Well, I'm going to dwell on this subject, because the MSM and some of their columnists just can't seem to get it thru their simple minds that soldiers take this abuse, have taken it, and I'm calling them on it. I'm not going to let them make light of it, nor dismiss it as 'urban myth'...
In today's Slate column, Jack Shafer re-hashes an old column from 2000 that reiterates a lame book by Jerry Lembcke, whereby he claims that because no single event was ever documented by the media, the claim that vets were or have been spit upon is indeed an urban myth.
Mr. Shafer would like to hear from you if you have proof. Well Mr. Shafer, if that's so, I hope your IT staff has put a new tera-bit server up, because here it comes...
Apologies for the F bombs bursting in air, but...well just read on.
Wow, William Arkin has just dropped a stellar entry in the biggest asshole in America contest. I was stunned by the incredible amount of disgusting, deranged, disrespectful drivel the wanker was able to cobble together in one hearty F U to the troops. Well Mr. Arkin in true blogospheric fashion F U right back atcha'. Ymarkasar, who could explain his handle, already whacked him around pretty good in the comments to Matt's post, but I gotta bring out the big guns for this douchebag. Prepare for a full-frontal fisking with airborne envelopments and plenty of precision strike rhetoric.
I'm all for everyone expressing their opinion, even those who wear the uniform of the United States Army. But I also hope that military commanders took the soldiers aside after the story and explained to them why it wasn't for them to disapprove of the American people.
Let's start your education with the US Constitution, say maybe those bits after the main document. The first one has a little thing about freedom of speech and yes Mr. Arkin it even applies to soldiers. Imagine that, they get to fight and maybe die so you can write this venomous shite and they actually get to reap the fruits of their sacrifice as well. Oh and just for the record, they also happen to be the American people to a degree you and the rest of the hater clowns with your Grinch-sized hearts will never understand.
Friday's NBC Nightly News included a story from my colleague and friend Richard Engel, who was embedded with an active duty Army infantry battalion from Fort Lewis, Washington.
Engel relayed how "troops here say they are increasingly frustrated by American criticism of the war. Many take it personally, believing it is also criticism of what they've been fighting for."
These soldiers should be grateful that the American public, which by all polls overwhelmingly disapproves of the Iraq war and the President's handling of it, do still offer their support to them, and their respect.
Hell they ought to be thankful not to be hung for the illegal war they are helping the Bush crime family perpetrate right Billy?
Through every Abu Ghraib and Haditha, through every rape and murder, the American public has indulged those in uniform, accepting that the incidents were the product of bad apples or even of some administration or command order.
The indulgence of the public, but more importantly smarter-than-us lefties is another thing I am thankful for every day. I mean you have to realize that without the rapes and murders, soldiering kinda sucks. And how kind of you to smear the military command structure as enablers or even commanders of rape and murder. Why I remember the civilian-slaughtering course at Bragg, and the rape rooms., oh wait that was freakin' Sadaam. More of a satisfyingly wicked beatdown of a professional punkass after the jump. Billy's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. tell him I said hey.
Someone should walk Arkin through Ward 57 and show him that the Troops do indeed support the American people. Maybe his own organization could show him how the troops support the American people on the gulf coast last year or the tsunami victims or evacuating Americans out of Beirut...dare I continue?
I'll accept that the media, in order to journo on, have to believe that they are manning the parapet, and that's where their frustrations come in. I'll accept as well that they are old and manipulative and are frustrated with their own lack of progress and the potential fixing of the situation in Iraq.
Maybe if it wasn't for people like William Arkin, we wouldn't have to worry about how our troops are supported or treated by their own countrymen.
So now the prisons in the UK are going to turn all their toilets so Muslim criminals can crap in a directionally proper religious manner.
Offense intended, but can't we just say ENOUGH to the stupid rules that practitioners of this religion keep making up. The Koran started things off poorly with a proscription against eating bacon and the requirement to bang your head 5 times daily, but then they started freelancing and came up with bagging their women in potato sacks, genital mutilation and then they really got rocking with honor killings and stoning of homosexuals.
There is plenty to be said for religious tolerance, but Islam is devolving into a combination of medieval oppression of women and others combined with a grievance industry attempting to force the free world to accommodate these fundamentally silly or worse barbaric practices. Most of these were not even in their book, religious crackpots through the years have added their own prejudices leaving a belief system fundamentally incompatible with free western society.
Imagine if Christians had the same list of accommodations, such as not transporting liquor in their5 cabs, or seeing eye dogs, or demands for Muslim only pool time, or Muslim only bathrooms so they can wash their feet. The left would lose it's ever-lovin' mind, yet we hear crickets chirping as Muslims demand the right to be bigoted, oppressive and intolerant.
We often hear that the jihadis make up a tiny part of Islam as a whole, but the 10 percent that support violent jihad to impose sharia total tens of millions. On top of that the "moderate" Muslims support many of the abuses I have outlined in even larger numbers than they do jihad. Terror is the tactic of the jihadis, the moderates figure they can get our liberal guilt infested left to appease their way into submission for free western culture.
I think they should stop making stupid rules about what their god wants them to do. If the left can't get opposite these extremely illiberal policies, then they need to hush about any "oppression" going on in America. At worst we are a beacon of light on the hill in comparison. I am not hating exclusively on Muslims for their religion, I am hating on them for acting in ways we would not tolerate were it not in the name of God. My views on religion are laid out in a piece called "Which one of these guys is God?" I have no god in this fight, but that does not mean I disbelieve. I remain open to any religion that does not ask me to take it on faith that they know what God wants me to do. I figger as long as you are doing the "Do unto others" thing, whoever God is ought to be cool with that. I'll let you know how that works out. Was that a lightning bolt I just saw?.
CBS Chief Foreign Correspondent in Baghdad, Lara Logan, first appeals for help in getting a key story about the battles around Haifa street put on the CBS Evening News instead of just published on the CBS News website...when it appears that part of her footage is straight from Al Qaeda.
Sergeant in Afghanistan - Stop the BS and "Let's Get It Done"
Posted By Blackfive
"It is proper to demand
more from the man with exceptional advantages than from the man without
them. A heavy moral obligation rests upon the man of means and upon the
man of education to do their full duty by their country. On no class
does this obligation rest more heavily than upon the men with a
collegiate education, the men who are graduates of our universities.
Their education gives them no right to feel the least superiority over
any of their fellow-citizens..." - Theodore Roosevelt
I've got permission to go hot with this. This is typical of what I've been hearing.
It's a manifesto of sorts from a Staff Sergeant in the fight in Afghanistan. He had an experience recently while on mid-tour leave to see his wife and baby boy that was the last straw:
Things that I am tired of in this war:
I am tired of Democrats saying they are patriotic and then insulting my commander in chief and the way he goes about his job.
am tired of Democrats who tell me they support me, the soldier on the
ground, and then tell me the best plan to win this war is with a
“phased redeployment” (liberal-speak for retreat) out of the combat
zone to someplace like Okinawa.
I am tired of the Democrats
whining for months on T.V., in the New York Times, and in the House and
Senate that we need more troops to win the war in Iraq, and then when
my Commander in Chief plans to do just that, they say that is the wrong
plan, it won’t work, and we need a “new direction.”
I am tired
of every Battalion Sergeant Major and Command Sergeant Major I see over
here being more concerned about whether or not I am wearing my uniform
in the “spot on,” most garrison-like manner; instead of asking me
whether or not I am getting the equipment I need to win the fight, the
support I need from my chain of command, or if the chow tastes good.
am tired of junior and senior officers continually doubting the
technical expertise of junior enlisted soldiers who are trained far
better to do the jobs they are trained for than these officers believe.
am tired of senior officers and commanders who fight this war with more
of an eye on the media than on the enemy, who desperately needs killing.
am tired of the decisions of Sergeants and Privates made in the heat of
battle being scrutinized by lawyers who were not there and will never
really know the state of mind of the young soldiers who were there and
what is asked of them in order to survive.
I am tired of CNN
claiming that they are showing “news,” with videotape sent to them by
terrorists, of my comrades being shot at by snipers, but refusing to
show what happens when we build a school, pave a road, hand out food
and water to children, or open a water treatment plant.
tired of following the enemy with drones that have cameras, and then
dropping bombs that sometimes kill civilians; because we could do a
better job of killing the right people by sending a man with a high
powered rifle instead.
am tired of the thousands of people in the rear who claim that they are
working hard to support me when I see them with their mochas and their
PX Bags walking down the street, in the middle of the day, nowhere near
I am tired of Code Pink, Daily Kos,
Al-Jazzera, CNN, Reuters, the Associated Press, ABC, NBC, CBS, the
ACLU, and CAIR thinking that they somehow get to have a vote in how we
blast, shoot and kill these animals who would seek to subdue us and
I am tired of people like Meredith Vieria from NBC
asking oxygen thieves like Senator Chuck Hagel questions like “Senator,
at this point, do you think we are fighting and dying for nothing?”
Meredith might not get it, but soldiers do know the difference between
fighting and dying for something and fighting and dying for nothing.
am tired of hearing multiple stories from both combat theaters about
snipers begging to do their jobs while commanders worry about how the
media might portray the possible casualties and what might happen to
I am tired of hearing that the Battalion Tactical
Operations Center got a new plasma screen monitor for daily briefings,
but rifle scope rings for sniper rifles, extra magazines, and necessary
field gear were disapproved by the unit supply system.
tired of out of touch general officers, senators, congressmen and
defense officials who think that giving me some more heavy body armor
to wear is helping me stay alive. Speed is life in combat and wearing
55 to 90 pounds of gear for 12 to 20 hours a day puts me at a great
tactical disadvantage to the idiot, mindless terrorist who is wearing
no armor at all and carrying an AK-47 and a pistol.
I am tired
of soldiers who are stationed in places like Kuwait and who are well
away from any actual combat getting Hostile Fire/Imminent Danger Pay
and the Combat Zone Tax Exclusion when they live on a base that has a
McDonald’s, a Pizza Hut, a Subway, a Baskin Robbins, an internet café,
2 coffee shops and street lights.
am tired of senior officers and commanders who take it out and
"measure" every time they want to have a piece of the action with their
helicopters or their artillery; instead of putting their egos aside and
using their equipment to support the grunt on the ground.
tired of senior officers and commanders who are too afraid for their
careers to tell the truth about what they need to win this war to their
bosses so that the soldiers can get on with kicking the ass of these
I am tired of Rules of Engagement being made by JAG
lawyers and not Combat Commanders. We are not playing Hopscotch over
here. There is no 2nd place trophy either. I think that if the enemy
knew some rough treatment and some deprivation was at hand for them,
instead of prayer rugs, special diets and free Korans; this might help
get their terrorist minds “right.”
I am tired of seeing Active
Duty Army and Marine units being extended past their original
redeployment dates, when there are National Guard Units that have yet
to deploy to a combat zone in the last 40 years.
I am tired of hearing soldiers who are stationed in safe places talk about how hard their life is.
am tired of seeing Infantry Soldiers conducting what amounts to “SWAT”
raids and performing the US Army’s version of “CSI Iraq” and doing
things like filling out forms for evidence when they could be better
used to hunt and kill the enemy.
I am tired of senior officers
and commanders who look first in their planning for how many casualties
we might take, instead of how many enemy casualties we might inflict.
I am tired of begging to be turned loose so that this war can be over.
of us who fight this war want to win it and go home to their families. Prolonging it with attempts to do things like collect “evidence” or
present whiz bang briefings on a new plasma screen TV is wasteful and
ultimately, dulls the edge of our Infantry soldiers who are trained to
kill people and break things, not necessarily in that order.
are not in Iraq and Afghanistan to build nations. We are there to kill
our enemies. We make the work of the State Department easier by the
results we achieve.
It is only possible to defeat an enemy who
kills indiscriminately by utterly destroying him. He cannot be made to
yield or surrender. He will fight to the death by the hundreds to kill
only one or two of us.
And so far, all of our “games” have been
“away games,” and I don’t know about the ignorant, treasonous Democrats
and the completely insane radical leftists and their thoughts on the
matter, but I would like to keep our road game schedule.
So let’s get it done. Until the fight is won and there is no more fight left.
From Part 2, here is a description of our troops and their commanders in Iraq:
...If Americans really wanted to know their Army, American kids would
be swapping trading cards of the battalion commanders and command
sergeant majors, company commanders and 1st sergeants, and those
legions of unknown squad-leaders who earn three Purple Hearts and
decorations for valor before they are old enough to rent cars back
Battalion commanders normally are lieutenant colonels (LTC), and the
rank of LTC can be a “sweet-spot,” where commanders are still
boots-on-the-ground, in combat seven days a week, yet their rank and
position makes for a maximum depth of field.
To use a football analogy, the battalion commander is like the
quarterback. He’s not the coach (more analogous to the brigade
commander), or the owner (the division commander), but near-about the
highest ranking ground-pounder who’s still very likely to get
personally involved in firefights on a regular basis. The commander
might have graduated from West Point or ROTC, might have a Ph.D. or
prefer fishing to reading. Over here, he might physically score a
touchdown, or get shot, but whatever the case, he spends near-about
every play of every game on the field...
Mike then goes on to describe someone you should know - LTC Eric Welsh and the men of 2-7 Cavalary ("If you ain't Cav...!"). Be sure to read the whole piece.
And if you've never read Mike's Gates of Fire (about another Battalion Commander and Command Sergeant Major that should be known to every American), be sure to do so.
Via Corporal Seamus, the US Marince Corps Commandant, General James Conway, made some interesting remarks last week - very appropriate and very interesting:
MARINE CORPS COMMANDANT URGES PRESIDENT TO 'RALLY' U.S. TO WAR
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway is urging the White House to "rally the country to war," arguing it could help address the challenge of recruiting 92,000 additional troops to boost the size of the Marines and the Army.
He made the remarks Jan. 22 to a room full of Marine Corps veterans at a luncheon sponsored by the Marine Corps Association in Alexandria, VA.
"We have, frankly, talked with the president some about maybe changing his message," Conway said. "You know, after 9/11 he said the best thing you can do, America, is live your lives normal. . . . And we think today that it may be time to rally the country to war."
Rallying the country might help the Army and the Marine Corps meet the challenge of recruiting 92,000 troops over the next four or five years, he argued. Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the Pentagon wants to add 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 Marines over several years.
In the near term, the Bush administration also wants to increase the number of troops in Iraq by 21,500, a "surge" proposal that has been criticized by many Democrats and some Republicans in Congress.
"It's our belief inside of the Department of Defense that the DOD is at war but not a lot of the rest of America is, and that includes the interagency but also our people to some degree," Conway said.
Conway attacked news coverage of the violence in Iraq and Afghanistan. "We believe that our people are subject to some misinformation -- not intentional perhaps, but nevertheless if you talk to any troop that's been to Iraq or Afghanistan, they will paint you a significantly different picture, I think, from what's being captured here day in and day out, in the news," he said...
“Support our troops” has got to be the most cynical use of language since a serpent told Eve that an apple would be good for her digestion.
Well that's just a stupid sentence and lame analogy, next slide
I’m happy to say that as a proud patriot, I don’t “support our troops.” At all. Ever. Not in the slightest. Not with a single cell in my body. Not, that is to say, in the accepted use of the term.
It's a phrase not a term, but you ain't real bright are ya'?
I believe the only way to support our troops is to keep them back home with their loved ones, where they can have a life like the rest of us. I’m happy to pay for their livelihoods via my taxes when they stay home, because I think every country needs a deterrent force. In other words, our troops are our first line of self-defense, there to discourage others from attacking us by their mere stay-at-home presence (like a never-to-be-used nuclear deterrence).
Yeah now there is a deterrent force for you, a bunch of couch potatoes watching American Idol with mama. Let me drop a smidgen of common sense here lil' fella'. If you have a gun, I may be deterred from stomping a mudhole in your ass. If I know that you will never fire it, I am no longer deterred by what is now essentially a paperweight not a weapon. Our nukes were only a deterrent to the extent the Soviets believed we would use them. You can still send our troops money if you want, although as a dirty, nasty, patchouli-smelling hippy you probably don't have any. Maybe you are a trust fund baby though and if so send it to Soldier's Angels who will make much better use of it than you.
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.