Sousa’s marches have a lovely fin de siecle quality that makes them ageless. This march, though, isn’t ageless, but it’s damn good, and I really, really, really love how completely un-PC it is. It speaks to the heart of the troops’ job, without apology. As my Dad always said (and, my God, did he know), you have to hate your enemy to fight and win a war. This song, meant for the troops, understands that. This doesn’t mean soldiers have to be unduly brutal or violate the conventions of modern warfare. But they do need to hate. Otherwise, they have no justification for what they do.
And as a reminder, this enemy — the Islamic extremist — is worth hating. This enemy, wherever its ideology strikes, does the following things with great pleasure:
- Bombs buildings, in America, in Kenya, in Bali, in Mumbai, in Beslan, in [fill in the blank], killing civilians in the hundreds and thousands.
- Bombs trains, killing civilians in the thousands.
- Bombs subways and buses, killing civilians in the dozens.
- Gleefully beheads people, such as journalists, ordinary businessmen, school girls, and other civilians in the dozens and hundreds.
- Subjugates 50% of the population under its control, wherever it controls (that would, of course, be women).
- Murders women who try to escape the subjugation imposed against them (or just murders women by refusing to allow them the right to escape death).
- In keeping with the enemy’s literal interpretation of its Prophet’s demands, dedicates itself to the wholesale destruction of the Jewish race and nation.
- Kills homosexuals (although some are saved by the orthodox of other faiths).
- Is deeply and irrevocably committed to the destruction of the United States of America (here’s just one example) and of all her citizens.