Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Military Response

Active duty and retired combat veterans respond to a Yellow Elephant's column in the Rocky Mountain Collegian:

Another coward conservative, always ready with an excuse. Supporting our troops is "letting THEM do their job and praying for their safety..."
Give me a break. If Connie Rice had done HER JOB the president would have read the Augsut 9th PDB and Osama would be in jail and the World Trade Center Towers would still be standing.


Regarding the column that Ryan Chapman ran in your paper considering the lies of liberals, I think he needs to take some courses in reality and history.

Clinton's moral conduct was personally unacceptable but did nothing to harm this nation as a whole. President Bush's lies about Weapons of Mass Destruction have led to the deaths of over 2000 brave Americans who, unlike Ryan, were willing to put their lives on the line for this nation. Oh, and yes I am a liberal who backed up his words with action-I served in the Army for 20 years. This war is the first preemptive war in our history and our involvement in the country of Iraq is based on a lie. How does that make it honorable? We can honor the sacrifice of our troops if we make sure that our motives and our cause is honorable. I will always support our troops but not always the politicians that send them there especially if their motives are suspect.

I am not a woman and would never presume to make such a momentous decision as an abortion and I caution anyone to make a moral and personal decision for another individual unless you are in their shoes. So unless Ryan is a biological abnormality, he should refrain from making the decision on abortion, just like most of our politicians. If you believe the Republican philosophy that we are better with less government, why should the government intrude in this most personal decision?

The Bush administration has done more to destroy our rights as defined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights than any modern American administration and then hides behind the specter of 9/11. It is assumed that good Americans support his views and are patriots. Maybe I missed something in my study of history, but our founding fathers were willing to risk their lives for their dream of a democratic nation, something that President Bush, his most ardent supporters, and young Ryan don't seem to understand. Support of our nation means not blindly following the ideology of our President but following the Jeffersonian ideal of being a part of the informed electorate and being involved in our nation. Many of us have backed our words with deeds. Unless Ryan and the Bush daughters are willing to actively go to Iraq or at least volunteer their time in a Veteran's Hospital, you have little credibility in my book. And why should so many members of minorities and us "liberals" go and serve in this war so you can safely spend your time hiding out at CSU and avoiding your duty not as a conservative or a Republican, but as an American? So I challenge you to put up or shut up.

After all, in the military I pledged to serve and protect the Constitution of the United States which includes the Bill of Rights. Your opinion, although disagreeable to me, is something that I risked my liberal life to protect. Would you be willing to do the same for me?

Douglas P. Bertolini
US Army Retired
Fort Collins


I'm sure the troops are relieved that you are praying for them and slandering "liberals" at the same time. As the troops are in Iraq fighting a tough insurgency, you're over here putting your life on the line to make us safe from those darned liberals. Your courage knows no bounds- especially as you construct and then destroy one strawman after another.

As you said, after 9-11, many Americans did think we needed to go to war- in Afghanistan. Many of us, including a growing number of military officers and conservatives, believe that the war in Iraq is a mistake and has made us more vulnerable to terrorism. Many of us believe Bush has squandered our national prestige, resources, and the lives and limbs of our fine military men and women whom you profess to admire so much.

As a former combat arms officer and conservative, I am offended by the excuse-making of many college Republicans like yourself. I don't ask that you enlist in the Army but I do ask that you don't make-up lame excuses for not doing so. Just tell the truth: "I support the war but I don't want to put my neck on the line because ______." It's that easy.

Richard Gilson

Quit your sniveling. As a 12-year veteran of the Marine Corps who was wounded in combat and medically discharged I'm sick of self-serving whining comments like yours. If you support the war then go. It's typical of Repubs to think other people should fight their wars and Bush is the prime example. I have more respect for Clinton who said he opposed the war and didn't go then Bush who strongly supported Vietnam and then used his connections to get out of it and then even National Guard duty which he deserted from.

Tell me what is conservative about Bush btw. He gives money from the poor and middle class to the rich, has run up the biggest deficit in history, and has overseen the biggest growth of government in history. Whats conservative about that? If you call yourself a conservative and you support Bush then your a fool


Wow, talk about "conservative lies".... Clinton was attacked for something that was perfectly legal and if you remember your history, most every one of the Republicans attacking him at the time for his affair were having affairs of their own, which resulted in several stepping down because of the hypocracy. You can support the troops and not the war and just because you don't support Iraq (I never did), doesn't mean that you don't support any other war or the military. The reality is that history will not look at this favorably, just as it hasn't with Vietnam, so you should get off of your high horse and realize what is going on. You claim to support our troops but it is the Republican party that cuts taxes and taxes pay for everything from education to the troops to war. Why do you think that the military has constantly complained that they are understaffed, underpowered, and improperly protected? The joke is that the same people who attacked Kerry for not voting on $80 billion for the war have been slashing the military personnelle budget since they came into office. Sure, the military has more money, but it is all spent on $800 million dollar airplanes that are truly archaic, weapons (M16) that are obsolete, and bombs that cost way too much considering what they do. Don't you ever dare to talk about the military until you have been in it, and don't you claim to support them because saying "I support the troops" doesn't save their lives. Words didn't help the almost 2000 troops that are already dead in just Iraq and the tens of thousands with debilitating wounds that will NEVER heal! As the chant goes, "join up, or shut up!"

I am very liberal and I have been in the military and the federal government, so for you to say that liberals "sit around refusing to support anything to do with the United States" is pure doggma. I would also suggest you explain how the war in Iraq has furthered my freedoms? Last time that I checked, since the Republicans came into power, we have seen anti-sod. laws, huge deficits, 2 wars at once (the military isn't that big, which is why we hardly leave the Afghan capitol... military science majors should be able to explain the parrallels between this and the Russo-Afghan war...), and our rights and freedoms restricted. If you want to talk about freedom, don't look towards General Cooco-bananas, look towards the Democrats because it is under them that we have had the most freedom. You aren't a woman, you're not pregnant, and you're not the one giving birth, so don't tell them that they can't terminate the life of an unborn child who cannot feel yet (<7 months, approx), especially if the child has a debilitating illness that would cause only pain and an aweful, horrid life. I have debated many times with "conservative Christians" and the hypocracies abound. None of them were able to claim a "higher moral ground" once I was done and those that did, weren't listening and didn't know their facts, just as you don't see to Ryan Chapman. Get over yourself. You are a chicken hawk. Fight if you think it's right, otherwise shut up because you have no idea what it's like to kill someone, you have no idea what it's like to be wounded for your country and then told that you can't feel a certain way. If we are truly free, I can feel that this war is unjust, I can hate what has happened to me, I can hate war, and I can live my life without others telling me how I can or can't have sex with my wife, what she can do to a baby that will only suffer, or if I think that the US has to live up to its treaties and obey the UN.

Maj. Ryan Oaches, RET USMC

I responded here and here.


At 11 October, 2005 04:09, Blogger Karl said...

General, Sir!

Excellent! SSGT Gallety will also comment occasionally.

At 11 October, 2005 08:33, Blogger XFI MMA said...

This is so phony. If Clinton would've taken bin Laden after he bombed the WTC the first time, none of this would've ever gone down, thus opening the door to blame on Bush.

This blame crap is getting so old, man. I know you're gonna hammer down on me like I'm some kind of satanic Islamofacist, but my opinion is these made-up letters and what they read are a far cry from the truth.

At 11 October, 2005 08:56, Blogger Scott said...

Republican Vet, you opposed Clinton going after Bin Laden, remember? "Wag the Dog" and all that?

You were objectively pro-terrorism then, and you're objectively pro-terrorism now.

At 11 October, 2005 09:09, Blogger dave said...

Republican V--


At 11 October, 2005 09:48, Blogger An Angry Old Broad said...

General,I want to thank you for Operation Yellow Elephant,I visit here now and then and JG regularly,and I am very proud of the fine work you've been doing(and yes,I mean that in the way of the French,I can't help it).

What saddens me most about young conservatives is that so much of that youthful energy is being subverted by lies and just a horribly mean spirit,such a waste of our future.They have no idea how lucky they are to even be able to BE in college, I would love to have had someone pay for my education when I was that age.Now,in my 40's,I'd totally appreciate it and act like I did.I wish I could afford it,I'd be in school working on a degree now(and probably doing black ops on campus for you General, Sir).The best I can do is educate myself and work so my kids and grandkids can have that formal education.

Politics and business is part of our lives,but a life focused on those things alone is very,very limited. A life spent seeking to insult,hurt,and trample all over other people isn't very much to be proud of either."Winning a War of Ideas"?What a load of crap,that's just an asshole's way of saying they like and strive for being a jerk.And they DARE call foul on the"liberal elite"?Please.

As for republican vet's comments, has he ever heard of Paul Hackett? Pat Tillman? There are now I believe 6 Iraq War vets running for various political offices,and ALL of them are running as Democrats,hmmm.(I'm waiting for the GOP to start trying to find their own Iraq vets to run for office,just to "win"that"idea"too) By nature the military is conservative in the majority,but,not every person in the military is conservative.And if one were to be honest,most conservative military folks are REAL conservatives,not neocons or neocon supporters,big difference.

I come from a family with alot of military backround.Many of the men in my family grew up poor and the military was an honorable way to at least get a decent home,maybe go to school,and take care of your family.In order to maintain that honor of service,the Chain of Command has to be maintained,rules of engagement and regulations regarding the treatment of war prisoners must be followed,as well as seeing to it that those who do come home alive are given the best care and community resources possible.This is not happening and that DOES sit right in the laps of the Republican Party and their War President.

Sorry for the length,I have family members who were destroyed by Vietnam,and a family member who is gearing up for his THIRD tour in Iraq.He's going back for his buddies that are still in Iraq,NOT the President,and I bet if you asked most of our troops,that would be the reason many hold onto the most as why they hang in there.

At 11 October, 2005 10:02, Blogger Deb said...

Female Vietnam Era Army vet here. You go General.

I joined the military just out of High School,(the next day), my dad retired from the USAF after 24 years, my brother was an officer in the Navy for 6 years, and we have different ideas about how to support our troops. Put up or shut up. Increase their pay, medical benefits and take care of them after they come home. Not one of them should ever be homeless.

Veterans are against the war because they have experience that Mr. Chapman obviously doesn't and Republican Vet some of us learned to think independently of orders. A bad order does not have to be obeyed and if more of our troops remembered that we might not have had incidents such as Abu Ghraib. This is a no win situation and the sooner acknowledged, the sooner we can start healing the wounds in this country.

Otherwise, the only time you should be opening your mouth is when you take the oath to defend this country.

At 11 October, 2005 14:01, Blogger ed sharp said...

As a veteran I can tell you that nothing disgusts the troops in the field more than these male cheerleaders for death and distruction that think they are too good to serve in the armed forces. When tomorrow's childern ask what these spineless parasites did during the war,will they told that it was more important to go around slandering Gold Star Mothers?
Ed Sharp - Marine Vet

At 11 October, 2005 14:22, Blogger CCP said...


Perhaps some of you soldiers who are in need of a little cash to buy the body armor the GOPpers couldn't see fit to send you could help in the recruitment effort by referring the names of some Yellow Elephants to your friendly, local recruiter.

Read all about it at the link above.

At 11 October, 2005 23:32, Blogger The Recruiting Office said...

"Connie" Rice?


Anyway, this is good readin', General, sir! I posted a poem about this very issue on my blog on Sunday.

I wrote it coming from a family which has had ancestors and relatives in every war from the Revolution to the Persian Gulf, and my brother is on active duty now. My family is one where my grandfather and EVERY ONE of his five siblings served their country in World War II - even my granddad, who was a conscientious objector, worked in a tank plant.

This war - the second one in my lifetime (if you don't count the Cold War and Reagan's adventures in Panama and Grenada) - is different. Where's the rush to enlist and serve? Where's the great sense of National Purpose? There's none, of course, because the whole underpinning of the war is morally bankrupt.

I am so frigging tired of these country club College Republicans yammering about how great it is to wear yellow ribbons and make care packets when they don't have to do any of the fighting.

Go sign up if you believe in it so much, guys. Hell, I would have signed up right out of college if I hadn't been medically DQ'd (blood pressure and other permanently DQ'ing issues). I made it through 2 years of non-scholarship ROTC... they have no idea what it's like to wake up at 4am to do firewatch, or sit on a shooting range all day firing at paper targets learning how to kill The Enemy, or any of that. It's easy to send someone else to war when you don't have to fight it.

Supporting troops doesn't have a hill of shit to do with sending care packages or putting yellow ribbons on your Ford Excursion SUV (right next to your W'04 sticker). Debra the Vietnam vet is right: "Increase their pay, medical benefits and take care of them after they come home. Not one of them should ever be homeless."

Are the Kid Republicans ready to shell out for the lifetime of VA care and disability benefits that many of the folks they so eagerly sent out there will need? Will they go to Walter Reed to help a newly legless Marine learn how to walk with prosthetic limbs? Will they go with an Army death-notification detail to tell a mother her only son is dead? Or with a Mortuary Affairs team to retrieve and identify remains after a roadside bomb attack?

Of course not. It's easier to throw a magnetic ribbon on your SUV.

Let them eat MREs. (The Dried Meatloaf variety is especially nasty.)

At 16 October, 2005 02:31, Blogger lloydletta said...

Mitch Berg has another meltdown over on Whine in the Dark.....

At 09 December, 2007 19:53, Blogger Unknown said...

Funny that I actually looked into comments about Ryan, eventhough I have been out of CSU for a couple years now. All i have to say is that Ryan in real life is the biggest asshole. That poor uneducated redneck bible thumper has some real issues.


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