Archive for the ‘flag’ Category

Note to Berkeley: Marines Are Not The Enemy

February 2, 2008

By Michelle Malkin  •  January 31, 2008

“Osama bin Laden couldn’t have said it better,” American Legion National Commander Marty Conatser said of the Berkeley City Council Resolution, which tells the Marines that they are not welcome there. “Disgraceful, disloyal, ungrateful. These words are too kind in describing the actions of the public officials in Berkeley, who voted for this disgrace.

Nonetheless, our Marines continue to bravely serve and in so doing, allow Americans to spout such foolishness. The American Legion not only strongly condemns this action by the City Council but also believes that a sincere apology is in order to all Marines, past and present.”

U.S. Marines conduct a search for insurgents during a training ...
U.S. Marines conduct a search for insurgents during a training simulation of a search through an Iraqi city built at the U.S. Marine Base in Camp Pendleton, California, June 29, 2006.
REUTERS/Mike Blake 
Conatser, the leader of the nation’s largest veterans organization, was referring to a measure passed by the Council 6-3 Tuesday, that tells the U.S. Marine Corps that one of its recruiting stations is “not welcome in the city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do as uninvited and unwelcome intruders.”The City Council marched in complete lock-step with radical anti-war group Code Pink in attempting to drive out Marine recruiters from its San Francisco suburb. The City Council also voted 8-1 to give Code Pink a free parking space in front of a recruiting station, along with a free sound permit for protesting once a week.Marine recruiters at Berkeley have faced harassment from protestors who regularly block nearby sidewalks, generate excessive noise and disrupt business.”I have been a recruiter in the National Guard and I know that it’s tough duty, with long hours,” Conatser said. “What these recruiters do is essential to our national security.Without recruiters we have no military. And I don’t think we can count on the flower children from Berkeley to protect this nation when it comes under attack. They have to remember that Marines are not the enemy; the terrorists are.”Conatser pointed out that The American Legion strongly supports the war on terrorism, passing a national resolution of its own.”Resolution 169 was passed unanimously by The American Legion in 2005 and it has been re-affirmed every year since. It reminds Americans that you can not separate the war from the warrior and that the American people should stand united in support for our troops who are engaged in protecting our values and our way of life.”

With a current membership of 2.7-million wartime veterans, The American Legion,, was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and patriotic youth programs.

Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 14,000 posts across the nation.

U.S. Marine Corps,
BERKELEY – Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates offered Friday to help the U.S. Marines leave town by negotiating an end to the lease for their recruiting station, even as he backpedaled on a City Council resolution declaring the Corps “uninvited and unwelcome intruders” in the city.In the face of an onslaught of pro-military criticism from around the country, Bates, a retired Army captain, also issued a statement that said the City Council’s resolution Tuesday night “did not adequately differentiate our respect and support for those serving in the armed forces and our opposition to the Iraq war policy.”He said he would ask the council to modify the resolution at its next meeting, scheduled for Feb. 12.

A Marines spokeswoman said Friday that the Corps has no intention of abandoning its space at 64 Shattuck Square that has been the subject of protests for months.

The council voted 6-3 Tuesday to tell the Marines that their recruiting station is not welcome in the city. In a separate vote, the council supported the women’s peace group Code Pink by giving it a designated parking space in front of the recruiting station once a week for six months and a free sound permit for protesting once a week from noon to 4 p.m.

The council also voted to explore enforcing its law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation against the Marines.

Letter from A Former POW to Mayor of Berkeley

Dear Mayor Bates and the City Council of Berkeley: It is because of the Marines, Soldiers and Sailors that you are not conducting city business in Japanese or German. Here is an excerpt from the poem “What is a Vet” that follows.

Mike Benge civilian VN-POW 1968-73

“It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag,Who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protestor to burn the flag.”

WHAT IS A VET? Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a aged scar, a certain look in the eye.

Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together,a piece of shrapnel in the leg, or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul’s ally forged in the refinery of adversity. Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem. You can’t tell a vet just by looking.

What is a vet? He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweatingtwo gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn’t runout of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She – or he – is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.
He is the POW who went away one person and came back another – or didn’t come back AT ALL.

He is the Quantico drill instructor that has never seen combat – but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other’s backs.

He is the parade – riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand. He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of  The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean’s sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket – palsied now andaggravatingly slow – who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when thenightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being a person who offered some of his life’s most vital years in the service of hiscountry, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not haveto sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known. So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say Thank You. That’s all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded. Two little words that mean a lot, “THANK YOU”.

Remember November 11th is Veterans Day.

“It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of thepress. It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,

Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag,Whoserves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protestor to burn the flag.”

Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, Lt. Col., USMC
Space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy ... 


Hijacking America

July 23, 2007

By James Zumwalt

I take great pride in flying the American flag in my backyard 24 hours a day—a flag under which I proudly served for 26 years. I take notice of that flag daily, unable to view it without thinking about the brave young Americans in uniform today continuing to serve our great nation at this most dangerous time.

I looked out my window one evening last week to ensure the spotlight still brightly illuminated the flag and was somewhat unnerved to see it upside down. Upon closer examination, I realized my aging eyes had deceived me. But the sad reality of this illusion suddenly hit me.

Those familiar with military tradition know flying the American flag upside down signals distress. I could not help but reflect, as America faces her greatest threat ever, we are indeed a nation in distress. We are a ship-of-state, navigating treacherous waters, with many onboard totally oblivious to the threats.

In a country built upon a foundation of Christian-Judeo principles, Americans enjoy the “cruise” aboard our ship-of-state, failing to recognize these principles are slowly being cast overboard by some crew members entrusted with ensuring our safety and welfare.

This country’s first Muslim congressman, Democrat Keith Ellison, made some absurd claims recently. Calling President Bush a modern day Hitler, he compared the 9/11 destruction to that of the German parliament’s Reichstag in 1933, which led to Hitler’s rise. Ellison even went so far as to hint that Bush was responsible for the events of 9/11. While he would not directly accuse Bush of planning 9/11 for fear of being labeled a nut, the insinuation was there. He suggested, “After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it, and it put the leader (Hitler) of that country in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted.” Addressing Atheists for Human Rights, he added, “You’ll always find this Muslim standing up for your right to be atheists all you want.”

Perhaps I am just an overly prude patriot, but I cannot conceive of a US congressman making such outlandish statements, knowing in parts of the world, such conspiratorial claims will be accepted as fact.

While our Founding Fathers’ desire was to inspire tolerance for diverse points of view, Ellison’s comments exceed such tolerance and suggest a sinister intent.

Every American has an inalienable right to practice religion of choice—even if that religion is atheism. While it is inappropriate for him to promote one religion over another, it is also clear the religion that would best serve the Muslim extremist mindset in the US is one devoid of Christian-Judeo principles. The absence of a personal Christian-Judeo foundation tends to make one unwilling to fight for the collective values democratic societies treasure the most. By definition, godless individuals are far less likely to fight for Christian-Judeo values for others than are god-fearing individuals. Thus, by fighting for atheists’ rights especially, Ellison seeks to create more fertile ground in the US for Islam to take root, minimizing the Christian-Judeo principles that first created, and have since guaranteed, our personal freedoms for almost three centuries.

To further cultivate US soil for Islam politically, Ellison seeks to suggest our democratically-elected leaders possibly planned 9/11. Perhaps emboldened by polls within the last year that, shockingly, show a large minority of supposedly educated Americans believe US government complicity was a factor in the events of that day, Ellison opted to further promote the myth. Clearly, he was emboldened too by the barrage of venal attacks other Democrats launch against Bush daily.

But Ellison steps over the line in comparing Bush to Hitler, giving credibility to allegations Bush was responsible for 9/11 when Osama bin Laden has already acknowledged his responsibility. Ellison’s fellow Democrats, if they possess an ounce of patriotism and integrity, should immediately move to discredit his comments.

As an elected official, Ellison was made a crew member onboard America’s ship-of-state. We need to have faith and confidence our elected leaders will only act in the best interests of all our citizens. By failing to reign in Congressmen Ellison now for such outlandish comments, Democratic party leaders become enablers, allowing him to hijack our ship—endangering all onboard.

Our flag indeed is flying upside down. Is anyone noticing?

Our Nation: Based Upon God, Not Fiction