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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Thursday, March 03, 2005

1,500 Killed and Counting: Vietnam Redux Posted by Hello
Morning all. Woke up to some disturbing news this day, disturbing news that should not go undiscussed. Today we have collectively arrived at a grisly milestone in terms of our military expeditionary campaign in southwest Asia. The Associated Press (http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/I/IRAQ?SITE=WCNC&SECTION=HOME) and CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/03/03/iraq.main/) are reporting that we have reached 1,500 Americans killed in the Iraq War. Now this is not only disturbing, but extremely sobering in that we are well on our way to a redux of the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War officially began for the United States when President Johnson sent more than 4,000 U.S. Marines to Da Nang in South Vietnam; thus injecting the first U.S. combat troops (not advisors mind you, these were actual grunts en masse) into the Vietnam quagmire in March 1965. These Marines were sent to Da Nang in response to the Gulf of Tonkin incidents of August 1964 (http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/tonkin-g.htm). The introduction of the Marines at Da Nang was a watershed event in U.S. foreign policy history (and U.S. history as a whole) in that it marked the start of increasing American involvement in Vietnam. Yet in spite of all of that history and previous experience, here we are at the beginning of the 21st century f***ing up in the same old f***ed up way; retreading and rehashing the same mistakes we made in the middle to late 20th century. In fact, the similarities between the quagmire of Vietnam and the growing quagmire that is Iraq are so obvious that they are almost impossible to deny. It was almost 40 years ago today (March 6, 1965) that the United States placed itself in the Vietnam debacle. And here we are, 40 years after another failed military campaign in Asia began (Vietnam)...here we are 40 years later learning that 1,500 Americans have been killed in our current failed military campaign in Asia (Iraq). Alas, as the old saying goes, the more things change the more they stay the same. American forces have been in Iraq (en masse) since the Iraqi War officially began in March 2003. So, it's been roughly two years since Iraqi-U.S. hostilities started; we've reached 1,500+ Americans killed in action in two years. In comparison, U.S. forces entered the Vietnam War in 1965 and two years later (by 1967) U.S. killed in action had reached 1,588 (http://www.usvetdsp.com/casual.htm). Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Vietnam veteran and (although a Republican) someone I continue to respect and regard as a source of great intelligence and insight, warned us about getting involved in Vietnam-like imbroglios. His "Powell Doctrine" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powell_Doctrine) was the de facto (if not official) U.S. foreign policy for almost two decades when dealing with the insertion of U.S. military forces in hostile situations. At least that was the case until Bush II, Rumsfeld and all the other neocon "hawks" came along and decided to scrap it, (in all of their wisdom) http://www.suntimes.com/output/greeley/cst-edt-greel25.html. I guess someone with a first lieutenant's experience in the Air National Guard for five years from 1968 to 1973 (Bush II, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Bush) and someone that served as a junior officer in the United States Navy for three years from 1954 to 1957 (Rumsfeld, http://www.defenselink.mil/bios/rumsfeld.html) know more about warfighting than a combat arms, four-star general with over twenty years in military service...but I'm probably reaching. In short, the "Powell Doctrine" states the following:

"Powell believes that forces should only be deployed when national interest, commitment, and support have been established. However, once those conditions have been met, there should be use of overwhelming force in the military encounter - rather than proportional response. After victory, the military should leave the field of engagement, rather than staying around as peacekeepers".


The Powell Doctrine follows these six principles:

1). Is a vital US interest at stake?
2). Will we commit sufficient resources to win?
3). Are the objectives clearly defined?
4). Will we sustain the commitment?
5). Is there reasonable expectation that the public and Congress will support the operation?
6). Have we exhausted our other options?

Again, General Powell (in fact, most military commanders that had the "Vietnam experience" in an up-close and personal kind of way) warned of the folly of going to war without first (honestly) "running the numbers" through this doctrine. We now find ourselves in a foreign policy/military "Twilight Zone" where we are tragically repeating history and once again expending a lot of American blood and fortune in the pursuit of a failed policy that already proved itself bankrupt almost 40 years ago to the day in another Asian land called Vietnam. Semper Fidelis


Blogger J. said...

It does suck, huh? I like how Abazaid or his spokesperson said, yeah, the insurgents are loosing steam, only 50-60 attacks a day now. Huh?

Funny how another Texan president with a hardnosed SecDef can get us into so much trouble twice now. No, no comparisons to Vietnam...

1:14 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

So why does the media and half the public give them a pass on going to war for WMD and not finding any but thats OK because the people in Iraq are free and we have always cared about the people of Iraq. Right?

1:36 PM  
Blogger Peter (the other) said...

Wow, great blog! I was becoming of the mind that all in the military were unfortunately afflicted.

I would like to suggest a moments prayer in the memory of the three million Vietnamese who died defending their country, and one for the, between 20 and 100k Iraqis (depending on sources).

I do not hold much sympathy for humans (first, soldiers second)who do not take personal responsibility for killing others. If you want to play soldier, you have to expect to get hurt. The fact that the military serves as a defacto welfare system mitigates that harsh stance a bit.

8:37 AM  
Blogger barb h said...

I found your blog searching the internet for more information about the Marines. I just found out my nephew signed up after talking to a recruiter. According to him they're going to pay for him to go to college and he can go BEFORE being deployed anywhere. No one in my family seems to have any more specific information on what sort of deal they might've offered him but it sounds too good to be true and I'm sure it is. I was wondering if you might tell me where I could find out from unbiased (i.e. NON-Marine) sources what he can expect to get out of joining the Marines. And if there is any way he could get out of it.

4:49 PM  

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