Military Intelligence — and so much more

Astute readers have probably figured out over the years that I’m a huge fan of our American military.  I think it’s the last institution in America that trains young people to be competent adults; that gives people, young and old, meaning and purpose in a world that’s often defined by mindless materialism; that truly serves as a defender of American liberties; that manages to transcend the divisiveness of multiculturalism (although the Obama administration is working hard to undermine the unity that binds our troops); and that functions as something of an Emily Post school, since I’ve noticed in my interactions with Coast Guard, Navy and Marine personnel (thanks to the Navy League) that our men and women in the service have lovely manners.

Yes, the last item sounds fairly silly when included in a list that celebrates the way in which the military defends freedom and makes men out of boys, but it is somehow a holistic part of the whole.  The military’s respect for its country, its mission, and its comrades also manifests itself as respect for ordinary Americans, as demonstrated through good manners.  Comparing the manners young service people show to the manners (or lack thereof) that ordinary young people show is a salutary example of the maturity and polish the military gives recruits.

In keeping with my admiration for our military, I have two posts I want to share with you.  First, a post by a former Marine describing the way he politely took to task a teacher who thought she was being clever by raising the old liberal trope that “military intelligence” is an oxymoron.  (Hat tip:  American Thinker)

I was in class some time ago when a professor made a joke about the meaning of what an oxymoron is. It means a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms. She gave some like “Act Naturally” and “Aunt Jemima Light”, but then she mentioned another that struck a chord with me. The last she said was “Military Intelligence.” The class, full of college freshmen like myself laughed at that one too. The professor knew that I was a Marine and that I had served two tours, one of which ended less than six months before, so she knew this was a mistake I would not take lightly. I saw the look on her face as she saw the look on mine.

“Ma’am, are you aware of what it takes to re-calculate the trajectory of an object traveling at 3,110 ft/s for a three inch change in elevation at 5 times the length of a standard football field when factoring in for wind speed and direction as well as differences in elevation?” (Marine recruits do in week six of their basic training.)

Read the rest here.

Second, I would like to join with Michelle Malkin in reminding you that there is Marine you need to keep in your thoughts and prayers: SSgt Frank D. Wuterich.  Almost seven years after the fact, Wuterich still hasn’t had the opportunity to clear his name following the media uproar over the alleged Haditha massacre.  You remember the Haditha massacre, don’t you?  That was the one where the media, aided by John Murtha, accused Marines of brutally murdering civilians during a fight in Iraq, back in 2005.  Despite being publicly pilloried, all of the Haditha Marines but for SSgt Wuterich have been exonerated.  I know he will be too.

By the way, speaking of Murtha, and going back to my parenthetical in the first paragraph about the Obama administration’s efforts to destroy our military from the inside out, I’m sure you will be as happy as our armed forces probably are to know that the Navy named a ship after Murtha.  Do you think that if I also accuse our troops of “killing innocent civilians in cold blood,” they’d name a ship after me?

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    I am retired Air Force, Vietnam to the first Gulf War, and have used that myself, along with “Giant Shrimp,” “RS-232 Standard*” and “Liberal Thinker.”  The last one tends to bring most Libs up short. Treg *Ask a computer geek about that one.

  • Earl

    I have a nephew (computer geek) who went into the intelligence branch of the service when he volunteered.  He spent a year in Afghanistan and came home safe.  I LOVE the marine response to a condescending teacher…I would NEVER have used that particular example of an oxymoron knowing that a vet was in the class. 
    Having said that, given some of the monumental screw-ups that have taken place since we decided to privilege sigint over humint, it’s not totally an undeserved shot…….
    But I really wanted to react to the ship named Murtha…..what WAS our Pentagon thinking of?!?  They can’t even use the excuse that they want his vote for more funding — the man is DEAD!
    I think that if I were a sailor on that ship, I’d add a black border around anything I had to wear with the name Murtha on it.  If someone gave me a hard time, I’d say that the man is dead, and I was just honoring his memory.
    What a perverse joke!

  • jj

    I’m not nearly so nice.  I would definitely have added “well-mannered liberal” to her list.

  • Ymarsakar

    Earl, you could have easily asked what General Casey was thinking of after Ft. Hood. The point is, the upper echelons of the Pentagon have something rotten going on, and it’s due to the political influence of the Left in DC. It’s always been true that generals dabble in politics, even though they should not, but now a days, it’s more of a Leftist enrichment program for future expansion of their domain.

    They’d named a submarine after Carter, you know.


  • bkivey

    James Earl Carter is a Naval Academy graduate, qualified for submarine command, and, so far as I know, didn’t publically disparage the military. Given the trend in naming naval vessels after the likes of Ceasar Chavez and John Murtha, I expect John Kerry to get an aircraft carrier.

  • Ymarsakar

    The Left were never able to make as many inroads into the military as they did for feminism, catholicism, or public education. That’s because there was something extremely vital about military culture at the grassroots that they just couldn’t penetrate through. They were seen as infiltrators from the get go. The few agents they have managed to slip past, such as Hassan or various others, operate alone and in singles. That is why the Left simply decided to shift strategies and buy up the generals in charge of all these people, with bribes, blackmail, extortion, political maneuvers, or anything else they thought would work.

    Currently, Bush’s two wars have set those plans back by at least 2 decades. With the rise of Petraeus and other combat command rated individuals, they are in a position to promote only those they deem qualified to make war on behalf of the United States of America. It’s one of those aspects part of the shadow war people aren’t commonly aware of. A game strategy set in centuries, not years.

  • Ymarsakar

    And amongst the military branches most susceptible to such strategies, the Air Force and the Navy were prime candidates. The Army was moderately inclined, some for and some against, while the US Marines had the smallest contingent, the least importance, and also the highest resistance to such Leftist probes.

    It’s why the Left still likes to “bomb” their enemies. They are relatively confident that they can control the air war and the airmen in it. They are not so confident of a ground war.

     It’s not enough for an individual to know “how to attack” the enemy, i.e. Islamos. You also have to pay attention to your home court, otherwise your defense will be saturated and you’ll be dead before you can fight anyone.

     Fencing was originally the art of utilizing both offence and defence, in the original English spelling.

  • LSBeene

    I am in the military, and at my computer at work (lunch break – so surfing on MY time) – and I can’t access the site of the full story of the Marine in class until I get home (sad face).

    I always love a “compare and contrast” anecdote to show the leftist bias that constitutionalists, conservatives, and we members of the military face.

    Let me share a recent story.

    I was in the Commisary on post (Fort Wainwright, AK) and noticed how empty the shelves were.  I asked a man who was stocking things why this was so, and he told me that due to the cold snap (it’s been -20*F to -40*F for over two weeks now) it affects the trucks coming North.  Then he tossed in, (from memory) “Oh, and those dock strikes due to the OWS folks.”

    I made a dismissive and disparaging remark as to the OWS crowd (something like “Those idiots”) and he responded “Well, those OWS folks are brave, and the fact is they’re right.”

    I am not exactly what you’d call verbally shy and asked him how disrupting everyone else’s lives, causing property damage, delaying shipments in ports (more a union thing than OWS, but, whatever), was “brave or right” – and in fairness I tossed in that I did agree with some of OWS premise as to greed, but asked how making my life more difficult was helping them.

    He was also certainly not shy about sharing his view (in the middle of the aisle, in a rather proud and loud voice) that Republican & capitalist greed was the problem, and standing up for the poor was good.

    I told him I agreed that anyone standing up for the poor or wrong was good, but that capitalism and not socialism was the answer, and maybe if the Tea Party had acted as the OWS folks had acted they would, rightfully so, be branded as violent, discordant, and the MSM would be pointing this out.

    Well – yea, at this point his eyes lit up and he asked me (a white guy) how I could possibly support a group of white racists who supported corporate greed and a racist agenda.

    I asked simply : “What did they do that is racist?  What do they support that is racist?”

    His reply: (Paraphrasing and from memory) “You ever SEE a picture of the Tea Party?  It’s a bunch of rich white older folks who long for the bad old days.  They’re a bunch of racists.”

    (btw – not for nothing, but the guy I was talking to was white too – and working for a corporation to boot)

    Not taking the bait I replied: “Um, the OWS crowd was mostly white, more so than the demographics of the US, and the great majority were college educated and most had jobs …. so …. aren’t THEY racist, if you’re applying the same criteria?”

    He replied “Oh no, if you saw the pictures of the Tea Party rallies on TV, it was all white people.  The OWS crowd was diverse.”

    Of course it never occured to him that if the MSM had SHOWN non-whites at Tea Party rallies, and been honest at the blatant hatred in the protest signs in the OWS crowd his perception wouldn’t have been so lopsided.

    But, I was shopping with my wife, and wasn’t going to keep this discussion going.  I decided to show him some respect, and said:

    “Well, clearly we won’t agree on this, and that’s ok – but it is good that we can have an open discussion to air all points of view.  It’s healthy.”  – I know, kind of lame, but I was trying to de-escalate and disengage.

    His parting words: “At least you’re not like most conservatives …. they just want to silence anyone they don’t agree with.”


    It was not lost on me that here in “Conservative Land” (the military is more conservative than the general population) he felt quite free to call white conservatives racists, and bemoan how “we” would silence him.

    Meanwhile – back at Camp Reality: I’ve seen in academia and in circles that are far more liberal, that it is the opposite that is true.  Had I brought up conservatism, Christianity, the Tea Party or … well, whatever that shortly after that conversation the word would be spread that I had “said something racist” or “sexist” or “non-PC”.  The actual specifics would never be mentioned, because, well, there would be none, but I would then be targeted.


    What does this have to do with manners?

    Simple : I believe in free speech, in the honest and open exchange of ideas, and in fair play.

    In many dealings with those on the left I have seen self-justification, the ends-justify-the-means, outright dishonest representation of a discussion or a person, and codified methods of silencing dissent.

    I defend those people – and I don’t regret it.  I defend the OWS protester who craps on a police car (and then hopefully gets charged), or the liberal academic who misinforms people as to the millitary or history, and I defend the race-baiter or feminist hate monger who labels me for being white, or heterosexual, or Christian, or wearing the cloth of my nation.

    I do this because my word means something.

    Oh, and by the by – on average the rate of education amongst military members versus the general population (as John Kerry found out in his presidential bid) shows we are slightly more educated.  It would feel so wrong of me to crow that fact as to ascribe some kind of superiority over anyone – it smacks of elitism. 

    IMO – those that need to stand on my neck to make themselves feel taller or superior are the ones who have a smug inferiority complex that they need to be able to do an honest introspective assesment on.

    Sorry my post rambled.  Got to your site from Ace and really do like it.

    Be well Ma’am,

    With abiding respect,

    SSG B