I loved Peter Falk’s character, Columbo! In fact, I have to say he was the King of the Who done it’s in my humble opinion. Traversing the web over the course of these past few weeks I am sensing something in the force that doesn’t quite qualify as a disturbance. It’s hard to say really…more like whatever the opposite of disturbance would be. It’s whatever goes on behind the eyes of a fighter who knows he can’t be beat. I feel that spark.
Dialoguing with a few of the wonderful friends I’ve never met at BigDawg Music Mafia, I likened us in the Liberty Movement to Spiritual Columbo’s. If we come to a place in our lives where we can admit to ourselves just how broken we are…then that is the most important first step in solving the mystery! From that point on, it is simply a matter of analyzing the crime scene and following the trail of clues to the very origin of the break!
What makes this mystery so special is the fact that we are working to solve our own murder…before it happens! Edward John Smith was as skilled and capable a seaman and ship captain as you were ever likely to find. But we would have been disinclined to set sail with him on April 10, 2012 had we known this was to be his last voyage.Tomorrow will mark 100 years to the day since the Titanic went to her icy grave.
I know what you’re thinking, how could any of them have known? Well, the fact is that we have a huge advantage over Captain Smith and the crew and passengers of the Titanic. First of all, we are better designed. Second, we have clues…lots of clues! For starters:
1) A pretty good detective in his own right, Sheriff Arpaio has some startling evidence that raise some very serious doubts about the seaworthy credentials of our own Captain!
2) In Thursday’s “Forgive Them, For They Know Not! ” blog we learned that our intended demise is premeditated and that the very first step towards that end is our demoralization. AND, connecting the clues further, we learn that our Captain who’s not really a Captain is in on the plot!!
So our response seems clear I would say. We need to be the calves that refuse to be fattened…or depressed, as it were. In other words, knowing that they intend to scuttle the ship and knowing their first step in doing so…we can stop them!
I cannot begin to tell you how many demoralizing posts I have read over the past several years…from Conservatives and Tea Party members! I believe this is largely because this captain and his band of pirates, with the aid of MSM, have painted a false narrative. They have created the illusion that they are the significant majority when in fact they are the insignificant minority!
So this morning I have prepared a song to keep in the back of our heads, a story to take deep into our hearts and a prayer to literally gird ourselves for the battles ahead. You have to be a Boomer to remember the song. The story is long but I promise you it will be one of the most powerful stories you will have ever read. It is why I will NEVER say die! And the prayer is especially for those of you who believe that God does not choose sides. You may be right. But we do choose God…and if we have a choice between demoralization and God, I will choose God each and every blessed day! After all, we know the icy grave destination of the former!
Next time you’re found
With your chin on the ground
There’s a lot to be learned
So look around.
Just what makes that little old ant
Think he’ll move that rubber tree plant
Anyone knows an ant, can’t
Move a rubber tree plant
But he’s got high hopes
He’s got high hopes
He’s got high apple pie
In the sky hopes.
So any time your feelin’ low stead of lettin’ go
Just remember that ant
Oops there goes another rubber tree plant
Oops there goes another rubber tree plant.
When troubles call
And your back’s to the wall
There a lots to be learned
That wall could fall.
Once there was a silly old ram
Thought he’d punch a hole in a dam
No one could make that ram scram
He kept buttin’ that dam.
‘Cause he had high hopes
He had high hopes
He had high apple pie
In the sky hopes.
So any time your feelin’ bad stead of feelin’ sad
Just remember that ram
Oops there goes a billion kilowatt dam
Oops there goes a billion kilowatt dam.
So keep those high hopes
Keep those high hopes
Keep that apple pie
In the sky hopes.
All problems just a toy balloon
They’ll be bursted soon
They’re just bound to go pop
Oops, there goes, another problem, kerplop.
Oops, there goes, another problem, kerplop…
The Last Six Seconds
(Thanks to my friend Doug Walters for this post)
One can hardly conceive of the enormous grief held quietly within General Kelly as he spoke.
On Nov 13, 2010, Lt. General John Kelly, USMC, gave a speech to the Semper Fi Society of St. Louis , MO. This was four days after his son, Lt Robert Kelly, USMC, was killed by an IED while on his 3rd Combat tour. During his speech, General Kelly spoke about the dedication and valor of our young men and women who step forward each and every day to protect us.
During the speech, he never mentioned the loss of his own son. He closed the speech with the moving account of the last six seconds in the lives of two young Marines who died with rifles blazing to protect their brother Marines.
“I will leave you with a story about the kind of people they are, about the quality of the steel in their backs, about the kind of dedication they bring to our country while they serve in uniform and forever after as veterans. Two years ago when I was the Commander of all U.S. and Iraqi forces, in fact, the 22 ND of April 2008, two Marine infantry battalions, 1/9 “The Walking Dead,” and 2/8 were switching out in Ramadi. One battalion in the closing days of their deployment going home very soon, the other just starting its seven-month combat tour. Two Marines, Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, 22 and 20 years old respectively, one from each battalion, were assuming the watch together at the entrance gate of an outpost that contained a makeshift barracks housing 50 Marines. The same broken down ramshackle building was also home to 100 Iraqi police, also my men and our allies in the fight against the terrorists in Ramadi, a city until recently the most dangerous city on earth and owned by Al Qaeda.
Yale was a dirt poor mixed-race kid fromVirginia with a wife and daughter, and a mother and sister who lived with him and whom he supported as well. He did this on a yearly salary of less than $23,000. Haerter, on the other hand, was a middle class white kid fromLong Island. They were from two completely different worlds. Had they not joined the Marines they would never have met each other, or understood that multipleAmerica’s exist simultaneously depending on one’s race, education level, economic status, and where you might have been born. But they were Marines, combat Marines, forged in the same crucible of Marine training, and because of this bond they were brothers as close, or closer, than if they were born of the same woman.
The mission orders they received from the sergeant squad leader I am sure went something like, “Okay you two clowns, stand this post and let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass. You clear?”
I am also sure Yale and Haerter then rolled their eyes and said in unison something like, “Yes Sergeant,” with just enough attitude that made the point without saying the words, “No kidding ‘sweetheart’, we know what we’re doing.” They then relieved two other Marines on watch and took up their post at the entry control point of Joint Security Station Nasser, in the Sophia section of Ramadi, Al Anbar, Iraq.
A few minutes later a large blue truck turned down the alley way – perhaps 60-70 yards in length, and sped its way through the serpentine of concrete jersey walls. The truck stopped just short of where the two were posted and detonated, killing them both catastrophically. Twenty-four brick masonry houses were damaged or destroyed. A mosque 100 yards away collapsed. The truck’s engine came to rest two hundred yards away knocking most of a house down before it stopped. Our explosive experts reckoned the blast was made of 2,000 pounds of explosives. Two died, and because these two young infantrymen didn’t have it in their DNA to run from danger, they saved 150 of their Iraqi and American brothers-in-arms.
When I read the situation report about the incident a few hours after it happened I called the regimental commander for details as something about this struck me as different.
Marines dying or being seriously wounded is commonplace in combat. We expect Marines regardless of rank or MOS to stand their ground and do their duty, and even die in the process, if that is what the mission takes. But this just seemed different. The regimental commander had just returned from the site and he agreed, but reported that there were no American witnesses to the event – just Iraqi police. I figured if there was any chance of finding out what actually happened and then to decorate the two Marines to acknowledge their bravery, I’d have to do it as a combat award that requires two eye-witnesses and we figured the bureaucrats back in Washingtonwould never buy Iraqi statements. If it had any chance at all, it had to come under the signature of a general officer.
I traveled to Ramadi the next day and spoke individually to a half-dozen Iraqi police all of whom told the same story. The blue truck turned down into the alley and immediately sped up as it made its way through the serpentine. They all said, “We knew immediately what was going on as soon as the two Marines began firing.” The Iraqi police then related that some of them also fired, and then to a man, ran for safety just prior to the explosion. All survived. Many were injured, some seriously. One of the Iraqis elaborated and with tears welling up said, “They’d run like any normal man would to save his life.” “What he didn’t know until then,” he said, “And what he learned that very instant, was that Marines are not normal.”
Choking past the emotion he said, “Sir, in the name of God no sane man would have stood there and done what they did.” “No sane man.” “They saved us all.”
What we didn’t know at the time, and only learned a couple of days later after I wrote a summary and submitted both Yale and Haerter for posthumous Navy Crosses, was that one of our security cameras, damaged initially in the blast, recorded some of the suicide attack. It happened exactly as the Iraqis had described it. It took exactly six seconds from when the truck entered the alley until it detonated.
You can watch the last six seconds of their young lives. Putting myself in their heads I supposed it took about a second for the two Marines to separately come to the same conclusion about what was going on once the truck came into their view at the far end of the alley. Exactly no time to talk it over, or call the sergeant to ask what they should do. Only enough time to take half an instant and think about what the sergeant told them to do only a few minutes before, “Let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass.” The two Marines had about five seconds left to live.
It took maybe another two seconds for them to present their weapons, take aim, and open up. By this time the truck was half-way through the barriers and gaining speed the whole time. Here, the recording shows a number of Iraqi police, some of whom had fired their AKs, now scattering like the normal and rational men they were – some running right past the Marines. They had three seconds left to live.
For about two seconds more, the recording shows the Marines’ weapons firing non-stop the truck’s windshield exploding into shards of glass as their rounds take it apart and tore in to the body of the (I deleted) who is trying to get past them to kill their brothers – American and Iraqi-bedded down in the barracks totally unaware of the fact that their lives at that moment depended entirely on two Marines standing their ground.
If they had been aware, they would have known they were safe because two Marines stood between them and a crazed suicide bomber. The recording shows the truck careening to a stop immediately in front of the two Marines. In all of the instantaneous violence Yale and Haerter never hesitated. By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back. They never even started to step aside. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. They had only one second left to live.
The truck explodes. The camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God. Six seconds. Not enough time to think about their families, their country, their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty into eternity. That is the kind of people who are on watch all over the world tonight – for you.
We Marines believe that God gave America the greatest gift he could bestow to man while he lived on this earth – freedom. We also believe he gave us another gift nearly as precious – our soldiers, sailors, airmen, U S Customs and Border Patrol, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines – to safeguard that gift and guarantee no force on this earth can ever steal it away.
It has been my distinct honor to have been with you here today. Rest assured our America, this experiment in democracy started over two centuries ago, will forever remain the “land of the free and home of the brave” so long as we never run out of tough young Americans who are willing to look beyond their own self-interest and comfortable lives, and go into the darkest and most dangerous places on earth to hunt down, and kill, those who would do us harm.
God BlessAmerica, and SEMPER FIDELIS !”
IT WOULD BE NICE (GREAT!) TO SEE the message spread if more would pass it on Semper Fi, God Bless America and God Bless the United States Marine Corps…
Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever
(Thanks to Ann Barnhardt for posting)
Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace: In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God).