19 maio 2009

Founding Fathers

É um equívoco tentar enquadrar ações do passado nos cenários completamente distintos dos dias de hoje. Fala-se que os EUA de hoje envergonhariam os Founding Fathers e provavelmente é verdade, mas não pelo mesmo motivo imaginado pelos saudosistas de plantão. Não sei que tipo de fantasia paira na cabeça deles sobre os Founding Fathers, mas é bom que saibam que estes não foram anjinhos. Pelo contário, não se eximiam de usar a violência extrema quando a situação requeria.

Seguem alguns trechos do livro 1776 cuja leitura, interrompida há algum tempo, foi retomada ontem, relatando algumas passagens com George Washington:

From his new command post on the crest of Harlem Heights, four miles to the north, Washington had heard the roar of a cannon at KipsBay and seen smoke rising in the distance. In a instant he was on his horse and racing south at a galop, down the post road. Reining up at a cornfield about a mile inland from Kips Bay, he found men "flying in every direction." It was everything he had feared and worse, his army in pellmell panic, Americans turned cowards before the enemy.

In a fury, he plunged his horse in among them, trying to stop them. Cursing violently, he lost control of himself. By some accounts, he brandished a cocked pistol. In other accounts, he drew his sword, threatening to run men through. "Take the walls!" he shouted. "Take the corn field!" When no one obeyed, he threw his hat on the ground, exclaiming in disgust, "Are these the men with which I am to defend America?"


He (George Washington) wanted rules and regulations adopted, punishments (para sua tropa) made more severe. As it was, for the most "atrocious offenses", the maximum was thirty-nine lashes, and these, he had found, were seldom layed on as they should be, but more as "sport." It was punishment of a kind that, for a bottle of rum, many "hardened fellows" were quite willing to undergo.