The Past is Prologue
Most people know the story of “The Alamo,” or at least the resulting battle cry: “Remember the Alamo!” In short, during the 1836 Texas War for Independence, dictator Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, initiated an attack on a former Spanish Mission, “El Alamo.” Outnumbered by thousands, Colonel James Bowie and Lt. Colonel William Barret Travis defended the fort. At one point during a lull in the bombardment, Travis unsheathed his sword and cut a line in the dirt, asking those willing to die for the freedom of Texas, to cross. One man out of 190 left and lived to tell the tale, while the remaining soldiers crossed to certain death, including frontiersman Davey Crockett, who helped pneumonia-stricken Jim Bowie over the line. None of them had to cross, but most understood that liberty meant responsibility & sometimes the blood of heroes was necessary to authenticate, nourish and promulgate its fulfillment. In a letter written on the second day of the blitz, Travis wrote:
To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World
Fellow citizens & compatriots,
I am besieged by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. I have sustained a continual bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man. The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken. I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid with all dispatch. The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country; VICTORY OR DEATH.
William Barret Travis,
Lt. Col. Comdt.
P.S. The Lord is on our side. When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn. We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of beef. Travis
Travis makes a passionate plea for assistance, but also a two-fold reassurance that the fight will go on even if help does not arrive, that Divine help already revealed itself, and if nothing else, would graciously escort them to their next destination. The juxtaposition between vulnerability and resolve proves C.S. Lewis correct, in that courage is “the form of every virtue at its testing point.”
Most know the rest of the story: No American aid came as a result of Travis’ request, Jim Bowie died fighting from his sick bed and “Remember the Alamo” became the battle cry of the Texas Revolution.
One can only speculate whether Travis’ letter was even received in time to send reinforcements; after all, it’s not like they had cell phones, email & drone technology. How horrible to think their plea was simply ignored…
The defense of the Alamo lasted 13 days. No Americans survived.
On September 11, 2012, six American military contractors in Benghazi, Libya, received a distress call from the U.S. Consulate a mile away, occupied by U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and five security agents. The Consulate had been breached and overrun with militant islamists celebrating Al Qaida’s unprecedented attacks on America eleven years earlier. The Ambassador and his team took on heavy fire, and the militant marauders, like the rioters in Chicago, Seattle and Portland, set fire to everything in their path, including the building in which Stevens and two others were sheltered.
Even though the contractors were hired to provide protection for a separate location called the Annex, the plea triggered their natural instincts to run toward danger, and use their highly-refined skills to save lives. Told to stand down three times, weighing the loss of initiative, they called an audible and crossed the line of bureaucracy in order to aid their fellow Americans.
Most know the rest of the story: With Washington DC watching the attack real time via drone technology, their numerous requests for assistance were ignored, and the attack ended at the Annex, where the six warriors, as outnumbered as the troops at the Alamo, proceeded to go “balls out” until they or their attackers were dead.
After sustaining a third wave that fatally injured two team members, a large convoy of an unknown militia showed up outside the Annex. Before knowing the intent, their brother-in-arms “Jack,” recounted his thoughts:
“Hope they’re gonna escort us to the airport and not attack us; we don’t know who’s friendly; who’s bad. Militia’s all look the same and some are trying to kill us. If they had no choice they’d fight a 50 vehicle convoy w/technicals with 100 or more heavily-armed men…but if it came to that the Annex would be remembered as a 21st Century Alamo w/no American survivors.”
The defense of the Consulate & Annex in Benghazi lasted 13 hours. All but four Americans survived.
Both of these events fascinate me. I find it riveting and oddly reassuring that vastly outnumbered and unclear about efforts from their own government to assist them, the men at both the Alamo and the Annex were fixed on fighting to the last man, whether help came or not.
Would you do that? Could you do that?
It’s hard to even know what to call “that,” because you don’t see much of it these days, and when you do it is degraded, mocked and added to modern feminism’s pantheon of “toxic masculinity” that we’re told must be bred out of men in order for society to survive…
So let me ask you this: If you were forced to choose one of the following, which would it be:
- Thirteen hours in Benghazi with security provided by the remaining military contractors?
- Thirteen hours in the middle of Portland’s riots with security provided by the Mayor?
- Thirteen hours in Seattle’s “Chaz” with security provided by the current war lord?
Twenty years ago, the Middle Eastern venue would’ve immediately eliminated Option 1. Now, it’s a tougher call. Do you know why? Because deep down in places we don’t talk about at Starbucks, we know that if the men at the Alamo and Benghazi even remotely represent what “toxic masculinity” is, then we better find a whole hell of a lot more of it.
Take a look around…we’re in trouble, and nobody’s coming. We’re in Benghazi…an American Benghazi.
UPDATE: Sadly, the “leadership” of the Navy SEALs – one of the most bad-ass special forces operations in the world – has gone “woke,” and in so doing, removed the radical, misogynistic, bigoted terms “man, men and brother,” from their creed. HT: Alex Parker.