Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Marine One

I'm about as anti-war (that is, anti-murder, anti-rape, anti-torture, pro-humanity, pro-peace) as they come, but watching Marine One fly over you in DC is a sight to behold. The chopper is just massive, and it usually doesn't fly very high as it moves to/from The White House, so you can catch a pretty good look at it as it flies over. I usually manage to catch it flying over the DC Polo Grounds area - grass fields galore - where I'm either jogging or playing some pickup soccer. I guess the chopper could be making its way to either the Pentagon or to Reagan National Airport.

I'm usually left with one major impression every time I witness this spectacle: U.S. military might is...mighty. The reasons why:

  1. The chopper itself just looks expensive as all get-out. You just get the idea that not too many countries - even if they wanted to - could really afford to drop the kind of coin required to maintain a Marine One fleet. Even in the air a couple of hundred feet above you, it's like you can see the sparkle of the wax job that the Marine One chopper just received before it took off.

  2. Whenever the President travels, there's always a second helicopter traveling with to act as a decoy. It's kind of bizarre to watch - feels like you're right in the middle of an international espionage flick, but again, impressive.

  3. The enormity of the chopper - it looks like it could just attach a cable to the top of The Capitol and pick it up and move it somewhere. And though Marine One doesn't seem to have any big guns hanging off it, you get the idea of what it must be like to be a Palestinian about to get chewed-up by some massive anti-personnel guns mounted on Israeli-American gunships. I mean, why bother to run? - it's just not worth it - just hope they hit you dead-on instead of blowing off all your limbs and letting you bleed to death.