(NOTES: Despite my efforts to watch my language when blogging, I do have a bit of a potty-mouth. In this entry, it kinda comes out. No apologies- I want to be sure that my feelings are clear to any reader. Just be warned there's a little bit more raw language than usual.
For a terrific discussion of the whole issue, read this book. Especially the chapter called "Proud Legions". Early on in my military career, my commander gave me a copy of the chapter, which I kept for several years, until my young lieutenant lost it: I thought about a court-martial for him, but held off. Then I used this internet thing to figure out where it came from, and get hold of it again. At any rate, things aren't as bad in the Army as they were in 1950, but it's still interesting to understand that soldiers have to struggle with these issues, and still follow orders)
I make no secret of despising liberals. I think that the whole leftist ideology of peace, love, drugs, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, France, Cindy Sheehan, drum circles, gun control, and festivals of Kumbayah singing is a load of crap, and while I support Free Speech, I wish they would all just shut the hell up and have the decency to die a slow painful death in the gutter.
But there are worse things in this world. And clicking the link in the title will take you to an article about one of them.
I despise those "people" who join the Military in peacetime, and then run away screaming about their "principles" when the shooting starts. Guess what? Armies are intended for fighting. I know this is a shock to some, but there it is. And armies also depend on people taking orders from their commanders and leaders. And here's the real shocker: Sometimes, those orders involve doing something that might get the soldier hurt. But it's all necessary.
In a democratic country, one like, oh I don't know, the US, the military is subordinate to the Civil Authority. This means that the civilians make decisions about where to send the military and why, and the military goes, with what is sometimes known as "cheerful obedience to orders". The civilians, and even the high-ranking military officers don't necessarily have to explain why something must be done, though it's not a bad idea to do so.
But the whole premise is that the military goes, regardless of their personal feelings. Remember Tennyson?
"Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,"
Pretty well sums it up, if one is truly a PROFESSIONAL Soldier. Which this asshat was.
But no, he decided that he didn't like the particular war that was on the horizon. Therefore, he decided he had The Right to say no. Wrong, dumbshit. Wars are generally not popular, especially with the men that have to fight them. You go there either because you feel it's necessary to fight it, or because you were told to go. There's no "option C".
Something is wrong when a "soldier" tells his superiors (I would say "commanders" but they are clearly superior to this piece of crap) I refuse to go here, but I'll go there instead. WTF?????????? Okay, troops, let's take a vote: All those to go to Iraq and live in a tent in the desert with Iranian agents wandering around trying to blow you up, fall in over here. All those wanting to go to Kabul, live in a tent and do whatever, go here. Oh, and all those who want to sit on their asses reading The NY Times in a warm room with unlimited coffee, long lunch breaks, and bars with hot young women, over there.
Gee Willikers Joe, which line should we get into?
But this dildo went even farther. He was "encouraging soldiers 'to throw down their weapons' to resist an authoritarian government at home". WTF???? You want authoritarian governments? How about Iraq under Saddam? How about Iran? How about any number of other countries? Doesn't this Miniature Einstein realize that a REAL "authoritarian government" would have had his lazy ass thrown in a wood chipper even before he had the chance to go public? Suppose that North Korean officers are allowed to talk that way to their troops, or do you think that the political officers would dispose of them in mid-sentence? Go ahead and ponder that great mystery. I can wait.
Look, questions about what you are doing in a certain war are normal. I was in the Army Reserve for Gulf War I. My unit was never called up, but we were on alert. Did I want to go somewhere and fight? No. But I was prepared to do so, IF I WAS ORDERED TO GO.
A year after that War, my best friend and Army buddy went to Kuwait to teach English. I remember getting a letter from him, describing the Kuwaitis, and how they view foreigners. Basically, the natives are lazy, self-absorbed, and look down on everyone else-especially Asians. (Note: for what it's worth, I've talked to other Middle Easterners, and none of them can stand the Kuwaitis either. They feel about the same as I do. So if you want to call me racist, bug off). In any case, I recall the stories of how the Kuwaitis were offended at their servants running off after Iraq invaded, forcing them to cook their own meals. He told me of the treatment of their Asian employees (kidnap and rape the females, work the men to death in the desert, and then hire more to replace them all). And for a week or so, I was truly troubled. I remember thinking that if these were the people that we went to war for- if defending these slimeballs constituted "making the world safe for democracy", then there was something seriously wrong. And I thought about resigning my Commission after 8 years of service, as a way out of the dilemma.
And then I had a revelation. I thought "you know what? I signed up for the Army, knowing that there were sometimes wars. And I knew that they weren't always a clear case of good versus evil. And I've been drawing a paycheck for a long time. It's not my place to get snippy when The Call comes".
End of dilemma. As another buddy put it when I told him about Mike's letter "You took the King's shilling". It was that simple. I knew that things weren't all rainbows and sunshine, and I dealt with it.
A few years later, after going inactive for a while, I went back into the Reserves for a short stint. Didn't last long, for personal reasons as well as a professional one. It was during the Clinton Impeachment, and I got tagged to give an informal briefing to the NCOs, reminding them that the UCMJ forbids "contempt for public officials". In other words, thou shalt not publicly criticize the president and his fellow politicians. It's actually a bit more complicated, but that's the basic gist. And as I stood up there, it occurred to me that calling Clinton a "lying, corrupt, piece of crap, treasonous rapist" and also debating whether his actions vis a vis China put him in the category of "all enemies, foreign and domestic" (note to the non-initiated: that line is from the oath one takes when joining the military) might (possibly) fall into the category of "contempt". And I realized that I was guilty of thinking that, and sometimes saying it to people (but not when I was in uniform or any official capacity- that's the more complicated bit). So I had to either stop it, or I had to follow my principles and get out of the Army. I chose the latter. Again, not solely for that reason, but it played a part.
But had I been ordered into one of Clinton's illegal wars, would I have said no and told soldiers to desert? Never. The thought would have been literally inconceivable. It still is.
So I have no use for this dildo-whom-I-refuse-to-name and his arguments. He's a piece of crap for refusing to go, and he's a traitor for suggesting that the troops should desert. After all, if that doesn't constitute "giving aid and comfort to the enemy", then I'm damned if I know what does.
So he's up in front of a court-martial. Good publicity, no? I bet he winds up with a book deal, and if he doesn't actually go to prison, he'll be off on the Cindy Sheehan Tour. Who knows, maybe she'll adopt him to replace her "baby".
Or the Army can try my solution. Hang the bastard from the highest yardarm. I'm sure the Navy would be willing to loan them one. No firing squad, though. That's a Soldier's Death. And this crap-bag doesn't deserve that.