and success ahead of love, but, in the end, that all changed. At
least, in the movie.
America faces the same
lackluster spirit as Santa did in the Elf movie.
There are countless Americans who are not interested in rocking the
cradle of Vigilance in Iraq. Or, for that matter, in
any other nation in the world.
The "Spirit of Democracy" has ebbed,
just as the "spirit of Christmas" leaked slowly from the veins of
Critiques may argue that there is a
huge gap between the "spirit of Christmas" and the "spirit of War,"
because what they see is only the carnage of war and the commercialism
of Christmas. In each case, their eyes focus on the
immediate rather than the future--Christmas is about ringing cash
registers and bleeding money out of people's wallets and purses; war
is about dropping bombs and killing innocent people who bleed until
Rocking the cradle is not an issue.
The "Spirit of
Democracy" today and the "Sprit of Christmas" in the movie have
If one looks at Christmas, or any holiday
designed to bring happiness to others, it's not about the event itself
or who started it. It's about the result. It's about
the children feeling good, feeling happy, feeling loved and cared for
by their families, by society as a whole. It's about protecting
them from Fear, Intimidation and Complacency that haunts life, that
makes the "grind" of daily living sometimes unbearable because of the
struggle one has endure to make ends meet. Then, on one
day, or, in some holiday formats, a week or so, the world stops.
The pressure chambers are opened so that everyone can enjoy the spirit
of love without the arrows and bullets of reality making them duck and
They chose to rock the cradle--to bring a moment
or a day or a week of joy and happiness to the doorstep and within.
The role of
America in Iraq is like a giant hand rocking a cradle
If we look at the role of America in Iraq, and
its allies, we find a giant hand rocking a cradle. We see
people reaching across the seas and trying to give to the children of
other lands a precious present called freedom and liberty, a gift that
can last many many lifetimes if it is allowed to prosper.
But the spirit of Freedom and the spirit of
Liberty can die slow, agonizing deaths, just as the spirit of
Christmas undergoes in the movie Elf. When
adults forget that their beliefs in the future dictate the present of
the children, they become servants of the Beast of Terror's will.
Their Complacency allows the Beast to roam free, as the allegory of
Christmas Complacency threatened in the early moments of the movie
Elf to endanger Santa's visit to the children of the world.
It may be hard for people to imagine a
military person armed with deadly weapons in Iraq as Santa Claus,
there to bring joy and happiness to the children of the land.
But, if the mission of such people is to deliver to the children the
gift of "liberty" over "tyranny," of "freedom" in place of
"oppression," then what real difference is there in a jolly
white-haired old fat man leaving a shiny toy to a poverty-stricken
child in America who suffers the verbal and physical abuse of parents
who seem not to care whether the child lives or dies?
If "liberty" and "freedom" can enjoy even a
moment of life in an otherwise dreary life of suffering, isn't that
moment worthy of salute? If a hand rocks a cradle with
nothing more than "hope" isn't that "hope" the first step toward
achieving the belief in struggling to obtain more of it?
Many people in Iraq have "hope" that liberty and
freedom will become gifts for their children, and their children's
children's children. But, many may not yet believe
it is possible, simply because it has not yet occurred. In
the Arab world, democracy and freedom as it is known in the West does
not exist. But, the hand is on the cradle.
citizens, comprise the hand that rocks the cradle of freedom and
The "spirit of freedom" is being rocked.
The "spirit of liberty" is being cooed.
And, who is the rocker?
The great arm of Belief in the future of
the world's children does not belong to the government of any nation.
It belongs to its citizens. We who enjoy the fruits of the
finest liberty and freedom in the world comprise the arm attached to
the hand that rocks the cradle of freedom and liberty in all lands.
It is either our support that keeps the cradle rocking or our
Complacency that causes it to be still.
If we peer over the edge of the
cradles in other lands we see the innocence of a child's eyes peering
back at us. In the movie, Elf, Buddy, the main character,
starts out in an orphanage. He is unloved and unwanted until the
long arm of Destiny rocks his cradle.
For you who are against the war in
Iraq, or any war America wages upon the precept of freedom and
liberty, go see the movie Elf. As you view it,
think about how America's spirit to sustain fights in other lands that
ultimately free the children can be won or lost by the spirit of those
If we give up on Iraq now, will
Terrorism return as bad weeds do once the gardener stops patrolling
the lawn? If we give up on giving to others our gifts of
liberty, how long will it take for our own liberty to become choked by
the weeds of our own Complacency?
Maybe you are incapable of seeing the
parallels between the movie Elf and what is happening in
America today. Maybe you will be unable to connect
the relationship between Christmas and War because on the surface they
look so diverse, so polarized. But, if the end result of
both--Christmas and War--is that the children of the land enjoy a new
freedom, a new liberty through the selfless giving of gifts that
signal to them they are cared for by others, then aren't they both the
dying in Iraq because they volunteered to die
(Two US Soldiers were killed today while stopped in traffic)
Americans are dying in Iraq because they
volunteered to die. There is no draft in America.
Each person who goes to Iraq with the U.S. military made a vow to die
for their country, and for the pursuit of freedom and liberty.
The most selfless gift a child in Iraq gets today is that tens of
thousands of Americans are willing to die for them, and for their
children, and their children's children's children.
In a way, all the Americans in Iraq are
like the Elf in the movie. They all came to "give" and
not to "take."
They are the hands that rock the cradle of
liberty and freedom.
If we keep believing in them, and the value
of their mission--to free future generations--then we will keep the
"Spirit of Vigilance" alive and well.
Spirit of Vigilance alive like the
But, if we become Complacent, and believe
the Beast of Terror's invectives, we will all drop our eyes and jerk
our hands away from the cradles of the children of Iraq and let the
sleigh fall from the sky.
Santa will be dead. And so will hope
and the future of belief if that happens.
Keep the Spirit of Vigilance alive.
Take the Pledge of Vigilance today, and be a hand that rocks the
cradle of the world.