Friday, March 31, 2006

I’m Pissed

I’ve been posting on dkos for several months now and as most of you know I post about the United States military and soldiers. On many, many of my posts I keep getting excuse the expression, a bunch of “whack jobs” that must be from some other country or planet. Here’s why I’m saying this.

Our soldiers, American soldiers, are in Iraq and Afghanistan because, as I have said in other post, the Commander in Chief, your president, sent them there. Yes I said your president because he came to power in your system. These soldiers are not 130,000+++ criminals. They are soldiers, your soldiers, your neighbors, your neighbors son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandson, granddaughter, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, mother, and father. They are NOT criminals!!!! Do you get it?

Now some of you come on and post comments to my posts that accuse these young men and women and talk about how they should disobey orders and revolt and every other such ridiculous act you can dream up. Well let me tell you something. You better bend down and kiss the ground they walk on or continue on around and kiss you ass good bye because I have news for you. If those young men and women didn’t obey their orders this country would be just like any other third world second rate dictatorship. What sets this nation apart from all the others is our system of government and the controls on our military. If you want that changed then either get involved and change your government politically or pick up a gun and call me when you finish the coup.

These young men and women are just like you and me. The difference is they happen to be serving their country. The operative word here is serving by the way and that would be something you cerebral lounge chair whack jobs don’t want to do or don’t have the kahoonas to do. They must obey the laws of the nation just like you and me plus the laws of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the Geneva Conventions and every treaty this nation has signed. What is it that you want; for them to revolt and have a little coup. Well it isn’t going to happen because they are better than that.

One last thing on this short pissey post. As I said in yesterdays post and this post, this is your government. Those soldiers are in Iraq and Afghanistan and every other hell hole in the world because George W. Bush sent them there. In other words because “YOU” sent them there because he is your president whether you like it or not because it is your government that put him in the job. If you want them home as much as I do then get off your criticizing pissey little butts and do something about it. For those of you who want to continue to point a finger at these young men and women serving their country and accuse them of crimes I can only say this. You are amazing gods. I did not know that one could just sit in their living rooms and watch TV and read their blogs and other “intellectual” and historical papers and become the judge, jury, and executioner for 130,000+++ soldiers. The last time I checked that took a court of law in this country.

Do and say what you want but until hell freezes over I’m going to support and believe in my comrades in arms. Or at least until the jury comes in which is more than some of you’re doing. And we wonder why “OUR” progressive left is having trouble winning elections.

Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Some people just don’t get it.

This great nation is a bloody mess. That’s right; the United States of America is a great big bloody mess. We have Dick, Don, and Doof running things with the incompetent Doof as Commander in Chief rounding out the stooges; but I’m damn proud of this country anyway. Please notice that I said I am proud of the United States of America, our nation, our country. (I’m actually ashamed of the stooges.)

I’m sure that you’ve heard time and again that “democracy is a messy business” and of course it is. We all know that. I just said it’s a bloody mess and Dick, Don, and Doof are heading it up so you know it’s a mess. But I didn’t make those statements to rehash the old adage. I made those statements to make a very different point and here is that point.

The United States is a country that makes mistakes, lots of mistakes, more mistakes than I care to think about, and it does a lot of things I wish it wouldn’t do. But, I must also say that it has done and does a lot of things that I’m damned glad for and proud of. The United States joined in World War I and World War II and helped win those wars against some very bad people. The United States was responsible for the Marshall plan that rebuilt Europe and it was the dominant power during the Cold War helping hold the line until the old Soviet Union collapsed and China was somewhat tamed. The United States has done a lot of things correctly but it has also done a lot of things incorrectly. Depending on who you talk to we did or didn’t botch the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam Conflict. Depending on who you talk to we did or didn’t botched innumerable other foreign adventures and misadventures. All of this is true to some extent or another but there is another truth buried in all of this.

To me the simple reality is that the United States, for what ever reason, continues to strive and struggle, making mistakes and having successes, but always trying to move forward to a better tomorrow for themselves and as often as not for the rest of the world too. Now you may or may not agree with me and it really doesn’t matter but there is an even deeper point I want to make and that is about a subject that I always come back to. That subject is the United States military and the American soldier.

It is my belief that, in all of our adventures in foreign affairs, the United States military’s greatest value has been and is in its use as a tool of foreign diplomacy. I believe it was best said by Theodore Roosevelt when he said, “There is a homely old adage which runs: "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far." If the American nation will speak softly, and yet build and keep at a pitch of the highest training a thoroughly efficient navy, the Monroe Doctrine will go far.” America has too often ignored this sage advice from, what I believe was, one of our greatest presidents. We would be wise to reflect on that and tailor our future endeavors accordingly. What must not be lost in all of this though is the American soldier. American soldiers have been serving their country for over two hundred and twenty nine years. They have done everything asked of them consistently and courageously. They have stuck by this nation through every endeavor, adventure, and misadventure in her history. The latest misadventure included. They may belly ache and cry and they may praise and smile but they always stick it out and get the job that they are asked to do done. Sadly some soldiers go bad and do bad things and some just crumble under the responsibility. Some soldiers sacrifice a part or all of themselves and some serve simply and steadfastly while others show courage that is almost unfathomable but through it all the American soldier has always been there for this nation.

Now let’s talk about the military and soldiers today. I don’t like George W. Bush and I think he is an incompetent blemish on the posterior of the nation. I don’t like the conflict in Iraq and I believe many soldiers do not like the conflict in Iraq but they are there because George W. Bush, on behalf of this nation, sent them there. They are there carrying out the mission given to them by the Commander in Chief. We may not like this but we, as a nation, must face the fact that our system of government has placed George W. Bush in the position of President and Commander in Chief and as a result he has taken this nation into a conflict which I believe, as do many other Americans, to be illegal.

In light of what I have written above I would ask you to consider the position the American soldier is in. The soldier must, by oath and law, go where, and do what, his or her Commander in Chief says. So when you sit there, angry about what is happening in Iraq or Afghanistan or any other part of the world where the Commander in Chief has sent the soldiers, do not be angry with the soldiers. It is not the soldier’s fault but ours and the reason it is our fault is because it is our government. It is our system. Those in the Congress and the Senate and the Whitehouse that make up that government are there because we, the American people, put them there. If we want these things changed it is our responsibility to change it. I would also suggest that it is disingenuous to suggest that well it is not my fault because I voted for Sam or Bill or Sue. I would suggest that just voting isn’t enough. Enough is when you put all of your available and a little more energy into changing things. If we are willing to ask our soldiers to put their lives on the line for us then I believe it is our responsibility to put our everything on the line for the soldiers.

One last thought. Soldiers are ordered into combat. They are there by law and oath. Once there, they have no option but to fight. It is not an, I’d like not to, kind of thing. You either fight or die. Think about it.

Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A Cancer Called Evil and Soldiers

Those of you who have read my posts in the past know that I come from a long line of American soldiers. That line begins with the American Revolution, encompasses virtually every interim military action and currently ends with the first Gulf conflict. I am intensely proud of that tradition and because of that when I read or hear something I consider derogatory about soldiers I grow angry and incensed, and that brings me to the reason for this post.

I believe there is evil in the world. I say that because I have traveled all over the world and I have witnessed evil up close and personal. I have witnessed evil in the actions of groups, large and small, and I have seen it in the eyes and actions of individuals. I believe evil is a cancer. It can occupy a single person or it can spread and consume an entire group. I have seen this cancer manifest itself in the ability and desire to take a life or torture another human being while relishing the act and I have seen it take the form of pure greed and desire so strong as to enable a person to totally disregard another human life. The historical best example of this type of cancer of course is Adolph Hitler and the spread of evil through the Third Reich. And like a cancer I believe that evil must be treated and or destroyed and removed. During World War II the world had a cancer that was spreading and the world treated itself. Those nations who had the disease under control were able to surgically remove the cancer from and treat the residual malignancies in the other nations of the world.

Today the cancer that is evil still exist but in new and different forms. It exists in small malignant pockets such as al Qaeda and in larger groups such as the former Taliban government of Afghanistan and metastasizes itself in regimes in Africa which results in genocide such as in Dafur. There are malignant cells of evil in every nation in the world and every organization in the world and unfortunately it even exists in the United States military as we saw at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. But each of these cancers requires a different treatment. Some, such as the Taliban government of Afghanistan need to be removed by radical surgery using total and overwhelming force. Others such as al Qaeda must be searched out and eradicated malignant cell by malignant cell and still others such as those infections in the United States military and the chain of command that resulted in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo must be examined and treated by being brought to justice.

What is most important to me though is how the physician treats his instruments and medicines. To me the United States military is like a fine surgical instrument or drug that the surgeon should be proud of. Sure, during the surgery or treatment, the instrument or drug can get contaminated with malignant cells but you don’t deride the instrument or drug and throw it away. You sterilize the instrument and prepare it for the next surgery. So I ask that when you hear about the Abu Ghraibs and the Guantanamo Bays don’t ask that they throw the instrument away demand that they sterilize the instrument but don’t condemn it by treating it as though it were the disease.

One last thought I would like share. We need to remember that sometimes the physician can become ill also . Sometimes malignant cells spread into the organs of the body politic. I believe that that has happened to the government of the United States and it is time that the citizens take up the call “physician heal thyself.” We need to remove the malignant cells in our government and allow our nation to heal.

Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Monday, March 27, 2006

When People Die

I am a person who, unfortunately and fortunately, has experienced death from all sides. I know that statement might be hard to wrap your mind around but I believe that all people should and must strive to do so. I have a deep understanding of what it is to live with having taken human life and I have a deep understanding of what it is to lose life. To lose your own and the lives of others in the many different and varied ways. I share this because I believe it is important that you understand that I know intimately of that which I write here.

The experience and aftermath of taking a human life is not something you can ever communicate to another person. It simply isn’t humanly possible to express such and event. Even though the laws of man say you are not guilty of a crime for which you should be punished and societal tradition says you have in fact done something to be proud of, you still cannot ever, ever shed the guilt that your soul must carry and that is pain one cannot share.

The lose of a loved one is also something that cannot be communicated to another person. It is something that can only be truly understood when experienced and even then can not be truly shared. And even within that larger group that has experienced such lose there are subgroups of those who have lost their loved ones, friends, and acquaintances through violence, accidents, suicide, and natural death. Even these groups cannot share the different types and levels of grief, deep pain, anxiety, and anger they experience after such an event.

And then there is ones own death. This, for those who have gone to the edge and returned, cannot ever be communicated to another living soul. We can all share the anxiety of looking at our own demise but to have actually been to the edge and returned is not something one can share. It is an experience that changes the very soul of the person and it is a profoundly personal change.

Now you may ask why I am posting this diary on a political blog site. The answer is this. War is the perfect storm of death and all the varied experiences of death. Soldiers may and often do experience all that I have written above in a single day in war. They take life and loose friends and family through violence, accident, suicide and natural causes within the span of months, weeks, days, hours, or minutes and sometimes experience their own death as a cruel bonus while living the horror of war. A very miniscule few come back from the pull of death mostly broken and maimed, but those are the miniscule few.

These experiences that I have expressed above are happening every bloody second of every bloody day in Iraq. I write about this because when soldiers have to experience these things for all the right reasons it is bad…..very, very, very bad, but when they experience it for all the wrong reasons it becomes evil….very, very, very evil.

The American experience in Iraq is evil. It is evil because the American people were lied to, misled, and deceived into an unnecessary illegal preemptive war and subsequent insurgency and civil war by those who were and are charged with, and constitutionally responsible for, showing the light of truth and defending the constitution of the United States. It is evil because each and every day the perfect storm of death flows over the Iraqi countryside taking lives that should not be taken for reasons that are not reasons. The brave, the innocent and the guilty share death equally. They share an equal death that is promulgated by those who know nothing of death. Those who have no understanding of service to country and the ultimate sacrifice that may well be asked, because they have always shirked their duty when called and never struggled to defend the democracy they so enjoy. It is not necessary to list the violations of laws and the constitution that have been put upon the American people by this administration leading up to the war with Iraq, executing the war with Iraq and occupying Iraq because I believe that any rational, thinking human being capable of speaking, hearing, seeing and reading should know all of these things by now.

When people die it is because their leaders have failed. That is simple truth.

Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Friday, March 24, 2006

We are not at war!

We were at war!

We were at war with the country of Iraq from March 20, 2003 until May 1, 2003. We are now and armed occupier of Iraq. It is important to draw a line here and make clear a distinction between when we, arguably, illegally invaded Iraq without a formal Congressional declaration of war and when we became an occupation army in armed conflict with Iraqi insurgents.

We invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003 and were at war in Iraq from that time until it ended on May 1, 2003 when President Bush declared an end to major combat operations after we defeated the Iraqi army. Note that I said “after we defeated the Iraqi army” because that was the end of the war between nation states. As of that date, May 1, 2003, the United States Army became an army of occupation, which is what it continues to be today. It is important to understand that since that date the United States military has simply been one of several parties engaged in a conflict with and armed Iraqi insurgency. But, since May 1, 2003 when the war with Iraq ended and the insurgency began there has been a significant transformation of the conflict. There has been a definitive transition from and armed insurgency, where the United States military was one of the primary targets, to a civil war where the United States military is now simply another target for insurgents and a training target for terrorists. I add the “training target for terrorists” because during this same time al Qaeda made Iraq, not a war zone, but a terrorist training area.

Iraq is at war!

Based on the encyclopedia’s description, of which I am using Wikipedia for convenience here, I submit that Iraq is now fully engaged in a civil war with multiple internal warring factions.

Civil war - A civil war is a war in which parties within the same country or empire struggle for national control of state power. As in any war, the conflict may be over other matters such as religion, ethnicity, or distribution of wealth. Some civil wars are also categorized as revolutions when major societal restructuring is a possible outcome of the conflict. An insurgency, whether successful or not, is likely to be classified as a civil war by some historians if, and only if, organized armies fight conventional battles. Other historians state the criteria for a civil war is that there must be prolonged violence between organized factions or defined regions of a country (conventionally fought or not). In simple terms, a Civil War is a war in which a country fights another part of itself.

We are not at war!

At least we are not at war against terrorism or terror or terrorist and here is why I am of that opinion.

Here are some definitions from Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

  • War: A state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations.

  • Terror: A state of intense fear.

  • Terrorism: The systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.

(Now here is the funny part of this post.) Now I don’t know about you but, unless the term “state” that is being used in the phrase, “a state of intense fear” is a geographic location with contiguous borders I’m not sure how you have a war with it. Now I also know that Terrorism is a noun but I’m still not sure how you have a war with “the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion”. Is that like some special kind of country or nation or state that I wasn’t told about? If it is then all I can say is that that is a pretty odd name for a country and I’m betting they don’t get a lot of tourists. (This is the end of the funny part of this post.)

The reality is this; the world is involved in an armed struggle with terrorists. These are not soldiers that we are in conflict with. They are terrorists. They are armed criminals. This is not a war but an armed law enforcement operation against criminals and radicals who use terrorism to coerce and intimidate the law abiding citizens of the world in order to achieve their militant goals. To declare war on these elements is not only not possible but it is, in my view, irresponsible and does discredit to our own armed forces by equating them to these criminals. You capture and bring criminals to justice but you do not honor them as soldiers as though they were some army marching to battle for their country, home and family.

I believe that it is critical that we clearly articulate the current conflicts and identify them for what they are and here is how I see it.

  • Iraq is in a civil war as a result of the US invasion and the United States military has become nothing more than an occupying force that is propping up the Iraqi government.

  • The Bush administration has no real demonstrable plan to enable the Iraqi’s to stand on their own while simultaneously extricating the United States military from the occupation.

  • The Bush administration is spending vast amounts of money, billions per week (potentially totaling $1 Trillion dollars or more), on occupying and rebuilding Iraq that should be spent on providing security for the United States borders, ports, and infrastructure and providing enhanced funding for counter terrorism agencies and organizations within the US government.

  • The Bush administration is not effectively addressing terrorism through concrete steps such as bolstering international relations and cooperation but instead they are focused on the occupation of a country that is a distraction from the real threat to our own nation.

The Bush administration will continue to poor our soldier’s blood into the sands of the Iraqi dessert as long as we allow it.

I want to add one last thought here. If the definition of terrorism is, the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion, then it is my opinion that George W. Bush and his administration use terrorism daily when they continue to threaten the American people with their fear tactics of color coded alerts and constant browbeating of the American public with how threatened we are by these superhuman terrorist. Yes they are dangerous but quit beating us on the head with them and politicizing the issue. Defend America and stop grabbing power. And by the way please loose the “Homeland” bit. We defeated the “Fatherland” 60 years ago and it just gives me a creepy feeling and it ain’t the same war Dick and Don and Doof.

Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

If War Crimes Have Been Committed, It Is George W. Bush Who Is Guilty Or – A Failure Of Leadership

If American soldiers have committed war crimes it is a failure of leadership. Period!

I have written several posts in the past reflecting on the failures of leadership that is the Bush administration. I believe it is urgent and necessary to re-address these failures.

When we, the American people, see news reports of alleged massacres and or alleged war crimes it is all too easy to one, jump to the conclusion that the accusations are true, and two, convict the accused soldiers before the investigations and subsequent possible trials are complete. This is doubly easy to do when you are as against the war as I am and have such strong feelings about the gross tragedies that are occurring in Iraq. I am asking America to not do that. I am begging America to reserve judgment until the facts are revealed, the investigations complete and the trials are ended.

That America not jump to conclusions is critically important to the sanity, safety, and security of the hundreds of thousands of honorable soldiers serving in our military.

It is my professional opinion that the actions of soldiers and by default military units/organizations are a reflection of their leadership. I have been a personal witness to this fact time and again. It was my sad duty but also honor to, on numerous occasions, be asked by my chain of command to go into an organization and with a new Commander “clean it up”. That is to restore military discipline and order and esprit de corps to the organization. I can attest, that in every single instance of this, and there were numerous instances, the reason for the breakdown in order and discipline was an inept, incompetent, and often derelict chain of command. That is that the leadership lacked moral courage and honor and as a result the organization had taken on the weak moral stature of the leadership. It is my opinion that this dynamic has been obvious and prevalent since the beginning of the Iraq war and it has seeped down like the insidious cancer it is from the very top of the military chain of command directly from the Commander in Chief.

Honor and moral courage begin with the manner in which a leader conducts him or her self. If leaders conduct themselves using deceit and dishonesty then it becomes obvious and the leader’s subordinates believe that it is okay for them to act this way. They in fact begin to believe that it is simply expected that they will emulate their leader. So the reality is that when George W. Bush puts himself and his administration above the law and orders torture, and orders warrantless wiretaps and spying on American citizens then the chain of command begins to believe that if the Commander in Chief can do it I can do it and I’m in fact expected to do it and maybe even ordered to do it. And If the Generals believe this then the Colonels believe it and the Captains and the Sergeants and the Privates. That’s how you end up with soldiers stacking nude POW’s into pyramids and making them perform sex acts on each other and that’s how you end up with a Sergeant using his dog to make “POW’s” soil themselves and that’s how you end up with soldiers being accused of shooting innocent men, women, and children.

In the rigid system that is the military there is no room for error. There is no room for people who do not follow orders. It is drilled into the soldiers head day in and day out to follow orders and oh by the way if the order is illegal you don’t have to follow it but oh by the way if you disobey you had better make sure that the order is illegal and oh by the way if it turns out the order is legal we’ll shoot you later for failing to follow a lawful order. The problem is you see that combat is not a nice neat, clean business. So the bottom line is if your leadership doesn’t stand for honor, integrity and the moral right then you the soldier loose either way.

So please when you hear and see these things first give the soldiers a benefit of a doubt and then remember there are hundreds of thousands who are standing tall honorably and with moral courage and third demand that George W. Bush and the rest of his chain of command be held accountable and responsible for every illegal, immoral and corrupt action they have committed and allowed to be committed. And then demand that any soldier found guilty of committing a war crime be held accountable.

Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

What My Daddy Taught Me About Lying.

When I was a little boy I had occasion to attempt to avoid getting in trouble. I often found very inventive ways of making sure my mother and father didn’t find out that I did or didn’t do something I was suppose to or not suppose to do. For instance if it was my turn to take out the trash and I forgot or was just to lazy to do it I would fall back on the old tried and true “It’s not my turn, I did it yesterday” knowing full well my brother did it yesterday. Or if I broke something I’d use the old, “I found it like that” knowing full well that I had turned the knob too hard and broke it off. But those were the little things and I could usually come to some childish justification that I could live with by convincing myself that it really wasn’t that big of a deal and it really didn’t hurt anyone anyway.

Those were the little things, but what I was usually most uncomfortable doing was telling the straight up lies. The real whoppers. You remember, it was the one where you knew you were just telling a bald faced lie. “No Dad, I didn’t smoke a cigarette.” “No way Mom, I didn’t skip school.” “No Sir, I didn’t snitch that candy from the store. Bobby gave it to me.” Or maybe I just plain lied and blamed someone else, usually my unsuspecting brother, for doing whatever the wrong may have been. I remember on those occasions that I would tell these lies thinking that it wasn’t my bottom that was going to get blistered so it must be okay. But in reality I was never really comfortable telling one of these whoppers so they were very few and far between.

Those were the lies of boyhood and I eventually out grew them and learned the lessons my parents and grandparents taught me and showed me through example. I eventually learned that you don’t lie, cheat, or steal and anyway you couch it, a lie is a lie. They taught me that even the subtle little misleadings were really lies. They taught me that saying “Oh, sorry but I forgot” was just as much a lie as “Oh, sorry but I had to do something else” if it simply wasn’t the truth. In other words they taught me right from wrong and they taught me that little wrongs are just as wrong as big wrongs and they taught me that there are consequences to telling lies. They taught me that there were real consequences and what those consequences were.

Now that I am an adult I have to ask myself this. Has George W. Bush grown up and what did George H. W. Bush teach him about lying? Apparently the answer is he has not grown up and his father didn’t teach him anything and that appears to be true of the fathers and grandfathers of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condi Rice and quite a few others in the Bush administration such as Scooter Libby. Monday evening, March 20th, 2006 the most recent example of George H. W. Bush’s fatherly failings and George W. Bush’s lies was demonstrated on Keith Olberman when Keith played two video clips. One of the clips was of George W. Bush from a speech he gave in, I believe it was, 2002 when he clearly falsely connected al Qaeda and Iraq and Saddam Hussein and one from Monday, March 20th, 2006 when he denied having ever connecting them. Well I would like to tell you that I don’t consider myself the morals police but I do consider myself a somewhat average and honest person and I consider myself somewhat intelligent and capable of recalling past events and interpreting what I hear somewhat accurately. In light of that I will tell you that on March 20th, 2006 George W. Bush once again lied to the American people. I will also tell you that I know that I have heard George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Condi Rice do this same thing repeatedly over the last five years and here is what I think.

Using any standard of common sense and real ethical values George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Condi Rice are liars. My daddy, if he were alive would tell me that and I would believe him. Plain and simple they are liars in my daddy's book, they are liars my granddaddy's book and they are liars my book and they are not the example I want my children to follow. Having said that I also believe it is incumbent upon the Congress to perform their constitutionally mandated duty of oversight and to initiate an investigation into these instances of dishonesty on the part of the President and take appropriate action. It is also my humble opinion that if the results of those investigations are that the President is guilty of high crimes and or treason he should be impeached. I am, as an American citizen, simply demanding that Congress fulfill their responsibility under the constitution. In other words I want our Congress to set the correct example for our children and I believe that is also in the constitution somewhere. Well, as my daddy would say "if it ain't it oughta be."

Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Dying For All The Wrong Reasons

As everyone who reads my blog knows, I am just an old soldier. I am, as the General once said “just fading away”, but I am one who, so long as I draw breath, will never stop caring about soldiers. Because of the state of our Army today I would like to address an issue that I believe has been largely overlooked or when it has been occasionally addressed I don’t believe it has been clearly articulated.

It is my humble thought that being a soldier is one of the noblest, if not the most noble, professions that any human being can pursue. Soldiers are men and women who have made a decision to be of service their nation. They have such a burning desire that their country exist in peace and harmony and security and they so love their country that they have made a very conscious decision to, if necessary; sacrifice their lives and limbs for it.

Please take a moment and think about this. I would like for each of you to think about these men and women who think so much of their country, and more importantly their countrymen, to give their very lives to defend them. Think for a moment, about these men and women who walk the streets of Baghdad and Fallujah and Kabul never knowing if their next step will be their last or lead to a life of disability, pain, and suffering. And, think about the fact that these are the noble descendants of the men and women who fought at Valley Forge, Gettysburg, Verdun, Normandy, Inchon, and Dak To.

These are men and women who step up and say, “Send me, let me go to serve my country and defend my nation against tyranny.” And they do this selflessly. These are men and women who when performing their duties never question why.

It is because these men and women do this so selflessly and nobly that it is our duty to understand and demand that they be sent to do these things only when we, the citizens of this great nation, know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they go, to sacrifice and perhaps die, for all the right and just reasons. I say this again, that we, the citizens of this great nation, must know that they go, to sacrifice and perhaps die, for all the right and just reasons. I say this twice because I believe that we all know that they are not in Iraq sacrificing and dying for all the right and just reasons. I say this twice because we all know that we did not have the knowledge we needed as a nation to ask these young people to sacrifice so much.

It is not about not honoring our soldiers. Let me repeat that; it is not about not honoring our soldiers. We all strive to honor our soldiers in word and deed. We all know that they are wherever we send them, serving and sacrificing, because we as a nation asked them to do so and they are honor bound by oath to serve and defend and they are fulfilling that oath.

No, it is not about not honoring our soldiers but it is about our government. It is about the government that is led by George W. Bush, President and Commander-in-Chief. It is about George W. Bush who is responsible (the buck stops there) for all of the activities of this government whether it is the Pentagon, CIA, DIA, NSA or any of the other alphabet soup institutions of our government. It is George W. Bush who directed our soldiers to sacrifice and die for false information and to invoke war against a nation that did not pose the threat that he told us that it posed. It is about the government of George W. Bush not providing the citizens of this nation with the truth. Let me repeat that. It is about the government of George W. Bush not providing the citizens of this nation with the truth. We have exposed our soldiers to unnecessary danger and continue to expose them to unnecessary danger because George W. Bush did not tell this nation the truth.

Soldiers have struggled to always serve their nation with honor. They have not always succeeded but they have always struggled. We can ask no more of them because they are just soldiers and not gods. But when we ask a soldier to serve, we as a nation are honor bound to do so with all honesty and integrity. To do less is to dishonor and do an injustice to the men and women who serve. We and our government failed in this task during Vietnam and we have failed once again in Iraq but there is a profound difference this time. This time our government and George W. Bush have done so with criminal malice of forethought. It is one thing to struggle with incompetence and quite another to flagrantly proceed with such disdain and arrogance. We have asked and our military has sacrificed. It has cost our nation dearly and it continues to do so. At this writing we have lost 2,309 soldiers killed and 16,653 wounded and maimed. The cost to the Iraqi people is untold thousands.

The American people have been given a glimpse of the truth. It is time that we demand the whole truth and it is time we did the right thing. We must adopt a withdrawal plan and begin to extricate ourselves from this misguided war while simultaneously bringing stability to the region through diplomacy and firm military strength. This is not only possible but necessary. It is time that we fulfilled our obligation to our nation’s military forces and asked them to do what is needed and to ask them through a sense of honor, integrity, and honesty and not ask them while using deceit and deception.

Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Ravaged Results Of Incompetence.

During the closing years of the decade that was the 1980’s President Ronald Regan proudly served as Commander in Chief of the finest military force in the world as the Berlin Wall crumbled and the Soviet Empire imploded before us. On February 23, 1991, that same great military force with George H.W. Bush as Commander in Chief began the ground war that would bring complete defeat to Saddam Hussein in the first Gulf War. This was the same military force that had been rebuilt and restored after the disaster that was Vietnam. This was the same military force that had been rebuilt and restored by dedicated, committed officers of vision such as General Bernard W. Rogers, General Edward C. Meyer, General John A. Wickham, Jr., General Carl E. Vuono, General Gordon R. Sullivan, General Dennis J. Reimer, and General Eric K. Shinseki and by equally visionary and committed noncommissioned officers like SMA Silas L. Copeland, SMA Leon L. Van Autreve, SMA William G. Bainbridge, SMA William A. Connelly, SMA Glen E. Morrell, SMA Julius W. Gates, SMA Richard A. Kidd, SMA Robert E. Hall, and SMA Jack L. Tilley. This same military force that these soldiers and many, many others dedicated their lives to restoring and building is now being decimated not by an enemy army, but from within by the power drunk likes of Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush and the codependent myopic military and civilian lapdogs that kowtow to them in the pentagon.

It seems to me that our national collective memory is all too short. I listen to the babbling heads on cable news and it is as though they want to separate the collective mistakes and resultant consequences of this administration’s actions and look at each as though it were some isolated incident which the administration is valiantly responding too. (Chris Mathews comes to mind most readily.) But, this is not reality. This is not truth. The post invasion chaos and the emerging civil war in Iraq is not some isolated incident. Hamas wining elections in Palestine is not some isolated incident. North Koreas new found intense belligerence is not some isolated incident and Iran’s aggressive pursuit of a nuclear weapon is not some isolated incident. We can, very reasonably, conclude that much of this belligerence and aggression and chaos is a direct result of the aggressive and egomaniacal attitude and actions of this administration. We can, very reasonably argue that our egregious military actions in Iraq from invasion to torture and our presidential statements about the “Axis of Evil” could certainly be interpreted as acts of unprovoked aggression. Prudent people would certainly assume this to be a reasonable conclusion. Why should we be surprised by the “sudden” and intense anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world? And, why should we now be surprised, shocked and awed that we are up to our a**es in alligators in Iraq and Afghanistan and simultaneously faced with a hugely more threatening and “real” nuclear threat from Iran.

What I am pointing out is simple and straightforward cause and affect. Nothing more and nothing less but it is also a huge, horrendous, and catastrophic foreign policy debacle and threat to our national security. My point is that this administration, and the single most responsible person, in the person of George W. Bush, has created a military and foreign relations nightmare. It is my belief that their myopic view of foreign policy and use of the military has resulted in a significantly weakened (hollow) military force that is barely maintaining readiness and op tempo in Iraq while at home our national guard is virtually in a non-operationally ready status and is almost incapable of providing their traditional natural disaster operations and assistance that was, I believe, demonstrated in a most profound manner during hurricane Katrina.

Yes! Yes, this is a pattern. It is a pattern of incompetence. It is a pattern of profound and catastrophic incompetence that is leaving this nation with a national debt that will suffocate the prosperity of generations to come and leave us with a military that is in a near debilitated condition and possibly incapable of protecting the nation. This administration is reaping what they have sewn and unfortunately American soldiers and citizens are sharing in that bloody bounty.
The simple fact that the Secretary of Defense would respond to Congressional questions in this manner is all too telling. Once again this administration shows its complete lack of concern for or accountability to the American people and Congress by responding with their canned answers which amount to no answers. Here we see the continuation of their incompetent behavior. There is no remorse. There is no humility or regret for their actions. There is only raw ego and audacity and it is reflected in Mr. Rumsfelt’s, General Paces, and General Abizade’s words.

I must always come back to the beginning with these things. It was and is obvious that we are in the befuddled mess we are in, in Iraq because of this administrations muddled world view and their obvious inability to think strategically and efficiently with regards to the use of military force and foreign policy. These latest poll results would do my heart good except for one thing. I have to ask myself why it took so long for a majority of Americans to see the truth. When I say “took so long” you must understand that I measure it this way; 2,306 (KIA) killed in action, and 16,653 (WIA) wounded in action.

Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Bush Monkeys

It was my intention not to blog this week and to take off and try to rejuvenate but things just aren’t working out. We went over 2,300 soldiers killed in action this week and we are well over 16,600 wounded. The numbers depress me but what is more depressing is the fact that the administration continues to parade their Bush Monkeys onto the talk shows to pump up the audience. They played the organ for General Pace this past weekend and it made me sick to see a Marine up there dancing to this administration’s ridiculous tune. You know the old things are “going well” tune. It made me want to cry to see such a sad sight. Well General Pace sir you need to peddle your snake oil to someone who’s willing to swallow it because I don’t think Americans are so willing anymore. At least another Marine was willing to tell the truth and Congressman (Reserve Marine Colonel) Jack Murtha came out to tell the truth and balance things out a little.

What really ticks me off is that as our young soldiers are fighting and dying for their country these slimy vandals of the Bush administration keep taking away our civil liberties and Congress doesn’t just keep going along for the ride but actually serves the vital function of performing as his enablers. No one on the hill will call this administration on their illegal spying and subversion of the FISA law. No one on the hill is willing to stand up and say that the “Patriot Act” is a flagrant violation of our right to privacy and is just another Bush power grab. No one on the hill appears willing to do their constitutional duty and put some checks and balances on this administration. They just keep playing along.

Let me ask you this Senators and Congressmen and Women. What the hell are our young soldiers dying for? Is it so you can sit back and let George W. Bush become a dictator? At just what point do you intend to begin to do your jobs? This whole story line is beginning to sound all too familiar. Are we, the United States of America, to become another Reich? Do you Senators and Congressmen and Women intend to just let things roll along until it’s too late?

It appears that Congress does not have the moral courage to stand up and say enough is enough and perform their constitutionally mandated duty of oversight by initiating investigations into the illegal activities of this administration. I believe it is fairly apparent to many if not most Americans that what this president is doing is illegal not to mention unethical and the bunch of ne’er do wells in Washington D.C. are sitting on their laurels and doing nothing at best and supporting an out of control executive at worst. Actually now it looks like Congress is trying to do something. They would seem to be attempting to make legal, after the fact, what was and is blatantly illegal. George W. Bush violated and continues to violate the FISA law and in my opinion it is not Congresses job to simply rubber stamp the illegal activities of the executive branch. I believe it is their responsibility to conduct oversight and review and, by the way having a subcommittee made up of the majority party monitoring a domestic spying program is not my idea of oversight but simple partisan politics.

Maybe Jack Abramoff Should have used bananas.

Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

My New Theory Is You Can Be So Incompetent That You Become Irrelevant.

It is my belief that George W. Bush and his administration are so incompetent that they have become nearly irrelevant on the world stage. It is rather like a 900 pound gorilla in the jungle. He can tear apart anything he wants but he’s only one gorilla and it’s a big jungle so the rest of the jungle animals just get on with their lives while the 900 pound gorilla eats ants, nuts, and berries and takes big dumps in the woods.

We will continue to be a super power for a while and we will continue to be a huge world consumer for a while but it will come to an end. That is the sad part. The gorilla will continue to slam the poor sucker unlucky enough to get in his way and he will continue to tear up his part of the jungle but eventually he will run out of jungle as he mostly and the rest of the world to a much lesser degree gobbles it up and then he’ll just starve to death.

This is one of my favorite short list of steps to becoming irrelevant.

Stolen Election 2000
Failed before and on 9/11
Thousand Mile stare as the towers come down
Lied About WMD
Lied About al Qaeda/Iraq Connection
Divulged Classified Information
Failed The Troops Act I – Shortage of armored vehicles
Failed The Troops Act II – No body armor
Torture at Abu Ghraib
Torture at Guantanamo
Stole Another Election 2004

Failed To Protect Nation During Natural Disaster
Violated The Fourth Amendment/FISA Law Act I
Violated The Fourth Amendment/FISA Law Act II
Failed Port Security Act I - Don't Protect
Failed Port Security Act II – Don’t Control
Iraq Civil War Act I
Iraq Civil War Act II
Iraq Civil War Act III
Corruption Act I – David Safavian
Corruption Act II

Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Mathews Is a Neocon Shill

I was just watching Chris Mathews and he had Governor Haley Barbour on his show and once again he has shown that he is nothing but a Bush shill.  His blatant timing by giving the neocons time and cutting the Progressive speakers short.  There are so many ways to lean a talk show right or left and Chris thinks he has it down to a sleaze science but he’s wrong.  The tapes are the tapes Chris and the transcripts are the transcripts Chris.  George W. Bush said what he said and he said “no one anticipated the levees being breeched.”  And breeching of the levees has been discussed “thousands” of times and that’s the truth so don’t try to take Max Mayfield’s words “topping” and spin them in an attempt to make Bush look competent.  This administration botched the Katrina response and they continue to botch the disaster.  It’s obvious to anyone half literate.  Give me a break Mathews.
Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

What Do Hurricanes And Nuclear Treaties Have In Common?

I realize that I am just your average citizen but I really don’t understand this. If, as this report and the video would indicate, the President of the United States and the Secretary of Homeland Security were fully briefed on hurricane Katrina and; they were warned that there was a strong likelihood that the levees around New Orleans would be breached and they were fully briefed by the head of FEMA that he did not believe that they were prepared for Katrina why was the reaction still so slow?

Actually, coming from the background that I do and knowing a little something about emergency management and procedures I find this lack of response on the part of these two individuals criminal in nature. I simply cannot, nor do I believe any rational person could, fathom that the two people most responsible for the safety and security of this nation could be so completely disengaged and out of touch with what was going on in New Orleans after these warning. Perhaps this quote applies once again, “Frankly, senior officials simply weren't ready to pay attention to analysis that didn't conform to their own optimistic scenarios.” That seems to have been their attitude about Iraq and it seems to have been repeated with Katrina. I think that the greatest failing of this administration is its myopic view of the world in general. They obviously don’t have the ability to see anything beyond their own self interest.

It is fairly straightforward to me that when you are faced with a pending and forecasted natural disaster of catastrophic proportions you move to your emergency operations center and direct the activities of your organization. It is intuitively obvious to me that after reading the information available on the actions of the President, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of FEMA that they were all obviously derelict in their duties. It’s that plain and that simple. Nothing and I repeat nothing happened on the Gulf Coast when hurricane Katrina hit that could not and should not have been appropriately responded to and the damage that was done and continues to be done could have and should have been greatly mitigated. It is pure and simple dereliction of duty and a failure to fulfill the responsibilities of the positions for which they were elected and appointed. Additionally it is a clear violation of their oaths of office by which they are bound.

While we’re discussing a violations of oaths of office this little ditty really blows my mind. So now we have decided to ignore the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and sign deals with countries like India that are not a party to the treaty. Sign deals with nations that have nuclear weapons and haven’t signed the NPT. Oh how bright we are. And by the way when the president was called on it by a reporter did you hear his response? I hope someone recorded it. It made absolutely no sense what so ever. I mean it. It was almost so Bush like as to be beyond funny and achieve the sublimely ridiculous. It……made……..sense! The man cannot communicate. There is no way he is in charge of this administration. Someone must be thinking for him and they obviously didn’t have him wired or he would have been at least somewhat coherent. I really hope that response is on tape and if the mainstream media doesn’t ridicule him for his obvious lack of oratory skill then they are derelict in their duties.

The answer to the lead question is they are both evidence that there is no intelligent life in the Whitehouse.

Short post today but I had to get something out there.

Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Why Does Bush Hate American Soldiers? – Or Why Is He Destroying America?

Part I – Hating Soldiers.

This post on Daily kos yesterday brought back some bad memories: Why we need to leave Iraq ASAP-from someone who is over there, by djtyg.

As I read this I had just published my own rant about the Le Moyne College/Zogby Poll of American military personnel serving in Iraq. These two things together gave me a real live flashback. I mean cold sweats; got the shakes, mind blowing flashback. Let me explain why.

Thirty four years ago I was nearing the end of my first enlistment in the United States Army. I had just finished 20 months in Vietnam as a grunt and a door gunner and I was waffling between staying in the Army and getting out because I knew I could get out and go home. I knew I could go home and I had a good chance at a good job. But something happened just before I was to leave the service. I met a crusty old hard hitting, hard fighting First Sergeant. He was my company First Sergeant and he had shown me and I knew he really cared about and loved his soldiers.

Here’s what happened. The First Sergeant pulled me off to the side one day and he said, “Myers, I’m asking you to re-up and stay in and I’m gonna tell you why. We need good Noncommissioned Officers to put this Army back together when this shit in Nam is over.” He said, “I think you’ve got potential Myers and I want you to stay in.” Well the rest was history. I took what “Top” said to me to heart and went from there to try to become the best Noncommissioned Officer I could be.

Over the next 24 years I was proud to serve under some great officers and Senior Noncommissioned Officers. Vietnam had taken a devastating toll on the military. We had lost all of our experience and the core of the Noncommissioned Officer and Officer corps had been ravaged from years of neglect and bad leadership. But there was a small core of Noncommissioned Officers and Officers left with a real vision for the Army. They had an incredible desire and will and were determined to rebuild the Army. They rebuilt the United States military into the finest, most powerful and effective fighting machine in the history of the world. It really was just that good. And I was extremely proud to be a part of that rebuilding. When I retired in 1996 I knew my army was the best in the world and I was leaving it in good hands.

That was then and this is now. What I have been watching over the last 5 years is the, not so slow, destruction from within of the American military that so many good soldiers rebuilt over the nearly three decades after the Vietnam War. I have watched as George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and the rest of the neocons and Vulcan’s have destroyed our Army. Djtyg’s post brought it all home again. As he/she wrote of how the experienced soldiers were once again leaving the military I had visions of that hollow post Vietnam force that I so vividly remember. You don’t make these things up. When the soldiers start talking and writing about it and most disturbingly start voicing their opinions with their feet as they walk out the door you know you’re in big trouble. The $160,000 dollar bonuses they are offering the Special Forces just reminds me of the huge bonuses they offered the soldiers at the end of Vietnam. It’s all the same.

This administration does not care about American soldiers. That is my absolute firm belief. The megalomaniac Donald Rumsfeld and the rest of the Vulcan’s are destroying the American military with malice of forethought. Rumsfeld began on day one when the many professional military officers tried to point out to him and the rest of the administration the mistakes they were making as they marched to war in Iraq. Instead of listening and taking the advice of those officers he fired them and brought in the yes men lapdogs that would follow their idiotic orders. Instead of listening to the CIA and NSA he created his own intelligence agency in the pentagon that would tell him what he wanted to hear. Neither he nor his incompetent boss wanted the truth unless it met their warped needs and desires. Sure they marched into Iraq with overwhelming force and won the war of the armies in a matter of weeks, but through arrogance and ignorance they are loosing the occupation, reconstruction is nonexistent, and the war on terror is floundering because they failed to plan and failed to listen to those with the professionalism, knowledge, and experience. They have allowed our military to become bogged down in a civil war that is in all likelihood going to spill over and destabilize the entire region. And while our military is bogged down in the quagmire of Iraq the terrorists use them for training targets and expand and hone their own capabilities to wreak havoc on the entire world.
You can smear lipstick all over this pig but it’s still a pig. Iraq is just another Vietnam but with far more devastating consequences for the United States, the United States military, and the nation and world as a whole. The absolute lack of a cohesive foreign policy is taking this nation toward an abyss. Each and every step this administration makes seems to take the Middle East ever more near total destabilization.

Part II – Hating America.

The Bush administration has been on a downward spiral sense their rein of incompetence began in January 2001. And, they are purposefully dragging the nation down with them. This is a corrupt administration with a corrupt Legislative branch that refuses to fulfill their sworn duty to uphold the constitution and fulfill their obligation to conduct oversight. It is my belief that the Executive branch and the president specifically is guilty of impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors if not treason and that the Legislative branch leadership is equally guilty by reason of complicity. I just took a few minutes to peruse published reports and news coverage of this administration. I have often said in the past that simply reviewing these sources is sufficient to show any skeptic that this president and administration are incompetent at best and criminal at worst and I believe the following list demonstrates more than adequately that I am correct in this regard.

Bush Lies, Failures, and Corruption:

Stolen Election 2000
Failed before and on 9/11
Thousand Mile stare as the towers come down
Lied About WMD
Lied About al Qaeda/Iraq Connection
Divulged Classified Information
Failed The Troops Act I – Shortage of armored vehicles
Failed The Troops Act II – No body armor
Torture at Abu Ghraib
Torture at Guantanamo
Stole Another Election 2004

Failed To Protect Nation During Natural Disaster
Violated The Fourth Amendment/FISA Law Act I
Violated The Fourth Amendment/FISA Law Act II
Failed Port Security Act I - Don't Protect
Failed Port Security Act II – Don’t Control
Iraq Civil War Act I
Iraq Civil War Act II
Iraq Civil War Act III
Corruption Act I – David Safavian
Corruption Act II

Senate/House Corruption:
Bill Frist
Delay Act I
Delay Act II
Jack Abramoff
Duke Cunningham
Bob Ney

And after all of this there came a day when the sleeping American public groaned in their sleep.
They’ve groaned but will they awaken. The old saying goes, “where there’s smoke there’s fire” but in the case of the Bush administration and the neocon controlled Legislative branch there is enough smoke that, like in most house fires, our American family will all probably suffocate in our sleep long before we ever get burned. This, to me, is the sad truth. The American people have lain dormant for so long that it just might be too late. The Muslim world is burning and America is in their sights. George W. Bush has conducted foreign policy in such a befuddled and incompetent manner that he has created America hating enemies throughout the world. It is my greatest fear that this administration has bungled foreign and domestic policy so badly that it may be at the point of no return. Let’s hope and pray not.

Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.