….wild is the wind…creative freedom is the seed….
Why did I bring up the movie “A few good men” in relation to the tragic Death of Private Danny Chen? I am not doing this to treat his death frivolous, nor am I doing this to put the US Military and all the men & women who made their decisions to enter the military into total disrepute based on one isolated case of “Hazing gone wrong!”. I am also not here to play the “Oh, but he is a good kid from Toishan, Southern China whose parents slaved away and struggled to “make something of him” with the best education they could provide under economic hardship as new immigrants from Mainland China, struggling in New York Chinatown.” (This may be 100% true but I am not here to play that card.)
What I would like to say, as a thinking individual and possibly a concerned Global citizen is that: “Hey USARMY, do you REALLY want to come across as YOU can’t handle the truth?”
When we watch the power dynamics as played by Jack Nicholson, what we see here is a certain kind of “utilitarianism” which justified the sacrifice of the one/few for the common good. That I am not going to contend with, afterall it is up to the individuals to decide if they would like to subscribe to this ideology. Clearly, Private Danny Chen, did in the course of him, making his decision as a promising graduate to join the US Army as a stepping stone to furthering his future aspirations/career in NYPD.
Danny Chen wanted to serve & protect and was prepared to make certain sacrifices in his own life for the common good; just like his parents did….just like many Chinese parents did & do for 6000 years. But Danny Chen was also an American. This is where the USARMY in 2011, STILL “can’t handle the truth”!
Danny Chen is “Santiago” in “A few good men”. He was seen as a weak link. It is my personal belief that the race issue was only the tip of the iceberg. There is a systemic and pervasive INSTITUTIONAL RATIONALISATION (shortcuts?) in the US Military that had strayed from any Honorable Code of Conducts for over a decade now and beyond! Danny Chen’s case is a microcosm of what happened in “A few good men”.
Like in “A few good men”, it is not enough for the US Military to redeem its own Dishonour by indicting the 8 men responsible for Danny Chen’s death in Afghanistan. It is time We, as people, put the entire system on trial under ONE LAW, EQUAL for ALL! It is time America remembers what any of the men & women who served in the Military ever went to war for?
I am not here to question whether it is right or wrong to BELIEVE in Truth, Justice & the American Way. For me to do so here would be to add my own bias to the situation. It would Dishonour the memory of Danny Chen who CHOSE to BELIEVE. So I am not here to do this. I have a lot of other avenues to express my personal opinions but in this current article, we are here for Danny Chen.
What I am here to ask the entire US Military system is: Where is your Due Process? Where is your internal inquests that deals with Justice for ALL your service men & women, under ONE LAW, EQUAL for ALL?
To Danny Chen’s “Line of Command”: There appears to be a severe failure of leadership and command. As a commander you cannot see everything, but you must also let everyone know of your open door policy and protection of people who use it under confidence.
If you fail to do this, have you just failed & betrayed Danny Chen and all the men/women like him who Chose to Believe in the FAIRNESS of your System ?
As an institution, the US Military do not owe anyone any explanation if it does not want to, Private Danny Chen signed up and honored that….BUT what the US Military, right now, OWES itself is to “handle the truth!” and deal with the LIES & INEQUALITY in its own system that once again created another TRAGIC death of yet another “Santiago”! It is in a way guilty of a negligence that has enabled itself to be perceived as a Movie stereotype! That is not honorable.
Perhaps, Danny Chen, as a chinese-american from the poor end of town is just another 2011 “Santiago” (a poor hispanic-american from the poor end of town)? Perhaps where “Santiago” was just a fictional victim in a Hollywood Blockbuster, today in 2012, the US Military may have to ask of itself, in HONOUR & out of a sense of Justice, “Why are we living a mere Hollywood stereotype about us? How did that happen? Where did we go wrong?”
danny_chen_flyer_with_apala In doing so, it probably would need to pay not just Monetary compensation to Danny Chen’s family but PAY in HONOUR to the many Danny Chen who endured humiliation and dishonour, not at the hands of the so-called enemy of America, not at the hands of the Axis of Evil or jealous Terrorists…but at the hands of the very flaws in Leadership within the US Military system that eats into the very soul of your system of Honour, like a cantankerous worm…..
For those wishing to support the Mother & Father of Danny Chen in their lobbying efforts, please click on to find out the facts:
and please support the Organisation of Chinese Americans New York Chapter!!!
Click here and copy anyone of these letters in Chinese or English, Send a “YOU CAN HANDLE THE TRUTH” to the US Army for Private Danny Chen!
成立於 1976年的美華協會紐約分會是一個民權組織，也是位於華府的美華協會總會旗下 80個分會之一。我們的使命是保護和促進亞裔美國人的公民、政治、經濟和文化等權利。
我們請您聯繫美華協會紐約分會會長歐陽蕭安（ firstname.lastname@example.org、718-650-1960）或美華協會總會行政總監Tom Hayashi（202-223-5500）安排會面。