The greatest American hero

Saturday, 7 January 2006

Hugh Thompson: a real American hero.To order guns pointed at your fellow soldiers. To confront your superiors and tell them to stand down or be shot. To risk your life, your career, your reputation, and your freedom, to protect foreign strangers when simply turning your head would have offered no risk and entailed no consequences. To save the lives of those who would otherwise have died anonymously, secretly.

To do this and accept the consequences not because it was easy or what anyone would do but because it was right.

In times of war the word “hero” is thrown around. The phrase “support the troops” has moved from jingoism to the ranks of political correctness.

For every real hero the militaries of the world and America have unearthed throughout history, there have been 10,000 debased and ruined. Teaching men and women to kill and torture for an imaginary goal will not and cannot end happily.

The product of war is not heroes. It is misery and human damage.

The product of blindly supporting anything is corruption.

Hugh Thompson, the most important American hero since Audie Murphy, died yesterday and I doubt 1% of Americans even know who he was.

Learn about him — and his gunners Glenn Andreotta and Lawrence Colburn — or be destroyed.

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