Just the creation of this nation itself was a miracle. Who can say that we won't see a miracle again? The perilous battle that was fought during World War II in the Pacific at Iwo Jima was a battle against all odds, and yet this picture immortalizes the victory of young GIs over the incursion against the Japanese. These six young men raising the flag came to symbolize all of America coming together to beat back a totalitarian aggressor.Yeah. I know. Don't even get me started on the language. ("Perilous battle"? "Victory... over the incursion against the Japanese"? Seriously?) But how about this whole "GIs" thing?
First, a question: how many people hear "GIs" and think "American military personnel" in a general sense? For me, "GI" is an Army-specific identifier. (Here's some interesting background on the origins of the term, which apparently started off as an initialization of "galvanized iron," the material Army trash cans were made out of.) We use "soldier," "sailor," "airman," and "Marine" to refer to members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps respectively, and "serviceman" to refer to them all. But obviously some folks think of "GI" as a catch-all. Do you?
The reason this is relevant to Bachmann's remarks: as all of you will surely already know, the Battle of Iwo Jima was contested by Marines and sailors, not by the Army. That's why the Marine Corps War Memorial is a giant forged bronze statue based on Joe Rosenthal's photograph "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima," which features five Marines and a Navy hospital corpsman (for those who don't know: the USMC doesn't have medical personnel, so sailors serve with Marine units as corpsmen -- what the Army calls medics).
So yeah, whatever the "victory... over the incursion against the Japanese" was, it was achieved by Marines. It's possible Bachmann knew this and used "G.I." as a general term for all servicemen, but can we just get the lingo straight already?
Oh yeah, and while we're at it, here's another gem: "And I believe that America is the indispensable nation of the world."
1. Something necessary is indispensable to something else... not the indispensable element of a collective.
2. Do you think Bachmann realizes that her allusive catch-phrase was made famous -- indeed, branded on the public consciousness -- by a Democratic Secretary of State? Somehow I doubt it.
*The title of the post is an homage to Rep. Bachmann's very special style of speaking: earlier in her remarks, she said that Congress is "just beginning to start to undo the damage" caused by the administration's policies. Just beginning to start. We're fixin' to get going. Any minute now.