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

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AMERICAN CITIZEN SOPHISTRY



There is nothing patriotic about hating your country, or pretending that you can love your country but despise your government. There is nothing heroic about turning your back on America, or ignoring your own responsibilities.
-William Jefferson Clinton


"I Don't Support Our Troops"
Late last month the deployed-area edition of the military newspaper Stars & Stripes reprinted that sentiment in a snarky hit-piece by LA Times columnist Joel Stein, just the sort of infantile, incoherent, and ill-conceived opinion writing needed to swipe the mantle of "Most Anti-American Paper of Record" away from the NY Times. Mr. Stein, a man whose massive intellect makes Jessica Simpson look like Stephen Hawking, writes:

"I don’t support our troops. This is a particularly difficult opinion to have, especially if you are the kind of person who likes to put bumper stickers on his car... I understand the guilt. We know we're sending recruits to do our dirty work, and we want to seem grateful... But blaming the president is a little too easy. The truth is that people who pull triggers are ultimately responsible, whether they're following orders or not. An army of people making individual moral choices may be inefficient, but an army of people ignoring their morality is horrifying... I'm not advocating that we spit on returning veterans like they did after the Vietnam War, but we shouldn't be celebrating people for doing something we don't think was a good idea... [so] please, no parades."

Is it any wonder newspaper readership is at an all-time low?

Earlier, he plays the well-worn liberal "I'm all for Afghanistan now because it turned out to be easy" card:

"I do sympathize with people who joined up to protect our country, especially after 9/11, and were tricked into fighting in Iraq."

Alright, stop right there. Am I the only one who is sick and tired of hearing that the War in Iraq has "nothing to do with 9/11 -- it was all about Afghanistan."? Refresh my memory: How many Afghans were piloting those planes again?

We are at war with Islamic radicals, potentially hundreds of thousands strong and spanning the entirety of the Middle East. Iraq was and still is one of those very cesspools of terror. "But there were no terrorists in Iraq until we got there!" Let's examine that.

This either means:
A. all are foreign jihadists who gravitated there to fight us, B. Iraqis themselves are "resisting" our mere presence on their soil, or C. a varying combination of both.

Ignore for a moment the arrogance of an "insurgency" that completely ignores the electoral wishes of 70% of its fellow citizens. "It's their country!" Whose country is it again?

Forget for a moment the fact that it is a "popular resistance" led by former regime elements with no interest in sharing power with their "lessers" (i.e., all non-Sunnis).

The truth of the matter is that anyone capable of setting off bombs that they know from the start will maim and kill many more Iraqi men, women, and children than "foreign invaders," is capable of doing that anywhere. All they would require is the proper motivation and a plane ticket.

Osama bin Laden was bound and determined to make war with America -- to awaken the sleeping giant he had been taunting for a decade. His goal was to hit us so hard that we would have no choice but to finally engage him on his turf. He has told us so again and again. And he would have done anything or thrown in with anyone to bring his evil plans to fruition, even a relative secularist like Saddam. The horrors of 9/11 are our penance for not having taken either of them seriously for over a decade.

Postulating that Iraq has no bearing on the larger war is as silly as writing off the Normandy invasion as a distraction from the Japanese war in the Pacific. "But Saddam didn't hit us on 9/11!" Fine, granted. And Hitler didn't attack us at Pearl Harbor. It may seem impossible that self-styled Aryan and Japanese "Master Races" could have collaborated with each other at the time, but it did happen.

Accordingly, fighting a war on state-sponsored terrorism without confronting Saddam Hussein would be as hollow a threat as any ever concocted by the UN diplo-doormats at Turtle Bay. We knew Iraq sponsored terrorism, just as we know this about Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. They all need to be dealt with at some point, whether by force or at the very least, the threat of force (aka diplomacy). Without teeth behind them, however, such threats become meaningless.

Saddam's pre-war actions and twelve years of stalemate proved he could not ultimately be negotiated with, and thus sealed his own fate. Perhaps now those other actors in the region will strain to hear us when we speak softly, for they have seen the size of the stick we are carrying.

As for Mr. Stein, I'd just like to beat him with it. The only reason no one dares spit on returning veterans anymore, Joel, is because the fine line between deserving an ass-whupping and receiving an ass-whupping has since blurred.

The Really Ugly American
Have we found the new Jane Fonda?
Who else but Comrade Sheehan would have the sheer, unmitigated gall to incredulously lament her "lost" First Amendment freedoms from the op-ed page of a major newspaper. (Yes, them again). Apparently, she returned from salsa dancing with el Commandante Hugo Chavez in Venezuela just in time to lecture us on the horrors of living in a "police state." And she didn't mean Venezuela.

Yet still she is puzzled why she was prevented from making a spectacle of herself at the State of the Union Address. I'm actually disappointed she's decided not to run for Congress. After all, it may be the only group of people who's average collective IQ would actually increase as a result of her joining.

Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You...
How did we end up with this "Gimme" Generation of endless whiners, panhandling for special treatment and entitlement handouts on the backs of other hardworking Americans? This entire generation of miscreants and malcontents has stood JFK's most famous line completely on its head.


Also apparently drawn from this group are the few but vocal veterans who return from war to badmouth their own country and its leadership, claiming they were "lied to."

HEAR THIS NOW: If you are thinking of volunteering for military service, prepare for the possibility of losing life or limb in a faraway land for reasons you may or may not fully comprehend. You don't get to choose your war, and you don't get to choose your fight. You swore an oath to serve your country's interests as determined by its democratically elected representatives. If you cannot handle this fact, you are about to commit to the absolute wrong line of work for you.

Societies Die by Suicide, Not Murder
Is there anything more dangerous to our continued way of life than the Western trend toward cultural self-hatred? The Islamists in our midst are capitalizing on this with the same fervor and aptitude as the old Soviet KGB apparatus once did. Still, if it takes a stage-managed Muslim outcry against a series of mildly offensive cartoon drawings to illustrate to the Euroskeptics the very nature of the threat we all face, then so be it.


"Clearly, a civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself," wrote Jean-Francois Revel in Democracy Against Itself.

Well, at least there's one Frenchy out there who gets it.

Do the Math
In the past six months I have witnessed firsthand in Iraq what economists would call the "opportunity costs" of freedom. I believe, as Thomas Jefferson did, that freedom is endowed to us by our Creator -- no matter what name He goes by. But it was left up to us to unearth, perserve, and protect these "inalienable rights" from the depravities of human nature, the seductive qualities of which none of us are immune. Better men than I line the shores of Normandy and dot the hills of Arlington, an eternal testament to their steadfast beliefs that there are indeed some outcomes in this world that are a fate worse than death.

I believe "give peace a chance" really means "lower the blinds and maybe the bad men will go away." True, war has not solved everything. But to say it has not solved anything is no less pernicious a lie. Southern slavery, Italian fascism, German Nazism, Soviet totalitarianism, Japanese militarism... and now Islamic fundamentalism? Perhaps we should give war its chance.

If not us, who? If not now, when? The costs of inaction are always inflationary. The price of human freedom will always be higher after we've dithered and dallied, wrung our hands, and buried our heads.

Many say we cannot sustain this fight. That our losses are too great, the will of the enemy too strong. I don't know about that. What I do know is that 3,000 civilians were slaughtered on September 11, 2001. 2,500 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines have made the ultimate sacrifice in the four years since. And in that very same time frame, well over one million additional Americans have volunteered for military service.

Go ahead, do the math.

COPYRIGHT 2006 BUCK SARGENT

Buck,
You can hardly expect the lefties to "do the math." Most don't have the mental capacity to count their balls twice and come up with the same number both times!
Excellent post, Sarge.

~Em Green~

BTW, my whole family is a bunch of ACS junkies, epecially my bro-in-law, a SFC in the 501st, Alpha co.
~EG~

This is one of those pieces of writing that applies not only in our age, but any, and the ideas therein should be known and kept to heart no matter what the decade.

This sort of thing has to be said for every man who stood up to the bad people in the world, with force if necessary, even when others around him thought him silly or crazy. Bravo to you, sir. Hat off.

--
alt.flame Special Forces
"The populace may hiss at me, but when I go home and think of my money, I
applaud myself." -- Horace

Oh, some lefties do end up doing the math, all right. In fact, millions have. That's why the branches of government are in the hands of the Republicans now instead of Democrats. 20 years ago I was one of those peacnicks. Now, living on the former Iron Curtain border, I know I wouldn't be here, living in fun and freedom, without the long-term effects of Reagan's "Peacekeeper" missile I thougt was such a joke back then. In fact, it was better than a peacekeeper, it was a peace maker. And lots of well-armed American soldiers. Lesson learned! I know what side my lame-butted bread is buttered on now, Bucky!

That considered, there are 2 things to watch out for - 1. dropped bread always falls on the buttered side,and 2. some of them saps is never gonna learn, so forget it.

You're a fine fellow. God bless you, do right, hang in there.

Give War a Chance!

I think I'd put that one on my Explorer just to drive the moonbats into a foaming frenzy.

Some problems require force; some don't. Figuring out which is which is a challenge, but assuming that none does is unmitigated stupidity. You can wish it weren't so, hope it ain't so, but sometimes it is simply still so.

God bless you, Buck. And the rest of those who do the hard work for the rest of us.

Excellent post as always. Keep up the good work & Thank You for serving my country.

Well spoken, as always Buck. Nothing gets my goat more than when a servicemember who served his time in Iraq comes home and cries about it.

Your words are the truth. If every soldier was given the opportunity to voice his opinion and have a say in the action that we, as a collective military force, would take, then nothing would ever get done and most would just go home.

That's not to say that soldiers aren't dedicated, smart, or opinionated. God knows they are. However, every one of us has raised our right hand (some of us on more than one occasion) and swore to the oath of military service.

If you think you're being lied to, if you don't believe in what your government is doing, fine, but don't join up if that's the case. Truth be told, the military is way better without you there.

And on the subject of our op-ed moron...what I love about most liberals is that's about all they have: opinions.

My Battalion Commander taught me a great lesson once, one which I'll never forget. I came to him with a laundry list of problems (at his request - long story) and he thought I had great comments and brought up some good points...but I didn't bring any solution.

He said "bring me a possible solution to the problem, not just a problem."

Since that day I have made sure that whenever I have a gripe, I have a fix as well, and not some lame-brained "let's all hug fix" either, but a well-thought out plan of action that can solve any problem I may have.

Instead of tossing opinions around, why not work harder to find solutions or look deeper into the issue. Does anyone think that terrorism or the presence of Islamic Fundamentalist hatred is simply going to vanish once Bush is out of office?

To date, that seems to be the only solution that the left has come up with. Seriously? Please, go to the back of the line, keep your mouth shut, and let the grown ups talk.

Keep on keepin' on Buck!

Sgt Buck, I feel what you write about.
It is factual and true, as true as the reason why people is allowed to write all kinds of rants and raves about the war and the cost (human) involved.

The foundation of this house is blood, and as we maintain the house, it requires more blood, the walls, the roof the whole structure is made made and painted in blood.

The source of the blood comes from many donors and you are one of them now, as I was then. The blood unites us all and it hurts to give too much, but without it, there would be no United States Of America. Some Bloody whiners don't have to donate, some gave all, all gave some.
At first when you make it back, all you see is whiners, then time goes by and you begin to understand why there are so many whiners. Then the whiners keep on whining and in order to shut them off, a war is born. Yoou can take the whiner out of the war, but not the war out the whiner.

Eyeballs snapped,
Walk at the ready,
Make it back,
Sit and Watch it happen all over again.

Semper Fi hardcharger.

Stein's comments are unfortunate... most people do support the troops... many people don't think you can be pro-troop and anti-war at the same time, however... it's a "failure of imagination" for them... Clinton must have been getting head when he said that statement above; it's not all or none...

yes, you need to be prepared to sacrifice when you go into the service, but you should be able to trust that your leaders will take you into war only as a last resort...

we had to attack Afghanistan... that couldn't happen soon enough for me... if you want blood, you got it, as AC/DC sang...

but then, the inexplicable shift to Iraq... meanwhile, Iran is an actual threat... I hope our guys don't end up there next...

keep yourself safe, sargent, and come home soon...

btw, I thought the military was shutting down all the war bloggers? glad to see that's not the case...

"yes, you need to be prepared to sacrifice when you go into the service, but you should be able to trust that your leaders will take you into war only as a last resort"

What's a "last resort" consist of? Isn't Islamists invading our country and flying jets into our buildings enough for you?

We gave Saddam 12 YEARS to come clean and play nice. After 9/11, our patience simply ran out. If it were not for 9/11, he would still be sitting pretty in his multimillion dollar paid-for-by-UN-bribes palaces and slaughtering his citizens for sport. Ahh, the good old days...

"but then, the inexplicable shift to Iraq... meanwhile, Iran is an actual threat... I hope our guys don't end up there next..."

So what you're saying is... you would have been fine with it if we had invaded Iran instead. Sorry, calling bull**** on that one. But glad to know you'd rather a regime of avowed maniacs to aquire nuclear weapons than to actually do anything about it. See, this is precisely why people like you are not in charge anymore. You crashed the family minivan, and now we've taken away the keys.

"I thought the military was shutting down all the war bloggers?"

Reports of our demise have been greatly exhaggerated. By who else, the MSM who feels so threatened by the blogosphere. Sad, really.

"What's a "last resort" consist of? Isn't Islamists invading our country and flying jets into our buildings enough for you?"

Sarg, you didn't read what I wrote about Afghanistan... I can't even look at images the WTC when they were still standing without feeling sick... we should have blown Afghanistan, the Taliban and bin Laden to Kingdom Come, but we switched gears mid-stream... the last resort comment was referring to IRAQ...

you also misread/misinterpreted my comments on Iran... I'm not saying I don't want us to put a stop to their nuclear ambitions, I just wish we hadn't spent so much of our wad on Saddam, who was sitting pretty but basically not a threat to us... recruitment's way down, as you know...

I am glad you guys can still blog, as I said... maybe it was just "critical" blogs that I was reading about... yes, the MSM are afraid of the blogosphere, because it's gaining legitimacy... and when bloggers "scoop" traditional media they don't like... fuck 'em for not doing their jobs!

we will never agree on much, but again I wish you well on your tour of duty...

"Sarg, you didn't read what I wrote about Afghanistan...the last resort comment was referring to IRAQ"

Did you even read the post you're now commenting on? People who think as you do are exactly who I was ranting against. What exactly is this fixation with Afghanistan? There's nothing specifically unique about it other than it being the locale du jour for al-Qaeda's hierarchy at the time of 9/11. Fine, send it back to the Stone Age (I've been there, it's still IN the Stone Age). Al-Qaeda will simply then move their headquarters somewhere else.

ALL the Middle Eastern countries are a problem, because the oppressive culture in ALL of them is precisely what makes lunatics like bin Laden so attractive to ME males who can't lash out at their own governments.

Quick, name the terror regimes in the ME that are/were not likely to respond satisfactorily to diplomatic pressure to cooperate with us on the GWOT. Two names come to mind right off the bat: Afghanistan's Taliban and Saddam's Iraq. You could probably throw Syria and Iran onto that list as well. The rest of the ME has fairly good ties with Washington, and can at least be poked and prodded short of war with favorable results. But we may as well face it: Iran and Syria will have to be dealt with at some point, and the longer we put it off, the less likely it will get done at all. (You honestly think the next Prez is going to want to fight any more wars after witnessing the media and public shellacking GWB has gotten for nearly his entire term?)

So if the CinC has followed your advice and stuck to Afghanistan before moving on to Iraq... well, we'd still be there like we are today and Iraq threat would only have festered even more. You're playing the hindsight game again. If only everyone were as smart and perceptive as you are... AFTER THE FACT.

"Saddam, who was sitting pretty but basically not a threat to us"

Again, more galling lack of intellectual honesty here. You know damn well what was known at the time of the invasion and what was not. What was NOT known was the exact status of Saddam's WMD capacity or intentions, because he refused to allow us to find out in a peaceful way. Taking his word for it was simply not an option anymore.

"recruitment's way down, as you know"

Of who, al-Qaeda? I think you're right, considering how many truckloads of them we've killed. That's the one thing I don't get about the Loony Left's argument that there were "no terrorists in Iraq until we got there." Well, where the hell we're they before? Working at Subway? If all we did accomplish in Iraq is create a magnet for every terrorist in the ME to come wage jihad on us, then by golly Mission Accomplished. Wouldn't it be a lot quicker to fight them all in one place at one time than to simply sit back, play defense, and wait for them to hit us on our own soil again?

You contrarians simply give no rational alternative to the status quo. And if by low recruiting, you meant the U.S., that is simply not borne out by the facts. You'd think volunteerism would be NIL during wartime if so many people were against the war, but it isn't. It's as high as it's ever been. It'd probably be a lot higher if the MTV generation hadn't been brainwashed to root against their country for the past four years by all the celebrities they seem to worship like demigods.

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