Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

NOTE The views I express on this site are mine and mine alone. Nothing I say should be construed as being "official" or the views of any group, whether I've been a member of that group or not. The advertisings on this page are from Google, and do not constitute an endorsement on my part.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Domestic Enemies

I'm a professional warrior. Even though I retired almost fifteen years ago, I still have a strong commitment to why I became a warrior in the first place - those very stirring, very hallowed words of the oath every member of the Armed Forces takes before they're allowed to participate in defending this nation: "I ... solemnly swear to 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 lawful 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". My retirement has not relieved me from this oath: it is still binding on everything I do, and has first call on my behavior and services.

As a patriot who believes that the form of government of the United States, as set down in our Constitution, and based on the lengthy writings of the Founding Fathers, is the best form of government possible for free men, it's not only my duty to support it, but my honor. This doesn't mean that I refuse to acknowledge that our government has on many occasions strayed from its foundings, or that there are things being done in the name of government today that are not only wrong but repugnant. It simply means that the opportunity for honest, open, government that protects the freedoms that government was instituted to protect, is best done under our Constitution. It also means that I feel a heavy obligation to hold Government accountable to live within the limits set by that Constitution, and to protest when it exceeds its legitimate powers.

I don't carry a rifle today, but neither did I carry one for 26 years in the Air Force. Carrying rifles, except for those whose primary duty was base security, is not a prerequisite for the Air Force. The most potent weapons of this branch of service are the aircraft that the Air Force flies, and the armaments those aircraft carry - from iron bombs, cannon, propaganda pamphlets, wounded soldiers, food and fuel, to the Army's personnel and equipment, to nuclear weapons. There are many "weapons" in the arsenal of America's military, and not all of them are designed to kill people. The weapon I employed was information - intelligence information gleaned from the nation's reconnaissance efforts. Most of that information - maybe as much as 90%, was designed to keep track of the affairs of others, to formulate plans on what could be done if "X" happened, and to provide decision-makers with facts on which to make decisions at many levels. That other ten percent covers a multitude of actions, from training to clandestine operations to verification of treaties to some things that those of us that took part in them will be able to talk about later - in about 70 years or so, unless the Government changes the rules again. Let's just say that the efforts were significant, some of them were highly successful, and they greatly extended the cause of freedom, both in the United States and elsewhere. I have a great feeling of pride, success, and honor for having been a part of those operations.

Today I'm limited in what I can do as a warrior. While I'm perfectly willing, even now at 58 and with a 70% disability for a bad back, to pick up a rifle and fight any battle our nation is engaged in, or to return to active duty in my old field of imagery intelligence, the likelihood of that happening is remote. I still have options, however, to be of service to my nation and its people. My primary option is to help tell the truth, as I see it, about what this nation faces today in a hostile world, to help inform and enlighten anyone willing to listen about what I consider to be the rationale for what's happening around this nation, to hold up to ridicule false information, disinformation, and downright lies, and to encourage changes - by government, within our government, and within the population of the United States where I consider things being done that are not according to the Constitution of the United States and the laws that comply with what is set down in that document and supporting documents.

That sounds rather pompous, doesn't it? Yet that is exactly what John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, and hundreds of others that worked, sacrificed, bankrupted, and in some cases even died, committed themselves to, and considered the minimum duties of citizens in a free Republic.

In today's world, some people consider it too much trouble to even vote.

Citizenship in the United States is one of the highest honors anyone can ascribe to. The best judge of that is the teeming millions who will do anything, legal or otherwise, to come here and become citizens of this nation. Citizenship, however, is not just a prize, but also a duty. The word "duty" has fallen upon hard times in this nation - scorned by all but a few. Yet "duty" is merely the back side of the "freedom" coin, and is inseparable from it. Failing to accept the duties and responsibilities of freedom is inconsistent with good citizenship, and dangerous to personal freedom. The excesses of those that refuse to accept their responsibilities in regard to freedom have resulted in an onslaught of legislation attempting to force individuals to accept their responsibilities by use of law - which in the case of personal responsibility, means the use of government force to impose the exercise of civic duties. That would have been anathema to our founding fathers - both the exercise and the necessity.

The United States today is at war against an amorphous enemy best described as religious extremists exercising terror in an attempt to impose a form of religious tyranny on all of mankind. As with all tyrants, the right of dissent is considered not to exist. The only means to prevail is to destroy those who wish to impose their will upon the rest of us. There can be no half-steps, no short-cuts. The enemy must be thoroughly and totally destroyed, and any capability of their return must be eliminated. Accomplishing this goal will be just as difficult, and require similar sacrifice, as defeating the totalitarian governments of NAZI Europe and militant Japan during World War II, and Communism during the Cold War. It will require the effort of every person who values freedom.

President Bush said, shortly after the holocaust of September 11, 2001, that "you are either with us, or you are with the terrorists". The number of people who are more interested in scoring political coup, of pursuing personal power at any cost, show that many of the people of the United States have no idea what it truly means to be a citizen of this country. They have no idea how seriously we are threatened, and appear not to care. They're all too willing to side with the cause of the terrorists, or to ignore the threat, if the results are gains in their own personal power.

These people are just as much the enemies of freedom as the Islamofascists they refuse to take seriously. They have identified themselves as the domestic part of that "all enemies" clause in the oath I swore, and will be treated as such.


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