Sunday, January 9, 2011

"Guest Editorial I"

An article I wish I would never have to write - To those calling for a civil war, this Marine wants you to stop, and think...


It's been said that the military is always preparing for war. That is true. We prepare for combat every day. We ran 5 miles today to the rifle range and shot nearly 200 rounds a piece at targets and then ran back. However, we also pray for peace. I would love one day to be completely unnecessary. But alas, I am a realist, and I know that day will never come.

The headlines of the last week have reminded me more of glimpsing at the S2 Daily Briefing Sheets while in theater or the Al-Jazeera than the NY Times or the Washington Post. Think about that for a moment, let it sink in.

Before I get into the main premise of this article - I need to make two statements here.

First and foremost , when it comes to the back and forth of who did what to whom and why - I don't give a @!$%#. It doesn't change the action. In life we're judged by our actions, nothing more, nothing less. One of the greatest things of the military is when it comes to an enemy, the politics behind the situation - don't matter in accomplishing that mission. For the military , life is simple in that regard.

Secondly, regardless of your political ideology, you've earned the right as US Citizens to say your piece. That is your right, and I will give my life to protect it.

But this government of ours is a democracy. We vote for our representatives, and they vote in our interests. Sometimes, the votes don't go our way. That's life, better luck next time. Exhaust your legislative options, and then focus on gaining the required votes and/or seats to achieve your desired legislative vote next election time. That's the way things work.

(During both the 2008, and later mid-term elections there were calls for violent revolt by right-wing activists in our country.)...Uncle

But the SECOND you start committing acts of violence and vandalism, then you've usurped that Constitution. You in a way have assaulted it. And then you and I (I being every service member who has sworn to defend said Constitution) will have a MAJOR PROBLEM.

For those of you calling for a civil war, I implore you to stop and think about what you're saying.

Look around your neighborhood and your city. Now imagine using that terrain to survive. Imagine dodging semi-automatic rifle fire as you scramble from cover to cover, dragging your wounded child behind you. Imagine the deafening report of a mortar as it strikes the ground a 150 feet in front of you, the overpressure enough to shatter your teeth and perforate an ear drum.

Try and envision a "Stryker" armored troop carrier rolling through neighbor's front lawn or a F/A-18 fighter bomber making lazy loops over your head in Close Air Support for the troops in the distance.

Now with that vision in mind, stop by your local Marine Corps base, being they will be the first military units you'd face in an all out 'civil war'.

Look at them for a moment, examine their 'work environment' . They're running the track, they're climbing ropes, they're grappling with each other in mock hand-to-hand combat, and shooting targets while moving in raid lines on a daily basis.

Nearly everyone on that base, down to our 'secretaries' has a combat award of one type or another, they've faced some of the most stressful situations on Earth where succumbing to the stress can get you killed, and they flourished.

Now ask yourselves and be honest - when is the last time you've run anything other than late to work, climbed anything other than a flight of stairs, grappled with anything other than a paper jam, and shot off anything other than your mouth?

When's the last time you were in any situation more stressful than a traffic jam?

Now I'm not blaming you for your career choice, not in the least. I can't think of a single job that's not useful in some way or another. I just want you to simply compare and contrast your work environment with ours and ask yourselves "Who is better suited to win this battle ?"

We both know the answer here, and if you doubt that answer, look at the results from the battle of Fallujah/Iraq in 2004. Over 1200 of them 'lost' and we 'lost' only 28. That's a 'win-ratio' of almost 60-1, and the Iraqi's had been fighting various enemies their whole lives.

Put this in another scenario. You and your office-mates think your local pro football team sucks , so you put together your own team of the best your company has and challenge them to a game. Even if your team might be good your opponents are professionals.

Football is their job.

Your job is to answer phones and type on a keyboard. In short, they've forgotten more than you will ever know about football. The result, will be a slaughter for you, and a practice for them. But at least you'll get a chance to sit at home, ice your wounds and say "whew I never should have done that!"

Not so with combat. The results of combat are far...FAR..more permanent. There are no second chances, no time for regrets, and no do-overs. This is not that "Call of Duty" computer game.

Now I 'd like to disperse a myth here - many of you think that US military would not fight civilians. I can't speak for all, but in my case - the moment you declare civil war, you're no longer civilians. The moment you attack the constitution, you're now enemies of that constitution. And I swore to defend and support and if necessary give my life for that Constitution and utilize every tool, technique, and weapon at my disposal to do so. And trust me, I'm not alone.

I hope some of you heed my words and cool the rhetoric and focus on achieving your goals diplomatically instead of physically. I would never want to receive a frag order to Maryland, or North Dakota, or Texas, but if is an order I will follow no matter how much it pains me to do so.

(This is from the blog "SE Alaska Times",


poetreader said...

Thanks, Uncle, for posting this here.Our history has been filled with threats of violent revolution, some from what we would call the right, some from what we would call the left (Weathermen, anyone?). Every such attempt, including the biggest of all, the Civil War, has been crushed by military or quasi-military power, and every such attempt has resulted in an increase in the power to op[pose and crush such movements.

Whether they be Weathermen, Minutemen, or Tea Party, secessionists, socialists, or fascists, those who talk violence will reap violence, and will only succeed in strengthening the military might that has been developed to defent the constitution against such as these.

Will "our" troops kill civilians? Think sherman in the Civil war. Think Kent State. Think the Waco Davidians. They will indeed. They are trained to do so, and, frankly, risk imprisonment or even execution for refusing to obey such orders.

I have a considerable distaste for the military outlook so ably presented by the author, but it needs to be remembered that this outlook not only exists, but is encouraged and taught to the members of the armed forces -- has to be, in fact, so long as we admit a need for armed forces.

Change does not come from a gun barrel. It only comes from a changed heart. The violent rhetoric needs to end. The treatment of those we disagree with as enemies needs to end. The answering of oppressors with hatred needs to end. Otherwise nothing will really change, and oppression of one sort or another will only grow.

Sorry for the rant, but the rage I see on both sides makes me tremble. Yes, I agree that currently it is more severe from the right, but the left has become just as polarizing in demonizing its opponents. We need to find ways to discuss our differences, without name-calling, without threats, without accusations. And all of us need to look inside ourselves and see what way "I" have added fuel to these fires, even before we look to see what others are doing wrong.

OK. I'll quit now.


graymogul said...

Everyone says there is too much polarization, but everyone still reinforce their points of view by listening to their "righty" or "lefty" wordsmith.
I refuse to listen to ass-holes like Rush Limbaugh and Keith Olberman. I also refuse to listen to Sarah Palin or Tina Faye.
I own guns, because I live in the boondocks where guns are necessary to prevent coyotes or rabid racoons or overly aggressive bears from coming indoors and harming someone.
I believe this country needs national health care for several reasons: (1) if a child has a permanent medical chart which follows the kid as the parents slide around the country, it could reduce physical child abuse, (2) national health care might reduce the number of abortions in loving families where an additional baby means crushing medical expenses which take from the kids already in the family; (3) businesses will be more likely to create new jobs, because health insurance costs currently are stupidly high; and there are plenty more reasons for national health care, but they are tangential to the point I hope to make in this comment.
The above comments seem to me to be common sense, but some damned sons-of-bitches have arrogated to themselves to right to define the above viewpoints as either conservative or liberal which they embrace one and condemn the other.
Now, the last time lefties and righties became so stupidly polarized was in 1920s and 1930s Europe. The lefties and righties refused to cooperate so they opened the door for fascists who posed as common sense folk who were adopting the common sense parts of the programs of the left and the right.
The fascists like Mussolini in Ital; Admiral Horthy in Hungary; General Franco in Spain; the colonels in Poland; Hitler in Germany, and so forth were ego-centric son-of-bitches who gave us the biggest war the Earth has ever had.
So, are Rush and Keith, etc., going to calm done or do we continue careening toward the precipice ? ? ?