A Liberal Marines Progressive Perspective

Marines are defenders of the republic and the Constitution. That is our oath, that is our purpose, that is our calling. Many are Democrats. This is the journal of one such Marine. This leatherneck's progressive perspective is as follows...

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Location: Southwest, United States

U.S. Marine,0300 MOS,eight years in,honorably discharged,college-educated. To all the damned trolls, you better believe there are liberal Marines. Read "War Is A Racket" by 2-time Medal of Honor recipient Maj.Gen.S.D.Butler, plus Lewis B. Puller, Jr.'s "Fortunate Son" and maybe then you'll understand. Semper Fi!

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Monday, January 31, 2005

Hints of von Ribbentrop... Posted by Hello
This evening, as I was pondering the 26 January 2005 confirmation and swearing-in of Dr. Condoleeza Rice as our 66th Secretary of State and the implications that fact has on the direction of the republic (in terms of foreign policy), I began to realize this entire situation seems incredible, just absolutely incomprehensible. I mean, I like Dr. Rice, sort of. She's competent and a professional and she seems to have a genuine desire to serve our country (regardless of how misguided she actually is). But is Bush actually saying that he wants absolutely NO DISSENT, absolutely no "back-talk" in the Executive branch of our government? Didn't want to believe it, but the possibility had to be entertained once I began connecting the dots. I mean, bye-bye Paul O'Neil, adios Christine Todd Whitman, bon voyage General Powell and on and on. Can we all say "Die Nacht der Langen Messer" or "The Night of the Long Knives",...it's the grand purging of dissent all over again. But, this time with shiny happy people that have shiny happy faces (except for Dr. Rice in the above photo) that emit with radioactive-like intensity the "the don't-worry-be-happy" vibes. I mean Mark Twain was only half right when he said "...history doesn't repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme". With all due respect to Mr. Twain, it seems like it is repeating with Bush taking a play right out of the fascist playbook. Wow, he is actually moving to consolidate the like-minded thinkers, neutralize all elements of dissent and replace them with an encapsulized Cabinet of "groupthinkers". This is funny (but not in a good way). Question: what kind of personality only wants those that agree around him/her? Quite possibly someone with an ego and psyche so fragile that they can't handle any form of dissent or criticism? Or, let me frame my point this way...when did the Germans of Jewish descent realize that the National Socialists were serious? Answer: when it was too late. A bad moon is rising folks. Like Goering said over half a century ago at the Nuremberg Trials, "...alles was er um ihn hatte, waren ja Männer, alle keine Männer waren sechs Fuß darunter(...all he had around him were yes-men, all the no-men were six feet under)". Semper Fidelis

Halliburton Pulling Out of Iran...We All Know What This Means Posted by Hello
Got a hold of this bit of information from the BBC late last night, the link is as follows:


Folks, there is no doubt in my military mind that this is the single best indicator that "bombs over Tehran" is not only a matter of time, but is, in fact, imminent. In short, imminent means attacks on the Islamic Republic of Iran (or, IRI) will commence early this year. Halliburton, that greedy little company (well, in fact, greedy BIG company) that not only has made hundreds of millions (if not billions) of dollars in war profits but is also the favorite of neocons (especially Vice-President Dick Cheney) and conservatives all over the country, is pulling up stakes and "getting out of Dodge" (or in this case, Iran). As we all know, the situation in the Middle East is tenuous at best (conflagarated by the U.S. invasion of Iraq), but believe me, this imminent strike on Iran (albeit justified due to their determined effort to capture the "weaponized nuclear genie" and how that effort and its culmination is certainly a threat to the security of the state of Israel) will do nothing but exacerbate an already shaky situation. Remember, Iranians are not Arabs, they are in fact Persians and they speak Farsi and not Arabic. Moreover, they fought a long and bloody war with their Arab neighbor Iraq (1980-1988), an eight year war of attrition in which no love was lost between the two countries. One must also remember that Iraq's Arab cousins, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, helped bankroll the Iraqi effort against the Iranians (with U.S. help as well in the form of what is called dual-purpose or dual-use technologies-state of the art computers, armored ambulances, chemicals, helicopter, and such, which could be used for civilian as well as military purposes. It is a matter of historical fact that a large network of U.S. companies enthusiastically contributed to the Iraqi war machine, in terms of dollars and material, right up until August 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait). However, Iranians are Muslims and because of this fact, know some Arabic in order to read the Koran (which is in Arabic) and thus feel some sense of kinship with Arab Muslims. But, I believe the old maxim, the enemy of my enemy is my friend will apply, and that this strike will do nothing but reinvigorate and embolden those forces arrayed against the United States in that region (and in Iraq in particular), i.e., al Qaeda, the Mujhadeen insurrgency, al Zarqawi and his elements, etc. Especially if it is a joint U.S.-Israeli strike. In short, this is a huge sh** sandwich and we're all going to have to take a bite. Semper Fidelis

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Republican's Idea of Patriotism Posted by Hello

Republican Suppressing Democratic Supporter During 2004 Campaign Posted by Hello
After posting about the GOP's sad attempt at re-inventing themselves as the party of civil rights, I began thinking: why do Republicans have a strong tendency to just make stuff up? What motivates them to just make stuff up? Why can't they face reality? I then realized that the Republicans of today do, indeed, make stuff up and they do it (presumably, I think) so they can function. In other words, Republicans (generally speaking) tend to warp reality in order to cope; and then it hit me.."cognitive dissonance". Cognitive dissonance is a theory that helps to explain a psychological phenomenon which refers to the discomfort felt at a discrepancy between what you already know or believe, and the new or real information or interpretation. Cognitive dissonance was first investigated by Leon Festinger(1919-1989), one of the worlds most influential social psychologists. In short, Festinger theorized if someone is called upon to learn something (or believe something) which contradicts what they already think they know — particularly if they are committed to that prior knowledge — they are likely to to resist the new learning (belief, idea, etc.) and (here's the kicker) when they finally do "accept" the reality of the situation, they are more likely to re-interpret the evidence to show that they were right all along. This is how Republicans cope with life. Ignorance is bliss, or in this instance, denial is bliss. In fact, their capacity for denial is really astounding, and (quite frankly) disturbing. If they could convert their denial capability into kilowatts, they'd probably be able to light all of North America!!! I believe it has really come down to us vs. them...the day of the Eisenhower Republican and the Reagan Democrat are over. We're talking about two groups of people (us and them) with two very different perspectives on what life is and what life means, in terms of our existence in it. I've given up trying to "convert" them, they simply don't believe what we Democrats and liberal progressives believe. And, unfortunately, that usually means seperation/divorce or war. Semper Fidelis.

The Republican Party IS NOT the Party of Civil Rights Posted by Hello
Republicans have no shame. Looks like the GOP is more deluded than I thought, in fact I'm starting to think that they just make stuff up...scary. Came across this information today; you can find the whole piece in the 30 January 2005 edition of the Los Angeles Times or on their website (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-slavery29jan29,1,6647068.story).

Below is a small portion of this excellent article by Peter Wallsten (titled Recasting Republicans as the Party of Civil Rights) concerning the newly-hatched, noodle-brained Republican scheme to "reinvent" themselves as the "pro-civil rights party". The following is a comment by Rep. Christopher Cox, a prominent California congressmen, concerning this matter:

"...We started our party with the express intent of protecting the American people from the Democrats' pro-slavery policies that expressly made people inferior to the state".

This is nuts. Everybody knows that the GOP of 1860 ain't the GOP of 2005, and the Democratic Party of the 19th century isn' the Democratic Party of the 21st century. Everyone knows that there was a political polarity shift beginning with the election of FDR in 1932, became more defined during LBJ's term, took a more solid form with the election of Reagan in 1980 and ultimately calcified into the current political situation in the early to mid-1990's. So, in a nutshell, todays Democrats have a lot more in common with the Republicans of Lincoln's time and todays GOP has more in common with the Democrats in Lincoln's day...you know, the PRO-SLAVERY party that started the Civil War? This is just fundamentally irrefutable, this is "U.S. History 101" stuff . Moreover, the GOP went kicking and screaming into the night during the entire Civil Rights Movement of the 1950's/1960's, resisting even the notion of civil rights every damned step of the way! That's the truth folks, all one has to do is pick up an American history book and read it. Why do Republicans just make this kind of stuff up? I don't know. Regardless, we can't allow them to get away with this horse manure, it must be resisted at every turn. The Democratic Party is the true civil rights party. We can't allow them to just swoop in and steal a truth that so many good people (mainly Democrats, and liberal progressives) have fought, struggled and died for. Semper Fidelis

Take Heart...Democratic Resurgence on the Horizon Posted by Hello
As I was taking in all of the Sunday talk shows this morning, intellectually absorbing all of the information (especially from Senator John F. Kerry, he was awesome! How this guy lost the election is beyond me?!?)...an epiphany. We are quite probably at the very beginning of a new Democratic resurgence, a Democratic revolution. In a nutshell, the Republicans are at the helm, I mean in total control. They have the "trifecta", as Bush likes to call it. But, they are showing their collective asses, especially when they tried to retool the ethics rules in the House (simply outrageous) and by the way they are driving the country into a ditch (domestic and foreign policy wise). All the while, the American people are watching all of this unfold before their eyes. There is an extremely good chance that 2008 could be like FDR in 1932, the American people (having tasted the GOP goods) are so fed up and disillusioned that they hand the power over to the Democrats for a generation (in terms of the White House and Congress). So thorough was the disillusionment that "Republican" and "GOP" were synonomous with curse words. The American people will once again call upon our party to clean up the huge mess created by the gross irresponsibility (back then domestic policy related, this time both domestic and foreign policy related) . I believe that day is upon us again. Let them have their "fun" for now (at our expense, unfortunately). However, the republic will survive this assault, this dirge of American anti-intellectualism will not triumph!!! In fact, the republic is desperately waiting for that new day to come. And, believe me that new day WILL come. Now is the time for the Democratic Party to take a deep breath, refit and retool, because our time is right around the corner! Keep the faith. Semper Fidelis

Saturday, January 29, 2005

The Draft: It Won't Be Sexy Posted by Hello
As a preface, the picture above demonstrates just a fraction of what a draft means in real terms. And let's be honest, when the draft comes (and it will come, just do the math...5 wars, only three platoons, huh, we need more people by gosh!), the D.O.D. is going to be looking for young folks to imitate exactly what the Marines are doing in the picture above. Sure, D.O.D. is going to round up a few "support elements", i.e., medical personnel, computer science people, intel bubbas, etc. But, they're REALLY going to be looking for young people (and the definition of young people are people between the ages of 18-35, although more than likely they'll start with people between 20-35) to serve in the infantry as grunts, ground-pounders, 0311's, 11B("11 Bravos") or whatever you want to call them. You see, as the photo above illustrates, the draft is going to equal young people getting muddy, grimy, wet, uncomfortable and (of course) being placed in extremely dangerous circumstances. Do you see the muddy deck, and the dank puddles? Do you understand the look on the spotters face as he is being utilized as a weapon stabilizer? Do you understand that the Marines above are cold and uncomfortable, while at the same time sweat is trickling down their back even though they already sopping wet with perspiration anyhow? This is a message to all the good folks that gave a "that a-boy", a kindly slap on the back and a great big big thumbs-up to the current Republican adminstration and their misguided foreign policy by voting them (and their foreign policy quagmire) back into office. This is also directed to all of those young adults out there that decided not to vote and to all the parents of young adults that voted for Bush in those screwed up red states (you can usually spot them driving around in their obnoxiously large SUV's that are covered with little yellow ribbon magnets and American flags) all I have to say is this:as a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, as a Marine and as a proud American, I don't want to hear any bitching or complaining when the draft comes down and scoops your youngin' off to fight (and possibly, as a consequence, be gravely injured or worse) in any number of the jacked-up wars that are now on the Bush horizon. And be advised, when a draft comes, you don't have the luxury of choosing a branch to serve in (as you do in peacetime), it is chosen for you. In other words, since these are essentially scheme and maneuver OOTW's (Operations Other Than War), land assault conflicts now and to come (i.e., Iraq, North Korea, Syria, etc.) and not surface warfare or air war evolutions...please be prepared to raise your right hand as you are pressed into service and repeat after me"...welcome to the US Army and the US Marines boys and girls". Again, see above photo...that's what "the draft" means in plain english. Semper Fidelis

Friday, January 28, 2005

President Johnson Wrestling With the Weight of a Bad Military Decision Posted by Hello
An exercise in comparison and contrast. Above is a photo of the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson (Democrat from Texas) obviously in deep thought, and more than likey, in deep pain as he contemplates his decision-making process concerning another failed American military campaign that is costing thousands of lives and millions upon millions of dollars known as the Vietnam War. You can almost hear his thoughts...am I doing the right thing, is this the best way to prosecute this war, where am I taking this country, what do my fellow countrymen and women think of my leadership, etc, etc. These are the thoughts and concerns of a man with depth, a keen intellect, and (most importantly) a conscience. Also, for a little background on the photo above, the President is listening to a tape from his son-in-law Capt. Charles Robb, USMC who was (at the time) reporting from "in-country" about the situation in Vietnam. Now, if you will, compare and contrast this photo to the photo below of the 43rd President of the United States, the current President (Republican, also from Texas) who is also engaged (at the time the photo was taken) in the prosecution of a failed military campaign that is also costing thousands of lives and millions upon millions of dollars, this time in the Middle East. Notice the difference(s)? Striking aren't they? Almost downright disturbing, huh? Indeed. Yes, most certainly indeed. Ol' George, Jr...in no pain, and (seemingly) not having a care in the world. Two presidents, similar circumstances, two very different responses and attitudes concerning wars that cost thousands of lives and millions upon millions of dollars. What kind of person is this? A question to ponder, to be sure. Semper Fidelis

A "President" Not Wrestling With The Weight of a Bad Military Decision Posted by Hello

The Price a/k/a You Can Never Get This Back

The Price Posted by Hello
What is happening? Why are good Americans allowing this to continue? How many professional military people will it take to explain to the American people that this military campaign in Iraq is as bankrupt as they come? How many generals, experts in the art of war and warfare prosecution, will it take? Officers with "Ph.D's in warfare and warfighting", so to speak. Generals, such as Generals Clark, Shalikashvili, Shinseki, McPeak, McCaffrey, Trainor, Conway, et.al. have all expressed their concerns over the fundamental flaws they see (these are military professionals, GENERAL OFFICERS folks!!!) in this warped campaign of oil lust, global hegemony, and empire-quest all wrapped in the illusion of "seeking Iraqi democracy". Is there any sensitivity or historical understanding, cultural understanding within the halls of the Bush, Jr. White House that democracy is actually an anathema to Islam? That it isn't something you can just transplant? Even General Powell has hinted that he has serious misgivings concerning the execution of the Iraqi Campaign. This "don't-worry-be-happy" horseshit philosophy that the GOoPers love to relish in just won't cut it! People are dying! Troops are coming home with amputations...maimed for life! Scarred emotionally, as well as physically! And for what? Are we REALLY winning? Does it really look like we're winning this thing? This is a foreign policy blunder of epic proportions, with the good warriors on the ground (the ones actually in the AO, or Area of Operations) trying to fix a problem that was busted from the get-go. Folks, this will probably go down in the annals of military history as one the largest military blunders in the history of this country. Something to think about. Semper Fidelis

DOD Identifies 16 of the 31 Marines KIA in CH-53E Crash

This is horrific, tragic and truly unnecessary. Here are the names...warriors all:

DoD Identifies Marine Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the death of 16 Marines who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Capt. Paul C. Alaniz, 32, of Corpus Christi, Texas
Lance Cpl. Jonathan E. Etterling, 22, of Wheelersburg, Ohio
Capt. Lyle L. Gordon, 30, of Midlothian, Texas
Lance Cpl. Brian C. Hopper, 21, of Wynne, Ark.
Lance Cpl. Saeed Jafarkhani-Torshizi Jr., 24, of Fort Worth, Texas
Cpl. Sean P. Kelly, 23, of Gloucester, N.J.
Staff Sgt. Dexter S. Kimble, 30, of Houston, Texas
Lance Cpl. Allan Klein, 34, of Clinton Township, Mich.
Cpl. James L. Moore, 24, of Roseburg, Ore.
Lance Cpl. Mourad Ragimov, 20, of San Diego, Calif.
Lance Cpl. Rhonald D. Rairdan, 20, of San Antonio, Texas
Lance Cpl. Hector Ramos, 20, of Aurora, Ill.
Lance Cpl. Darrell J. Schumann, 25, of Hampton, Va.
1stLt. Dustin M. Shumney, 30, of Vallejo, Calif
Cpl. Matthew R. Smith, 24, of West Valley, Utah
Lance Cpl. Joseph B. Spence, 24, of Scotts Valley, Calif

All died Jan. 26 when the CH-53E helicopter they were in crashed near Ar Rutbah, Iraq. Alaniz, Gordon, and Kimble were assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif. The others were assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
News media with questions about Alaniz, Gordon or Kimble can call the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Public Affairs Office at (858) 577-7542 during working hours and (858) 864-3406 after hours. News media with questions about the other Marines can call the Marine Corps Base, Hawaii Public Affairs Office at (808) 257-8840 or (808) 257-8839.

Again, these are 16 of the 31...so there are 15 other names coming down the pike. This Iraq campaign was sour from the start and it continues to sour and degrade exponentially day by day. All of these young men are dead...and for what? All good Marines, through and through. This is grotesque. Semper Fidelis

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Democrats On To Victory, Onward To The GOP Ramparts Posted by Hello
Echoes of civil war are, sadly, resounding throughout the land once again, just as they did in the mid -19th century. Have we reached an impasse philosophically, have we reached a "political Rubicon", are we too divergent, we Democrats and Republicans? Are our differences irreconcilable? These are serious questions that must be pondered by all Americans. We as a nation are reaching a tipping point. Be advised, the winds of domestic upheaval are a-blowin'...it's time to pick sides...and this Marine is with the party that has consistently stood with the people and stood for intellectualism as well as utilizing ones strength of intellect along with ones strength of faith to solve the great problems (unlike the current Administration). That party is the people's party, the Democratic Party...and one must always stand with the people. Semper Fidelis

Why We Are Over There Posted by Hello

Future of the Democratic Party Posted by Hello

Senator Barack Obama (D-IL)

Only thing I have to say is that Senator Barack Obama is a national treasure and so many of us are proud of him. Sen. Obama is spreading a message of hope and uplift, not unlike Bill Clinton and Robert F. Kennedy before him. He, and others like him, are the future of the Democratic Party, there just isnt any question about that. The feelings I have for the senator are deep and heart-felt. Let me be clear: If anyone of those crazy GOoPers attempt to hurt as much as one single hair on his head, they are wasted! And believe me, there are plenty of hard-core Democrats out there that feel the same way. We're not going to have a repeat of RFK 1968, never again! Not on my watch. Semper Fidelis

Our President Is Sadly Incompetent

All of those who have served in the United States Marine Corps, all of those honored with the title United States Marine, are feeling the pain. That collective pain that only a fellow devildog can be feeling right about now. All condolences and prayers to the families of those that have laid down their lives in service to the nation and in defense of the Constitution. Yesterdays CH-53 "crash" is what is called a "mass casualty incident" in Corps parlance and that's exactly what this is. In fact, this whole thing brings to mind Hardball the other night (the episode from Camp Pendleton) . I noticed the sobriety level of the devildogs that were used as the background...I mean very little animation; for example, the CG Camp Pendleton and the colonel (along with retired Gen. Bernard Trainor)sitting with him would say motivating things (mostly cliches and platitudes, but some earnest stuff) but they would get no "oorahs" or "devildog sound-offs" from the Marines...which is, believe me, very odd and somewhat disturbing. It just made me see how much this bullshit war is weighing on the Corps and how "de-motivating" this campaign is, especially among the enlisted personnel. And then we see this sad story this morning. My message to the commander-in-chief is this: Don't use and abuse the Marine Corps. By Congressional mandate, there are only 172,000+ of us(minus the 30,000-40,000 reservists which then brings the total to roughly 212,000)...don't abuse us! And don't lie to us! You'll never break the Corps, Mr. President, it's just not possible. But you sure are doing your damn-dest, Mr. President. This is a bad day. Semper Fidelis.

Giving As Good As We Get

I have been noticing for a while now (over the last few months actually) how it seems the GOP has a new semantic strategy in that they are now referring to the Democratic Party as the "Democrat" Party. Has anyone else out there noticed this sad, fascist GOoPer attempt at doublespeak? This really came home during the "great week" when the Ohio electors were contested in Congress (thank goodness for Sen. Boxer and Rep. Tubbs-Jones). A number of GOoPers (both in the House and the Senate)continuously referred to the Democratic Party as the "Democrat" Party. I found this to be jarring and obnoxious and (as far as I was concerned) the last straw. Those bastards will stop and nothing to try to erode what so many have stood up for and (sadly) been felled for. It's like the GOP has been taken over by a gang of sophomoric, pubescent boys giggling and thinking of little smartass ways of operating and sniping at their opponents. So, in the great spirit of bipartisanship, I propose that all good Democrats begin referring to the Republican Party as the "Republic" Party. It certainly will take the sting out of their sad attempt at undermining what the Democratic Party is all about.This is what I'll be doing. There's a kind of justice that one feels when you say "Republic" Party for the first time. Fight fire with fire I always say. Don't kid yourselves, this is war. Hell, that's how they see it. Semper Fidelis

Be advised, all Marines ain't Republicans Posted by Hello

Get ready, Syria is next

Like the Bob Dylan song, I can feel this is in the wind, and its labeled "...coming in 2005". Ladies and gentleman, this Administration, this nation IS GOING to attack Syria sometime this year. Moreover, as for all of my fellow veterans, military historians, analysts, operations officers, etc. this is not news. We've known this for awhile. However, it's 2005 now, and the election is over(maybe), and this is now the "mean season", militarily speaking. In fact, if I had to bet (and I'm not a betting man) the odds are far greater that the U.S. will attack Syria than attack North Korea. So, my question is this: when "we" attack Syria, with the primary mission being to neutralize and eradicate insurrgent platforms/bases of operation, neutralize Ba'ath leadership and elements in exile, and facilitate the dismantling of the Bashir Assad regime, what will happen next? Will this be a blip on the radar, or will there be severe consequences in terms of Americas foreign policy, especially in the Middle East? Also, for those who have been monitoring Israeli news and politics, how big a deal is this apparent mini-insurrection within the IDF concerning the removal of settlers? A number of Israeli soldiers and commanders (it's been reported)are refusing to remove the settlers per Ariel Sharons orders and even going so far as siding with the settlers and engaging in actual gunplay, IDF vs. settlers. Am I being a tinfoil, or is there a real chance of an Israeli Civil War? In closing, Bush and his cronies had no idea what they were doing and I'm afraid they have set in motion events that are tragically spinning out of control. Feedback and analysis encouraged. Semper Fidelis.