Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sacrificing Our Young People

Yesterday, I had a particularly long drive home, and during part of it, I listened to the Hugh Hewitt radio show. I didn't get to hear much of it because, I had to change the radio station to keep from denting the dash with my fist.

Hewitt was interviewing someone connected with John McCain's campaign (whose name I didn't catch) about the differences between McCain and Obama. The above link is to Hewitt's transcripts page, 'pon which I'm hoping that a transcript will appear in the next day or two. I guardedly agreed with much of what this gentleman was saying until the point I'll now describe.

The interview turned to the war, the differences between the way McCain and Obama would handle it, the difficulties between the President and Congress, etc. It was in this part of the discussion when this gentleman uttered words much like the following: We must be careful how we sacrifice our young people. I was livid.

How we sacrifice our young people? Not wishing to alienate my readers of tender sensibilities, I won't write the string of George Carlin-approved epithets that are now going through my head, just remembering this utterance.

This points out one of the fatal flaws of today's conservatives: they aren't individualists. They, like their leftist brethren (who happen to have a more internally consistent--though thoroughly wrong--philosophy) are pragmatists. They'll do whatever it takes to put out the immediate fire, even if it means extinguishing it with the last of our drinking water.

"We" shouldn't be sacrificing anyone. If you, sir, want to sacrifice yourself for any reason or for no reason, you have my blessing. I don't think any of our marines, soldiers, airmen or sailors join their favorite branch with the thought of self sacrifice. They join for several different reasons, not the least of which is to defend the various and several United States of America.

They depend 'pon their officers to devise strategies and make intelligent decisions in sending them into battles that they can win and that will be instrumental in helping the effort. It's treasonous when the political and military hierarchy sends soldiers into battles to serve the unConstitutional ends of politicians. That's the kind of crap over which our ancestors fought the War for Independence from the British Crown.

I plan to attempt to learn the name of this philosophically challenged individual over the next day or two, but that's not crucial. There are many like him, in and out of elective office, and they tend to cluster in places of political power. They deserve to be removed from civilized society, by way of a sudden exit from a flying aircraft without benefit of a parachute.

War is the Health of the State.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California


Kent C said...

That would be Max Boot, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a "foreign policy advisor" to McCain. Just for comparison, Obama has 300 "foreign policy advisors" and it isn't like these people are core campaign staff. That doesn't excuse what he said, or more precisely, the _way_ that he said it, just that I'm guessing that there are some foreign policy advisors that advise both camps - that's what they do. ;-) But probably not Max Boot, who's also a 'contributing editor' at 'Weakly Standard'.

His point, a valid one, imo, is that if we leave Iraq too soon where Al Qaeda can re-establish a foothold, cause more havoc, etc., then the progress we've made in the last 18 months is lost and those that sacrificed their lives would be in vain. That he put it in terms of "those _we_ sacrificed" is unfortunate and yes, disgusting, and may or may not actually represent his actual thinking, say, if Hewett would have challenged him with "What do you mean _we_ Kimosabe?"

I'd guess that if one were already predisposed to the idea that we shouldn't be there, then how that comes across, may sound different from those who think we should be there. But that's just imho.

Still he's a bit of a 'shwog' (which is what my word verification word was ;-) I think it communicates well - perhaps we can make it to the Oxford dictionary. Lol.

MK said...

"We must be careful how we sacrifice our young people."

While it's hard to give a reasonable opinion on a just a statement like that. On the surface of it, it does seem callous and it is difficult to justify/explain.

The armed forces of the nation sign up to serve the country, but they have to take their orders from those who we elect to lead us.

Kent C said...


The podcast is up here:

... no transcript yet but I just jotted down some notes. The exact statements are in quotes:

Max gets it right when he first addresses the issue - leaving too early:

"A lot of the fighting and sacrifices made by our service men and women could be for nothing. That's the real danger."

He then gives the example of how 'staying' has been good - Germany and Japan, and where 'leaving' without stability in place has been bad, such as Haiti - which still has the warlord problem.

"We pulled out too fast, so
if we're going to make this commitment, if we're going to sacrifice our men and women, I think it is imperative that we stay long enough to ensure a relatively successful outcome."

Col. Hogan said...


I remain unmollified. If Mr Boot thinks that armed men will improve the situation over in Iraq, he needs to pick up a rifle and get his mangy ass over there. Our military has to be here and ready to defend the country from a real threat.

Once, and for a long time, it was considered necessary that the king lead his troops into battle. Sometimes, and in some societies, he was even expected to be the physical pointman.

Today, cowardly politicians and hacks sit in mahogany offices and issue orders over fiberoptic lines. There is no downside for them.

I'd favor a Constitutional Amendment that requires that the President lead from the battlefield.

Ok, I'm partially kidding: today's military can build a mahogany office in the Green Zone just as easily as in the White House--and keep the Chief Thief just as safe there as here.

In my disgust, I'll merely retreat to my earlier point: We have no declared war, and Iraq has never attacked the United States.

I'll never accept the idea that it's ok to attack a country because it's fantasized that that country might possibly attack the United States.

Col. Hogan said...


Kent's having placed the comment in full context clarifies the statement much better than did my incomplete perception, but I remain very concerned at the mindset of those who propose to command the US military.

It's clear that they see our young people in uniform as pawns to be pushed willy-nilly into the inferno to hype up their legacies in history and make for larger statues on the public green.

There is not, and arguably never was any danger to the US by the Saddam Hussein regime, that couldn't have been countered by the careful scrutiny of every responsible individual right here within our borders.

Additionally: had our recent Chief Thieves been doing their job, intelligence would've been much better. Had these same semi-conscious individuals been less concerned with keeping Americans in the dark regarding such stuff, they could've kept responsible individuals up to date on the dangers we face and how to look out for them.

The Boston airport and the airlines were lax and ill-informed, and regulated away from being able to keep their property safe.

Had these entities been able to secure their property properly, and had they recognized the need--and had all individuals concerned been allowed to practice reasonable means of self defense, this attack could never have succeeded, and many innocent people would be alive today.

Kent C said...


The war on Afghanistan wasn't declared either and unless I'm mistaken you did support that effort.

Regardless (irregardless IYAAVOPS), while Boot most likely was in favor of the war (as was most of Congress regardless of party - until it didn't go as they expected), the Hewitt question was directed at the current situation at hand - the effects of leaving too early - something that takes into account the welfare of the troops now, in present time and of those who have fallen. How we got there and why may be a good question for him but it wasn't the one he was answering.

Col. Hogan said...


I approved of the idea of going after bin Llama and his henchmen, because of the death and destruction they caused, and since they were by all accounts, in Afghanistan and being protected by the local witch doctors, I can't condemn those early decisions.

The caveat? The Administration should have been honest enough about it to actually declare war. They were not. They should've been committed enough to utterly smash all resistance to our efforts by the Afghan military. They were not. They should not have been air dropping food and supplies to them while battling them.

But hindsight on my part is not gonna do much. Problem is,the Administration doesn't seem to have learned anything from their mistakes--and there were many mistakes.

As for Iraq, our military is there, and they've done what they've done at the orders of an utterly incompetent Administration. What now?

After the "sacrifice" of a few thousands of our young men and women, things seem to be working out. Throw enough money at a problem, and things just have to happen. I suppose we have to continue this thing out to the point in which Iraq has viable stability.

Then, we should get out. Utterly and finally.

We won't. The price of peace will be that we'll build a number of US military installations there and be there in perpetuity, as is the case in Germany, Japan and Korea (among others). Iraq will slowly return to its normal strongman dictatorship with a different tyrant building billion-dollar castles all over the country. We'll have moderately friendly relations with Iraq as long as we forgive the odd throat-cutting of a soldier caught outside the protective perimeter.

And another President will find another country that just might possibly attack the US.

Kent C said...

Getting off topic - what the guy said about the present situation.

My fault for opening the door. I should have skipped the Afghan dig. ;-)

Col. Hogan said...


I understand. most of the reply, other than that which addressed the Bush Administration's huge blunders (not fully committing the military to winning) in either Afghanistan or Iraq, addresses the Iraq issue--my assessment of what's to come based on what's happened in other places in the recent past.

My contention is that none of this successfully addresses the federal government's role to protect the rights of Americans. It's perpetrated to satisfy some strange need of GW Bush. The attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon were simply fortuitous events lending themselves to his plans.

In other words, I think he was looking for an excuse to hit Iraq.

Now, we're in Iraq and Afghanistan until the we experience what the British Empire experienced in the nineteenth century.

TWC said...

My son is six years from Iraq and the way things are going he'll be cannon fodder after graduation from high school. I will do what it takes to keep him from being sacrificed on that bullshit altar.

Col. Hogan said...


As long as he doesn't get that "glory of battle" attitude so many young men adopt. I'm pretty sure he's smarter than that. I wasn't.