This post was originally circulated by me via an internal instant-messaging group composed by integrants of my Special Operations unit, the Lion Squad. It was in response to false stories (also circulated via instant-messaging) that suggested I had executed the most-wanted criminal of my city at that time, during an official large-scale police operation carried out to arrest him. Ironically, that claim was made by a police officer who wasn’t even near the place where everything had happened. But, “apparently”, he and another from his unit were there with me and my partner in the middle of combat. One day, I hope to learn his stealth techniques. In just a couple of hours, the post became almost viral as all kinds of unrelated instant-messaging groups became aware of it and people from all corners of cyberspace were commenting about it. Thankfully, as almost everything else in this frivolous world nowadays, the next day was like any other and the latest gossip had thrown the story to oblivion.
No one remembers the dead, but they like to feast on their remains. This is a short story about such feasting.
(Names of people and units have been changed for obvious reasons.)
This is Agent Mnemoriam, Lion Squad.
I was together with another brother combatant in the place where the criminal known as TheBadGuy and his allies tried to escape the Police by opening fire. Luck, and the training given to us by our unit during all these years, allowed us to remain here. The said criminal did not.
The operation was entirely grounded on Legitimate Defence principles and on the strict compliance with our legal duties. There was no excess or abuse of any kind. But this, as always, will be judged by the Judicial Authorities.
The objective of this text is not to proffer explanations. I have always been a professional and I don’t owe anything to anyone except the obligation of fulfilling my duty as a Civil Police officer. The objective is to express my opinion regarding the circus that has been put up around the death of this poor bastard.
This circus has two branches.
The first one was caused by the deliriant commentaries of a certain Federal Police officer. Because of the impressive speed of communications nowadays, they unfortunately spread out like a virus. But I won’t waste my time to oppose every word that this moron said. Instead, I restrict myself to making a more generic analysis, one that applies to the entire species this being belongs to.
I am referring to those people who don’t have the courage to be in the arena of events — in the eye of the hurricane — but who always grab the first opportunity they find to denigrate the actions of those who do have such courage. This kind of people live fantasy lives, lying to themselves, calling themselves combatants. They think that ducking behind a light pole at the edge of combat while firing shots at random is an act of bravery. They spend years hiding behind a desk, behind a better colleague, or behind a name they think is worth a big deal. Then, when they have the rare chance to be near real Men of Special Operations, they think they belong to the pack. But THEY DON’T! Hyenas don’t walk with lions! They wait for the lions to do the dirty work and only then they approach to feast. And ohh, how they feast… They even include themselves in others’ deeds as soon as they have a chance — this is the only way they can stand out in their habitat.
“Two HYENA_UNIT guys with two from LION_UNIT”?
When I looked to my left and right amidst whistling bullets, all I saw was two Lions!
THERE – ARE – ALWAYS – ONLY – LIONS – AT – MY – SIDE!
I am no one to give advices, but if I were you, I would find the real combatants from Federal Police (and I personally know many of them) and I would beg their forgiveness. You owe nothing to us, because you are not one of us. But I am certain that many brothers from your unit share our feelings and to them I believe you owe explanations.
The other branch of the put up circus regards the many visual manifestations that have inadvertently breached the confines of my cell-phone. By “visual manifestations” I mean pictures, photo collages and video files which show satirical rejoicing for the said criminal’s death. Civilians concocted these manifestations based on images that circulated the Media — images (some of them) taken by our own men.
Unfortunately, we can’t avoid external stupidity. But we MUST avoid to be stupid ourselves. We cannot allow such images to show up in the Media. In fact, we shouldn’t ever take pictures in the first place. What for? Does anyone here like to see corpses? If so, your place is in a clinic, not in the Civil Police and specially not in my unit. Even in Death there is respect. Have we forgotten that everyone has a family? Do we want a mother to see her own son lying dead among jokes? Am I the only one who thinks like that?
No one will ever take pictures again of a scene where I am involved. You may be a Lion, a police authority, the Governor or the President of the Republic. If I or any of my men are involved, there will be NO pictures. And I say it here because I think this should be regarded as a maxim of operational conduct from now on. And it should be followed by all of us.
We live today in a different World. Technology advances in leaps so dramatic that we can’t follow. Relatively few years back, we could hardly see cell-phones in circulation. Now, we all have video-cameras connected to the Cloud inside our pockets every second. We live a real “Truman Show”. No one actually believed the World would be like that when they made the movie, but it sure is. And this is not the crucial problem. The problem is that together with technology our values are evolving too. Or better saying, devolving. This is the “Big Brother generation”, the “Selfie generation”, the “Facebook generation”, when people see themselves as the center of the World, really believing that the other side of the connection actually cares about the festival of silly pictures, with even sillier self-puffing commentaries, that they share every day. In times like these, people only care about appearing, not being. Character, honor, humility, temperance, discipline, abnegation… these are all forgotten words. I have serious doubts that current adolescents have even heard of these terms. I am sure they can’t define them. But where I come from, these words are EVERYTHING.
Now, combine the technology of today with the lack of character of today and we have the result we see: banalisation of someone’s death and lies motivated by low values, a weak ego and a weaker heart. And all that out there moving with the speed of the click of a button.
I finish this text by stating that I am NOT tired of combating. I am not tired of giving my blood for others. At least, my children will know one day the father they had. I am not even tired of going to cemeteries to bury my friends, because I know they died fulfilling their mission — an extremely necessary mission. And they died like Men.
But yes, I AM tired of this clowning around! Tired of this society of sissies and fake moralists that our city, our country and the World have become — particularly our city. I am tired of the world of lies that is preached to the Seven Winds to disguise the rot that everybody seems to want prevailing. I am tired of idiots like this police officer hyena. I am tired of the old “high-society” ladies, who occasionally happen to bump into us, who stare at our rifles as if we were ETs. “What is all that for?” they murmur. Their stupefaction lies in their inability to overcome even the first cognitive blockade of the road out of any addiction: denial. They don’t want to believe that they live amidst a war. They are addicted to the lie that allows them to live in their fantasy world. To their luck, however, there are men who, although tired, criticised and threatened by the very same Society which they fight for, keep carrying out the dirty work.
The dirty work is NOT to execute criminals. We were not trained for that. The dirty work consists in leaving our children at home and go run in the middle of rifle shots to get where no one seems to want us to get. The dirty work lies in risking the well-being of our families to preserve that of families we don’t even know.
Fortunately, Lions don’t think about that. They are too busy, shoulder-to-shoulder with their brothers, advancing towards the eye of the hurricane.