Other than a few smart Alec comments on Facebook and the occasional post here, I’ve been offline for most of the last couple of weeks.
Some of you noticed and wrote to wonder why.
No, I haven’t stopped writing. Nor have I lost interest in it. Nor have I been kidnapped by space aliens.
I’ve been ill.
It’s been ongoing for about a month and a half now.
Nothing life threatening, unless you count the possibility of drowning in my own mucus, but between feeling like absolute hammered crap from both the illness and the drugs they gave me to fix it, I haven’t had any energy left for writing. I thought I was better for a while, then it came back with a vengeance. For the last two weeks, I’ve mostly spent all day in a fog feeling like I’m wearing cement shoes, then I come home from work and eat a dinner I can’t taste, and fall into bed. I’m pretty sure I am singlehandedly responsible for putting every kid whose parents work on the Kleenex assembly line through grad school.
I seem to be getting over it now, thanks to Teh Eeevil Big Pharma, so yay for that.
Over the last few weeks I let the email pile up. So, if you wrote expecting some kind of answer and didn’t get one, well, it’s me not you. What? Alright, it is a little you, when I’m sick I find you just irritating as all hell. Your voice is like a rusty razor blade grating on my spinal column. I actively hate you and between bouts of coughing I am plotting your demise. (Ok, I’m not a good sick person, I know that). Anyway, email. I’m going to be honest, I probably won’t read the older stuff, there’s just too much of it. However, I have managed to read back over the last couple of days and a number of you asked what I thought of this:
That picture has been floating around the internet for the last two years and recently came to light when a leading Jewish organization saw it and was predictably outraged.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Los Angles Simon Wiesenthal Center, among others (both Jewish and not) demanded an investigation and discipline of the Marines involved.
If you’re not sure what the hoopla is about, it’s the big blue flag with the double “s” that resembles stylized lightning bolts.
The Marines in the picture say that flag was intended to represent their profession, Scout Sniper.
However, many folks, including Rabbi Hier say those lightning bolts bear a distinct resemblance to the symbols of the dreaded Nazi Waffen SS, the Schutzstaffel, Hitler’s special military forces who were irrefutably responsible for horrifying atrocities before and during World War II – many of most infamous were carried out against Jews.
Yesterday the Marine Corps announced that the matter has been investigated, no malicious intent was found nor any violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice nor Military Regulations, and therefore the Marines involved will not be disciplined.
The Corps does however, regard the incident as regrettable and used it as a “teachable moment.”
Again, somewhat predictably, Rabbi Hier was not satisfied:
“That 70 years after the United States Armed Forces helped liberate Europe from Nazi Germany, to learn that a unit of the United States Marine Corps serving in Afghanistan adopted the SS insignia alongside the Stars and Stripes, desecrates the memory of some 200,000 Americans who gave up their lives to defend freedom against that infamous symbol”
If I wasn’t so damned tired from being ill, maybe I could work up some outrage. If I was Jewish, maybe I’d be offended. If I was one of those who fought against the Nazi’s 70 years ago, or was related to one of the 200,000 dead Rabbi Hier mentioned, maybe I’d be mad as he apparently is.
But probably not.
I try to save my outrage for targets that actually matter.
These are United States Marines. Not only that, they are scout snipers. They are an elite unit of an elite fighting force. They are sworn to honor and to duty and to the Constitution of the United States. I find it somewhat difficult to believe that these men, of all our military forces these men in particular, would deliberately associate themselves with Nazis.
Hier says he doesn’t believe it was an innocent mistake.
He wants the Marines disciplined and he thinks the American public has a right to know what “really” happened – with the obvious implication being that something nefarious is happening.
“This shameful display of SS 'lightning bolts' by U.S. service personnel enrages our regional allies, emboldens the extremist Islamist forces with whom we are contending, and eviscerates good order, morale, and discipline within the U.S. Marine Corps”
The Rabbi offers no evidence, anecdotal or otherwise, to back up this claim.
I’m not saying he’s wrong per se, but I see no evidence to back up Rabbi Hier’s assertion that good order and discipline have been degraded in any fashion whatsoever within the Marine Corps as a result of this picture. Nor do I see any evidence that our allies are offended in any official or unofficial capacity (and by allies, I assume we mean Israel, since in this post Bush era they’re the only ally who actually counts or would possibly give a good goddamn). Nor do our enemies appear to be rallying around this picture for either good or ill. Note, I do admit to bias here, as I am always supremely skeptical of any accusation that contains the vague and non-quantifiable word “embolden.”
It’s ironic, don’t you think? The Rabbi’s unsupported claim of insidious evil within the ranks? A creeping fifth column agenda perpetrated by those who would topple freedom and liberty from within? Ironic in that there was a time and a place where similar unsupported accusations against Jews led to their persecution at the hands of those who thought themselves righteous in the service of country.
Maybe it’s just me.
One has to wonder, however, if the good Rabbi has seen the logo displayed on the cover of the various KISS albums, but I digress.
One also has to wonder if those expressing outrage are familiar with military symbols in general.
Sure the SS displayed on the Scout Sniper’s flag resembles the Nazi SS logo. Maybe even deliberately so and with malice aforethought. So? So do the skulls routinely displayed in military tattoos and painted on tanks and worn as decorations resemble the Nazi Deaths Head. Just as do the swords and daggers and various crosses of military heraldry. The Nazis didn’t invent this stuff you know, no more than they invented the Swastika or any other military iconology.
Now, does that mean that the Marines in that picture above displayed the best judgment? I think the answer to that is probably obvious. At least I hope it is.
And I can certainly understand how the SS symbol could be perceived by Jews the same way the Stars and Bars are perceived by the descendants of American slaves.
However, context is everything.
These are young men, full of pride, full of piss and vinegar, the best of the best. They are bent to the horrible business of war. It’s important to understand that they are not just surrounded by the symbols and tools of death, they are surrounded by death itself. You’ve heard me say this before, context is everything. Everything. And the context of this picture is not something that many folks experience – and that’s probably a good thing. These men are Marines, Scout Snipers, and they were proud of that.
Should you be outraged that their flag bears some passing resemblance to a hated Nazi symbol?
Outraged? Probably not.
Should you be concerned that they, as Marines, didn’t seem to know why others might be offended?
Maybe. The USMC thought so, and took corrective action. Something Marines do very well indeed.
Should you be worried that these young men appear to be ignorant of history?
The young are often ignorant, and naïve, and blissfully unaware of the consequences of their own actions in the greater world (just one of the many reasons we tend not to send older folks to war, they are far too aware of the consequences. But I digress, again). These hard young men will have learned from this, the Marine Corp will make certain of that – you can count on it. Thus will they gain a bit of wisdom. Or not. Such is being young and foolish and indestructible and alive.
I was there once, long ago, and I suspect many of you were too.
Now, to be clear, I’m not going to be so crass as to tell Rabbi Hier not to be outraged, but it seems to me that there are plenty of cases of legitimate hate that he should be far more concerned about.
And he doesn’t have to look any further than the comments his own outrage has generated:
and N korean, Iranian and chinese soldiers march like nazis, you yahoo libtard writers are waaay too sensitive, go bang a black chick and maybe you will see the light [sic]
I, um, what?
Just another example of trying to tear down our military. Media is behind it all- harming our country to make headlines!
GENERAL .... NO MORE VIDEO ... NO MORE PHOTO ... WAR IS WAR ....
Ah yes, the liberal media is responsible. If only they wouldn’t report things, then the Rabbi wouldn’t have anything to be offended by. If only it was like the old days, say 1938 or so, when Jews and other undesirables were being herded into camps in Europe, with Americans blissfully unaware.
The New World Order has arrived.
Really? This is the New World Order? I was sort of expecting, I dunno, more.
Also, New World Order sounds like a punk metal band to me. Four skinny white guys, shaved heads, makeup, leather, Nazi symbols, doing a Sex Pistols cover of God Save the Queen, she ain’t no human being!
hello wake up. i have friends who are white. OK the symbol is questionable. if it isn't then its OK to be white and proud of it. all people are proud of what they are born with soooooooo i guess these bunch of marine guys/girls are proud to be white and perhaps like to kill of their own mankind.........hellohellohello.................................carrying a symbol of what who knows..............may be like to scare.....BOO!!!!! [sic]
Boo, indeed. Wait, what?
I see this as an insult to anyone who has ever worn the uniform, and particularly insulting to WWII veterans and those who died to rid the world of the Nazi's including my grandfather, and the families of hundreds of thousands of their descendants.
Well, thank you for being insulted on behalf of all us veterans and our families and all of our descendents. Big of you.
This pic is 2 years old? It is being dredged up because the 'big' story about Marines peeing on dead savages did not gin up the outrage the press was hoping for... throw this one out there now and see if it works...brought to you by the AP commitee to re-elect the president.
It always comes down to Obama, doesn’t it? The man is nefarious. He probably ordered these Marines to make this picture. I bet they’re not even Marines! Why, they’re probably gay homosexual socialist Jewish actors on a sound stage! Will he stop at nothing to get reelected? Ooooh, now I’m outraged. Outraged I tell you!
Acted out of ignorance? This story gets lamer and lamer. If elite snipers are ignorant, why do they have a .$50,000.00 rifle in their hands, they might shoot someone out of ignorance? I cant tell you how much this pi)sses me off. This is how it starts everytime. [sic]
Oh yes, when fascism comes to America, it’ll be in the guise of a couple of Scout Snipers and their lightning bolt flag.
notice how the excited states habitually fails to punish troops who engage in despicable behaviour? [sic]
Where exactly are the “exited states?” Because here in America we do, in fact, punish troops who violate the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and you don’t have to go very far in this war to find numerous examples. Note that these Marines did not, in fact, actually violate any provision of the UCMJ. Just saying.
Our military is rife with drugs and hate. It's like these men and women go to prison in these foreign countries. When they return there is no assimilation back to civvys. we need some sort of process to keep them in touch with reality. The hate does not have a switch, it's taught. What is learned can be unlearned...[sic]
I’m not really sure what “reality” the commenter is in touch with, but somebody has some serious unlearning to do.
The public school system is responsible for dumbing down our present generation. Symbolism and its importance is lost to kids flashing fake ghetto signs, their pants hanging below their buttocks, and tattoos that need to be financed like a house mortgage. How can we expect them to know the wickedness of SS lightning bolts styled flags from an upside-down five pointed star to a circled inverted cross with the arms broken. [sic]
Maybe we should make them join the military, that ought to straighten them out. Ur, no, wait...
Well, they're not making any bones about it. I guess this is an official police state. Welcome to the homeland.
And welcome to you. Now, take off your shoes and put them on the belt. Say, you’re not a Muslim or an illegal alien are you?
And if Rabbi Hier wants something to be truly concerned about, he should be concerned about the kind of mind that could pen this:
The rape of the republic: The Zionist Fascist Ameikan Empire and the Goyin wars. International Banksters with their puppets Mayor Schwartza Pinocchio Hussein (D SMack Daddy Super Fly), (immaculated to clean the white mess created by the white puppet Mayor War Criminal G. Bush), Lucifer Clinton (High Priestess of the Illuminati and sexual deviant) and the Swindlers list of Timothy Geithner (money changer and knee capper), Ben Shalom Bernake (money counterfeiter and ponzi schemer, head of the Federal Reserve, a private banking cartel that has been designed to systematically destroy the value of our currency, drain the wealth of the American public and enslave the federal government to perpetually expanding debt, bailing out whoever it wants to with no accountability like Citigroup $2.513 trillion, Morgan Stanley $2.041 t, Merrill Lynch $1.949 t, Bank of America $1.344 t, Barclays PLC $868 billion, Bear Sterns $853 b, Goldman Sachs $814 b, Royal Bank of Scotland $541 b, JP Morgan Chase $391 b, Deutsche Bank $354 b, UBS $287 b, Credit Suisse $262 b, Lehman Brothers $183 b, Bank of Scotland $181 b, BNP Paribas $175 b, Wells Fargo $159 b, Dexia $159 b, Wachovia $142 b, Dresdner Bank $135 b, Societe Generale $124 b, All Other Borrowers $2.639 trillion), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Deli Land mouth piece) and a extreme surplus of terrorist Freemasons and self hating leftist jews douche bags replacing head of states, heads of Central Banks and its entire DEBT-based CRIMINAL SYSTEM enslaving present and future generations making the world safe for the international banking cabal and multinational corporations. Why another war? To cover-up evidence of economic crimes: A war would go many miles toward preventing thorough investigation of in-your-face-theft of money invested by Americans in such outfits as MF Global. To solve unemployment: Sending young people into battle means they must be supported by the folks back home who, because of kin in the trenches, will gladly pay higher tribute (taxes) and that, in turn, will fatten the purse of those who profit from the killing of humans with the War Industries. War causes the destruction of people and things. This leads to massive opportunity at all levels for reconstruction to occur benefiting those companies that are part of the cabal. The love of money, the root of all evil. [sic]
I’m not saying that these Marines didn’t do something dumb.
But I think we can safely assume that they are not, in fact, Nazis, neo or otherwise. And the last time I checked, dumb isn’t a hanging offense.
I think we can also safely assume that the chain of command has dealt with the situation as appropriate.
Rabbi Hier seems to forget that engaging in witch hunts and self-righteous accusation is something the people he reviles (with good reason, certainly) indulged themselves in.
Should we be ever vigilant? Certainly.
But there is a fine line between vigilance and becoming the evil we guard against.
And Rabbi Hier would do well to remember that.
As would we all.