"Hopefully this Buck won't stopone of the best damn MilBloggers to ever knock sand from his boots." -- The Mudville Gazette

26 November 2005


Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled or hanged.
-Abraham Lincoln never said this. But it does sound like him.

In 1974, John Murtha became the first Vietnam combat veteran elected to Congress, representing Pennsylvania's twelfth district. 31 years later, he has blazed another trail as the first Congressional combat veteran to openly advocate the policy of preemptive surrender and retreat as a clear and present direction for the nation.

Rep. Murtha recently introduced a sham proposal calling for the immediate redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq over a six-month period following the December parliamentary elections. It was an obvious cheap political stunt, one to better hammer the administration with, and designed to get Beltway moderates on board and on record as opposing the continued U.S. presence in Iraq. House Republicans, to their credit, called the bluff for what it was, immediately issuing forth a one-paragraph resolution of their own calling for immediate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. It was rejected 403-3, including a "nay" from original sponsor Murtha, and forcing him into the same buffoonish position as fellow Capitol Hill grandstander Sen. Charlie Rangel (D, NY), who wisely voted against his own less-than-serious proposal some months ago to reinstate the military draft.

The "Honorable" John P. Murtha describes the war as “a flawed policy wrapped in illusion,” and that "continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interest of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf Region." Perhaps the old ‘Nam vet is having flashbacks again, because the only illusion the troops in harm’s way are seeing is the faulty premise that our nation’s elected officials support our determined efforts in any way, shape, or form. Everywhere Congressman Murtha looks he sees “quagmire,” yet the only quagmire the troops recognize is the political one at home that the antiwar chorus has tirelessly worked three long years in which to sink us.

Every commentator on record has bent over backwards so as not to dare impugn the courage of Congressman Murtha’s convictions, even as they strongly disagree with his views. Vice President Cheney has deemed him "a good man" and a "patriot," even as he characterized Murtha’s proposal as "a dangerous illusion" to assume that "another retreat by the civilized world would satisfy the appetite of the terrorists and get them to leave us alone." Obviously deferring to the perceived clout of a veteran from a war he never served in, Mr. Cheney later measured his words by saying he also respected the right of Rep. Murtha to form his own opinions.

This has become the disloyal opposition’s new master plan: Enlist the aid of the dwindling number of armed forces veterans in the House and Senate to do their bidding for them, no matter how antithetical to the current military’s goals, needs or purpose. The Dems deem it apropos to use them as political cover and provide the proper combat cred necessary to out their true feelings and deep-seated desire to chalk up one more American war in the loss column. In the sick and twisted mind of liberals, WWII was not the "good war," it was Vietnam.* After all, WWII we won.
*Or as John Kerry called it, "the biggest nothing in history."

Not to be outdone, President Bush also came out praising retired Marine Col. Murtha as "a fine man" and adding that disagreeing with the administration was not in itself unpatriotic. Certainly not, Mr. President. But I will not be so squeamish in my own assessment of Colonel Mustard.

When a United States Congressman’s pronouncements and stated goals become indistinguishable from those of our nation’s adversaries, I am left with no recourse other than to consider him likeminded. While I am not privy to the standard required for one to be "aiding and abetting the enemy," I do know that this behavior toes the line. "Battle tested" he may once have been, now all he appears is battle fatigued by a war he's not even fighting. Is that the message he wants the world to receive about today’s generation of Marines? That three years constitutes the upper limit of their resolve? Or does that merely reflect the attention span of equivocal egressmen like himself? No better friend, no worse enemy, says the Corps. Which one is he?

But popular dissent is far from all that MoveOn Murtha is feeding with his irresponsible rhetoric. His actions are sharply damaging to troop morale both at home and abroad and weaken further an already shaky Iraqi confidence in our staying power . His desire to see all of our Western warriors flee east of Eden is stoking the flames of antiwarrior sentiment throughout every elitist liberal enclave, helping rob yet another generation of soldiers of their hard fought and well deserved honor--something his own background should make him intimately acquainted with. And worst of all, Col. Murtha's gripes of wrath are playing politics with our lives.

The Art of War, the proto-text of military insight, counsels that "one need not destroy one's enemy; one need only destroy his willingness to engage." You can bet al-Qaeda ringleader Zarqawi subscribes to this, and has registered an external view of our adversarial political system to convey internal weakness within our shores and widespread dissention among our ranks. He has written that Americans are "the most cowardly of God’s creatures." Not all of us, Z-man. Not all of us.

Not long ago, several members from my Stryker brigade were seriously wounded in an all-out battle to capture a handful of top-tier targets holed up in a residential Mosul safe house. It is believed that, rather than be taken alive, the occupants self-detonated their stronghold, bringing down the entire structure around them. The bodies, to include at least one U.S. serviceman, are still in the process of being recovered from the rubble. Zarqawi himself may even turn out to be among them.

Inshallah? Indeed.

This is the reality of what we face out here on the front lines. We are not complaining, and we are not bitter. This is our job; we understand the risks--and this is what the majority of us signed up to do. But what we don’t need is to come back from a nine-hour patrol only to discover that our own representatives in Congress--including some of the very same members who voted to send us here in the first place--are now threatening to pull the rug out from under us just as we near the moment of truth. Their party’s post-bellum depression is starting to rear it’s ugly little head, but we have a message for them: Your public approval ratings are not our problem.

What is it exactly that all these Democratic doubters are suddenly so afraid of? Are they worried that we may actually prevail, and enshrine not only Middle Eastern democracy in the annals of Things That Could Not Be Done, but cement President Bush’s place in history as well? Are they afraid of a Republican clean sweep in the ‘06 midterms, followed by another slam-dunk in ‘08? I pray it is something more. Something more important than sheer electoral advantage. I would like to think that if I should have to pay the ultimate sacrifice it won’t be all for naught; or at least that it would be for a higher purpose than allowing John Murtha to hold onto his Congressional seat.

"How do you ask a man to be the last [one] to die for a mistake?" waxed young naval philosopher-king John Kerry in the throes of his seminal moment. Thirty five years later, I have an answer for him: Simply don’t work so hard to ensure that a war you initially supported degenerates into a mistake after the fact.

Irrespective of the daily Democratic dithering, the Iraqi shurta, soldiers, and civilians will continue to cry freedom long after our American politicians, polls, and pundits have all cried uncle. If we abandon them now, however, their fate will by then have irreversibly changed hands from the preventable to the tragically inevitable. Where will your concern for human rights be then, President Carter? Or does that concern only extend to terrorist detainees?

Are we no better as a people than those European EUnuchs--that loose colony of moral lepers continually plagued by indecision, apathy, and intestinal rot? Have we resigned ourselves to their inherited impotence, issuing forth unenforceable resolutions in order to placate undeterrable dictators? Have we not learned that relying on the Security Council for protection is as foolhardy as depending on Social Security for retirement?

It is possible we could have given the United Machinations more time to play out--after all, there had only been twelve years of inspections Kabuki theater that resulted in nothing but noncompliance on Saddam’s part. Twelve years. (The entire run of Seinfeld aired in less). Or is it rather the futility of entrusting a monumental task entailing the potential use of force to a world body with the purported goal of eliminating the use of force the possibility that cannot be overstated?

Reforming Iraq from a terrorist magnet to a tourist mecca will not be an easy task, but it can be done. Anyone who has visited the Kurdish north--as my platoon recently did in Dohuk--has indeed glimpsed the past, present, and especially the future of the region. It is a future as bright as the children’s smiles, as secure and safe as the city streets, and as laden with opportunity as the strip malls that bustle with traffic. One would be forgiven for thinking it the lost city of Atlantis, considering the total vacuum of MsM coverage of such oases of normalcy throughout Iraq. But it is only one possible future for the remainder of the country. The path leading elsewhere is still apparently being written and debated over by those with agendas all their own, even as bullets are still flying and our soldiers are still bleeding.

We were not strong enough to drive out a half-million American troops, but that wasn't our aim. Our intention was to break the will of the American government to continue the war.

Such were the triumphant words of North Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap in an interview fifteen years after the fall of Saigon. Must we hear them repeated again, by a take-no-prisoners (literally) band of al-Sadists whose capacity for evil make communists look like choirboys? Or will our unyielding military men and women be allowed to complete our "mission impossible" we have fought and bled to render so imminently plausible?

The ball’s in your court, America. We've done our part. It's high time you did yours.

You really want to support the troops? Support our efforts.
And make sure Congress hears you loud and clear.

24 November 2005


Away from Home for the Holidays Humor Vol. I
What I’m Thankful For (Good Grief...)

An old spate of unsolicited sarcasm from Buck Sargent

Previously unpublished

Thursday 27November2003
FOB Salerno, Afghanistan
-I’m thankful for the ubiquitous Afghan dirt and dust that clogs my nostrils each and every morning. When what comes out of your nose is more disgusting than what comes out of your rear, something is very wrong.

-I’m thankful for the short amount of time it takes for me to break into a sweat when standing outside in the shade in NOVEMBER.

-I’m thankful for the several times per day that I want to bitch-slap fellow members of my own squad.

-I’m thankful for the plentiful suicide fly bombers that refuse to leave me alone, even after being violently swatted half a dozen times.

-I’m thankful for the total irrelevance of weekends.

-I’m thankful for the “butterface” FOB famales who parade around like prom queens and get treated as such by opposite sex-starved joes. Back in the real world, these girls wouldn’t rate a second glance by death row inmates.

-I’m thankful for the fact that Muslim countries frown upon alcohol, allowing me the unique privilege of consuming sparkling grape juice on Thanksgiving Day.

-I’m thankful for being excluded from the Turkey Bowl touch football tournament solely because I am not an “E-6 or above” (translation: not fat, old, or slow enough to play).

-I’m thankful for the fact that Haji has the week off for Ramadan, allowing us the distinct privilege of pulling eight hours of KP per day while the battalion cooks sit on their fat duffs.

-I’m thankful for our NCOs, who do the least amount of work yet bitch and complain the most.

-I’m thankful for the chance to patrol endlessly in the back of five-ton trucks to the point of complete central nervous system failure.

-I’m thankful for the wonderful group of people known as the Taliban, without whom I may never have had this opportunity for travel and exploration of foreign, utterly worthless cultures.
-I’m thankful for Afghans who smell like they haven’t bathed since the Soviet occupation.

-I’m thankful for the existence of camel spiders the approximate size of small house pets.

-I’m thankful for the chance to walk up mountains so arduous and steep that one quickly transitions from looking for mines in order to avoid them to praying you step on one in order to put you out of your own misery.

-I’m thankful for MAFAETNCED (Military Acronyms For Absolutely Everything That Nobody Can Ever Decipher).

-I’m thankful for the lifetime of back pain I will undoubtedly have to endure as a result of sleeping on either an unsupportive military cot or the side of a mountain for nearly a year straight.

-I’m thankful for all the nubile Afghan girls who perpetually cover themselves from head to toe in public, as well as for the aged Afghan womenfolk who regrettably do not.

-I’m thankful for the pestering hordes of illiterate Afghan ragamuffins who nonetheless beg incessantly for pens.

-I’m thankful for the wide availability of pull-tab soda, proving that Afghanistan is stuck in both the 70s and the Stone Age simultaneously.
-I’m thankful for the magically diverse Afghan climate, ideally suited for iguanas by day and polar bears by night.

-I’m thankful for the enumerable times I repeat the mantra, “I f**king hate this place,” to no one in particular and for no particular reason in a given day.

-I’m thankful for the equivalent weight of a ten-year-old child that we have to wear on our persons as we hump across mountain ridges at 5,000 feet.

-I’m thankful for the everyman soldier known simply as “Joe,” and his plethora of inane, apocryphal, or just outright BS stories. (“No shit, there I was… mud-wrestling seven different crocodiles on the side of an active volcano with nothing but my shower shoes and a rusty E-tool…”)

-I’m thankful for squad members who think Xbox Madden football games are real and passively watch them as such, complete with requisite whooping and hollering -- FOR HOURS ON END.

-I’m thankful for the opportunity to travel over Afghan “roads,” aka unimproved dirt paths, the basic maintenance of which apparently last occurred during Alexander the Great’s brief detour on the far eastern leg of his 3rd century B.C. “Conquer the World” tour.

-I’m thankful for the five-second-delay “morale” phones that get worse reception than a whore in church. (“Hi, it’s me! What? Hello? No…you--go ahead. Are you still there? Who? Can you hear me now?” Click. “*#@%!&%#$!@!”)

-I’m thankful for not knowing when we’re leaving this place until we actually set foot on the bird home. (“Honey, they’re sending us off to war.” Oh my goodness! When will you be back?! “I don't know. But make sure little Sally and Jack, Jr. get into good colleges, okay?”)

-And last but not least, I’m thankful for Osama bin Laden and his merry band of homicidal hangers-on, without whom none of this would have been possible.

Happy Turkey Day, Osama!
(You blockhead)

17 November 2005


It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.
-Thomas Sowell

With the Democratic Party in the midst of an all-out rhetorical offensive to abandon the Iraq War and signal a full retreat in full view of victory, perhaps it is time to revisit exactly how we got to this point just over three years ago. Some choose to characterize the buildup to the Iraq invasion as a Republican rush to war, though others view it in hindsight as a well reasoned and rational response to an impending national crisis cresting the horizon of the “hide and hope for the best” policies of previous occupants of the People‘s House.

My liberal critics have demanded a recount of the “manufactured consent” relied upon by the Bush administration to send the country hurtling toward what they saw as hostilities at the speed of sound bite. Regardless of your own political perspective, I invite you to test your historical knowledge of that crucial six-month period from pie in the sky dream to boots on the ground reality by correctly identifying the leading neoconservative ideologues behind the following public statements as they fervently -- perhaps recklessly -- argued the case for giving tusks to the toothless UN threat of “serious consequences” by pounding the drum for the ouster of Saddam Hussein.

Thus, in the interest of fairness and balance, let’s play:

Name… That… Neocon!
(Answers to Follow)

1 "In this century we learned through harsh experience that the only answer to aggression and illegal behavior is firmness, determination and, when necessary, action. In the next century, the community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists... If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow by the knowledge that they can act with impunity."
"The hard fact is that so long as Saddam remains in power, he threatens the well-being of his people, the peace of his region, the security of the world. The best way to end that threat once and for all is with a new Iraqi government -- a government ready to live in peace with its neighbors, a government that respects the rights of its people. Bringing change in Baghdad will take time and effort. The decision to use force is never cost-free. Whenever American forces are placed in harm's way, we risk the loss of life. And while our strikes are focused on Iraq's military capabilities, there will be unintended Iraqi casualties...
"Heavy as they are, the costs of action must be weighed against the price of inaction. If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors. He will make war on his own people. And mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them. Because we're acting today, it is less likely that we will face these dangers in the future."

2 "There's no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat to the United States and to our allies."

3 “We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandates of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.”

4 "Iraq does pose a serious threat to the stability of the Persian Gulf and we should organize an international coalition to eliminate his access to weapons of mass destruction. Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to completely deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power... We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."

5 "There's no requirement to have any doctrine here [vis-à-vis preemptive action]. I mean this is simply a longstanding right of the United States and other nations to take the actions they deem necessary in their self-defense… Every president has deployed forces as necessary to take action. He's done so without multilateral support if necessary. He's done so in advance of conflict if necessary… When we took action in Kosovo, we did not have United Nations approval…

"…There's no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat… Yes, he has chemical and biological weapons. He's had those for a long time. But the United States right now is on a very much different defensive posture than we were before September 11th of 2001... He is, as far as we know, actively pursuing nuclear capabilities, though he doesn't have nuclear warheads yet. If he were to acquire nuclear weapons, I think our friends in the region would face greatly increased risks as would we… I want to underscore that I think the United States should not categorize this action as pre-emptive… This is a problem that's longstanding. It's been a decade in the making. It needs to be dealt with and the clock is ticking on this…

“…There's no question that there have been such contacts [between Iraq and al Qaeda]. It's normal. It's natural. These are a lot of bad actors in the same region together. They are going to bump into each other. They are going to exchange information. They're going to feel each other out and see whether there are opportunities to cooperate. That's inevitable in this region, and I think it's clear that, regardless of whether or not such evidence is produced of these connections, that Saddam Hussein is a threat.”

6 “We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction… There is no doubt that [his] regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be disarmed.”

7 "The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retained some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports also indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons, but has not yet achieved nuclear capability."

8 "Over the years, Iraq has worked to develop nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. During 1991 - 1994, despite Iraq's denials, U.N. inspectors discovered and dismantled a large network of nuclear facilities that Iraq was using to develop nuclear weapons. Various reports indicate that Iraq is still actively pursuing nuclear weapons capability. There is no reason to think otherwise. Beyond nuclear weapons, Iraq has actively pursued biological and chemical weapons.U.N. inspectors have said that Iraq's claims about biological weapons is neither credible nor verifiable. In 1986, Iraq used chemical weapons against Iran, and later, against its own Kurdish population. While weapons inspections have been successful in the past, there have been no inspections since the end of 1998. There can be no doubt that Iraq has continued to pursue its goal of obtaining weapons of mass destruction."

9 "I will be voting to give the president of the United States the authority to use force - if necessary - to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."

10 "In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members…
“…It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security."

11 "The debate over Iraq is not about politics. It is about national security. It should be clear that our national security requires Congress to send a clear message to Iraq and the world: America is united in its determination to eliminate forever the threat of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction…

“…Saddam Hussein's regime represents a grave threat to America and our allies, including our vital ally, Israel. For more than two decades, Saddam Hussein has sought weapons of mass destruction through every available means. We know that he has chemical and biological weapons. He has already used them against his neighbors and his own people, and is trying to build more. We know that he is doing everything he can to build nuclear weapons, and we know that each day he gets closer to achieving that goal."

12 "There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. And that may happen sooner if he can obtain access to enriched uranium from foreign sources -- something that is not that difficult in the current world. We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction…

“…Saddam’s existing biological and chemical weapons capabilities pose a very real threat to America, now. Saddam has used chemical weapons before, both against Iraq’s enemies and against his own people. He is working to develop delivery systems like missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles that could bring these deadly weapons against U.S. forces and U.S. facilities in the Middle East.”

13 “I don’t think there can be any question about Saddam’s conduct. He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do. He lies and cheats; he snubs the mandate and authority of international weapons inspectors; and he games the system to keep buying time against enforcement of the just and legitimate demands of the United Nations, the Security Council, the United States and our allies. Those are simply the facts."

14 "What is at stake is how to answer the potential threat Iraq represents with the risk of proliferation of WMD. Baghdad's regime did use such weapons in the past. Today, a number of evidences may lead to think that, over the past four years, in the absence of international inspectors, this country has continued armament programs."

15 "Iraq made commitments after the Gulf War to completely dismantle all weapons of mass destruction, and unfortunately, Iraq has not lived up to its agreement."

16 "We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction."

17 "Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction. That is why the world, through the United Nations Security Council, has spoken with one voice, demanding that Iraq disclose its weapons programs and disarm. So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but it is not new. It has been with us since the end of the Persian Gulf War.”

“[Saddam Hussein] is a vicious dictator and a documented deceiver. He has invaded his neighbors, used chemical arms and failed to account for all the chemical and biological weapons he had before the Gulf War. He has murdered dissidents and refused to comply with his obligations under U.N. Security Council Resolutions. And he has tried to build a nuclear bomb. Anyone who believes in the importance of limiting the spread of weapons of mass killing, the value of democracy, and the centrality of human rights must agree that Saddam Hussein is a menace. The world would be a better place if he were in a different place other than the seat of power in Baghdad or any other country. So I want to be clear. Saddam Hussein must disarm. This is not a debate; it is a given.”

19 "I am absolutely convinced that there are weapons...I saw evidence back in 1998 when we would see the inspectors being barred from gaining entry into a warehouse for three hours with trucks rolling up and then moving those trucks out."

20 "I remain of the view that we will find biological and chemical weapons and we may well find something that indicates that Saddam's regime maintained an interest in nuclear weapons."

So there you have it. Scroll down to see how you scored:

1 President William Jefferson Clinton, February - December 1998

2 Howard Dean, Former Presidential candidate and current Democratic National Committee chairman, September 2002

3 Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), September 2002

4 Al Gore, Former Democratic Presidential candidate and weird-bearded blowhard, September 2002

5 Gen. Wesley Clark, Former Democratic Presidential candidate and sweater-wearing loser, September 2002

6 Sen. Edward Kennedy (D, MA), senior boozing, bloated Senate windbag, September 2002

7 Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), one-time Ku Klux Klansman and "Conscience of the Senate," October 2002

8 Sen. Patty Murray (D, WA), October 2002

9 Sen. John Kerry (D, MA), former Presidential candidate, October 2002

10 Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D, NY), future Presidential candidate, October 2002

11 John Edwards, former Democratic Vice Presidential candidate with “better hair," October 2002

12 Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Vice Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, October 2002

13 Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), senior House extreme makeover candidate, October 2002

14 French President Jacques Chirac, Head Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkey, October 2002

15 Sen. Barbara Boxer (D, CA), November 2002

16 Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), December 2002

17 Sen. John Kerry, former Presidential candidate who by the way served in Vietnam, January 2003

18 Howard Dean, reformed screamer, February 2003

19 William Cohen, former Clinton Secretary of Defense, April 2003

20 Joseph Wilson, aka Mr. Valerie Plame, former Democratic Ambassador and incessant Bush critic, June, 2003

Scoring Table:
(15-20 points) You must be kin to Karl “Boy Genius” Rove!
(10-15 points) You’re a regular Rush Limbaugh redux!
(5-10 points) Don’t be such a Dick Morris!
(0-5 points) James Carville, Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson are all eagerly awaiting your call!

Just in case you overlooked the obvious, this list was essentially a who’s who of the modern Democratic Party, and not exactly the guest list at William F. Buckley‘s birthday bash. It bears notice that the very same Democrats who saw the exact same intelligence President Bush saw, who drew the exact same conclusions, and who voted to go to war on exactly the same “pretexts” are now using the myriad difficulties we've expectedly encountered in Iraq as an excuse to play politics and rewrite history. Now there’s your scandal, liberal media.
"What was said before does matter,” Ted Kennedy droned into the Congressional Record last week. “The President's words matter. The Vice President's words matter. So do those of the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense and other high officials in the Administration."

I agree, Teddy. I also agree with you that your side of the aisle's words obviously do not.

As President Bush remarked the following morning on Veterans Day:

"Our debate at home must also be fair-minded. One of the hallmarks of a free society and what makes our country strong is that our political leaders can discuss their differences openly, even in times of war. When I made the decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power, Congress approved it with strong bipartisan support. I also recognize that some of our fellow citizens and elected officials didn't support the liberation of Iraq. And that is their right, and I respect it. As President and Commander-in-Chief, I accept the responsibilities, and the criticisms, and the consequences that come with such a solemn decision. [And] while it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began.

"Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war. These critics are fully aware that a bipartisan Senate investigation found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community’s judgments related to Iraq’s weapons programs. They also know that intelligence agencies from around the world agreed with our assessment of Saddam Hussein. They know the United Nations passed more than a dozen resolutions, citing his development and possession of weapons of mass destruction.

"The stakes in the global war on terror are too high and the national interest is too important for politicians to throw out false charges. These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America’s will. As our troops fight a ruthless enemy determined to destroy our way of life, they deserve to know that their elected leaders who voted to send them to war continue to stand behind them. Our troops deserve to know that this support will remain firm when the going gets tough. And our troops deserve to know that, whatever our differences in Washington, our will is strong, our nation is united and we will settle for nothing less than victory."

Roger that, Sir.

American Citizen Soldier:
We Report, We Decide, You Read

Bonus questions for extra credit
Name This Neocan:

1 “I will not wait on events while dangers gather… I will not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer.”

2 "If we wait for threats to materialize, we will have waited too long."

3 “Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.”

Answers below:
(As if you don‘t already know)

1 President George W. Bush, January 2002
2 President George W. Bush, June 2002
3 President George W. Bush, January 2003

11 November 2005


The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.
-Frederick Douglass

The following is a Veterans Day open letter to every journalist, pundit, professor, politician, protestor, peace activist, and whiny veteran who opposes the U.S. mission in Iraq but won’t shut up long enough to hear the approaching rumble of freedom on the march.
by Buck Sargent

Treason is commonly defined as the betrayal of one’s country by aiding and abetting the enemy. If there is one thing the Iraq War has brought to light it is the multitudes of cockroaches that have been stealthily infesting our classrooms, newsrooms, and congressional backrooms, breeding and lying in wait to spread their disease. As for their fealty to their native land, you may draw your own conclusions.

The mainstream media in particular have now abandoned their pretense of objectivity and jettisoned their subtleties. They, and all those who stand in agreement with them, have all but declared war on the American soldier and everything he stands for. In the words of General William Tecumseh Sherman, “[If] war is the remedy that our enemies have chosen, [then] I say let us give them all they want.”

To all the blowhard senators, blowdried talking heads, and bloviating peaceniks who are rebels without a clue when it comes to the war:

Let us get one thing straight right off the bat: You are not supporting the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan by your undermining of their efforts in New York City and Washington D.C. All your marching, all your wailing, all your sit-ins and teach-ins and die-ins, your patchouli drum circles and rap-rhyming sloganeering -- accomplish little other than outing you as the main purveyors of the very know-nothing, idiotic drivel that you claim to oppose. Either get on board or get out of the way.

You have elevated an America-hating crank to the level of Hollywood celebrity status, even as thousands of other families of the fallen grieve in quiet dignity and eschew the media spotlight. They do not hunger for their 16th minute of fame; they would rather honor their loved ones for how they lived, not wallow in a cost-benefit analysis of why they died. You would be hard pressed to name a single supporter of the war effort other than President Bush to make the cover of Time or simultaneously the focus of every major news outlet. Cindy Sheehan for President?! President of what? Al Qaeda International?

Our Rage Against the Ma-Sheehan doesn't end with her, though. Those of us who serve are continually at a loss to comprehend the rabid animosity toward the American military presence in Iraq by those who have never set foot in Iraq, who have never worn the uniform, and who are not related to or even mildly acquainted with anyone who has. Those of you have absolutely nothing on the line in this war and absolutely zero at stake. If you simply stopped reading the paper or watching the news, you likely wouldn’t even know we’re still over here. Why do you care? Be content with your trendy iPods and your five-dollar frappachinos and your electric-hybrid Eurowagons and let us do our damn job. If you’re not part of the solution…

It may require a world map, a geography lesson, and ultimately the torching of your tattered and beer-stained college history text for this to finally stick in your brains, but Iraq is not Vietnam. we’ll say it again: Iraq is not Vietnam. Yes, we know you would like it to be, we realize that the pinnacle of most of your middle aged lives was watching Richard Nixon squirm under the hot lamps of the Watergate scandal that would hound him from office and allow Congress to finally, finally -- after 8 long years -- decisively lose the conflict in Southeast Asia. Hey, but at least they were decisive! Maybe that’s what so impressed the millions of Vietnamese and Cambodian boat people who fled in every imaginable direction -- including across the Pacific Ocean -- to attempt to escape the impending holocaust perpetuated by Jane Fonda’s new Communist BFF.

Today’s headlines read like bad satire as written by Santayana. They would be laughable if their potential consequences were not so frightening. The hollow commotion over “Plamegate” is déjà vu all over again. Once more a political scandal about nothing is being propped up in a desperate attempt to bring down another Republican president in time of war. And once more, the fate of millions of impoverished human beings -- aka political pawns for “peace” -- hang in the balance.

You can toss around the word “quagmire” until you are blue in the face (or in Senator Kennedy’s case, red in the cheekbones; perhaps he believes it Latin for “happy hour”). But the cynical act of repeating a 30-year-old cliché ad infinitum
does not ipso facto make it semper veritas.

Do the Sunnis and Shia despise each other? Of course. But so do Democrats and Republicans. (And for good reason; liberals are pathologically insane). Regardless, we don’t routinely slaughter each other in the streets of Washington D.C., but reserve our ideological clashes for the pages of the Washington Post. By contrast, Iraq's burgeoning press corps is still in its infancy. They've never been able to actually print their own opinions before without fear of death by government. Saddam and his Ba'athist cronies pitted the two largest Iraqi religious blocks against each other for over three decades, encouraging rampant sectarian violence in order to consolidate their grip on power. Everyone else they shot for sport.

Our decade long “no-fly zone” maintained over northern Iraq was the only thing standing between the Iraqi Kurds and wholesale slaughter, but few believe that it could have been upheld indefinitely. A war is a large expense, to be sure, but ten years of daily sorties rivals the gross national product of Great Britain. George Washington could not have harvested constitutional democracy in the Middle East overnight, and neither can George W. Bush. But he can plant the seeds, and already we’ve begun to witness the budding fruits of his labor.

We are slowly teaching the Iraqis how to settle their differences with ballots rather than bullets and bombs, and they are learning at an exponential rate. And the ones who refuse to change their evil ways are being killed by our troops by the bushel. We are not “breeding more terrorists,” we’re preventing them from breeding, period.

The foreign jihadists who have kept the insurgency stocked with fresh meat have flocked to the Babylonian battlefield like mosquitoes to a bug zapper. These are no weekend warriors -- underemployed day laborers who moonlight as masked marauders and just happen to have expertise command detonating daisy-chained artillery rounds wired into the trunks of black BMWs and red Opels. They would not otherwise be florists or dental assistants were it not for the presence of American forces in the Middle East. These are professional terrorists -- epitomizers of the dead-end job -- who’ve put down their blueprints and schematics of the Mall of America and the Brooklyn Bridge long enough to congregate to where all the action is. They seek eternal martyrdom in their warped conception of paradise, and are the only known combatants in recent human history to actually seek death not as a mere means to an end, but as an end in itself.

The least we can do is oblige them.

These are people who actually attend terrorist training summer camps to learn their craft. We’ve all seen the taped footage broadcast on al Jazeera (which strangely, always seems to depict them relying heavily on the advanced combat skills of swinging on monkey bars and diving headlong through hoops of fire). Apparently the Airplane Hijacking Merit Badge is the toughest one to get for most al Qaeda outward bounders, although it does involve "disguising" yourself as a Muslim extremist in order to defeat U.S. airport security screeners, the majority of whom wouldn’t be caught dead racially profiling even if one Sheik Osama von Ladenheimer strolled up to the counter with a slung AK-47 and dialysis machine in tow and asked for a one-way business class ticket to LaGuardia.

To all the perfidious media outlets who overtly campaign against the war with the same fervor that they campaigned for John Kerry:

As the war slowly morphs into a police action as province after province becomes stabilized and cleared of insurgent strongholds, the hard military targets in Iraq are dwindling. This should make all of you at the New York Times nervous. Your building just might make it onto the short list. You are no longer essential to the health and vitality of a free republic. The “blogosphere” has made you obsolete. Consider yourself warned.

But enough is enough.

We're fed up with your paltry exploitation of the weak-minded few who are embittered and embattled by their experiences overseas. True, some vets are emotionally crippled by their service, but the overwhelming majority are not and go on to lead rewarding and productive lives. A rare few take advantage of the media's total ignorance of military life and play the PTSD card like an ace of spades. A generation of popular films and apocryphal news stories lends credence to this fiction that all soldiers come back from war as hurting and homicidal as John Rambo. GI Johnny Rambos return stateside to cause a ruckus and make the front page of the newspaper; GI John Smiths come home to begin new careers and start new families and fly completely under the media radar.

For all you go-for-the-jugular journalists out there, we’ve got some “breaking news” for you: there are some steaming piles of dog feces masquerading as American soldiers in the United States military. But the embarrassment of Abu Ghraib and the aberrational lapse of individual discipline are the exceptions that prove the rule. Those sorry excuses for soldiers were that way before they joined, they were that way when they served, and it should not be such of a shock to find them that way upon their return from the chaos of war.

But those individuals do not stand or speak for the majority of us. In fact, real soldiers despise them worse than long-haired hippie college students despise soap. At least the students have an excuse: they’re still young, dumb and full of cumbersome theories foisted upon them by their half-baked professors who ignored The Man and dropped the "brown acid" at Woodstock. And not to mention woefully inexperienced in anything even remotely resembling the real world to know better. Spare us your Veterans Day homilies about sacrifice and try actually making one.

But any soldier who spent years in the service and absorbed so little about personal responsibility, honor, or self reliance that he would blame society, his commander in chief, the oil and gas industry, tax cuts for the rich, that the camp PX ran out of Cool Ranch Doritos one too many times and now he has PTSD and is out of the Army and can’t keep a job and has to live with his grandparents -- anything other than the actual terrorists who wounded or maimed him -- ranks just below Michael Jackson, George Michael and Hillary Clinton on the popularity scale among those of us who wear the uniform. In armyspeak, those “fobbits” who never leave the wire but publicly brood as if they were POWs are really POSs. Wounded warriors of any stripe who whimper and cry about their plight in the pages of Vanity Fair or on Salon.com are what we call “blue falcons.”

[Author’s note: For an explanation of “blue falcon” ask a combat soldier. If you don’t know any combat soldiers, that is your disconnect from mainstream America right there. (For those in NY or LA, this may require a dreaded stop in “flyover country.”) Most veterans who return to badmouth the war were REMFs over there anyway. (For an explanation of REMF, ask a Vietnam veteran. The modern terminology is "pogue"). If you don’t know any Vietnam vets, look around your neighborhood for that house that proudly flies Old Glory every single day of the year and is statistically more likely to be happier, more successful, and make more money than you do.]

And lest we forget, John Kerry* also returned from an unpopular war with nothing but contempt for his country and for those he served with. In fact, he even proudly attested to it in 1971 before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, purporting to speak for all veterans as he outrageously accused the U.S. military of “war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.” His statements were preposterous then, and with the hindsight of history they are even more preposterous now. It would appear that young Lieutenant Kerry went off to Vietnam already preparing for his 35-year-long campaign for the White House. All he needed was to wait for the antiwar tides to roll back in -- which they conveniently did -- and he came one Midwestern state away from pulling it off.

* In case you spent the majority of 2004 in a not-so-persistent vegetative state, John Kerry is the Massachusetts senator who served in Vietnam before he ran for president on the Democratic ticket based solely on the fact that he served in Vietnam, and mentioned little else at his DNC nomination speech other than his service in -- you guessed it -- Viet f-ing Nam. (Did we mention that he served in Vietnam?)

Who does our generation have to look forward to down the pike, running for the highest office in the land three decades hence on a platform of “being for the war before he was against the war after fighting in a war he was for before being against?” Perhaps even a "blue falconette," in lieu of today's "kinder, gentler Army."

Don't even think about it, Lyddie England.

I suppose in preparation we should start raising funds, cataloging email addresses, and file for our election year FEC political advertising license soon:


Better keep your checkbooks handy, fellas.

05 November 2005


photo by Buck Sargent

Like an earlier generation, America is pursuing a clear strategy with our allies to achieve victory. Our immediate strategy is to eliminate terrorist threats abroad, so we do not have to face them here at home. The theory here is straightforward: terrorists are less likely to endanger our security if they are worried about their own security. When terrorists spend their days struggling to avoid death or capture, they are less capable of arming and training to commit new attacks. We will keep the terrorists on the run, until they have nowhere left to hide.

Members of our military are undertaking difficult missions, in some of the most dangerous and desolate parts of the world. These volunteers know the risks they face, and they know the cause they serve. In this vital cause, some of our men and women in uniform have fallen, some have returned home with terrible injuries, and all who sacrifice will have the permanent gratitude of the United States of America.
-President George W. Bush

View the music video:
Filmed, edited, and produced by BUCK SARGENT

"Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed." -- Abraham Lincoln