By Doug Newman
The numbers are in. For the second and third quarters of 2011, Ron Paul. the only truly antiwar candidate in the race, has received more contributions from active duty military personnel than all other candidates combined.
There are those who sell us our wars. And there is another segment of society that actually spills its blood fighting them.
For the first group, war is a video game. For the second it is a bloody and gruesome reality.
The first group does everything it can to deny Ron Paul’s very existence. The second group gives far more money to Ron Paul than any other candidate.
The first group says it supports the troops, whatever that means. The second group supports Ron Paul!
Romney, Cain, Obama, Santorum and Gingrich combined have zero military experience. Perry was a C-130 pilot for a few years in the 1970s. However, to the best of anyone’s knowledge, he never saw combat. Most of the war pimps in the media and the pulpits have likewise never served a day in the military. Yet they are more than willing to scare us all to death and then send kids from places like Compton and Escanaba to fight and bleed and die all over the world.
Someone called war of 1861-1865 “a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight.” Indeed, the bloodiest riots in American history were the 1863 draft riots in New York. The rioters were mainly working class men who could not come up with the $300 required to buy their way out of the draft.
Little has changed in 148 years.
War is like any government program. Those who promote it feel oh so good doing so. They thunder like General Patton from Capitol Hill, from the studios and Fox News and their keyboards at the Weekly Standard. But heaven forbid they actually get any dirt under their pretty little fingernails doing the actual fighting.
The “liberal media”, who they say they diametrically oppose, is no better. They heap endless adulation on a president who kept all of Bush’s wars going and started three more – Libya, Somalia, Yemen – of his own.
(Moreover, he would have had to produce documentation of his birthplace to enlist as a buck private or a seaman recruit.)
In Patton’s timeless words, they “don’t know anything more about real battle than they do about fornicating.”
Actually, some do know about fornicating. Gingrich and Julie Annie come to mind. Both benefited from draft deferments.
Yes, Cain was once a mathematician for the Department of the Navy. However, sitting in a comfy office doing hypoellipitical iamboquadratic equations or whatever he did does not equate to having bullets whizzing by your head, bombs going off all around you, and people dying right before your eyes. It does not equate to, in Patton’s words, “(putting) your hand into a bunch of goo that a moment before was your best friend’s face.”
In the words of Pastor Chuck Baldwin:
“To those who are engaged in war, the consequences can be nightmarish! Arms and legs cut off. Eyes put out. Flesh burned. Intestines ripped out. Backs broken. Skulls crushed. Lives lost. Families torn apart. Homes destroyed. Children left without parents. Parents never able to see their children again. Wives without husbands. Husbands without wives. Souls snuffed into eternity. Emotional scars that never heal. These are the realities of war. And this is what the neo-cons who profit from war never have to see up close and personal.”
I never tire of quoting Major General Smedley Butler, who served 33 years in the Marine Corps, won two Medals of Honor and, in the end, realized it was all a “racket.”
“How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?
“Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few – the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.”
“And what is this bill?
“This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.”
Fred Reed, a Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam had this to say:
“In wars, there are many enlightening things to see. For example, the Marine with a third of his face and half a lung, going ku-kuk-kuk as red gunch rolls out of his mouth and he drowns in his blood. Ruined or dying teenagers whimpering the trinity of the badly wounded: Mother, wife, and water. The brain-shot guy jerking like an epileptic as he tries not to die. Ever see brain tissue from gunshot? I have. It makes a pink spew across the ground. Like strawberry chiffon.”
The first 15 minutes or so of Saving Private Ryan are not gratuitous.
No, not all veterans support Ron Paul. But they consistently donate more money to him than any other candidate. They – or people with whom they are close – have been to war. They have seen and experienced things that most of those who sent them to war can never possibly imagine. This isn’t about your right to an opinion. This is about how people arrive at their opinions.
War is a horrible thing. And while it might be pornography for Sean Hannity and Rick Santorum, it is an entirely different thing for those who have lived through it. Such experiences no doubt cause people to ask a few – or a lot – of questions. John McCain no more speaks for all the troops than Barack Obama speaks for all black people.
(McCain knows about both war and fornicating.)
So when Ron Paul leads far and away in contributions from active duty military, don’t be surprised. Respect this.
And respect these troops. And go march a mile in their boots.