Heroes, villains and the wussification of America

I’ll be honest: I have come a long way in life in the past three years – spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically. I believe I am more mild mannered and cool tempered than I used to be by a long shot. However, there are some things that I still believe are worth fighting and being willing to die for – namely freedom and the idea of America. I do believe that if somebody hits you, you hit them back; I believe you hit them as many times as you need to in order to secure your safety. I believe if your family is in danger you must be willing to fight by any means necessary in order to prevent their harm.

Maybe that’s the Marine in me, maybe it’s the guy who was passive to a fault in high school and figured out the hard way that passivity doesn’t equal safety. Whatever it is, that’s who I am.

That being my disclaimer, I will say what I’m going to write is not for the faint of heart or the weak kneed. If you taught your kids to never hit back, this post isn’t going to sit well. If you believe that “talking things out” with people who only know communication through violence and force will work, you are probably going to be steaming mad if you even make it to the end of this post.

Now that I’ve let you know where I’m coming from, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.

War is a nasty thing; no doubt about it. However, throughout time it has existed and, I believe, will always exist until Our Heavenly Father places paradise on earth. With that, there are warriors. Some of those warriors are ones who do their job and are grouped with others who do the same. There are also those warriors that stand out for their exceptional expertise and ability to perform their job. One of those people was Chris Kyle, of whom the blockbuster release “American Sniper” has proved that America still believes in recognizing exceptional individuals.

Those type of men go forth and provide examples of phenomenal abilities; there is a cost, though – their reputations come from decisions made that will forever be under the microscope. Decisions semi-similar to the one President Bush made to place our men and women in the military under harms way. Decisions that are still being made by leaders to send their military in to a fight that will cost some lives and change other lives forever. It’s all a field-day for Monday morning quarterbacks.

However, as a former Marine and Iraq Veteran who was part of 47 convoy missions in Iraq in 2005, I recognize the need for these actions to be taken when the fabric of human dignity and respect is under fire.

That dignity and respect for America was threatened on September 11, 2001. That same dignity and respect for life was threatened by Saddam Hussein when he gassed his own people, when he paid families of “martyrs” (of which I have seen the checks he wrote), and when he refused almost two dozen times to abide by a UN resolution he agreed to 10 years earlier that would allow the world to know he wasn’t fabricating nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.

I also recognize the need to show and use force against a people who behead, burn, cage and torture innocent individuals who are defenseless. People who do this, in the name of religion or otherwise, do not understand diplomacy. They are not interested in reconciliation. And they are not “on the run” anywhere except toward the front gates of bases manned by American Marines.

Because they don’t understand anything but force, I am forever relieved that the country of Jordan has entered the stage in the capacity it has.

After one of their soldiers was burned alive and that burning was placed on the web for the world to see, they have chosen to respond with force. Good. At least somebody is.

You see, when there is a bully on the block, that bully will continue to punk everyone he can until somebody stands up to him, is ready to fight back, and is ready to “hit him back as many times as you need to in order to secure your safety.” Will Jordan do this? I don’t know. But what I do know is they have symbolically done more with the little they have than America has with all her might.

Now, given, it hasn’t been all that long since America was something to be feared. When I left Iraq, America was in a good gun fight. When Bush left Washington, DC, we were winning that fight. So while I believe that we are weak kneed, and are viewed as such around the world in 2015, all is not lost.

But the way to gain that back isn’t by praising Michael Moore and Seth Rogan for badmouthing one of America’s modern-day heroes. It isn’t regained by electing passive leaders who can’t seem to mutter the words “Radical Islam.” It isn’t by creating bully legislation and legislation protecting everybody from everything including their own shadows.

It’s done by being willing, as a nation and as individual citizens, to realize that war is sometimes necessary – and when we get in it, we do so with the resolve to accept nothing short of victory. It’s done by teaching our children there are some things worth fighting for. We do it by not letting those who would have us wear elbow pads and helmets to leave our home continue to wussify our nation through media and Hollywood, public schools and universities.

Man up, America, and quit letting pacifists ruin the honor we give our heroes, and villains continue to run amok without response or repercussion.

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I’ll support President Obama… IF….

“I know some in Washington would like us to start leaving Iraq now. To begin withdrawing before our commanders tell us we’re ready would be dangerous for Iraq, for the region and for the United States. It would mean surrendering the future of Iraq to al-Qaeda. It would mean that we’d be risking mass killings on a horrific scale. It would mean we’d allow the terrorists to establish a safe haven in Iraq to replace the one they lost in Afghanistan. It would mean we’d be increasing the probability that American troops would have to return at some later date to confront an enemy that is even more dangerous.” -George W. Bush, July 12, 2007

When Nick Ibarra becomes President the foreign policy will be quite simple:

“From the date of my inauguration, all foreign allies will have 180 days to contact my administration and renegotiate the terms of our alliance and of any American military presence on your soil (ie, military bases in Germany, Japan, etc.). After that 180 days, America will place you in the category of Inactive Ally.

“To those nations who we renegotiate with in the first 180 days: as our Active Allies, we got your back.

“To all nations: for the next two years all foreign aide will cease; in order for the United States to put our home in order, we have to first put our finances in order. It’s nothing personal.

“To those nations, organizations, and other entities who view the United States and our Active Allies as the enemy: we are going to begin the process of rebuilding our nation’s military to once again be the most powerful military in the world. We will succeed. If you decide you want to act in hostility against the United States, our economic interests, or our Active Allies, we will destroy you. We know that in the past political correctness has hindered our ability to destroy our enemy, so we are going to redefine the terms in which we fight. Under the new Rules of Engagement, we will follow one rule: Win.”

Now – that’s some years down the road, so until then we have to deal with the current Administration of President Obama. Unfortunately he and his predecessor, President Bush, didn’t heed President Bush’s advice as stated in the quote above.

That brings us to this evening and the President’s 8pm (CST) address to the nation regarding ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). After months of the mayhem and destruction, Mr. Obama is going to discuss his plan with us.

If there is one, and if it involves destroying the current threat of Radical Islamic Militants, I am on board – I’ll support him ON THIS ISSUE. I don’t want any discussion of “Red Lines”, his concern or “need to be clear”, or any other weak kneed statements about disabling the enemy. Destroy them.  

In 2014, Obama Talk is about as unreliable as a Mini with 100,000 miles on it. He needs to do something or stop alluding to the idea that he will.

I’m tired of it.

That’s all for today. No moral to the story or insight from the SW MO Thinker. Just an former Marine Sergeant and Iraq Veteran who is tired of America looking weak.

War: A nasty little secret

“Peace is purchased through strength. It’s not purchased through weakness or unilateral retreats.” -Benjamin Netanyahu

With the news of America re-inserting itself in Iraq through airstrikes, we also have word that ISIS (Radical Islamic Terrorists) is changing tactics in order to counter the United States. The UN has now stated that genocide is possible at any time.

Several hundred miles away, the Israeli government and Hamas (Radical Islamic Terrorists) have seemingly had a volley of bombings and other military attacks between intermittent cease fires aimed at ending the violence over the past couple of months.

This post is not aimed to talk about these two instances, or any other particular instance at that. It is, however, intended to discuss something that has been on my mind and pressed in my heart while watching all of these events unfold on the news.

It may seem a bit brutal, but it’s the truth as I see it.

I recall standing on a runway in Taqaddum, Iraq, in October 2005. It was a cool night and the sky was clear. As I loaded on to the C-130 cargo plane to be taken out of Iraq, I was overwhelmed with a feeling I will never forget. It was a feeling of gratitude for the men and women who never made the trip home that I was about to take; a feeling of loss for the families that would never hold their loved one again; a feeling of relief that I wasn’t one of them; a feeling of guilt for the feeling of relief I had. After 47 convoy missions, after being under fire more times than I can count on my ten fingers, after loading the wounded and dying on helicopters and in to hospital emergency rooms, after receiving the command to “lock and load” my rifle more than 90 times, after all of this – I was going home.

I say this not out of pride or for bragging purposes, but to make clear that what you are about to read is not written by some professor in a suit sitting in an ivory tower; not by a historian who has read a whole lot about what he hasn’t experienced; and not by some politician who knows nothing of the reality of war when he stands in front of a microphone saying we need to leave the battlefield… then go back then go back.

With all that out of the way – here goes:

The nasty little secret about war? It’s a horrible business.

There are no winners in war; only those who hold out on submission the longest.

When you read of men dying on the battlefield, it’s not glorious. Chances are they were in complete medical shock and had no clue what was going on or they were screaming for their mother at the top of their lungs in blood curdling anguish.

This act, war, is not meant for the pansy-toed, light footed individual. It’s rough, it’s mean, it’s vicious, and it’s relentless. Your stomach may turn, you may have the natural fear any man would, but you still have to proceed with the mission and placing emotions aside.

Chances are that politics aside, the “victor” of war is the one with the most resolve. The one who feels they have the most to lose. The one who feels their cause is most just.

There is a lot more I could point out about war – the bullet points could go on for miles, but it is the last point I noted that I want to concentrate on.

We can avoid it if we want; we can say what we will about our enemy and their capabilities. But the fact is this: whether it’s al Quaeda, ISIS, Hamas, Iran, or Syria, what we are really fighting is Radical Islam – and the more we deny the real threat the more we are sitting around while they are strengthened and emboldened.

This enemy is a group of people who say they want to decimate another culture as a whole. They state they want a Caliphate. With many other goals that involve force and violence, this enemy is willing to decapitate their enemy, cut children in half, brainwash seven year old children in to thinking holding decapitated heads is honorable, and are willing to allow their own people (the very ones they say they are fighting for) be killed for political gain. The reality is not much is going to stop them. Not much except total destruction.

But that’s the thing. Right now we have a federal government that thinks creating fuzzy lines in the sand or dropping a few bombs is going to do the trick. It’s not. If we are going to do anything, it must be everything. If we are not going to go all out, then let’s at least admit so and do nothing.

If we are going to act to help the Iraqis being massacred, then we need to do so with full force. ISIS (or any other Radical Islamic group) doesn’t understand diplomacy. What they are seeking is an Islamic State; is not diplomatic or understanding, and it is not tolerant or compromising. And they won’t stop in Iraq or Syria.

As we watch what is going on on the other side of the world we need to ask ourselves what we are willing to do (or not do) and what sort of resolve we have; what we are willing to fight for; and more so, what we are willing to lose American lives for. But here’s the thing: In an age where the most important thing in life seems to be fast food, reality TV and social media, I fear the answer to those questions is less honorable than those before us would be proud of.

Whatever that answer is, we need to find it and stop the ballet dance with an enemy that is determined to tango… let’s dance or get off the dance floor.