Keepers of the Peace
On May 15, 1993, Ronald Reagan spoke these words to the graduating class of The Citadel: “Some continue to think of the world’s best military as a laboratory for social experiments. Well, I’m here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. We are at peace today and we have that peace through strength, and you, our military, are the providers of that strength. Most importantly of all, you are not wagers of wars, but keepers of the peace.”
I can openly state that I am a better person for having graduated from “El Cid,” even though I there were times I hated what I was going through. I learned an inexplicable amount of self-discipline and the meaning of service. Upon graduation, I served my country in Armor in the United States Army. I am a better person for having served in our military and a better patriot. I am proud and thankful that I had the privilege of protecting the great and unique freedoms of America. I loved my country when I entered The Citadel and I loved it even more when I left the military. I learned essential lessons of life at both places that continue to serve me well today.
That is why it is unconscionable for me that Mayor Tom Bates and his city council in Berkeley, CA recently passed a resolution that labeled Marines operating a recruiting station in that city as “uninvited and unwelcome intruders.” To Mayor Bates’ mind, military recruiters are “sales-people known to lie to and seduce minors and young adults.” Moreover, the council’s declaration requested Berkeley’s residents to “impede, passively or actively” the work of military recruiters wherever possible. To bolster their act of utmost ingratitude and near treason, the council went so far as to grant special parking privileges in front of the recruiting station to the ultra left-wing anti-war group, Code Pink. One can only gleefully imagine what would have happened if the city had granted similar privileges to Code Pink to disrupt the work of a mosque in Berkeley.
Strangely, and yet thoroughly predictably, the ACLU has remained silent, showing once again where their allegiances lie. To use a cliché, the silence is deafening. It is beyond comprehension that these elected officials would fly in the face of and be in opposition to one of the finest organizations in the United States: the Marine Corps. The Corps has been at the forefront of defending this country and the rights and privileges of its citizens. When there was a need, the Marines were there. It is an organization that, like President Reagan said, aims at keeping peace. For some today—including, apparently, the mayor and city council of Berkeley—the notion of peace is an abstraction or a one-liner on some inane bumper sticker. While Bates and his crew are out “Imagining World Peace,” the Marines are actually doing something to effectuate it, like putting themselves in harm’s way; putting their lives on the line.
It disgusts me to no end to watch the Code Pink feminists and effeminate men act like and state that they oppose the war, but support the troops. No they don’t. If they did, they would support what the troops are doing to protect their little Code Pink tushies. They would be respectful that these troops go days without showers, don’t sleep in state of the art hotels after a long, hard day of actively undermining our troops and giving moral support to our enemies, eat MREs (otherwise known as 3-lies-in-1: Meals Ready to Eat), while Bates, the ACLU, Code Pink, and the other crazies in Berkeley are having chicory salad with creamy vinaigrette and olive toast. No doubt, for a healthy snack they stop into their local trendy snack shop and grab a tofu smoothie. After all, next to the prospect of Roger Clemens having used HGH and having been injected with steroids, second hand smoke and McDonalds are our greatest national security threats.
I’m old school—shoot, at my age, I’m old everything—but I grew up in a household that hunted, held doors and chairs for women, offered women their seats on public transportation, and stood up and greeted women when they entered a room. My grandfather served in World War I. He was from a poor farmer’s family in South Carolina. He served his country in the trenches, living with the expectation that he could get gassed at any moment. Once a month, he told me, he would get pulled out of the trenches and sent to the rear. His head would be shaved, he would be de-loused, his old uniform burned, and then he would be sent back to the trenches. What he was doing was called serving his country.
My father is a former-Marine (former, not “ex-.” There’s no such thing as an “ex-“ Marine!). His parents died when he was nine. He was raised in a Baptist orphanage. In the late 1930s he joined the Marines and served three years in the Pacific theater until the end of WWII. Dad didn’t speak much about what he did in the war—neither did my grandfather—but he did tell me stories of rats crawling across his face while he tried to sleep in his foxholes and of the anguish of losing his best friend. He also insured that I understood that the real heroes in the war were buried on Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, Bougainville, the Northern Solomon Islands, and a host of other places, the names of which we’ve long since forgotten, if we ever knew them in the first place.
It was that kind of rearing that prepared me to serve my country when my turn came. I have had the unspeakable privilege of knowing many military personnel in my life. They are not serving their country because they “cannot make it on the outside,” but because they are disciplined, effective leaders, love their fatherland, and are convinced that this is the greatest country in the world and that there are things in life worth fighting for and, if necessary, worth dying for. As much as Berkeley, CA would have us believe otherwise, people are still clamoring to come to the United States—in fact, many do daily, illegally. But apart from the illegal alien problem, many come willingly and go through the legal process to live in this land. They are welcomed as legal citizens. The Marines and other branches of our armed forces shed their blood for them as well.
What has Berkeley done? We all know that it was the hotbed of activism during the Vietnam War and now Bates and his merry band of ex-hippies, who barely survived Woodstock, want to resurrect another type of activism against the Marines, whom they obviously and clearly disdain. They fail to realize that you can have no better friend than the Marines and no worst enemy. But this time, it’s my concerted hope and prayer that America will stand behind the Marines—not that they need it—and let this band of dissidents in Berkeley know that their “resolution” is disgusting, despicable, and unconscionable. While our Marines are training hard to protect us and our freedoms, Berkeley is at the taxpayer’s trough gorging itself on $240,000 of U.S. taxpayer dollars and for what purpose? There is a restaurant called Chez Panisse in Berkeley that is creating gourmet organic school lunches. I am not making this up. If I’m lyin’, I’m dyin’!
Chez Panisse is one of those trendy places that charges about a $100 a plate for such culinary atrocities as comte cheese soufflé. In case you didn’t get the French connation, comte cheese soufflé loosely translated means, “tastes like it has already been eaten once.” While little Johnny—whose parents are in drug rehab—asks Mary—whose parents know Jane Fonda and actually still have their leg warmers—“What are you having for lunch today?” She answers, “Creamed anchovies and olive toast,” while a Marine in Iraq has been through a long day of combat and saw his best friend get blown away by an IED. Tonight he’ll eat SOS or a MRE.
Yep, once you think about it for a while Code Pink and Bates are correct. Who in the world would want their kids associating with anyone who would train so hard and so long just to protect our freedoms? Who would want their kids rubbing elbows with those who will do the most unnatural thing in the world: run into the face of gun fire, while Bates, Code Pink, and the olive toast crowd runs away screaming, terrified, and traumatized? Who would want their children associating with some man who doesn’t cry at the least inconvenience like not getting his creamed anchovies, but who would cry, carrying an Iraqi child that he doesn’t even know, who lost her life when a terrorist in her country murdered her and her family? Who would want to be forced to watch a Marine that lost a limb protecting our freedoms handing a toy at Christmas to a child that would otherwise have nothing?
If you’d like to drop Mayor Bates a little note, laced with some chicory salad with creamy anchovy vinaigrette and olive toast, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m sure he’d be glad to hear from you. You might add that their next step after the Marines leave Berkeley might be to ask Code Pink to protect their city for them. Or if a national or natural disaster strikes that city, you might want to remind the mayor that the U.S. military should not be allowed into the city to help in any way. After all, military personnel are known to lie and seduce minors and young adults. You can also call the mayor at 510.981.7100.
Thankfully, Berkeley is not like the rest of the United States. There is a grateful nation that salutes our men and women in uniform. There still exists a part of American society that has not fried its brains on drugs and far left-wing ideology. Some of us still study real, unrevised, politically incorrect history. And any American with a modicum of patriotism in his or her body willingly and freely says, “Thank you, Marines, on behalf of a grateful nation for all you have done and are doing for us. Semper Fi.”