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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Saturday, May 07, 2005


Colonel David H. Hackworth: Farewell to an American Warrior Posted by Hello
Welcome to all. Cloudy and overcast today in the Southwest and it'll probably rain later on in the day. Have some sad news to report, caught wind of this yesterday and I still can't believe it. Colonel David H. Hackworth, great American warrior and patriot, died in Mexico on 4 May of cancer. Colonel Hackworth was 74 years old. Oh, I can't believe it. What can I say about such an individual, about such a warrior. Col. Hackworth devoted his life and career to the service of his country in good times and bad, first (after lying about his age) joining the Merchant Marines during World War II at the tender age of 14; he then enlisted in the Army at 15 years old. Col. Hackworth went on to have a stellar 26-year career (7 of those 26 years were in full combat) in the United States Army, serving at the tale end of World War II, then in Korea and finally in Vietnam. Col. Hackworth rose from the rank of private to colonel by way of a battlefield commission in Korea (where he continued to rise to become the youngest captain in the Army) to Vietnam where he served as the Army's youngest full colonel. Col. Hackworth resigned from the Army in 1971 after declaring publicly that the war in Vietnam was "...a bad war...", "...unwinnable..." and that U.S. forces "...needed to get out...". With almost five years in-country, Col. Hackworth was the most senior American officer to give such a candid and dismal appraisal of the situation in Vietnam. After his retirement from the Army, he moved to Australia. Col. Hackworth left the Army having been nominated for the Medal of Honor three times (his last application is currently under review at the Pentagon). He was also twice awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (the Army's second highest honor for valor), along with 10 Silver Stars and eight Bronze Stars. He earned his first Silver Star and Purple Heart in Korea; however, Col. Hackworth always said he was proudest of his Combat Infantryman's Badge and eight Purple Hearts. After his Army service, Col. Hackworth continued to serve the greater human community by becoming the leading spokesman for Australia's anti-nuclear movement and, for his efforts, he was awarded the United Nations Medal for Peace. He went on to become a contributing editor for 'Newsweek' from 1990 to 1996 in which he covered the first Gulf War, plus the peacekeeping operations in Somalia, the Balkans, Haiti and on the Korean peninsula. Most recently, Col. Hackworth could be seen as a military affairs analyst/expert on numerous news programs on television and radio in that he was well recognized as an expert in the study of military science, warfare and warfighting. His column, 'Defending America', appeared weekly in newspapers throughout the country and on his awesome Web site 'Soldiers For the Truth' (www.sftt.org). I was shocked to learn, upon his passing, that Col. Hackworth had been suffering from bladder cancer for some time now. Bladder cancer is a cancer that appears quite frequently in Vietnam veterans exposed to defoliation/herbicidal agents like Agent Orange and Agent Blue (http://www.gmasw.com/ao_note1.htm). (Sidenote: that damned war is still causing casualties even to this day, so many Vietnam veterans continue to suffer to this very day...we must not forget them...we cannot forget them! Unfortunately, the same will be said about Afghnaistan and Iraq). Col. Hackworth was, in short, a warrior's warrior. He was understood to know what Ward Just, the longtime journalist and novelist, described as "the atmosphere of violence". Ward Just first met Col. Hackworth in the Central Highlands of Vietnam in 1966 and observed that Col. Hackworth "...knew how to keep his head, to think in danger’s midst. In battle the worst thing is paralysis. He mastered his own fear and learned how to kill. He led by example, and his men followed". Although I didn't agree with everything Col. Hackworth said/believed (especially in terms of his low opinion of General Wesley Clark, another hero of mine, http://www.hackworth.com/18may99.html), I agreed alot more with him than I disagreed. His summing up of the war in Iraq and appraisal of SecDef Rumsfeld (via Salon magazine) were spot on:

"...The retired colonel calls Donald Rumsfeld an "asshole" whose bad planning mired U.S. troops in an ugly guerrilla conflict in Iraq. His sources? Defiant soldiers sending dispatches from the front..."

In summation, Col. Hackworth was a warrior, anti-war activist and progressive that was more than a knuckle-dragging grunt...he actually used his mind socratically and always wanted the best for his country. Gee whiz, first the passing of Captain Frederick C. Branch (first African-American Marine officer) a few weeks ago and now the departure of Colonel David H. Hackworth...let us learn from their life example and continue to push forward. Semper Fidelis

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