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



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.

Doggonit, when you go a tear you don't mess around. :)) The picture I think is the best all around example of what the anti-war left really believes is supporting the troops. They are a sick and demented bunch of degenerates.

As I poured my cup of morning coffee, I thought to myself, "The only thing that could make this steaming cup of high-octane joy any better would be another dispatch from Buck Sargent." I made my way to the computer and Jubilation! There you were, saying the things that we all think but find ourselves unable to articulate.

You, Buck, are my alternative to the op-ed page of the Anchorage Daily Worker. Thank you for being the voice of reason in the midst of the web of lies so cleverly woven by the media. You are truly a Godsend!

~Em Green~

I've been sending the link to your site to everyone I know, and I've made it a point to post your latest dispatch to my daily emails. I'm an E-5 medic attached to IN, and we're moving out to Iraq very soon. Your blog echoes the sentiment of every man in my battalion, and thousands of other die hard supporters of what we're doing over there. I doubt it would happen, but don't get discouraged by the left wing pinko commies that are embarassing our flag in the media and classroom every day. You have our support, and the support of our friends and familes. Be safe.

Thank you Buck. Well said.


I just love it when you lock and load and commence firing.

Thanks from an ol' Vet. I got your back over here.

Papa Ray
West Texas

Thanks again, Buck. It is men like you who made me certain that my daughter did the right thing by joining the Army.

HOO-AH Buck!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for putting a (combat) boot to the backsides of all these hypocritical a$$hats. Support like theirs we don't need. Keep up the good work, both over in Iraq and here in cyberspace.

Why did we go to Iraq? Does the reason matter? Did it ever? I know soldiers are not allowed to question the orders given and there is no time for political thinking when there's a job to be done which includes keeping yourself and your fellow soldiers alive. How do you feel about the contractors role in this war and their head companies making huge sums of money at the cost of the American public? How do you feel about the Geneva conventions deemed "quaint" by your commander in chief and vice chief - 2 men who had better things to do than serve their country when called to duty? How do you feel about soldiers families having to buy equipment that should be provided by the military? Just wondering...

You still don't know why we went to Iraq? Where have you been for the last three years? The Bush Doctrine reserved the right after 9/11 to hit anybody anywhere at anytime who harbored, provided aid to, or were in fact terrorists themselves. Iraq met all three conditions. If you disagree with that policy of premption, fine. Vote against it. But stop feigning bewilderment at what we're doing here. It's either condescending or extremely stupid on your part.

I could question the politics of it all if I chose to. I just don't, because I actually happen to agree with it. Why is that so hard for you people to believe?

The Bush Doctrine was the exact reason I joined the Army. I can remember practically doing backflips in my living room when he announced we were actually going to do something about the terrorism that has been festering for decades. I knew right then that W. was different. Any other politician would have dropped a couple bombs on Kabul and declared victory.

Complain about the contractors all you want, but I can tell you one thing: If it were not for Halliburton and their subsidiary KBR, there is no way we'd be eating or living this well over here. I had to put up with a previous deployment without contractors, and I gotta tell ya Army cooks suck! I didn't even bother to go to chow half the time; MREs were better!

The outlandish pay of contractors over here only demonstrates the fair market value of what we do. It factors in all the risk and the hardship and hard work of being over here. Not many civilians would be stupid or crazy enough to do it for less. The difference is, we're not civilians and we don't get paid fair market value. Ironically, the military is basically a communist empire that relies on other things besides fairness to prompt our behavior. It's called patriotism. You couldn't fight a war with contractors alone. If it got bad, they'd just all up and quit, a luxury the rest of us logically don't have.

The Geneva Conventions are a fraud and a load of crap. They do our side absolutely no good, and haven't since well... EVER really. The Germans never obeyed them, the Japanese never obeyed them, the Koreans, the Vietnamese, the Soviets, the Taliban, the Iraqis, the current al Qaedites...

What good are they? They only serve to happer our efforts and tie our hands while we fight an ruthless guerrilla insurgency that observes absolutely no rules of warfare. Call Switzerland and tell them they can have them back.

Anyway you look at it (unless you're Dan Rather) President Bush served his time honorably in the Texas Air National Guard. I don't think it's draft-dodging simply because you didn't sign up for the Marines or the front-line infantry. I'm sure there's quite a few Air Force, Navy, and National Guard vets out there who'll have a bone to pick with you if you think otherwise. Besides, flying jets is one heck of a dangerous job. I dabbled in helicopters once upon a time, and I always marveled how easily it could have killed me if my concentration wavered. Jets are no different. Plus, W. time came up around the tail end of the war, when they were sending pilots home, not bringing more over. And him being a lowly 1LT, he really don't have any control over whether his unit was activated or not, I don't care who his daddy was.

Despite what seems to be believed, you cannot "volunteer" for war. Either the unit you're in goes, or it does not. I never knew more than a few months out when or where I was being deployed.

And as far as the "buying our own equipment" canard, that may have been the case with a few Reserve or National Guard units, but usually the problem is they issue out TOO much stuff. I went to Afghanistan with around 6 or 7 different pairs of gloves, and to Iraq with a whole litany of crap I have never and will never use.

The problem with shortages in wartime has more to do with the companies dragging their feet on making the gear than it does with the goverment failing to buy it. It's not like WWII, where every corporation just stopped what they were doing and started builing tanks.

One of the reasons for that is that so many people are not behind the war effort. I won't name any names...


Great Post Buck, I think this might be the only way to let the people outside the military know how a soldier feels. Real heroes don't end up o the news, they aren't looking for noteriety, it seems only the sh**bags make the national news scene.

U.S. Army 1997-2001 Eco 51st LRS

Great post - Thank you for answering my questions. Your first answer is the most poignant.

"...to hit anybody anywhere at anytime who harbored, provided aid to, or were in fact terrorists themselves. Iraq met all three conditions."

Iraq did not meet any of these conditions. There was an article in the 11/2003 Weekly Standard neocon journal by writer Stephen F. Hayes which was referred to by Mr. Cheney as he catapulted the propaganda to sell the war.

The idea of Saddam's Iraq supporting al-Qaida does not make sense when one has more information about the many groups of people living in the region. Even back in 2002, Juan Cole - who teaches Mideast history at Univ. of Michigan explained why the idea was without logic.

You are right about not agreeing with the Bush Doctrine of preemption - I don't support it. It was sold on the false idea of imminent mushroom clouds on the horizon. No WMD's were found in Iraq. There were so many well-orchestrated lies. America was hoodwinked. How do we clean up the mess?

Buck Sergeant; AMAZING post. Right on target! Thank you for your service, and this cogent piece of writing!

"The idea of Saddam's Iraq supporting al-Qaida does not make sense when one has more information about the many groups of people living in the region. Even back in 2002, Juan Cole - who teaches Mideast history at Univ. of Michigan explained why the idea was without logic."

Oh, I see. You somehow managed to find a college professor of mideast studies who disagrees with the administration. By Jove, give that man the Kennedy Profile in Courage Award without delay!

Come on, you've gotta be able to do better than that.

"You are right about not agreeing with the Bush Doctrine of preemption - I don't support it. It was sold on the false idea of imminent mushroom clouds on the horizon."

That's fine, don't support it. Know what your recourse is? Voting every two to four years. But strangely, your side keeps losing. I suppose we're all a bunch of corn fed rubes compared to your massive intellect. I can see how it would be frustrating for you.

And, to be exact, the war was not sold by the administration on the "imminent mushroom cloud" basis, no matter how many clever editing cuts Michael Moore uses in Fahrencrap 9/11. They said it was a real, perceived danger based on the best intel they had at the time and based on the realization that often the intelligence dots don't all get connected until it's too late, no matter how obvious the picture may look in hindsight. (9/11 fits this bill exactly).

It Saddam had only cooperated a tad more rather than play his dangerous little game of cat and mouse, he'd probably still be in power today and then both of you would be happy.

What a terrific post and excellent responses. Thank You for both and most importantly, for your service to our country.

Thank you for your undying belief in all that the government tells us. They only have our best interest at heart, right?

"Thank you for your undying belief in all that the government tells us."

Ahahahha, oh you are so witty. Actually, I don't believe a single word that approximately half of our elected representatives tell us. You'll never guess which half...

"They only have our best interest at heart, right?"

Well, you obviously don't. Ahh, another professional cynic. Don't you have a college class to go teach?

People who speak of "the government" as if it's some kind of inanimate object or monolithic entity don't really seem to believe in representative democracy at all, or at the very least, possess even a basic 12th grade civics understanding of how it all works. It's really quite sad, actually. A form of Michael Moore pseudo-intellectualism has apparently infected a sizable part of the electorate, and it would seem, a majority of the Democratic Party.

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