Has been quite a while since I’ve written anything here, but time to get back in the swing of things. More to come.
“Washington and Military Assistance Command, Vietnam assessed the war through the rose-colored glasses of body counts. In so doing they violated the basic principles of fighting wars that the Marine Corps had lived and died by for more than 190 years: war is ultimately a test of wills, in which the human and moral dimensions are far more vital than the technological and administrative ones.”
– from a section about the Vietnam war in the book American Spartans, by James Warren
Is this ringing true again, except in the Middle East.
I’m torn on the Middle East, should we give a flying crap about them building a caliphate, and becoming a giant force? What if their goal is to become powerful enough that everyone will quit inserting themselves into their business. We love freedom, as I’m sure a lot of them would love to have…but what if the majority is fine with business as usual? It’s tricky, do we try to enlighten them to western ways by squashing those who oppose freedom?
The problem arises here, they don’t want just the Middle East, they want it all, and always have. Martel stopped the Muslim advance in the battle of Tours over 1,300 years ago. The Crusades were partly in response to the Muslim push into Europe. The Ottoman Empire was huge and ruled a large swath for hundreds of years…oh, and the current Middle East map is a result of the west redrawing the map to their liking.
If they would stick to screwing with their own, oh well, that’s the way they’ve always operated. BUT, they are screwing with everyone else…and for that they MUST be crushed down to the person doing the dishes for the radical Islamists.
This harkens back to the book quote…do we understand smart bombs won’t do it? Do we understand throwing a bunch of troops at it isn’t enough? We NEED a leader who can tell the world the human and moral dimensions we champion are why we have to crush this enemy of the civilized world. If the people feel it IS the right thing to do, then it can be done. But I fear our weak kneed half ass approach will be our ultimate downfall. This goes back far before Obama, what did Carter do about the Iranian embassy takeover? Nothing. What did Reagan do after the Beirut bombing? Nothing. Did Bush 1 finish the job in the gulf war? No. What did Clinton do after the Cole, after the Mogadishu debacle? Nothing. What did Bush 2 do about 9/11…not nearly enough. What is Obama doing about the domino effect taking place now, the ISIS butchers around the world? He is using technology (and limited)…nothing about the human and moral dimensions ever comes out of his mouth. He has so little stomach for war (and love for Islam) that he can’t even muster an attempt to convince us to squash this brutal enemy of the whole world.
I’m a military guy, spent eight years in the Marine Corps, served in the Gulf War. I didn’t see actual combat, didn’t see killed or wounded, only had rockets fired in the direction of our bomb dump that sent us running for the bunker numerous times. We did spend a lot of time loading munitions on helicopters that expended it on Iraqi soldiers. I want to share the following stats with you. The stats from each encompass all branches of the military.
War Length Served Killed Wounded % Total on Disability
WWII 3.5 yrs 16 million 450,000 671,846 8.6%
Korea 3 years 1.8 million 36,751 103,284 5.0%
Vietnam 10.8 yrs 3.4 million 58,303 153,303 9.6%
Gulf War 6 months 700,000 293 467 25%
Iraq/Afghan 8.8/13.2 yrs 2.4 million 6,802 52,000 31%
Does anyone besides me see a pattern here?
Jim Benson, a VA public relations officer, said the numbers are higher now days because “we have a greater ability to assess combat and theater related injuries”. What kind of injuries is he talking about? Not the physical, that’s for sure. He is talking about PTSD type “injuries”. Now I don’t deny the existence of PTSD, people can experience some brutal stuff in war and not deal with it well. But look at that list of wars, the three previous to the Gulf War were meat grinders that made the Gulf War and Iraq/Afghanistan look like a preschools preschool.
There are one of three things going on here, or maybe a combination. 1. They are over diagnosing war related mental issues just to increase the government dependency roster ($129 to $2,816 a month are the range of disability payments). 2. The general population, to include the military, wants freebies. 3. We are becoming a nation of complete wusses, and the wussdom is crossing over to the military. Personally, I think it’s all three, or different combinations of those three.
There are plenty of bad asses still serving, guys who will go above and beyond to help their buddy, county, or to defend the little guy. Naturally there were cases of people who mentally couldn’t handle what happened in the wars they served, but by and large veterans from the wars before the Gulf War sucked it up, they fought, endured some horrible crap, then they came home and forged ahead, had families and made a lives for themselves.
Final thought. Out of the total served in each conflict, how many were combat troops, and how many were in supporting roles far from the action (Air Force), or out on a ship, away from IEDs and flying bullets. Me for example, I was in theater, but I was working in a bomb dump 20 miles from the Saudi/Kuwait border, in other words, a kind of supporting role.
I don’t deny the existence of God, neither I or any human is smart enough or knowing enough to to say one way or another (atheists are clearly smart enough though). I will say this though, I think all religions are stupid. They were created by humans to control people, and for thousands of years have been very successful. I could go down the list of the vastly different doctrines and ridiculous beliefs they push on their adherents, and try to push on non practitioners…but there are too many. A few good ones though…baptizing after death by proxy, world created in six days, soul moving from one body to another, any contrary teaching of the bible chapter and verse is not true, members of one religion can live under another but must submit to the majority, denial of God (yes, atheism is a religion)
Each religion believes theirs is the correct one and others are incorrect. I think all religions are stupid.
Have I offended anyone’s deeply held beliefs enough to warrant some form of consequence? A verbal thrashing? A beating? Death?
OK, I’m going to start with assuming I’m becoming anti military, as I’ve kind of hammered at them a bit from time to time. I am a huge military supporter, I just wish the civilian bosses would let them actually fight a war, not play patty cake and dance around ridiculous rules of engagment. What follows is my take on the widely touted suicide rates and disability claims reportedly running rampant.
First disability. During the combined Iraq and Afghanistan wars there has been 50,000 physically wounded troops, that’s in 21 years of combined warfare (we had 30,000 wounded in 82 days of fighting on Okinawa). For some reason out of 2.5 million who have served in those conflicts, 900,000 are reported on disability or have claims pending. That’s an astonishing 36% are on disability or have claims pending…especially when only 2% were actually injured. What is the story behind this? I think if you come back and say you have a headache, they say it’s service/war related. That number is just wrong on many levels.
Now for the suicide. These numbers are even more astonishing, and hard to believe. The national suicide rate is about 46,000, which is a .0001 suicide rate. The odd thing is the suicide rate of veterans is claimed to be 22 a day, 8,030 a year, or .00002 of the total national population. There are 22,600,000 vets in totality in the country, that includes me and anyone alive who served in the military. So the rate of suicides committed by veterans vs the entire veteran population is about .0003. The 22,600,000 is equal to 7% of the nations population, yet that 7% of the population lays claim to 19.8% of the annual national suicides?! I’ve known a lot of vets in my life, and I’ve never known of one who committed suicide. I don’t buy the numbers at all, there is an agenda. It makes me think of the heat Tom Colburn, republican senator from Oklahoma is taking. Sen. Colburn is being criticized for blocking the Clay Hunt Bill (named after a vet who committed suicide), a bill that will add 22 million to the VA budget to study and combat suicide. He is blocking it because he said the money is redundant, that those type of programs already exist, and because there are no offsets…we can’t just keep tossing money at things. I happen to agree with him, again, because I don’t by the numbers.
Look, I’m not a shrink, I can’t determine what is going through a person’s mind, but something isn’t right. History has had various terms to cover what we now call PTSD, such as “battle fatigue”, “shell shock”, the “thousand yard stare”. I don’t deny those things exist, but I do think they are handing out that diagnosis like candy at a parade. Drone pilots are being treated for PTSD for crying out loud. The former Marine who was recently locked up in Mexico for accidentally crossing the border with a carload of guns and bullets claims he was in San Diego for PTSD treatment. His mother blamed his wrong turn on “directional dysfunction” as a result of his PTSD. Yet he was able to drive from Florida to Southern California, was able to find a parking spot at the boarder, walk across, find his way to a “right of passage for Marines in Tijuana”, and walk back to his vehicle with no problem. I forgot, as a Marine Sgt. he would have had more than basic training in land navigations, in other words, reading a map. Then he gets lost and makes a wrong turn. My personal opinion was he was buzzed and that’s why he made the wrong turn, but they pushed the story about PTSD and “directional dysfunction” to deflect the real reason, and drum up support…but I digress.
How in the world can our military claim to be the best on earth and be made up of the best people, yet they are mentally unstable and killing themselves at astonishing rates. For one, I don’t believe the numbers. The government is doing their best to push as many people as they can into dependency mode, and in my conspiratorial vein, they will eventually push to disarm PTSD veterans. Another thing, follow the money, disability means a check from the government…an anti suicide plan means a check from the government…which means more tax money out of you paychecks, and leverage over people.
Foreign policy is just that to this administration, foreign. Let’s look at the list of foreign policy accomplishments for the last five years, and I’m sure I will miss some. These will not be in a timeline format.
1. The Arab Spring.
2. Tunisia falling.
3. Egypt falling (twice).
4. Libya falling. Hillary’s famous quote “we came, we saw, he died” referring to Muamar Qadhafi (spelled a dozen different ways, so I made up another version)
5. Unable to make a deal for a residual force in Iraq after nine years of war…not terrorists are gaining strength, and have taken a city we lost over 100 Marines in a fight for in 2004.
6. Drawing a “red line” in Syria, then doing nothing (not that I thought we should to begin with).
7. An American consulate being attacked in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans were murdered, including a US ambassador. To this day no one has been caught and no retaliation has taken place.
8. Selling guns illegally to Mexican drug cartels, which we immediately lost track of, and then they were used by the cartels to murder a US Boarder Patrol agent.
9. China has increased their air patrol space for no apparent reason, other to flex their growing military muscles (and to put Japan on edge).
10. Killing a missile shield deal with Poland and Czechoslovakia…to appease the Russians with the new “reset button”.
11. Giving the Russians the above mentioned “reset button”…and it was an actual cutesy button.
12. The mayhem in Ukraine, in which the president again threatened a country about not crossing a line…and since that threat the Russians have built up their troop presence in the Crimea region of Ukraine.
13. Warming up to Israel by telling them they need to go back to the pre 1967 boarders, essentially cutting their country in half.
Then there is the simple stupid things.
1. Giving an iPod to the queen of England that contained a list of your favorite speeches.
2. Removing a bust of Winston Churchill.
The list of the stupid things could probably go on, but I think you get the point.
President Obama’s foreign policy, with Hillary Clinton at the helm of the State Department, has been an absolute failure. BO went into office thinking the world would grovel at his feet, faint during his speeches, and just cower and do whatever he wanted, just because he wanted it. Well, guess what, the world can be a rough place, and full of players who will play the game their own way, unless there is a strong presence in the office of the most powerful and influential country on earth. A person unafraid of taking a tough line, and pushing back when someone wants to push us, and pushing back in such a fashion, they will think twice or three times about doing it again. I just wonder what further mayhem will happen on the world stage over the next three years.
Senator John McCain says “I’ve been to Syria, I’ve meet them, I know them”. That old senile freak has no clue what or who he knows, all he knows is he wants to go to war and fight for and with Al Qaeda. This is absolutely no different than us arming the Afghans to take out the Russians, the very same people we helped out have been attacking us relentlessly for years, some before that. Here are just a few of the well known ones.
Embassy bombings in Africa
The USS Cole
’93 Trade Center bombing
Pan Am over Lockerbie Scotland
Marine barracks in Beirut
The underwear bomber (luckily stopped)
The Time Square bomber (pure luck the bomb malfunctioned, it was in place)
To top it off we have been in nonstop conflict and troop presence in the Middle East for 23 straight years. I was in Desert Storm, I hated the region then, and I hate it more now.
So now the brain dead want to add Syria to the list, and they seem to think it will be different this time. Sometimes I really think our dumb asses in charge WANT WWIII to break out, and they won’t stop until they get it. There is the outside possibility they think they can turn the region around. HA! It’s been the same way since its inception, and will never change short of it being turned into a giant sheet of glass.
So, I say watch them like a hawk, if they make a move on us, we take them out…totally out. Until then, let them slaughter each other.
President Ocombata talked so much crap with his “red line” that for sure he would attack Syria, that a few days ago it seemed all but certain missiles would be flying by the weekend. But what happened? The French got squishy, the Brit parliament voted “no” to military involvement, and the American public is only about 15% in support. The Russians and Chinese were going to vote “no” in the UN Security Council, and he wanted to skip congress and act. So, now Odumbass is stuck, if he acts he looks bad for going it alone, if he doesn’t act he will look bad for being all talk no action. But BO came up with a brilliant (yet incredibly stupid) idea to say he wants to act, and we should act, but he will put it to congress for a vote. What does this do, it takes all of the heat off him, because congress will probably vote “no” and he will be able to blame them for letting the Syrian civil war rage on, including the use of chemical weapons.
BO had zero intention of getting involved in Syria, but he is incapable of keeping his sewer trap of a mouth shut, and as a result, painted himself in a corner.
What drives me crazy is the republicans giving him credit and commending him for sending it to congress. Sorry weak ass republicans, he didn’t do it because he thinks its the correct thing to do, he’s doing it for a purely self serving reason…to get out of the corner he put himself in. Quit giving the idiot in chief credit for nothing.
And for the record, we need to stay the hell out of Syria and every other Muslim country. Sorry folks, but I say let them kill each other to their hearts delight.
Thank You for Reading,
Do I think the NSA is actively spying on every American? No, I don’t. What I do think can happen is this. A person is making reservations for a flight on their computer, and a few days later that persons kid is looking up stories on terrorist bombings from the same computer, ie.. IP address. Now you have “plane reservations” and “bombings” from the same IP address, which could be caught in an NSA filter, and the systems or people begin to drill down, looking a little closer…at nothing.
The government and politicians toss the word “security” around to get what they want just like ballot issues for education spending toss the word “children” around. Or how they use children, puppies and kittens to sell a product. Who can say “no” to our security. It’s just harmless data, if you aren’t doing anything wrong you don’t have anything to worry about. In that case I think everyone should just give out their email passwords to everyone they know, if you aren’t doing anything wrong, then what do you have to worry about, or hide?
It boils down to this very simple thing, the 4th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized”.
“Metadata” is being seized from and stored on ALL Americans. How does this not violate the 4th amendment? If we are going to be so cavalier with our rights at this level, in the name of security, then when will it reach the point where law enforcement can just pull you over for no reason and search your car? Or decide they are going to perform random household searches for nor reason. Or how about install cameras in every TV made so they can watch inside your house…sound like something that was in the book 1984?
Here are a few other bill of rights amendments being trampled upon.
1st – Campaign finance reform.
2nd – Cities banning the ownership of guns. When did a city ordinance trump the U.S. Constitution?
4th – You just read about it.
10th – Common Core. A federal takeover of education.
There are probably many others I’ve missed here, but you get the point.
Folks, if you believe it’s fine and dandy for them to collect and store your data, then you have fallen far from the tree of freedom the Founding Fathers planted.
Thanks for reading!
The Republican convention last week got me thinking. There were many excellent speeches by young and diverse people, then there were the ones from the old guard. What I took from this was a passing of the torch from the old guard to the new guard. In 2010 there was a huge turnover of old timers and ineffective representatives and senators, that was motivating, but I think 2012 will be more of the same, though I’m hoping for a big turnover in the senate from liberal to conservative.
It got me thinking how I came about to be a conservative, which for one misstep, I’ve been the entire time. When I was young, living in NY, me and my best friend loved to see movies, and we saw a lot of them. We did not have enough money for my folks to just hand out weekly ticket prices, so me and my buddy worked. We both had paper routes, we mowed lawns, raked leaves, and shoveled snow. We didn’t ask for money, we took it upon ourselves to work for our money, which bought movie tickets. We knew at a young age you had to earn, not just receive a handout.
When I was a young teenager I got in lot of trouble with the law, and I remember very clearly my mother telling me, you screwed up and “you will have to pay for what you did”. She wasn’t meaning money wise, she was meaning whatever punishment was coming to me. This was the first real test in accepting responsibility for my actions…and boy was I headed for deep water, but I took it, and persevered.
Later in my teen years my sister and I wanted to wear the nice Polo shirts and Levi 501 jeans…but they cost a bit of money. My dad said he was our father, that he would buy our cloths as long as they were JC Penny Plain Pocket jeans, or Fox shirts. Here’s the hook, he siad we could get the Polo and Levi’s, but we had to pay for half the cost…that meant we had to go to work to have the nicer things. Similar to the movie story, we had to work for the non essentials, they weren’t going to be handed to us.
The fun biggie was when I graduated from high school. I didn’t have a desire to go to college at the time (I wasn’t a good student), so I wanted to go to work for the same company where my dad worked. But did I just get handed a job, no, he set it up where I would have to go through the interview process, there was no guarantee of my getting the job, if I had blown the interview it would have been no dice. Well, I got the job, and one of the first things my dad told me was this, “you are making enough money now to live on your own, starting now you will pay $50.00 a month rent, which will pay for your food. Your rent will increase $50.00 a month every year until you move out”. Right out of the gate my dad was making learn the responsibility of paying bills, because in addition to the rent, I also started a car payment at the same time.
No, my parents started teaching me the basics of responsiblity at an early age, which I thank them. Anyway, that is my story of becoming a conservative, I didn’t know it at the time, but it was being instilled in me at a young age.
After I got bored working in the factory, I joined the U.S. Marine Corps, and that was icing on the cake of my youthful lessons.
I have said for years that democrats/liberals don’t belive in taking responsiblity, blame someone else for your shortcomings or problems, it is very evident in their basic policy attitudes. At the same time I’ve always said I thought republicans/conservatives were more apt to take responsiblity. This was very evident to me while listening to the motivating, take action and responsibility speeches from some of the bright young conservative stars out there. I was very motivated to see the younger guard taking a big, much-needed step forward. Clearly there are exceptions in both parties, but the rule of thumb stands.
One thing I can say for sure, I have started teaching my kids responsibility, respect, and individualism at their young ages. Sure, a lot of it will need to be repeated over and over and over again…but it will eventually sink in, and when they are grown I hope they can look back at the same kind of moments I have.