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A Refusal to See
Generals in their Masses
A collection of green, blue, and black uniforms crowded an oak table, replete with a water pitcher and glasses at the Pentagon minutes from Washington, DC and about two hours away from Delaware. The generals and admiral huddled around the table and discussed plans to implement project New Order to Limit Only Our Kills or NO LOOK.
“It’s only fair,” said Lieutenant General Pepys Vale. We must use this tactic to not only mitigate civilian casualties but to offer our troops the experience of not knowing when they will be attacked in the field.”
“Our fighting forces should know the pain of having a mother or infant mercilessly decapitated by artillery fire or a bomb dropped on their village,” Major General Miguel Acostas said. The aide replenished the water pitcher.
“We can’t blind them all. I mean we only incapacitate a few. We ought to pick the personnel with the highest physical fitness scores, rifle scores, and target the officers below the rank of major,” Brigadier General Terry Bernard said.
“The best research finds that the most effective procedure for eliminating the sense of sight is to administer sodium hydroxide or lye,” General Caron Mastiff said. The clock struck silently, 11 AM.
A Farewell to Arms (and Legs)
“Should arms and legs really be a priority? Could we break those as well? Maybe we should also destroy their capacity to hear. We could blast sound into their inner ears to do away with hearing,” Admiral Kyle Omar said.
Around the table, the men and woman shook their heads in agreement. “We could dub it Hearing and Limb Loss or HALL,” Brigadier General Winston Capstone said. Just outside the room, Senator Beth Mullish observed her notes. She had proposed the whole NO LOOK campaign but little did she know that Brig General Capstone would “one up” her idea. Back in the room, Maj General Acostas spoke up even more.
“Yes, it is true that we should win wars but not at the loss of innocent lives who don’t even know what they’re dying for,” he said.
“General Acostas, provides a keen insight into this matter,” Said Admiral Omar.
“I vote that some of us should undergo the procedure, which we have just discussed,” General Mastiff said.
“We really don’t need them to taste or smell, so the option ought to be open in crushing their ability to smell or smoke or taste MRE’s,” said Lt General Anna Cooley. “They might even volunteer for that,” he said. The room erupted in toxic chuckles.
“But our aim, our focus, our resolve ought to be on loving our enemy. He must feel that we are a welcome presence in his country. Now, of course we are tasked with the responsibility of destroying him, but as long as we do it out of love. Then it is alright,” General Vale said.
Minus a Limb
Just then, with a perplexed half-grin and raised eyebrows, General Charles Darren addressed the room. “But isn’t this all preposterous? I mean haven’t we done enough to not only aid and abet the enemy, but now you all propose to cripple our troops in literal fashion? What is wrong with all of you?” General Darren asked.
“General Darren, you are out of line and I suggest that you be court-martialed if you speak such treason again,” General Vale said, his face reddening.
“I’ll die before I let any of you implement these heinous schemes,” General Darren said.
“We must be certain that the NO LOOK and HALL Rules of Engagement are put into place, firmly. General Darren, you do side with us on this, don’t you?” General Acostas said.
“I can think of better things to do with my time than to concoct nightmare scenarios for our fighting men and women. I’m out of here,” General Darren rose to leave. Two MP’s blocked his exit.
“Why depart so soon, General? We’ve just begun. Now, we’re going to bring in the mother of all these ideas, Democratic Senator Mullish, of New Jersey. The entire room save for General Darren in the arms of the two MP’s rose to stand at attention as the senator entered.
“Well, I see we have a denigrator amongst the ranks,”Senator Mullish said with a wicked grin plastered on her face. “Your dissent is well taken, general,” she continued. The room full of top brass grumbled. “There, as you well know, is a chain of command and your voice might be heard as high up as your president. But we’re not going to get that far, are we?”
“Ma’am, I vote that General Darren be the first of us to undergo the NO LOOK procedure,” Admiral Omar said.
“That would be sufficient, Admiral,” Senator Mullish said.
“I’ll not stand for this. You’re wrecking our military. Have you no scruples, Generals? Admiral? You….,”General Darren turned to Senator Mullish with a scowl.
“That’s all well and good, General. But how about we bust you down to lieutenant and still have you receive the NO LOOK and HALL treatments. How’s that sound?” Senator Mullish studied General Darren’s uniform and plucked the stars from his shoulders, one by one and tossed them to the floor. General Darren straightened up and watched as his rank vanished. He stood before the room of peers now suddenly turned seniors. He wheeled around the guards and escaped their clutches. He bolted towards the door and headed down the hallway.
“He won’t get much distance. Where’s he going to go?” Senator Mullish said.
General Darren ran as far away from the military men and woman and the senator. He saw a bevy of Secret Service personnel surrounding the hallway ahead. He jetted to the center of the crowd. President Sam Mallard was the nucleus. General Darren made his way to through the group before being stopped by Secret Servicemen. They noted his ribbons and decorations, but with no rank insignia, the pair was bewildered. Was this General Darren?
“Uh, sir, you have to stay back,” one of the sunglasses wearing fellows said.
“You don’t understand, they’re going to blind the troops! I’m General Charles W. Darren and I know the president wouldn’t let them get away with this,” General Darren said.
Upon finally recognizing him, the pair motioned for the president to come near them. The other man with the dark suit said, “Wait here. Then, Sam Mallard noticed General Darren.
“Charlie, hey what’s up? You pulling on prank on yourself? Where’s your rank?” President Mallard said.
“No, Sam. This is worse than all things unholy. My so-called fellow generals and admirals want to crush our own forces. Please tell me you’re not going to pass this thing,” General Darren implored.
“I’ll ensure that no such thing will pass on my watch,” President Mallard said. “They will have to answer for their vicious doctrine.”
General Darren breathed. He pointed the President down the hall to the room.
“Let’s roll,” He said.