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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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Read This Book: This Is A Must Read For All Those That Consider Themselves Progressive Warriors Posted by Hello
Morning. It's a beautiful day here, 66 degrees with a supposed high of 78 degrees. Before beginning, I first would like to acknowledge the sad passing of Johnnie Cochran yesterday (http://abcnews.go.com/US/LegalCenter/wireStory?id=625661). Word of his passing came as a shock to me as I didn't have any idea that he was ailing. Regardless of how we all fall along the demarcation line that is the "O.J. Simpson Trial", Cochran's was unquestionably a brilliant mind, an awesomely talented litigator and a true officer of the court. His absence will undoubtedly be felt along the corridors of justice as well as in the greater community as a whole. Also, I want to touch on the disturbing news reported this morning that Joan Kennedy, former wife of Sen. Edward Kennedy and mother of Congressman Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island (hopefully, a future Senator from that great state) was found in the street, unconscious and suffering from a concussion and broken bones (http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/03/30/joan.kennedy.ap/). The news was heart-breaking in that I have always admired Joan Kennedy (and her struggle with the disease of alcoholism...a sickness that plagues roughly 10 % of the American populace, http://www.baldwinresearch.com/alcoholism.cfm) from a distance and was saddened to hear of her current status. Now, with that said, let me turn to the cold calculus and critical analysis of political strategizing: just yesterday, my post was about the potential "Patrick Kennedy v. Lincoln Chafee" showdown in Rhode Island for the U.S. Senate seat in 2006. I am really hoping that the events over the last 24 hours will not mean that Kennedy will not get into the race, in that he might very well likely have to aid in the caretaking of his mother. Now, without question, his allegiance must be FIRST to his mother and not to the ambitions of the Democratic Party...this is a given. If Patrick Kennedy does decide not to run for the reason(s) stated above, then it would be a very understandable decision and we (as Democrats) would still have Congressman Langevin as our 2006 champion (in Rhode Island); Langevin is an extremely viable candidate and would be a potent force in the effort to "de-throne" Senator Chafee. So, good luck Congressman Kennedy, to you and your mother and to whatever decision you make in terms of a future Senate run. Now, for todays post. The picture above is that of the front cover of the book 'War Is A Racket' authored by Marine Corps legend and two-time 'Medal of Honor' recipient (recipient, NOT winner...you don't win the 'Medal of Honor', you receive it for action/valor above and beyond the call of duty, http://www.cmohs.org/ ) Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, USMC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler). What's so awesome about Smedley Butler is that as soon as you get to boot camp or OCS (be that at MCRD San Diego http://www.mcrdsd.usmc.mil/ , Parris Island http://www.mcrdpi.usmc.mil/, or MCB Quantico http://www.ocs.usmc.mil/) you are hammered with Marine Corps history from the "get-go"...especially history about what I'll call "the Big Three": Dan Daly (http://www.medalofhonor.com/DanDaly.htm), "Chesty" Puller (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chesty_Puller) and Smedley Butler (http://www.mclm.com/tohonor/sbutler.html). Without question, United States Marine Corps history is rich and deserving of praise; but, what I find even more awesome is that Smedley Butler, this "pillar of military professionalism, warriordom and warfare experience", was also an ardent and hardcore liberal of the first order. You want to see cognitive dissonance on full display, run that by an unenlightened Marine and watch his/her head start to violently spin at about 5,000 rpm's. Again, Major General Butler was a progressive stalwart and a "bad to the bone" liberal that was known to be extremely outspoken (as are most Marines, including yours truly) against war-profiteering (oh boy, he'd really love Halliburton, et.al.) and what President Eisenhower (another military and war veteran...hmmm, fascinating) coined as the "military-industrial complex". In fact, Smedley Butler's book 'War Is A Racket" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_is_a_Racket) is a work that takes a critical look at U.S. foreign policy, it's connection with "big business" and how the U.S. military (especially the Marine Corps at the time...and perhaps even today) was used as a kind of "all-purpose heavy" or as an "international goon squad" that muscled whoever and/or whatever got in the way of "run-amok, globe-trotting capitalist enterprises" all in the name of facilitating the advancement of so-called "big business". In fact, I'm reminded of 'The Who' and their song appropriately titled 'Won't Get Fooled Again' with the lyrics "...meet the new boss, same as the old boss...". In short, he discusses how a few profit in a big way on the backs of the suffering of the multitude. He knew it was wrong, he said it was wrong and his legacy continues to this very day as others pick up the mantle and continue to say that the practice of making a buck off of war suffering (or, any suffering for that matter) is just plain wrong. Now, Smedley Butler's 'War Is A Racket' was written in 1935 and his frame of reference was predicated on pre-World War I conflicts (the Philipine Insurgency of 1898-1899 and the Boxer Rebellion of 1900), World War I itself and the many military operations between the world wars (these counter-insurgency operations before and after World War I are known in Marine Corps history as "the small wars" or "The Banana Wars", http://www.mcamarines.org/Gazette/2004/04bohn.html). However, you will probably find that the lessons Major General Butler learned 70 plus years ago are applicable today and that the lessons he learned in the "hell furnaces" of combat in the early years of the 20th century can still be applied today in the the early years of the 21st century; those lessons should be, MUST BE, applied in the hopes of making a better tomorrow. Again, read this book. Semper Fidelis


Blogger Bulldog said...

Semper Fi, Devil Dog. Glad to be here on your yelloow footprints sounding off. I, too, had a head-spinning moment when I heard about this. I am another progressive Marine who is sick and tired of the "the military ALWAYS votes Republican" crowd. I found your site through Democratic Veteran. Feel free to peruse my site as well: The Bulldog Says.... Great site you got here. I'll make sure to blogroll you immediately. Carry On, Marine!


1:15 AM  
Blogger Terry Finley said...

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The Medal of Honor for the
"Bravest of the Brave".

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Terry Finley

6:21 AM  

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