Sunday, March 28, 2010

If you Haven't Read This... You Should! From a Marine to the Tea Baggers calling for Armed Revolution

I read this at Reversing the Handbasket and they got it from MadMikesAmerica... So Tip of the Hat to both of them for this wonderful article...

The writer is an active duty Marine who is concerned with the violent rhetoric in our country. He has also now written an answer to this and I will post part of it and a link to the after this first letter.

This is a MUST READ and SHARE... Please take it and get it out there... I am posting it in it's entirety as it has been asked to do.

An arti­cle I wish I would never have to write — To those call­ing for a civil war, this Marine wants you to stop, and think…

By Sgt. C USMC

It’s been said that the mil­i­tary is always prepar­ing for war. That is true. We pre­pare for com­bat every day. We ran 5 miles today to the rifle range and shot nearly 200 rounds a piece at tar­gets and then ran back. How­ever, we also pray for peace. I would love one day to be com­pletely unnec­es­sary. But alas, I am a real­ist, and I know that day will never come.

The head­lines of the last week have reminded me more of glimps­ing at the S2 Daily Brief­ing Sheets while in the­ater or the Al-Jazeera than the NY Times or the Wash­ing­ton Post. Think about that for a moment, let it sink in.

Before I get into the main premise of this arti­cle — I need to make two state­ments here.

First and fore­most , when it comes to the back and forth of who did what to whom and why — I don’t give a @!$%#. It doesn’t change the action. In life we’re judged by our actions, noth­ing more, noth­ing less. One of the great­est things of the mil­i­tary is when it comes to an enemy, the pol­i­tics behind the sit­u­a­tion — don’t mat­ter in accom­plish­ing that mis­sion. For the mil­i­tary , life is sim­ple in that regard.

Sec­ondly, Regard­less of your polit­i­cal ide­ol­ogy, you’ve earned the right as US Cit­i­zens to say your piece — no mat­ter how wrong it may be. That is your right, and I will give my life to pro­tect it.

But this gov­ern­ment of ours is a democ­racy. We vote for our rep­re­sen­ta­tives, and they vote in our inter­ests. Some­times, the votes don’t go our way. That’s life, bet­ter luck next time. Exhaust your leg­isla­tive options, and then focus on gain­ing the required votes and/or seats to achieve your desired leg­isla­tive vote next elec­tion time. That’s the way things work.

But the SECOND you start com­mit­ting acts of vio­lence and van­dal­ism, then you’ve usurped that Con­sti­tu­tion. You in a way have assaulted it. And then you and I (I being every ser­vice­mem­ber who has sworn to defend said Con­sti­tu­tion) will have a MAJOR PROBLEM.

For those of you call­ing for a civil war, I implore you to stop and think about what you’re say­ing. Look around your neigh­bor­hood and your city. Now imag­ine using that ter­rain to sur­vive. Imag­ine dodg­ing semi-automatic rifle fire as you scram­ble from cover to cover, drag­ging your wounded child behind you. Imag­ine the deaf­en­ing report of a mor­tar as it strikes the ground a 150 feet in front of you, the over­pres­sure enough to shat­ter your teeth and per­fo­rate an ear drum. Try and envi­sion a Stryker rolling through neighbor’s front lawn or a F/A-18 mak­ing lazy loops over your head in Close Air Sup­port for the troops in the distance.

Now with that vision in mind, stop by your local Marine Corps base, being they will be the first mil­i­tary units you’d face in an all out ‘civil war’ . Look at them for a moment, exam­ine their ‘work envi­ron­ment’ . They’re run­ning the track, they’re climb­ing ropes, they’re grap­pelling with each other in mock hand-to-hand com­bat, and shoot­ing tar­gets while mov­ing in raid lines on a daily basis. Nearly every­one on that base, down to our ‘sec­re­taries’ has a com­bat award of one type or another, they’ve faced some of the most stress­ful sit­u­a­tions on Earth where suc­cumb­ing to the stress can get you killed, and they flourished.

Now ask your­selves and be hon­est — when is the last time you’ve run any­thing other than late to work, climbed any­thing other than a flight of stairs, grap­pelled with any­thing other than a paper jam, and shot off any­thing other than your mouth? When’s the last time you were in any sit­u­a­tion more stress­ful than a traf­fic jam?

Now I’m not blam­ing you for your career choice, not in the least. I can’t think of a sin­gle job that’s not use­ful in some way or another. I just want you to sim­ply com­pare and con­trast your work envi­ron­ment with ours and ask your­selves “Who is bet­ter suited to win this bat­tle ?” We both know the answer here, and if you doubt that answer, look at the results from Fal­lu­jah in 2004. Over 1200 of them ‘lost’ and we ‘lost only 28. That’s a ‘win-ratio’ of almost 60–1, and they’ve been fight­ing their whole lives.

Put this in another sce­nario. You and your office­mates think your local pro foot­ball team sucks , so you put together your own team of the best your com­pany has and chal­lenge them to a game. Even if your team might be good, they’re pro­fes­sion­als. This is their job. Your job is to answer phones and type on a key­board. In short, they’ve for­got­ten more than you will ever know about foot­ball. The result, will be a slaugh­ter for you, and a prac­tice for them. But at least you’ll get a chance to sit at home, ice your wounds and say ‘whew I never should’ve done that!’

Not so with com­bat. The results of com­bat are far…FAR..more per­ma­nent. There are no sec­ond chances, no time for regrets, and no do-overs. This is not Call of Duty.

Now I ‘d like to dis­perse a myth here — many of you think that US mil­i­tary would not fight civil­ians. I can’t speak for all, but in my case — the moment you declare civil war, you’re no longer civil­ians. The moment you attack the con­sti­tu­tion, you’re now ene­mies of that con­sti­tu­tion. And I swore to defend and sup­port and if nec­es­sary give my life for that Con­sti­tu­tion and uti­lize every tool, tech­nique, and weapon at my dis­posal to do so. And trust me, I’m not alone.

I hope some of you heed my words and cool the rhetoric and focus on achiev­ing your goals diplo­mat­i­cally instead of phys­i­cally. It would never want to receive a frag order to Mary­land, or North Dakota, or Texas, but it is an order I will fol­low no mat­ter how much it pains me to do so.

As someone from a military family I know these points he makes are very true... Yes, we have heard there is a contingent in the military who are against Pres. Obama and our elected officials. However, let me tell you I don't think it is very large and if they speak out, they can be removed from the service and even jailed for such things.

Their orders are to protect the Constitution and the Commander in Chief. And they will. Never doubt that.

Now on to the second piece from Sgt. C, this is posted at Newsvine... as was the first. Here it is again in it's entirety.

A rewrite of a Marine's call for peace and pause that had been reduced into sheer irrelevance....and an apology.

(I want to apologize to all of you who posted your thoughts and feelings regarding the prior article - I de-published the article to rewrite it to this, and it will not re-publish. I understand many people put a lot of effort into those comments, as I put a lot of effort into my replies. If any of the Newsvine community can tell me how I can get the comments back , I will gladly do so. My biggest apology is for my failure as a moderator. I should have done a better part to keep the conversation to the topic at hand and avoid responding to derailing comments.)

This is intended to be a rewrite of the article that was written - because some people obviously DON'T get it.

The article I wrote yesterday was intended to be a call for peace, and a moment for pause. In all honesty, it was merely my venting after reading dozens of headlines regarding the type of violence in the US that I was more accustomed to seeing on the daily intel briefing sheets while in theater. I never expected the response I got, and I must admit while some of the comments that I received were some of the greatest thoughts and words I've ever seen - some were words I'd hope no human being would never utter to another. My family and myself were threatened, if for no other reason than because my opinions differed from someone else's. Obviously, the intent of my message was convoluted and lost. This is an attempt to correct it.

Every service member has sworn an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. There's no grey area to that. It's as black and white as it gets.

I nor any service member wants to combat civilians in this or any other country. I don't know how many times I can reiterate that - we do not want it to happen. Even as we prepare for war, we pray for peace.

We lace up our boots every morning in an attempt to preserve the freedoms that democracy has awarded us. We all love our country, and we would give our lives to protect it and its way of life.

Military members must have faith in the system of Government, or the whole chain of command and system of military discipline falls apart. We are rarely given all of the details of our entire mission, and instead are expected to complete seemingly ambiguous tasks in support of that mission with the belief that we are doing the right thing . When we find an order illegal , we're obligated not to follow it, and report it.

So call me naive, but yes. I do have faith in the Constitution and the mechanisms inside of it to correct itself and removing people unworthy of holding office. If I didn't , I never would've taken an oath to defend it. You just can't defend part of the Constitution, or the parts you agree with. It's all or nothing. I choose to defend all of it ,even the parts I may disagree with.

Probably the most foolish choice of words I chose to use in that article were the words 'civil war' . I just shouldn't have written them. But I could think of no other way to articulate what I felt it would require for the military to become involved. A civilian uprising wouldn't be sufficient, it would require an all out civil war.

Much of the comments reflected on this poor choice of words - and successfully derailed the conversation from a call for peace and to use the democratic system to resolve our differences, to people arguing over who's side would destroy who. I'll admit, I too was guilty in that regard - and my attempt to compare military and civilian life easily came across as boisterous and hostile, even though its' intent was to be succinct and concise. For that, I apologize.

BUT DON'T YOU @!$%#ING GET IT?!? In a war, no one wins. Even if you're not wounded, it doesn't mean you leave whole. The images, the feelings, the thoughts never leave you, they're forever etched into your mind, and they become a part of who you are. It's been said that "the people who die in war are the lucky ones - they don't have to live with the memories of what transpired." As morbid as it sounds, in many cases its true.

And to what end ? What would be left AFTER this 'war' was concluded ? Would anything really change ? Or would we slowly sink back into the quagmire of the status quo, resort back to what's comfortable, and then future generations will be arguing over the very reasoning behind this conflict , just as we now debate the real reason behind the civil war ? What would our children, and their children say when they look back at this point in our history ? Seriously, what does anyone expect to gain from fighting their friends, family, neighbors over a difference of opinion ? That's what this really boils down to - people are screaming for blood because they feel differently than someone else.

If that's not the definition of madness, I don't know what is. It needs to stop. Now.

The senatorial elections are coming in November 2010. Everyone who feels passionately about this country , one way or the other, should get out and vote for who THEY think will best represent them . The same in November of 2012. This is your Constitutional right - this is your step in democracy. You get to choose who represents you and your views in the Government.

If you choose to vote using force instead, not only will you fail in your attempt, but your cause will suffer on account of your actions. You will hurt not only yourself, but also every individual who ever aligns with that cause in the future. Consider that when you're making your decision - our causes are not typically portrayed by our most noble or thoughtful members, but rather the most crude and thoughtless. They forever taint what might otherwise be a worthwhile message.

So once again, I , an NCO of Marines, call on all people both military and civilian to exercise your Constitutional rights and participate in the democratic process. I urge you to stop reacting, and start instead thinking and considering. I urge you not to immediately dismiss opinions other than your own.

I urge you to open your minds and consider that maybe, just maybe, there's not a single one of us who has all of the answers, and that includes myself.

In short, I urge all of you - to treat everyone else as you would want to be treated, whether you agree with them or not.

Again, I know this is long.. but take it and post it at your sites... Get this out there from someone who is trying to be a voice of reason in this season of hate we seem to be in. This is something we need to be thinking about... All of us... and most especially the ones calling for violence.


K. said...

Great stuff; consider it linked.

He doesn't have to apologize for using the words "civil war." It's only what the teabaggers have been threatening.

Annette said...

I agree. but I guess from what he said he was getting flamed for using those words... I think he is spot on and should be congratulated for having the guts to come out and say it.

Thanks K.. I think it really needs to be read by all.

Taradharma said...

this guy has his head screwed on correctly! He has my admiration and respect. I will link to the site - everyone needs to read this!

Annette said...

Thank you for stopping by.. and thank you for getting this out there.

I hope you come back anytime.

Sky Girl said...

I've been busy as of late, but I'm posting and the second part now, and linking back here.

Annette said...

Thank You SG... It is important I think this be seen...