Sunday, November 25, 2007

When Good Soldiers Go Bad

November 25, 2007

Anyone who has ever served in the U.S. Armed Services knows that the vast overall majority of their fellow Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines serve with honor and distinction. We also realize that, like in civilian society, a minute number go bad and commit crimes against others.

Listening to those now in our media outlets, one would think nearly all of our Service People go bad and commit crimes against others, especially when deployed overseas. From My Lai in Viet Nam to Abu Ghraib in Iraq, we hear endless accounts of torture, atrocities, rapes and murders as if they were every day occurrences by our Troops. Most citizens tend to discount the steady drone of negativism by the media, but too many embrace it, wrongfully believing the sensationalized accounts.

Our left leaning Hollywood jumps into the fray with movies like Apocalypse Now, Platoon and a host of others. Brian De Palma has entered the arena now with his latest effort at slandering our Military, Redacted, a movie loosely based on a true event by a very small handful of Troops that raped and murdered an Iraqi girl in what is known as the Al-Mahmudiyah killings.

Sure to incense audiences around the world against American Troops, lost is that three of the surviving persons involved in this has been arrested and convicted, with sentences ranging from 90 to 100 years in prison. One who had returned to civilan life awaits trial in federal court, with an expectation of a similar conviction and sentencing.

Like any civilized country, in the rare instances of Soldiers going bad and committing heinous crimes against civilians, America openly prosecutes those committing the crimes. Our leftist media would lead you to think otherwise.

Often ignored by the media and citizens is another example of Soldiers going bad. Equally as uncommon but similarly sensationalised by the media, these often former Soldiers are embraced by the leftist leaning media after they retire from the Service, often under embarrassing conditions. They turn towards leftist politics and begin undermining the efforts of our Brave Troops that often times, they led.

I am not talking of former enlisted, non-commissioned or junior officers, like the lies told to the Senate and Nation by the now junior Senator from Massachusetts, John ‘F’in Kerry, but of career General Officers often forced to retire due to their lack of effective leadership and under whose command some of the very crimes mentioned happened.

We have General Wesley Clark, said by many to have nearly started World War III, which led to his being relieved of command by former president, B.J. Clinton, making General Clark the only General Officer to ever be fired by the only draft dodger to occupy the White House. After failing in his own Democrat bid for the presidency, he helped undermine the Troops efforts, claiming just days before the 2006 mid-term election that all of our problems basically were ‘Because of Iraq.’

Retired Maj. Gen. John Batiste, Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold, Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, Gen. Anthony Zinni, Maj. Gen. John Riggs, Maj. Gen. Charles Swannack and Brig. Gen. John Johns are among a small group of retired Generals who, for one reason or another, have decided they must speak out against the Bush administration, particularly to bring about the retirement of Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld and the ongoing battles in Iraq.

I should add here that most of these retired General Officers held Command in the first years of the Iraq Battle, the very time that most now complain were mishandled and performance was poor. Yet, they choose to blame others for their own poor performance and leadership, hoping to protect their own legacy’s by publicly opposing the very battles they couldn’t lead to Victory.

The kook anti-war left and Democrat Party embraces these few Generals to bolster their own stance. Other retired Generals who may question public support or speak out in support of the administration are largely ignored.

We can now add another retired General to the list that was forced into retirement for his lack of proper leadership, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez. General Sanchez, who was forced into retirement for his role in the Abu Ghraib scandal, now joins key Democrats in admitting success in President Bush’s Reinforcement policy of the Troops, but calling for withdrawal of the Troops as we are winning.

While the ethics of these retired General Officers remain questionable, they cannot be prosecuted like lower ranking Soldiers that go bad. They enjoy freedom of speech as do the rest of us. Every one of them should know better, though, having seen what emboldening our enemies results in back in the mid-1970’s when they were junior officers.

As has been admitted, the surge is working and improvements are being made. We have an excellent leader in command with General David Petraeus and the Iraqi’s them selves have grown tired of Al Qaeda and are abandoning them and joining forces with our Troops against Al Qaeda. While political reconciliation may be disappointing so far, gains are being made there too, even if small.

I end this post by respectfully asking of these retired General Officers, SIT DOWN AND SHUT THE HELL UP! We are managing just fine without your past mistakes, Sirs!



u∃∃l!∃ said...

You are such a good writer, often with a valid point to make.
So why do you take from your own credibility by resorting to slander, and name calling.
Anyone who reads your writings, knows how you feel about Kerry, there is not need to resort to name calling every time you refer to him.
Name calling is so Jr. High (as we would say in High School).

Does the movie mentioned, go into how the perpetrators of the crime were tried and sentenced?

I don't think that people, who have opposing views, with the actions of our Government, should sit down and shut up at all.
I think they should speak up.
That is how power is kept in balance.

If the media is so left leaning, why don't those who are not left leaning join in the game, and broadcast?
It is easier than it has ever been in the past for anyone to make a move, publish their writings, and be heard. They need an audience, Startup costs are very minimal.

I keep hearing of the left leaning media, and left leaning Hollywood, and left leaning Higher Education systems.
But where are the non left leaning masses?
Do they not know how to make a movie?
Do they not have the resources to buy or start a TV station?
Do they lack an audience?

LewWaters said...

Coboble, perhaps you have no inkling what it is like to have faced death a time or two for your country, only to be ‘rewarded’ over 35 years of your life with being labeled baby killer, monster, warmonger and other such nefarious names, heaped upon us in large part by the likes of Kerry, Jane Fonda and several others that today are prominent within one major political party.

If you have never read it, I ask you to read the entire ‘testimony’ of Kerry’s from back in 1971 and just how he, who was supposed to be a brother, labeled 2.5 million Veterans, the vast majority of who served with distinction and honor and in return were cast aside and looked upon as losers, murderers, drug addicts, a danger to society (being “trained killers let loose on society”) and eventually just poor victims.

In a nutshell, any Valor we were due was stolen over this period by the likes of political opportunists like Kerry and communist supporters like Fonda, culminating in Carters decision to grant amnesty to draft dodgers, in effect making them the heroes of the era instead of those who faced danger to promote freedom and liberty.

All you need do to see what the effects of their movement was is to ask any Vietnamese, Cambodian or Laotian refugee who fled the region in those dark days, especially if they were one of the “Boat People.”

Referring to Kerry as ‘F’in is the very least he is due. If that is “so Jr. High,” then so be it. If it were possible, I’d slap him across the face, not even affording him the honor of being punched.

Of the movie I mentioned, please explain to me the entertainment value of seeing our Troops rape, burn and murder an Iraqi family. De Palma has stated he made it to “show the other side” as for the most part, he sees our Troops lauded with praise and honor. Where he sees it, I don’t know, but that was his claim on TV. He said, "In Vietnam, when we saw the images and the sorrow of the people we were traumatizing and killing, we saw the soldiers wounded and brought back in body bags. We see none of that in this war." He also said, "The movie is an attempt to bring the reality of what is happening in Iraq to the American people. The pictures are what will stop the war. One only hopes that these images will get the public incensed enough to motivate their Congressmen to vote against this war."

Of course, him making a few million dollars at the same time helps too.

But, by his own words, the movie is a indictment of our Troops, again. This one incident isn’t the norm. That is why those surviving and responsible were dealt with, something you will not find where innocent Iraqis or US Servicemen were beheaded by Al Qaeda.

The only mention I find of the responsible being tried, convicted and sentenced is a brief sentence in the Reuters article about it. To De Palma, his “movie” is “the REALITY of the war.” To me, that is slanders against the Troops serving honorably and who would never commit such an act.

As to left leaning media, I still have my open challenge to any to show me positive news articles concerning President Bush since he was elected. To date, one article, him being named Times Man of the Year in 2004, is the only one presented.

As to why don’t we on the right join in and broadcast, I refer you to Fox News and the majority of Talk Radio, both of which are constantly under fire from the rest of the left leaning media and the Democrat party. Visit DailyKOS or DemocraticUnderground someday and see how both are referred to.

I’ll also refer you to the Swift Boat Veterans and POWs for Truth and their book, Unfit for Command, and the slanderous accusations still being levied against them, as well as the term “Swiftboating” being slung about in a pejorative manner.

Once again, they looked upon over 300 highly decorated Combat Viet Nam Veterans in a contemptible defense of one who advocated the defeat of the US and slandered all who served honorably in Viet Nam.

Nearly all of us who served in Viet Nam will not sit still this time around as returning Veterans are slandered or mistreated for performing their duty. We are speaking out and running interference when and where we can, without the financial backing the kook anti-war left receives. It comes out of our pockets, for the most part, and we gladly pay it.

The anti-war left can’t seem to fathom that we too have “freedom of speech!”

Incidentally, all of these anti-war movies are becoming box office flops in the US, but what harm will they do when they hit foreign theaters, convincing those overseas that all of our Troops are like the six in the movie?

Flag Gazer said...

Great post, Lew.

These handful of angry men are causing true trouble for their country. They are so busy trying to be important and cover their butts, and it makes them look ridiculous. I am especially disgusted by Sanchez But, it is my country, too, and it is important to reveal their true colors.

As for 'name-calling' - to those of us who lived through the F'ins hearings, he EARNED that name and it will always be that with me.

LewWaters said...

Flaggazer, thank you for exprssing that. I can't seem to express my feelings in such few words at times.

u∃∃l!∃ said...

I am not saying that your feelings against Kerry are unjustified, just that it detracts from your writing when you constantly refer to him the way you do.

Neither side (Left or Right) should shut up and sit down.
Both sides should listen more to the other.

LewWaters said...

Coboble, in the case of a prominent General Officer, they know better than to openly oppose an ongoing battle and how it costs lives. Viet Nam should have taught everyone that fact.

Many Generals have been either relieved of command or forced into retirement over the course of our history, even during hostilities. Until recently, none took a political stance to call for quitting as their replacement was winning, something they failed to do.

If they feel the need to speak out, they should do it privately, behind closed doors to the President or others who have the President's ear. Speaking in open opposition does embolden our enemies and all they need do is look back to Viet Nam and see that we will lose the will to fight, if they keep feeding into the opposing party's.

As to Kerry, I have yet to state exactly what I feel about him in an open forum. All I will say is I am proud of any small contribution I made that may have prevented him winning the presidency.

From what I read in the constitution, he should be in jail, not the Senate.

DAVE BONES said...

Eileen is right. Plenty of patriotic vietnam vets were and are antiwar. If people believe their country is fighting the wrong war its not unpatriotic to speak out is it?

LewWaters said...

No Dave, it isn't bad, as long as you don't mind seeing American Troops comeing home in body bags.

In the case of a disgraced retired General who speaks out to cover for his own lack of performance, you figure it out.

DAVE BONES said...

If you think the media has bias telling stories, you should tell your story. Have you written your version of Vietnam anywhere?

Are you published at all?

LewWaters said...

Is that supposed to make me any less credible, Dave? Are only "published authors" allowed free speech in your world?

Just for your information, I do have a book based on my tour in mind and partially written.

There is also a book published by one of the Pilot's I served with in Viet Nam that is out, "Red Bird Down" by Bruce Carlson.

There are a few others out, like "Stolen Valor" by B.G. Burkett and "Unheralded Victory" by Mark Woodruff.

If you never heard of them, perhaps you aren't as well read as you believe.

DAVE BONES said...

Not at all mate. You got me wrong. I want to hear a different version of Vietnam. I'm a blogger myself, not a published writer. I was just encouraging you to tell it how you see it. Its your experience whether I would agree with your political perspective or not.

DAVE BONES said...

I've been encouraging all the mad Muslims I have met to write too. Its good for all of us.