I am posting this because there have been times in our past when our enemies have later become our friends. Not likely with our current jihadist friends but possible once they renounce evil. Its more likely the other way with them as I have drunk chai socially with mujahadeen in their desert tent’s and who fought the Russians when they invaded Afghanistan. I wouldn’t expect I could do that today.
This man Otto Skorzeny, was my father’s mortal enemy during WW2 and yet after the war is credited with helping us develop our Special Forces. My father and he would have killed each other without a second thought had they come in contact during the war. If they had met for a cold beer afterward they would have become lifelong friends I think. This also reminds me of my first patrol partner when I left the service and joined the civilian police. Walther Lebedinsky was his name and you could hardly understand his English. Sgt. Lebedinsky was a 17 year old coal-miner in the mountains of Poland when Hitler invaded. Because he could speak both German and Polish he was given a choice, deportation or join the German military. Walter did not know that deportation meant a certain trip to Auschwitz but he wanted to do what he was told was his duty. He served in the Luftwaffe as an aircraft mechanic until the end of the war and was captured by the Russians still wearing his German uniform while trying to get home. He was captured and sent to a gulag, a labor camp, for three years and then released whereupon he immigrated to America and immediately joined the US Marine Corp. He retired 20 some years later as a Gunney Sargent, serving two tours in Vietnam and fighting for our country. I had the honor of knowing this gentleman while we patrolled the streets of North Carolina together for several years in the late 1970s. If we had to go into a bar-room fight or any dicey situation I can think of no finer person I would rather have beside me. Yet he and my father would have tried their best to kill each other in the mid 1940s. I would have hated to not had the honor of knowing either of these two gentlemen. I suppose another salient point can be made here, be careful how you treat people, you never know who they are or were, good or bad. I try to act as if strangers are honorable people until they prove otherwise.
” Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” Maj. Gen. James Mattis

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