EDITORIAL NOTE: Features articles are the opinions of their authors and do not reflect the opinions of the staff and management of Ink 19.

The Coin Toss

Bill Cosby had a classic bit called “Toss of the Coin.” It went into how much the win of a coin toss could’ve determined who got the advantage during events in history. One excerpt from it went like this:

“General Cornwallis of the British, this is General Washington of the Continental Army.”

“General Washington of the Continental Army, this is General Cornwallis of the British.”

“If you’d shake hands, gentlemen.”

“O.K., British call the toss.”

“British called heads, it is tails.”

“General Washington, what are you gonna do?”

“General Washington says his troops will dress however they wish, in any color, in buckskins and coonskin caps, and hide behind the rocks and trees and shoot out at random.”

“British, you will all wear bright red, all shoot at the same time, and march forward in a straight line.”

This may not be the best time for humor, but this bit points out how the British Army’s military technique was very awkward and inefficient when it was exercised against a group who did not use the same rules in fighting. The British, as civilized as they were, were extremely burdened by tradition.

Today we find ourselves in a similar position. It has come time to reassess our self-imposed traditions and our sometimes “pie-in-the-sky” ideals of fair play and peace through diplomacy.

We must understand that in order to preserve Democracy, we may have to on occasion adapt our rules so as to level the playing field when dealing with the likes of a bin Laden. He chose the game. He set the rules. He chose to kick-off. We must pick up the ball and return it – using “house rules.”

If this means we have to return to the day of a more covert form of handling certain situations, so be it. Bin Laden’s already got a five million-dollar bounty on his head. Make it a billion-dollar bounty. Provide transportation, training, and support for an elite group of volunteers willing to hunt him down. Give the CIA more latitude in dealing with barbarians.

This is not to say that we should abandon our ideals, and we certainly do not want to become the world bully, but if we are to remain a civilized society, we must stop the uncivilized who wish to tear down all that we’ve built. We cannot keep wearing bright red, shooting at the same time, and marching in a straight line while people hide behind rocks and shoot at us. ◼

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