Monday, September 02, 2013

This kind of dissent in NOT patriotic

Making the rounds on social media and The Blaze this weekend is the rash of photos by (allegedly) current US military service members protesting the looming attack on Syria.  Soldiers in uniform write their protest on paper, which covers their faces.

BLUF- (Bottom Line Up Front for you civilians)

1) Members of the US military are free to express political opinions, but never, ever, while in uniform. 2) Displaying your rank and uniform to protest but not your name or face is a special type of cowardice. 3) The military doesn't decide which fights are justified, we follow the Constitution.

First, I spent 18 months on stateside active duty in 2011-2012, so I have a solid understanding of military regulations regarding political speech and activities.  I was free to express my opinion as a citizen,  but never to imply that my opinion was condoned or approved by the Army.  The list of activities prohibited by the military is long, but specific; A member of the Armed Forces on active duty shall not-
"use official authority or influence to interfere with an election, affect the course or outcome of an election, solicit votes for a particular candidate or issue"
Wearing your uniform and displaying your rank is the essence of using official authority to influence the outcome of a Congressional vote to authorize military action in Syria.

And for those barracks lawyers out there who think they can get off on a technicality, there is the catchall- All members of the Armed Forces on or off active duty may take part in political events as long as;
"the member is not in uniform and does not otherwise act in a manner that could reasonably give rise to the inference or appearance of official sponsorship, approval or endorsement."
Political statements while in uniform, even if they are non-partisan, are never allowed, never appropriate, and never condoned by the military.

Second, the US military revolves around the ideal of personal courage.  It is the final element of the Army Values, and is expected of every service member, whether we are in combat or in our barracks.  But the soldiers and Marines garnering all the attention this weekend are cowards.  They are proclaiming that they will not fight if ordered to in Syria, because they don't agree with the politics of the cause.  But without putting their names to their statements, they are hiding behind anonymity in order to stay safe. 

They are using their uniforms to draw attention, but concealing their identity.  In doing so, it has to be considered that all of the photos in question may be faked.  Stolen Valor has been an ongoing problem, with individuals claiming awards they didn't earn, or service they never gave.  Without names to go with their statements, there is no way to know of the people wearing the uniform are actually who they say they are. We saw dozens of anti-war protesters in the President Bush era that faked, mislead, or simply lied about the extent of their service in combat. I see no reason to take any of these uniformed protesters at their word because they are hiding their identity.

Lastly, it is not up to individual members of the military to decide what wars are just and which are not.  The oath I gave when I enlisted (and every time I re-enlisted over the last 21 years) is-

"I, David John Thul, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

Those aren't just words.  If the president gives an order, I have to follow it unless I think it is an illegal order. (more on that Pandora's Box tomorrow).  There is no provision in military regulations that let's me fight the wars I feel are just, and sit out the ones I don't agree with.  Conservatives agreed that this concept was wrong during the Pres Bush years-it must still be valid during the Pres Obama years.

Most Important Takeaway-
Despite the tendency to crow over the lack of anti war protesters, the sudden Democrat Party preference for military action, or the irony of another instance of WMD's in a Middle Eastern Country, conservatives, libertarians and Republicans CANNOT resort to or condone the same pathetic protest tactics we saw in 2003-2007.  There are plenty of ways to disagree with the president's plan for military action in Syria without celebrating disorder in the US military. 

Please, do not give these military protesters (or poseurs) any more attention than they have already received.  No matter what you think on Syria, good order and discipline in the military is not a partisan issue, and we can't win by celebrating soldiers and Marines who break the rules.


RM said...

Wow, 18 Months in the Army Stateside Active duty. You must be a real badass. I bet you got a whole 2 ribbons for tours at the chow hall.
You see, I actually am apart of the Military. I'm a Marine Vet. So you can see where my views may differ.
Lets start off with the obvious nonsense you put up.
For one, you're right. We swear to THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES, not to the President. And we swear to DEFEND our Country from enemies both foreign and domestic.
So let me ask you, in what way is attacking a Sovereign Nation (that isn't even making mean jestures in our direction) like Syria, a show of DEFENSE???

Next, have you ever heard of Maritime Law (International Law)? There are rules a Nation needs to abide by, before it just goes and attacks another country. And the attack must be sanctioned by the United Nation, like a Civilized Society. You can't just go and start wars whenever you feel like it, or it pisses everyone off...especially if there is no evidence to support your claim.
If there were evidence, it would have gone right to the U.N. for deliberation...even if it were faked evidence.

You see, Obama has no respect for rules. And he is pissing off our best allies in this world...and we are quickly becoming a weak Nation....and this declaration of war against a Sovereign Nation so Al Qaeda can get a strong hold to take over a country (because let's face it, we gave them Egypt and they fucked that up), is all illegal.

So who is the Enemy? That one that works for Islam and destroys the peace the Marines have worked for, for over 235 years. The one tht would pick a fight with Russia even though our Country is on the brink of collapse. case you haven't picked up what I'm dropping down, Obama IS the enemy of this once great Nation.

And next time you want to say your opinion holds water because you spent 18 months skinning your dick on a state side base, be prepared to be called out.

THIS IS NOT AMERICA'S FIGHT. And any Military who do fight, are why everyone says the American Military is mindless.

RM said...

I'd also like to ad that the rebels that Obama wants to support are the same rebels that swore allegiance to Jabhat Al-Nusra. The same group that killed my friends in Iraq and we've been fighting for the last decade.

Guess who looks stupid now??

Dave Thul said...

you seem to be under the impression I am rooting for the rebels in Syria. No such thing. I'm simply pointing out that the military, while in uniform, is prohibited from getting involved in politics.

If you were a Marine, you should be well aware that a whole line of GySgt's would be waiting to kick your ass if you dishonored your uniform like these idiots have.

Last thing-you end up sounding like an dunce when you hurl personal accusations, even less intelligent when you get the details wrong because you didn't read all the way through.