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The modern Leftist is poorly educated, extremely gullible, and easily (mis)led.
Few other lessons are as starkly obvious as this conclusion from the Jesse MacBeth story. In such a situation it becomes difficult to discern who was the con man, who else was "in on it", and who were the conned, but clearly this week a large number of people were quite willingly duped by a third-rate phony. This is not the first time so many have been so taken in by so obvious a fraud. At some point they may wise up, but thus far like aging children at Christmas they "want to believe".
While the video has disappeared from it's original site, you can still read the words that introduced Jesse to the world:
There is a current story in the US press about a squad of Marines that are being investigated for "war crimes" after they murdered a whole Iraqi family one night a few months back. US officials are approaching this story as if this wasn't standard procedure, and are focusing on holding the individual Marines accountable. Jessie Macbeth blows the lid off that story.Actually US officials have had no comment on the Marine story as yet - to do so could prejudice the case. But those words quoted above have spread - to the pro-terrorist uruknet, the Smirking Chimp (don't laugh - it's a popular "liberal" site) and to countless smaller blogs like The Left Coaster.
At that last site in particular, the obvious connection was made to this story:
Former U.S. colonel John Murtha acknowledged in his Pentagon report Wednesday on the Haditha incident in Iraq that the U.S. Marines 'killed innocent civilians in cold blood'.Ironically - or perhaps not - the blogger chose to link the Xinhuanet version of the John Murtha story. From small blogs to Chinese news agencies, the stories spread globally.
Make no mistake about it - Jack Murtha's pronouncement of guilt in the case of the Marines (here's the al Jazeera coverage) set the stage for the viral spread and eager acclaim for Jesse MacBeth's video debut. This is not to say the congressman was involved in the con - he was quite busy accepting an award for his "courage" this week. But while they might not be "battle buddies" the symbiotic relationship between the ex-Marine and his admirers - as indicated in that original introduction to the MacBeth video fraud - is undeniable.
Nor would I imply the congressman is wrong. The honorable Mr Murtha was simply "getting ahead of the news cycle” as we say these days. In the military justice system investigations are conducted, preliminary hearings are held, and a decision is made whether a trial will follow. In the case of the Marines we are still in the investigation stage. But in courageously declaring their guilt at this point Mr Murtha has 1) perhaps duped those who weren’t paying attention into believing this is something he exposed, 2) ensured that the future news stories of the findings, the hearings, and the trials will include a mention of or quotes from congressman Jack Murtha, and 3) inspired a young Wendy's employee to make his mark on the world too.
So perhaps the congressman will comment on this:
Macbeth is a former US Army Ranger, who served in Iraq for 16 months before being wounded and ultimately discharged. His squad did night raids, using the same techniques the Marines are accused of, 4 or 5 times a night for many months. Macbeth, who is now a member of "Iraq Veterans Against the War," was interviewed for the public access TV show "Indymedia Presents."We now know that MacBeth was protesting coffee in Arizona at that time. And some of us knew at a glance that he was never a Ranger.
In this interview Jessie describes killing children to make the parents talk. He describes one episode where his squad responded to the much-reported incident in Falluja where 4 US mercenaries were killed and hung from a bridge. Shortly after Iraqis killed the mercenaries, according to Macbeth, his squad of Rangers gunned down Iraqis praying inside a mosque on a holy day, then hung some of the bodies from rafters, and defaced the mosque with graffiti. Macbeth's hand held the smoking gun, and his testimony in this interview shows clearly that the Marines who are now in trouble for very similar actions are not the exception to US tactics in Iraq, but represent only one in many incidents of war crimes.
For some time I've been trying to come up with a more apt term for the now widely misused "liberal", and gullible seems an excellent choice. I fear they will get fooled again.
When will you tone down the partisan rhetoric? Duh ... Macbeth is a fraud and the 99% of folks grounded in reality will readily concede this point when they are informed of WHY we can tell he is a fraud: photo, uniform, timeline discrepancies, stuttering etc.
I think the real problem here is the growing civil-military disconnect in which an increasingly smaller and smaller segment of our population has ANY connection with the military. The left and right are both guilty (in differing ways) of falling into this trap. How many folks on the right swallow Victor Davis Hanson and James Jay Carafano's exhortations that everything is fine on the Army's personnel front? Too many. How many blindly parrot Schoomaker's "transformation" spiel without looking at the second and third order effects that repeated deployments/personnel turbulance have had on several of our core competencies ie. Company/battalion level maneuver and Battalion/Brigade Air Assault ops.
I guess what I'm saying is expect more of this ... a lot more ... in the future. Not just on blatently political topics. The civil-military disconnect is real, growing and a threat to both our nation and those asked to serve in its name.Posted by IRR Soldier... at May 25, 2006 02:12 AM
IRR Soldier - that's why I still think the draft would do our country a world of good.Posted by beth at May 25, 2006 03:02 AM
I would rather have 2 volunteers I can trust covering my back than 20 draftees.
I would have a better chance of getting killed trying to cover for people who refuse to fight.
The argument for the draft is that we need to reduce the overall quallity of our troops so that our enemys can get in shouting distance of US and kill more of our people.
P.S. Most of the modern countries that still have the draft are phasing it out for the same reason. It reduces overall competency. (Only as strong as the weakest link.)Posted by dj elliott at May 25, 2006 03:13 AM
this is something...
The Marine corps Times is reporting 12 Marines facing courts martial. http://marinetimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-1823925.php As for the question of a draft I am all for it. Armed Forces made up of at least some non professionals might lessen the chances of our "leaders" acting foolishly. If the citizens don't want to fight perhaps we should be listening to them instead of our leaders.Posted by john ryan at May 25, 2006 04:05 AM
John and Beth,
I agree 100% on the draft ... we need it now more than ever. Those that insinuate that a draft would bring about lower standards are deliberately deceiving you. WWII, Korea and Vietnam (along with the peacetime '47-'64 Army) were fought with a draftee/volunteer force that recieived identical training and indoctrination. Surprise, surprise, the draftees had lower rates of AWOL/desertion than the volunteers. It is interesting to note that in 1964, the last year of the peacetime draft, 17% of new enlistees/draftees had at least 60 college credits. In 2003, that percentage was only 9%. What's most interesting is that the proportion of Americans ages 18-24 attending college has increased 2.5 times since 1964.
A draft (or at least enlistment options targeted to a broader swath of our society) would bring to bear the full range of talents found in America's youth: language, physical prowess and intelligence. There would be no 39 year old E-1s, felony waivers or single E-1 moms in a drafted force. All three of these species are present in the vaunted "all-volunteer" force of today.
I would suggest Frank Shaeffer's excellent new book : "AWOL" that discusses the implications of the civil-military divide in greater detail.Posted by IRR Soldier... at May 25, 2006 04:21 AM
A few clarifications to your assertions:
1)Draftees in combat refusing to fight? Please. Fully 1/2 of the combat forces at Dak To, the Ia Drang Valley and Hamburger Hill were draftees. Many never lived to tell their tale. Others earned the CMoH, DSC and Purple Heart. How dare you insinuate that trained American fighting men that served our nation proudly "refused to fight." Sorry guy, but I'll take a drafted E-2 from a solid family, with good HS/college` grades and physical fitness any day over a 31 year old single mother that "volunteered" or a down-on-his-luck 36 year old private. Perhaps you should recognize that 19% of the Army's enlistees were category IV. Spare me the hoary tales about our "great" volunteer force.
2)There is ZERO comparison between the US draftee experience/current legislation and the countries you cite as abolishing the draft. Germany, the Netherlands, France etc. had/maintain two-tiered militaries where draftees were treated differently than regulars (e.g. Bundeswehr policy of not deploying conscripts to A'stan.) The US never maintained and does not maintain a two-tiered syestem. In 1966, '69 or 2008, draftee and volunteer enlisted personnel receive/ed identical IET training. By leaving out such pesky facts, your erroneous assumptions carry more weight than they should.Posted by IRR Soldier... at May 25, 2006 04:31 AM
19% of the Army's enlistees in NOVEMBER 2005 were category IV.Posted by IRR Soldier... at May 25, 2006 04:33 AM
Some time ago I asked my Marine Corps son what he thought of a draft. "Great idea!" said he. "You want to serve with draftees?" said I somewhat incredulous. "Absolutely! They'd be great for clearing mine fields and IEDs."Posted by Mike at May 25, 2006 04:35 AM
These single moms, forty year-olds, and category IVs have done something most Americans never do: serve their country. Not all are gung-ho infantry types, but serve in other critical roles. They have also done other things their civilian counterparts have not done: cared for their families, turned their lives around, made something of themselves. What makes you think draftees, as a cross section of our society, will not include the same types you deem 'undesirable'?
Get off you high horse, it just makes you seem like an asshole.Posted by LJD at May 25, 2006 01:07 PM
That's why we don't have E-3s or O-1s making national policy decisions. They often aren't armed with the facts.
You should educate your son about USMC draftees. They fought proudly, served with distiction and earned their globe and anchor at Parris Island and MCRD San Diego alongside volunteers.
My Dad was drafted into the Army in January 1969. He still recalls what happened at the Whitehall St. Induction Center in lower Manhattan. The folks reporting induction were formed into ranks and an NCO walked through counting off: "1, 2, 3, MARINE and so on down the line. Are these vets, 37 years later, lesser Marines for having been drafted? Are their medals for valor any less special? Are the names etched on a black wall in Washington, any less dead?
Neither you nor your son should be so flippant about our nation's military heritage or the gravity of our current personnel situation.Posted by IRR Soldier... at May 25, 2006 01:09 PM
Let's see ... for starters, the current Selective Service laws don't involve the drafting of women or men over the age of 26. So, right off the bat, several undesirable demographics won't be inducted.
2) The military is not a social-welfare "second chance" program to "turn lives around." Any such benefits are secondary to the primary military mission. I can't believe I'm having to lecture conservatives on this point.
3) The numbers are damning for certain demographics of volunteers concerning first termj attrition (ie. failing to complete an enlistment). In 2002, newarly 40% of Army enlistees didn't make it to scheduled discharge and this number approached nearly 60% for white women. Females have a much higher first term attrition rate. As do GED holders and older men (over age 30 at time of enlistment).
Who gets drafted, relies on two things: Selective Service laws and individual military regulations. If the Army only says it wants 18-24 year old men with 50 or better on the ASAVAB, that's what it inducts. A draft provides a wider pool to leverage all of our nations talent. Assuming that the small % of Americans we can get to currently volunteer is the optimal enlistment pool is delusional.
The "long war" will require a lot more talent than just what we can find with signing bonuses, medical insurance and other incentives.Posted by IRR Soldier... at May 25, 2006 01:18 PM
This is one of the few times I actually agree with IRR... ;o)
Just because you're drafted doesn't necessarily mean you will be accepted and inducted. There were a lot of folks who were disqualified for service. I think the biggest failure of the draft in Vietnam (and what sticks in most folks' craws) is the way deferrments were handed out. If you can make it fair across the board with who gets accepted and who doesn't, I think there will be a lot less flak then most anticipate.Posted by armynurseboy at May 25, 2006 04:57 PM
Draft - no thanks. I don't want conscripts. We don't need conscripts. The draft would be to, as an earlier commenter said:
"Armed Forces made up of at least some non professionals might lessen the chances of our "leaders" acting foolishly. If the citizens don't want to fight perhaps we should be listening to them instead of our leaders."
So the idea is lets bring in non-professionals that won't want to fight so the military won't get used. How about simply getting people that hold your position elected to Congress or the Presidency?
Well it doesn't surprise me that you totally missed my point IRR. Let me be blunt.
There are soldiers that enlisted beyond 18 years old, with broken families, and from questionable backgrounds, that DO THEIR JOBS AND FULFILL THE MISSION every damn day. In fact, many are the model soldier, advancing in grade and proficiency faster than their younger counterparts. Why, you ask? Because they have been on the other side, and have had the life experiences that drive them to succeed.
Frankly, your willingness to diminish their value is a huge slap in the face, and unbecoming of an officer. Maybe some day one of these old soldiers will be saving your ass.Posted by LJD at May 26, 2006 11:42 AM
Let me add, that I think you suffer from the same malady as the MSM in general: You can't seem to find a way to criticize a policy without pissing on the shoes of those doing the job.Posted by LJD at May 26, 2006 11:43 AM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(16) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)