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March 07, 2008

The War On Our Armed Forces?

About a year ago I told my husband, newly posted to Baghdad, that I was glad he was no longer in the United States.

Back then, I sensed the beginnings of a disturbing shift in public opinion. It began in the Spring of 2007 with Harry Reid's repeated statements that we were losing the war, and his insinuations that Generals Petraeus and Pace were untrustworthy and dishonest. At the time I found these statements both dishonorable and alarming. It's one thing to disagree with someone politically.

It's quite another for the Senate Majority leader to publicly ascribe, during wartime and on no evidence, venal motives to a military officer who has done nothing more than to attempt to carry out his Congressionally mandated responsibilities as commander of Multinational Forces Iraq. Since that time, we've seen a rise in verbal and physical attacks on military personnel, both in here in American and overseas. In Great Britain wounded soldiers have even been openly mocked in public. I don't think this is a coincidence. When our public servants revile our armed forces, those who oppose the very existence of an all-volunteer military are encouraged to lash out against it.

Jules Crittenden finds this story a sad commentary on the once-proud British Empire, but in a nation where - in an astonishing defiance of the Constitutional rights they claim to be protecting - the Berkeley City Council grants Code Pink exclusive license to physically harass and bar entry to patrons of a Marine Recruiting station, should we really be surprised? And while we're on the subject, how many of you knew that Berkeley recruiting station was an OSO - in other words - an OFFICER recruiting station?

That's right. They don't recruit children, they are only interested in college graduates. Theoretically at least, it ought to be pretty difficult to deceive affluent, well educated college graduates with a Berkeley, CA zip code into believing they won't have to go to war if they sign on the dotted line. Not easy to confiscate all those copies of Saving Private Ryan and Full Metal Jacket. Who knew Marines go to war, especially during wartime? But just in case any college-educated morons do choose to exercise their Constitutional right to listen to that lying recruiting pitch, Code Pink stands ready to commit physical assault (IOW, engage in violence) to prevent them from hearing Constitutionally protected speech.

And though "violence never solves anything", it certainly proves efficacious for standing up for your First Amendment Rights stopping your fellow American citizens from exercising perfectly legal choices you happen to disapprove of. But though some seem to have forgotten why it is necessary to have a military, others remember:

Michael Lyons discusses the differences between his military experience and his son's. As he tells it, he was drafted but his son, "there being no draft", joined the Marines without any help or encouragement from him. He is, Mr. Lyons says, truly a volunteer. To Michael Lyons, his military uniform was just clothes. But when his son dons his Marine uniform, it becomes part of his persona. And yet the anti-war Left wants to strip away personal choice and force military conscription on an unwilling populace.

Part of what I have always believed makes this country great is that there are men and women who believe so deeply in the values we stand for that they are willing to give their lives, if need be, to defend them. No one is forced. The come forth willingly in such numbers that we need no draft. That is a great thing.

Sadly, there are people who are deeply ashamed of America. Some of them are running for President. They offer a competing vision of what values should make Americans proud:

“The person who made me proudest of all,” Obama wrote, “was Roy. Actually, now we call him Abongo, his Luo name, for two years ago he decided to reassert his African heritage. He converted to Islam, and has sworn off pork and tobacco and alcohol.”

Meanwhile, Obama remained sharply critical of what he called “the religious absolutism of the Christian right.”

In “Audacity,” the senator wrote that such believers insist “not only that Christianity is America’s dominant faith, but that a particular, fundamentalist brand of that faith should drive public policy, overriding any alternative source of understanding, whether the writings of liberal theologians, the findings of the National Academy of Sciences, or the words of Thomas Jefferson.”

Obama's understanding of history and Constitutional law seem to be a bit flawed. The letters of Thomas Jefferson have no effective force in American jurisprudence and as for religious absolutism, Christianity drove the abolition movement which freed American blacks from slavery.

And as for his brother's African Muslim roots, Mr. Obama might do well to consider the role Islam played (and continues to play to this day) in the African slave trade. Or does he find that an inconvenient truth?

The fact is that whether people like Barack Obama like it or not, the rule of law cannot exist without an enforcement arm. When so-called 'peace activists' begin violating the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens in the name of freedom, alarms should begin sounding in the heads of reasonable Americans. When public servants order law abiding soldiers not to wear their uniforms for fear of inciting attacks, or call off scheduled drills to avoid "scaring" the citizenry, something is deeply wrong. And we know where this all started.

There is a difference between freedom and license and law means nothing if we are not protected from the depredations of our fellow citizens. This is a lesson Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi would do well to consider before the set in motion an ugly reprise of the ugliness that tore this nation apart during Vietnam.

Hundreds of Vietnam-era veterans have publicly claimed in recent decades that they were spat on by citizens or anti-war protesters because of their military status, either before they went to Vietnam, when they were on leave, or after their returned from overseas. Yet several journalists and at least one scholar, sociologist Jerry Lembcke of Holy Cross, think that such things never happened, that they are an “urban legend.” Lembcke claims: “Stories of spat-upon Vietnam veterans are bogus.”

...Contrary to Lembcke’s claims, I quite easily found many accounts published in the 1967-1972 period claiming spitting on servicemen.

After the Vietnam war, a nation stood by and watched as its defenders were shamed and spat upon. During the 2004** election it sat silent once more as a Presidential candidate who had defamed those same defenders on the Senate floor in 1973 once more impugned the honor of some of America's most decorated war heroes. Will history repeat itself? And if it is not to do so, who will stop it this time?

** Many thanks to Dan for catching my mistake! I originally typed '2000'.

Posted by Cassandra at March 7, 2008 07:39 AM

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Comments

I rely on VETSFORFREEDOM and MOVEAMERICAFORWARD, among many.

Veterans, active military and their families need to stand up and be counted. The left is counting on our being too busy to stand up to these perpetual students, anarchists, and America haters.

Stand up and be counted.

Posted by: vet66 at March 7, 2008 12:54 PM

During the early days of the Berkeley 'protest' outside the Marine Recruitment Center, someone shot a video of Code Pink members barring entrance to the building. This person then went across the street and asked for police assistance, only to be turned down by a somewhat ashamed-looking policeman who said "the Berkeley police are not taking sides." First of all, I understand that policeman was just taking orders, and may not have been particularly happy about it, but I'm sorry, by LETTING them block the entrance and NOT arresting them... you DID choose a side. You chose to favor their lawbreaking over the gentleman's right to enter a FEDERAL BUILDING.

Personally, I encourage the gentleman in that video to contact the Justice Department in order to request an investigation of possible federal civil rights violations on the part of Code Pink and the Berkeley police department for refusing to protect him from their unlawful activities. There's recorded evidence of the obstruction as well as the police's failure to act even when help was requested. I'd be fascinated to hear what the Justice Department would say about this.

I think the problem with folks like Code Pink is very well covered in a thread on Grim's blog:
http://grimbeorn.blogspot.com/2008_03_01_archive.html#4292110961461726420

They cannot see their opponents as anything other than evil 'vandals'. I see this on the right side as well, but last time I checked, we weren't so big on violating the law to get our point across

Posted by: MikeD at March 7, 2008 02:42 PM

I'm more of a non-confrontational type person, so being at a protest/counter-protest isn't something that appeals to me, but I do hope to get to one of the National Heroes Tour stops here in Texas (and also meet Uncle J from B5). I think I'm better at the writing letters to elected officials and supporting the troops stuff...

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at March 7, 2008 05:23 PM

I am not sure counter protest is the only way to accomplish the goal, Miss Ladybug.

I think many times what is needed is simply for people like you and I to let our elected leaders and the press know what we think (IOW, to simply exercise our own First Amendment rights). Often, as the old saying goes, all that is needed for bad men to flourish is for the good ones to say nothing.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 7, 2008 05:33 PM

Meanwhile, Obama remained sharply critical of what he called “the religious absolutism of the Christian right.”

In “Audacity,” the senator wrote that such believers insist “not only that Christianity is America’s dominant faith, but that a particular, fundamentalist brand of that faith should drive public policy, overriding any alternative source of understanding, whether the writings of liberal theologians, the findings of the National Academy of Sciences, or the words of Thomas Jefferson.”

So, what do we replace fundamentalist Christianity with? Sharia law? Fundamentalist
Islam?

He celebrates a man who has converted to Islam...but Obama forgets that I am a Christian,
although one who is viewed with only slightly more suspicion. I have heard my religion reviled
by other so-called religious leaders, by some media pundits, but my religion, offbeat and
odd as it may be, has never advocated for beheadings, for honor killings, for maimings, or
for the cloistering of women.

I don't care what other people say about my faith as long as they respect my Constitutional rights and protect them and the ones enumerated by Mr. Jefferson in his Declaration.

That is the limit and proper role of government.
Any more or less than that is motivated by evil.

Posted by: Cricket at March 7, 2008 07:29 PM

I will.

Posted by: Cricket at March 7, 2008 07:33 PM

So, what do we replace fundamentalist Christianity with? Sharia law? Fundamentalist
Islam?

The Cult of Obama. Obvious, people.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at March 8, 2008 01:11 AM

Cricket, me too.

Remember, Vet66, there are civilians standing with you this time. :)

Posted by: FbL at March 8, 2008 01:20 AM

I am back with 2.0 my response to Matt Taibbi's article McCain Resurrected for RollingStone Magazine, where Matt pronounces John Sydney McCain is a warmonger. I am the wife of a retired Army soldier he has 27 years of service to his country. I take exception to this specific criticism of John McCain. President Bill Clinton himself was no DOVE. Would the Democrats be so quite about the violence directed at our American Military Service People, if a Democrat had been in the white house and taken us into Iraq?

http://imustimes.wordpress.com/2008/03/08/matt-taibbi-when-doves-cry/

Posted by: laree at March 8, 2008 10:41 AM

“The person who made me proudest of all,” Obama wrote, “was Roy. Actually, now we call him Abongo, his Luo name, for two years ago he decided to reassert his African heritage. He converted to Islam, and has sworn off pork and tobacco and alcohol.”

Ah, how is Islam an African heritage? Islam invaded, slaughtered, oppressed and enslaved Africans over a period of 1400 years. The assault on Dafur, African Muslims btw, by Arabized African Muslims is simply continuing the Islamic jihad. Obama shows his naivete and his ignorance to think that Islam is an African heritage.

Posted by: Jabba The Tutt at March 9, 2008 11:49 AM

Obama shows his naivete and his ignorance to think that Islam is an African heritage.

If only Obama truly was ignorant and naive. But he isn't.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at March 11, 2008 02:35 AM

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