06 Apr 2009 @ 11:23 AM 

A Comment On Bouhammer


Just to be clear; this is only nominally about Bill Maher. Really, Maher is just a symptom. His “joke” about military rapists was ill-advised, but sometimes a guy hits a clunker. I still call foul, but whatever; it’s not the end of the world. Like I said, it’s a symptom of a series of issues that are all tied together, a few of which are brought together in this comment left on Bouhammer.com, which Troy Steward, the blogauthor over at Bouhammer, has kindly allowed me to use for the purpose of response.

Get some popcorn, there’s more after the jump.

Here is the original comment:

Richard, on April 3rd, 2009 at 11:27 am
What is up with the attitude? Mayer is funny. There have been rapes in Okinawa. You didn’t do it. I didn’t do it. So, why all the hostility? Oh, yeah, I ams one non-Republican who has: Lobbied to get you better armor, rations and housing, better bebefits from the VA. I’ve spent time and money escorting OUR fallen to their graves, willing to spend a night in jail if it meant OUR guys would get buried without looney fruitcase demonstrators harrassing the survivors.

After having been through one circle jerking rattfuck on behalf of our nation, I’m not at all suprised you have to wear these goofy belts while on patrol. But, just for morale purposes, let me share a scripture with you; Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ, the same yesteday, today, and forever.

They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. Take that with a grain of salt. We learned something, about politics and fighting, in our generation. It means, to me, if you’re gonna go, go hard. This fucking around politically, occupying and policing, is not an Armed Forces job. So it’s an automatic cluster fuck when they make you try. Vampire’s got it right, but he’s farting upwind, you wait and see.

We need about 40,000 green berets looking for one criminal, Ozzie B., and the rest can sort itself out. The food and firewood options should be NGOs jobs. Military should be ‘high cover’. There, available, and mostly invisible.

Sorry to grind on ya, but it sure seemed we would have learned COIN by now. I’m not a liberal, but I sure ain’t a Repugnut. I’d rather you (as in, ALL of you) were home. It tears my guts to bury kids again, and I don’t want one life uselessly spent. Having said all that, YOU are the guy in-country, so you get the edge.

Thanks for listening


Richard, thank you for your service and for escorting the remains of America’s fallen, I assume as a Patriot Guard Rider. I deeply appreciate the Patriot Guard Riders. Thanks for your lobbying efforts as well. Thanks also for this comment on Bouhammer’s blog, because it got me going.

Let’s take this a step at a time; first, Maher is officially no longer funny. Maher is at best generally funny. Funny in the sense you used it is a state of being, and with this Maher is not existing in a state of being funny. He is at best generally funny, but he is not funny. Depending on your taste, he is usually, sometimes, or rarely funny, but he is not funny.

Why the hostility? Because someone has to say it, and tens of thousands of deployed servicemembers lack either the time, the bandwidth, the words or the platform to speak up against being called a bunch of rapists. Indeed, there have been rapes on Okinawa. Again, I would point out that while such events are exceedingly bad for international relations, a foreign national is less likely to be raped by a young Soldier or Marine than an American woman is to be raped by a non-military male in any American city with a comparable population of males in the same demographic groups.

You will never find a more professional group of young men than the 18-26 year olds in the military. You may find individual civilians who you may hold up with a spotlight on them, but I defy you to find a group of civilians of similar ages who routinely take the lives of others in their hands the way these people do and deliver the results that they do.

There is not an American company who can claim anyplace near the success rate in training and dedication that the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines routinely deliver. There is not a similar group of young men in this country who have a lower overall crime rate. The best young men and women that this nation has to offer are in the Armed Forces of the United States; they are a credit not only to the organizations that they serve but to themselves and their families as well. Just to stay focused; I am not speaking of older professionals, nor am I speaking of senior NCO’s or officers. I am speaking strictly about our young Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, and Sailors. I by no means claim personal superiority to any civilian professional. This is not about me nor meant to degrade anyone. It is in response to a degrading comment, and to those who find it “funny.” I have never in my life seen, as a group, a more professional bunch of young people.

If Chevrolet and their union could consistently produce the level of professionalism that our young servicemembers display, there would be no need for a bailout. If the banks displayed the same level of selfless service as these young men and women, there would be no need for a bailout. If Wall Street displayed the same knowledge of right and wrong as these young Americans, there would be no need for a bailout. An Army PFC could figure out that being given money by the government to do a job doesn’t mean, “give yourself a bonus.”

Trust me, Bill and Richard, if America could produce more like the young men who have volunteered to stand on that line between you and bad things and people and who represent these United States in an overwhelmingly exemplary fashion in foreign lands both friendly and hostile, this country would be a better place. Calling them, as a group, “rapists” is not funny, and neither is Bill Maher.

That being said, let’s look at the rest of the comment. As an aside, we do not have to wear the belts on patrol. They are worn on the FOBs, and as such are a symbol of the disconnect between the inside and outside of “the wire.” No one who spends a fair amount of time outside the wire can put one on without feeling silly, nor can they believe that there are “reflective belt nazis” on the FOBs, but there are. We don’t wear them outside the wire, as that is just plain silly.

They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.

Insanity is the inability or refusal to perceive, accept and abide in reality (the truth.) Doing the same thing over and over again is merely a symptom, displaying the inability to understand or accept reality. In order to deal with the insanity, you have to recognize where it came from.

We learned something, about politics and fighting, in our generation. It means, to me, if you’re gonna go, go hard. This fucking around politically, occupying and policing, is not an Armed Forces job. So it’s an automatic cluster fuck when they make you try. Vampire’s got it right, but he’s farting upwind, you wait and see.

We need about 40,000 green berets looking for one criminal, Ozzie B., and the rest can sort itself out. The food and firewood options should be NGOs jobs. Military should be ‘high cover’. There, available, and mostly invisible.

I’m a half-step behind you generationally. My brother served in Vietnam, and I witnessed it. For most of my career, I bought the meme that the military didn’t lose that war, that the American people lost their will and the political machinery lost it. Here is what I have learned; the military did lose the Vietnam War. We never did learn the lessons of counterinsurgency in Vietnam. Now, let’s stay focused; the American Soldier did not lose that war, but his leadership to the highest levels did. Soldiers were not trained in counterinsurgency, but they did the best that they could and fought very hard. They paid the price and they handed it back many fold. There was no lack of bravery, of sacrifice or of personal purpose. There was a huge failure in leadership. We teeter on that brink right now, but we are tipping in the right direction.

Your recipe for counter-terrorism would fail just as surely as the American Military failed in Vietnam, Richard. It is anger and firepower-driven and while it sounds at first take like it’s just common sense, it as far from a successful strategy as one can get. Unfortunately, it still has adherents in the military.

Getting rid of “Ozzie B” is just getting rid of a poster child. It’s like saying that getting rid of Gordon Brown will make all of the Brits just go away.

Invisible military forces would be really handy in making the Afghan people feel secure enough to make decisions that aren’t driven by the need to avoid being a victim of the Taliban need to make an example of them for daring to make a decision of their own; like, say, the decision to let their little girls go to school that day. No, Richard, having 40,000 Special Forces running around would involve, first, training a bunch of new Special Forces. Secondly, it would just tie up 40,000 Green Berets doing things that wouldn’t help solve the long term problem. Do you know how many Afghan National Army units we could train with 40,000 SF?

Here’s an automatic Charlie Fox, Richard; do a job that you aren’t trained for. Just as you weren’t trained for COIN, even if they told you that you were doing it, neither are our young Soldiers. The Marines do a little better than the Army. Our young Sergeants are not trained in it, either. The only ones who have any understanding of it are generally officers, with varying levels of understanding, and Senior NCO’s who take it upon themselves to read and study it on their own and see the applicability of it on the ground. Vampire 6 does have it right… but it’s not because he was put through a stellar course on COIN. He has it right because he has read the books and because when he looks at his situation on the ground what he has read comes to life. He truly is farting upwind, but if enough of us fart upwind, perhaps the wind will change. Nobody’s ever really tried that.

Ideally, Richard, NGO’s and AGO’s (Afghan Government Organizations) are the ones who should be doing the food and firewood deal. It’s men like Vampire 6 who are doing the best that they can do with what they have, and they do what needs to be done when nobody else can or will. That’s COIN on a shoestring, and men like Vampire 6 are why we haven’t failed abjectly. If we had more of them, we’d be more successful. Vampire 6 hasn’t won any fans in his Chain of Command, Richard. His criticisms are undoubtedly on-target. Guys like me get excited to read them because we have seen the same things. He has had the ability to apply his personal readings of COIN to his experience on the ground and he has had the moral courage to point out where we are our own worst enemies.

Richard, we do not need “high cover.” What we need is “ground cover.” If the Taliban can’t openly walk around in the villages, and at night they can’t skulk around dropping off their intimidating notes and threats called “night letters,” then the people of Afghanistan will begin to take breaths of air that smell vaguely of freedom from intimidation. Men like Vampire 6 understand this, and when men like you see it and lobby not just for body armor but for accountability and basing the “success” and career progression of military leaders on the results that matter on the ground, then you will be even more helpful.

If this you feel like I’ve torn into you, Richard, please don’t. You have raised some of the issues that I directly wanted to discuss, and for that I thank you. I understand that some of what you said was meant quite a bit less seriously than I seemed to take it, but these are things that I take very seriously.

Tags Categories: Uncategorized Posted By: Old Blue
Last Edit: 06 Apr 2009 @ 11 23 AM


Responses to this post » (3 Total)

  1. membrain says:

    Ecxellent points Blue, and I hope it helps Richard see past some of the issues he carries with him from the Vietnam War. Vampire 6 is part of a new breed of Soldiers as are you and Bouhammer.

    There was quite a stir recently when the Stars and Stripes slandered the National Guard with an artcicle, (since retracted) that the 82nd Airborne was on it’s way to save the day from “inexperienced National Guardsmen”.

    As Scott Kesterson said in response: “The Guard of today looks and operates nothing like the Guard of years past. Following from 8 years of war, the National Guard now has more combat experience within its ranks than its overshadowing “big brother.””

    I hope Richrd finds your post helpful and I hope he learns to look at the here and now with an eye to putting the past in context.

  2. Anthony Kalnoky says:

    Excellent comments, thoughts, Blue. Thanks for simplifying, making things understandable, the Too Complicated for us civilians.

  3. WOTN says:

    Well Said Ole Blue. Much more tactful than my own response.

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