“Demonstrate to the world there is “No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy” than a U.S. Marine. Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” — America’s next Secretary of Defense.
US Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi made a wrong turn into Mexico and spent the next eight months in prison on trumped up weapons charges. The Obama Regime – which previously swapped five high level Taliban terrorists for one American deserter – did absolutely nothing to help free Sgt. Tahmooressi. Nevertheless, Sgt. Tahmooressi was freed yesterday on the orders of a Mexican judge.
The good news is that Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl is being released by the Taliban after almost five years in captivity. That is good news.
However, in order to secure his release, Obama released five terrorists from GITMO described as “the worst of the worst.” According to the Pentagon, there is an extremely high likelihood that the release terrorists will unleash new attacks.
Also, Obama violated US Law that requires Congress to be notified before terrorists are released from the prison complex at Guantanamo Bay. But then, Obama has firmly established that laws do not apply to him, and it is very, very racist to point out his lawlessness.
Obama needed the PR boost; the VA scandal has been kicking him in the pants for the past week.
People are going to die because of this trade.
There’s an American Marine being held in a Mexican prison in Tijuana after accidentally crossing the border with legally owned guns. Obama isn’t lifting a finger to help Sergeant Tahmooressi.
I can’t help but think if a Russian Marine were being held in a prison in just over the border, Putin would send in Spetznatz and get that situation straightened out in a hurry.
Eight days ago, Air Force Colonel George Everett “Bud” Day passed away. He was a hero; as Mary Katherine Ham put it, “a veteran of World War II and Vietnam, a combat pilot famous for his defiance in the face of five years of torture in the Hanoi Hilton, a veterans advocate…” – and a man who received the Medal of Honor.
Not least of his accomplishments was in the 2004 Presidential campaign, when Col. Day helped educate Americans about the lying (and treasonous) John F. Kerry. Col. Day was part of the Swift Vets and POWs for Truth, which exposed Kerry and which, to this day, suffers left-wing slander for it. (I mentioned Col. Day in an early guest post on the Swift Vets.)
Col. Day was also a staunch McCain supporter – but hey, no one is perfect. Thank you, Col. Day, for your many services to America! God bless you!
Over at Maggie’s Farm, Bruce Kesler provides a partial list of the nearly 500 retired senior military officers who are placing an ad Monday in the Washington Times indicating their support for Mitt Romney’s White House bid. And that is not the entire universe of military leaders backing Mitt. Kesler knows “two former top Admirals who wanted to sign but were not reached”.
Still, he reports that this is the “largest assemblage” ever of retired top military leaders organized to back a presidential candidate. By contrast, only 5 former generals and admirals are backing Obama.
That’s almost a 100 to 1 margin.
Active duty military also prefer the Republican. According to the Washington Free Beacon, “a Military Times survey revealed that active duty, National Guard, and military reserve members support Romney over Obama by a two to one margin.”
With Whoopi Goldberg recently confusing Mormons with Quakers, suggesting that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints couldn’t fight for our country, we can expect other media figures, particularly those opposed to the election of Mitt Romney to continue to misrepresent the largest faith indigenous to the United States of America.
Our blog reader bfwebster addressed that misunderstanding in a recent blog post where he reported that not only did Mormons serve in Vietnam, but that a disproportionate (to their percentage in the United States population) number made the ultimate sacrifice for their country:
During the period of the Vietnam War — say, 1965-1974 — the total US population was around 200 million. During that same period of time, LDS Church membership grew from roughly 2.4 million to 3.4 million. That membership is men, women, and children of all ages, both inside and outside of the United States. I have not yet been able to find the actual United States LDS membership for that period, but I will assume that it was on the order of 75% of the total LDS membership, or about 2 to 2.5 million — just a bit over 1% of the US population.
Furthermore, probably only about 50% (if that much) of that membership within the United States represented actively practicing and attending members. So the ratio of active LDS members living in the US to the US population at large during that period was probably on the order of 0.5%, perhaps less.
So, how many self-identified Mormons were killed in Vietnam? 589 out of 58,193, or just over 1% of all US military deaths. In other words, Mormons were at least proportionately represented by population among US military deaths in Vietnam and were likely over-represented.
All too often, our friends in the legacy media sensationalize the actions of rogue soldiers in the U.S. military who act against express orders or in a manner at odds with their training. More often than not, our service members perform their duties bravely — and with honor.
And sometimes, they go beyond the call of duty and do something truly heroic. One man who did just that was Sgt. Dennis Weichel who “died in Afghanistan last week as he lifted an Afghan girl who was in the path of a large military vehicle barreling down a road“:
Weichel, a Rhode Island National Guardsman, was riding along in a convoy in Laghman Province in eastern Afghanistan when some children were spotted on the road ahead.
The children were picking up shell casings lying on the road. The casings are recycled for money in Afghanistan. Weichel and other soldiers in the convoy got out of their vehicles to get them out of the way of the heavy trucks in the convoy.
The children were moved out of the way, but an Afghan girl darted back onto the road to pick up some more casings that lay underneath a passing MRAP, or Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle. The huge armored trucks can weigh as much as 16 tons and are designed to protect the troops they carry from roadside bombs.
Weichel spotted the girl and quickly moved toward her to get her out of the way. He succeeded, but not before he was run over by the heavily armored truck. The girl was safe, but Weichel later died of his injuries.
Dennis Weichel helps define the greatness of this nation. He risked — and gave — his life to save a young girl in harm’s way.
Our hearts go out to his children. His example inspires us all.
I did not watch the State of the Union last night. Instead of hearing a speech by a man of little accomplishment and great acclaim, I went to see a movie about men of great accomplishment and little acclaim, Red Tails, about the Tuskegee Airmen and their valor in World War II.
All I can saw is get yourself to the cinema and see this movie (and make sure to bring a handkerchief).
It’s cheesy and has, particularly at the outset, some really clunky dialogue, but later on, there are also some great lines. And some amazing scenes. In the end, you forget cheesiness and focus on the story, the hotshot pilot who just wants to shoot down Nazis, his commanding officer who has trouble with the booze.
Some of the film’s flaws, like those in our friends, make the film more endearing, like the imprisoned American officer who can’t disguise his Australian accent — or Cuba Gooding Jr.‘s attempt to imitate Douglas MacArthur by dramatically clenching his teeth on a curved pipe. (Perhaps because Gooding is such a likable guy, he can get away with this — and, in my eyes, he does.) In the end, it’s just a feel-good story about a group Americans who want to serve the country even as some in their country’s leadership question their ability to serve.
The pacing of the film is such that you’re drawn into the story and easily forget its shortcomings. Director Anthony Hemingway focused on making it an action film, starting in the air rather than tell us about the Tuskegee program. It is not as great a film as Glory to which I’m sure it’s been compared, but it doesn’t need to be. It entertains us, it moves us — and reminds us of some forgotten men of the greatest generation, men who helped defeat one of the greatest evils of all time.
This is why they make movies.
On this day when we honor those who, over the years, served in our armed forces, sacrificing their time and even their health to protect our freedom, Hugh Hewitt encourages us to “support the work of the Semper Fi Fund“, a group which helps injured marines without deluging donors with constant solicitations for contributions.
You can join me in supporting this fine cause by clicking here.
In his e-mail to those on the list of the San Fernando Valley Republican Club, Gary Aminoff reproduces a poem that Tarzana Joe, “poet laureate” of Hugh’s show, read on air:
When you stand to pledge allegiance
When you hit your knees to pray
For our past and for the future
Thank a veteran today
With a feeling deep inside you
With the flag that you display
With respect and admiration
Thank a veteran today (more…)
Remember about five years ago when John Kerry suggested that the men and women in our armed forces were drawn from the dregs of society, you know, those individuals who didn’t work hard in school:
You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.
Turns out the Massachusetts politician was wrong about this — as he has been wrong about so much else:
It’s getting much more difficult to join, or stay in, the U.S. Army. Not only is a high school diploma required, but you need good grades. High schools known for low standards, and graduating students just for appearances sake, not because the grad was qualified, are avoided. A graduate from one of those schools can still get in if they do very well on the AFQT (Armed Forces Qualification Test, a general aptitude exam tweaked to emphasize mental skills most useful in the military) will be considered, but will have to do well in an interview. . . .
The ancient cliché that “only losers join” is long dead now. The military is now a club that many want to join, but only few are good enough to get in.
Read the whole thing. Recruiting standards have soared, leading to a higher caliber of service member. (Via Instapundit.)
News this evening coming down that the 9th Circuit Court has, once again, decided it knows better how to defend America than do our own Armed Forces, elected officials, or duly appointed and confirmed leaders of the DoD.
Still looking online for something official from the court, but the short story is that they’ve decided that, since DADT repeal is chugging along just fine, it’s time to screw up the entire process.
It seems that the court has used the continuing success of an orderly process combined with a lawless Administration which refuses to do its job to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” with respect to DOMA as its basis for deciding to run the US military regardless of what’s best for National Defense.
With former SecDef Gates predicting certification (the needed step for implementation of the end of DADT) occurring within the month, and current Secretary Panetta stating in his confirmation process that he supports repeal and will work to implement it upon certification, I’m still puzzled why LCR continued their suit.
No, I’m not puzzled as to why they said they were continuing: Because they don’t trust, apparently, the military and/or the Administration to actually do what they said they’d do (let alone follow the law). Naturally, having witnessed the current Commander in Chief in action lo these two long years, I can understand why you’d want to see the cash first. But there have been zero indications that there would be any problems with the repeal coming to fruition. Even the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps told his troops to “get over it” and press on with our duties to implement the new policy.
It boggles the mind, then, why anybody who respects the military and our mission would insist on pressing forward with this case. Let’s review the facts:
The whole purpose of passing the law last December was because everybody (except, apparently the 9th Circuit Court and the glory hounds at LCR) realized that we needed an orderly transition from the DADT world to the non-DADT world. As that process continues, it’s not any less important that it take place orderly. Any disruption is unnecessary and needlessly dangerous. (more…)
The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire blog features today some snippets from an interview with “Sgt. Maj. Micheal Barrett, recently selected to be the senior enlisted adviser to Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos”. With a “long military resume, including combat service in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Nathan Hodges quips that “he doesn’t need a microphone to get his point across.” And when he comes to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, he cites a most important charter:
“Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution is pretty simple,” he told a group of Marines at a base in South Korea. “It says, ‘Raise an army.’ It says absolutely nothing about race, color, creed, sexual orientation.
“You all joined for a reason: to serve,” he continued. “To protect our nation, right?”
“Yes, sergeant major,” Marines replied.
“How dare we, then, exclude a group of people who want to do the same thing you do right now, something that is honorable and noble?” Sgt. Maj. Barrett continued, raising his voice just a notch. “Right?”
Sgt. Maj. Barrett then described conversations with U.K. troops, who saw a similar ban lifted a decade ago, with little disruption. And to drive the point home, he produced a pocket copy of the Constitution.
“Get over it,” he said. “We’re magnificent, we’re going to continue to be. … Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines.”
FROM THE COMMENTS: ILoveCapitalism offers:
What’s important is that the military preserve its high performance and no-nonsense attitude by applying a uniform code of conduct to punish those individual gays – or straights, whomever – who do undertake actions that disrupt morale and unit cohesion.
Today we honor Nathan Hale and the countless patriots who followed him, giving their lives for our freedom
Every Memorial Day as I try to craft a post to remember those who gave their lives so that we might be free, I find myself struggling for words. How can one man use language to convey the power of other men’s deeds, those who made the greatest sacrifice, not just for their own families, but for their country. Particularly in this day of an all-volunteer military, we are all humbled by their sacrifice as we’re grateful for what they accomplished through that sacrifice.
Today I recall the youthful braggadocio of one of the first patriots to give his life for our freedom, Nathan Hale who regretted that he had but “one life to lose for my country” at a time when his country wasn’t even five months old. How many men (and women) in the ensuing 235 years have recalled Hale’s bold statement as they set out to fight for his, for their, for our country, knowing that they too may have to lose their life for its cause to triumph.
And that is true courage, knowing that they might have to make the ultimate sacrifice.
There are signs, Walter Russell Mead writes,”that we are aiming to repeat a compromise of that kind [made after Vietnam] when it comes to the war in Iraq.” “Regardless of the merits of the war, those who did honorable service in it or laid down their lives at their country’s call, deserve our respect and our thanks.”
Those who opposed the war and those who supported it can unite in tribute to the loyalty, the courage and the sacrifice of those who served there.
That is something, but it is not enough. The Americans who served, suffered and died in Iraq — and who still serve there today — changed the world and won a great and a difficult victory. No account of their service, no commemoration of the dead that ignores or conceals this vital truth is enough.
“Prior to this weekend’s events,” Frank Newport, Editor in Chief of Gallup writes, “Americans had more confidence in the military than any other institution we measure. The success of the U.S. Navy Seals’ operation in Pakistan Sunday will certainly underscore and perhaps increase that confidence.” We here at GayPatriot have never hesitated to show our high regard for the men and women in our armed forces.
Today, we are particularly grateful for the Navy SEALs. And to paraphrase something I wrote in another post, let’s recall that the last human being Osama bin Laden saw before being dispatched to the nether regions was a Navy SEAL.
To honor these braven men, I uploaded this video from Youtube. Seems a proud mother wanted to honor her son. And in honoring his service, she honored all those to serve.
I haven’t been in much of a mood to blog lately, perhaps it’s the let-down from finishing my Ph.D, perhaps the rain has made me pensive (in the reflective, not melancholy connotation of the word). (Or perhaps, it’s just wanting to crack the stack of books unrelated to my dissertation that has accumulated.)
Unlike yours truly, she did not favor repeal, but castigates those who contend it will destroy our armed forces:
Why is it so unbelievable that the military would be able to figure out the best way to implement homosexuals serving openly? As the wife of a Marine, I find it deeply insulting to our men and women currently serving with honor to suggest that the mere addition of gay men and women will somehow make our entire military crumble. Understand this: the vast majority of heroes in uniform are better than that. The few that are not won’t last. . . .
Our troops have overcome much worse than the repeal of DADT, and given time, they’ll adapt and overcome this too. It’s too bad that we can’t have the faith in them that they have earned, and so richly deserve.
Read the whole thing. I mean that. Just read the whole thing. (Did someone nominate her for Grande Conservative Blogress Diva?)
In a year’s time, I predict, the lifting of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy to allow gays to serve openly in the military will have become a non-event. The military will adjust, as it always does, sooner or later, to social trends. The military rules that now govern relations between men and women will be extended to gays. There will undoubtedly be issues of sexual harassment and sexual relations and sexual tensions to handle — just as there are today. But handle them the military will.
Again, read the whole thing. It’s short. Both writers, like the bloggers here, have strong respect for our military. The men and women who can confront terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan can accommodate gays in their ranks.
Over at Powerline, Paul Mirengoff offers nuanced take on the Pentagon report on DADT and offers this nugget which gets at the nub of the issue:
If repeal can be accomplished at no appreciable cost to the military’s ability to fight, then DADT should be repealed instantly. Otherwise it should not be repealed.
And that’s really what it’s all about. Read the whole thing.
(Please note, I am writing this as I prepare for bed Thursday evening, with a brain fried from a day spent doing last-minute edits of my dissertation. I expect to offer some commentary on his post in the morning, as I believe, he addresses the important objections to DADT repeal — and in a civil manner. Those who favor repeal should address his concerns in a similar manner.)
FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE: I had hoped to offer commentary on Paul’s post this morning, but a number of things came up, mostly related to my dissertation, but also thought it important to post on the Kors’ resignation.
The gist of my reply would be that the current legislation puts the ball in the military’s court, so once it passes, the brass can address the concerns raised by the study, perhaps putting forward a tiered approach to repeal, starting e.g., with translators and implementing repeal on a unit by unit basis, addressing the concerns with each unit. Again, I’m not a military guy, so don’t know exactly how to do this, so, let’s have more knowledgeable guys implement the particularities of repeal.
The military’s Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT) policy is, like many government policies, both gratuitous and counterproductive. It deprives the military of men and women eager and willing to serve our nation, while forcing officials who have better things to do (like defending our country in a dangerous world) to spend time rooting out otherwise qualified (and sometimes even exemplary) servicemembers.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday that abruptly ending the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy as a federal judge has ordered would have enormous consequences. . . .
“I feel strongly this is an action that needs to be taken by the Congress and that it is an action that requires careful preparation, and a lot of training,” said Gates. “It has enormous consequences for our troops.”
The defense secretary, who has supported lifting the ban, said that besides new training, regulations will need revisions and changes may be necessary to benefits and Defense Department buildings.
One of the merits of the Obama Administration approach had been to push for legislation which would give the military time to draft new regulations and prepare to implement repeal. Yet, because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid failed to schedule debate on such legislation at a time and in a manner likely to secure passage, they haven’t been able to realize the benefits of this sensible approach. (more…)
As a military member, on this day, I pass on the thanks of a grateful Nation to those who came before me, earned honor for the uniform I wear, and upon whose shoulders I stand. To those who paid the ultimate price for our Liberties, I fly my flag at half-staff until noon today, then raise it in honor of their sacrifice.
-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HQ)