Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Men without honor

The Commander In Chief cracks the whip.

It’s good to be the boss. The commander in chief of the armed forces, Donald Trump, issued what appeared to be an order to the Navy over Twitter today. (What a time to be alive!) “The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin. This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!”

After the acquittal, Trump reversed the decision of the court to drop Gallagher in rank for posing for an inappropriate photo. The Navy wasn’t finished with him and decided to review his status as a SEAL and called him to appear before a review board. An “anonymous source” informed NBC News of the internal revolt against the president’s decision.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Rear Adm. Collin P. Green, commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command, would issue an order Wednesday directing that a Trident review board be convened to determine whether to withdraw the emblem from Gallagher.

But the armed forces answer to one man, and he sits in the White House. 

Thank God for that. The brass, being politically-correct, heavily-politicized Obama appointees, are doing nothing more than persecuting Gallagher at this point.

Kinda makes you wonder how we ever got so many Blue Falcon officers like Green and way too many others—most emphatically including insubordinate, seditious, and excruciatingly loathsome REMFs like LTC Vindmann—in the first place, don’t it? As it happens, there’s no mystery to it.

President Obama has fired yet another high-level military commander, and the multiple terminations are causing many Americans to wonder about the reasons behind the “military purge.”

President Obama has fired a total of nine military generals and flag officers just this year. Most recently, the commander of the US Army Garrison in Japan was relieved of his armed forces duties and his deputy, a civilian, was reassigned pending a “misconduct” investigation.

Some military and media sources put the Obama administration military terminations as high as 500 during the president’s five years in the Oval Office.

Navy Captain Joseph John feels that the latest military firing by President Obama is just a small part of a bigger picture. Captain John is a graduate of the Naval Academy, served three tours of duty in Vietnam, was a Navy SEALS commander, and served as an expert on al-Qaeda for the FBI. During his career in the Navy, John was also awarded five Meritorious Service Medals, the Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and more than 20 unit citations and a medal for combat operations.

John wondered if the administration’s opposition to the now overturned Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy on homosexuality has impacted Obama’s actions. He also mentioned the administration’s support for women in combat. John told WND:

I believe there are more than 137 officers who have been forced out or given bad evaluation reports so they will never make Flag (officer), because of their failure to comply to certain views. The truly sad story is that many of the brightest graduates of the three major service academies witnessing what the social experiment on diversity … is doing to the U.S. military, are leaving the service after five years. We are being left with an officer corps that can be made to be more compliant, that is, exactly what Obama needs to effect his long range goals for the U.S. military.

John points also to the changes in the military rules of engagement since Obama took office as a possible reason. The retired Navy hero believes that the changes to the rules of engagement spurred extremely high casualty rates in Afghanistan. He points to the deaths of 17 members of SEAL Team 6 as a prime example. As previously reported by Off The Grid News, the Chinook helicopter (call sign Extortion 17) did not have a gunship escort or any type of cover while it was attempting a nighttime landing during a Taliban incursion.

Insurgents that were on the rooftop of a building used a rocket-propelled grenade to shoot the helicopter to the ground. The deadly helicopter incident happened just several months after SEAL Team 6 raided Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan compound in 2011. According to Captain John, the military rules of engagement ushered in during the Obama administration preclude the use of suppression fire at a landing zone.

And here you thought it was just the American economy, energy industry, and infrastructure that Ogabe was wrecking.

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Kick the tires, light the fires, first one up’s the winner

Y’all already know I just love me some F16, which is the damned prettiest, sexiest jet fighter anybody ever made or ever will make. But it looks like the USAF found a way to put the ice cream on the pie.

F-16-Fighting-Falcon-Wraith.jpg

That badass color scheme is yclept the Wraith; it’s used on the OpFor aircraft of the 64th Aggressor Squadron—proving once again that the bad guys have all the fun, and always get the best toys.

(Via Austin Bay)

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Heroes never die

Where does America find such men? Britain, apparently.

Within the hour, she was pouring him coffee. He said that his name was Rick Rescorla, and he seemed eager to talk—so eager that Susan doubted he was paying much attention to her end of the conversation. (She was later surprised to learn that he remembered everything she’d said.) Rescorla told her that he was divorced, with two children, and was living in the area to be near them. He had been married for many years, but he and his wife had grown apart, and when he felt his children were old enough they’d divorced. His name wasn’t really Rick, he explained, but hardly anyone called him by his given names, Cyril Richard. He had grown up in Hayle, a tiny village in Cornwall, on England’s southwest coast, with his grandparents and his mother, who worked as a housekeeper and companion to the elderly. He’d left Hayle in 1956, when he was sixteen, to join the British military. He’d fought against Communist-backed insurgencies in Cyprus from 1957 to 1960, and in Rhodesia from 1960 to 1963.

These experiences had made him a fierce anti-Communist. The reason he had come to America, he said, was to enlist in the Army, so that he could go to Vietnam. He welcomed the opportunity to join the American cause in Southeast Asia and, for a long time, had never questioned the wisdom or morality of the war. After fighting in Vietnam, he returned to the United States, using his military benefits to study creative writing at the University of Oklahoma, and eventually earning a bachelor’s, a master’s in literature, and a law degree. He had met his former wife there.

Rescorla was one of the many bona fide heroes killed on 9/11, selflessly risking and eventually losing his life as he worked desperately to get as many people out of his building to relative safety as he possibly could. The man was nothing but raw, indomitable courage made flesh: a warrior’s warrior, a dauntless man of honor who would allow nothing whatsoever to stand between himself and the performance of his duty.

In St. Augustine, Dan Hill was laying tile in his upstairs bathroom when his wife called, “Dan, get down here! An airplane just flew into the World Trade Center. It’s a terrible accident.” Hill hurried downstairs, and then the phone rang. It was Rescorla, calling from his cell phone.

“Are you watching TV?” he asked. “What do you think?”

“Hard to tell. It could have been an accident, but I can’t see a commercial airliner getting that far off.”

“I’m evacuating right now,” Rescorla said.

Hill could hear Rescorla issuing orders through the bullhorn. He was calm and collected, never raising his voice. Then Hill heard him break into song:

Men of Cornwall stop your dreaming;
Can’t you see their spearpoints gleaming?
See their warriors’ pennants streaming
To this battlefield.

Men of Cornwall stand ye steady;
It cannot be ever said ye
for the battle were not ready;
Stand and never yield!

Rescorla came back on the phone. “Pack a bag and get up here,” he said. “You can be my consultant again.” He added that the Port Authority was telling him not to evacuate and to order people to stay at their desks.

“What’d you say?” Hill asked.

“I said, ‘Piss off, you son of a bitch,’ “ Rescorla replied. “Everything above where that plane hit is going to collapse, and it’s going to take the whole building with it. I’m getting my people the fuck out of here.” Then he said, “I got to go. Get your shit in one basket and get ready to come up.”

Here’s the real kicker, though, which I figger a lot of people might not know about (I’m pretty sure I’ve written this up before here, actually, although Ye Olde CF search box doesn’t turn anything up):

You folks may or may not remember a fine movie from 2002 called We Were Soldiers, starring Mel Gibson, Sam Elliott, and Barry Pepper, among many other good ‘uns. The flick tells the story of the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley, one of the earliest major engagements of the Vietnam War. The film is based on an even better book, We Were Soldiers Once…And Young, by LT General Hal Moore and journalist Joe Galloway. Here’s the cover of the first-edition version, which is the one I have:

SoldiersOnce.jpg

NOW. Any of y’all care to take a guess as to just who the soldier in the cover pic might be?

Go on, guess.

I dare ya. Wild, huh?

(First link via Insty)

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The mystic chords of memory

What could be more appropriate today than a reflection on Gettysburg by the Civil War’s greatest historian, Shelby Foote?

Lee laid his hand on the dead Jackson’s map, touching the regiion just east of the mountains that caught on their western flanks the rays of the setting sun. “Hereabouts we shall probably meet the enemy and fight a great battle,” he saud, “and if God gives us the victory, the war will be over and we shall achieve the recognition of our independence.”

One of the place names under his hand as he spoke was the college town of Gettysburg, just over 20 miles away, from which no less than 10 roads ran to as many disparate points of the compass, as if it were probing for trouble in all directions.

Lee groped his way across the Pennsylvania landscape, deprived of his eyes and ears (Stuart’s cavalry) and with little information as to the enemy’s whereabouts or intentions… Whatever Lee encountered, good or bad, was bound to come as a surprise, and surprise was seldom a welcome thing in war. And so it was. Coincidents refused to mesh for the general who, six weeks ago in Richmond, had cast his vote for the long chance. Fortuity itself, as the deadly game unfolded move by move, appeared to conform to a pattern of hard luck; so much so, indeed, that in time men would say of Lee, as Jael had said of Sisera after she drove the tent peg into his temple, that the stars in their courses had fought against him.

One more item concerned Lee, though few of his lieutenants agreed that it should be so. They were saying that Meade was about as able a general as Hooker, but considerably less bold, and they were exchanging congratulations on Lincoln’s appointment of another mediocre opponent for them. Lee, who had known the Pennsylvanian as a fellow engineer in the old army, did not agree. “General Meade will commit no blunder on my front,” he said, “and if I make one he will make haste to take advantage of it.”

The Confederates had the advantage of converging on a central point whereas the Federals would be marching toward a point that was beyond their perimeter, but Meade had the advantage of numbers and a less congested road net: plus another advantage which up to now, except for the brief September interlude that ended bloodily at Sharpsburg, had been with Lee. The northern commander and his soldiers would be fighting on their own ground, in defense of their own homes.

Meade had already lost control of events before he made the offer to abide by the decision of the first of his chief subordinates who took a notion that the time had come to backtrack. Even as the circular was being prepared and the engineers were laying out the proposed defensive line behind Pipe Creek, John Reynolds was committing the army to battle a dozen miles north of the headquarters Meade was getting ready to abandon. And Reynolds in turn had taken his cue from Buford, who had spread his troopers along the banks of another creek, just west of Gettysburg; Willoughby Ryan, it was called.

Lee was aware of Napoleon’s remark that at certain edgy times a dogfight could bring on a battle, and it seemed to him that with his infantry groping its way across unfamiliar, hostile terrain, in an attempt to perform the proper function of cavalry, this might well be ones of those times. He was worried and said so.

The Federals were retreating pell-mell into the streets of Gettysburg, already jammed with other blue troops pouring down from the north, under pressure from Ewell, as into a funnel whose spout extended south. Those who managed to struggle free of the crush, and thus emerge from the spout, were running hard down two roads that led steeply up a dominant height where guns were emplaced and the foremost of the fugitives were being brought to a halt, apparently for still another stand; Cemetery Ridge, it was called because of the graveyard on its lofty plateau, half a mile from the town square. Another half mile to the east, about two miles where Lee stood, there was a second eminence, Culp’s Hill, slightly higher than the first, to which it was connected by a saddle of rocky groun, similarly precipitous and foreboding. These two hills, their summits a hundred feet above the town, which in turn was about half that far below the crest of Seminary Ridge, afforded the enemy a strong position — indeed, a natural fortess — on which to rally his whipped and panicky troops, especially if time was allowed for the steadily increasing number of defenders to improve with their spades the already formidable advantages of terrain… It was clear that if the tactical advantage was not pressed, it might soon be lost altogether, first by giving the rattled bluecoats a chance to recompose themselves, and second by allowing time for the arrival of heavy reinforcements already on the way. Moreover, both of these reasons for continuing the offensive were merely adjunctive to Lee’s natural inclination, here as elsewhere, now as always, to keep a beaten opponent under pressure, adn thus off balance, just as long as his own troops had wind and strength enough to put one foot in front of the other.

The story of Gettysburg is one of the richest, most engrossing, and sometimes just damned strange in all the annals of warfare. Its scale and sweep are nothing short of epic, its central irony staggering: seriously, what irony could be more biting than that such grandeur should be borne up on the shoulders of the common rank-and-file footsloggers doing battle nose-to-nose with their enemies every bit as much as those of the larger-than-life men in command?

Gettysburg is a narrative filled with examples of brilliance and blunder; of extraordinary, almost superhuman valor; of the best-laid plans of brilliant commanders being laid all to waste by sheerest happenstance and blind, dumb luck. It is a tale of glory and heroism brought forth from the sordid, tawdry horror of one of the most murderous acts of organized human violence in history. It is profound nobility shining forth from the bloody muck and agony of the battlefield.

All those truths taken together lends the weight of prophecy to Lee’s famous quote from the earlier battle at Fredericksburg: “It is well that war is so terrible, else we would grow too fond of it.”

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Mean girls

Unbelievable.

The allegations turned from stealing cookie butter into cold-blooded murder — that he stabbed a wounded teenage ISIS captive to death and mowed down a young girl and old man from a sniper’s roost.

Soon, what started as petty rumors morphed into murder charges against a decorated Navy SEAL in a case that has captured the nation’s — and the president’s — attention.

Those fighting for 40-year-old Chief Special Warfare Operator Eddie Gallagher’s innocence believe he will ultimately be found not guilty when his trial convenes on June 17.

His wife Andrea Gallagher and his brother Sean Gallagher described in recent interviews with Breitbart News how they believe it all happened.

Andrea said it all began when her husband was tapped to lead the worst-performing SEAL Team platoon into the final battle to finish off the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in Mosul, Iraq, in 2017. It would be his eighth combat deployment and his second time to Mosul.

During the workup to the deployment, Eddie turned it into the No. 1 platoon, she said. However, on the deployment beginning February 2017, things quickly soured between Eddie, who was the platoon chief, and his much-younger subordinate SEALs in their mid-20s.

Some of the platoon members started to complain constantly about the battle rhythm, she said. Eddie scolded them, saying, ‘You guys are not performing…on the SEAL teams, this is how we do it.” He told them to their faces, “You guys are performing like cowards and pussies,” she said.

Andrea said since her husband stayed on target the entire deployment, back at the rest house a “revolt” started. “They would all just b-tch and moan and piss…like high school girls,” she said.

She said the initial campaign was started by four people, including some who had never been in combat before and were not handling the battle rhythm. She said Eddie told them, “What we’re doing is not anything over and above what the call of duty is. This is standard operating procedure.”

“It’s just very weird juxtaposition of this warrior community that’s been infiltrated by these weaker minded individuals that can’t be told what to do, they don’t respect authority, in fact they usurp authority and they don’t think that they’re accountable to anyone or anything,” she said.

She said around March 2018, the accusers decided they wanted three things. “They decided that what they wanted — the end goal was three things, they wanted my husband off of TRADET, they wanted my husband stripped of his silver star that they had put him in for. They also wanted him not to pick up E-8,” she said.

Sean said Eddie did such a good job in Mosul that he was named the “number one SEAL chief of the number one SEAL platoon.” “These dudes were pissed about that, they’re like, ‘well this guy put us in danger,’” he said.

Uhhhh—ladies, you’re SEALs. Danger is your business, ferchrissakes.

As for that 17-year-old ISIS fighter Gallagher is supposed to have “murdered,” I’ll repeat what I said the first time I wrote about this rancid goatfuck: I do not give a moist fart about the means by which any ISIS fighter winds up cold, stiff, and stinking—much less how old he, she, or it might be. As long as the Tango ends up dead, dead, dead, I am a-okay with whatever the backstory might be.

Much more to this sickening story at the link, including an appearance by the conniving, lying JAG-off primarily responsible for Gallagher’s ongoing persecution. “Cowards and pussies”? Hey, if the shoe fits, dude-ettes; sometimes, you just gotta call a spade a spade. It’s a disturbing condemnation of Navy SpecWar’s apparently “evolving” standards that such toxic little bitches ever got through BUDs in the first place.

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Unwon wars, filled graves

WRSA gives us a steer to an oldie but still-relevant goodie from Codevilla explaining why we no longer win wars, and never will again.

The shape of U.S. foreign policy for most of the 20th century and into our own time was set by Progressive Republican statesmen, Elihu Root and Henry L. Stimson. They believed that military action should be pursued, if at all, for international peace and order, not to advance specifically American interests. Their colleagues—Andrew Carnegie, Nicholas Murray Butler, and David Starr Jordan (Herbert Hoover’s mentor)—were outright pacifists. Democrats Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Cordell Hull (FDR’s secretary of state for almost 12 years, longer than any American has ever served in that office), and their successors, Dean Acheson and Harry Truman, turned the idea of international order into realities: the League of Nations, United Nations, and subsequent permanent alliances embodying “collective security.” That ruling Progressive consensus has determined America’s military objectives ever since, and largely deprived America of peace.

By 1950, polite society—which excluded the American people’s vast majority—was well-nigh unanimous that victory and peace, as well as the very notion of an overriding, peculiarly American national interest, were concepts that belonged to the age of the dinosaurs. Military officers however were mostly dinosaurs, the most prominent of whom was General of the Army Douglas MacArthur. His conquest of the western Pacific in World War II, followed by the 1950 masterstroke that reversed military defeat in Korea, had captivated American opinion. By firing MacArthur in April 1951, President Truman began to enforce polite society’s wisdom on the military. By the end of the Vietnam war some 20 years later, that wisdom about war and peace conquered the Democratic Party wholly, spread to much of the Republican Party, and to the senior U.S. officer corps, too. Hence, since 1951, America’s renowned generals—Matthew Ridgway, William Westmoreland, Colin Powell, and David Petraeus—have brought only stalemate, defeat, waste, and more war, while drawing down the nation’s reservoir of respect.

As you might expect, our slow slide from WW2 victory into hapless, floundering futility was instigated by a dithering Democrat president more concerned with political appearances than winning wars; he tied the hands of a competent general, refused to clarify his wartime goals when directly asked, then saw to it that the general was smeared as an over-ambitious dictator-in-waiting with political ambitions of his own—an unjust tarring, helped along by a partisan mainstream media, that has stained his reputation to this very day.

Washington’s “responsible officials,” up to and including Truman, refused to take responsibility for ordering any course of action whatever. Brands gives the fuller account. MacArthur, the option of victory having been denied, asked, “Is the present objective of United States political policy to maintain a military position in Korea—indefinitely, for a limited time, or to minimize losses by evacuation as soon as it can be accomplished?” Brands writes, “Dean Acheson read MacArthur’s letter with astonishment,” saying afterwards that MacArthur was “incurably recalcitrant and basically disloyal to the purposes of his commander in chief.” But what were these purposes, and how did they translate into how and why American draftees were dying?

Truman, on advice of his counselors, had resisted bipartisan calls for a declaration of war. Such a request would have forced his administration to define and submit its objectives to a vote by both Houses of Congress. But by creating the fiction that the war was by, of, and for the United Nations, Truman et al. believed they were gaining flexibility, which is of great strategic value—but only to leaders who know what they’re doing. But Truman and his advisors did not, so their flexibility and disunity acted like a sail in the winds of events.

Truman, after convening the National Security Council, also chose not to answer MacArthur’s request for orders. “This present telegram is not to be taken in any sense as a directive. Its purpose is to give you something of what is in our minds.” U.S. troops’ successful resistance would demonstrate that aggression does not pay and would encourage others to believe in America’s pledges of assistance. “We recognize, of course, that continued resistance might not be militarily possible with the limited forces with which you are being called upon to meet large Chinese armies…if we must withdraw from Korea, it [must] be clear to the world that that course is forced upon us by military necessity.” Translated from bureaucratese, the message was: hold on with the forces and restrictions you’ve got, regardless of how many American lives it costs.

And cost it did. Some three fourths of the Americans killed in Korea died after the U.S. government stopped trying to win the war. Since Truman’s decision taught the world that no-win wars were now the American ruling class’s modus operandi, the cost of three later generations’ wars, including the incalculable toll of domestic decay resulting from Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, should also be added in.

And so Truman, despite such scurrilous waffling and weaseling, goes down in history as “Give ’em hell Harry”—a tough, flinty-eyed president and CinC, who brooked no nonsense when it came to defending the Constitution and the nation—while MacArthur is remembered as an egotistical megalomaniac—a blustering, incompetent would-be despot whose reach, thankfully, far exceeded his grasp. Truman’s record, now pretty much buried for all practical purposes, speaks for itself; let MacArthur’s own parting words speak for him:

MacArthur returned from Korea to a conquering hero’s reception: ticker-tape parades and a speech to a joint session of Congress. The pledge he made and kept to “just fade away” belied the contention that he had tried to usurp the Constitution, and bolstered the two warnings he left his fellow citizens. First, “In war, there is no substitute for victory.” Forgetting something so very basic had been no mere mistake, but a symptom of moral decay. Hence his other warning: “History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.”

And we haven’t won a war since—not because we can’t, but because we won’t. And until and unless that changes—stipulating, of course, that we should always be very damned careful and conscientious about doing so in the first place—we damned well need to make sure we don’t get into any more of them.

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Unclear and confuscated

Obligatory disclaimer: yes, it’s the Bee, and I do know it’s satire. Or, as their new subscription-solicitation box pronounces: “Fake news you can trust, delivered straight to your inbox.”

And yes, I signed up for it.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In a special session called to order Friday, Congress voted unanimously to do a complete overhaul of Father’s Day, renaming the holiday “Toxic Masculinity Awareness Day” and redefining the day’s meaning to encourage citizens to heap shame and disgust on all fathers, current or potential.

Americans across the country excitedly prepared to celebrate the updated holiday designed to shame fathers and all things masculine as the weekend approached.

“It was just time,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan, citing the high numbers of depression and anxiety among men as “a good sign things are progressing in the right direction, but we still have a lot of work to do before all men, everywhere do the right thing and hate themselves with the appropriate level of vehemence.” The new initiative seeks to have all men wailing in the streets in sackcloth and ashes, flagellating and weeping with shame and regret for their harmful, problematic masculinity.

The rewritten holiday guidelines suggest cancelling any gift orders for cigars or plans to take dad out for steak and instead sitting dad on the floor in the living room and repeatedly shaming him for being part of the problem, saying things like “Take that money you were going to spend on a beard trimmer and instead donate it to women’s rights.” The government also established an associated website, ToxicFathersDay.gov, where you can download a free card to give your father that reads, “This isn’t your day any more. Do better.”

Okay, I THINK it’s satire. Maybe not; it’s so hard to tell these days, and attaching that “statement” to Paul RINO ain’t helping to keep the lines clear either. Here, let’s try another one.

U.S.—While everyone has a mother–a necessity in every family for raising and providing for the children–there is a second type of parent some people have called a “father.” It is unknown what purpose this seemingly vestigial parent provides, but today is a holiday known as Father’s Day, where the existence of fathers is acknowledged even if their purpose is unknown.

There had been concerns in the past that fathers actually were harmful to families because of their toxic masculinity, but that masculinity has been tamed in recent years. Now they’re relatively harmless and can help with chores around the house–though usually only under tight supervision, as they’re not very good at them–and can occasionally watch the children–though this again can cause trouble, as they often irritate the children with bad jokes.

While no one recommends having a father, if you know of one, today is the day to tell him, “There you are.” Scientists expect fathers to completely disappear in the next few decades, though, as they’re replaced with an automated device that can both kill spiders and say, “Nice to meet you, Hungry.”

Yep, I think it’s satire. I THINK.

Know what the real problem with the Bee is, though? Every danged time I look in over there I wind up wanting to excerpt EVERYthing here. They just suck me right in every time, and whenever I find myself immersed therein it’s so enjoyable that I don’t want to come back out again.

Update! Exhibit A in support of that last ‘graph of mine.

Covert Navy SEAL Team Really Starting To Regret Wearing These Pride Month Uniforms
RAQQA, SYRIA—A Navy SEAL Team recently expressed regret in showing support for Pride Month after their new uniforms gave away their position in a covert operation to infiltrate an ISIS stronghold. Seal Captain James McKeever says they endured heavy gunfire after the little rainbow flags poking up off of their shoulder area drew the enemy’s attention. “The whole mission was a bust. We barely made it out alive.”

The SEAL team is now being investigated for hate speech after expressing such clearly unpatriotic and anti-gay opinions. “To refuse to wear a bright, rainbow-covered frog suit on a covert ops mission is the definition of anti-gay bias,” said investigator Janice Gillespie. “They will be duly reprimanded.”

See? You SEE what I mean, dammit?

Updated update! An incredibly moving Father’s Day tribute that is DEFINITELY not satirical.

The men of 8th Company were much older now and not as lean as the men — boys, really — who appeared in the photos from 1950-51. Most carried extra weight around the middle, had the leathery skin that came with years of overexposure to the sun, and old tattoos that had purpled with age on biceps and calves that were not as hard and chiseled as they once were — but you didn’t try to tell them that. Like old athletes, they spoke with as much bravado as ever.

I had to smile. It had been my privilege to be raised in the company of such men. They could be profane and the jokes were always off-color. They were, to a man, hard-drinking and chain-smoking. They incessantly complained about the army and were fiercely proud of their part in it. Ornery and ready to fight each other, they were nonetheless ready to die for each other, too. Their vices were ever near the surface and yet, I cannot imagine where America would be without their kind.

I was 20 years old and sat silently watching and listening as I so often did when my father swapped war stories with other veterans. But this time it was different. These weren’t just any veterans; these were the men with whom he had shed blood. This would be his last reunion and it was important to him that I be there. As the son of an 8th Company Ranger, I was, like other sons, an honorary member of this very exclusive club and therefore allowed to participate on the periphery of their banter — and fetch them beer. Lots of beer. Ranger reunions were impossible without beer. And with middle-aged men, that meant frequent trips to the bathroom.

With my father away for a moment on just that sort of mission, one of his old buddies leaned in as if to tell me a secret:

“If any man was ever born to be a soldier, it was your father. Some men have an instinct for the battlefield, and he damn sure did. Absolutely the best shot I ever saw. Could hit flies at a hundred yards. And, man, he was fearless…”

My father, returning, rolled his eyes: “That’s bulls–t, Mike. I was as afraid as any man.”

He turned to me. “It’s as I’ve told you before, son, a man who is truly fearless will get you killed. There’s something wrong with him. His instincts don’t tell him to be afraid when he should be. You want a man on point who wants to stay alive just like you do and whose senses are telling him ‘something’s not right here’ when there’s reason to believe you’re walking into an ambush. Now Mike here, was a helluva point man…” This was all very typical. They extolled each other’s battlefield heroics, but not their own.

All of these men dealt with the psychological wounds of war whether they ever received a Purple Heart or not. My mother tells me that my father suffered from hideous nightmares to the day he died, a recurring one being that he had fallen into a thinly covered mass grave full of bodies in a state of decomposition. Though he fights to climb out over the bodies, the rotten flesh slides off the bones as he grips them and their flesh remained on him for days until he could bathe, a luxury not afforded to men behind enemy lines. Though he would never say, she thinks the nightmare reflected an actual occurrence. I wager all of these men had nightmares of war.

Years later, as he lay on his deathbed delirious from the heavy doses of morphine, he returned to the battlefield. I will never forget his words, a command shouted with urgency and authority: “Cover the left flank! Cover the left flank! Move! Move! Move!” The order was repeated along with something about laying down suppression fire. Whatever the battle he was in, he was reliving it and he was determined to hold the line. In that moment, I prayed that the Lord would take him. He was suffering the horror of war all over again.

The next afternoon, his chest, heaving and belabored for days, relaxed and the air left his lungs in one long sigh. My father was dead.

Trust me when I assure you that you absolutely MUST read all of this. Keep the hankies close at hand when you do. And wonder where we ever found such men, and whether we’ll ever see their like again. Pray to God that we do; sooner or later, as surely as the Sun rises, we’re going to need them.

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We shall not see their like again

I kinda let the D-Day and Midway anniversaries slip by me this week, but as usual Aesop has me covered with a statement that’s short, sweet, and to the point.

Over 300,000 troops from 8 countries fought at Normandy for the Allies, 75 years ago today.
Actuarially, there are but a handful of them still alive.
The youngest would be 92, and the average age would be 101.

In a few years, they’ll all be dead.
Every one of them are national treasures.

The comments sport several great war stories told by the descendents of D-Day vets. Elsewhere, another good ‘un.

The dive bomber squadron from the Hornet never found the Japanese fleet. And the squadrons from the Enterprise might not have except for the initiative and decision making of another junior officer.

Lieutenant Commander Wade McClusky had been searching for the Japanese fleet in the area where, according to his briefing, it should have been. But when he looked down from some 20,000 feet, the only thing he saw was empty ocean. He conducted a search, according to doctrine, and succeed only in burning more fuel. To the point where it would soon be either a) head back to the Enterprise or b) ditch.

A lot depended on what one fairly junior naval aviator decided to do with the time and fuel he had left. Wade McClusky had to make a decision. What course would take him to the Japanese fleet? It was all on him.

He made a call and you could say he played a hunch. An informed hunch but still, if it had come up wrong …

He had seen a spotted a single Japanese ship on the wide surface of the Pacific. It was a destroyer and judging by the distinct white wake, it was making speed.

To where and for what? McCluskey thought.

To wherever the Japanese fleet was, in order to rejoin it, he reasoned.

Using the V of the ship’s wake as though it were the point of a compass needle, McCluskey changed course. A few minutes later he and the dive bombers he led were in the wide, unguarded skies over the Japanese fleet.

The dive bomber squadron from the Yorktown arrived at almost exactly this time. The Americans attacked and the Japanese lost three fleet carriers and the initiative in the Pacific in a span of five minutes. There is nothing else like it in the history of warfare.

In the next hours of the battle, the remaining Japanese carrier was sunk as was the Yorktown.

Admiral Raymond Spruance handled his fleet both boldly and steadily. He was aggressive when he needed to be and prudent when he had to be. The workers in the yard who had made it possible for the Yorktown to take part in the fight played a big role in the victory. As, certainly, did the code breakers. And then, there were those bold decisions, made in the moment, by Waldron and McClusky, recalling the way that Chamberlain saved the situation at Little Round Top.

America seems to find people like them when they are most desperately needed.

And, one thinks, it isn’t by accident.

Nope. By the grace of God, if you ask me. Next, a lovely D Day remembrance from Steyn that also sounds a heartbreakingly sobering note.

The building on the other side of the Bénouville Bridge was a café and the home of Georges Gondrée and his family. Thérèse Gondrée had spent her childhood in Alsace and thus understood German. So she eavesdropped on her occupiers, and discovered that in the machine-gun pillbox was hidden the trigger for the explosives the Germans intended to detonate in the event of an Allied invasion. She notified the French Resistance, and thanks to her, after landing in the early hours of June 6th, Major Howard knew exactly where to go and what to keep an eye on.

Shortly after dawn there was a knock on Georges Gondrée’s door. He answered it to find two paratroopers who wanted to know if there were any Germans in the house. The men came in, and Thérèse embraced them so fulsomely that her face wound up covered in camouflage black, which she proudly wore for days afterward. Georges went out to the garden and dug up 98 bottles of champagne he’d buried before the Germans arrived four years earlier. And so the Gondrée home became the first place in France to be liberated from German occupation. There are always disputes about these things, of course: the French historian Norbert Hugedé says the first liberated building was in fact the house of M Picot. But no matter: the pop of champagne corks at the Café Gondrée were the bells tolling for the Führer’s thousand-year Reich.

Arlette Gondrée was a four-year old girl that day, and she has grown old with the teen-and-twenty soldiers who liberated her home and her town. But she is now the proprietress of the family café, and she has been there every June to greet those who return each year in dwindling numbers.

The Bénouville Bridge was known to Allied planners as the Pegasus Bridge, after the winged horse on the shoulder badge of British paratroopers. But since 1944 it has been called the Pegasus Bridge in France, too. And in the three-quarters of a century since June 6th, no D-Day veteran has ever had to pay for his drink at the Café Gondrée.

They were young, but they were not children. Five years ago, I listened to President Obama explain from Brussels that the deserter he brought home from the Taliban in the days before the D-Day anniversary was just a “kid”. In fact, he was 28 years old. I remember walking through the Canadian graves at Bény-sur-Mer a few years ago. Over two thousand headstones, but only a handful of ages inscribed upon them: 22 years old, 21, 20…But they weren’t “kids”, they were men.

Somehow, in our complacency we latter-day Americans have failed to honor the legacy of those men. But we have in no way besmirched the Boys of Point Du Hoc by our lapse; thankfully, that just isn’t within the ken of hollow, despicable worms like Obama. Nor is it within ours.

Update! Gerard takes you there.

Today your job is straightforward. First you must load 40 to 50 pounds on your back. Then you need to climb down a net of rope that is banging on the steel side of a ship and jump into a steel rectangle bobbing on the surface of the ocean below you. Others are already inside the steel boat shouting and urging you to hurry up.

Once in the boat you stand with dozens of others as the boat is driven towards distant beaches and cliffs through a hot hailstorm of bullets and explosions. Boats moving nearby are, from time to time, hit with a high explosive shell and disintegrate in a red rain of bullets and body parts. Then there’s the smell of men near you fouling themselves as the fear bites into their necks and they hunch lower into the boat. That smell mingles with the smell of cordite and seaweed.

In front of you, over the steel helmets of other men, you can see the flat surface of the bow’s landing ramp still held in place against the sea. Soon you are within range of the machine guns that line the cliffs above the beach ahead. The metallic death sound of their bullets clangs and whines off the front of the ramp.

Then the coxswain shouts and the klaxon sounds. Then you feel the keel of the LVCP grind against the rocks and sand of Normandy as the large shells from the boats in the armada behind you whuffle and moan overhead. Then the explosions all around increase in intensity and then the bullets from the machine guns in the cliffs ahead and above rattle and hum along the steel plates of the boat and the men crouch lower. Then somehow all lean forward as, at last, the ramp drops down and you see the beach. Then the men surge forward and you step with them. Then you are out in the chill waters of the channel wading in towards sand already doused with death, past bodies bobbing in the surf staining the waters crimson. Then you are on the beach.

It’s worse on the beach.

You’ll want to read all of this one too; read, and marvel in awe at what these ordinary everyday American boys endured, and achieved.

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Sobering reminder

Francis makes a well-taken if uncomfortable point about Memorial Day.

America’s armed forces are the finest that have ever existed. The young Americans who populate it, regardless of their individual reasons for taking the oath, are the very best of us. When called upon, they go where they’ve been sent and do what they’ve been told – superbly. In every combat action on record they’ve performed prodigies that have baffled the military minds of other lands.

We’ve lost a great many of those young lives. If the Civil War be included, the count is well over a million. Any decent person must pray that they were not wasted, in some ultimate sense. And to be perfectly fair, most of the combats in which American forces have taken part were more popular than not. Yes, even World War I and Vietnam.

But it takes a severe stretch of the terms involved to propose that the World Wars, the Korean and Vietnamese conflicts, and the later actions were “to protect our freedom.” They may have been geostrategically wise, though there is legitimate disagreement about several of them. They may have protected various extraterritorial interests, or the interests of nations allied to us. But they correlate with the diminution of Americans’ freedom, not with its preservation…and certainly not with its expansion.

If the subject of interest is the motivation behind American engagement in those combats, let it be said, plainly and at once: the protection of Americans’ freedom was nowhere near the minds of those who sent them forth to do battle.

Over and over, our men at arms have gone forth. They fought, suffered, bled, died – and prevailed. Words cannot express the praise and honor we owe them. But the political classes that dispatched them to foreign combats cannot reasonably be thought to have been concerned with Americans’ freedom.

We owe our fallen men at arms a grateful remembrance on Memorial Day. But let us also be mindful of something less praiseworthy: the willingness of old men in suits, seated in comfortable chairs in places well removed from the hazards and terrors of armed combat, to send them forth for reasons about which they have been less than honest.

Troubling as that is, I can’t see how any honest man could deny it. I myself had a thought as I was putting my own MD post together, a sort of kissing-cousin to my long-held contention that Independence Day ought to be more like a national day of mourning at this point, rather than a celebration of ideals we’ve pretty much shat upon. To wit: remember our fallen soldiers, surely. Honor them, as they so richly deserve. But does it feel to anybody but me that maybe us cake-eating civilians might owe them a very public apology on Memorial Day too, for how we’ve taken the principles to which their sacrifice is dedicated so completely for granted? How we’ve sat complacently back and allowed the very Constitution they all swear an oath most solemn to uphold and defend to be bypassed and defiled?

As Francis says: they fight, they suffer, they bleed, they die…while we do little or nothing to demonstrate that we take their sacrifice seriously, by seeing to it that our national inheritance of liberty and self-determination is properly valued and not besmirched. The failure to defend our freedom is certainly not theirs. Nor can it be justly laid upon the Constitution’s doorstep. To our eternal disgrace, I’m afraid that We The People own all of that one. We’ve failed to do our part, whatever the reasons, and damned well ought to be ashamed of ourselves for it.

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Special Forces Brotherhood MC

An interesting Rolling Thunder story about an MC I didn’t know about.

The Special Forces Brotherhood Motorcycle Club, abbreviated as SFBMC in a patch over their hearts, came from around the country to participate in the solemn event and to catch up with one another, who they consider to be family.

They came from all over the country, from Fort Bragg in North Carolina and as far as from Yuma, Arizona. They were active and retired, young and old. Many came with wives and girlfriends. Some came by themselves. But all were amongst friends.

To become a member of the SFBMC is no easy task — candidates must earn their way in. There is a vetting process to become even a prospective candidate. Candidates must have worn the Special Forces tab honorably. Ultimately every member must approve the candidate’s entrance into the club.

Full members don a black leather or canvas vest with a “Special Forces” patch at the top. Below it is the Special Forces insignia. At the bottom is a “Brotherhood” patch. On the front, each member wears their chapter names. There are chapters all over the country.

The day before the ride, they stopped at Arlington National Cemetery, to honor the brothers who have given the ultimate sacrifice. This year, they laid a Green Beret at the tomb of President John F. Kennedy, the president who officially stood up the Green Beret regiment.

They arrived at the Pentagon, the sun rising in the horizon over the Potomac River. They pulled into a parking lot, already filled with hundreds of motorcyclists. They trekked across a bridge to a hidden restaurant and bar near the water, where they caught up with each other over breakfast and Bloody Marys. About an hour in, Harley Davidson’s CEO Mark Levatich and his wife Brenda showed up. A SFBMC member had invited him to join.

After class photos of both the SFBMC and the Ladies of the SFBMC, it was time to head back to their bikes for the official opening of the ride. But first, there was business to attend to. Members privately gathered in a circle on an isolated hill to initiate a prospective member into the brotherhood. A B-52 flew low over the Pentagon, emitting a scream and prompting cheers.

Good piece, with lots of pictures included.

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Dulce et decorum est

The first, last, and only words necessary for Memorial Day are Aesop’s.

It was originally “Decoration Day”, the day to go and decorate the graves of the honored dead who fell in military service to this country. Don’t thank me, or anyone else you meet who served, for our service today. Because we’re not dead. So this isn’t our day.

It’s the day for people you probably never met, nor ever will, because they gave up all of their tomorrows, so you could enjoy your today. They lie in ranks, row upon row, on at least four continents, covering hundreds of acres of ground. They spoke nearly every language you can think of. They came in every color of the rainbow of humanity. Their average age is probably around 20 years old. Forever.

It’s still okay to enjoy a steak or a hot dog, knock back a beer or two, and get a killer deal on a big screen TV today. For most values of People Who Have Died In Service, that’s exactly the best thing you could do to remember them, if you could ask them.

Just remember those people who made it possible, and live a little more, for them.

Well said, buddy. A moving personal remembrance can be found here. God rest them, each and every one.

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Rolling Thunder!

The last ride?

Washington (AFP) – More than 100,000 flag-bearing bikers, many of them Vietnam veterans, throttled their engines Sunday for the annual “Rolling Thunder” ride through the capital as President Donald Trump vowed to keep the Memorial Day spectacle alive.

Spectators lined the route from the Pentagon to the National Mall to watch the growling parade of choppers, a leather-clad, red-white-and-blue tribute to American soldiers missing in the Vietnam War.

It had been billed as the last national Rolling Thunder ride by its organizers, but Trump, who loves a parade, appeared to offer a reprieve.

“The Great Patriots of Rolling Thunder WILL be coming back to Washington, D.C. next year, & hopefully for many years to come. It is where they want to be, & where they should be,” Trump tweeted from Japan.

The huge motorcycle rally began in 1988 with fewer than 3,000 participants under the motto “We will never forget.” The goal was to press for an accounting of those missing in Vietnam.

Organizers had cited difficult relations with the Pentagon — where riders line up to begin the rally — over logistics and costs, in announcing that this year would mark the last national rally.

“As always, the Pentagon is charging us with an outrageous bill for their services,” the group’s national president Joe Bean said in a letter to members.

Another letter co-signed by Bean said costs of staging the event had soared to more than $200,000.

“The organization will continue to bring awareness to the public, in years to come, with regional demonstrations,” organizers said in a statement on their website.

Trump, who was on an official visit to Japan, offered his support.

“Can’t believe that Rolling Thunder would be given a hard time with permits in Washington, D.C. They are great Patriots who I have gotten to know and see in action. They love our Country and love our Flag. If I can help, I will!” he said.

It’s the oldest, saddest story in America That Was: enterprising private citizens get together to create something from nothing using their own effort and ingenuity, without seeking government support or direction. Naturally, government gets busy strangling their brainchild with regulations, fees, red tape, and general harrassment. And another unique part of the once-vivid American portrait is erased forever, rendering the whole thing that much more lifeless, grey, and boring.

I’ll just say this: if Rolling Thunder annoys sniveling pussyfart Garrison Keiller this badly, then I’m all for the damned thing, and think a way should be found for it to continue for that reason alone.

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Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…uhhh…well, it’s…ummmm…well, actually, it’s…

Sky Dong!

The infamous sky penis of November 17, 2017, hovering over the clouds of Washington, was a total mystery.

On that fateful day, the puzzling dong appeared near Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, around 30 miles north of Seattle. And although the base accepted full responsibility for the phallic drawing in the sky, the public had no understanding of what had actually happened. How’d that big ol’ boner get up there anyway?

Now, two years later, a military report has shed light on the long-awaited details.

A copy of the military’s sky penis investigation was obtained by Navy Times. On that November day, local news station KREM began reporting on a clearly man-made shape in the sky that resembled a penis and testicles. The formation had upset a local parent and began making the rounds on Twitter. The Navy soon confirmed that one of its pilots had formed the phallus and issued an apology.

“The Navy holds its aircrew to the highest standards and we find this absolutely unacceptable, of zero training value and we are holding the crew accountable,” the base said in a statement at the time.

“Zero training value”? ZERO? Ace dispenses handily with that notion.

A point that should be kept in mind is that someone who is playing while actually doing their job — here, flying, executing what I’m going to guess are somewhat precise turns — is practicing that job at a high level. That is, if you’re doing something that might be unnecessary but is still part of your job and is still training your skill, you are likely learning more in those moments than most moments spent in serious study.

The “gamification” of skill-learning is powerful, I think. People like challenges. Every challenge someone makes up for himself is a little game. He understands the success and failure states. He understands that, even in this play, there is victory and their is defeat.

What I’m saying is that it’s a good thing for people to have fun in doing their jobs. Even if they burn up some extra jet-fuel doing so. A pro golfer isn’t directly helping his golf game when he starts playing around with bouncing the ball up and down from his putter-head like it’s a hacky-sack, but he is learning dexterity and comfort with the putter, stuff about balance and head-attitude he wouldn’t learn from just some more putting practice.

Maybe that won’t be helpful. But maybe it will be. It doesn’t hurt to try something different, seemingly unrelated to the core of the skill, to improve the core of the skill by an alternate angle of attack.

So maybe give these guys a (halfhearted) warning because, whatever, people are scandalized to know that Navy pilots (almost all young men) can be fans of puerile, naughty jokes.

But also bear in mind that one of the highest states of skill-acquisition is having fun with the skill and just showing it off. Doing something that seems to have no practical purpose, if it’s difficult and requires off-the-cuff improvisation and quick learning and adjustment (as the dick-drawing stunt did), does stretch and hone one’s skill.

They did have to plot out a path in three dimensional space and imagine what that path would look like as a two dimensional plane.
That’s not nothing.

The Navy probably handled this innocuous mischief perfectly: PR statements expressing OUTRAGE!, disgust, and contrition, while dealing out a finger wagged in disapprobation and a good talking-to. The officer tasked with the actual the dressing-down problem bit nearly through his lip trying not to bust out in wicked snickering. The transcript of the radio chatter from whence this inspired prank sprang—uhh, sprung?—is hilarious:

In the air that day were two lieutenants, a pilot and an electronics warfare officer, known as an EWO. They were soon edging each other on.

“Draw a giant penis,” the EWO said. “That would be awesome.”

“What did you do on your flight?” the pilot joked. “Oh, we turned dinosaurs into sky penises.”

“You should totally try to draw a penis,” the EWO advised.

The lieutenants began breaking down the concept of drawing a penis in the sky.

“I could definitely draw one, that would be easy,” the pilot said. “I could basically draw a figure eight and turn around and come back. I’m gonna go down, grab some speed and hopefully get out of the contrail layer so they’re not connected to each other.”

You telling me this WASN’T at least somewhat useful training, a honing of relevant skills? Not even a little bit?

To quote the immortal Sgt Hulka: Aww, lighten up, Francis.

Read the rest for sure, it gets even more hilarious from there. Naturally, the libmedia reportage I’ve seen dangles the inevitable “sexual harrassment” angle, although even they can only manage a half-hearted, flaccid stab at it. Yes, I’m sure some humorless bluenoses both in and out of the Navy were utterly mortified by this Crime Against Humanity. But not me. Far as I’m concerned, this stunt is one of the reasons bold, audacious young men become fighter pilots in the first place. Carry on, fellas, and good on ya.

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Pardons a-poppin’

Good on ya, Mr President.

President Donald Trump issued a full pardon Monday to former Army First Lieutenant Michael Behenna, who served five years in prison after being convicted of murdering a suspected Al-Qaeda terrorist.

In May 2008, Behenna was questioning Ali Mansur Mohamed, a suspected terrorist who had allegedly been involved in an IED attack that killed two U.S. soldiers. The interrogation ended when Behenna fired two rounds into the terrorist — which the 1st Lt. claimed was in self-defense after Mansur lunged for his pistol.

A military court convicted Behenna of unpremeditated murder in a combat zone in 2009. The prosecution said Behenna was not acting in self-defense, but in retaliation for the deaths of his fellow soldiers, and killed Mansur while returning him to his hometown.

Fine with me if that’s what happened, I don’t give a shit either way. A dead Muslim terrorist is a dead Muslim terrorist, and I’m all for that. Now do this one:

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) on Wednesday is planning to show interested members of Congress a video from a Navy SEAL’s helmet camera that he believes will help exonerate Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher on war crime charges he faces when his trial begins later this month.

“When other members of Congress see the video as he has seen it, that it’s going to shed light on the situation as a whole and the case that the Navy is presenting against Chief Gallagher,” Michael Harrison, a spokesman for Hunter, told Breitbart News on Sunday.

“When Congressman Hunter saw the video, his first response was that it exonerates Chief Gallagher. But his second was that as many members of Congress that can see this need to be able to see this,” he added.

Gallagher, 39, is accused of stabbing a wounded teenage Islamic State  in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighter to death during his most recent deployment to Iraq from 2017 to 2018, during the final major battle against ISIS in Mosul.

However, according to Gallagher’s wife Andrea Gallagher and his brother Sean Gallagher, the video shows that Gallagher gave medical aid to the wounded teenager, who admitted to being an ISIS fighter before he died.

Andrea and Sean have not seen the video themselves, since it is under protective order, but Parlatore has described its contents in court. According to his description in court, the roughly two-minute video shows the wounded male teenager being dragged off the hood of a humvee by Iraqi partner forces.

Chief Gallagher then is heard asking an Iraqi general about the fighter, “Is this ISIS?” The general affirms he is, and Gallagher says, “OK, I got him.” Gallagher then clears the crowd, gets out his medical kit, assesses the fighter’s wounds, and begins cutting the fighter’s pant leg to treat his most severe wounds.

“The video is 100 percent exculpatory,” Andrea said in an interview with Breitbart News on Friday.

Once again: I do not give a damp squishy fart about the means used by US soldiers to remove the enemy from this mortal coil and enroll him in the Choir Invisible. As far as I’m concerned, every ISIS or al Qaeda scumbag that assumes room temperature at the hands of one of ours is cause for applause, not prosecution, regardless of method employed. I wouldn’t dream of requiring our boys to provide the enemy with the slightest aid or comfort—a humane gesture Chief Gallagher unexpectedly found himself harrassed over—although I certainly do respect his decency and compassion.

The battlefield imposes ethics all its own, incomprehensible and sometimes even bizarre to those without experience of the scorching, all-consuming crucible of combat. Far be it from any cake-eating civilian like me to armchair-quarterback the Chief from the quiet comfort of a peaceful, secure home. That goes quintuple—at least—for pus-nutted Congresscritters looking to gain some notoriety via second-guessing men whose boots they are unfit to lick. Sans compelling evidence of real atrocity, we should all just sit the fuck down, shut the fuck up, and let these men get the fuck on with the job we sent them into harm’s way to do.

It’s a damnable disgrace how overlawyered our soldiers now are, with every goddamned REMF JAGoff and his sister’s cat’s grandmother peering over the shoulders of the warriors actually bearing the load in these far-flung hellholes, under ROEs that reduce American fighting men to easy targets, providing far more protection to the enemy than to our own.

Who knows, maybe Trump could grant a preemptive pardon to every ground-pounder and Marine upon graduation from boot camp, then start letting them carry loaded weapons on patrol. After that, allowing the men at the pointy end to plan those patrols without JAGoff and/or Congressional interference, with an eye towards aggressively seeking the enemy, denying him all refuge and resource, pursuing and harrying him to the very ends of the Earth, and then burying him in it.

I know, I know. Crazy talk. But still.

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Oh, she’s patriotic all right

She’s just in the wrong country, that’s all. Authentic American hero Kyle Lamb is just the guy to set her despicable ass straight.

Earlier this week, a 2017 tweet from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) surfaced in which she attacked the men who helped defend from starvation and civil war the country she abandoned in the early 1990s. In her tweet, Omar blasted “American forces” for killing “thousands of Somalis” during the Battle of Mogadishu in October 1993. “#NotTodaySatan,” Omar wrote.

I take special exception to Omar’s disgusting comments because I served in the Battle of Mogadishu, which was later portrayed in the movie “Black Hawk Down.” If you aren’t familiar with the real story behind “Black Hawk Down,” let me set the scene for you.

The Habar Gidir clan, one of the more powerful clans around Mogadishu, was led by the notorious warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid, who made the distribution of international aid to those who needed it nearly impossible. Instead of equitably spreading food and medical supplies, Aidid and his henchmen spread terror and death.

Task Force Ranger was the 1993 military effort ordered by President Bill Clinton to capture Aidid and his lieutenants so the U.N. could deliver food and medical aid without fear of being attacked or killed by Aidid’s forces. The American soldiers Omar attacked in her tweet — the men of Task Force Ranger –weren’t sent to Somalia for fame or fortune. They weren’t there because of a deep desire to visit the God-forsaken nation of Somalia. They were deployed to support peacekeepers who were desperate to rescue the country from starvation and the ravages of civil war. To do that, they had to capture the men responsible for it.

By the time Task Force Ranger had been launched, Aidid’s network of drug-addled, Khat-dealing gun runners had taken over Mogadishu and were doing everything they could to oppress any and all rival clans, including that of Omar, the Majeerteen. In other words, we were sent halfway across the world to help protect people just like Omar and her family. Nineteen incredible men gave their lives defending her country while serving ours. They deserve to be lauded for their service, not attacked for it.

I am thankful Omar and her family and countless others were able to escape to neighboring Kenya while we fought to protect those left behind, but I simply cannot comprehend her attitude towards those of us who fought to protect her country and countrymen from warlords who plunged Somalia only further into violence and starvation. I am glad that Omar can now enjoy the very freedoms we fought to protect, like the freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion affirmed in the U.S. Constitution, but I don’t understand why she uses those freedoms to slur the men and women of the U.S. military who made her security and liberty a reality.

I’m neither thankful nor glad for Omar’s deliverance from Somali hell into the welcoming arms of a nation whose assistance and embrace she is unworthy of. She is a disgusting ingrate, not worth one drop of the priceless American blood shed on her and her fellow primordial knuckledraggers’ behalf that awful day. More and possibly worse from the NYPost:

The controversial Minnesota lawmaker claimed that “thousands” died in the Battle of Mogadishu — though most reputable sources put the contested body count much lower, according a report by the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

#NotTodaySatan,” Omar wrote in response to a Twitter user’s lament that 19 US service members were killed and 73 injured in the battle.

Monica Showalter questions her “patriotism”:

Seriously, she called them ‘Satan’? And she said it a lot more recently than she did with her 2012 ‘Israel has hypnotized the world’ tweet. What amazing ingratitude. She called the people who were trying to deliver aid to her starving clan, the Mateerveen of the Somali north, ‘Satan’ and fliply said ‘Not today, Satan’ on the question of whether there should be appreciation for the Americans who died for her own people. Her country was a hellhole and the Marines came in five years after she left it. Her family were among the people who were so badly off as victims of Somalia’s khat-chewing warlords that they had fled the country — for a four-year stint in a Kenyan refugee camp as a better alternative to life in Somalia — until they hit the jackpot as refugees and came to America. That kind of ingratitude is some strange stuff.

It points to a reflexive anti-Americanism that’s visible in pretty much every statement she makes. And her resentment was there from the beginning – she hated America from the moment she landed here, as she told the New York Times, calling it a land of ‘hypocrisy.’ She “concluded that it was not the golden land that she had heard about,” the Times gently intoned. 

Gee, so sorry about all that, dear. No, really. The blood-boiling closer is Lamb’s.

The simple truth is that Omar enjoys the fruits of American combat deaths, yet she can’t even bring herself to acknowledge the ultimate sacrifice that was made on her behalf, either as a Somali or an American. Her clan didn’t stand a chance against Aidid and Habar Gidirs, so I don’t blame her for leaving. But I do blame her for attacking those of us who had zero personal interest or investment in her nation for doing our jobs on behalf of our country. And I blame her for smearing American servicemen because we answered the call of our nation to address the violent barbarism of hers.

Well said, SMaj. Omar is here in the first place because of some at best extremely suspicious—most likely illegal—maneuvering and manipulation. In light of her obvious dissatisfaction, she should be sent straight the fuck back to where she came from without delay, at least until those questionable circumstances are investigated thoroughly. There just is no demand whatsoever here for yet another disgruntled, unassimilable Muslim “refugee” whose loathing and contempt for America slops forth from every pore like sweat in a blazing desert.

The excretion Omar has no right to be here. She isn’t needed here. She doesn’t like it here. She has nothing of value to offer this country; her contemptuous, entitled attitude confirms that even if she did, she’s way more taker than giver. She isn’t a loyal, patriotic American citizen. She never will be. She’s a fucking parasite.

Send. Her. Back.

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Tonight’s badass

The awesome A-10.

Say what you want about the Air Force being a bunch of pussies or whatever, but for my money shit doesn’t get a whole lot more badass than the A-10 Warthog.  The thing is a goddamned flying tank from Hell equipped with a badass 30mm Avenger Gatling gun the likes of which would make the Terminator soil his extra-tight leather pants.  The Avenger (even the name is badass) fires armor-piercing rounds capable of tearing gigantic sucking flesh wounds in even the most formidable Soviet-built Commie bastard battle tanks and can be switched over on the fly to dispense 4,200 high-explosive rounds per minute when it needs to blast the shit out of less heavily-armored crap like trucks, artillery, APCs, SUVs, hang gliders and renegade hot dog stands.

If that doesn’t float your boat, the thing’s also equipped with enough explosives to blast the Moon into about eight billion tiny inedible cheese wheels.  It’s got a crapload of super-accurate laser-guided air-to-ground missiles and various other high-yield bombs for taking out bunkers, SAM emplacements, radar sites, and grounded fighters, and also has air-to-air missiles in case they need to show some enemy jets what it’s like to be on the receiving end of some good old-fashioned red, white, and blue American Grade-A top-choice beef sirloin whup-ass.  It’s also also so heavily armored that it can withstand direct hits from armor-piercing and high-explosive projectiles up to 37mm in size, can survive having a 2002 VW Beetle launched at it at extremely high velocity by a Russian-made Volkswagen Cannon, and has heat-shielded engines (and sundry other countermeasures) so no Commie Nazi Terrorist Unitarian bastards can jam a heat-seeking missile up it’s ass.

The A-10 is like the grizzled old-school Linebacker of the United States Air Force.  It’s not flashy, it’s not super-fast, it’s not going to do like twenty barrel rolls just to try and prove to you how huge it’s cock is… it just shows up, fucks everyone’s shit up, and goes home.  Even it’s name is a good indicator of the fact that this plane doesn’t fuck around.  Think of it this way – while all those other hotshot fancy-pants jets are out there flying around doing fruity-ass loop-de-loops, feathering their hair and listening to “Danger Zone” with pretentious fucking extravagant nicknames like “Eagle”, “Falcon”, “Tomcat”, and “Raptor”, the A-10 is the fucking Warthog. 

Actually, it’s better than that, even. “Warthog” is just a nickname; the A-10 is officially yclept the Thunderbolt II, its ancestral namesake being itself one of the most badass planes ever to shred a Panzer, Tiger, or Leopard into constituent atoms. The P-47 Thunderbolt link in the preceding sentence was from another A-10 post of mine back in 2016; I’m pretty sure I’ve done other posts here on the almighty Thunderbolt II as well. I won’t bother looking ’em up now, though, because it would delay my sharing this killer vid with y’all:




The A-10 was basically built as a platform for the fearsome GAU-8 Avenger rotary cannon, and is one of the most durable aircraft ever put in production, by anybody. In fact, the thing is famous for being damned nigh indestructible, beloved by those who fly it for that among other reasons. Inexplicably, Chair Force brass has been trying for years and years to mothball the Warthog, despite its being one of the most useful and successful aircraft in anybody’s inventory. Libtards are horrified by the A-10 because its big honkin’ cannon spits depleted uranium rounds at its doomed prey, which is just another reason for me to love the damned thing to pieces. The gun is so powerful when firing that it can actually affect the plane’s flight characteristics somewhat.

Its pilots aren’t the only ones who love the A-10; the men on the ground who depend on the CAS it so effectively provides are big fans too:

As a former Army ground pounder, I can tell you there are few better sights than some A10’s streaking over, hitting some ground targets with that big gun, then banking hard…. little dots leaving them and heading down… the aircraft still leaving hard and roaring… and then the ground just exploding from all the cluster bombs. Wow! Right up there with the drama of overhead heavy artillery going over, then down in front of you. The shock waves go right through you.

Thankfully, it appears that even the advent of the F-35 isn’t going to force the venerable, reliable old ‘Hog into retirement, at least for now:

In 2005, a program was started to upgrade remaining A-10A aircraft to the A-10C configuration, with modern avionics for use with precision weaponry. The U.S. Air Force had stated the F-35 would replace the A-10 as it entered service, but this remains highly contentious within the USAF and in political circles. With a variety of upgrades and wing replacements, the A-10’s service life can be extended to 2040; the service has no planned retirement date as of June 2017.

Sometimes newer and flashier ain’t necessarily better. And if ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

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It’s only a matter of time

And not a lot of it, either.

UNDISCLOSED—According to a US special ops team in an undisclosed location, a feminist activist and blogger endangered their team’s mission by popping up out of nowhere to lecture them on the gender balance of their squad.

The team leader later claimed that “this crazy lady” jumped out at them and began to scold them for their lack of gender balance.

“Excuse me, are there any women in your squad?” she said, frightening the officer, who nearly put a round into her right there.

“Wha—who are you?” he responded. “You scared the crap out of me. You really shouldn’t be here.

“Just what I thought,” she said, shaking her head. “You’re against me being here because I’m a powerful womyn, and that somehow threatens your white male existence.”

The men of the elite special ops team then offered to carry her out of the dangerous combat zone, but instead received a lecture on how women are just as capable as men and how she didn’t need to be carried like some piece of property.

At publishing time, the woman had been captured by enemy forces but was quickly set free after she annoyingly lectured the terrorists for several hours on the gender balance of their terror cell.

Eh, if they’d chopped her empty head off one could only nod ruefully in sympathetic understanding. It’s from the Bee, so I THINK it’s satire. Not at all their fault that that’s become such a very damned difficult thing to do nowadays.

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From the horse’s mouth

The guys in the driver’s seat rate the F35.

In my interviews with F-35 pilots, one word repeatedly came up: “survivability.” Surviving the Lockheed Martin F-35’s primary mission—to penetrate sophisticated enemy air defenses and find and disable threats—requires what the fifth-generation jet offers: stealth and a stunning array of passive and active sensors bringing information to the pilot. The F-35 can see trouble coming—ahead, behind, or below the aircraft—far enough in advance to avoid a threat or kill it. Faced with multiple threats, the sensor suite recommends the order in which they should be dispatched.

U.S. forces first took these capabilities into combat last September, when Marine F-35Bs struck the Taliban in Afghanistan (five months after its combat debut with the Israeli air force). More than 360 of the multi-service aircraft—Air Force F-35As, Marine short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing Bs, and carrier-capable Cs—have been delivered to 16 U.S. airbases and to seven other countries. Reaching these milestones has not been easy. The program’s difficulties and its cost—$406 billion for development and acquisition—have been widely reported. But now the F-35 is in the hands of the best judges of its performance, its pilots. I asked eight of them—test pilots who contributed to the jet’s development as well as active-duty pilots—about their experiences. Here, in their own words, are their answers.

I myself have teetered right on the very edge of unalloyed skeptic status when it comes to this bird. There have been serious gripes about the Lightning II from the very start—about expense, performance, the complexity and reliability of its electronics suite, etc. Then again, this sort of thing has been true of every new military aircraft type during its shakedown period, most especially with the fighters. As I said in the aforelinked post, even my beloved P51 was considered by pretty much everybody to be a total dog until its Merlin-engine, bubble-canopy “D” version came along. The issues will either be addressed and the thing will be a worldbeater for the next fifty years, or they won’t…in which case it will turn out to be the most expensive doorstop in history.

One of the things that kind of frosts me with the F35 was how the underappreciated F22 got the military-aviation version of the bum’s rush in a most undignified way to make room for it, despite the Raptor being a highly capable platform at a far less aneurysm-inducing sticker price. The very first pilot quoted in the article puts paid to at least some of my caviling and kvetching:

For four years, all people could talk about was how we’d lost a dogfight against a 40-year-old F-16. Paris was the first time we showed what the airplane could do. The F-35 engine is the most powerful fighter engine in the world, so on takeoff, I pulled straight up. The F-22 Raptor is an airshow favorite because it is super maneuverable. It has thrust vectoring; it controls the engine exhaust with paddles that move. The F-22 can do a downward spiral, and I did the same thing in the F-35—without thrust vectoring. I pull up to vertical, skid the airplane over the top, and spiral down like a helicopter hovers. That pedal turn [executed with rudder inputs] ended the discussion of how an F-35 would perform in a dogfight.

The second reviewer hits on something a good bit more important than that:

If you were to write down all the ways in which you could measure an airplane—payload, fuel, ordnance, handling—and ask 100 pilots to rank which is the most important, I guarantee you that 100 out of 100 pilots would say “situational awareness.” By far. Not a single pilot in the world would say “turn radius.” Not one. Because the more you know, the more accurately you know it, the better able you are to make a decision.

In situational awareness, the F-35 is superior to all platforms, including the Raptor. I’d never been in an airplane that so effectively and seamlessly integrates information to tell me what’s going on around me—and not just from the radio frequency spectrum, but laser, infrared, electro-optical. That’s usually the first thing people notice when they get in the airplane. They know so much more than they ever knew before.

Fair enough, I suppose. Now if we can just find a way to get our fighter jocks some stick time training in actual aircraft instead of simulators.

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Slowly, then all at once

The long, slow slide into once-great nation status begins with the military.

We’re hanging our whole maritime strategy in the Pacific Ocean around a few of these big, super-expensive iron airfields. If a carrier battle group(a carrier rolls with a posse like an old school rapper) gets within aircraft flight range of an enemy, then the enemy will have a bad day. So, what’s the super-obvious counter to our carrier strategy? Well, how about a bunch of relatively cheap missiles with a longer range than the carrier’s aircraft? And – surprise – what are the Chinese doing? Building a bunch of hypersonic and ballistic anti-ship missiles to pummel our flattops long before the F-35s and F-18s can reach the Chinese mainland. We know this because the Chinese are telling us they intend to do it, with the intent of neutering our combat power and breaking our will to fight by causing thousands of casualties in one fell swoop.

The vulnerability of our carriers is no surprise; the Navy has been warned about it for years. There are a number of ideas out there to address the issue, but the Navy resists. One good one is to replace the limited numbers of (again) super-expensive, short-range manned aircraft with a bunch more long range drones. Except that means the Naval aviation community would have to admit the Top Gun era is in the past, and that’s too hard. So they buy a bunch of pricy, shiny manned fighters that can’t get the job done.

Another mistake is over-prioritizing quality over quantity, which is the same mistake the Nazis made with their tanks. The Wehrmacht had the greatest tanks in the world – all top notch. Really good tanks. Tank-to-tank, they were the best – the dreaded Tiger had an 11.5-to-1 kill ratio. The Americans and Russians had merely decent tanks, just multiples more of them. Quantity has a quality all its own. Right now, America has something like 280 ships. We’ll have about 326 by 2023. That’s to cover the entire world. We had 6,768 ships when WWII ended in August 1945

This is inexcusable, but it is being excused. The focus of our military has shifted from victory to satisfying the whims of politicians. Here’s a troubling thought – if you go to one of the service branches’ War Colleges and poll the faculty and students about America’s greatest strategic threat, as many as 50% of the respondents will tell you it is “climate change.” That’s not an exaggeration. Our military is supposed to be dealing with the Chinese military and its brain trust is obsessing about the weather in 100 years.

The Chinese are going to continue dumping exponentially more carbon than America into the air and preparing to take us down while we focus on this kind of frivolous nonsense. Did you know the Chinese are pillaging our tech here in America, while our intelligence community’s incompetence led to our spy networks in China being rolled up? Probably not – these are one-day stories because the elite in DC and the media are busy trying to push the guy who won the last election out of office.

Here’s how the Chinese win. First, they take out our satellites. You know the GPS location service on your phone? Satellites, which are easy to hit. Say “bye-bye” to much of the ability of our precision weapons to find their targets. Also up for destruction are the communications satellites we rely on to coordinate our operations. And then there is the Chinese cyberattack, not only on our military systems but on systems here at home that control civilian power, water and other logistics. A U.S military with no comms and no computers is essentially the Post Office with worse service. An America with a ruined internet is Somalia.

Then they hit our land bases on Guam, Okinawa and elsewhere with a blizzard of missiles, knocking them out and annihilating our aircraft on the ground. Maybe we could respond with B-2s flying from the continental United States. We have 19 whole combat-capable aircraft, assuming a 100% operational readiness rate, which is just not a thing. We might even take out a few missile batteries on the Chinese coast. We won’t know the difference though. As for our carriers, if they come to play, they are likely going to get sunk, and if they stay out of the fight, they are merely useless – assuming quiet diesel subs do not find and sink them.

This is not a surprise. We play wargames against the Chinese all the time, and we lose.

The world’s “lone superpower” has absolutely NO business sending the putative “strongest military in the world” into combat against anybody until it can, first, somehow muster the will to win in its people, and second, clearly define what victory might consist of. Until such time, we’re doing nothing more than offering up the nation’s blood and treasure to provide our heavily-politicized flag-rank officer corps with a convenient playground to futz about in…which fecklessness will surely get our asses kicked up between our shoulderblades. In war most especially, if we ain’t in it to win it, we shouldn’t oughta be in it at all.

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Rara avis

Welcome home to one of the good guys.

In a PJ Media exclusive, the Iraqi native turned Navy SEAL interpreter and bestselling author who goes by the code name “Johnny Walker” told his story and made a huge announcement: he will receive his U.S. citizenship on Wednesday morning! At that time, he will also reveal his real name. (This article will be updated with that name when it becomes public.)

I have to ask: why, exactly? I mean, if this guy is okay with having his name out there—and obviously he is—then it ain’t my place to argue. But I still don’t quite get why PJM would feel it necessary to publish it themselves. If anybody ever needed at least a bare modicum of privacy, it would have to be him. He’s clearly earned it, in spades. So why put it out there on the PJM website? What worthwhile purpose could such a disclosure conceivably serve?

“It’s a big honor,” Walker told PJ Media. He is looking forward to posting videos of the ceremony and predicted a beautiful moment where “people from different backgrounds and different religions” will be united by loyalty to the United States.

Walker was born and grew up in Iraq and he started working with the U.S. military after the invasion began in 2003. He worked as an interpreter — called a “terp” — until 2009. That year, the military finally cleared him and his family to come to America.

While he lived in Iraq, he kept his work for the U.S. military a secret. If he had been exposed, it could have cost him his life. Since he will receive his citizenship Wednesday, however, Walker and his family will finally be safe, so he can go public with his name. (The Johnny Walker code name came from the Iraqi-American’s love for Johnnie Walker whiskey.)

In his interview with PJ Media on Tuesday, Walker explained how the American dream entered his imagination. When he was a kid, his parents encouraged him to play basketball to let out some of his youthful energy. “I started to love it,” Walker told PJ Media. “I started watching the Harlem team [the Globetrotters], listened to Country music, watched John Wayne movies.”

Sounds more authentically American than a lot of native-born ones do nowadays, sad as that is. In fact, he’s a pretty wise fella all the way around:

This Iraqi-American had a few political ideas as well. He is a big fan of President Donald Trump’s wall.

“The wall, it’s something personal. I don’t want to have AK-47s every time I take my kids to school,” Walker told PJ Media. “I’m not against immigrants, there are thousands better than me. But I am against people who have no background check, who are smuggling across the border. We don’t know whether those guys have a criminal record or not, all we know is that they use kids to get what they want.”

Well, harrumph, ahem, and homina-homina-homina. That ought to be enough to work the Diversity Is Our Strength types into a foamy, frothy lather all by itself. This is a truly fascinating story, people, start to finish. Trust me, you’ll want to read all of it.

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The playground of social justice

Should we ever foolishly allow our national “leadership” to drag the US into yet another pointless, eternal war, we are going to get our asses kicked up between our shoulder blades.

What follows is a compendium of my own personal observations as a Marine Corps officer, as well as an exploration of official policies that reveal the Leftist corruption of our military institutions.

Like academe and the mainstream media, the American military bows before the altar of political correctness, offering up sacrifices of its very being and purpose in order to satisfy this jealous god. The indoctrination into the sacred rites begins early in a marine’s career. For me, it started at The Basic School (TBS), the 6-month initial training for newly commissioned Marine Lieutenants. Throughout the course, the new officers attend a variety of social mixers with senior Captains and Majors in different occupational fields in order to discern which job they wish to be selected for at the end of the training.

The staff of TBS and the Infantry Officer Course (IOC) set aside one of these mixers for women and minorities only, so they could plead with these groups to join the combat arms—artillery, infantry, and tanks. While the staff fêted the “oppressed,” the white males returned to barracks to clean.

After the mixer, the Commanding Officer of IOC made an appeal to our class as a whole to join the infantry, while reiterating the need for women and non-whites as platoon commanders for the grunts. In his words, “Without diverse leadership that looks like America, future marines would not respect their officers.”

This kind of favoritism for “marginalized peoples” was manifest throughout my entire instruction. The treatment of women was especially egregious. Female marines rarely carried squad or platoon gear such as radios, machine guns, or batteries. They were more likely to fall out of hikes. Their injury rate was higher overall. During one hike, I witnessed a male Lieutenant, one of the largest in our platoon, carry not only his pack but that of a diminutive female officer who had been injured in the course of the march. While she limped along in tears, he plodded with her gear on top of his own in order to prevent her from falling out.

Basic School instructors, mine included, liked to say that in the Marine Corps “there is only one standard, the Marine Corps standard.” This is a lie. There are two standards: one for men and one for women. Thus, on the annual Physical Fitness Test, required of all marines, a perfect score for a 21-year-old male is 23 pull-ups, 110 crunches, and a 3-mile time of 18 minutes. For a female of the same age a perfect score is 9 pull-ups, 105 crunches, and a 3-mile time of 21 minutes.

Women also receive special benefits for family life. After giving birth, female marines receive 42 days of non-chargeable leave and can take an additional 12 weeks of maternity convalescent leave. “Secondary caregivers”—that is, fathers—only get 14 days. Female marines can take the 12 weeks of leave at any time in the year after giving birth. Although their duties are interrupted by taking leave, that cannot be used as a factor in determining whether women shall be promoted.

That’s only for starters. Boyd then links and excerpts a Heather MacDonald WSJ piece:

In September 2015 the Marine Corps released a study comparing the performance of gender-integrated and male-only infantry units in simulated combat. The all-male teams greatly outperformed the integrated teams, whether on shooting, surmounting obstacles or evacuating casualties. Female Marines were injured at more than six times the rate of men during preliminary training—unsurprising, since men’s higher testosterone levels produce stronger bones and muscles. Even the fittest women (which the study participants were) must work at maximal physical capacity when carrying a 100-pound pack or repeatedly loading heavy shells into a cannon.

The upshot to this PC nonsense? This:

The double standards and censorship wrought by the Left evidence the corruption their ideology inflicts in our ranks. The Marine Corps, like the rest of the American military, no longer places winning wars and defending the nation at the top of its priorities. If it did, how can we explain the insistence on special privileges for an entire class of physically and spiritually inferior “warriors?”

Easy: the Left doesn’t care about winning wars, and actively dislikes warriors, see. In addition, infiltrating, undermining, and eventually destroying organizations, institutions, cultures, and entire nations is part of Leftard DNA: that’s what they are, that’s what they do. So nobody should be in the least surprised over the predictable result of their insidious tinkering with the Marine Corps. And let’s not be kidding ourselves that the termites’ gnawing is limited to the Marines, either:

Improving diversity and acceptance across the Air Force isn’t just about being politically correct, it’s a “warfighting imperative,” USAF Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said Friday.

Speaking to a room packed full of airmen at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium, Goldfein said for himself and many leaders across the service, it can be hard to recognize issues other airmen face. These leaders need to accept that “we have blinders on as leaders,” and need to reach out to airmen from all backgrounds, races, genders, etc., to point out ways to improve.

To illustrate his point, Goldfein told a story about his first chief master sergeant when he was a squadron commander, and a box. One day, the chief came into his office and handed him the box and said that it “makes your airmen mad” and it “oughta make you mad.” He said he couldn’t understand his point. Looking closer, it was a box of flesh colored Band-Aids.

“I ain’t getting it,” Goldfein said he told him.

The chief pulled out the pink, “flesh-colored” Band-Aid and put it on his skin. The chief is black, the Band-Aid is made for white people, and the bandage completely stuck out.


He said, ‘That ought to make you mad, because it makes a lot of your airmen mad.’ And he winked and he walked out,” Goldfein said.

Then those airmen are basically your Mark-1, Mod-0 oversensitive pussyfarts, who need to be vigorously encouraged to nut up and get right the fuck over it.


“The challenges we face as a nation are wicked hard, and it’s going to take folks with different backgrounds, different life experiences, and different perspectives to be able to come in and sit down together and provide the creative solutions that we as a nation need to be able to fight and win,” he said.

That’s twaddle, feel-good liberal word salad that means nothing whatsoever. What those “wicked hard” challenges will require is wicked hard warriors—doughty, resilient, clear-eyed fighting men, not whiny snowflakes who might lose their shit over the color of a goddamned Band-Aid.

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McHale’s Navy

As someone descended from a long line of Navy men on both sides of my family, it pains me indeed to have to say this. But, as Vox puts it:

The level of bureaucratic incompetence plaguing the US Navy is almost astonishing, even without taking into account the way female crewmen have increasingly hindered the ability of the Navy to properly crew its ships. No wonder the Russians were able to defeat US forces in Syria; the Chinese have absolutely no reason to fear a US Navy that literally can’t even steer its own ships.

The USA is almost certainly going to lose its next major war. What we are witnessing here is nothing new, it is absolutely normal for an empire that has indulged itself in imperial overstretch for generations to fail to fund its military infrastructure prior to engaging in the conflict that fatally exposes the rot within. And lest you appeal to the inherent strength of the American people, keep in mind, the United States of Diversity is comprised of a very, very different population than the United States of America of 78 years ago.

Depressing as it is, he’s correct on every particular here, and we all know it. From the article he’s talking about:

When Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin was elevated to lead the vaunted 7th Fleet in 2015, he expected it to be the pinnacle of his nearly four-decade Navy career. The fleet was the largest and most powerful in the world, and its role as one of America’s great protectors had new urgency. China was expanding into disputed waters. And Kim Jong-un was testing ballistic missiles in North Korea.

Aucoin was bred on such challenges. As a Navy aviator, he’d led the “Black Aces,” a squadron of F-14 Tomcats that in the late 1990s bombed targets in Kosovo.

An aside, apropos of nothing: I met some of the Black Aces one weekend years ago when the band went up to NAS Oceana to play at the O-club for Cousin Reggie’s change of command after-party years ago. Those guys, the Jolly Rogers, and a few others were in attendance, all good bud of Reggies, who was taking over Rampager squadron (VFA 83) that day. It was a truly great night, one of the best ever for me. It was also the night I taught Mark Kelly— yes, THAT Mark Kelly, another close friend of Regbo’s, who strolled in casually rockin’ his blue NASA jumpsuit fresh from a training session in the Domes simulator complex—to play Smoke On The Water on guitar, which I believe I’ve mentioned here a couple times before. Anyways.

But what he found with the 7th Fleet alarmed and angered him.

The fleet was short of sailors, and those it had were often poorly trained and worked to exhaustion. Its warships were falling apart, and a bruising, ceaseless pace of operations meant there was little chance to get necessary repairs done. The very top of the Navy was consumed with buying new, more sophisticated ships, even as its sailors struggled to master and hold together those they had. The Pentagon, half a world away, was signing off on requests for ships to carry out more and more missions.

The risks were obvious, and Aucoin repeatedly warned his superiors about them. During video conferences, he detailed his fleet’s pressing needs and the hazards of not addressing them. He compiled data showing that the unrelenting demands on his ships and sailors were unsustainable. He pleaded with his bosses to acknowledge the vulnerability of the 7th Fleet.

Aucoin recalled the response: “Crickets.”

I said “depressing” above, and it is that. It’s also enraging. The sorry state of the US Navy is simply unacceptable, and dangerous. This article reveals a corruption and misfeasance little short of mind-blowing in its scope, and you should read all of it. Solutions to this massive problem are pretty thin on the ground; could be there really are none, or none likely to be implememnted given the current state of the nation itself. Our ill-concealed national enfeeblement bodes even worse than our ragged, overstretched military does; both are tocsin bells warning us of the necessity to hold Trump’s feet to the fire on his declared intent to pull the US out of its pointless, endless entanglements in Syria and Afghanistan, at the very least.

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A different view

Aesop vigorously begs to differ on last night’s McConnell-treachery post.

As a moot law, it’s completely unenforceable, and Trump could tell the entire Congress to f**k themselves and bring every troop home tomorrow, and there’s jack and squat that Bitch McConjob and Queen Alzheimers can do about it except piss their Depends.

That’s why the Constitution cleverly didn’t make Congress the executive branch.

The military will leave Syria and/or A-stan the minute the CG says “GTFO!”, and anyone from private to CJCS who half-steps will have a long time in military correctional custody to rethink insubordination, sedition, and treason.

Congress’ sole say in military affairs is writing the laws under which they operate, and funding them (or not). That’s it. They can starve a war, but they have no more say over where and whether the military deploys than they have over when the tide comes in.

If POTUS decides they’ll all be deployed to Alaska tomorrow, they’ll be packing long underwear and Mickey Mouse boots by sunset.

If the idiot who wrote this and the layers of editors at Conservative Treehouse are too stupid to figure all this out without being told, they’re not tall enough for the internet.

I promise you President Trump, the entire White House executive staff, and the entire DoD down to a recruit just stepping into the yellow footprints tonight knows it without anyone telling them.

I missed the SOTU because of work, but I’m pretty sure neither Bitch McConjob nor any other swinging Richard sh*tweasel in the Congress was granted emergency authority to suspend the US Constitution while I was sleeping. 

Ahh, but there’s the rub: we’re well past the point where the Swamp creatures concern themselves overmuch about what the Constitution, or any other law, might or might not say. I think Sundance’s main point about this being a warning shot from the USS McTurtle across Trump’s bow letting him know that he could conceivably be on board with the impending Democrat-Socialist impeachment circus (another shifty Deep State defensive move which has no sound basis in law or the Constitution whatsoever, but is still going to happen anyway, you watch) still holds up.

Sundance has done some damned fine work over many years, digging deep, doing the research, and bringing things buried out into the light for everyone to see. But just like the rest of us, he ain’t right every single time. My feeling is he’s more right than wrong about what this is really all about underneath the hood, but I could be wrong too. Take a look at the slippery wording of the thing, and it does seem to make Aesop’s point sure enough:

WASHINGTON — The Senate approved a Middle East policy bill Tuesday that includes a provision urging President Donald Trump not to precipitously withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Syria until terrorist groups there are destroyed.

“Urging,” is it? That there’s Cocaine Mitch and his cabal acknowledging just how much legal leverage they have to pry against Trump’s CinC role. To wit: no more nor less than Trump lets them have. Thereby are the forms observed, etiquette observed, and the charade maintained. The Deep State will never countenance the closing of the perpetual-war playground without serious resistance, in whatever way they can conjure to mount it.

And it makes it easier for states and localities to approve laws to combat the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, movement against Israel.

Democrats are divided on the BDS component of the bill, some saying it impinges on free-speech rights of Americans to support boycott efforts against Israel for its treatment of Palestinians and other concerns.

They complain that the Republicans purposefully added that provision to a package that otherwise has bipartisan support to put political pressure on Democrats to vote against a bill that is viewed as pro-Israel.

Meh. It ought to be crystal-clear by now that GOPe Senate lifers are way more interested in pressuring Trump than they ever will be their “esteemed colleagues across the aisle.”

As for Yertle’s leverage, note well that, despite Trump’s pledge in December that “they’re all coming back, and they’re coming back now” accompanying a direct order that the Syrian withdrawal would be completed in 30 days, there’s no sign of anybody having left the shithole country as of yet…in February. Funny too, isn’t it, how the peace-lovin’ Democrat Socialists, after howling for years about “endless war” and all that crap, suddenly turned on a dime and screamed about the dire security threat represented by leaving Syria—and Iraq, and Yemen, and Afghanistan, and etc—before “the job is done.”

Why, it’s almost as if what they claim to be concerned about isn’t really what concerns them at all, eh? But hey, like I always say: Deep Staters gotta Deep State. And I think that, at least, is something me, Aesop, and Sundance can ALL agree on.

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American badass

Guts+skills+a cool, confident head=GLORY.

Sgt. Trey Troney was making his way home to Raleigh, Mississippi, from Fort Bliss, Texas, for a holiday break when he happened upon a crashed truck on the side of the highway in Sweetwater, according to a Wednesday release from the Army.

He found Jeff Udger slumped over the steering wheel, so with two other men who had also stopped to help, he pried the driver’s door open. Then the 20-year-old noncommissioned officer got to work.

“I was in a pair of jogging pants and a T-shirt on the side of a highway, and somebody’s life depended on me slightly knowing a little bit [about emergency medical care],” Troney said in the release. “It wasn’t anything crazy [that I knew], but to [Udger], it was his world.”

First things first, he pulled off his own “Salute to Service” New Orleans Saints hooded sweatshirt and wrapped it around Udger’s head, to stanch a bleeding wound.

Then Troney realized that Udger’s left lung had collapsed. Back in his Jeep, he had some first aid supplies left over from 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division’s recent rotation at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.

But the chest decompression needle in his kit wasn’t long enough to reach Uger’s lung and give it a chance to refill with air. But he did have a ballpoint pen on hand, so he pulled off the ends and dumped out the ink tube.

“I took the [needle] and put it right in the hole and kind of wiggled [the pen] in with my hand in between the ribs, and you just started to see the bubbles come out of the tip, and I was like, ‘OK, we’re good,’” Troney said.

Just then, a state trooper arriving on the scene asked Troney if he’d just done what he thought he’d done.

“I was like, ‘I did,’” Troney said. “And [the state trooper] was like, ‘He’s on no pain meds,’ and I said, ‘Oh, he felt it, but he’s unconscious. He lost consciousness as I was running back to my Jeep because he had lost a lot of blood.’”

After paramedics showed up, the trooper got Troney something to eat at a truck stop nearby. The paramedics said he’d saved Udger’s life, but Troney was concerned he might be sued if the move with the pen had harmed Udger.

Quite the opposite happened, according to the release. Udger sought out government officials, media outlets and Troney’s chain of command to get the word out about the soldier who saved him on the side of Interstate 22.

Happy endings all around, then. Bless this fine young man; he’s a credit to his unit, his training, his Army, and his country, enough so as to give even a crusty, near-terminally cynical old fart like me a fleeting glimmer of hope. Aesop says:

This is the sort of thing for which the Army routinely awards the Soldier’s Medal.

“Awarded to any person of the Armed Forces of the United States who, while serving in any capacity with the Army of the United States, distinguishes himself by heroism not involving conflict with an enemy.”

There shouldn’t be anyone in Troney’s chain of command who should be anything less than proud to add their name to an endorsement for that award.

Amen to that, with big fat bells on. Somebody ought to get word to President Trump; I’m quite sure he’d be honored to receive Troney for a White House meet and greet, although from the sound of things that might be a little taxing on the kid’s becoming modesty. In any event: well done, Sergeant. Well done indeed.

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“The Navy still hasn’t said what it’s going to do about the fact that it can’t afford the ammo for the boats’ fancy guns”

Y’know, I bet you could find plenty of folks over in Ole Blighty who still think theirs is the most powerful, militarily awe-inspiring country on Earth, too.

The USS Lyndon Johnson, the third and final Zumwalt-class guided missile destroyer, floated out of its dry dock over the weekend. Meanwhile, the second of the class, USS Michael Monsoor, arrived at its future home port of San Diego, California.

While the launching of the Johnson completes the construction of the controversial destroyers, the program—which was cut by more than 90 percent, and still lacks ammunition for the six advanced gun systems—remains deeply troubled.

The USS Johnson is the third and final destroyer of the Zumwalt class that includes sister ships USS Zumwalt and USS Monsoor. Once upon a time, the Zumwalts were planned to be a mighty class of destroyers meant to replace the firepower of the Navy’s four Iowa-class battleships. The retirement of the four Iowas left a gaping hole in the U.S. Navy’s ability to provide fire support for the Marine Corps during amphibious landings. To make up for the shortfall, and to support land wars in the post-9/11 era, the Navy had planned to build 32 Zumwalt class destroyers.

Instead of 32 ships, the U.S. got three. Rising production costs, combined with the huge cost of those land wars and an economic recession, truncated the number of Zumwalts from 32 to seven, and finally to just three. According to the Congressional Research Service (PDF) the three destroyers will wind up costing taxpayers a grand total of $13 billion. That’s enough to buy seven Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyers at current prices. And unlike the Zumwalts, the Burkes are a proven design with a full suite of working sensors and weapons.

One major, lingering, embarrassing problem with the Zumwalts: The Navy has no plans to buy ammunition for the main guns. Each destroyer was built with two 155-millimeter Advanced Gun System weapons, which lower into the ship’s stealthy profile when not in use. The AGS was meant to be armed with the Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP), a GPS-guided shell with an effective range of 60 miles.

In 2001, at the very beginning of the Zumwalt program, Lockheed Martin estimated each LRLAP round would cost about $50,000—expensive, but fair considering each was practically guaranteed to hit its target. But cutting the number of ships built from 32 to 3, along with the rising development costs, dramatically increased the cost of each round to up to $800,000 each. That was too expensive even for the U.S. Navy, and the service announced it would not buy the LRLAP.

You can see where this leaves the Navy with a dilemma. The service now has three destroyers with no ammunition for their long-range guns, which was the entire point of building them to begin with. The Navy is reportedly planning to reconfigure the destroyers as hunter-killers, meant to seek out and attack enemy ships and land targets with precision-guided missiles. In such a case, the Zumwalts would rely on the 80 vertical-launch missile silos per ship to provide offensive firepower.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Marines are still awaiting the fire-support replacement for the Iowa-class battleships, 26 years after the last battleship was retired. Now that the Zumwalt program has become a billion-dollar misfire, the Marines are unlikely to ever get a dedicated naval gunfire platform again.

On the bright side, though, if we’re smart they’re not likely to be storming any beaches again either, so they won’t be needing one. America, at this stage of its journey down Great Britain’s road to once-great-power status, has no business contemplating any war that can’t be fought exclusively from an armchair in a dark, quiet room underneath the Midwest plains, by drone pilots. We no longer have either the national will or the gear for much else.

Which, given that we have a far more important battle with the Left imminently confronting us here at home, the new circumstantial restrictions on US overseas adventurism might not be an entirely bad thing, actually. Attempting to export democracy to places across the globe that don’t want any part of it never has worked out too well for us, any more than acting as the World’s Policeman has. Of course, it would be far more desirable to have any pullback from the “foreign entanglements”* Washington warned of occur as a result of a carefully-deliberated, honestly-debated decision rather than forced upon us by military-industrial incompetence and corruption. But whatevs, I guess.

*NOTE: Washington did NOT use those exact words in his farewell address, and his position on how foreign affairs should be conducted was a bit more, umm, nuanced than is broadly assumed. In my opinion, he’d likely have been in favor of making war if necessary to protect the nation under specific, well-defined conditions—even pre-emptively—but opposed to the kind of pointless, open-ended, half-a-war adventurism we’re bogged down in all over the world now.

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