Sunday, October 22, 2006

Dialogue with Happydayz

Happydayz, who described himself as an active-duty Army Lieutenant on, said the following (Oct 12 2006, 9:09 p.m.):

As for Operation Yellow Elephant: I find your campaign and your website truly disgusting. It violates many of the basic principles that should guide a Republic. If you lack the intellectual or moral wherewithal to figure out why I suggest you spend less time agitating and more time reading about your country's intellectual origins.


Thanks for your feedback. Assuming you've read OYE 101, 102 and 103 in the upper right corner above (and OYE 104 and 105 below), please be specific: What, exactly, is "truly disgusting" and "violates many of the basic principles, and which ones, that should guide a Republic"? We welcome your comments.


At 22 October, 2006 17:54, Anonymous brachiator said...

It's a tough crowd over there, the air thick with epithets such as "codswallop!" and "imbecile!" One OYE comment asked why OYE should "respect" someone's opinion if that person didn't Enlist! -- which produced the not-unexpected retort that "I don't give a rat's ass if you respect my opinion or not."

I've had more success in face-to-face discussions with the approach "I don't believe you actually hold that opinion," rather than "I don't respect your opinion." As in, "Michelle, I don't believe that you really think Iraq is a threat or that we need to fight that war" because you aren't there fighting it, too. I made a post on Fmragtops to this effect.

At 23 October, 2006 13:17, Blogger robash141 said...

I don't think this Happydyz guy is really who he purports himself. A yellow Elephant would have every reason to lie about their affiliations.

At 23 October, 2006 14:19, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whether or not "Happydayz" is who he purports to be, apparently he doesn't like hypocritical Yellow Elephants to be pointed out.

My heart goes out for Happydayz. It really does.



At 24 October, 2006 00:31, Anonymous tnkr111 said...


I am curious, have you read the responses to OYE Karl over on You have described the response to Karl as, and I quote, ”It's a tough crowd over there, the air thick with epithets such as "codswallop!" and "imbecile!"” Before you go about casting aspersions, maybe you should get your facts and summations right. If you are too busy, ask IRR Soldier, he may knwo a thing or two about the place.

BTW, the people who frequent that site are either already Officers, were Officers, or want to become they have done what you've asked, made a decision to serve, some of us even do it despite the fact that we do not personally agree with the current foreign policy of the United States. But rather than morally equivocate, and "protest" by refusing to do what we said we would do by taking a binding legal oath, we Soldier on literally.

Thanks for your service, whatever form it took...the military isn't for everyone. And it not a prerequisite for Anyone to serve in politics or government, including as the Commander-in-Chief of our Armed you remember, President Clinton who did deploy our Troops and did launch strikes, but he was never called a Yellow Donkey or Chicken Dove. Just of wagging the dog...

At 24 October, 2006 03:12, Blogger robash141 said...

Thats not true
Clinton was and still is savaged by Right wingers for being a "Draft Dodger" as a matter of fact President Clinton had to fire a General ,an Air Force two star I believe. For saying that Clinton was a draft dodger at a public function

At 24 October, 2006 04:24, Anonymous djtyg said...

Well, I'm an Army Specialist, and I love this site! :)

At 24 October, 2006 07:53, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Maj. Gen. Campbell's comments actually characterized Clinton as being "“draft-dodging,” “potsmoking,” “womanizing,” and “gay-loving.”" In my opinion, far more egregious than simply "draft dodger." And the President rightly removed him, there is no place in the military for breaks in discipline of that nature-not to mention it is a violation of the UCMJ for an Officer to make those comments about the President, among others.

I should have been clearer, though Clinton was tagged as a "draft dodger," the extent of Republican, or conservative, ire on that matter was simply localized to him. Now, there was no war being fought at the time, like there is today. So there was no motivation to brand the entire Left as Yellow Donkeys, or Asses, if you prefer the King's English. (Sorry a bit of humor.)

On a serious note, the real fix to this problem is not assaulting your favored target groups through Facebook, or selectively sending certain people's contact info to USAREC for potential prospecting. It is the end to the All-Volunteer Force. As long as it continues, there will be people, political affiliations notwithstanding, continuing to make the choice at 22 years old, and even 18 and younger, to get into the work force to get ahead and get is the American way. It is the American way to buck pass to less fortunate people, since they have few choices anyways, the military is a good option for them, unlike the middle class and upper class liberals and conservatives who attend our institutions of higher learning.

Just because a person is a Republican does not make them "more eligible" for service than some one who is a Democrat. Serving the nation is not about political affiliation, it is about a patriotic duty to your country.

That is really what this website is about, isn't it. Karl says it is a non-partisan effort to get the elites to return to service...the side banners do not seem to indicate that, and the regular contributors do not either, but I believe Karl. Am I foolish, or misguided? Is this only about getting Republican youth to serve, while continuing to equivocate that Democrat's get a pass because their party decided to oppose the war after it turned into a counter-insurgency, and a swift clean victory was not had?

CPT tnkr

At 24 October, 2006 07:54, Anonymous tnkr111 said...

Sorry, I clicked the wrong button, the above post is mine.

CPT tnkr

At 24 October, 2006 08:38, Blogger Karl said...

CPT tnkr-

This response will have to be brief; I'll be doing a separate posting explaining in more detail.

We definitely support more service by "the elites." And we are starting with our governing party.


Because the American people have chosen our governing party, and not the loyal opposition, to run our country, giving it control of both Houses of Congress as well as the White House; President Bush has vetoed one bill (not on our topic).

We want to Support Our President, so of course we will start with his strongest supporters. Wouldn't you?

At 24 October, 2006 12:09, Anonymous tnkr111 said...


You said, "We want to Support Our President, so of course we will start with his strongest supporters. Wouldn't you?"

No. Your argument and the basis for your justification for this effort by you, and many others in the blogoshopere, is at best logically flawed and worst a complete waste of time.

First, why do I think it is a waste of time? The act of getting a person to make the decision to serve is not well served by the methods chosen. Trust me, I proudly serve-as does Happydayz (despite the doubts cast by your commenter above), and many, many others-and I believe your chosen approach is at best no more than partisan heckling, veiled as Support for the President, at worst tantamount to inciting violation of people rights to privacy. Additionally, I don't think you, or the others, who have taken up the Chickenhawk/Yellow Elephant standard, really care to Support the President, or his policies; I believe that you seek to embarrass and discredit an administration that you do not support by any means possible. I may be wrong, and if I am, my apologies for misunderstanding your intent; but forgive me, you characterize yourself as part of the “loyal opposition,” therefore it is only fair to assume that you are grinding a political axe against President Bush and his “loyal supporters.” What's more, judging from the comments you've written, I am certain you served in some capacity or another, and therefore it is unbelievable to me that you think these types of appeals are even remotely effective. Unless you yourself have never actually served, and don't really understand what the thought process is behind deciding to serve, since it is a choice.

Second, as for its logical flaw, the argument that targeting Republicans, whether only or first, in an effort to encourage more elite participation-which you never seem to bring up unless forced to-while refusing to take Democrats to task for not serving is simply a case of Special Pleading. You give Dems a pass, why? Service is not about political affiliation, it is about patriotic duty and responsibility for the common defense, and frankly I don't think a Republican dominated military is good for it, or for America.

While I do agree that Republicans need to be doing more, they are not the only ones. It is the responsibility of everyone. We have 300 million citizens, and a total uniformed force structure that is less than 1% of that number, and of that number less than half are on Active Duty or Active Guard and Reserve (AGR). Our military recruiters should not have to scrape by to meet goals and mission requirement fro enlistments each year, they should be turning people away. The problem is that (1) military service is not seen as a responsibility, (2) many special interest groups (most, if not all, that are pare of the “loyal opposition”) actively discourage service, and actively support efforts to block recruiters from having access to the target population for service, and (3) the national media love to seize on any story that discredits the military, whether it the isolated criminal acts of a few, or an isolated set of incidents attributed to an unscrupulous recruiter, and then generalize it to all of us. The fix is to target everyone in this country, because all able bodied, healthy citizens have a responsibility to serve. Giving the Dems a pass is unconscionable and disingenuous to your stated goals, unless your goals are really more akin to my assumption above in the third paragraph.

Proudly serving, and praying for a return to the draft, CPT tnkr.

At 24 October, 2006 12:37, Anonymous Hal said...

As someone who uncomfortably falls within the category of 'elite,' let me say I agree completely with what tnkr has said. I believe that the opposition to this war has been so muted on college campuses (which led the Viet Nam protests and helped bring down a president and a policy) because the elites and their families are not personally threatened with the loss of loved ones. My wife and I have three sons and two daughters and I would support mandatory national service for them and for all these confortably affluent slackers we live around. It would give them a sense of their place in the world, of honor and duty, and it would make their parents pay attention to the real costs of war.

At 24 October, 2006 13:24, Anonymous djtyg said...

Well, CPT tnkr, with all due respect, I support this website because when I first got home from my stint in OEF, I encountered hundreds of people who wanted to thank me for my service. They shook my hand, and wore had yellow magnets on their cars.

But when it came to doing anything to actively support those in the military, they were nowhere to be found. These people weren't petitioning Congress when they found out we weren't getting M1114 Hummers (the only ones that really protect from an IED), when our Soldiers weren't being given proper body armor (that has since changed), and they never had a problem turning down a Reservist for a job.

Not only that, but those same people would self-righteously label a Soldier unpatriotic if they questioned Bush or didn't support him. Many in our company didn't agree with Bush's policies, and right-wing civilians loved to label them as unpatriotic and traitors. But not one of them was signing up to take our place, to show that they could do the job better than us.

Not only is this "Support the troops unless they disagree with you" attitude disrespectful of Soldiers, but by saying that they would rather the poor and impovershed sign up and do their dirty work is completely against the American spirit of "can do".

So yeah, I tell them: Enlist, bitch! Prove that you have bigger balls than this bleeding heart liberal, who serves proudly with a combat patch on his arm.

At 24 October, 2006 14:19, Blogger robash141 said...

The most valuable thing that I have taken from own my military service is the ability to distinguish between good leadership and bad leadership.
The officers and NCOs that I highly respected would lead by example and would never subject their men to something that they were not willing to endure themselves .
One of my favorite officers was actually the son of a Republican congressman. He was very much like that I would have followed that guy anywhere
Regular rank-and file Republicans are not the issue , It's the braying loudmouths like Anthony Mantova who write resoundingly jingoistic op-eds in the local newspaper, but refuses to even consider enlistment.

If he says those things he's obligated himself to go to the head of the line , but he doesn't see it that way
To make matters worse Mantova works for an outfit called the "leadership institute"

Which mission is to train coservative leaders of tomorrow.

The leadership institute does a good job of it too, they have some of the heaviest hitters in the GOP as thier alumini {Rove, Norquist, Reed, Abramoff)
However, Mantova shows no leadership qualities , only cowardice.

Despite being a coward Mantova seems to have what it takes to get ahead in todays Republican party.

The reason you, tnkr ,should be worried about Mantova is because he mught be your bureucratic boss someday.
And he might send you and Happydayz off to get shot to pieces over some ideological humbug. While he sits back in his comfy leather office chair felling quite pleased with himself

At 24 October, 2006 15:12, Blogger Karl said...


Thank you for participating in this discussion. Here's a bit more:

Although Operation Yellow Elephant has evolved over time, you need to know that it's about leadership. Our Founder, General J.C. Christian, Patriot, and I noticed the same thing early in 2005: Lots of young, military-age men, apparently heterosexual, at "pro-war" rallies, at the same time our Army and even the Marine Corps were missing their monthly recruiting quotas.

Don't you think that there's something wrong with that picture? That's why The General focused on the College Republicans and I focused on the Young Republicans. I even sprang for a booth at the Young Republicans National Convention in Las Vegas in 2005 for any military recruiters who wanted to attend.

I'll be the first to confirm that the loyal opposition is far from perfect, and that there are a lot of crazies out there, for whom I and this blog are not responsible. That's why we get back to leadership: If, as we have suggested, the future leaders of our governing party took seriously their responsibility to set a good example for the rest of us, our country would be a much better place.

Exhibit A: Anthony Mantova.

At 24 October, 2006 16:20, Blogger freder421 said...

CPT tnkr, I am a former 21g, Pershing missile system, if you know anything about Pershing. It really did hurt me, to see how the repugs trashed John Kerry's military service record. It hurts also, to see the attempt, to trash Rep. Murtha's service. Although some of us vets disagree with the party in control should our service be trashed? I can change your mind now, and I will. A medal of honor winner from the Iraq war, decides to run for president at some point in the future, and the dems, say no, he did not earn a medal of honor, he wrote it himself. What do you say to that sir? I hope to engae you debate, I think anyone that supports a war and will fight in it is a coward. Waiting on you sir.

At 24 October, 2006 19:02, Anonymous tnkr111 said...

Fred, the Pershing was before my time, but I know what it was about. The Army retired their TacNukes long before my time. You said, "I hope to engae you debate, I think anyone that supports a war and will fight in it is a coward." If it was aimed at me, I am not sure what you were implying. Unless you are trying to attack me as a coward for going to Iraq in order to get me to discuss my feelings about the Global War on Terror.

As for the rest of your post, I agree that trashing people's military service on the basis of their political actions after it is over is reprehensible. But I don't take it personal, I do take it personal when Hon. Rep. Murtha, from his bully pulpit, makes wide, sweeping, derogatory generalizations about my service, and that of all my fellow Soldiers and Marines.

TJ, there is nopthing wrong with supporting this website/blog. In fact, if yo reread what I wrote, my point is that the apparent goal of this site is to target Republicans ONLY for service. I am not comfortable with that, I don't want to be one of two serving non-Republicans (though you apparently are far more left than I by your own admission) in the military, but that is what a "grassroots" effort like this will produce...there are no Republicans out there trying to "shame," or persuade, Dems to sign up. So since this blog is so well positioned, I propose they widen their target audience and start hammering at all the elites-not just the ones who attend College Republican meetings. Why not also the "bleeding hearts" that gather for the other 99% of college meetings instead of actually studying. With a wide net, maybe they'd actually reach and prospect enough people to make a real difference, and give the recruiters a break for once.

Robash, what cowardly thing has Mantova done? Make a choice how to serve-he chose not to. The law says he can. Look up at what I wrote before, as long as people have a choice to serve, few will choose the selfless road that potentially carries with it death, and guarantees mediocre pay and yearly raises that barely keep pace with the increase of cost of living, no matter how good you are at your job. I am glad that you can speak from the perspective of a former servicemember, but I am baffled as to why you give a free pass to some and not others on their choice to serve.

You only strengthen my assertion that a draft, or mandatory national service, is necessary. We can no longer trust that enough people will use their free will to choose service, even if it is for 2 or 3 years. Mandatory national service removes the choice to serve, and mandates that everyone able bodied serve-race, creed, politics, religion notwithstanding, no waivers for anyone. Period. All of those "chicken Hawks" would be forced to send their kids off to the Army, along with the children of all the Yellow Donkeys. God forbid they have mixed politics units, that kind of forced national integration could lead to....gasp....moderation and the end of the tinfoil hat crowd. Or does that make you uncomfortable, the lack of choice involved-and political integration?

At 24 October, 2006 19:29, Blogger freder421 said...

Excuse me CPT tnkr, i meant anyone that supports a war, and will not fight in it is a coward. Hopefully that is clear. How can you attack Rep. Murtha, he has 37 years in the marines? Please explain. Address me in your comments please, I lost what you were saying to the other person. I invite you to debate.

What do you think sir? About gw bush violation of the ucmj,art. 34 and 98? Let's talk about that. Are you ready to engage? Once again I ask you a question, please answer, answer to me, my questions. I will ask you about Pierce Bush, just a heads up.

At 24 October, 2006 19:37, Blogger freder421 said...

Let me correct my English, what do you think of GW Bush's disrespect of the UCMJ?

At 24 October, 2006 21:49, Blogger Sadie Baker said...

"Hon. Rep. Murtha, from his bully pulpit, makes wide, sweeping, derogatory generalizations about my service, and that of all my fellow Soldiers and Marines."

Talk about your wide, sweeping, derogatory generalizations. Murtha criticized soldiers who were a disgrace to the uniform. I hope you are not one of them? And the Republicans swiftboated him for it.

Why do you have greater loyalty to the Republican Party, the leaders of which overwhelming opted out of service in their time, and who have the worst voting records with regards to supporting the troops, than to a fellow veteran?

I find it intriguing. Are you an American soldier or a Republican one?

At 24 October, 2006 22:10, Anonymous tnkr111 said...

Thanks for the clarification Fred, I was pretty sure that was your meaning, besides it just makes more sense that way.

Was I attacking Hon. Rep. Murtha? I stated that, "I do take it personal when Hon. Rep. Murtha, from his bully pulpit, makes wide, sweeping, derogatory generalizations about my service, and that of all my fellow Soldiers and Marines." How was that an attack, he referred to our servicemembers in Iraq as "war criminals." No qualification, no clarification, I construe that to mean all of them, and that is simply not true. But, this blog is not about Hon. Rep. Murtha, I guess if you wan to discuss it further, find a suitable place so we don't detract form the real goal of OYE-getting the elites to get off their ass and serve.

As for Bush "disrespect" of the UCMJ, it is disconcerting, considering that he wants enemy combatants to be tried under it, yet the JAGs are not moving forward. But I'd suspect we don;t have the whole story, and most common people opinions on the matters of the detainees are being formed by news media who have little to no understanding of the UCMJ, or even Constitutional matters from what I have seen. But again, this blog is not designed to debate the UCMJ, and its application. And besides I am not a lawyer, so I won't comment any further, since my knowledge of the UCMJ is decidedly non-technical and probably not accurate.

What this about Pierce Bush? I just googled him, seems he is not in the limelight, unless one spends a bunch of time on certain blogs. He is 19 years old, and in college. He's a great candidate for the military. Maybe he'll consider it after he graduates form college, the Army needs Officers badly, 3,500 in the Active Army and 10,500 in the Reserves and Guard at last count. If he decides to drop out, maybe the Army will straighten him up, he seems a bit aloof. Do Ned Lamont, Jim Webb, Nancy Pelosi, et al have kids? Where are they? Oh wait, never mind, they are part of the "loyal opposition, and are exempt from service.

As for my comments to the other two contributors, go back and reread them. I suggest that the military needs a cross section of society, not just the poor and the children of rich Republicans...I advocate that OYE expands its targeted population to include everyone, not just Republi-kids. And if that doesn't work, strike down the AVF and bring back a draft. Hell, the Gates Commission predicted that the AVF wouldn't survive and sustain itself through a long war, why do our leaders pretend it will?

BTW, why the hard on for me? Do my comments seem too "conservative" for you?

At 24 October, 2006 22:20, Anonymous tnkr111 said...

Sadie show me where my comments are so loyal to the Republican party? Or is it just that I am not "condemning" them out of hand, but I criticized Hon. Rep. Murtha's comments.

The "leaders" of the Republican party have far passed their prime, and many of their children have as well, though clearly not all. But then again the same goes for the Dems. Where are they? Why is no once screaming for their national leadership. The military is a non-partisan organization, though we all have opinions. Why would you, or any other Democratic Party supporter, support a grassroots movement that could potentially turn the military in to a Republican dominated organization?

I swear to you, it would be horrible. I suffered for a couple of years in a unit that was dominated by senior leaders who made no apoplogies for their political leanings, and in the interest of continuing to have a career, I was told to keep my opinions to myself. More Republican Officers is not what the military needs. OYE should be targeting all of the children of wealthy elites and government leaders-regardless of party affiliation. (I say Officers, because the target audience are on College Campuses; a person holding a Bachelors degree in anything is eligible to be an Officer.)

Tell me why the children of politicians I vote for are exempt.

At 25 October, 2006 04:22, Anonymous djtyg said...

Well, Captain, I'm assuming you meant me when you said TJ (I'm DJ), so I'll respond.

The point of OYE (at least, how I percieve it as a lurker/commenter), is that if you support the war in Iraq, you should be a part of it. This applies to all people, even hawkish liberals. I'd be the first to call out Hillary Clinton for not encouraging her kid to enlist, who is of recruitment age and probably has the college creds to be an officer. But even more so, if Chelsea Clinton were to start a blog saying all the reasons we need to be in Iraq, I'd hound her constantly to sign up.

Obviously it doesn't make sense to ask someone against the war to join-they don't want us over there to begin with. But I'll call out anyone in a second for telling me they want us over there and yet refuse to enlist. They're asking us to do something they won't do themselves.

And a part of this is my own personal anger at the same right-wing hawks who have the nerve to question my military service and patriotism because I don't see Bush as my God, and I believe that we need a better way to defeat Al Queda.

At 25 October, 2006 09:52, Blogger Sadie Baker said...

This is why we call Republican leaders chickenhawks:

Not because they aren't serving now, but because they avoided military service when they were young enough. When we had a draft.

And I'm not worried that OYE, or anything for that matter, is going to result in an all-Republican military. Have you ever taken a good look at these young Republicans?

It kinda begs the question, which came first, the chickenhawk or the chickenhawk egg?

At 25 October, 2006 10:10, Anonymous tnkr111 said...

DJ, my apologies, I did mean you.

Look, you make excuses for the children of a "hawkish liberal" because she doesn't have a website "supporting" the war. But you support this site which purports to harass a whole group of people based on political ideology? Isn't that discriminatory, akin to racism?

The issue at hand, despite what the blogosphere and OYE say is not simply that our Republican politicos and their children aren't is that by and large, the elite and their children are AWOL from service. Period.

The issue has little to do with politics. Equivocating that a "liberal" gets a free pass because they didn't support the war and "it doesn't make sense to ask someone against the war to join-they don't want us over there to begin with." It does make sense, since it is the responsibility of every able bodied American to serve. Searching for moral equivalence with that argument is simply disingenuous. EVERYONE in America who is able has a moral responsibility to serve-class, race, politics, religion are irrelevant.

I am done beating my head against the wall. The thinly veiled goal of this blog, in my opinion, is to simply agitate. There is no substantive solution to serious social challenge being offered here. EVERYONE has a responsibility to serve, not just the College Republicans.

Someone else can get the last word. I am done.

At 25 October, 2006 12:02, Blogger robash141 said...

Again Tanker the question goes back to the ability to distinguish between good and bad leadership
I have absoulutely zero confindence in the leadership ability of George W Bush or Donald Rumsfeld. I think they, and many of their appointed subordinates are utterly foolish and corrupt. I have sen much evidence to support this contention
There is no way I would want put my life in their hands. If I were an active duty service member I would be obligated to follow their orders no matter what I thought of them.

I'll fight for America, but I'm not fighting for Bush and Rumsfeld.

Mantova and his ilk have no such qualms.They claim that Bush and Rumsfeld are doing a swell job.
However, they don't want to put themselves on the line..
To me that is cowardice

At 25 October, 2006 12:50, Anonymous IRR Soldier... said...


So quick to throw out the "cowardice" card. What adjective would you use to describe YOUR actions? Point, blame and taunt all day but you can't refute the fact that in 30 years our Army officer corps has gone from being a broadly reflective cross-section of society to one disproportionately drawn from GOP supporters and "red states."

Your absence and unwillingness to serve our CONSTITUTION (officers don't take oaths to people) is the shortest and surest way things will continue the way they are - regardless of who wins Congress.

How rebellious of you to leave those enlisted under our predatory recruiting system (that targets only 12% of youth) with leaders from only one ideological perspective.

Army officership is as essential to developing our next generation of citizens as "teach for America", VISTA or Americorps. Somehow, you and your ilk miss this and cede military leadership to those diametrically opposed to your views. Then you wonder how things got this bad.

Hundreds of thousands of 22 year old vets return to society each year. Their service experience is transformative and without exposure to those with diverse opinions, service increasingly becomes, at best an isolating experience and at worst a low-intensity conservative indoctrination experience.

At 25 October, 2006 14:00, Blogger Sadie Baker said...

"harass a whole group of people based on political ideology? Isn't that discriminatory, akin to racism?"

Man it never takes these conservatives more than five minutes to fall back into their rightwing persecution complex.

Here's a startling idea for you. Ideology is a choice you make. You are responsible for it. Ideology is not like race, gender, nationality or sexual orientation.

Have you ever thought about how maybe, if you don't have the courage of your convictions, if you can't defend the position you have taken as a conservative, it might not be such a great position after all?

At 25 October, 2006 14:04, Blogger Sadie Baker said...

Oh and, if you're worried that we are in any danger of ceding military leadership to those diametrically opposed to our views, you haven't taken a good look at the information presented here:

At 25 October, 2006 14:54, Anonymous IRR Soldier... said...


Beware of propaganda like you posted! It is one-sided and ignores the hundreds of Republican that served proudly and conveniently ignores the hundreds of leading Dems that haven't.

Shrill rhetoric doesn't do a thing to address today's issue - an officer corps ideologically seperate from the society it serves.

At 25 October, 2006 15:03, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad OYE exists.

A big issue I have is when you read the college republican clap trap about "librals" and cowards etc. I get really annoyed.

I'm a stakeholder in the, mortgage, kids, 25yrs in the workforce. Normally I would just consider that life and not worthy of any particular praise or respect.

But when I see these punk kids who talk about "librals" as if they are the scum of the earth I get really pissed.

Some kids in college on his daddy's dime is going to tell ME I should leave the country if I don't agree with the war in Iraq? That actually happened...of course I ripped him a new one...but I'm stunned by the attitude behind it.

As if some how a kid holding a particular opinion or ideology can somehow leap-frog the societal ladder and by that opinion carry more weight than a guy that's been paying taxes for 25years and playing a part in the society.

So to the soldier questionoing OYE... to me it's about throwing it back in the face of these punks and saying you don't get to "trump" others merely by holding an have to actually DO something.


At 25 October, 2006 15:12, Blogger Sadie Baker said...

"Beware of propaganda like you posted! It is one-sided and ignores the hundreds of Republican that served proudly"

Unfortunately, reality is one-sided. And those hundreds of Republicans that served proudly do not hold leadership positions in the Republican Party. That's what this all boils down to. Maybe if they did, we wouldn't be seeing stuff like this:

At 25 October, 2006 16:57, Blogger TomPaine said...

I'm actually an Army LT and I've enjoyed this website from it's beginning. You are just on a Mission from God and people who cant understand that will certainly burn in Hell. You Sir, continue yours and Jesus General's Holy Opus of persuading those misguided to go fight in Holy Leader's War of Supreme Moral Righteousness.

While your at it do you think you could find someone to take my place in Ramadi while I come home just to help your recruiting efforts?

At 26 October, 2006 01:33, Anonymous Samwise Galenorn said...

Oh gods, I don't believe this conversation. The undisputable fact is that this war is based on lies. To suggest that everyone should blindly support the war is completely stupid.
Once again, the war is based on lies.
According to a military person's oath that they take, it says 'I will defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.'
What happens if the president first lies us into the war, then proceeds to use the constitution as a doormat? Where is the oath of military service?
It is patriotic to protest the war. Period.
And in case you're wondering, yes, I'm an army veteran. 83-86. Not that it matters, because freedom of speech is supposed to be guaranteed to everyone.

At 26 October, 2006 03:17, Blogger robash141 said...

IRR soldier

There are no partisan Republicans serving in todays military, period

Just as there are no partisan Democrats, period.

Once you put on the uniform you leave that stuff behind.

As you should already know, Regulations forbid any sort of partisan political activity on the part of active duty service members.

It's a good rule because our military can ill afford to have political factions within the ranks

Of course service members can vote
and they have political opinions just like everyone else. Its just that they are obligated to keep those partisan opinions to themselves so long as they are serving.

So the notion that Republicans are already overrepresented in the military doesn't wash with me.

At 26 October, 2006 09:58, Anonymous IRR Soldier... said...


Your opinions are icredibly naive about the command/political/social climate of today's military.

Tnkr, my brother and my brother could go on for hours about our own experiences. For what it's worth, the politicization (ie. overt command support for conservative Republicanism) is the worst in the Air Force.

Seriously, get in touch with reality.

At 26 October, 2006 10:04, Anonymous IRR Soildier... said...


Yes, I stand by my assertion that both of your links are propaganda that are exposed as such with the slightest bit of research.

I bring the following facts not as a partisan, but as a concerned citizen that values "reality based discourse". As such, I've gathered the following information on veterans serving by paty in the 109th Congress and in governorships.

Like I suggested, the GOP holds a decisive edge in currently elected members with military service. The Dems that are veterans are heavily clustered in the WWII or immediate post-WWII era. While a number of outstanding recent vets are running as Dems this year, it still won't be enough to bridge this service deficit.

The numbers ....

House Veterans - 109th Congress:
Republican - 67
Democrat - 39

Senate Veterans - 109th Congress:
Republicans - 18
Democrats - 12
Independent - 1

Governors who are Veterans:
Republican - 7
Democrat - 2

Yeah, go ahead and tell me that a partisan website is more accurate than CQ.

At 26 October, 2006 12:13, Blogger robash141 said...

IRR Soldier,
If there is indeed politicization within the ranks as you say, it is not as sign of my naivetey it is sign of poor leadership.

And for what they are worth I doubt your numbers are correct Considering the almost uniform lack of any military experiance at the highest levels of the Repuplican party

At 26 October, 2006 13:01, Anonymous IRR Soldier... said...


I'm wrong? I work in Legislative Affairs for an agency - I know who's on the Hill - I interface with them every day.

I pulled the numbers directly from CQ this morning because for once and for all, I wanted to put a rest to the "myth" perpetrated by Sadie and others.

So the House, Senate and State Houses have higher proportions of GOP to Dem veterans (and a far lower median age too).

As for your "bad leadership" canard - get real! You dismiss the current political alignment of our officer corps and then when called on it, you blather on about "bad leaders." Who's the leaders? Virtually all are from the post-draft era where military service as an officer became a self-selecting and a de facto "republican" thing to do. Aside for a few remaining 3 and 4 stars, virtually all serving military leaders come from the post-draft era where the Navy maintains no ROTC units in NJ, CT or NH and the Army has 2 ROTC detachments for 8 million NYC residents but maintains 10 for 4.5 million Alabamans and 5 for 2.5 million Mississippians.

You decry the "leaders" when we allow the Navy to close access to officership in 3 blue states (save for USNA bound 17 year olds).

At 26 October, 2006 13:44, Blogger Karl said...


irr soldier is credible and a real American, just like robash141 and sadie baker. Feel free to debate his opinions, but I can confirm that he checks his facts.

Thank you.

At 26 October, 2006 17:06, Blogger TomPaine said...

robash141 said...
IRR soldier

There are no partisan Republicans serving in todays military, period

Just as there are no partisan Democrats, period.

Once you put on the uniform you leave that stuff behind.

As you should already know, Regulations forbid any sort of partisan political activity on the part of active duty service members.

Actually regultion does not forbid political activity, just activity while in uniform or while in the process of official duty. The army cant limit what you do politically in your free time. I can even pass out literature on the Communnist Fascist Revolution on post if I want to.
Read:Army Regulation 27-10
Army Regulation 600-20 App. B
Title 10USC
Constitution of the United States, 1st Amendment.

I will admit however amongst the officer ranks there tends to be a Conservative bias. You wont find very many of me in there. I'm an anomaly. Maybe I'm just a contrarian.

At 26 October, 2006 23:26, Anonymous tnkr111 said...

LT Byrne, if you think there are no partisan Officers in the Army, you either have your head under a rock or you are just trying to shore up a decrepit position. You can't tell me you have not gotten sideways comments from the Field Grades in 2-3 for your beliefs and blog postings.

At 27 October, 2006 08:29, Anonymous tnkr111 said...

My apologies, LT B, it was late and I lumped your thoughts in with robash.

The bottom line is this, however, there are partisan minded Officers in the Army, and I know you know it. In fact, in uniform, I have witnessed, as I am sure you have, Officers willing to freely share their Conservative views, and willing to lambaste any of us that do not share their narrow view of the world-labelling us as unpatriotic, undisciplined, or even anti-American. On the other hand, whether care or not (as you claim not to in your blog), showing disrespect to POTUS, VPOTUS, and the SecDef, in uniform or not, is punishable under the UCMJ. As such, it is not protected by the 1st Amendment. But I am sure you already know this.

At 27 October, 2006 15:54, Blogger robash141 said...

Ok well I'll grant you the stats about the vets in congress being accurate.

Sorry I misspoke it's not bad leadership it's an utter failure of leadership.

IRR Soldier You are trying to pigeonhole me as some robotic Democrat partisan “Bush Hater”. That is hardly the case.

The last time I voted for a Democrat for President was 1992

Its true we swear an oath the the Constitution when we join the military and if Jefferson Madison and Franklin were still in charge of making war and peace for America. Id definitely be into serving

However, with Bush Cheney and Rumsfeld we've had a precipitous drop of in caliber of statesmen in the ensuing years .

I love America , Don’t conflate America with Bush . I’m just as American as Bush . I’m proud of the fact that I served My country in the Army. When it comes to Free speech, of course I don’t have any special rights over anyone else. But, unlike Anthony Mantova at least I can say I punched my own ticket ..

So IRR Soldier if I want to talk nasty about Bush I’ll do it if it upsets you that’s too bad

He’s not the Commander-in-Chief to me he’s just another crooked Texas pol. One who happens to be temporarily running our government. He’s doing a rotten job of it too I might add.

Its hardly cowardly for me feeling as I do to wish to avoid serving under the likes Bush and Rumsfeld any more than it would be cowardly for me to avoid going for a ride on a bus with a drunk driver

The Republicanization of the officer corps wouldn't be such a problem if the rules are strictly and evenhandedly enforced.

My question to the military guys posting on this thread,
How long would it take for them to close you down if you went to end your support to a Cindy Sheehan rally?

As we know, The military is to, say the least, a coercive environment. perhaps some officers may have voted a certain way because their commanders pressured them to vote that way.

If a superior officer is attempting to use their rank in order to inluence your political beliefs in a partisan fashion is not just irresponsible but also illegal and they deserve to get busted for it to the full extent .
In order for our society to remain free the military must be apolitical, otherwise we turn into a banana republic.
None of that gets the coward Mantova off the hook, he thinks Bush and Rumsfeld are doing a swell job so swell that he couldn’t help but write a number resoundingly jingoistic op-eds in our local newspaper If he really belives his own words He shouldn’t hesitate to put his own life in their hands
I don’t really think Mantova is officer material anyway He should probably go in as a private and see how he does

At 27 October, 2006 19:40, Anonymous tnkr111 said...


To answer a few of your q's...

1) Concering rallies-a rally in support of Sheehan, in support of the President, or someone in between, is our business, so long as we are not in uniform. However, just being in civilian clothing but then identifying oneself as actively in the military is probably splitting hairs....but attending to show support, and not identifying oneself as being in the military is fine. And for an Officer, in or out of uniform, any disrespect of that Triumvirate, or other selected government officials, is punishable.

2) As for opinions and ideologies of senior Officers and how they handle and address subrdinates' beliefs...sure you can go up the chain, but lets face it, as you keep going up, and with the current skewing of political ideology being favored as conservative to NeoCon, good luck. Sometimes you just need to pick your battles, and keeping my mouth shut most of the time was a wiser use of my energies. Though in a formal Q&A sesion with the Officers and the commander of my last unit, I did voice my support, and admiration, of the "Revolting Generals." Much to the Chagrin of all but 2 others in the room, and I was nearly crucified by the commander. But I spoke my opinion when asked directly for it, rather than simply offering it just to troll for a debate.

3) As for Mantova, he's plainly an idiot. Pay him no mind. Pick your battles, let him run his whiney want to take real action, and make a real difference, get your Congressman on the phone and get him/her hot on a bill to require national service, then we can let the docs at MEPS sort out the 70% of the population that are not physcially or mentally (by standardized testiong) qualified to strap on boots. THAT IS THE FIX. THAT IS LEADERSHIP. So what if Lynn, and whole bunch of the young Bushes, and Donald Rumsfeld's grandchildren sign up, will Johnny down the street be therefore more inclined to sign up....

At 27 October, 2006 19:54, Anonymous tnkr111 said...

When referring to offspring, I meant Mary, not Lynne (which I spelled wrong anyhow).

At 28 October, 2006 17:22, Anonymous Happydayz said...

Military service should never be a prerequisite for debating/talking about US foreign policy. People can have perfectly valid opinions about the war in Iraq, or any war for that matter, without having to first serve in uniform.

Our Republic is intentionally designed to subordinate the military to civilian leadership, so to imply that service is a requirement for moral authority on this matter is frankly disgusting.

I'm sure that many people here have strongly held beliefs on abortion, capital punishment, or the minimum wage. Yet no one would call people cowards or imbeciles for having opinions on these hotly contested issues despite not having a medical, legal, or economic background. The same standard should absolutely be applied to foreign affairs.

As for why what you are doing here is disgusting: you are essentially trying to silence a significant portion of the country from having an opinion on this matter by placing an extremely high barrier to entry. It is absolutely shameless bullying and partisanship.

On a related note: moral authority is not the be all and end all of policy debates. The fact that I currently serve in the military should have little bearing as to what people think about my opinion's on the war. Similarly the fact that someone has served in the military or lost a loved one in it should also not unduly influence how much credibility they have in this matter. Obviously personal experience does matter in shaping perspective, but to imply that people should be given greater moral latitude as a result is imho inherently undemocratic.


At 29 October, 2006 04:31, Blogger Karl said...

It's clear that Happydayz hasn't read OYE 101 and 102.

We welcome all opinions. However, with respect to those eligible to serve who support the war only if others fight it, that fact is a relevant part of their opinion.

The only "barrier to entry" we place is honesty and full disclosure of one's relevant personal circumstances.

And if that's "disgusting" to Happydayz, well, then so be it.

Thank you.

At 29 October, 2006 16:31, Blogger robash141 said...

Well gentlemen,
This has certain ly been an edifying discussion.

It seems to Me that there should be some pretty strict rules against political activity by active duty service personnel However

Happydayz, Im not saying Mantova shouldn't have an or express his opinion. Of course This is America everyone is entitled to an opinion.

I wrote my article to highlight the distinction between informed opinions and ignorant opinions like Mantova's.

I’m certainly not trying to silence him ,I’m actually disappointed that he has not responded to my column as of yet. I guess he’s preoccupied He must be hard at work on some suppress-the-vote campaign .
Hopefully he’ll reply after November 7

Your right , Just because I served in the Military doesn’t make me less immoral than the next guy .

I guess if you wanted to use an extreme example you could say that Hitler was a vet and it sure as hell didn’t make him a good guy

It’s nice that you are such a humble fellow and all but , ex-military people do know more about war and how the military operates than some protected little brine shrimp like Mantova

You wouldn't let Anthony Mantova come over to your house and tell you how it should be wired if you knew he wasn't qualified as an electrician.

Why hold him to a lower standard on even more important subjects like war,peace and the fate of countless lives.

My criticism is partisan in the sense that this guy comes from the same place as me.
And I consider him a local embarrassment.

Not all people who oppose Bush are the same just like not all Republicans are the same so you simply can’t dismiss everything I say as “partisan”

Mantova and his neo-con ideological clones always posit themselves as the tough guys and realists” the ones who” know what needs to be done” and “aren’t afraid to do it”

Mantova is exercising his right to speak freely calling for more wars and I am excercising my rights of free speech to call him on what is an obvious ethical quandary

It’s a free exchange of Ideas in the finest traditions of our republic. If Anthony Mantova’s feelings are too dainty to handle such democratic discourse , perhaps he should stick to writing about less controversial subjects like flower arrangements


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