I have a friend who is a big guy. Shane. 280, 6'7". Bigger than me. He's a guy who's imposing at best. He wouldn't hurt a flea unless that flea threatened to hurt someone else. He's a gentle giant. But, don't tick him off and don't threaten his friends. He can hurt you. It's better to be his friend or keep your distance if you are him enemy.
I remember in grade school there were bullies, brutal thugs. I won't call the names. But they were tough guys who frequently enjoyed beating the toast out of me and others.
I wish my friend Shane had been around then. His very presence could have restrained the brutal bullies. Oh, he might have been looked upon as a bully himself if he had needed to kick the toast out of them. Many wouldn't have understood his motivation and action would have been protection and the better good even if some people had to be hurt.
That's the way Gentle Giants and Benevolent Bullies are. They only strike back when the brutal bullies get out of hand. Others observing may not understand what or why. They might even be critical.
In the end a gentle giant is essential. The mere fear that if you step over the line he might crush you keeps potential bullies at bay and far away. Someday those bullies grow up and are defanged by adulthood. That's what happened to the bullies I grew up with. They became good productive members of society. It took a gentle giant that maybe looked like a bully to others to keep them at bay. There was such a man in Ellendale Grade School who was a defender of the weak. I'm thankful he sometimes bullied the bullies.
And that my friends, Ron and all, is what our role is in the world, in Afghanistan and Iraq. It looks like something it's not unless you are on the field of play. I am thankful we have the giant able and willing but restrained enough to do good. How would anyone have it different. Allow the bullies of the world to intimidate and beat the toast out of everyone else.
I can only hope not. At least not as long as GWB is in power. Thank God!