Political discourse may lead one to believe that it is the contents of recruiting ads that are most indicative of lethality or readiness.
Of course, some have even gone as far as bemoaning a stark contrast between U.S. recruiting advertisements and those face-melting variants produced by Russia — ads that have shockingly been revealed to have zero correlation to battlefield success — as an indication of a weakened rank-and-file.
At a campaign rally last week, Georgia Senate-hopeful Herschel Walker joined the scrutiny chorus while discussing a military that has, seemingly overnight, found itself the subject of a politically-charged jeremiad after more than two decades of gauche yellow ribbon waiving.
“Pronouns in our military?” Walker scoffed. “These are war times. What happened to push-ups?”
Hard questions deserve hard answers. Regrettably for Walker — and many of his supporters who last performed a push-up during his first stint with the Dallas Cowboys — military leaders appear to be more focused on practical training and development than producing the “I count the cadence, you count the repetition” video proof a tacticool aroused public demands.
Fortunately, for those more concerned with cosplay masculinity than anything resembling reality, Russian ally Belarus reportedly unveiled a choreographed video this week that’s just brimming with spurious virility.
“What about push-ups?”
The Belarusian Broadway production has them. Regular push-ups, push-ups over a burning jump rope, push-ups that mimick a wave.
The armed soldiers spin, stand, spin again and roll over, flagging one another on numerous occasions. Some break flaming blocks on stomachs. Others bash through aluminum held aloft by what appear to be pool-going chicken fighters.
The act culminates in a cheerleading pyramid, one that could have given this Taliban cheer squad of yesteryear a run for its money. The group then disappears into the woods, as is Belarusian tradition.
Whether the unassailable soldiers in the video will garner the same cinematic fawning in the U.S. as their Russian counterparts has yet to be determined.
Answers to hard questions don’t come overnight. Until then, pass the time with this Hall & Oates-modified Taliban experience.
Jon Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.