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April 24, 2004

More on Pat Tillman.

This is a comment that I'm lifting up as a post, it deserves that exposure. I don't take issue with Bithead's thoughts on the subject in any deep way. No offense taken, Bithead.

His example of Glenn Miller, however is illustrative, for what Bithead doesn't say about the bigger picture. Tillman's dropping of what he was doing and going off to war is notable precisely because it's rare, extremely rare, in this era. Bruce Willis seems to have made an honest offer to join up, but he was too old. Who else?

By contrast, in WWII, Ted Williams dropped his bat and went to war, as did other athletes. He went again to Korea. Two of the Kennedys went to war. One died, the other had a very bad night with a destroyer. Clark Gable, Ronald Reagan, Eddie Albert, Jimmy Stewart, and others, went from the movie industry. Some to dangerous jobs, some not, depending on how the services needed them.

FDR's son was a Marine Raider. The MacIlhenny's of Tabasco Sauce fame had a son who was a combat Marine.

It was a bigger war, to be sure. But the elites were far more involved in it at the sharp end. That's why Pat Tillman stands out and gets the attention. And that doesn't bother me. I wish there were more Tillmans (not dead, just serving) from the people who are the 'standard bearers' in society.

Not just the schmos like me - who Indymedia types think are dumb jocks, too stupid to hold real jobs, and who basically deserve to die. But that's a rant for another time. Below is what Bithead had to say.

Oh, and one other thing about "equal service". One thing I like about the National Cemeteries is that everybody's headstone is essentially the same, and Generals are buried next to Privates.

At the risk of the wrath of our host, please allow me to take a slightly different tack, and present a slight refinement of something I wrote last night.

You see, I find the amount of press Tillman's getting to be a little disturbing. Don't misunderstand; I have a small mountain of respect for Tillman. I have sympathy for his family, his loved ones, his buddies in the field.

However, I outright refuse to be caught in the trap of regarding the death of this one soldier as being of greater impact than the death of any other. I will not hold the service of this one to be unequal to any other that serves us true.

I cannot dispute that Tillman gave up greater financial wealth to put on the uniform of his country, than most soldiers do. Certainly, he wasn't after the glory, as someone else in the news recently would seem to have done. I don't call THAT true service. He could have covered himself in a certain kind of personal glory on the football field if that was what he was about.

Perhaps some historical perspective will help me make my point clearer.

I had occasion to see "The Glenn Miller Story" again just recently, and am now struck by the parallels, as I have been in the past. Miller put on his uniform because he thought he could do some good in his country's efforts against the Nazi threat. He ended up giving his life for his choice. Who knows where Miller's music would have taken him, had he lived out his natural life, instead of ending up at the bottom of the English Channel.

Like Miller, Pat Tillman's choice was about personal sacrifice, and of service... Service of an ideal he thought bigger than himself. That kind of dedication is be cherished, certainly.

However, we must not allow ourselves to be swayed by the life position the soldier had, before he/she was a soldier. We must not allow that metric to guide us in the amount of respect shown them, be they living or dead after their service.

They're all worthy of the very same respect, living or dead. Not because of their having lived or died, not because of the amounts of money or positions they gave up, or what impact they had on us when they weren't wearing the uniform, but because of their respect and understanding of the ideals that uniform represents. Ideals they hold highest... to the point where they chose to put ON that uniform, to accept the risks associated with it... to advance those ideals.

We should hold such people, ALL who serve us true, in our hearts. And Tillman would be, I suppose, among the first to agree with my thought.

I suppose I should clarify about true service.....Compare the record of Tillman vs that of one other who is in the public eye of late, and see if you can't see any differences between them.

Every now and then, the Canadians give us a reason to hold off on that invasion...

(note to any outraged Canadian: {tongue-in-cheek})

Gov't denies Abdurahman Khadr Canadian passport

Abdurahman Khadr, the son of an alleged associate and financier of Osama bin Laden, has been refused a Canadian passport.


Khadr, 21, was informed earlier this week that his request had been denied 11 days after completing his application. He said he wants Canada to be his permanent home but wants to the freedom to travel.

Dude - with your travel proclivities, they're doing you a favor. Someday you are going to be on the wrong end of a silenced MP5 in the hands of a Navy Seal moments away from a double-tap. The canadian gov't is your friend.

While no details were given for why his request was turned down, the National Post is reporting his link to al Qaeda was a factor.

Works for me.

Khadr's mother Elsamnah, and sister Zaynab, have been placed on a passport control list for repeatedly losing their passports and requesting replacements.

And if those passports turn up in the wrong hands... mebbe they oughta end up in jail. Hey, people lose passports. But people who repeatedly lose critical ID documents who have ties to terrorist organizations should expect a little extra attention. Ya don't want the attention - hold on to yer stuff!

Khadr has admitted attending a training camp in Afghanistan. He was detained by the United States, and returned to Toronto in December after a year-long stay at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

What's his beef? Cuba is warmer than Canada or Afghanistan. And we could have just added him to the fertilizer load in Afghanistan. Seems to me, all in all, he's gotten off okay. Yep.

He claimed U.S. authorities took all of his travel documents and dropped him off in Afghanistan to fend for himself.

Months later however, he said he lied and was actually working as an undercover agent for the CIA.

A veritable font of contradictory information. Heck, if he *is* that inept a CIA operative this is a win-win for both Canada and the US. Canada can put the kibosh on a CIA guy, and the US can be spared the embarrassment of an inept loon in the CIA. This is great stuff!

The rights of the Khadr family have been a hot topic in Canada since the return of Abdurahman's mother and 14-year-old brother Karim this month from Pakistan.

Karim was wounded and left paralyzed after a gunfight in October, and is now in Toronto seeking medical treatment.

Elsamnah admitted her family's links to al Qaeda and bin Laden during a CBC television documentary, but has since denied their involvement.

I've missed some of this. Was the kid an active participant in the gunfight? If so, okay, patch him up enough to get by, but I don't see why Canadians should be fully funding rehab and other services, but I'll leave that up to them. As for the rest of this family of barking Moonbats, I see they are of the same cut of cloth as a liberal politician - you can only believe the last thing I said, until I find it needful to say something different. It's my feelings and needs that count - not consistency, truth, or anything like that. And yes, you should formulate policy on that basis. Barking Moonbats.

An online petition to have the Khadr family stripped of their Canadian citizenship has attracted more than 10,000 signatures.

As I make it a point to only intervene in another nations political affairs militarily, I'll leave this up to Canadians.

Hat tip to John for sending it along.

April 23, 2004

We interrupt this blogfest for a sad announcement.

Pat Tillman, the pro-football player who left the NFL, became a Ranger, and went to Afghanistan, was killed yesterday.


Former NFL player killed in Afghanistan
WebPosted Fri Apr 23 11:35:02 2004
CBC SPORTS ONLINE - Pat Tillman, who gave up his career in the National Football League to join the United States Army after the Sept. 11 attacks, has been killed while serving in Afghanistan, according to reports.

Tillman was a casualty in a firefight, according to ABCNEWS.

CNN is reporting that Tillman was in an area where numerous U.S. troops have been killed in battles with suspected Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters.

Stories here and here.

No, I'm not going to stop the Fighting Fusileer fundraising effort. In war, people die. But I am going to take a moment to honor the fallen - someone who gave up a comfortable, well-paying life to take up arms in defense of the rest of us. And died doing it. If anything, we're doing this to help make the world built upon the sacrifices of all the war dead, on all sides, a better place than it was before the war. Each in our own little way. Others feel the same way. I think Michelle's latest post sums it up best.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance. In Memoriam.


April 22, 2004

A Canadian Warblogger apologizes for being wrong.

Mostly not. Just for underestimating how unprepared the Iraqi's are to be responsible for themselves.

He still thinks we were right to do it - and he thinks those who opposed the war and who also oppose the reconstruction are, well, a$$hats. My word that, not his, but I believe it encapsulates his attitude.

I like it. Of course, I also happen to agree with it - if I was not perhaps as optimistic pre-war about the eventual outcome vis-a-vis Iraqi society than he was. But in fairness - I have some experience with the Arabs he perhaps did not.

Like Jaeger - I supported and still support the effort, and I wish the Iraqis were a little more 'grown-up' about things. Oh well.

Jaeger's screed is here. Worth the read.

Hat tip to JMH for pointing it out.

April 21, 2004

Not A member of the Lefty media.

Up Against Fanaticism

By Phil Lucas, Executive Editor, Panama City New Herald

If straight talk of savagery offends you, if you believe in ethnic and
gender diversity but not diversity of thought or if you think there is
an acceptable gray area between good and evil, then turn to the funny
pages, and take the children, too. This piece is not for you.

We published pictures Thursday of burnt American corpses hanging from an Iraqi bridge behind a mob of grinning Muslims. Some readers didn't like it.

Mothers said it frightened their children. A woman who works with Muslim physicians thought it might offend or endanger them.

Well, we sure don't want to frighten, offend or endanger anybody, do we? That's just too much diversity to handle. I mean, somebody might get hurt.

There's more in the extended post.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

April 20, 2004

A report from a "Mercenary".

This is an email I received. I've snipped the photos because the author asked recipients to do so - not from copyright perspectives, so much as from family security perspectives.

I'll let the rest of it speak for itself.


Thank you all for your continued support of me (even though I don't usually write back) and my patriotic family at home. I am healthy and looking forward to a couple weeks with XXXXXX and the boys in a safe foreign country sometime next month.

In the wake of the tragic death and disgusting desecration of the remains of our comrades from Blackwater, I will spend my half day off today answering some of your questions and present a few things to you visually.

The pictures you will see are of course unclassified. The people in them know I am sending them to friends and associates for personal viewing. They cannot be printed without their express consent. I will warn you before you get to the ones not fit for children to see.

{snipped photo}

As you may or may not know I am not on active duty as a Navy SEAL this year. For the last 6 months, I have been one of the government contractors you may have heard about in the news operating in Iraq. I work with many other contractors who, like me, are on Authorized Absence (or discharged) from either Special Forces, Marine Recon, SEAL Teams, etc.

There's a lot more in the extended post.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by John on Apr 20, 2004 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» Watcher of Weasels links with: Submitted for Your Approval
» Watcher of Weasels links with: The Council Has Spoken!

From the email bag...

From a correspondent whom I suspect is a Green Beanie wearer "Somewhere in the Pacific" comes this pointer to Victor Davis Hanson (ever a good read)

No, instead let us think today only of American soldiers and the cause for which they fight. Never has America fielded more skilled warriors or sent them into battle for a better cause—the security of thousands of Americans at home and the promise of something better for millions abroad. Any scarred veteran of a past age—a Macedonian, Roman, Ottoman, Russian or Englishman—would warn us that even an imperialist does not go into the Balkans, Afghanistan, or the Mesopotamia for lucre. These are not nice places and their perennially murderous and internecine clans historically unite only to turn on the invader. Yet into precisely these desolate realms the Americans have gone to rid the world of Milosevic, the Taliban, and Saddam Hussein, the latter all in their own singular ways worthy successors to the spirit of a Hitler or Stalin, their evil inferior only by magnitude rather than intent. Seeking not tribute or oil, our soldiers have deposed such monsters and in their place implanted the seeds of democracy—and succeeded entirely due to their own skill and élan rather than the uniform support and attention of us at home who sent them.

"Nuff said. Go read the rest. If it's moved from the top spot, look for this:

April 18, 2004

So lucky to have them

American soldiers are as impressive abroad as we are embarrassing at home

Then, rummaging further in the bins, there's this little shot across the bows from Brainshavings regarding lefties and the Draft.


He also, via a different venue, brings us this treatise on the "bearing of arms". Semper Paratus!

Oh, BTW, This Guy does not like Armed Bears.

I do.

by John on Apr 20, 2004 | Observations on things Military
» Ben's World links with: cute!!!

Michael King is all over Jesse...

...and Jesse's latest attempt to insert himself into foreign policy.

Other fights among friends.

The Flea has two links of note today, well, three, actually. No, make that four.

1. Fighting among Friends.

2. Spirit of America! (How many other alliances have Allies?)

3. Happy Birthday, Rome!

4. A$$hats.

April 19, 2004

Another recruiting campaign...

Looks like the Israelis are causing some pain among the Jihadi...

View image

I like the leadership changes.

Hat tip to JMH!

229 Years ago this day...


NPS photo.

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Concord Hymn, Sung at the Completion of
the Battle Monument, April 19, 1836



It's sad that so many people now living in this country find this to be an essentially sad event that has made the world a worse place - even if they don't quite realize that's how they view it.

Needless to say, I don't agree.


NPS Photo.

Last, but not least - it's the anniversary of Waco and the Oklahoma City Bombing. Truly a mixed day in our history, regardless of what your politics are.

April 18, 2004

Today should be a Good Day.

As it will involve shooting this:

Remington Zouave Rifle (Repro)


Enfield 3-Band Rifle (Repro)

And This:

Charleville Fusil (Repro - we don't shoot the antique blackpowder, folks. Hard to replace)

Okay, so the last one isn't Civil War. I wanna shoot it anyway.

Taking some Japanese visitors from a Rotary-sponsored exchange group out shooting blackpowder Civil War era weapons. The above are my contribution, there will also be a Springfield M1861, and a Sharps and a Spencer.

by John on Apr 18, 2004 | Gun Rights

Here's a coupla new blogs to check out.

This is how we all got started, right? The bigger bloggers give us some exposure and we start the slow (or fast, some of us) climb up the evolutionary ladder.

I was lucky. I got my start with an NRO-alance from my blogfather, Jonah Goldberg. But the sustained growth came from first Misha, then Boots and Sabers, and Blaster, and Matt at Blackfive and finally Kim. No, it's not an exhaustive list - many linked - but at the time these were (to me) the Big Scores!

So, I've decided to add another blogroll, of the Microbes who hope become Tyrannosaurs, to do my bit to help the newbies get started. If they do well, they'll switch spots to other rolls. If web-penicillin get's 'em, well, heck, they can always change their name and start over!

It's the Microbe Microscope.

So, go give 'em some traffic and inspiration!

Clearing Datum

Blog Treatment

Stop the Bleating!

One way to deal with Terrorists.


(Like this patch? Visit these guys, Life, Liberty, Etc. - no, no commercial relationship, I 'borrowed' their pic, I figured I owe 'em a link)

With the predicatble gasps of virginal shock, Europeans are condemning Israel's latest act of mercy. I mean, it *is* a generous act, right? These guys have all been claiming they want to be martyred - even as they send the young ones out on "martyrdom operations" to kill random groupings of Israelis and the odd Palestinian by mistake. The Israelis are just making sure all those poor suicide murderers have adequate supervision and organization in Paradise. And the Brits - well, they should just shut up on this one - the Israelis are taking a page from one of the most successful anti-terror campaigns to date - the Brit defeat of the Malyasian communist insurgency. Kill the leaders, again and again, finally people don't want to be the leader anymore.

Dale over at Mostly Cajun has a nice rip on the subject, and I particularly like Teresa's take.