Sunday, November 11, 2012

In Reverse order: The Ugly, The Bad, and The Good, news of the week.

Iowa Vet "Mac" loving the flag and the ship
Photo Derek Cross
Petraeus, looking in the rear view mirror.

First the Ugly. The past couple of days have witnessed the downfall of someone whom most Americans admired and held in high esteem, General David Petraeus who tendered his resignation as CIA director, after it was discovered that he had an affair with a women, who in the course of collecting material for a biography, was almost inseparable during Petraeus's final months as the commander in Afghanistan. The curious thing about our changing attitude about indiscretions would probably have seen Eisenhower, Patton, and most certainly Admiral King and even President Roosevelt, removed from command during World War II, for the same weakness. One of the best pocket analogies of what might be going on, comes from fellow blogger Mark Safranski who hosts,

Mark sees both irony and a similarity in what he dubs a A Tale of Two Victories and Two Falls.
Ironically, one of the many Cabinet secretaries Nixon ignominiously fired in his bid to centralize power in his White House staff was his former 1968 primary rival, HUD Secretary George Romney, father of 2012 Republican nominee, Governor Mitt Romney. A blow from which George Romney’s political career never recovered. 
In looking at the Petrasus resignation on the eve of having to testify before Congress regarding the the Benghazi killings. Mark asks.
What however are the real issues? What should we be looking for?
Two things: As with Richard Nixon’s second term machinations, with such sweeping changes personnel changes in the offing for the Obama administration, ask yourself as events unfold: “Where is power flowing? And Why?”
If you do you will be in a better position to game out the direction of the next four years, especially in foreign policy and national security. 
Click on the link above, and take the time to ponder what Mark has written and check out the comments from Mr. X.

Badass US Marine signaling the enemy 
 Next we turn to the bad, as in "Badass". November 10th, marks the 237th birthday of the United States Marine Corps our preeminent "Badass" military branch. Two posts stand out. the first from Major General John A. Lejeune who penned this, on the 150th anniversary of  the corps.
The men recruited for this force were to be familiar life of the sea, but were to be trained as a military force, and was the intention to have them serve aboard the ships to be provided for the defense of the colonies. It is evident that the founders of the Marine Corps had in mind the fine services previously rendered by the British marines, both afloat and ashore, and that it was the intention to use the marines aboard the ships in naval battles when on the high seas and as landing forces when occasion might offer.
Read the whole article: November 10, 1775: The Birth of the Marine Corps

Chesty Puller and Dan Daly, outside legendary Tun Tavern

And this, just in from the streets of Marine Corps Heaven:
THE STREETS OF HEAVEN – Trying to sit down for a quiet brew in Tun Tavern, the ghost of Dan Daly complained that once again the ghost of Chesty Puller “doesn’t know when to shut the fuck up.”
“We’re supposed to be guarding the streets up here, and I know our seventh general order is ‘talk to no one except in the line of duty,’” said Daly. “But there he goes, running his mouth to every new angel we get up here.”
Hi, I’m Chesty Puller. I won five Navy Crosses,” mimicked Daly in a girlish falsetto. “Shit, I’ve got one of those… right next to my TWO Medals of Honor.”
Like I wrote, "Badasses."
 Finally, the good. Today we pause to remember those who have served America and answered the call to arms. Most came home, and it is that day November 11th, that we honor  their service. This nation also pauses on Memorial Day, to remember those who gave their lives for the United States, but today is about those who also came home and regained their lives, many struggled and continue to try and heal in both mind and body the tribulations that comes with war. I was privileged to be aboard the USS Iowa this weekend where she was the backdrop for the City of Los Angeles first annual Veterans Appreciation Festival. The turnout was amazing, as veterans ranging from a few who served in the opening days of World War II, and continuing down the decades to active duty and even young ROTC cadets, lined up to walk the decks and be honored by the community and fellow citizens.
Iowa Veterans Appreciation Nov 10,2012
Photo Derek Cross
ROTC-San Pedro HS-and volunteer crew-USS Iowa
Photo:Derek Cross
Watching as men now in their eighties, some helped aboard by their proud families slowly made their way up the forward brow was an experience in humility as well as pride in our country. The moment they stepped aboard, their minds seemed to return to the period they served, and memories of so long ago. Many of these men will pass from our presence before the next Veterans Day, so it was especially important to make sure that every one of them was treated with the dignity and respect they had earned in their youth and carried forth over the generations to return one more time to a symbol of their youth and service. As my own Vietnam Generation edges closer to the winter days of our lives, making sure to honor those who preceeded us, know in their final days; that they were our "Greatest Generation."

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