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, February 28, 2005

What Does Senator Palpatine Have in Common with Charlie Jarvis and USA Next? All of Them are Dangerous Entities to be AvoidedPosted by Hello
Good day to all this Monday morning. Watched the Oscars last night and enjoyed the program, even though I'm not a big fan of awards shows. I was happy to see Jamie Fox win for "Ray". I wouldn't consider myself a big Jamie Fox fan either (although his show was funny), and I haven't seen "Ray" (though I will make a special effort to see it now), but I heard he really acted his "you-know-what-off" in the part. It was really something to watch his acceptance speech, very touching. Not many African-Americans have been recognized by the Academy for their talents on screen in terms of actually WINNING an Academy Award. Maybe 6 or 7 African-American actors have won an Oscar (including Jamie Fox) in the Academy's almost 100 years of existence, so kudos to Mr. Fox on his great accomplishment! With that said, the topic for today is the current nonsensical and vicious neoconservative assault on one of the most venerable and honorable American organizations today...the AARP (link to the AARP at www.aarp.org). The AARP (or, American Association of Retired Persons) has a long and rich history of representing the interests and aspirations of retired American citizens for decades; in the pursuit of creating opportunities for older and/or retired persons and better lives for their membership as well as enriching and nurturing their constituents in healthy ways (a constituency we all hope to join, I might add). The crux of its mission statement (link is here http://www.aarp.org/leadership/Articles/a2002-12-18-aarpmission.html) is as follows:

"...AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people age 50 and over.
AARP is dedicated to enhancing quality of life for all as we age. We lead positive social change and deliver value to members through information, advocacy and service.
AARP also provides a wide range of unique benefits, special products, and services for our members".

Now, the jackasses at USA Next (a neocon fascist organization if there has ever been one...USA Next? My question is, next for what?) have gone completely off the deep end by fixing their sights on the AARP in their efforts to advance the President's dumbfounded attempt at "revamping" and tinkering with Social Security. You know Social Security, that Democratic brain-child that has stood the test of time for almost 75 years as one of the greatest social programs in American history. Yeah, that social program...the real contract with America...yeah, the neocon Republicans want to mess with it in all of their "enlightened" wisdom. The newspaper "USAToday" illuminates the terrain we presently find ourselves in the following article, found here at http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-02-27-soc-security-aarp_x.htm. Now the head of this bullsh*t organization's campaign against AARP is a man by the name of Mr. Charlie W. Jarvis; check out his official biography at his groups site, http://www.usanext.org/Bios_charles.cfm. "USAToday" states the following concerning Mr. Jarvis's organization:

"...In style and tactics, the USA Next campaign appears to be modeled on the effort by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth to tarnish Democrat John Kerry in last year's presidential campaign".


"...Many of those involved in the USA Next campaign are alumni of the Swift Boat ad campaign. Strategist Chris LaCivita has been hired. The group is looking to enlist the same media firm that devised the Swift Boat ads, Stevens Reed Curcio & Potholm. Creative Response Concepts, a public relations firm that worked for the Swift Boat Veterans, and Regnery Publishing, which produced an anti-Kerry book for the Swift Boat group, also are helping".

In fact, the "Los Angeles Times" (through writer Ronald Brownstein) also has issue with USA Next's tactics. In the following article titled "Attack on AARP, Like 'Religious War,' Built on Either/Or Fallacy" (link here http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-outlook28feb28,1,3670205.column?coll=la-utilities-politics&ctrack=1&cset=true) Mr. Brownstein exposes the bastards for what they REALLY are. Here is a sample from the article:

"...As synonyms for the word "vile," my thesaurus offers some of the following: offensive, objectionable, odious, repulsive, repellent, repugnant, revolting, disgusting, sickening, loathsome, foul, nasty, contemptible, despicable and noxious.Any of those words would aptly describe the advertising attack launched last week against AARP, the largest advocacy group for seniors, by the conservative interest group USA Next. But there's one word that unfortunately can't be applied: surprising".

So, the same jerks that despicably smeared John Kerry's honorable service in Vietnam are now training their perversities on an organizaton that helps the retired peoples of this country? You've got to be shi**ing me?!? Have they no shame? Is nothing sacred? What kind of people are these? Well, here's a little more background, provided by "USAToday":

Charlie Jarvis joined USA Next in 2001. He previously worked as a congressional aide and deputy undersecretary of Interior in the Reagan administration. He was campaign manager for 2000 GOP presidential hopeful Gary Bauer before leaving in a dispute with Bauer. He was executive vice president of Focus on the Family, a fundamentalist religious group that promotes traditional values.

Oh, now it's becoming more clear. Ok, Mr. Jarvis is actually a GOP shill in sheeps clothing pretending to be just a regular citizen, with no ulterior motives mind you; in truth, Mr. Jarvis is a mouthpiece for the GOP. Mr. Jarvis claims to be "objective" and "nonpartisan" but he is nothing of the kind. Folks, we've seen this before; Mr. Jarvis is "objective", "nonpartisan" and "fair and balanced" (*wink, wink*) along the same lines as a Fox News and a Jeff Gannon (or Jeff Guckert or whatever his name really is). Atrios (http://atrios.blogspot.com), one of the finest political observers out there, asks the question "Who Is a Part of USA Next" and comes to the following sad (yet fact-based) conclusions at http://atrios.blogspot.com/2005_02_20_atrios_archive.html (emphasis my own):

"...J. Curtis Herge, Corporate Counsel. Herge is an attorney with the McLean law firm Herge Sparks & Christopher. He incorporated the "New York Institute for Law and Justice" for Donald Trump to surreptitiously lobby against Indian gaming interests. He incorporated "The Committee For Justice For Holocaust Victims" to attack Florida Senator Bill Nelson "as weak on the rights of Holocaust survivors" on behalf of an Italian insurance company "then under attack by Nelson and others who charged it owed Holocaust victims'families as much as $ 1 billion in unpaid claims." Herge has a long record of creating benign sounding non-profits to level vicious attacks at Democrats. Herge was also a bit player in Iran Contra, representing one of Carl "Spitz" Channell's front groups, an Oliver North intermediary with the contras, and eventually serving as trustee for North's legal defense fund after the scandal broke. Get hired to attack a senator for being "weak on the rights of Holocaust survivors" by an insurance company that is desperately trying to... deny claims to Holocaust survivors...".

Folks, these people are (what we call in the Marine Corps) shitbirds!!! In fact, they are shitbirds extraordinaire!!! Avoid them, shun them at all costs because they are mean-spirited, evil and will drag us into an abyss with no foreseeable way out. They are, as Ed Harris's character said in the film "Nixon", "...the darkness reaching out for the darkness". They don't have any shame, no shame at all. Gee whiz, they are railing against and attacking the AARP and retired persons for goodness sake. Why? In the name of what? In short, these USA Next people are ruthless and have no real sense of dignity. The only silver lining in all of this nonsense are (1) the American people are pulling back the curtain and beginning to see what USA Next really is, and I am happy to report that they are not impressed plus (2) it looks like the Presidents ill-conceived notion to screw around with Social Security is falling on deaf ears and going nowhere fast! If you want to read more about this despicable organization and their cro-magnon style thuggery,visit "There Is No Crisis: Protecting the Integrity of Social Security" at http://www.thereisnocrisis.com/node/3076 for more intell on this subject matter. Take care everyone and good luck. Semper Fidelis

Sunday, February 27, 2005

The Democratic Party: the Praetorian Guard of the American Republic Posted by Hello
Good morning to all of the faithful. Yours truly should be cleaning up (the "three S's " for all the prior service out there), but thought I should make this post first. It's an overcast and dreary day here, but was still able to get out and PT this morning. You can always count on some good physical training to get the juices flowing, to toughen up the sinews and to clear the mind. The following questions came to mind during this mornings PT session: what is happening in America? What has happened to character, grit and strength of heart? What about integrity? What happened to honor, courage and commitment (the "Core Values" of the USMC by the way, more at http://www.ocs.usmc.mil/Used/Candidate%20Preparation.htm)? What has happened to those fine and wonderful virutes that made us the greatest country on the face of the earth? Why do I feel like my country is changing into something that is simply unrecognizable? Why are we growing softer and softer, both physically, intellectually ( http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1024398.cms) and in terms of (what I call) "youth development"
(check it out at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A56466-2005Feb26.html. You might need to register to read the article), while our antagonists and enemies (as a collective) are growing stronger and stronger as every day passes? Right now, the Chinese are struggling to become a world power in terms of "superpowerdom", hoping to fill the void left by the former Soviet Union; make no mistake, the Chinese are getting tougher and more aggressive year after year (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/generated/realtime/specialChina).
The Chinese certainly know how to dig deep and stay focused on a common goal. And what about the North Koreans and their social philosophy of juche (http://www.uriminzokkiri.com/English/RoJak/2/philosophy.htm) which talks about community, self-sacrfice and self-reliance? In short, what is going on here in the United States? Now, I am not above reproach...not by a long shot! There are many more things I could be doing, and eventually will be doing; but am I the only one that feels this way about what is going on around us? The present socio-political atmosphere in America reminds me of the scene in "JFK" when Kevin Costner's character, Jim Garrison, says that we are through the looking glass and what's white is black and what's black is white. These are very strange and interesting times, indeed. Listen, it's time for Democrats and progressives to man the battle-lines and take the thunder to the Republicans; as the title of this post states, the Democratic Party is the Praetorian Guard of the American republic. We need to start acting like it. The Republicans talk a good game, but they have shown that they don't know what in hell they're doing. Record deficits, unending wars, more war on the horizon, etc. Heck, we are living in an era where the dumbasses are leading the smart people. Check out this link at http://www.neshobademocrat.com/main.asp?SectionID=7&ArticleID=9717&SubSectionID=302 ; or, as Col. David Hackworth (http://www.sftt.org/) said, where "...the best and brightest are being led by the worst and the dimmest". No longer should we cower and be intimidated by those conservative clowns in their hulking SUV's and big ass Hummers. F*** those GOP bastards! It's time to bring the funk to all Republicans wherever they may roam. We, as Democrats (and more importantly as Americans), must stop sitting idly by and letting these clowns wreck our nation and destroy what so many have fought, died and struggled for since the inception of this great republic. One thing we must do is expose the "conservative movement" for what it really is. In other words, show the GOP's true colors, not the crap they say in sound bites, but what is really in their collective heart and soul. We must link the current Republican Party to it's much beloved confederacy of 1861 to 1865. Make no mistake friends, the present day GOP is comprised of modern day Confederates (http://www.soulofacitizen.org/articles/Confederates.htm), i.e., same principles, same philosophies; heavy on states rights, sectionalism, etc. Just like the Confederate States of America, the "neocon-hijacked" Republican Party is a dangerous threat to the idea of the American republic. They (and their ilk) always said "the south will rise again", and indeed it is trying to in the newfangled form of "compassionate conservatism" and "21st century Republican Party-ism". In fact, the modern day Republican Party is really a weird mix of pro-states rights advocates, sympathizers of 19th century Confederate philosophies and mid-twentieth century fascism (http://www.mvp-seattle.org/pages/pageFascism.htm) all rolled into one. Strong attacks on this point will show the American people how much old Confederate ideals and modern fascist ideologies (where the state supersedes the indvidual) are meshing, and in fact living and breathing in the hearts and minds of these modern-day “conservatives”. As I stated in a previous post, we must stop them from spreading the myth that President Lincoln was a “Republican”; he was technically, but in name only when compared to today’s Republicans. Explain to the public how 21st century Republicans are actually 19th century Democrats in terms of political philosophy. Also explain how the “Big Switch” between the parties began in 1933 with the inauguration of FDR (first “modern” Democrat; with his implementation of social programs and government increases to offset the damage the Great Depression was inflicting on the nation) and ending (the process being completed) during the Reagan-Bush years of the 1980’s to early 1990's. Also, no more conceeding sh*t to these clowns! We can fight too! Democrats can certainly fight too!!! Yes, indeed, this is a great time to be a Democrat and a progressive! It's time to fix bayonets friends. Let's do all that we can to "flip-the-script" on this Republican juggernaut and bring this madness to an end. Don't let them fool you; we, as Democrats, are the true defenders of the spirit and philosophy of the republic. Semper Fidelis

Friday, February 25, 2005

The Shame and Ugliness of Republican War Profiteering Posted by Hello
Good morning to all. Another late post due to circumstances beyond my control. I'm pleasantly reeling from a recent picture I saw of Dr. Condoleeza Rice while she was inspecting an Army airfield in Wiesbaden, Germany. You understand that I'm no fan of Secretary of State Rice to be sure, but she does look hot in the get-up she's sporting at the airfield (at least in my humble opinion). She's usually so school-marmish, so flavorless. But, geez, she certainly flipped the script in this outfit! Check out the "Washington Post" article concerning this matter and take a look at the photo, the link is as follows: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A51640-2005Feb24.html?nav=rss_politics. You might have to register to access the site, but it's worth it. Anyway, todays topic is the Republican Party and its' deep pockets. Republicans simply have access to too much money! Republicans are showing who they really are every time they raise millions of dollars in a single day. The Bush CREEP (Committe to Re-elect the President) raised millions upon millions of dollars in support of President Bush's re-election bid; in fact, the Republicans demonstrated their "money-grubbing" prowess by raising $5.7 million dollars in one day (on or about 23-24 June 2003), and over $2 million in North Carolina the following day http://www.wral.com/news/3496711/detail.html. Bush raised an unprecedented $100 million in the 2000 campaign and he raised an outrageous $100-200 million for the 2004 campaign, link is as follows http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2002-08-11-bush-usat_x.htm. This kind of fundraising simply dwarfs any and all attempts at fundraising by Democratic candidates and the Democratic Party as a whole. But, therein lies our advantage as Democrats, as the true party of the people…and we must stress this point. The Republican Party will always (underscore always) be able to out raise and out spend the Democrats because that’s what Republicans are all about…in short, Republicans are the money people. They are the party that represents the well-connected, they are the party that represents those Americans that are simply awash, saturated, and waterlogged in money, wealth and influence. Whether it be through legtimate means or war profiteering (http://bellaciao.org/en/article.php3?id_article=5326), the GOP has absolutely no scruples when it comes to financial acquisition. How can wealthy Republicans, who have access to such enormous sums of money, ever relate to the average working American? The "Sun News" op-ed article (http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/mld/sunnews/news/opinion by Susan Estrich (dated 11 February 2005) goes into more detail regarding this matter. The following is an excerpt from the article:

"...the richer you are, the more likely you are to be a Republican. Most very, very rich people are Republicans. Business PACs vastly outnumber labor PACs, and they favor Republicans."

Robert Scheer touches on the same subject matter in his "Sun News" op-ed article titled, "Reforms:
GOP makes gifts to big business" (dated 25 February 2005) at http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/mld/sunnews/news/opinion. Again, the question begs to be asked: how can Republicans truly relate to the American that’s struggling to make their car note, the American that’s struggling to pay their rent, the American that is desperately trying to keep food on the table…and keep their children clothed? How can they possibly relate? The answer is they can’t! This message must be hammered home over and over until it takes hold in the American voters psyche! In essence, the Republicans advantage in the financial realm can prove to be their most formidable disadvantage in the upcoming elections. Democrats MUST get about the business of "busting chops" and turning the GOP's financial advantage into that party's worst disadvantage by sound tactical political maneuvering. Like the great military genius Sun Tzu stated over 2,000 years ago in his treatise "The Art of War": "...After that, comes tactical maneuvering, than which there is nothing more difficult. The difficulty of tactical maneuvering consists in turning the devious into the direct, and misfortune into gain". Let's go Democrats. Semper Fidelis

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Bush Administration, German Town Hall Meetings and the Future of the Democratic Party Posted by Hello
Morning to all. This is an unusually late entry for me, in that I'm "up and at 'em" around 0530 hrs. I was able to PT this morning, but then an emergency situation came up that had to be dealt with. I'm glad to report that the situation is no longer an emergency, thus allowing me to make my daily post. As everyone knows, the President (and his principal aides) are taking a European "working-vacation". The official mission being to mend those damaged fences that were scuttled during the prelude to the unwarranted invasion of Iraq. Especially, those Franco-German fences that were badly maligned by those knuckle-dragging, conservative-fascist neanderthals that dominate right-wing media (not french fries they blared,..."freedom fries"..., give me a break). "Der Spiegel" (which means "The Mirror" in German, f.y.i.) is Germany's biggest and most influential weekly magazine in print. The news magazine is a well-respected and well-regarded piece of journalism throughout Europe as well as the world. Have no doubt, "Der Spiegel" is a critically significant piece of solid journalism. "Der Spiegel" is reporting that President Bush recently "back-pedalled" with a ferocity unprecedented in American politics and cancelled a much planned for German town hall meeting when it was discovered by the "Bush-ites" that the town hall meeting would be unscripted; in other words, real Germans would be asking the President real questions. And as we all know, frankness, earnestness and candidness are not virtues that are upheld in "Bush world"...just too messy. Read more about it, in depth at the following link: http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/0,1518,druck-343281,00.html. Is it just me, or is it really disturbing and disappointing to think that our President, the leader of the Free World, is so unwilling (or perhaps, psychologically unable) to entertain any kind of criticism; that he would bow-out of a town hall meeting with the citizens of a close ally simply because they were going to ask him impromptu and spontaneous questions instead of questions that were pre-produced and prepared for? What kind of a weak and immature mind are we dealing with? I remember watching the President squirm all over the place during the first debate with John Kerry. His squirming, and his obnoxious petulance were almost too disturbing to watch. It was as if he believed himself above reproach or reproof of any type of constructive criticism. Gee whiz, can you imagine Truman doing something like that? Or, FDR, or LBJ, or even Eisenhower for that matter? I certainly can't. When are we going to have a REAL president again? It stands to reason that the American people are going to reach a tipping point of becoming so sick and tired of being patronized, and so sick and tired of the pre-preprocessed and pre-approved Republican presidencies that they will be eagerly looking forward to the return of the healing balm-like spontaneity of the Democrats; the American people will be hungering for the freshness of progressive Democratic philosophies and ideas and gladly give the Democrats another try at the executive branch in 2008. I can't wait. Take care. Semper Fidelis

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

23 February 1945: A Pivotal Moment Posted by Hello
This is THE day, the day when the flag was raised on Mt. Suribachi by members of the United States Marine Corps and United States Navy. Joe Rosenthal of the Associated Press took the legendary photograph (as seen above) that forever memorialized the kind of uncommon bravery and valor that was, as Admiral Nimitz later declared, "...a common virtue...". The Marines (and one Navy corpsman) that did the actual flag raising were: Ira Hayes, Franklin Sousley, Harlon Block, Michael Strank, Rene Gagnon and "Doc" John Bradley (Navy corpsman). Strank, Block and Sousley would later be killed in action on Iwo. Bradley, Hayes and Gagnon (who would survive the battle) became national heroes shortly after the flag raising. Strategically, the raising of the American flag over Mt. Suribachi (which is on the southern tip of the island) signified that the Marines had neutralized enemy activity on the southern portion of Iwo Jima. Thus, the only enemy fire left to deal with was on the north end of the island. Of course, the worst part of the fighting was AFTER the flag raising, not before. Again, this is a day to be remembered. Take care. Semper Fidelis

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Mr. President, Please Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is Posted by Hello
Good morning once again to all. Looks like it's going to rain later on today. My topic of discussion today is actually a series of questions concerning homeland security and it's inadequate funding. How can we protect "the homeland", when the country is broke, thanks to the Presidents massive tax cuts? The President continues to fumble the ball when it comes to adequate funding, and here it is almost four years after the attacks on 9/11. Here is a link from the Bangor Daily News that addresses the issue in more detail, http://www.bangornews.com/news/templates/?a=108936. Here is a portion from the article:

"...President Bush's proposed budget worsens this problem by not specifically allocating money to the security of U.S. ports, rail lines and other non-aviation infrastructure".

Former Senator Warren Rudman’s think-tank released information, as far back as 28 June 2003-29 June 2003, stating that state and local authorities are sorely lacking the funds needed to adequately prepare for and counter any forthcoming terrorist attack or attacks on the United States; CNN link is as follows, http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/06/29/rudman.report/. How is it that the Bush Administration seems determined to promote unneeded and unwarranted tax cuts, while homeland security programs at the state/local level (seriously lacking in revenue) continue to languish in neglect? The questions are these: how is it that Bush can give away billions/trillions of dollars in tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, while the homeland security program (especially at the state/local level), something the Bush Administration pushed when it realized how much political capital the concept was worth, is left dangerously under-funded? Why is the Bush Administration shoveling, at break-neck speed, money into the bank accounts of the wealthy instead of passing those resources on to the police officers and firefighters that are in desperate need of funding? The Seattle Times has syndicated columnist E.J. Dionne's op-ed article that examines this question, titled "President's Compassionate Conservatism Gone Astray", at http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion. Really Mr. President, what’s more important in these perilous times? A huge tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, or protective equipment and gear for state and local authorities? Democrats must start asking these questions loudly and with strength. If we slam these questions home to the American public, they’ll get the point and begin asking the very same questions themselves! Semper Fidelis

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Iwo Jima: 19 February 1945 - 26 March 1945 Posted by Hello
Greetings and salutations to all. This is a special day; not only for "jarheads" the world over (and, quite frankly, this is a special day for any and all marines of nations that have a corps of marines or naval infantry. This was one of the greatest amphibious assaults in recorded human history) but it should be a special day for ALL Americans. Sixty years ago this morning, at 0830 hours, the first wave of eventually 30,000 Marines of the Third, Fourth and Fifth Marine Divisions under the Fifth Amphibious Corps, assaulted the beaches of Iwo Jima under a murderous base of fire laid down by the islands Japanese defenders, a well dug-in and motivated force of 22,000 strong. The United States would prevail, but not after a haevy cost. As a result of the battle, the United States gained control of the island (which was of paramount strategic importance due to Iwo's proximity to Japan's main islands) and its airfields, thus allowing Allied air forces to batter the heck out of the Japanese home islands, which (of course) culminated in the surrender of the Japanese Empire on 2 September 1945, thus ending World War II .The famous flag raising on Mt. Surabachi, captured forever by AP photograper Joe Rosenthal, occured on 23 February 1945; but the battle was not officially over until 26 March 1945, when Iwo Jima was declared "secure". Iwo Jima was the only battle of World War II where the Marine Corps lost more fighters than the enemy (KIA and WIA): 7,000 Marines killed in action, 19,000 Marines wounded in action for a total of 26,000 Marine casualties; compared to 21,800 Japanese killed and wounded in action. Marine Lance Corporal Daniel J. Redding has an excellent article in "The Scout", Camp Pendleton's public affairs reader, concerning the battle, it's importance and how the legacy of this great battle continues to reverberate through time. Check it out, the link is: http://www.cpp.usmc.mil/scout/articles/feb%2017/focus.asp . Just to give you an idea of the intensity of the struggle that began on the island sixty years ago today: over a quarter of the Medals of Honor awarded to Marines in World War II were given for conduct in the invasion of Iwo Jima. This is a day to be remembered. Semper Fidelis

Friday, February 18, 2005

WSJ Poll Says Americans Want Democrats to Take Stand, Oppose Bush and Republican Policies
Posted by Hello
Morning. Good news on the homefront in regards to the Democratic Party and how the people of this country want Democrats to conduct themselves, in relation to the Republican Party. In short, the people want us to stand up and resist those bastards...to take a stand and fight. Allow me to digress for a second. The picture above is of one of my heroes, Col. Joshua L. Chamberlain, leading the troops of the 20th Maine at Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg. His efforts saved the Union that July day 1863 by not allowing the Confederates to seize the high ground at Little Round Top and thus flank the Union line; which would have allowed Lee's forces to attack the Union forces from behind and quite possibly leave the Confederates in charge of the field. You see, we Democrats must emulate Col. Chamberlain and his 20th Maine by holding the high ground and not allowing the Republcians to flank us, roll us up and take this country who-knows-where. This recently released Wall Street Journal poll illustrates what many of us believed to be true, and now we have hard data to support our contention. Here is the link,

http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110868715286858486,00.html?mod=politics%5Fsecondary%5Fstories% (you may need to register to check it out, but it's worth it).

Here's a portion of the poll that gets to the crux of the matter: "...fully 60%, including one-fourth of Republicans, say Democrats in Congress should make sure Bush and his party 'don't go too far.' Just 34% want Democrats to 'work in a bipartisan way' to help pass the president's priorities." Fellow Democrats, the American people want the Democratic Party to show some steel, flex our collective muscle and take the battle to the Republicans. All this talk about "bipartisanship" is horse manure, it doesn't make sense...that's not how it's supposed to work. Bipartisanship is, in a sense, un-American. The whole point is to have a system of "checks and balances" among the legislative, executive and judicial branches. This also includes (even though political parties are not referred to in the Constitution, they are a natural outcome of this country's political processes) political parties in which different mind-sets and philosophies compete, in a great civil exercise that isn't supposed to allow any one philosophy to get too out of hand and dominate. Of course, that is exactly what's going on now, with one political ideology dominating the other. This is not healthy for any republic, let alone OUR republic and the American people know this. This poll gives us, as Democrats, our marching orders in terms of how we should behave (our "ROE" or "Rules of Engagement", if you will) when it comes to the GOP. We should resist, agitate and attack, attack, attack! Here are three ideas off the top of my "grape" ("grape" is one's head in Marine-speak). FIRST, we must EMPHASIZE the fact that Democrats are strong when it comes to national defense and squash the nonsense idea that Democrats are somehow soft on defense. Presenting the facts will neutralize that attack tactic, as it so often does. Trumpet and celebrate Democrats that have served our country in uniform, Democrats that are war veterans. Numerous examples abound, i.e., Sen. Max Cleland, Sen. Daniel Inouye, Sen. Bob Kerrey, Gen. Wesley Clark, President Carter, Vice-President Al Gore, Sen. Tom Daschle, political activist Ron Kovic, Rep. Ron Dellums, President Kennedy, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, etc, etc, etc. Juxtapose this to the sheer lack of vets/combat vets in the Republican ranks (so-called "hawks") , i.e., Dick Cheney, Tom Delay, Saxby Chambliss, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Rick Santorum, etc. . In short, call these mothers out!!! Hit them in their weakness…the truth…and hit them hard! SECOND, Democrats must have a vision, a “high point on the mountain”, and point to it, a la JFK (the New Frontier), LBJ (the Great Society), etc. Inspire the nation; get the country excited about something more than "American Idol" and reality television. Nation wants to be inspired, just hasn’t been. THIRD, it is crucial that we get the message out that Bush and this White House are average and that the American people deserve better; that we, as Democrats, know they are intelligent, brilliant, and deserve more than to have the leader of their nation feeding them “sugar water and baby food”; that we, as Democrats, know they “can eat solid food, and are ready for solid food”. Also, convey to the American people that pandering to the least common denominator on just about everything is not only talking down to them, but it is preventing them from reaching their highest potential as citizens and as a nation. In summary, our approach should be to raise expectations rather than lower them. This line of attack will force the President to play on the field of higher expectations; of course, Bush and his people will viciously and aggressively resist this and try to spin everything back to the level where they are most comfortable, the level of lowered expectations. But if we keep up a “constant rate of fire”, it is my belief that Bush/the Republicans will be forced to fight in our arena of high expectations…and that’s where we can defeat them, on the battlefield of high(er) expectations!. Alright, those are my thoughts. Take it easy. Semper Fidelis

Thursday, February 17, 2005

You Go Rep. Langevin!!! Jim Langevin for U.S. Senate Posted by Hello
Once again, a good morning to all of you that are kind enough to view my blog. I got out early this morning and had a good PT run. I'm listening to the Rolling Stones now ("Jumping Jack Flash"), getting ready for the days activities and feeling really good; alot of it has to do with the news I heard this morning about how Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) is fading when pitted against Rep. Jim Langevin in terms of the 2006 U.S. Senate race. This is based on a poll conducted by Brown University, link is as follows: http://www.insidepolitics.org/polls/REL205.html. In fact, to take a snippet from the link, the poll "...finds Representative James Langevin would lead Senator Lincoln Chafee in a U.S. Senate race". I guess you might be wondering why I'm interested in a race that is taking place so far away in the northeastern region of the United States? Well, the reason is simple and its two fold. First, at this point in the game ALL elections are critical, and all Democrats should have an integral interest in all races that have overarching national implications, i.e., governors races, House races, Senate races, etc. This is crunch time people, and any race that has an impact on the composition of the United States Senate (in relation to anything that can advance Democratic numbers in that representative body) is of paramount importance. Heck, I was on the edge of my seat for Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) down in Louisiana when she was up against it with that Republican hack, Suzanne Haik Terrell (Landrieu won by the way,...that was a nail-biter), and was on the edge of it again when Gov. Kathleen Blanco (D-LA) beat Bobby Jindal to win the Louisiana governors mansion. Moreover, I was jumping up and down for joy when Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) beat that GOP clown Alan Keyes and won that senate seat this past election cycle up in Illinois; and I'm not a resident of any of those states mentioned. But, these fights had national implications thus I (and others like me) were intersted. Secondly, I've always liked and admired James Langevin from afar, especially after I read his touching, personal story of surviving an accidental firearms discharge that left him paralyzed in a wheelchair at a very young age. His is a story of overcoming overwhelming odds or, to paraphrase Richard Nixon, "...being in the deepest valley and then knowing what it is to be on the highest mountain". Check out his website for his biography, http://www.house.gov/langevin/about.html. Rep. Langevin's story is an American story, a story that any and all Americans can appreciate and admire, regardless if they are one of his constituents or not. I want to see this man win. Now, the current senator Lincoln Chaffe is the son of the late Sen. John Chafee, a fellow U.S. Marine and war hero that served in both World War II (served in the battles at Guadalcanal and Okinawa) and Korea. John Chafee was a Marine officer of a fine and sterling character. Nevertheless, the son is not the father and that is why I'm totally behind Rep. Jim Langevin. He is an individual of character and he can "bring the thunder" in ways this country is aching for, when it comes to telling truth to power and looking out for those that cannot fend for themselves. In short, I'd follow him into battle (and that's the highest accolade a Marine can give anyone). SIDENOTE: just heard on the boob tube, that President Bush has nominated John Negroponte, the current U.S. ambassador to Iraq, as National Intelligence Director. Now, am I the only one that finds this odd? Negroponte was just appointed to the Iraqi ambassadorship in June of last year (I believe), with the mission being to essentially square-away the American embassy and other investitures concerning Iraq. John Negroponte? Why? You don't understand the concern? Read this summary of John Negroponte, courtesy of Wikipedia,


"...From 1981 to 1985 Negroponte was US ambassador to Honduras. During his tenure, he oversaw the growth of military aid to Honduras from $4 million to $77.4 million a year. At the time, Honduras was ruled by an elected but heavily militarily-influenced government. According to The New York Times, Negroponte was responsible for "carrying out the covert strategy of the Reagan administration to crush the Sandinistas government in Nicaragua." Critics say that during his ambassadorship, human rights violations in Honduras became systematic..."

What's interesting about this new National Intelligence Director position is that the CIA director was actually charged with that very same mission (head coordinator of all the nations intelligence services...hence the word "central" in the name) over 50 years ago under the National Security Act of 1947, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/time/cwr/17603.htm.

Now the question begs, who's going to replace Negroponte as ambassador to Iraq? That, too, is an important position, isn't it? Are we witnessing an inept Administration (feeling the heat to fill the position, especially after yesterdays Senate Intelligence Committee hearings) "robbing Peter to pay Paul" in some kind of crazy bureaucratic Hollywood-shuffle? Oh well, Bush is a smart guy, he knows what he's doing...right? Semper Fidelis

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Is Syria Next On The Chopping Block? Posted by Hello
Morning. So much is already happening in the world today. First, it seems like there has been some sort of explosion outside/near the Iranian port city of Dailam, Iran. Dailam is located in the province of Bushehr, where Iran's only nuclear power plant (a Russian-built 1,000-megawatt nuclear reactor) is scheduled to go online in late 2005. Initial reports state that eyewitnesses reported seeing some kind of aircraft release a missile of some sort, and then there was an explosion. Link is as follows: http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/02/16/iran.blast/ . This is not good. The situation in the region is very tenuous (at best) and explosive (at worst). Then, the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri on Monday (14 February 2005) has more than amplified the intense pressures between the United States and Syria, so much so that the United States recalled its ambassador to Syria yesterday, http://www.capecodonline.com/cctimes/upulls16.htm (especially since there is mounting suspicion that Syrian intelligence elements had something to do with the operation, http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/swissinfo.html?siteSect=143&sid=5542168). What adds "gas to the fire" is the Russians determination to sell Syria advanced missile systems in defiance of the outrage projected against them by Israel and the United States. The United States and Israel have urged Moscow to drop any such plans, saying Russian arms supplies would only strengthen militants in the Middle East, http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=7647769. The Reuters article states that "...Moscow is looking to sell Syria its flagship Igla shoulder-fired missiles, widely used by militants around the world...". Then, to increase the levels to damn near cataclysmic levels, Iran and Syria have decided to form a common front or an "alliance of support" to counter the mounting challenges and threats both nations face from the United States and Israel, http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=7648646. With all of this swirling in the international ether, I decided to revisit a post I made awhile back, explaining how I believed (as I still do) that the United States (or, perhaps a joint US/Israeli operation) is preparing to strike Syria sometime this year; more than likely sometime in this month of February. Like the the Bob Dylan song, I can feel this "...blowin' 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. Like GlobalSecurity.org postualtes (link is http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/syria-intro.htm):

Should Syria and Israel drift into war, what would the United States do? With a full army in nearby Iraq and Mr. Bush's conviction that Syria is a pipeline for Islamic terrorists who are attacking Americans in Iraq, who knows? There are many scenarios. But it seems clear the US could drift into the equivalent of a World War -- an all-out conflict of the Arab world against the US and Israel.

Feedback and analysis is always encouraged. Semper Fidelis.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

We, as Democrats, ARE The Loyal Opposition Posted by Hello
Hi everybody. Beautiful morning. I'm now beginning to accept the sad reality that Kerry/Edwards lost in November (still convinced there was "foul-play" though) and that, as a result, the GOP will continue to carry the political football for the next fours years (*sheesh*). Thus, I began thinking about the future of the Democratic Party and what our role is, now, as the "party out of power". James Carville (pictured above), a fellow jarhead and one of my heroes, says that Democrats should behave as the"loyal opposition"; and he's right. Our job is to stick it to the Republicans every chance we get, to resist, to agitate in so long as they insist on taking our country in the wrong direction. I don't mean to sound overly-aggressive, but things are getting way out of hand. Am I the only one that sees this? Certainly not. It's time for Democrats to get aggressive. Now I know a number of my fellow Democrats don't like to get "belligerent", "hostile", or whatever other adjective the nay-sayers can think of; but, brothers and sisters, the time has come. We have new leadership at the helm of the party, headed by a bold and aggressive leader in Howard Dean. Now is the time. We must remember to always attack Bush and his failed policies. Attack-attack-attack!!! We must not shrink from taking the offensive. Knock them so hard that they’ll never know what hit them!!! We must cow them with the ferociousness of our political blitzkrieg of lightning strikes and lightning attacks; on all possible issues and in every possible forum. We must remember that we are the party that won World War I, won World War II, pushed the North Koreans to the Yalu River during the early stages of the Korean War, waged war in Vietnam and presided over the victory in the Balkan region during Clinton’s Administration…Democrats have clearly demonstrated that we are not averse to waging a little warfare when necessary, and make no mistake…it’s necessary in order to win in 2006 and 2008. We, as Democrats, must hang up the nice guy image, the image of being so reasonable and rational. That’s not going to get us anywhere. We have to start “busting some chops” and moving into an assault position. Again, this principle must be at the heart of future Democratic campaigns…taking the offensive and attacking with a ferocity the Republicans have never seen before. In essence, lay them waste and push the Republicans where they belong…into the margins of the political landscape. Because, I don't know about you, but I'm sick and tired of being on the outside of the White House. It's time for Democrats to get it together and take back the levers of policy that direct and shape the future of our country. Semper Fidelis

Monday, February 14, 2005

Remember When "Warrior Intellectualism" Was Rewarded In This Country?Posted by Hello
Hey everybody. I'm still getting over whatever it was that had me in a "hurt locker" big time on Thursday. Whatever the pathogen was, it tried to mount a counterattack on Friday and Saturday. Damn near succeeded, but glad to report that it did not take hold. It might have been food poisoning (like I said on my last post) or it could be the flu or who knows what. All I know is that I've just been taking it easy for the last few days. I did get out there and PT this morning (not strenuously, but I did "double-time"). Wasn't as strong as usual, but I'll build back. However, while in my sick bed, I did watch Howard Dean become chariman of DNC on Saturday. It was awesome. Hopefully he'll lead us in the right direction, be aggressive and stick it to the Republicans every chance he gets! Talking about being aggressive and sticking it to the GOP, the photo above is of General Wesley Clark receiveing the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Bill Clinton. I was a big Clark fan during the primaries, and I still am a big Wesley Clark fan. In fact, I'm hoping he'll run again in 2008. Clark is simply awesome, a true "warrior intellectual". There was a time when warrior intellectuals like General Clark and General Shinseki, et. al were listened to, even rewarded for their intellectual insights instead of "canned", "pink- slipped" or gagged. We are now living in an era of gross self-delusion. For example, General Shinseki told the truth to power when he said it would take more troops on the ground (in Iraq) to secure that country than the White House cared to admit, and (shock of all shocks) they didn't listen. Now, as a direct correlation, so many are suffering unneeded consequences because so few did not want to listen or adhere to the truth. Folks, warrior-intellectualism is clearly under attack. With that said, today's topic is how the Democratic Party MUST incorporate the ethos of warrior-intellectualism into their progressive socio-political matrix. As Democrats we are wanting (in a nutshell) a country that is "more like Athens, less like Sparta and Rome". Creating a culture and society of inclusion, and not exclusion,…this is our mission. The core of the liberal philosophy is a frame of mind indicative of progressive government in the image of Athens as opposed to that of fanatically martial governments like Sparta and imperial Rome. More like Aeschylus and Themistocles, less like Sparta’s Lysander, and Rome’s Caesar, and Antony. The vision is this: the United States as a light on the hill, a symbol of hope, for all the world to see. The world will ask, “Behold, what is that brightness shining on the hill?”. We want the answer to be: like Athens before, and in the spirit of Plato’s Republic, sits the United States of America…a beacon and example for the whole of humanity to observe with admiration. This is our overall objective and aspiration. The question is simply: where do we want our country to be philosophically and how do we want it to behave at the dawn of this new century? We don’t want to be a monolithic world power like the ancient Roman Empire (remember: the imperial phase was Rome’s last phase), a powerful military juggernaut that causes the whole globe to tremble with fear. Instead, we want to be that greatest of civilizations; a civilization that bestows and pays tribute to the finer qualities of mankind and the finer characteristics of humanity and human civilization; a civilization that exalts the arts, the wonders of the human mind, and (as Lincoln put it) “…the better angels of our nature…”. Make no mistake, today there are factions within our country that live to laud the temperament and ethos evocative of an imperial state such as ancient Sparta and Rome, and (at the same time) want to demonize the progressive ideals and enlightened qualities the founders of our country embraced. Thus, we must confront these conservative/autocratic elements every step of the way and not allow them to drag us into an abyss of militarism, nationalism and fascism. We, as progressive Democrats, are obliged to resist them. This is our charge. Take care. Semper Fidelis

Friday, February 11, 2005

Are We on the Brink of a Second Korean War? Posted by Hello
Hey everybody. Wish the report today could be that I'm feeling good, but that's a negative. Whoo-boy, had a really bad bout with a stomach virus (or food poisoning) yesterday. I mean this devildog was hurting! I did eat at a well-known restaurant chain (you all know the name of the restaurant chain, but I better not identify them just in case) on Tuesday morning. However, this one turned out to be a "greasy spoon". Then, Thursday morning, the festivities began in all of their glory. I was doubled over the "porcelain throne" as it were. In fact, that was the "position of the day" for most of the day. *Whew*. Still hurting, but not as badly as yesterday. Be advised: be careful what and where you eat...it can make a big difference. Thanks for suffering my tirade; now, on to the topic of the day. Thursday was a big news day, especially with the big story coming out of the DPRK...the North Koreans admit to having "the bomb". Question: what are the implications of this announcement? Well, it's pretty well known (throughout those circles that are interested) that the North Koreans have been a nuclear power for sometime now, at least for a couple of years. What the North Koreans did yesterday is ratchet-up the pressure concerning the issue of nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula by ADMITTING they are a nuclear power, in full view of the whole world, and thus throwing the gauntlet down and putting the "military-ball" squarely in the Bush Administration's court. The current Adminstration has unfortunately dared two of this country's most formidable enemies (Iran and North Korea) and, unfortunately, both countries seem to be calling our bluff. If you'll allow me to digress, it seems like the North Koreans are hell-bent to personify the chorus from that old rock song "Hair of the Dog" by the group Nazareth (for all those that don't know, the chorus is "...now you're messing with a son of a bi**h..."). Now, the photo above is actually a picture of Chinese Marines (not North Korean Marines) storming a beachhead during a Chinese CAX (Combined Arms Exercise)/amphibious exercise(s). China is North Korea's main ally (an affinity between two Asian, socialist states that share an antagonism with the West and especially with the United States), and it is not outside the realm of possibility (in my opinion) that China would "assist" the DPRK if tensions between the United States and North Korea escalate even further and spiral off into war (just like China did when they poured over the Yalu River during the Korean War of 1950-1953). Listen up: the North Koreans have a tough army folks, a fanatical army that would be a "hard nut to crack", to be sure. It would finally be cracked, but not after a terribly tremendous cost. The North Koreans will certainly not, in the words of the poet Dylan Thomas, go gentle into that good night. Like I said in an earlier post, war on the Korean peninsula would make the Iraq War look like a tupperware party. This is an extremely serious situation. The North Koreans, just like the rest of the world (and everybody else that is paying some semblance of attention to current events) knows that the present state of the U.S. Armed Forces is (in a word) overextended. Like they say south of the Mason-Dixon Line, the United States has "bitten off more than it can chew". And the whole world knows it. Positing the North Koreans on an "axis of evil" was a mistake, in my opinion. A rhetorical and policy misstep that has placed us where we are today...at the doorstep of potential warfare on the Korean peninsula; and I'm not really convinced that the current Administration has any real ideas to rectify this highly combustible situation that are not warfare related. In short, the neocons "double-dared" the North Koreans a couple of years go; and the answer the North Koreans seem to be giving back is "bring it on". Semper Fidelis

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Is Dean the Democratic Party's U.S. Grant? Posted by Hello
Good morning to all and I hope everyone is doing well. PT'd hard this morning because I didn't get my run in yesterday (it was my break day, a day of rest that allows my body to recover). By the by, one shouldn't PT strenuously without giving oneself a day for rest and recuperation. That's how your body gets stronger and better!

First, I want to thank the Total Information Awareness blog, http://tianews.blogspot.com/, for quoting some of my comments concerning the "Mattis Affair". TIA also quoted The Armchair Generalist, an awesome blooger, in the same posting. The Armchair Generalist can be found at the following link: http://armchairgeneralist.typepad.com/my_weblog/. The link concerning Mattis's remarks is as follows: (http://tianews.blogspot.com/2005/02/mattis-matter.html). I am flattered and grateful; I am also thankful to David, a reader, for locking me on to the fact that my input had actually been used by a colleague. Thanks David.

Let me say this, I'm a Marine, a Democrat, a military historian and a Civil War buff (among other things). I, and others like me, are probably the Republican Party's worst nightmare...Democrats that are warriors too! They just can't square the fact that one can be a militay aficionado, a Marine, a patriot, a "hunter-striker" (so to speak) and (at the same time) be a liberal, a Democrat and a progressive. But, believe me, there are so many liberal Democrats out there that fit this profile. Today, I'm going to speak some "Civil War-ese" in that there will be references to Civil War history. First, I am no big fan of Howard Dean, in fact, I supported Wesley Clark during the primaries. My mission (at the time) was to stop the Dean juggernaut and his "Deaniacs" by any means necessary. Yet, even with that being the case, I thought Dean got a raw deal when he got slammed by the press for "going off" after the Iowa caucuses (we can't possibly suffer a politico with passion, right? what would the neighbors think?). I now understand and appreciate that Howard Dean and Joe Trippi, his campaign manager, are political geniuses and that Dean has alot more to offer than I first thought. Dean, like the phoenix rising, is now coming out of the ashes that was his failed presidential bid and making a political comeback,...a powerplay that will certainly rock the foundations of the American political system. With his elevation to the position of chairman of the Democratic National Committee only days away, I began thinking of the similarities between Howard Dean (the future head of the DNC) and U.S. Grant and the similarities between Terry McCauliffe (the current head of the DNC) and George B. McClellan. In short, could Howard Dean be to the Democratic Party what U.S. Grant was to the Grand Armies of the Republic, i.e., the Armies of the James, the Potomac, the Ohio, etc.? Remember, before Grant came on the scene, the Union Army was languishing in despair and desperation, dealing with defeat after defeat. Grant, at the time the war began, had been considered a failure by many of his contemporaries (a drunk for all intents and purposes, a West Point graduate that prematurely bailed out of the Army in 1854 for personal reasons, a failure at most business ventures, and because of all of this he had to move back home and work in the family store as a clerk to the chagrin of his father, Jesse). But, Grant did a 180 degree turn and went about "showing something" when the opportunity presented itself and the opportunity did in fact present itself in the form of the Civil War. McClellan, on the other hand, was very polished; he was used to personal success (graduated second in his class at West Point), he was a great logisitician and a brilliant "resource-acquirer", i.e., organizing, getting capital and putting the capital to good use, etc. (sound familiar?). But he didn't possess the talent (or the nerve perhaps) to utilize his forces in such a way that stuck it to the enemy with any great effectiveness. Overly cautious, Lincoln said McClellan suffered from a terminal case of "the slows". Thus, McClellan didn't produce results. But, Grant did. To be fair, without McClellan's brillant organization and adminstrative skills, Grant would not have possessed the finely-honed weapon he wielded so effectively, the Grand Armies of the Republic. The big question is this: does Dean have Grant's capacity to learn from his mistakes? I think the answer is yes. However, one thing is for certain, Dean (like Grant) knows how to stick it to the enemy! Like Lincoln answered over 140 years ago, when petitioned by others to choose someone other than Grant to lead the Union armies: "I cannot spare this man....he fights!". I'm starting to see that the same can be said of Howard Dean...he fights! Semper Fidelis

Monday, February 07, 2005

Updated Comments: Lt. Gen. Mattis's Remarks Posted by Hello
I was reading news stories online and checking out the blog before hitting the rack (it's rack time folks!) when I came across some feedback from David, a reader somewhere out there in the ether, concerning my comments on Lt. Gen. Mattis's statement(s) a few days ago. He wanted me to read a Washington Times (oh no, not the Washington Times) op-ed article on the subject. So, I did and this is a follow-up to that post. It's going to be short and to the point (at least I'll try to make it short and to the point), especially since it's racktime. First, thanks David for reading my blog...I appreciate it. Secondly, I can't stand the right-wing propaganda machine that is the Washington Times. I don't agree with much of what they have to say, since their orientation is an extremely conservative one (Tony Blankley,...need I say more) and mine is not. In fact, as far as I'm concerned, The Washington Post is the only "paper of record" coming out of the Beltway (but that's a discussion for another time). Lastly, after reading the Washington Times article (titled "Intimate Killing" by retired Maj. Robert H. Scales, link is here: http://www.washingtontimes.com/op-ed/20050206-094203-4208r.htm) I found myself disappointed seeing there are actually people out there that believe the kind of nonsense the general was espousing. I mean, Mattis sounded like somekind of twisted death-ghoul for crying out loud. Listen, I love Lt. General Mattis like I love all of my fellow Marines. We, as Marines, have a special bond and connection that no one else shares. Mattis, Scales and others have been in combat (Mattis for sure, look at his "brick"...he's got a First Gulf War ribbon, looks like he has a MACV ribbon, oakleaf clusters all over the place, at least one Navy Achievement Medal, Expert Rifle, Expert Pistol and a whole lot of other decorations) and been in harms way. But let me say this...there is something warped about someone who says killing folks is fun or enjoyable. Now, that doesn't mean it isn't necessary at times, certainly it is when one's life is in mortal danger. But, to make it almost romantic or compare it to somekind of pleasurable experience akin to scoring a touchdown or something along those lines is wrong and irresponsible. Killing is not fun nor is it something to celebrate or lust after. It is simply wrong to glamorize it. And if you don't understand that, I feel sorry for you. Again, thanks David for checking my blog out. Take care. Semper Fidelis

New England Patriots Win Super Bowl XXXIX Posted by Hello
Well, Philadelphia just couldn't pull it off. But hey, that's alright because the Eagles did the best they could and that's all any of us can do. I wasn't too off the mark with my game prediction...towards the very end there it looked like McNabb was going to get the team into field goal range and Aker's (believe that's the name of the Eagle's kicker) would have tied it up and on to overtime and on to a Philadelphia, "squeaker-like", victory. Alas, that did not happen. Again, McNabb shouldn't hang his head heavy. He brought his team to the Super Bowl, and that's no easy feat in and of itself. Besides, the coach of the Patriots (the genius Bill Belechick) is a Democrat, (http://www.prospect.org/web/printfriendly-view.ww?id=7660) so it really was a win-win situation after all. And, it was truly a blessing that the game was uneventful, in terms of any terrorist activity. Security was tight, and the game was played without incident. Also, Sir Paul McCartney was awesome (as usual). Take care. Semper Fidelis

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Once Again, A Nation on Pins and Needles Posted by Hello
Good morning everybody. Had a pretty good workout this morning, and I need to get cleaned up. Is that TMI ("too-much-information")? Perhaps, but that's alright. But, before doing that, I wanted to make a comment about todays big game, Super Bowl XXXIX. First, I'm not a big football fan, or sports fan for that matter; to me the only "sport" that matters is warfare related, i.e, military exercises, strategies and tactics,etc. (but that is a discussion for another time)...although I do make a point of watching the annual Army/Navy football game (missed it this year though). Let me get to the point. As the title suggests, those of us that think about these kind of things see the Super Bowl not so much as a fun event, but (certainly since the tragic events of 9/11) as a security event of epic proportions. See link below for more details:


So, although I probably won't be watching the game like most football enthusiasts will (like my younger brother, who is a football/sports fanatic), I will be monitoring the game not wanting a situation to develop a la Clancy's book "The Sum of All Fears". Again, these were my thoughts this morning and I just wanted to share them. By the by, I know I'm going out on a limb, but my prediction is this: the Philadelphia Eagles will pull out a squeaker-like victory over the already world champion New England Patriots. Donovan McNabb is going to "dig deep" and look back to Doug Williams and Steve McNair for inspiration (since McNabb is only the third African-American quarterback to start in a Super Bowl game...can you believe that? After 39 years of Super Bowl's, he is only the third African-American. I don't know if that is something to celebrate or something to resent) and pull the Eagles to victory by a chin whisker. Besides, Tom Brady needs to get slam-dunked! Take care and let's hope and pray that the game goes off without a hitch. Semper Fidelis

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Watergate's John Dean Says Identity of "Deep Throat" To Be Revealed Sooner Than Later Posted by Hello
Heard this news today. John Dean, former White House counsel under Nixon, is saying that "Deep Throat" (the legendary Watergate-insider dime-dropper who provided the inside intelligence to Bob Woodward/Carl Bernstein that was utilized to bring down the Nixon White House) is ailing so badly that his identity might soon be revealed (Woodward promised that he would not reveal his identity until "Deep Throat's" demise). The link is below:


For what it's worth, I'm going to give my three predictions on the identity of "Deep Throat". Now, my three predictions aren't the "usual suspects" that we usually hear bandied about, i.e., Pat Buchanan, George H. W. Bush, L. Patrick Gray, etc. (save one of my predictions, which IS among the many names considered one of the "usual suspects"). So, without further delay here they are:

I. President Gerald Ford- need I say more. He had motive and opportunity and (more than likely) all the gouge concerning Watergate. If he is, in fact, "Deep Throat" then Ford will have received one of the biggest payoffs for "dropping a dime" in all of modern history. He became the 38th President of the United States upon Nixon's resignation.

II. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist- shortly before the Watergate fiasco, Rehnquist was working under then Attorney General John Mitchell. In this capacity, Rehnquist would not only have been privy to the inner-workings of the "Nixon-ian" Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP)/Donald Segretti/sabotage the Democrats "at-all-costs" shenanigans that led up to the Watergate operation (because Mitchell himself was in on all of these things), he would have also been privy to information concerning the attempted assassination of 1972 Democratic/American Independent Party Presidential candidate George Wallace. This point is critical because in the movie "All the Presidents Men", Woodward (Robert Redford's character), while talking on the payphone to "Deep Throat", reveals that at an earlier time "Deep Throat" had helped provide him with information about the assassination attempt on Wallace. Also, (like the "Deep Throat" character has been described as being) he's a smoker.

III. Gen. Alexander Haig- now this individual IS one of the "usual suspects" in that his name is always presented as a possibility. Gen. Haig was a member of Nixon's inner circle from the beginning (or near the beginning) of the Nixon Presidency until its end. Gen. Haig, like Ford, would have had nearly immediate access to most (if not all) of the information concerning the inner-workings of the Watergate affair.

Well, those are my three picks. For the record, based on all of the available evidence, my actual pick out of the three is Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. William H. Rehnquist IS "Deep Throat". Take it easy. Semper Fidelis

Friday, February 04, 2005

cc: Lt.Gen. Mattis/This is Not My Idea of Fun Posted by Hello
Greetings to all. The photo above is that of a group of Marines mouring the loss of one of their buddies in Iraq sometime last year. Mourning the loss of a comrade in arms, a young man or woman in the prime of their lives, a buddy...remembering their smiles, their jokes, their hopes and their dreams in the saddest of circumstances. Clearly one can see and appreciate the pain and sadness in this picture. If not, I'd have to question your humanity and (more to the point) your sanity. You see, this is not fun. Hey, Lt. Gen. Mattis,...THIS IS NOT FUN. After watching how the story of Lt. General Mattis, USMC "more than putting his foot in his mouth" is gaining steam in the American and foreign press (as we all knew it would), I thought a comment was in order. The press is reporting that the Commandant of the Marine Corps General Hagee, the highest ranking officer in the Marine Corps, has "counseled" (Marine speak for "tore him a new one") Lt. Gen. Mattis for his poor word choice and bad taste. Check out the link below for more on this latest development:


First let me say this, I have no doubt in my military mind that Lt. General Mattis is a patriot that loves his country. Lt. General Mattis has been called a "Marine's Marine", a hardcharger of the first order that has more than demonstrated his bravery and courage on fields of battle. He has devoted his life to serving our country and he has given his all in that noble endeavour. And therein lies the tragedy. You see, the general's remarks aren't that surprising for those of us who have served in the Corps. The disturbing truth is that there are many in the FMF (Fleet Marine Force) that share the general's sentiments. But, that is the case in any military organization (especially in any elite military organization, i.e., the French Foreign Legion, Navy SEALS, British SAS, etc.). There will always be members of those organizations that have either a death-wish, a blood-lust or both (definitely watch out for the latter personality!). See that's the deep dark secret of these elite, highly-sharpened military organizations; there is an underlying (and pervasive) culture of death just below the surface that sometimes violently gushes upwards, like a geyser, for all to see and gasp in horror. Lt. Gen. Mattis's remarks, although callous, insensitive and jarring (especially to those who haven't been in the organization), actually aren't too far from the truth in terms of the consensus of more than a significant number within the organization (hence the lack of any serious punishment doled out by the Corps). What is really disturbing is how the lieutenant general's comments join a litany of other poorly parsed comments by senior U.S. military officials that are undermining our attempts at "winning the hearts and minds" (to use Vietnam-era parlance) of our adversaries. We are repeatedly stumbling and bumbling, stepping on our rhetorical cranks (so to speak), and then (with stunning naivete) wondering why the Muslim world is so enraged with us. Folks, as long as we continue to undermine our own efforts by "shooting-off-our-mouths" with bad word choices, warped opinions and having a very poor understanding of our Muslim opponents then we will continue to have an extremely long way to go before we win this "Global War on Terrorism". Semper Fidelis

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Difference Between Democrats and Republicans: A Question of "Profits", Not Faith Posted by Hello
Once again, a good morning to all. While helping a friend with their fax machine this morning (and then going out for the morning run), I began to think about last nights State of the Union Address and (more to the point) how the GOP has been able to wrap themselves up in a self-serving notion that they are the only "true believers" in the country; in short, how Republicans have essentially "hijacked faith" and claimed it as their own, even when they push programs that are clearly not so faith-based. I churned on this, while at the same time keeping up a pretty good clip. Then it hit me, the difference between Democrats and Republicans is not a question of the importance of faith in American society, but is, instead, a question of the importance of profit in American society. We, as Democrats, extol the virtues of labor and of the laborer over the virtues of big business and profit. Like James Carville (a fellow U.S. Marine) said during the 1992 campaign, "...the most precious thing a person can give is their labor". That statement essentially sums up the Democratic Party's ethos when it comes to the good, hardworking of people of this country, that the laborers, as the backbone of this country, are more important than profiteers and profit-making...that their needs should come first. Conversely, the Republicans place the importance of profit over the importance of the individual, a not so religious notion in my opinion; the idea of "...the least of these.." kind of gets a back seat when Republicans start talking about increasing their profit margins. There is simply no question that the Republican Party has historically been the party that usurped and undermined the idea of workers rights, and the belief that people are paramount to profit. However, the GOP has (so far, successfully) been able to pull the wool over the American people's eyes by bamboozling them into believing that the GOP is the party of all true religious believers. This is absolute hogwash and the GOP has only been able to get away with this because we, as Democrats, have allowed them to get away with it. After two very close and very disappointing elections, it is now time for Democrats to sound off and demand that the truth be told! What Democrats MUST do is show how faith plays a role in our lives; this is no longer an option, it has now become an absolute necessity! Senator Kerry, during the campaign, was not very vocal about the role of faith in his life. Being from New England, he was behaving in the tradition of New Englanders (in general) in that they are more reticent about their faith. This in no way implies that John Kerry is not a man of faith, he most certainly is. Believe me, as the saying goes, "...there are no atheists in foxholes". Anyone who experienced the horror-box that was the Vietnam War (and survived) came so far by faith. President Bush and his ilk wear their faith on their sleeves, and there is nothing wrong with that...they have that right. But this in no way means that they have a deeper sense of faith or are more religious than people that don't behave the same way they do. To counter that nonsense, we as Democrats must incorporate "the reality of faith in God" into our party in such a way that will reduce to nonsense the claims by the GOP that Democrats are apostate and faithless. The truth of the matter is that Republicans aren't the only people in this country that believe in God, this must be proclaimed over and over. We must show by our words and (more importantly) by our deeds, that we are a people of faith. All Republicans are not Christians, and certainly not all Christians are Republicans. This must be explained and expressed. It is utterly ridiculous to think that "Republican" is synonomous with "Christian", while all non-Republicans are scrapped as godless heathens...no sir, no ma'am! This lie must be debunked ASAP! Personally, I believe in God and claim Christ as my Savior. I am also a Democrat. Democrats must frame the issue as such, explaining and demonstrating with "raw steel-like intensity" that WE TOO are God's people, that WE TOO are a people of faith. We must frame the issue by proclaiming (and explaining) again and again how all of the solutions to the major moral problems of the 20th century came from either the Democratic Party or liberal progressives, working in concert with clergy and other people of faith, i.e., Social Security in the 1930's, the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950's-1960's, Equal Rights Movement in the 1970's, helping to bring down apartheid in South Africa during the 1980's, and on and on. In all of these cases, Republicans resisted by hook and crook. Again, the Democratic Party is a party of faith that has always put the importance of the workers, the precious laborers of our nation, as well as the notion of "...the least of these..." over the importance of profits and money-making. This is the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans in a nutshell. We must proclaim this repeatedly and ad nauseum until it takes hold in the American psyche. Not only is this the key to success, it is also true to boot. Well, we have our marching orders...let's push forward. Semper Fidelis

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

State of the Union Address 2005 Posted by Hello
The President's State of the Union Address was good. He was obviously basking in the glory of the past weeks events in Iraq, as well as, his surprising (yet, anemic) re-election in November. However, the Democratic leadership did not disappoint and did rise to the occasion as the "loyal opposition"; especially when Democratic members started booing and grumbling when the President went into sales-pitch mode, trying to sell his awful Social Security reform plan to the American people. In all the years of watching State of the Union Addresses, I have never seen such a display of resistance against a sitting President DURING an actual address. It ws truly motivating. As one of the pundits noted, it was like something you would see in the British Parliament, but not here in the United States...but it did happen. It was really good to see that our Democratic leadership actually sounded off and resisted the GOP steamroller and for all to see! The President also mentioned Syria and Iran, effectively putting them on notice just like he did Saddam Hussein in the 2003 State of the Union Address...and we were all over him like white on rice about three months later. So, chances are we'll be hitting Iran or Syria (or both) over the next 3-5 months. The question begs, you and what army Mr. President? Our forces are over-extended, perhaps even hyper-extended. In fact, there are reports inkling out that the Marine Corps did not reach its recruiting goals for the month of January! This is unheard of...I mean, I've never heard of the Marine Corps NOT reaching its recruiting goals, I mean never. If the Marines are having a hard time getting people, then that means even the most dedicated and hard-bitten patriots out there are having a hard time warming up to this thing. In deed, the most touching moment of the speech was when the parents of Sgt. Byron Norwood, USMC (a Marine that was killed in action during the Battle of Fallujah) were honored by all in the joint session. It was almost too much when all the Marines in the chamber stood at the p.o.a. (position of attention) when the letter about Sgt. Norwood was read. The look on his mother's face...even now I get chills. The sacrifice of that family, like so many others, must never be forgotten. Never hate the warrior, but do hate the war and the horrible foreign policy that has placed us in one heck of a jam. Again, in my opinion, the speech was good. The GOP had their pep rally. It's over. The battle for the future of the nation begins in earnest tomorrow. Semper Fidelis