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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Larry Simoneaux
Bio: Larry Simoneaux
Date:  February 17, 2008
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Topic category:  Other/General

Oops. They were listening.

I’ve been trying to get my arms around this one for some time now.

I first heard about it when I stumbled over an article about the members of the Berkeley, California city council voting 6-3 to tell the Marine Corps that its recruiting office wasn’t welcome there and that “if recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome intruders.”

The council also voted 8-1 to give the anti-war group, Code Pink, a designated parking place in front of the recruiting office once a week for six months and a free sound permit once a week between the hours of noon and 4 p.m.

As a minor aside, one wonders if the council would do the same for a pro life group wishing to demonstrate in front of the local Planed Parenthood office.


The Marine Corps’ response to this howling asininity - silence - was both particularly refreshing and resoundingly eloquent. Too, since this occurred, much has come to pass.

One of the city council members said that he had received thousands of e-mails - the overwhelming majority of which were in support of the Marines. The CEO of a major development corporation issued an order that any supplies needed for his projects in the area would not be purchased in Berkeley. The American Legion’s National Commander weighed in saying: “Disgraceful, disloyal, ungrateful. These words are too kind in describing the actions of the public officials in Berkeley who voted for this disgrace.” And, to top it off, several senators have sponsored a bill to rescind all federal earmarks slated for the city.

For the record, the United States Marine Corps is an all-volunteer force. The reasons people have for joining are numerous, but one that’s still alive and well is that there are those who still believe that our armed forces are necessary and willingly volunteer to serve.

There are also those who honestly oppose not only this war, but all wars. This is what we, as a nation, are all about. It’d sure be nice, though, if some of those who “hate” war would understand that those in uniform never get to make the decision that it’s time to start breaking things.

To clarify this for the members of Code Pink and the city council of Berkeley, Marines do not have the power to authorize, fund, or declare war. When wars start, what they get to do is saddle up for a visit to some godforsaken little corner of hell that they’ve been sent to by others. Those “others” would be members of the legislative and executive branches of the United States government.

If these individuals wish to protest, they should head down to their local representative’s office and vent their spleens there. If they want to end the war, they need to get everyone they know to vote against those who authorized the war and replace them with those who see things their way.

The one thing, though, that they should never do is insult those who’ve volunteered to stand in the way of our enemies to tell them, “You’ve got to get through me first, stud.”

Most especially, they should never tell the members - past and present - of an organization that’s served this country since November of 1775 that they’re “uninvited and unwelcome intruders.”

That is, they shouldn’t do this unless they’re cut from the same cloth as the arrogant, unthinking, holier-than-thou, puerile moonbats who once spat upon the troops who fought in another unpopular war many still remember.

Last week, following a nationwide tsunami of condemnation, the city council backed down and admitted that they were wrong in insulting the Marines. One council member was even quoted as saying: “To err is human but to really screw up it takes the Berkeley City Council. We failed our city. We embarrassed our city.”

Unfortunately, the reporter likely missed the “gulp” that the council members were collectively suppressing.

Still, for those who believe that insulting the Marines was the way to go and that getting rid of them altogether would be a good thing, then the next time you find yourself in the middle of some national crisis or natural catastrophe and need help fast, then please dial “1-800-CLUELESS.” That should put you directly in touch with the Berkeley city council.

And finally, for every leatherneck out there:

Semper Fi, Mac.

Larry Simoneaux

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Biography - Larry Simoneaux

Larry Simoneaux is a regular columnist for The Everett Herald in Washington state. He is a retired ship driver for the US Navy and NOAA.

Read other commentaries by Larry Simoneaux.

Copyright © 2008 by Larry Simoneaux
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