Our government has more in common with a bloated criminal enterprise, than with the lean watchdog for the republic it was designed to be.
Chris Kyle, Ron Paul, and Liberal Doublethink
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“It is a logical impossibility to be simultaneously pro-freedom and pro-military.”—“The Daily Paul”
“Chris Kyle’s death seems to confirm that ‘he who lives by the sword dies by the sword.’”—Rep. Ron Paul
Earlier this month former SEAL sniper Chris Kyle and a friend were shot in the back and killed by a mentally ill former Marine that they had befriended. Afterwards Rep. Ron Paul issued a statement on Twitter that strongly implied that Chris Kyle got what he deserved. I, and many others, begged to differ.
In fairness to Ron Paul I believe that his tweet was thoughtless, by which I mean not only was it boorish, inappropriate and smug, but I imagine that if Dr. Paul had given things some thought he would not have sent that message in the first place. Indeed, he later posted a message that showed much more thought behind it. (I might mention that Rand Paul lost no time in distancing himself from his father’s tweet).
“As a veteran, I certainly recognize that this weekend’s violence and killing of Chris Kyle were [sic] a tragic and sad event. My condolences and prayers go out to Mr. Kyle’s family. Unconstitutional and unnecessary wars have endless unintended consequences. A policy of non-violence, as Christ preached, would have prevented this and similar tragedies.”
A vast improvement on his original message IMHO (although I consider Paul’s continued use of Kyle’s death to bang the drum for pacifism ill-timed at best). I should make clear at the outset that I supported Ron Paul in his run to be the Republican candidate for President.
Although I had (have) serious reservations regarding his international policies, I felt that his pro-Constitutional stance trumped all, which inclined me to give him the benefit of the doubt on a number of issues. But it is not Ron Paul that concerns me here; rather it is the various “knee-jerk” reactions to Dr. Paul’s original tweet. They indicate a deep divide among Americans—a divide that I feel need not exist.
On the one hand I saw the extreme position of “peace at any price,” and on the other a rather myopic “America, love it or leave it” attitude that is all too often blind to the grave dangers that the military/industrial complex represents. That is, of course, stating things simplistically, and is not meant to imply that there are not many degrees of gray between those two black and white extremes—but using the extremes will hopefully enable me to clarify things a bit.
Let me begin with the “peace at any price” attitude. While it is true that oft times a reasoned and non-threatening posture can defuse a volatile situation, and is therefore the “smart” choice, it is equally true that there are individuals (and countries) that will take such a stance as a sign of weakness, and treat it as an invitation to do “mischief.”
It is not the purpose of this article to delve into relativism, secularism, globalism, and all of the other “isms” that have so insidiously poisoned our colleges and culture over the years—I will suffice it to say that there exists in this country today a sizable portion of our population who are, at best, lukewarm about the United States, or, at worst, actively opposed to their own country. In other eras they would have been known as traitors—but we live in more enlightened times, so we are told.
Definition of Doublethink:“The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously and accepting both of them…to tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality one denies.”—George Orwell (1903-1950)
Liberals (i.e. Progressives, Democrats, and all too many Republicans) harbor so many conflicting concepts and beliefs that they would suffer the discomfort of cognitive dissonance if they did not have the mental bolt-hole of doublethink to turn to. Unlike cognitive dissonance (holding two contrary beliefs at the same time), doublethink does not cause discomfort, or certainly not as much, and is therefore the preferred way for those who hold irreconcilable positions simultaneously to deal with the internal stress caused by that state of affairs. Daniel Greenfield addressed this liberal dichotomy in his recent article “So God Made a Democrat:”
[God] said, “I need someone who starts all the wars and protests against all the wars. Who is first in line to sign up to fight against his country but comes out as a pacifist when it’s time to defend it. I want war heroes who throw their medals over fences and then gather them up again when it’s time to run for office. I want men who are for everything before they’re against it.” So God made a Democrat.
The Liberal mental, emotional, and spiritual pathology is much too deep a topic to address here, so I will move on to another element of the liberal mindset—their clueless disregard for, and/or misunderstanding of, veterans and those currently in military service to our country. The liberal disconnect in this regard is almost total.
With the sender’s (a Vietnam vet) permission, quoted directly below are some excerpts from an email that I recently received from him. I believe that many vets will relate to what he writes, and perhaps those of you who have been dismissive of the sacrifices and motivations of those who serve, and have served, in America’s armed forces might have a few scales fall from your eyes. (I have indicated any personal comments by containing them in square brackets—also, for the sake of flow I have not used ellipsis).
You know, when you climb on board a slick [helicopter—usually a “Huey,” usually a troop transport] there is no place to run to, and there is no place to hide. You have to do your job!
And when you have grunts [foot soldiers or Marines] looking at you with eyes that say “man, I know you know what you are doing, and we trust you to keep us alive till we reach the ground” you have to deliver.
There is just no other option. Grunts would look at ones like me; because I wore a flight helmet and had radio contact with the pilots, and supposedly knew what they didn’t—they’d look at my face for reactions while I was engaged in firing. Mind you, if it was a hot LZ [Landing Zone], they didn’t just sit there like lumps on a log—they opened fire too.
Getting onto the ground was the most important thing to them. They did not like being exposed to hostile fire and still be in the air.
Grunts did what they thought was best for them, but by and large they looked to ones like me for guidance. No words were typicallyexchanged as it was nearly impossible to be heard over the rotor wash—add to that the fact that I had my flight helmet on.
Gestures and looks were how we communicated. Some of the “looks” were pitiful too. As if we were going into hell. And in many cases we were. But never did any of those guys hesitate—never a once.
It is always later that things happen. That’s when your mind relives what you just went through, and that’s when a man falls apart. If he is cool, he’ll find a place to hide it from his mates.
He’ll have his moment, and then as quickly as he can, he’ll pull himself back together and pretend that what just happened never happened. No telling how many times this process will occur.
But he still functions, still completes his missions—until one day maybe he cracks/breaks. Or maybe he manages to get home and then it happens. It all depends on the individual. Some can take a tremendous amount of psychological abuse/trauma—others cannot.
When I was in the Army I never thought of being an “effective soldier.” What I mostly thought about was—not so much being brave, as how not to be a coward. The rest came to me naturally. No thinking involved—just doing instead.
When the s—t hits the fan—you don’t think much. You just do. Sure, there are computations going on in your head, but you are really not aware of them. Things happen fast—things are in motion.
It is up to you to keep up the pace and stay tuned in. You never know what the other guy has in mind for you until he springs it on you—and you have to quickly adapt or die. You have to react in a way that makes things happen to your benefit, not the other guy’s.
In some cases you are told what to do, and other times you call the shots. Most of all, you pray to God that you don’t f—k up! F—king up costs lives—yours and your buds. You never wanted to f—k up, never! I was one lucky dude back then. I did what I had to do, and no one died because of me, not even me.
When I got back home I’d hear young people, approximately my age, talking about what I considered to be childish things. And me, fresh back from the killing fields where I had left behind better men then these “kids” could ever hope to be. I had been up to my eyes in the age-old struggle of life and death in a surreal war zone in S.E. Asia.
At times like that, if I had been given the choice, I knew where I’d rather be, and who I would rather be with. After hearing civilians my age back in the states I knew that I had never fought for them, would never fight for them—they were not worth fighting for.
I fought for my fellow mates—and we fought to keep each other alive. And, in my case, I fought for the honor and pride of the 1st Cav Div., a military unit I felt extremely proud to have served in.
Then came the time—alone time—when I started to relive the recent past events. It was just like watching a home movie of what I had been through. That part, for me anyway, was not good.
I cannot speak for other guys; I can only speak for me, based on my personality and my experiences. All of us handled things differently. When I talked with other vets there was always lots of bravado—making remarks that minimized what we had been through.
Some saw some really bad s—t, and my heart goes out to those guys. They were badly scarred for life. Why some wind up in situations like that, and others don’t, is something I’ll always be puzzled about. As they say now, “it is what it is.” There are some things you just never get answers to.
I never asked for any special treatment, no deferential treatment because of my experiences in VN. It was just a job, and a rite of passage for me—something that uncles and older cousins went through, and it was my time to do the same.
But, I did harbor a certain amount of resentment against the ones who had evaded the draft and combat in Vietnam.
If they didn’t move out of my way when I was attempting to pass them in a bar, there was trouble—for them, not me. I suppose that guys like me—we had a look on our face that told the whole story—a look that could telegraph to whoever had “disturbed” us to beware.
I only associated with VN vets in those days. I did not travel with large groups of vets—there might be only 3 of us together at one time, max. And, I never looked for trouble—but trouble will show its head in a bar environment from time to time won’t it?
I never kept up with anyone I knew from VN. Remember me saying that I didn’t have buds then? Well, I did have buds, but no one close. After losing a few close friends I learned to not allow myself to get into such an emotionally vulnerable position.
Back in “the real world” there was no need for door-gunners or STRAC [squared away] troops. Only bright college boys who belonged to the right fraternities and traveled in the right circles. They had no cumbersome “baggage” to deal with. They knew where they were going.
I had a factory-worker father, and they had fathers who were “connected.” And, nothing has changed—things today are pretty much run the same way.
I imagine that things are also pretty much the same for returning vets today. Perhaps many of them hold their stateside peers in contempt too. Vets speak in a language only they know.
So we have a new generation of vets—screwed up young men, a number of whom will become druggies or alkies; who will wind up living under overpasses, dumpster-diving for food, and lost between the cracks. Not all will wind up that way of course, not even most thank God, but too many will.
What Chris Kyle was attempting to do with screwed-up vets was commendable. Maybe because of Kyle’s tragic death eyes will now be opened to this problem. I hope so anyway.
My friend’s email does not speak for all vets by any means, but there is truth in it, and it describes enough rarely talked about sentiments familiar to those who have been in a combat environment (and its aftermath), that it serves as a telling example of a combat vet’s mindset—not all combat vets mind you, but a good number of them.
My point here is that those who promote a “peace at any price” position all too often exhibit a cavalier disregard for the motives and sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform. Liberals should not be blaming the “universal soldier,” but the politicians and the massive military/industrial complex that tragically and cynically manipulates their bravery, loyalty, and patriotism for less than honorable ends. Besides, who do they expect to protect them from the Hitlers, Pol Pots, and the other “bad guys” who are, trust me, very much alive and kicking, and just as psychotic and brutal as ever?
The Democrat’s love of big government and big business precludes them from putting any blame where it belongs, however, and they are reduced to blaming the individual men and women in uniform, and the Republicans, who are painted as being the exclusive proponents of big business and war—blatant evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. Doublethink at its “finest.”
Before discussing the other side of the coin—the jingoistic “America, love it or leave it” attitude—let me take this opportunity to touch on a subject that I believe needs some clarification and substantial rethinking. I am speaking of the “right” to vote. I will make clear the relevance in a moment.
I believe that it is more properly seen as a privilege than a right, and that it should be a privilege reserved for those who, through service to our country, have shown their willingness to put their money where their mouth is in defense of America and freedom. In short, if you are not willing to put your butt on the line for America, then just enjoy the ride and let those who have shown a willingness to make sacrifices for liberty drive the bus.
America is not a democracy, contrary to what liberals would have us believe. It was designed to be a republic, not a mob-ruled democracy (if you do not know the differences between the two then you really need to catch up on your homework). In a mob-ruled democracy the people will vote themselves “bread and circuses” every time. The representative form of government practiced by a true republic tends to minimize such socially suicidal behavior.
The rules and regs surrounding voting in this country have been way too lax for far too long, and the whole situation needs to be rethought and reworked. I am not saying that in order to vote someone needs to have served in the military a la Robert Heinlein, but some sort of pro-American service should be required—no service, no vote, that simple. (“Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay—and claims a halo for his dishonesty.” Robert Heinlein 1907-1988).
Let us move on to the other side of the coin—the “America right or wrong” stance. I like Mark Twain’s sentiment of “Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it.” I like even more Heinlein’s take on the same issue—“Love your country, but never trust its government” or as George Washington put it, “Government is…a dangerous servant and a [fearsome] master.”
It is crucial that “we the people” recognize the difference between love of country, and unquestioning obeisance to its government, and not conflate or confuse the two things. We must recognize that America is no longer the bulwark against tyranny and oppression that it was designed to be, and for so long was.
For example, not long ago one of America’s Supreme Court Justices recommended to another country that they look somewhere else besides the US Constitution for an example to base their own constitution on. What are those of us who took to heart our oaths to “protect and defend” the US Constitution to make of that? Are we fools—pathetic adherents to a passé and quaintly retardataire document whose time is long gone? Or has our culture and government been perverted to the point that it no longer champions America as a “shining city on a hill,” but treats it as a “golden goose” to be plucked while the plucking’s still good?
I for one hold with the latter view—that our government has more in common with a bloated criminal enterprise, than with the lean watchdog for the republic it was designed to be.
Here we must be careful to differentiate between disapproval of the federal government, and love of country—and to further separate constructive criticisms, from the rabid anti-Americanism that years of being immersed in Marxist critical theory and it variants has produced. By pointing out the faults in our government I am not being anti-American. In point of fact I am being precisely the opposite—I am being patriotic, and standing up for those values and documents that America was founded upon, and which made her great.
America is no longer what she was, what she was designed to be. I mean good God people, look at political correctness for example—I mean look at it. What in the h—l is such an insidious concept as being “politically correct” doing in “the land of the free and the home of the brave?”
Screw being politically correct! Can I hear an amen? Speaking of political correctness and “amens,” if you have not yet done so, you should watch the video of Dr. Benjamin S. Carson’s recent speech at the “National Prayer Breakfast.” What chutzpah! He talks about controversial issues not with anger, but with a passionate yet understated resolve. Bravo Dr. Carson!
Before I get too far off track let me rein myself in and get back to the topic at hand—which is how love of country should not be confused with love of government and the government’s policies. Actually, before getting “back on message,” it is worth noting in passing that the globalist elites have long looked down upon patriotism of any sort, and discourage it at every turn—the idea of such a thing as “American exceptionalism” is anathema to them. They detest patriotism and patriots—just so you know.
In any event—“back on message.” While the subject of American involvement in foreign wars is a convoluted and complex one, it must be admitted by all but the willfully deluded that the military/industrial complex is a vast and powerful entity that has many politicians and Pentagon brass in its pockets. Such being the case (and believe me it is) then “we the people” would be foolish to not be wary of any prolonged massive overseas military engagements. Are there legitimate, sound reasons for US involvement, or are we merely being fed excuses and justifications instead of sound reasons?
For example, I know of any number of military analysts (in and out of the military) who believe that our involvement in Afghanistan went off the tracks soon after we arrived there (and had achieved victory). Why has their good advice been ignored? Why are we involved in an open-ended conflict with no discernible end game that makes any sense? How and why did we get bogged down in “greening” Afghanistan with solar panels and wind-driven water pumps? Who is behind the suicidally restrictive ROEs that our troops have to deal with? What ever happened to winning a war dammit? Get in, kick butt, and get out!
“Follow the money” says the well-worn phrase, and there is big, BIG money to be made in war—boy is there ever. Henry Ford was no doubt onto something when he proclaimed “Show me who makes a profit from war, and I’ll show you how to stop the war.”
My point here is that it is a mistake to think that just because the US is involved in a war there must be a good reason for it; that it is a righteous war, a just war. To equate war with patriotism is to play into the hands of the “death merchants,” and become their dupes, their patsies—a conservative version of doublethink if you will.
Let me hasten to add that (1) I in no way fault our service men and women for sometimes being the unwitting victims of nefarious political machinations, and (2) as Johnny Clegg wrote, “it’s a cruel, crazy, beautiful world,” and sometimes the emphasis is on the cruel and crazy, rather than the beautiful. To deny that truth is to make potential sacrificial scapegoats of yourself and those you care about. Freedom must sometimes be forcibly defended, and wars are not always unjust and unrighteous.
Although there is of course much more to this subject than I have been able to address in the limited confines of an article, it is time to wrap things up. If you have taken the time to read this, then I thank you for your time, and hope that you consider it time well spent—although granted, my article may have raised as many questions as it answered for you. Nonetheless, they are all questions worth asking, and answering.
I believe that there is a middle ground where the two extremes I have been discussing can meet and profitably make common cause, at no one’s expense except the global elites, who would prefer us to fight one another and ignore the true threat—which is them. In any event, may we all find success in our hunt for the spirit of the Great Heart in this cruel, crazy, beautiful world.