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April 16, 2008

A Suspension of Contempt

"Duty is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more; you should never wish to do less."
-Robert E. Lee

I woke this morning knowing I could no longer put this off. For well over a year a feeling has been building inside of me, but until now I could see no useful purpose in naming the thing I see everywhere I look these days.

There is an ancient superstition which whispers that to name a thing gives it power. I think part of the rationalization for this idea lies in the notion that so long as certain things remain partially hidden, never quite seen in their entirety, decent people are still ashamed to acknowledge them in the harsh light of day.

My father was a Navy man. So, too, was my father in law. Both served full careers and retired as Captains. Destroyer men, they were. Both served in Vietnam. My Uncle Mel was a Marine in WWII, my Grandfather served in the Army. I have ancestors who served all the way back to the Civil (both sides) and Revolutionary wars. So although marrying a military man formed no part of my plans as a young girl, when my husband informed me he had signed up for Marine Officer ROTC, what could I do? I had already said, "I do". I loved my husband, and I love my country. Both deserve my support, and not just when that support is easy and convenient.

A promise is a promise. I was in for the duration, either way.

The ironic thing was that during my formative years I'd watched my mother (with much love and admiration) struggle with yearly moves, sea duty, and the loneliness and worry that come with being a Navy wife. Consequently, I swore I would never marry a Navy man. No worries. It seemed Fate had a far crueler destiny in mind for me. I would go through life handcuffed to a chicken on a beach ball.

My mind drifts back to this often now when I read the media's heart rending accounts of young Army officers "forced" to leave the service so their brides can attend college [sniff!]. This is -alas! - the only way they and their families can have a "normal" life. I wonder, as I read, what is normal like? Was my life ever normal? Would I trade one precious second of the profoundly un-normal last three decades for that more tranquil existence, for more money, for the dreamy McMansions we keep looking at, the ones with brick all the way around the house instead of just on the front facade? The ones with all the trimmings I can think up - and I can think up a lot, trust me on that one.

I can imagine a lot of tranquility, too. But are these things: college, jobs, material possessions, what make up the good life? Or is it the friends - the connections - we gather along the way that truly matter, even if they tend to make our lives a bit hectic and messy?

Recently I had the chance to be involved with a small-talk, side conversation with some senior spouses (O & E) and something started percolating around in my head (not too unlike the old Maxwell House coffee commercial showing the fresh perked coffee splashing inside that tiny little glass handle). A smidge of the conversation involved how busy everyone was and all of the things that went into making everyone's day soooo busy. Kids--to and from school plus after-school activities; family things--shopping, washing clothes, dry cleaners, trying to make nutritious meals without making daily trips to the commissary; church groups and the various clubs and committees there-in; and, support to their DH, not necessarily of DH in his job, simply the support of their DH, because he was dad, father, husband, bread-winner.

I asked what I consider of importance and have commented on in this venue a few times. It basically went like this, "Since everyone is so busy, how do you reach out to the younger spouses, not just new in your unit, but new to our world, and see to their needs?" The spontaneous answer was quite interesting ...

"They don't." And when I followed-up with, "Just how do the younger spouses know what to do and the protocols and the expectations, so that their pockets will have the tools they'll need to use to grow up to become, ... you?" And the answer by committee was, "Somebody else will have to figure that one out because we don't have enough time." I was floored, because I knew that wasn't the way they were brought up in our Service. Fortunately for the most part, the gals I was talking to and the community of spouses they represent is only a segment of our spouse population. But it's there.

If I had the chance to call for an Extreme Makeover of my life, this time in NY Times Civilian Mode, would I ask for the Designer Life, complete with earlier college education (and advanced degree) and the big fancy house we could so easily have afforded with my husband's very competitive college record and board scores and my own aptitudes? Would I have opted for putting my children in day care instead of sullying my hands by raising them myself? Certainly, I wouldn't have had my own stories like this to tell:

LCPL Dark Prince has only been gone for about two weeks and both his father and I are keeping busy and staying strong. The upside to the communication fiasco is that I do not have to talk to all my relatives and friends about how they remember Dark Prince as a little boy:

1. The time he peed in the little tykes kitchen coffeepot.
2. The time he turned a toy pickup truck into a dump truck. (Just use your imagination)
3. The time he gave Ross a swirlie in middle school.
4. The time he filled Susan M.'s purse with parmesan cheese at a dinner party.

Boys. I laughed so hard when I read that, and for a moment I saw my own firstborn, strawberry blonde hair and freckled skin glowing from exertion (that child was born running) off in the distance, the family beagle and younger brother trailing along in hot pursuit of something I Profoundly Did Not Want To Know More About. What doesn't kill us as parents makes us stronger.

No, on balance, I don't think I would trade a moment of my life. Not for the world. And that is what saddens and disheartens me so about the thing I mentioned at the beginning of this post; the thing I see everywhere I look these days. There is a name for it. It used to be partially hidden, this thing. It is not hidden anymore.

That thing is contempt:

What disappoints me about this piece though, is despite all of Cavett’s smart-ass banter about language, the piece is nothing more than an unbridled display of contempt. “I guess a guy bearing up under such a chestload of hardware - and pretty ribbons in a variety of decorator colors - can’t be expected to speak like ordinary mortals, for example you and me.” I suppose not, Dick. Perhaps because Petraeus is not just some ordinary guy, or someone who makes his living talking on TV about cocktail parties. His “pretty ribbons” aren’t some trendy lapel adornment, and when he must give orders something more vital happens than a servant appearing with another round of Campari and soda.

You can disagree with the Bush administration and their representatives about the waging of the Iraq war, it’s well within your rights to do so, and many join in your concerns. But comparing the ”tinpot Ghen Khan of Crawford” to General Custer? That, Dick, is just plain lame.

And it's not just Dick Cavett. It didn't just begin with him, and as I noted the other day, this contempt for military service and everything it stands for has been coming out of the woodwork for some time now. I Googled the phrase "Veterans memorials vandalized" the other day and got quite a few entries. I stopped after just the first few. It was discouraging.

Shortly after the beginning of my husband's year-long tour in Baghdad, I told him to be careful. I wasn't worried much about the insurgency. What worried me, really, was the rising anti-military feeling I sensed back here at home. I told him over the phone that a tide had turned in American public opinion and it was an ugly feeling. A great many people, no matter what they may say publicly, did not support the troops. If you doubt that, you need look no farther than progressive sites like Crooks and Liars or ThinkProgress. The anti-military hate spewed there is enough to turn the stomach. They have criminalized mere political disagreement. Now it is no longer acceptable to live in a pluralistic society where honest disagreement on major policy questions is possible between men and women of good will. To disagree with them is to be a liar, a cheat, a murderer.

I read Dick Cavett's deplorable opinion piece and saw not General Petraeus, but my husband being pilloried. He is but one rank below the good General. My mind drifted back to a brilliantly sunny September morning in 2001 when I sat numbly at my desk in McLean, Virginia wondering whether I would ever see the love of my life again as black smoke rose from the roof of the building of his office, miles away.

I remembered a day, weeks later, at sunset. He was still at work. He was always at work. As 'essential personnel' at the Pentagon, he was going in at all hours, day and night. His clothes and hair were permeated with the smell of bitter, acrid smoke. I sat alone at his mother's house waiting for the moment when the sun would set and the neighbors would emerge from their houses, each with a single candle in their hand.

In remembrance. In silent solidarity. In grief for our lost loved ones, for the death of our innocence: for the belief that we could ever again feel that golden sense of invulnerability that used to be America.

I remember the moment when that little 'plink' announced that another email had dropped into my Inbox at work. This time from my husband. I still remember the words:

"Babe. I know we were planning on retiring. But I cannot, in good conscience with everything that is going on in the world, get out now. I think important things are going to happen and the Marine Corps will need all the leaders it can get. I still think I have something to contribute, and believe it is important to stay in and do my part. I trust you will understand."

And I did. And I do. And I always will.

Just as people like Dick Cavett will never understand. I think he imagines people in the military gleefully rushing off to fight the Hun. No one - least of all the military - likes war. Mr. Cavett has never led men into battle. He has never had to watch a friend's face crumple when she learns her husband is dead. He has never taken a bullet in the chest, or had his pelvis shattered and kept reporting for duty as soon as he possibly could, because that is what you do when your job is important.

Men like Cavett like to pretend doing ones' duty is optional. Who knows? Perhaps in their world, it is? Their somewhat bizarre world view allows them to mock what they will never comprehend. But the complex reality they refuse to acknowledge or respect is that, if everyone thought as they do, America would be defenseless against fanatacists who have sworn never to stop until we are wiped off the face of the earth. Men like Cavett can contend until the end of time that extremists are not a threat. The truth of the matter is, the only thing standing between him and violent extremists are the kind of men he likes to belittle. If he doesn't show up for work, a column doesn't get written. If they don't show up for work, someone may die. Thousands may die. Nations, sometimes.

They are police, like my 25 year old son, the little redhead I mentioned a few paragraphs ago. You know: the ones who perpetrate "copspeak" (except my son doesn't talk like that, nor do any of his friends). They are the ones Dick Cavett loves to mock in the New York Times, though I doubt Cavett really knows any cops. They don't quite fit into his social milieu. That's one of the first things cops give up when they choose a life of public service. Cachet isn't one of the perks that come with low status occupations like police or military work.

During Petraeus' September testimony, Hillary Clinton loftily informed him it would require a "willing suspension of disbelief" before Congress would credit his testimony on Iraq. To these ears, the Senator from NY had called the good General a presumptive liar. Well, this Marine wife is an ordinary American; college educated, hard working, with an above average IQ. She pays her bills and her taxes on time.

When politicians and public figures like Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Dick Cavett sneer at and treat military officers with contempt, she sees her husband in their place. And she remembers. She remembers everything she has given up for nearly thirty years to support his military career, and as she watches her husband's service being spit on by the very people he has served so loyally and so well, she can't help but wonder what any of these men could possibly have done to invite such treatment, or when doing ones' duty became grounds for contempt and derision?

Instead of a suspension of disbelief, how about a suspension of contempt for a change from the snooty elitists in Washington and the leftist punditocracy? You don't have to take anyone's word for anything. Challenge the good General on his testimony. Challenge him on the facts if you wish. But check the ad hominems at the door. Just because he wears the uniform of the day doesn't give you carte blanche to take cheap potshots at medals that commemorate battles where better men than you will ever be have fought and died for ideals they believed were worth fighting for, even if you do not.

How about a little respect? I don't see the good General treating his questioners with contempt. From where I sit, Mr. Cavett, you are beating up on the military precisely because you know they cannot - by law - fight back. How about a little decency, which used to be called ordinary politeness in the civilian world. That would be truly refreshing. But I won't hold my breath waiting for it.

Update: The Torch burns brightly in Canada: we are not alone in this fight.

And that's something we here in the States need to remember more often.

Posted by Cassandra at April 16, 2008 06:26 AM

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So much could be said about this post, but I will leave my comment as - a great big HOOAH! Great post!

Posted by: LMT at April 16, 2008 10:08 AM

There is much here that could profit us all -- those you speak to specifically, and others also. Thank you for writing it.

Posted by: Grim at April 16, 2008 10:12 AM

Urrahh, lady.

Posted by: Semper Fi Wife at April 16, 2008 10:16 AM

To contempt I would add ignorance. Being a Viet Nam era veteran (Navy-E5) I have ascertained that history is not being taught much in schools these days. One conversation brought out that the particulary bumper sticker child (My child Is On The (FILL IN HERE) List I was talking with thought Viet Nam came before Korea.

It is incumbent on military personnel, active and veterans, to acknowledge our status with pride and empower others like us, there are so few, to celebrate ourselves as a "Band Of Brothers.)

In July of 1966 I graduated from High School, received my draft notice, and joined my employer from whom I just retired after 42 years of service. It is time to stand up and be counted and provide a much needed counterpoint to the leftists who make up for their fatal lack of honor, duty, and country with a loud mouth.

Pity those who hold their manhood/womYnhood cheap!

Posted by: vet66 at April 16, 2008 10:36 AM

*hands clapping...and clapping...and clapping....*
Well said, my friend. Just to let you know, I'm disseminating this as far and wide as I can. This needs to be read by many.
*still clapping*

Posted by: DL Sly at April 16, 2008 10:43 AM

It is about choices, Cass. I do not regret the choices we made about our lives, and I do have one huge regret.

Just to point out, Hillary didn't like the vast right wing conspiracy slamming her darling husband, aka leader of the free world for the terrible example he set, but REFUSED TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT...but we have to hold everyone else to the standard she and her husband did not live up to.

I would add 'hypocrisy' to the contempt. As well as disrespect.

Posted by: Cricket at April 16, 2008 11:10 AM

What everyone above has said...

I only wish I could be so charitable as to try to continue to seek civility with and to cut more slack to the loud, contemptuous, sneering, effete, sophisticates among us. But my cheek has arrived at MAX_CHEEK_TURNS. I'm rapidly approaching or maybe I've already arrived at RETURN_IN_KIND mode.

May there be blessing in abundance to all who serve us at the risk of their lives, their property, and their honor, which is an example that casts a long shadow over the rest of us.

And a special thanks to you Milady for your willingness to put to word thoughts that hit us where we live. And to your Gentleman warrior and your young LEO. You will be long remembered, not for your bank account, or your accumulated possessions, but for your deeds.

USN 72-77. If they would let a semi-ambulatory old man fly fling-wings or A10's, I'd do it in a rednecked second since I'm open to an after 50(& a few, but who's counting) career with meaning.

Thanks to all of you.

Posted by: bthun at April 16, 2008 11:11 AM

Wonderful!! Your words have the same feel (and hopefully the same ultimate impact) as Joseph Welch calling out Joe McCarthy in public for being a dirtbag. I only wish you could deliver this message on the network news.....more of our fellow citizens need to hear this.

Posted by: Bob at April 16, 2008 11:13 AM

You nailed it Cassandra, very well said. And sadly, you're 100% correct.

Posted by: Scott at April 16, 2008 11:23 AM

Impressive piece of writing, Cass. Nicely done.

Posted by: spd rdr at April 16, 2008 11:34 AM

Heh. Even though my career imploded due to damage incurred in service, I wouldn't trade it away for Dick Cavett's life.

I bet Dick never had the fun of feeding people dog biscuits.

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at April 16, 2008 11:59 AM

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, tonight I think I'll light a candle in rememberance of those gone before as well as those now serving.
Mi casa es su casa madam, although I doubt you'll ever take me up on the offer, yet I mean it in full. In this back part of the prairie, where they had to import the trees, you can see for miles, and seeing for miles sometimes helps you to remember.
To you and yours, and all thank you

Posted by: Tim at April 16, 2008 12:07 PM

I've tought for years that a return of the "Code Duelo" would teach some of those contemptious people a lesson

Posted by: KG2V at April 16, 2008 12:23 PM

Excellent. Thanks for sharing, if you have time, would you cross post on MILBLOGS?

Would do many, many people good to read it.

Posted by: Dadmanly at April 16, 2008 12:36 PM

Excellent piece, Cass. I don't think I could add anything else to what others have said.

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at April 16, 2008 12:55 PM

I have submitted this to Real Clear Politics. Go vote for Cassandra. GO CASSANDRA!

Posted by: George Oh Well at April 16, 2008 12:56 PM

Thank you for your service ma’am. As I pray tonight for my Army son in Iraq, I will add your husband.
God Bless America!

Posted by: Kevin R at April 16, 2008 01:22 PM

Okay, my knuckles drag in the dust, but my arms still aren't long enough to give you a hug from over here (and I doubt I could snatch said arms back fast enough before the Unit whapped 'em, anyway).

Will you settle for a snarkless month or two, instead?

Posted by: BillT at April 16, 2008 01:30 PM

Can't think of anything I'd like better, handsome :p

And that's as close as I ever get to flirting with anyone, ya big lug!

Posted by: Cassandra at April 16, 2008 01:35 PM

You finally put it all together Casandy. The majority of Americans now feel contempt for the military.

Why is it that the "greatest military of all time" can't defeat a few thousand camel jocks?

Gas is now over $4 and all we hear is about how great are "heros" are.

You and your ilk have trashed our country and soon you will get a major domestic ass kicking.

Posted by: Rick Schwag at April 16, 2008 01:42 PM

Ah, Rick.... Go in peace. You are plainly too "bitter" to connect two dots.

Posted by: spd rdr at April 16, 2008 01:49 PM

You renew my faith in my countrymen, and make me admire, ever greater, the sacrifices my lovely wife made in support of me. She deserved better than she got. While my children and I are forever in her debt, it is the people of the United States who also owe her, and each of you military spouses, the greatest debt of all. The love and sacrifice of a military spouse for her husband are never compensated with sufficient words, deeds, or funds, as he will always, willy-nilly, go charging off to fight dragons for instant fun and meager profit somewhere far away, whilst leaving his better half to suffer through all the mundane, tedious, and yet absolutely most necessary actions required in a family, alone. The harder job was hers. Mine was easy.

As a country, we give lip service to Duty, scant thanks to Sacrifice, and ignore the enormous contributions a loving Military Wife's heart provides to her children and her spouse, while shouldering his burdens, as well as hers, in support of a Warrior's career and lifestyle.

You are truly a doll, ma'am. A fine catch. And your husband is a very lucky Man. Thank you for putting the sentiments to words. And for helping me remember what an angel my wife was to support me.

Duty calls. Press on. To Victory.


Posted by: Subsunk at April 16, 2008 01:57 PM


Thanks. And especially thanks to The Unit. I know he doesn't pay attention to this "blog thing", but just let him know, that there are legions, LEGIONS of us, out here in fly-over country, who are very grateful to the men (and women) who stand on the wall between America and those who would do us harm.
Kevin's son, spd rdr's son, DL Sly's husband, and on, and on.
"Thanks" is too small a word, but right now that's all I've got.

Cass and Carrie and the rest of the gentleladies won't say it, but if your feelings are that strong about Cass's essay today, do something positive with them and contribute to Soldier's Angels. They are the best.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at April 16, 2008 02:01 PM

Why is it that the "greatest military of all time" can't defeat a few thousand camel jocks?

Why is it that police can't totally eradicate crime?

Well, they probably could, if they were allowed to turn America into a police state, but who wants to live that way? There are tradeoffs between liberty and security, and we choose how much freedom we are willing to give up in return for a given degree of safety.

If we were allowed free exercise of military power in Iraq, we'd have little trouble guaranteeing security. The political reality is that we are constrained by the chattering classes (that would be people like you) who like to chant idiotic slogans like "No blood for oil!" and "Stop the illegal, immoral occupation of Irak!"

Yeah. Whatever. You guys are the same brain trust who were bitching about how many Iraqi children were starving under the UN-approved sanctions that Saddam was using to funnel our tax dollars to the terrorists for 12 years.


Posted by: Cassandra at April 16, 2008 02:11 PM

Not all of us "Normals" are so ignorant, Dear Lady. Which is why in the last email exchange I noted that The Unit was a good man while I am just sufficient for these times. That probably goes for Unit Mods 2&3 as well, I'm not in their league.

Playing in both worlds(Ivory Tower and "Other") I know a ton of English Comp or Comp Lit majors who are as intellectually challenged as these intellectually challenged claim is the proper stereotype of 'The Knuckle Dragger in Uniform'. I know more people out of uniform that get hard ons for ultraviolent shows like 'The Shield', "NYPD Blue", "The Sopranos" or "Kill Bill" and use the lingo contained therein than those in uniform. Is it odd that someone just out of Ranger training will echo his commanders in using 'outstanding' in many sentences, when these jokers cite their hero Tony(or worse, Tony Montana) in so many of *their* sentences? Not really, and he's no less a 'bot than the cheese eaters echoing what they hear on TV or reciting what their professors say as if it were Holy Writ. Self appointed superiority is always a problem.

But, being the contrarian that I am, this isn't new. This is 40 years old, at least. This contempt came about with the Port Huron Statement and the Rise of the New Democrats. They declared anyone who disagrees with them as enemies and moral reprobates worthy of re-education back then. THis is just a continuation(films demonizing the military such as Taps, and The Great Santini, or Starship Troopers are my evidence that this never went away(note I picked an early 80's, mid 80's, and a mid 90's film)). And those same people will scream bloody murder when Unit mod2 doesn's show up fast enough when they call for 'The Man' that they loudly and often declare they can't stand since he's beneath them.

Which in part is why I say, "Yes sir"/"No sir" in my dealings with LEO and uniformed personnel, even if they are younger than me(which is happening far more often than I'd like to admitt of late, the younger part). It may not be as flashy as paying their dinner bill, but it's still the sign of respect I believe they deserve.

Finally, I hope he realizes some day that he has done his duty and can walk away without besmirched honor, Cass. Someday soon. For you, of course, but mostly for him(I'd say that about Unka Bill too, but he'd hang me upside down from a tree if I did.).

Posted by: ry at April 16, 2008 02:13 PM

Rick didn't get his nap.

Lessee...Dhimmi Catarrh got gas to a 200% increase during his Reign of Error.

Contempt for the military? Rick is a perfect example of what power the media has over weak minds.

Posted by: Cricket at April 16, 2008 02:15 PM

Brava! Brava!

Posted by: David M at April 16, 2008 02:24 PM

No folks, you're the ones who have been duped.

This culture of militarism has bankrupted the country. If you all could ever leave your tree hugging lifestyle and get a real job you would understand.

If you look at the relation between gold and oil prices in 2000 and 2008 you would see that it's pretty much the same. It's the debasing of our currency through this insane borrowing by the warrior wannabe prez that's wacked the standard of living of our country.

The problem with you military types is that your too self absorbed with all this cultural nonsense that you can't see that these policies are turning our country into a ghetto.

Posted by: Rick Schwag at April 16, 2008 02:48 PM

We should all remember, particularly the empty Mr. Cavetty, that contempt is a road that runs in both directions. Even though the people who have served are a little more mannered in expressing their feelings.

Posted by: Rurik at April 16, 2008 02:49 PM

Somebody, Ben Stein, maybe, said that the world is generally held together by people who wear uniforms or iron them.

Posted by: Richard Aubrey at April 16, 2008 02:52 PM

I sometimes think it's a damned shame that military servicemembers can't pick who they defend in this oountry.

Posted by: Semper Fi Wife at April 16, 2008 02:54 PM

Hooah for this most well written piece.

Posted by: Greta at April 16, 2008 02:58 PM

Oh my. Most very well said, Cassandra. Marines' wives and moms ... we couldn't do it without you.

Posted by: htom at April 16, 2008 03:06 PM

Yeah, Rick.

We're all just struggling to make it.

It's like a jungle sometimes.
It makes me wondah
How we keep from goin' undah

Oh yeah...

Don't push me
'Cause I'm close to the edge
I'm tryin' not to lose my head
I say huh huh huh
It's like a jungle sometimes
Makes me wonder how I keep from going under

Broken glass everywhere
People pissing on the stairs, you know they just
Dont care
I cant take the smell, I cant take the noise
Got no money to move out, I guess I got no choice
Rats in the front room, roaches in the back
Junkies in the alley with a baseball bat
I tried to get away, but I couldnt get far
Cause the man with the tow-truck repossessed my car


Dont push me, cause I'm close to the edge
I'm trying not to loose my head
Its like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder
How I keep from going under
Its like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder
How I keep from going under

Standing on the front stoop, hangin out the window
Watching all the cars go by, roaring as the breezes
Crazy lady, livin in a bag
Eating out of garbage piles, used to be a fag-hag
Search and test a tango,
skips the life and then go
To search a prince to see the last of senses
Down at the peepshow, watching all the creeps
So she can tell the stories to the girls back home
She went to the city and got so so so ditty
She had to get a pimp,
she couldnt make it on her

Its like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder
How I keep from going under


Posted by: Grand Mastah Cass at April 16, 2008 03:17 PM

If you look at the relation between gold and oil prices in 2000 and 2008 you would see that it's pretty much the same. It's the debasing of our currency through this insane borrowing by the warrior wannabe prez that's wacked the standard of living of our country.

Now if we're going to talk about deficiets, it is already not the military that is the chief spender. The difference between military spending and social spending will skyrocket as Social Security commitments for Boomers, and Federal Pensions, come due. We could far more easily, and less wastefully, cut off people who are going to die soon regardless than a nation of people many of whom might yet enjoy long, happy lives.

I suppose you might say there was a moral reason not to cut off pension payments; but there is a moral reason not to let Iraq slide into the kind of chaos that would erupt if we left. I suppose you might say we were responsible for paying our debts -- well, we owe something to Iraqis as well.

Not that you mentioned morality; I'm projecting on you an assumption that you might be interested in morality. All you actually mentioned was money, and so to be fair, let's talk about money.

The Iraq war can be looked upon as an investment: the country has vast national resources and an untapped market that could -- eventually -- provide a trade with the United States that would profit both nations and all peoples, as South Korea and Japan and Germany have traded with us to the benefit of both. To get there, though, it needs some capital improvements: a stable government, for example.

Such investments have paid off for us and for the other nations in the past, and not in small terms: the wealth created by US-Japanese trade alone has been vast beyond imagining. South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, everything touched by the Marshal plan, the list goes on. These investments have been of tremendous profit, not only for us, but for everyone -- because they allow new wealth to be created, not just for money passed from one hand to another.

These investments have also had the enjoyable side effects of greater peace and freedom in formerly troubled regions of the world. Or perhaps that was the chief effect, and the profit is a side effect?

Iraq is a worthy investment for those moral reasons alone: but since you say that you're really concerned about money, currency, oil and gold, you can be satisifed that those issues will work out also. Investments entail costs up front for benefits later; but, although past performance is no guarantee of future performance, the profit historically made on this sort of venture has been tremendous -- for all parties.

Posted by: Grim at April 16, 2008 03:17 PM

Well, Rick - win your landslide and demob the whole mob, then you'll be quit of us, and we'll be getting our real jobs.


But one wonders why you waste your time here, arguing to people too dense and clinging to our guns and our culture to see your point?

Go find people who's minds you can change and who's vote you can get.

Or do you just feel compelled to save us from our monetarist apostasy?

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at April 16, 2008 03:19 PM

Rick, I have neither the time nor the patience to educate you. So, if you want to debate, let us go somewhere else, since your responses are way off base re: Cass's post.

Let me just say: Federal Reserve Act of 1913.
The creation of the federal reserve has done more to tinker with the economy than any other policy, save it were the tree hugging morons who seem to think that their mud pit prophet AlGore is on the money.

Personally, I would prefer drilling in Alaska. I would prefer the smashing of the oil cartels that hold us up to pay prices they dictate. I would prefer the Saudis have to drink their oil and feast on their petroleum by-products. I want a secure border.

In a perfect world, that would happen. So far, the military has honor because they keep the oaths they make. They serve with distinction and feed the hungry, clothe the naked and heal the sick.

You? And do name the blog or forum. I will meet you there. But I will not respond to you again here.

Posted by: Cricket at April 16, 2008 03:25 PM

His name is Rick?
Funny...I thought it was something else.

Posted by: Semper Fi Wife at April 16, 2008 03:27 PM

I guess he left his pee somewhere else....

Posted by: Mean Southern Bug at April 16, 2008 03:28 PM

I'm SO buying you a drink (or 4) in Vegas for this one!

Posted by: HomefrontSix at April 16, 2008 03:53 PM

Grim, if the Iraq war is so important, why don't we raise the taxes to pay for it now?

Why don't we raise an army large enough to get the job done quickly & efficiently?

Do you think it's a good policy to keep sending the same guys back?

If this was is so important don't you think these burdens should be carried by the entire country?

The reason is of course is the majority of the country does not support this prez or this war.

Can you imagine how far the support would drop if we actually had to raise taxes to pay for it?

The fact is however, that we are paying for it now. At the corner Shell regular is at $3.79.

Posted by: Rick Schwag at April 16, 2008 04:00 PM

Obviously Rick does not read the business pages.

The price of a gallon of gas in Europe is 9 bucks.
Shell is a Dutch Company.
Bozo wears inflatable shoes.


Posted by: spd rdr at April 16, 2008 04:10 PM

If you google "little ricky", you'll find he's been gracing us with his superior intellect at a few of our other favorite (Blackfive, Scrappleface, Captain's Quarters to name a couple) blogs. It's his duty you see, to keep us in our place..... And I agree with Semperfiwife...it is too bad we can't decide who is defended and who doesn't deserve to be defended! I'm betting our servicemen are willing to defend all of us, even the Berkeley-type pukes who denigrate them.
(Sorry for the graphic language...I'm just a typically bitter, conservative, vet's wife...can't help myself)

Posted by: UpNorthLurkin at April 16, 2008 04:11 PM

Its like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder
How I keep from going under

Where in the HELL did you find this? (no "helk" for me)

Posted by: George Oh Well at April 16, 2008 04:24 PM

I sometimes think it's a damned shame that military servicemembers can't pick who they defend in this country. Posted by: Semper Fi Wife at April 16, 2008 02:54 PM

Don't NONE of you go there, however tempted you may be.

Besides, service members (the ones who are citizens, at least) have as much right to vote as the next citizen. If service members are dissatisfied with who they're defending, they can wait for the next lawful election, like the rest of us. We have no room whatsoever for military government in THIS country, by God.

Posted by: George Oh Well at April 16, 2008 04:29 PM

I was indirectly referring to putzes like Rick or whatever his name is, George.

Posted by: Semper Fi Wife at April 16, 2008 04:35 PM

Oh. Well ... OK.

Posted by: George Oh Well at April 16, 2008 04:40 PM

I was not going to jump in to feed the Rick with attempts to discuss the federal budget, the percentages of spending, military versus non-discretionary spending and debt service... framed in the context of today's budget outlays versus pre-Carter budgets. BTW, didn't you already plow that field in the not too distant past Milady?

Nor would I bother to point out that the price of energy is a direct result of the demand versus the supply. Which would then lead to a discussion on an energy policy that does not allow for nor encourage the exploration and development of sources in the US territories. Nor would I mention licensing and building new nuclear power plants, or new refineries and mandating said refineries to produce one blend suitable to meet clean air standards for all regions of the country. And this does not touch on the usage of coal, shale oil, or natural gas.

And if I were to get really cranked up on the topic, I might question why we do not encourage Congress to use the tax code to modify behavior ala B.F.Skinner meets Uncle Sam's tax code monster, and provide incentives to the private sector (entrepreneurs, engineers and consumers) to make private investments in the R&D of perpetual resource energy usage technologies - wind, solar & bioenergy- priparily Sun sourced energy (ya know, that stuff to which Teddy Kennedy, Walter Cronkite, et al objected -NIMBY- with your damned wind turbines, renewal energy resources - crops -, etc. All this might allow us to gain more leverage over our energy destiny and remove a huge lever that can be and is used against the security, physical and fiscal, of our nation and every one of her citizens. IOW, free us from OPEC and retain a little more cash.

But no we don't need to seriously address energy in an adult way by first admitting that few of us are willing and/or able to live in the preindustrial energy environment of our great grandparents. Let's blame the military and Bush! Brilliant!

But having fallen into the trap of trying to have a reasonable discussion with flame-throwing individuals before, I know that it would be a waste of breath so I will not waste my time. Instead I'll add a what he/she said to Grim's and Cricket's comments.

Posted by: bthun at April 16, 2008 04:40 PM

Actually, interestingly enough despite all the partisan accusations hurled at him, General Petraeus has not voted in a single election since he was commissioned.

He made that decision b/c he wanted to remain above suspicion that he was aligned with any particular political party.

Isn't it ironic?

Posted by: Yeah, I really do think at April 16, 2008 04:43 PM

"During Petraeus' September testimony, Hillary Clinton loftily informed him it would require a "willing suspension of disbelief" before Congress would credit his testimony on Iraq. To these ears, the Senator from NY had called the good General a presumptive liar."

Same exact feeling I had when I heard it! I grew up Navy... My father retiring 0-7 after 33 yrs... I know your contempt! And absolutely enjoyed your LABELING it!

God Bless and Semper Fi

Posted by: John Carmichael at April 16, 2008 04:46 PM

Heh. Anybody want to talk energy policy and the price of corn in Mexico?

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at April 16, 2008 04:46 PM

"Anybody want to talk energy policy and the price of corn in Mexico?"
heheh... My diesel gets 50 tortillas/mile.

Posted by: bthun at April 16, 2008 04:50 PM

Thanks for all the messages contained within this post. As the mother of a USMA cadet who will be graduating next month, I would like to see more respect paid to the deserving servicemen and women who defend those of us at home every day. But I take some comfort in the polls that (still) show that members of the armed forces are looked upon more favorably than either Congress or the president.

Posted by: zenamom at April 16, 2008 04:54 PM

welcome to the best damned family ever..the military family. You must be very proud.
My son is a Marine too.
Urrahh and Hooahh!!!

Posted by: Semper Fi Wife at April 16, 2008 04:57 PM

I did not know that Bozo wore inflatable shoes. I thought he just had big feet like Sideshow Bob.

Geez, this Internet. You learn something new everyday.

And speaking of big feet, now I gotta go make some tracks!

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at April 16, 2008 04:58 PM

Home run, Cassie.

Posted by: lex at April 16, 2008 05:02 PM

This is really an excellent article, Cass.

Who's the adolescent troll?
Ricky? Ricky Retardo, is that you...?

Posted by: Mark at April 16, 2008 05:22 PM

Cavett is still alive?

Dang, who knew?

And frankly, who cares what that miserable POS says? What has he ever done but bore people to sleep?

Posted by: Fidel, MD at April 16, 2008 05:28 PM

It sure has been one of those days (years, decades), hasn't it?

Don't let the idiots get you down, Cass.

Love ya!

Posted by: MaryAnn at April 16, 2008 05:44 PM

"You and your ilk have trashed our country and soon you will get a major domestic ass kicking."

Hmmm... a major domestic ass kicking? Sounds sort of oxymoronic. Sorry, Rick. I doubt that you and yours could kick any kind of ass, domestically or not. Certainly not the military's.

Cass - True, there's plenty of contempt out there. But I can say that not all of it is focused upon the military community. An excellent post. Thanks!

Posted by: Kevin L at April 16, 2008 05:53 PM

Cass, I would hate to be opposing you as a sniper, because your shot is "dead on" in this piece. The problem here is most civilians and their military counterparts will never understand reach other. There is so much more than some movie script. You say your husband works at the "Puzzle Palace" My father always said, "This was the place where the Federal Government would build the perfectly square building and this is how we got the Pentagon. I had the honor of knowing a high school dropout, who entered the military in the early 60's. He got his G.E.D. and a couple of courses in junior college. His job in the military was to work with the "High Technology" of the time. He came out the military and started to work for different parts of the U.S. Government working in computer sciences. He had assistants who were graduates of ivy league graduate schools in mathematics with advanced degrees. By the way, while he was in the military, they checked his IQ, he ranked in top 1%. Almost 45 years later, they checked his IQ again, no change. In math, he was literally a genius. Well, so much for the dumb military.

This is much the same way as I see General Petraeus. This man is NOT DUMB, by any means. I figure, it would not surprise me to find his IQ in the top 5%, if not higher. This is a different specialty with different challenges. But, this is not a new type of war, look at our own Revolutionary War. Why don't you just sit down and have a chat with "Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys from Vermont" or the "Original Swamp Fox, Francis Merion"? We need to look at all of the history and facts, DO NOT tamper with them, but learn from them. We can learn what to do and what NOT to do.

Lady, I just want to THANK YOU, for your service to this GREAT COUNTRY.

"Grumpy" Disabled Veteran

Posted by: Grumpy at April 16, 2008 06:11 PM

"Why is it that the 'greatest military of all time' can't defeat a few thousand camel jocks?"

Why is it that so many leftists express sentiments that would be appropriate at a meeting of the Ku Klux Klan?

These "camel jocks" are often multilingual men of the middle and upper classes, many with advanced degrees, trained and supported by some of the most sophisticated military-intelligence apparatuses in the world.

Then again, it's leftists who say that minorities never join the military out of patriotism; instead, they serve their country because they're too lame to find jobs anywhere else.

Grand Imperial Wizard Rick Schwag.

Posted by: Tom W. at April 16, 2008 06:24 PM

Why is it that the "greatest military of all time" can't defeat a few thousand camel jocks?

"Camel jocks"? So much for the tolerance of the anti-war movement.

We are defeating the terrorists ... but slower than we all would like. That has a lot to do with the idea that, unlike in previous conflicts, we are working to defeat this enemy without grinding the innocents they hide behind to powder first.

But for that compassion, we could have defeated the terrorists in Iraq in much less than a day.

As for the rest of Rick's talking-point Schwag, three words come to mind ...

... Strain. Those. Gnats.


Interesting how things are coming to a head ... and the truth about how good Men and Women are being perceived by the Best and Brightest among them is being exposed for all to see.

The contempt that Cassandra is writing about here ... along with other expressions of contempt, from the Schwag above to those of the Big 0 (the number, not the letter) in SF last week ... have their roots in a generation of people who have conflated their acquisition of knowledge with the development of wisdom.

They believe, by virtue of their education and social associations, that they are intellectually superior in absolute terms -- and they simply cannot countenance that someone who did not make the same life choices as they have ... let alone someone who does not appear to have an equally-rigorous curriculum vitae as theirs ... could possibly be wiser than they are.

Because they have not completely prevailed in implanting their views into our culture in the 40 years or so since they first "spoke truth to power", some have become as "fundamentalist" as the most rock-ribbed, closed-minded Protestant out there ... going beyond the much-and-rightfully-maligned moral relativism, all the way to moral inversion ... a fundamentalism based upon a belief in their own omniscience, which has been proven false on almost a daily basis for as long as humanity has walked the earth.

(Who's lying now ... especially to themselves?)

This arrogant fundamentalism ... a fundamentalism based not upon faith in an omnipotent God whose existence can be implied from observing nature, but upon a false belief in man's omniscience ... is a driving force at the very heart of the "culture war" that has been going on in our society since the 1960's.

It is the driving force behind all the contempt.

If such as these would just take a cue from Clint Eastwood ...

... a man's gotta know his limitations ...

... there would be a lot less conflict, a lot less contempt, and a lot more problem-solving, going on.

Perhaps the slip-of-the-lip of the Big 0 can be the opening needed, that will allow this nation to get to the heart of the divisions ... and with humility step back from the precipices of arrogance and contempt , to the solid ground of wise reason ...

... the solid ground that We the People need to maintain, for the support of our Men and Women who defend us.

Posted by: Rich Casebolt at April 16, 2008 06:32 PM

Dearest lady, this was absolutely beautiful.

My son is on his second tour in Iraq and was stop lossed to do it. As much as it was disheartening in some ways, it never occurred to any of us (including him) that he should do less than his duty and fulfill his commitment.

And we're only parents.

Spouses and especially spouses with children must have it so much harder with all the separations and worry. We know how much it concerns us if we don't hear from him for over a certain length of time.

God bless you and all military families and all military members. They shame us all. And make us proud.

Posted by: Mommynator at April 16, 2008 07:02 PM

Cass, AMAZING post! You make things so clear.

Posted by: Jane at April 16, 2008 08:43 PM

Bless you. And thank you and your husband for your service to our country.

We are entitled to our opinions about Bush or the war. We are all free to express them thanks to people like your husband.

There is one thing that really irritates me about people like Dick Cavett, or Code Pink, or the Berkley City Council. Deep down, they know that your husband or Gen. Petraeus, or the other men and women of the service would lay down their lives in order to save them. There is nothing clever or smart about having contempt for someone you know would willingly die to save you.

Once again, thank you and your husband for what you do.

Posted by: Schnauzer at April 16, 2008 08:53 PM

“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” ~ George Orwell

Posted by: RedPepper at April 16, 2008 09:30 PM

"There is nothing clever or smart about having contempt for someone you know would willingly die to save you."

Well, surely Code Pink would do the same for us.

Posted by: Grim at April 16, 2008 09:50 PM

Thanks to all of you for the kind words.

They are very greatly appreciated, though probably not deserved. And thanks for reading. This was important to me, and so I appreciate your taking the time.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 16, 2008 10:23 PM


Go to bed- you're bothering the grown ups.

Posted by: AFSister at April 16, 2008 10:27 PM

"Why is it that the "greatest military of all time" can't defeat a few thousand camel jocks?"

Well, gee, Rick. One can only assume that you're wanting to know why we don't use all the heavy weapons, smart bombs and obviously overwhelming numbers at our disposal to crush everything and everyone in Iraq. Yeah, why don't we? We certainly have the technology and man-power. So why don't we?


Well, let's theorize a little shall we? Say you have head lice (No, really you do. You must. You've been scratching that head all damn day and the only thing happening is redness and irritation.) So, say you have head lice, following the path down which your line of thinking leads, then you should immediately cut off your head. Problem solved. Yes? Um, actually, no. Now you have no head. Your body will cease to function, and you will not survive. But, (cue light bulb) there is a better solution. An intelligent Rick would consult with someone who is experienced in the matter of dealing with head lice. And upon the advice of said person who is experienced in the matter of dealing with head lice (I'm not going to fast for you here, am I, Rick?) you would then would go down to the store and purchase the right product needed to kill only the lice, without killing the hair, skin or person on which the lice have infested themselves.

It's the same thing in Iraq, Rick. And in case you've been too busy counting de money (De Monet', De Monet'), there are other people besides terrorists living in Iraq. People who have as much a right to live, breath and hope for a better day as you, as Cass, as any human does. People who want a better life than existed before the greatest military in the world rid them of a savagely inhumane dictator and his wretched progeny.

But, I can only believe from your comments, that you care not for those *other* than you and your ilk. And because you don't care about them, they are, therefore, undeserving of the basic freedoms that you flaunt so flagrantly all the while gleefully spitting upon the men and women who have provided, and continue to provide, those freedoms.

I agree with Semper Fi Wife, I do wish my husband could pick and choose those for whom he fights and sheds blood. Because, Rick, dear Rick, it wouldn't be you.

Posted by: DL Sly at April 16, 2008 10:37 PM

Still standing, my friend. Still clapping. Although, it does make drinking a beer difficult, at best.

Posted by: DL Sly at April 16, 2008 10:40 PM


What Lex said. In the last 3 years I've been working with a lot of geo-bachelors and it is hard to remember that day in and day out, while they are working with me, their wives and families are missing their dads who are doing what duty demands and trying to achieve some level of stability at home.

God bless.

Posted by: Curtis at April 16, 2008 10:57 PM

Wonderful post! Thank you for putting our honorable thoughts into such powerful words.

Posted by: Mary at April 16, 2008 11:18 PM

I got your link from Badgers Forward .THank you a million times for you and your family's service. You are all heros to us...thank-you for the YouTube reminder of what we re fighting against--everyone in this country needs to see that EVERY DAY as a reminder of just how UN-patriotic these media and political figures are.

Posted by: Lurenda at April 16, 2008 11:23 PM

Fantastic, powerful and thoughtful post, Cass.

Posted by: Conservative Belle at April 16, 2008 11:32 PM

Rick, it must be hard on you...you know, going to work everyday at your pathetic little tiny job and having people make fun of you because your head is stuck up your ass. I am actually a fan of people like you...you ensure that Jerry Springer has a full schedule of complete idiots to air out their personal laundry and ridiculous views so that the entire country can download the scene on youtube and make even more fun of you at their offices with their friends. Rick, lets get down to business, ok? You know and we know that you are "projecting". Do you know what that is? Eh, Google it and come back to this post...You back? Good, it means you want to change. You are secretly ashamed that were never a soldier and have to make light of others in the military and their views to make you feel better...bigger, more important..you get the picture...your small and you know it and you are ashamed. Come on now??? I'm right Ricky...little tiny unimportant Ricky!! Here are your choices. Stop hanging out with people that wear aluminum foil hats OR get the hell out of our country. I would rather rub crap in my hair than have you claim that you are American. So, please go see the recuiter...you can do it Ricky. I know there is a soldier in there dying to get out. It will make all of that internal conflict you feel go away and you won't feel as small as you are anymore.

PS - Numnuts, quit whining about gas prices. Nobody cares about it...only your foil hat friends. Losers always whine about something...remember, people can like you if you just make a few changes in your life...well, you might not be likeable but at least you'll be able to look at yourself and not see CONTEMPT.

Posted by: makefunofricky at April 17, 2008 01:02 AM

The weird thing is that people can become so self-absorbed that not only will they feel bitterness about being called on to make personal sacrifices for the nation that butters their bread and ensures their children don't end up a sex slave in some caliph's mansion, but they will feel bitterness towards allowing others to fight as well.

Getting your cake and eating it too isn't enough for such people, they have to take your cake as well.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 17, 2008 02:29 AM

The line would go better as "they have to tell you how you are going to bake their cake too".

Not only will such people prefer their own enclosures and social ladders, but they will try to make you just like them. Probably because when exposed to true duty and belief, it is kind of shameful to the fakes. So the same reason why islam must smite the West and get rid of our example that Allah ain't really on their side or else they would be better than us, is also why many people show contempt to the military.

If you can't become better than Petraeus... well why not cheat and take down Petraeus a notch or two to your level?

Remember the Left's argument in response to torture, that "we" shouldn't lower ourselves to the level of terrorists? Obviously the Left believes that against a ethically superior enemy like Petraeus, that it is justified to take him down to their level, just like their terrorist allies are doing. The rule is this, you can take people down to your level but you can't go to the level of your enemies if they are lower than you. Given that not much is lower on the ethical totem pole than Leftism, it is not much a problem when they advocate it, as I see it.

It is a relation to the chickenhawk rule as well.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 17, 2008 02:35 AM

You are married to a very lucky man. You put to words what many of us just sense at the edges.

Posted by: Sluggo at April 17, 2008 03:46 AM

You are such a good writer and touch on many issues that could be talked on at some length.

Posted by: Argent at April 17, 2008 05:24 AM

I don't think a majority of American feel contempt for the military; I think a majority of PUBLISHED comments convey that.

Every year my small town hold a Veterans Day parade at 11 AM on the actual day, and EVERYONE goes. When they fire the cannon, tears course down my face, I hug my boys, and I say a prayer of thanks for all veterans. I also pray that I will never have to send my sons to war but that they would be among the first to volunteer if needed.

God bless of military and their families.

Posted by: goddessoftheclassroom at April 17, 2008 06:36 AM

Let me be clear: I don't think a majority of Americans feel that way.

I do think that a great many Americans feel that way. Big difference.

What alarms me is that in any social organization, (clubs, government, businesses, etc) only perhaps 10-20% of the members are ever active in making decisions. The rest go about their business and exert at best a passive influence. They really don't bother to keep up with what's going on, nor do they voice their opinions to the decision makers. So it is usually the 'squeaky wheels' (and the ones who care the most or are the most invested in the outcome) who end up running the show. A small minority have a disproportionate influence over the majority, and thus it often doesn't matter much what the majority think.

This is how we end up with ludicrous zero tolerance and political correctness policies: it only takes a few really loud troublemakers threatening to sue to create enough turbulence that such rules become a rational response to noise in the system.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 17, 2008 06:48 AM

If you all could ever leave your tree hugging lifestyle...[t]he problem with you military types is that your too self absorbed with all this cultural nonsense...

Ummmmm, do you *read* the posts before you comment, Rickie, or just jump right into AK-spray-and-pray mode? Just askin'...

Why don't we raise an army large enough to get the job done quickly & efficiently?

Kinda tough to do without a *draft*, laddie-buck. We've been all-volunteer since '71, which is when I had the honor of training the last crop of draftees inducted into the Army.

Do you think it's a good policy to keep sending the same guys back?

Do you think it would be a better policy to keep them there for the duration?

However, I appreciate the insight you've given me into the Lefty mind. It's nice to know I *haven't* been overly-critical in my thoughts for all these years. So, as a token of that appreciation, I'll offer this -- if your next job interviewer asks you to describe yourself in ten words or less, just answer "I'm a pair of brown shoes in a tuxedo world."

Posted by: BillT at April 17, 2008 07:36 AM

Bravo! This is the best blogpost I have read in weeks!! Succinct, well-written, fair, and true.

Posted by: Joan at April 17, 2008 08:01 AM

To Cassandra: God bless and thank you.

To Rick: Go away. You're annoying and haven't earned the right to be tolerated in our company. Do a tour or two and then maybe we'll listen to you.

To the rest: Please don't feed the troll.

My LCpl is in Fallujah right now, and I don't have a lot of patience for trolls. Call me bitter if you must, but I'm clinging to him, my prayers, and my handguns. These three have protected our nation far more than the liberal trolls.

Honor, Courage, & Commitment,

Proud Marine Dad

Posted by: ProudMarineDad at April 17, 2008 11:21 AM

Cassandra, well written. Couldn't agree with you more. I find the contempt that the celebrities hold our military appalling, but not unexpected. I spent 15 years serving in the military, from 1971 till 1986. I received a Masters in Psychology while serving. Through out my life, I have met many types of people, and I look to motivation on why some are so closed minded when it comes to what is truly right or honorable when talking about our military, as well as our country and government. I think Shakespeare said it best in his Saint Crispin's Day speech. The celebrities who have a platform to speak out against the military, govt or country do so because they feel strong (when they know in their hearts) and that no one will bring them physical harm, because they live in a free society. But they know deep down that in the end, they are just cowards and weak, and they know that they would quail and run away if faced with the hardships and dangers that our military endure on a daily basis, for the love of honor and country.
What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

Posted by: Garbar at April 17, 2008 12:17 PM

"Where in the HELL did you find this? (no "helk" for me)"

Where'd she get the lyrics? Cassie's got this bad habit of listening to rap music. If I 'members right that's a Puff Daddy diddy(before he changed his stage name). Wasn't too bad. If I 'members right it's the one that sampled Led Zepplin's "Kashmir" guitar rift. ONe of the few rap songs I've ever actually liked that wasn't by Run DMC. That's where she got it. What's a wedda like Cassie doing listening to rap? I dunno. And she scares me to much to ask too. Her, and The Horde standing behind her. ;)

And I think people are a bit off labeling HErr Troll as a leftist. Strikes me as a Pat Buchanon righty or a hyper-libertarian more than a lefty. More Minnesotta Militia wanna-be or SWWNBN(SS)than Code Pink cross dresser.

Posted by: ry at April 17, 2008 12:50 PM

What's in a name? That which we call a cow-pie

By any other name would smell as odious.

Apologies to the Bard of Avon.

Posted by: bthun bailbondsman in training at April 17, 2008 01:09 PM

Oh, you are sooo lucky I had already swallowed the soda, Mr. Hun. Soooo lucky......


Posted by: DL Sly at April 17, 2008 01:11 PM

I'm confused Sly. I don't see what this "rick" is people are talking about here. You guys been sniffing the hallucinogenic mushrooms or was that just me?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 17, 2008 02:44 PM


This is with out a doubt the best thing i have read all year!

And just keep in mind, that for every code-pink commie, there are 3 that support your husband, and support you in the small towns that make America work. But the MainStreamMedia dont want you to know that so they wont tell you about it.

Semper Fi
From a Former Soldier that supports You and Yours

Posted by: dagamore at April 17, 2008 03:04 PM

Working on your Jedi mind tric...err, skills, you have. Gooooood.

Posted by: DL Sly at April 17, 2008 06:23 PM

I 2nd Dagamore.

Maybe because I live in the Sunny South, where military tradition is a few notches above football. And football is one of the loftiest plateaus...

Luckily for me, even the people I know who want to be commie code pinkers (or want their peers to think they are), in their heart of hearts they respect the military.

Don't let the asshats get you down. Their day is coming.

They resent the military because they romanticize themselves as making a difference in people's lives, aspiring toward noble goals and sacrifice. But a man in olive or navy or camouflage is the cold smack of reality, proof of their irrelevance. They wish they could live up to that reality. But all they truly have is a talent for puffing up their own feathers, in part, by berating better men then them.

It's easy for the monkeys to taunt the tiger and feel superior when they know the tiger is chained.

But we all know that they are still just squawking monkeys.

Thanks for your sacrifice. Thank you husband for me too.

Posted by: lunacy at April 17, 2008 07:30 PM

Excellent read. Sad to say but this is nothing new. It is more widespread now than it was back in the early 70's but I remember the looks at the airports and the protests outside the base. But I think those who support our military are more vocal as well even if we are outnumbered. Look at the Patriot Guard and Soldiers Angels for example.
Take heart Cass and all the rest of the military family. You have many out here who care.

Posted by: Mike at April 17, 2008 07:38 PM

Damn fine post Cassie! I would put this one in your top three.

Funny how truth can make a compelling diatribe eh? :-)

Feel better? ;-)

"These are the people we get paid to defend. Most of the rest of the country we defend for free!" Marine Recruiter - Berkley, CA

Posted by: JHD at April 17, 2008 10:00 PM

"These are the people we get paid to defend. Most of the rest of the country we defend for free!" Marine Recruiter - Berkley, CA

That is priceless, JHD! I believe MH would second that emotion with a hearty OooRAH!

Posted by: DL Sly at April 17, 2008 10:23 PM


You should take a 2nd job writing for BLACKFIVE. You could put the spouse's outlook on a lot of things they say and that would make the words complete.

Great job.

Rick: When your man enough to defend something other than your ill-concieved beliefs, then come see us. Until then, why not leave the defense of everything you hold dear to those of us that are capable and willing?

Posted by: Loki at April 18, 2008 12:32 AM

The rap lyrics Cassandra was quoting are actually from one of the very first hiphop songs to gain wide public attention. It's "The Message," by Grandmaster Flash, circa 1982, and it holds up really well over (gulp) 25 years later... man, I feel old.

(Fine, thought-provoking post, ma'am.)

Posted by: enrevanche at April 18, 2008 04:47 AM

What a marvelous piece of writing! I have been sadly misinformed, I fear. When I was much younger, I was taught that poetry was used for expressing strong feelings, and that prose was used for expressing facts. The posting on Contempt is written in pure prose, but is pure poetry.

I am a veteran, though not for very long and a long time ago. My eyes were not good enough, so I put in a couple of years as a Quartermaster.

Nevertheless the truth remains clear: I honor the military.

Unfortunately, to many of today’s citizen voters, the military remains a total mystery. “Why can’t we just get along?” The facts of life are these: some folks do not want to get along.

Some folks will kill people and break things in order to have their own way. Those activities are collected in the keyword war. A typical warrior, these days, is Robert Mugabe, thug head of Zimbabwe. He speaks for all of the people of Zimbabwe when he states that they have chosen him to head their country, 200,000% inflation, mass starvation, rape, torture, and all the rest of the horror found in that poor nation. I know this to be true, because President Carter has assured me that when a dictator speaks, he speaks for all of the people of his country.

Another group of warriors (persons devoted to killing people and breaking things in order to have their own way) is subsumed under Al Khaida, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, itself a derivative of the teachings of Wahabi Islam. This group has chosen to obliterate western civilization.

So we need a military, whose purpose is to kill people and break things, in order to protect us from those others who will do it to us first. Those of us not in active service owe a debt to the uniformed ones, and that debt is called patriotism. Honoring the flag, honoring veterans, remembering the fallen, taking care of widows and orphans, all the rest, are included in this solemn duty.

Patriotism today is not understood at all. Patriots are referred to as jingoistic. No attempt is made to distinguish between drum-beating in the name of protecting a slave lord (think Kim Il Sung) and love of country in the defense of liberty. Moral relativism equates slavery and freedom. Neither system is thought (at least by some) to be better than the other.

Instead of a warrior, I became a scientist. I look at evidence. And the evidence is overwhelming: liberty produces the greatest good for the greatest number. Slaves do not do well, never have, never will. Free people, with free choices, have led to all of the improvements of our lives over the past 4,000 years.

Our nation, and our ideals, are worth defending. Our liberty is precious, is well-nigh unique in the history of humankind, and will be snuffed out if we do not defend it. Our nation has brought liberty to more souls than the contemptible Cavetts can count.

As for you, dear lady, you and your husband are honored. At least by those of us who know the truth.

Posted by: Tom Johnson at April 18, 2008 08:26 AM

We seem to have an overabundance of men without chests in this country, at least in positions of influence.

That will be changing soon, I thing.

Posted by: Chris at April 18, 2008 08:47 AM

Mr. Johnson,

I think I have to take exception to one thing you said,

"My eyes were not good enough"
Your vision seems to be quite a bit better than 20/20.


Posted by: bthun bailbondsman in training at April 18, 2008 08:55 AM

(Rode in on a link from Badger's Forward)

Excellent post!

When we're in, we're in for the duration.

And now on to some entertaining "pick and stick" for Ricky (who, in a dark humor, is enteratining in his own right):

Grim, if the Iraq war is so important, why don't we raise the taxes to pay for it now?

Yeah, you'll agree to paying more I take it?

Most people don't even donate money to worth charities unless they want to have a great "moral uplifting" for themselves.

Why don't we raise an army large enough to get the job done quickly & efficiently?

We live in a country with non-mandatory military service as a general policy. Non-manditory means we have an all volunteer military with required conscription ONLY during times of war (and in express need or as otherwise stated).

Forcefully conscripted armies are never as effective as an all volunteer force with dedication and drive.

But of course by your tone i'm sure you've played some Real Time Strategy games and assume this means you're an expert in all this, right?

I supposed we could just harvest some fuel crystals or find some Cap points to take so we'll just be rolling in resources to make your brand spanking new units who suddenly are experts at anything you send them to and are a set quality.

They all just come pumping out of training without any necessary logistical worries. Nope, just pay X number of points and BAM we get a new unit. Nevermind the necessity of instructors, equipment for instruction, and the need to have high overall quality levels rather than quantity.

Lets not even touch the fact i've bumped into people who wouldn't be able to learn how to tighten a bolt, let alone be a part of a mass counter-insurgency...

What does and all volunteer military mean to the "average" chair-bound/boob-tube civvie?

It means you get to keep eatin your cheetos in a nice comfy chair, safe in your self-righteouness while you practice your "superior" logistical geniousness in the safety of your air-conditioned and heated home.

Do you think it's a good policy to keep sending the same guys back?

Never a good idea, and most of us said so the moment we heard about it.

BUT...as I recall, there was a lot of general bitching from some no-intel idiots about "not sending more troops" which gained speed and eventually forced the movement to not deploy any more.

Of course most people (And I'm sure this is all of the people who supported this idea) don't like to think past a tag-line.

In wide-view, "Don't send more troops" means "Lets keep the same ones there but longer!".
I suppose the people who supported the tag-line didn't THINK about that when avoiding the real meat of the issue.

If this 'was' (i'm guessing you meant "war") is so important don't you think these burdens should be carried by the entire country?

What? and get you to quit eating your twinkie for two seconds to pay attention to something more than "My quality of living is lower now because of gas prices! *whine whine*"?!

Perish the thought

The reason is of course is the majority of the country does not support this prez or this war.

Ever looked into Market research or statistics in general?

You can do amazing things with methadology.

I'm guessing you obtained your expert statistics from Main Stream Media.

Guess what, they most likely just did a poll among their own audience. The top 10 DMAs being a major sample pulling group for television based pulls. A DMA is a "Designated Market Area" specified by Nielsen (where you get your viewing rating from), and which basically overviews which "local" news you're seeing around a major city.)

The sample is usually pulled from the same audience who loves to regurgitate what they just viewed months after hearing it.

You know how you love to "inform" people about something you just heard and try to pass it off as fact? Well if you were trying to "inform" me, I can tell you i've already heard the exact phrasing about a dozen times from other sources who were also trying to "inform" me WORD...FOR...WORD.

Overall it is a ingenious idea..if you're trying to make a point about the war and the prez being bad (AFTER having run a few sections of how the war and the prez are bad to your nice little lambs), then by God, why not pull a poll from the very people you just fed a heap of snootin-sawdust to about it?

That'll give us accuracy! YEAH!

*thumbs up*

Think a little about the "facts" you're trying to spew for debate.

Right about now you're probably trying to fool yourself into thinking you've got us on a roll, and that this is all part of your little private joke to make yourself feel better.

We're not just here for your entertainment.

It's mis-guided bullshit like your comments which cause people distress in trying times and in trying positions.

It takes a dedicated few to protect the ignorant masses of the majority.

Guess which side I'd rather stand on?


[Not the ignorant. That's your side, and your self-superiority isn't leaving much room.]

Posted by: DWeaver at April 18, 2008 03:30 PM

Well then, appears that the preview doesn't actually show you the extra spaces it'll add.

(And sorry about the length of the post, just had to let the thoughts disembark)


Posted by: DWeaver at April 18, 2008 03:31 PM

[Q] Why don't we raise an army large enough to get the job done quickly & efficiently?

[A] We live in a country with non-mandatory military service as a general policy. Non-manditory means we have an all volunteer military with required conscription ONLY during times of war (and in express need or as otherwise stated).

WHAT? (shouting incredulously) Isn't this a time of war? If not, then what the hell have we been doing in Eye-rak since 2003 and why have all those guys and gals been sent over there?

Posted by: George Oh Well at April 18, 2008 04:08 PM

It's OK, Mark :p

The only people who really seem to be bitching all that much about this (aside from the normal chow line grousing that has gone one since the dawn of time) are the ones who *aren't* in the military.

You can always find a discontented 10% in any organization. That doesn't mean the sky is falling. When re-up rates in the combat zone, even for people who don't get a bonus (and that includes a lot of careerists) are as healthy as they are, I think the Republic will survive :p

Posted by: Chicken Little at April 18, 2008 04:24 PM

It's true. The 3rd Division completed its re-up goal for the year in less than six months -- the first time in history a Division-level command has managed to do that. And they're there for 15 months, on their third rotation, with the fourth one already planned. Those folks who re-upped in Iraq did it knowing not just that they might come back, but precisely when they would.

Posted by: Grim at April 18, 2008 04:38 PM

fortunately for the malcontents among us, there is and will always be SOMETHING to complain about ...

Posted by: George Oh Well at April 18, 2008 04:40 PM

WHAT? (shouting incredulously) Isn't this a time of war? If not, then what the hell have we been doing in Eye-rak since 2003 and why have all those guys and gals been sent over there?

...required conscription ONLY during times of war (and in express need or as otherwise stated)

Anyone who initates a draft will NOT be very popular.
It's my opinion (as flawed as it may be), that because they want to refrain from doing a draft unless ABSOLUTELY necessary, they started activating our ready reserve forces which were generally never expected to be used as an active resource.

Posted by: DWeaver at April 18, 2008 04:45 PM

Anyone who initates a draft will NOT be very popular.

To quote someone we all know (suppressing low growl): SO?!?

Posted by: George Oh Well at April 18, 2008 04:56 PM

.. . surely American policy in Eye-rak is not dependent on a mere popularity contest? All those deaths dictated by a mere popularity contest? We pray to God that those in a position to do something about the situation in Eye-rak take this all more seriously than a "popularity contest" would suggest.

Posted by: George Oh Well at April 18, 2008 05:00 PM

Popularity is ALWAYS a factor in any major decision (specifically political).

There is never a "one sided" or "one goaled" objective in any major decision involving nations (or even sides of a conflict).

So try not to support the fallacy that anything we've done is only because of one objective.
Saying everything is just because of a "popularity contest" is both short-minded and demeaning to anyone who has placed themselves between home and danger.

There are quite a few factors at work here.

Posted by: DWeaver at April 18, 2008 05:14 PM

So try not to support the fallacy that anything we've done is only because of one objective.

Good point. Mea culpa if I seemed to suggest that I thought there was only one objective - a "popularity contest" (the "popularity" dynamic was your comment).

I'm sure this is not the place for a discussion of the nature of the objectives of the war in Eye-rak.

Posted by: George Oh Hell at April 18, 2008 07:14 PM

Seriously, is he mark in irvine or not?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 18, 2008 08:05 PM

I had a coworker who dodged Vietnam on a school deferment. In a moment of surprising candor he told me that now he was in middle age he regretted that decision because forever after, he had dodged the opportunity to know in his heart if he were tough enough. He was very successful in his career, but knowing he had copped out haunted him.

Sometimes I think that is what is really behind those who disparage the military--because in their heart of hearts, they know they aren't tough enough.

My son is at this moment waiting in a tent city in Kuwait for his flight home. My duaghter's fiance is similarly waiting in Afghanistan. They both are tired and frustrated and sometimes have wondered what it was all for. But for the rest of their lives, they will know in their heart of hearts they were tough enough. They earned it. And no one, especially no one like Dick Cavett or Rick or Code Pink can ever take that away from them.

Beautifully written piece BTW. OORAH & HOOAH

Posted by: mamaworecombatboots at April 18, 2008 09:49 PM


Yes MinI is commenting at VC again. But there is at least one other Mark that comments here and at Grim's and elsewhere.

When considered against the possibility of Monty Python's skit on the Australian University Bruce's, it could be worse...

Posted by: bt_not a Mark_hun at April 18, 2008 10:07 PM

There's a big difference though, bthun, Mark is not a troll.

Posted by: DL Sly at April 18, 2008 10:47 PM

Agreed DL Sly.

Mark is an extremely solid fellow, scholar, gentleman and all round human being.

Hey Mark, this send up ought to be worth a Wapiti tag in the great out west sometime in the next season or two, eh? =8^}

Posted by: bt_certainly_not a MinI_hun_either at April 18, 2008 11:05 PM

Yes, Ymar, George is Mark...

One wonders what the significance is of using "Eye-rak" vice the correct spelling.

Posted by: Semper Fi Wife at April 19, 2008 07:49 AM

Anyone who initates a draft will NOT be very popular.

Or well-briefed. The Selective Service System is in what's euphemistically termed "Deep Stand-by."

Think of a clam at the bottom of the Mariannas Trench...

Posted by: BillT at April 19, 2008 07:58 AM

And has been stated before...isn't needed or wanted by the military.

Posted by: Semper Fi Wife at April 19, 2008 08:18 AM

If the US tried to activate the Selective Service or a "draft", they would run out of NCOs unless they were willing to just pull back all the veterans from previous wars for training up the new youngins.

That'll be really useful on the economy.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 19, 2008 09:38 AM

Thank you for your willingness to protest what our active duty personnel cannot.

I will be forwarding the link to this to MY daughter, who is engaged to an HM2 {who is going through the HM-to-Doctor program} - she's looking forward to becoming ombudsman in whatever command her husband will serve in; and to a Marine Message Board I'm privileged to be associated with.

From the daughter of a retired Marine officer, wife of a former Marine, and former Marine myself, again: THANK YOU!

Semper Fi'

Posted by: Diamond Mair at April 19, 2008 10:34 AM

No draft. Our NCOs have more important matters to attend to than babysitting losers who don't want to be there.

And Bravo Zulu, Cassandra. Well done!

Semper Fidelis

Posted by: Fen at April 19, 2008 11:40 AM

Uh, clam at bottom of abyss.
Is that doublespeak for scraping the bottom of the Selective Service barrel? Can I use that against 'Mothers Against (the) Draft?'

Heh. I guess they wouldn't like to hear their little darlings referred to as the 'dregs' of society or as offal the military refuses, now would they?

Posted by: Mean Cricket at April 19, 2008 02:14 PM

i couldnt agree more.

my husband is 3 years into the Navy and is switching.Why? Because one of our dearest friends who was an Army Ranger Sniper cant fight the war on Terrorism...because they turned him down after 9/11 due to his knees even tho is wasnt a problem when he was in Mogadishu and Hollyweird decided Black Hawk Down would be a good movie.That is why my husband among many other reasons wants to fight.

I lived in Alexandria on 9/11,and have since seen Baileys Crossroads go from a nice neighborhood to now a budding community of jihadist muslims (see the Mosque on Rt7 in Falls Church where the 9/11 hijackers attended,amongst a slew of other grievences....see also the book Infiltration and what is happening to NoVA.)

We watched Red Dawn the other day and decided the Cubans/Russians should just be replaced by Muslims,and that is why we're fighting.

I met a Russian woman at my job who with a glint in her eye spoke of how great America is and even though she misses Russia...nothing can touch the greatness of America EVER.

My Grandfather in WWII (like your family) had no thoughts and no questions to ask when Pearl Harbor happened...he stopped his work in the Philly Shipyards,and signed onto to be a Seabee.He didnt have to be drafted he volunteered...in hopes to stop whatever happened to Pearl Harbor from coming to his door in Philadelphia.

And with that fervor,my husband at 22 will be signing into the Army for infantry and possibly Airborne,and hopefully Ranger.

I will not let Code Pink and anyone else on my watch...think our military family and friends are doing their duty in vain.

I will not.

Posted by: UncleSamWife at April 19, 2008 11:05 PM

Applause!! Excellant piece. I especially like the parts referring to military wives and the lives they lead---or refuse to lead. I am saddened--and sickened--by the lack of commitment from some of the women of America to their military spouses. Whatever happened to sticking with someone through thick and thin? I'm with you. My husband is a retired Marine and even though there have been some hard places, I wouldn't trade him for Anyone. Not a chance. Thank you for putting what I feel into words so eloquently. And I Salute you for staying by the man you Love, even when its hard.

Posted by: SoldiersAngelcj at April 20, 2008 08:09 AM

Is that doublespeak for scraping the bottom of the Selective Service barrel?

Nope. It means that if the SSS were resurrected today, it would take a year just ramp up to the point where it could begin to enter all the eligibles into a (presently-nonexistent) database and an additional six monthe to send out the first draft notices.

Can I use that against 'Mothers Against (the) Draft?'


That said, let me offer this: The draftees I trained (1970 - 1971) were more receptive to learning all they could about tactical matters than some of those who had enlisted. The stuff at the bottom of the barrel skedaddled across the border without ever donning a uniform -- unless it was an old field jacket they picked up at an Army/Navy Surplus Store in prep for those brisk Canadian winters...

Posted by: BillT at April 20, 2008 01:11 PM

"The stuff at the bottom of the barrel skedaddled across the border without ever donning a uniform"
Aye... that they did until our illustrious leader, our CINC at that time, POTUS #39 (if I were to utter his name, the contemptuous tone might shatter monitors pan-intertubes or at least corrupt data packets) granted the nation's excrement a Presidential Pardon. What a guy.


Posted by: bthun at April 20, 2008 02:18 PM

Whoops, my contempt slipped... my bad. =8^{

Posted by: bthun at April 20, 2008 02:21 PM

NOT ON MY WATCH will any of the riffraff show contempt for OUR troops. And yes, this brat from the frozen north DOES consider "every soldier one of our own".

ON to victory!

Posted by: brat at April 20, 2008 05:12 PM

Dick Cavett has led a shallow, meaningless life. He has contributed little or nothing to anything. Perhaps he knows it, or perhaps he's too shallow to realize just how insignificant his life is. Fortunately for America and the world, there are men and women who don't live shallow, meaningless lifes. They're serving in the military, in police departments, in fire departments, as paramedics, and countless other "low status" jobs. They don't get paid a lot of money nor do they get the respect they deserve, but any one of them are worth more than Dick Cavet and his like put together.

Posted by: Larry J at April 20, 2008 06:22 PM

The stuff at the bottom of the barrel skedaddled across the border without ever donning a uniform -- unless it was an old field jacket they picked up at an Army/Navy Surplus Store in prep for those brisk Canadian winters...

Which is why using any kind of draft to make the Left feel better about their chickenhawks is dead before it gets out the door. It is unlikely the US will mobilize all the millions of men available in the Selective Services. They will mobilize a few, for starters, but those few selected means that others will avoid selection. Thus it creates another hierarchy of "served" vs "not served" that no amount of Democrat political pandering can smooth away.

Either the millions of new drafted members will break the military completely and effortlessly, or we will have those with political power be able to exclude their scions from the draft or at least get those scions low risk positions at the front, regardless of expertise or competency.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 20, 2008 06:58 PM

Even with all the caterwauling about the draft, and the 18 months needed to implement it, you still hear the screeching of the so-called libertarians about the data base the government is keeping via Selective Service.

You should have heard my inlws moaning about having to exchange their data with uncle sam
in return for an education.

I told them that the other choice was to actually sign up and pull a tour to GET the college money.

The silence was thunderous.

The Army did okay by us. I have a few complaints, but this isn't the forum or the people to air them to.

Posted by: Cricket at April 20, 2008 07:46 PM



Posted by: Semper Fi Wife at April 20, 2008 08:40 PM

Wow. That's about all I can say.

Posted by: Crazy Politico at April 20, 2008 10:32 PM

Wonderful post.

I've quoted you and linked to you here: http://consul-at-arms.blogspot.com/2008/04/re-suspension-of-contempt.html

Posted by: Consul-At-Arms at April 22, 2008 01:22 AM

What an outstanding piece, It really made me stop and reflect upon my own service to this great nation of ours and the sacrifices made by others who I had the honor fo serving with. I find it amusing that so many talk of a draft when we have an all volunteer military. Of course it would require those worthless POS to get off their lazy A$$es and do something other then complain. But then again, if we wait for people like Rick to stand up and do anything for anyone other than themselves. I think hell will freeze over first. Just remember Rick, they're always looking for "A Few Good Men". So the next time your not happy with the progress in Iraq, instead of trying to beat them, why not join them. Remember you can always stroll down to your local recruiter and exercise that one great priveledge that all Americans have "Free Choice". But then again that would require you to give instead of take from your country and NO self loathing America hatin LIBERAL could do that.

Posted by: Kennif at April 22, 2008 02:27 AM

I can't enlist, I'm well into my 40's.

I do support the troopers though, I don't want to but if I don't pay my taxes I could go to jail.

[Deleted at site owner's discretion. Not so much shocking as just plain offensive to the intelligence. There are limits: my site, my rules.]

Posted by: Rick Schwag at April 23, 2008 05:31 PM

Excellent Post Cassandra. I followed a Link from badgersforward. I gave you a shameless plug on my blog too...not that I receive nearly the traffic you do, but I felt your voice needed to be heard.

Semper Fidelis Cassandra

Posted by: Mjolnir at April 25, 2008 04:05 PM

Thank you.

I'm honored :)

Posted by: Cassandra at April 25, 2008 04:20 PM

I do support the troopers though, I don't want to but if I don't pay my taxes I could go to jail.

If you're saying you're forced to support our troopers BECAUSE you HAVE to pay your taxes, it shows a lot about a person's character.

Little education:
Taxes are what guarantee your rights as an American Citizen.

In a small scale similie, it's like paying your club membership fees to partake in use of the facilities which happen to be run and maintained by the very membership dues you paid.

If you dislike paying taxes here, you're allowed to revoke your citizenship, go to another country and become a citizen there without any further implications other than becoming a non-citizen and therefore subject to any rules regarding individuals who have declared they like to revoke their citizenship.

I'm sure it'll go along really well with your new country of choice if you refuse to pay their taxes.

They'll be kissing your feet in no time.


Posted by: DWeaver at April 29, 2008 12:34 PM

Mr. Cavett and Rick may be U.S, citizens, but they are NOT patriotic Americans, IMHO.

I wonder what they are dissenting from.

Is it the closing down of rape rooms, the "actual" torture rooms, or perhaps, the ability of Iraqians to actually, meaningfully, vote?

Enlighten me, please do, Rick.

Posted by: Just Plain Bill at May 5, 2008 04:42 PM

Dick Cavett does not, nor do any of those associated with the NY Times, represent me or my opinions. I, too, am from a military family, some Army, some Navy, and all dedicated to the principles upon which this country was founded and upon which it seems to be faltering currently. I deeply respect men like your husband and General Petraeus. If the people do not value what we have, what this country, alone, represented for so long, then they will get what they deserve.

Posted by: Susan at May 7, 2008 07:05 PM

May 9th is Military Spouse's Day I am told. It seemed fitting to post your piece and link to your comments. Thank you for writing this.

Posted by: Hope at May 9, 2008 12:33 PM

Thank you for the link :)

Posted by: Cassandra at May 9, 2008 12:38 PM

You talk about contempt-about people assuming that because of certain people's politics or expressed views, they may be mocked or considered presumptive liars, and you condemn it.

I wonder where you stand on those of us on the other side? Those active duty soldiers who do their duty honorably, but stand against the war in Iraq? Who legally express their views against the war, in accordance with regulation?

We are too often treated with contempt because of those views, and often presumed liars because of our opinions. Yet we, too, are servicemembers. We follow our oath just as strongly, and we still bleed the same color as everyone else.

Do you condemn that contempt as well?

Posted by: Army Sergeant at May 11, 2008 05:35 AM

Did you even bother to read what I wrote? Because the answer is right there:

You don't have to take anyone's word for anything. Challenge the good General on his testimony. Challenge him on the facts if you wish. But check the ad hominems at the door. Just because he wears the uniform of the day doesn't give you carte blanche to take cheap potshots at medals that commemorate battles where better men than you will ever be have fought and died for ideals they believed were worth fighting for, even if you do not.

You are talking about apples and oranges.

Everyone in a free country has to defend their "expressed views". You don't get a free pass to have your ideas or views accepted or believed "just because" you said them or just because you once wore a uniform, or do now. They must stand on their own merit. If you are convincing, if you can back them up with a coherent and compelling argument and convincing facts, then you are more likely to be respected and believed.

What I was talking about was attacking the ribbons on someone's chest rather than his argument. Different scenario.

And yes, if someone calls you a coward or a traitor without bothering to address your arguments, of course I condemn that. But it's such a stupid argument that most people would see through it anyway. Ad hominem attacks are never very convincing, are they? Except to people who think that playground name calling is impressive.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 11, 2008 07:23 AM

One more point, as I realize you are probably not a regular reader. While I strongly disagree with most of what your organization stands for, I have always supported your right to organize and work towards any goals you all think important. That is part of your rights as Americans.

What I so often disagree with is the means chosen.

I have a major problem with things like pretending the IRR is a back door draft. I'm sorry, but I think that's misleading. Civilians may not know any better, but I do.

I realize that the Reserve is confusing. Trust me: my husband was stationed as an active duty I&I and he had to explain all the flavors to me several times. But I would think that if your livelihood and several years of your life were on the line, you'd take the time to make damned sure you understood what you were signing. Contracts are just that: binding agreements on both parties. They aren't parlor games. Even I understood that when I was just a young kid. Real money is changing hands and real business is being transacted.

It irritates the hell out of me to see the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth by people who were perfectly glad to take benefits when drilling was easy and now that the clauses they hoped would never come into play, have... well now they think they did not make so good a bargain and they're crying, "Foul!". But they did make a bargain, of their own free will.

If they do not like the bargain they made, perhaps they should be looking at Congress, or even better, in the mirror. But don't play the victim card. That is just wrong. Morally wrong.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 11, 2008 07:35 AM

We are too often treated with contempt because of those views, and often presumed liars because of our opinions.

Consider: is that treatment due to your views per se, or to the ways you phrase them?

Posted by: BillT at May 11, 2008 09:28 AM

Bitching about the military while serving is as old as time. So is the requirement of discipline in the ranks. When a non-commissioned officer starts expressing his "views" against the military objective of his service,whether he is "legally" entitled or not, he renders himself untrustworthy in the eyes of both his superiors and subordinates, and thus unfit for command.

Maybe that's the "contempt" that you're feeling, soldier.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 11, 2008 10:44 AM

Just dropped in, enjoyed the commentary to a very well written, very meaninful post. Bookmarked you, spat on Ricky, and am going back to my design shop to do another design for the "Swamp Rangers" down here in the Florida Panhandle, ("Paradise" to those of us who know how to appreciate life).
nuf sed

Posted by: Frankly Opinionated at May 19, 2008 07:39 PM