Clearing the Fog
in the
War of Words


  logomachy--1. A dispute about words. 2. A dispute carried on in words only; a battle of words.
logomachon--1. One who argues about words. 2. A word warrior.




The media made a big fuss about SP4 Jery Wilson's asking Donald Rumsfeld why his Guard unit had to scrounge armor for their Humvees. "Speaking truth to power" was the immediate reporter's cliché. They seemed to think he had gotten away with something, and were also surprised that he had gotten away with it.

I wasn't surprised on either count. MSM journalists and the class-conscious liberal crowd they run with know nothing about the military. Their ideas are formed from Saturday Night Live sketches and reruns of Dr. Strangelove and Patton.

We had SOB, career-polishing officers in the Army back in the '60s, but most were good, and the better ones would have appreciated the question. Today's officers are children of the '60s and '70s, and in the volunteer military, the dynamic is even closer to the official definition of discipline: "the condition of good order and respect that exists between soldiers and superiors".

Now an ex-Marine of more recent vintage than mine writes that Marines are not only allowed to ask the tough questions that challenge superiors' assumptions, they are required to do so.
I soon discovered that this command to think and to ask questions wasn't mere rhetoric. I was serving with the First Battalion, Fourth Marine Regiment at an abandoned pistol factory in Al Hillah, about 60 miles south of Baghdad. Every three weeks or so, we were visited by Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis, who was then commanding the First Marine Division in Iraq.

Gen. Mattis is a Marine's Marine, a true warrior who speaks bluntly and candidly, without being bound by the constraints of political correctness. For well over an hour, on a routine and regular basis, the general would gather together his Marines and field questions. Nothing was out of bounds. The event was entirely democratic and thoroughly American--though marked by standard military etiquette and respect for rank. Thus, newsmen and commentators who fear "retribution" against Spc. Wilson haven't a clue as to what the U.S. military is all about. Spc. Wilson asked a tough but fair question; however, for any U.S. serviceman who's ever been to war, this was hardly surprising.
Finally, the Adventures of Chester shows how the Marines build morale. He posts something I got in an e-mail a while back: a Marine's account from near Baghdad of how the officers and senior NCOs of her unit took over all the ordinary duties--including the mess hall serving line--so the low ranking enlisted swine could have the night off to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner. If you can read this without getting a bit choked up, then you probably voted for Kerry and have already moved to Canada.
As we came to the first gate to the camp, I was in shock because a Marine Corps Major was standing at the post. Along with the Major was a 1stSgt. . . He told me to proceed and have a Happy Thanksgiving. As we came to the second gate, a Marine Capt and a SgtMaj were standing the post. There was not a PFC or LCpl to be found. None of the posts had young Marines at them; Officers and Staff NCOs manned them all.

The command decided that the young Marines were going to have the night off to get some good chow. It was unbelievable, and a wonderful sight. The leadership took charge and took care of the younger Marines. This filled me with a pride indescribable with words. I am so honored to be a part of an organization like this. Marines taking care of Marines with such unselfishness.

As I went to Thanksgiving chow with my brothers and sisters, the IMEF Commanding General LtGen Saddler and the IMEF SgtMaj, SgtMaj Kent were serving chow. The amazing part was that they were so enthusiastic about it. Everyone was in a great mood, and ready to take on anything. It makes you think that if a 3 star general in the United States Marine Corps can serve turkey to a bunch of 18-20 year old Lance Corporals, then you can suck up whatever you have to do and stop complaining.



  This page is powered by Blogger, the easy way to update your web site.
My Profile

Home  |  Archives