by Andy Weddington
Sunday, 24 June 2012
"I think I've discovered the secret of life--you just hang around until you get used to it." Charles M. Schulz
So, as to 'Fast & Furious,' our esteemed Attorney General, Eric Holder, lied to Congress. He retracted knowingly false oral and written statements. That's the bottom line, he admitted to lying. He refused to turnover subpoenaed documents. Last week he cowardly hid behind the presidential skirt of Executive Privilege. The Congressional subcommittee, along partisan lines, voted the Attorney General in contempt of Congress. Now the full House vote looms, and it's expected to fall out along party lines. Surprise, surprise. This Department of Justice and White House operation to cover up the reckless death of U. S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry deserves its own codename: 'Fists of Fury'--for the entire country is getting jerked around and off. The full House should not vote Holder in contempt. No. They should have him arrested and charged. And the president, too, if he's involved. Good grief. Justice. Huh! What a deplorable example.
Last week Mr. Obama directed the Department of Defense to celebrate "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month." That edict elicited a great big 'YHGTBSM' cry of disgust throughout my network, and theirs in turn. And the Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, dutifully turned to the Service Chiefs and ordered same. Why? How the celebration of any special interest group e.g. blacks; women; Hispanics; Asian-Pacific islanders; and so on and so forth unifies the military is bewildering. Such recognitions emphasize sects and, contrary to the aim of increasing awareness, does nothing to foster unity and teamwork. Our country paid the price for purposely building a decadent force post World War II. We're going to pay an even bigger price this time.
The LGBT miscreants who, during a recent White House visit, decided it was a good idea to have themselves photographed being disrespectful, digitally (that is, with middle finger), to President Reagan (portrait) only serves to confirm their status as first-order losers and to bring discredit to what many believe is a morally bankrupt cause and outfit. Thanks for making the case.
Speaking of the Marine Corps...
Last week I received a lighthearted note from a family member who just graduated high school and soon heads off to college. The note said a Marine recruiter had been in touch--giving the sales pitch, he commented on music skills, the band being a possibility, and he had no doubt of success. A comment by the youth to the recruiter that there was family history of Marines impressed him. I wrote back and said to tell the recruiter you're not interested, and if he has any questions refer him to your uncle the retired colonel. Recently I made the decision to no longer "recruit" for the Marine Corps (nor the military). It's simple. Decisions changing the culture of military service, particularly the Marine Corps, beyond being personally troublesome, are creating something of which I'm not familiar. My experiences are nothing like what is happening today. Therefore, I am not able to speak with credibility and cannot in good conscious recommend such an important life decision to a youngster. Sad.
During the past month I've been reading book after book, all non-fiction, about war. Some of the books I read years ago and figured it was time to reread them. Good decision, as I learned more the second, third, and fourth times through. Others I finally got around to reading. A partial list: 'Flags of Our Fathers' and 'Flyboys' by James Bradley; 'With the Old Breed' by E. B. Sledge; 'This Kind of War' by T. R. Fehrenbach; and 'Hill 488' by Ray Hildreth and Charles W. Sasser; and others. The authors, in graphic detail, described gruesome ground combat. And more. Sobering reading. But necessary. Thought provoking--is there a place for women?
I've been searching for a letter a Marine major wrote, some 20 years ago, to the editor of a Marine Corps periodical. He was a visionary of sorts. All I know about the letter is he bluntly addressed the looney idea of assigning women to combat units and opined the Marine Corps would be best served to simply furl the colors and preserve its rich history as the finest fighting force in world history. His letter caught the attention of a retired Marine general officer--who felt compelled to pull out a sheet of his embossed stationary and write the major. I know someone who knows, firsthand, of that letter. In between the salutation and closing was a single word: Bravo! Want to wager that letter is framed? Major, are you out there?
Conclusion: There is no place for women in ground combat units. No hypothesizing, no testing, no field trials, nothing is going to discount that conclusion.
I learned recently Marine ground combat units in Afghanistan have tabbed a rear multi-nation/multi-service headquarters camp with the moniker "Camp Cupcake." Marines do not miss a trick. Perfect!
Ending on a happy note...
Back in late January/early February I wrote commentaries 'Good Ghosts of Abaco' and 'Pretty Violet.' The stories centered around a photograph of a beautiful woman I saw in the Bahamas years ago. And have been intrigued by ever since. She was a mystery. I wrote the stories because sundry strange happenings came together during my last visit to the islands and I felt compelled to document them. Out of the blue a few days ago I received an email from a woman who, while researching old photographs of the Bahamas, stumbled on 'Good Ghosts of Abaco.' She said she was excited to come across the article because Violet was her mother. I was floored as I'd about given up hope of learning anything about the beautiful brunette. Turns out the photograph dates circa 1944 and Violet was 17 at the time. She is still alive and lives with family. Last Christmas her daughter took her mother, visiting the island for the first time in fifteen years, to the Lodge (for dinner) where her photograph hangs. She was pleased to see it. And I am pleased Violet's daughter took a moment to drop me a line. The Internet, yet again, makes a connection that would have otherwise certainly not have happened. Wow!