Do we live in a world led by Heroes or cowards?
There’s an old proverb — “Despair Makes Cowards Courageous” — that has grand resonance in today’s social and political climate.
Clifford — in King Henry VI Part 3 — suggests:
So cowards fight when they can fly no further;
So doves do peck the falcon’s piercing talons;
So desperate thieves, all hopeless of their lives,
Breathe out invectives ‘gainst the officers.
One television commentator recently claimed President Bush was a
“maverick” because he has the vision to go against the polls and
mainstream wants. Bush believes what he is doing is right and true and
he will not be moved from his faith that the war he started in Iraq is
divine and just.
Is that the definition of a maverick or of someone caught in a pit of
despair of their own creation?
Comedian Bill Maher
was fired from his ABC television show — “Politically Incorrect” — on
9/18/01 for claiming the terrorists who struck the World Trade Center
were not cowards:
Dinesh D’Souza: Bill, there’s another piece of political
correctness I want to mention. And, although I think Bush has been
doing a great job, one of the themes we hear constantly is that the
people who did this are cowards.
Bill Mahr: Not true.
Dinesh D’Souza: Not true. Look at what they did. First of all, you have
a whole bunch of guys who are willing to give their life. None of ’em
All of them slammed themselves into pieces of concrete.
Bill Mahr: Exactly.
Dinesh: These are warriors. And we have to realize that the principles
of our way of life are in conflict with people in the world. And so —
I mean, I’m all for understanding the sociological causes of this, but
we should not blame the victim. Americans shouldn’t blame themselves
because other people want to bomb them.
Bill Mahr: But also, we should — we have been the cowards lobbing
cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That’s cowardly. Staying in the
airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it’s
Is Bill Maher right?
Does it take courage to kill yourself for a cause instead of asking
others to place their bodies directly in the line of fire for you?
Are cowards defined in the universal — or does the meaning of a coward
depend on your political and social angle of yaw and the arc of the
bombs you are flinging or fleeing from?