Saturday, March 29, 2008

THE COMMANDER AND CHIEF--OH BOY!

I need to say here that the verbiage in this piece could be described as graphic. There is nothing in this life of mine that makes my blood run hot like patriotism and love of country. I could have done a better job with this if I were on an island with Douglas sitting on a blanket in front of my tent. But alas, I do it here. I prefer long hand. He watched as they slowly came out of the dark foliage and each stepped into the slow moving river. The water was fifty yards wide. Slowly, they carefully felt the bottom of the stream as they moved forward, turning their heads side to side. One man turned fully around and raised his hand and signalled the "come on" motion. One by one the Viet Cong stepped out of the darkness of the forest and onto the river bank. There were eleven of them. They moved carefully. They moved quietly. Each stepped into the water behind each other. Single file. The eyes on the opposite river bank watched unblinking. He was high on a rock outcrop. He lay prone, watching, waiting, carefully judging the distance. There was no wind. The temperature was stifling. A drop of perspiration slowly rolled into the corner of his eye, slowed, and continued on down his cheek. He was tense and made an effort to calm himself by controlling the pace of his breaths. There were no more on the river bank. They were all in the water. The American aligned the sights of the Unertal scope on the head of the lead Viet Cong soldier. He squeezed gently on the trigger. The rifle sounded and the 308 Winchester recoiled. Before the rifle fell again to its rest, he had chambered another 308 caliber round into the chamber and instantly put the cross in the scope on the second soldiers head and squeezed until the second round was fired. He repeated this four more times. Six men were floating down the Yin Tung River. The other five were struggling for purchase on the river bottom for footing that would allow them to escape the rivers hold. A rapid reload was accomplished and the rifle sling was wrapped around his left forearm and a sitting position was taken. The cross hairs were placed between the shoulder blades of the man closest to the safety of the shoreline and the jungle's edge. The explosion, the recoil and another Viet Cong was made a good citizen. The bolt chambered round after round and the rifle recoiled and sounded four more times. All of the enemy were floating down the stream. They reminded him of little sticks floating haphazardly in the water. He waited for thirty minutes after his last shot and slowly moved away from his court room and disappeared into the jungle behind him. There is a point to this story. Our soldiers are facing situations much like the one above every day. They are looking the enemy in the eye. Survival depends upon how well they listened during training. In many cases they are fighting for their lives one on one. They see the man drop after they fire at him. They know they have taken a life. It's alright though because they are there to do that. It is sanctioned in the name of war. And that is as it should be. And they are proud to serve their country in this manner. But imagine if you will what it must feel like to point a rifle at another human being and purposefully pull the trigger with all intention of taking his life. He probably has a young wife at home. Maybe children. But he does his job for his country. This brings me to the crux of the issue I make. We seem to have three candidates for president of the United States, the most powerful, politically influential, economically wealthy country in the world. The United States is the greatest piece of civilization that ever existed. Our choices to head up this great country are Senator Clinton, Senator Obama and Senator McCain. Senator McCain has fought his battles. They have been from an air plane and he had the misfortune of being captured. Senator Obama; I'm not even sure where he came from. All I can gleen from the news is that he doesn't want to wear a lapel pin of the American flag and that his wife has made some less than gentle comments about the United States of America. Senator Clinton. Now there is a great military leader. And a military leader is what we are going to need, and not too long in the future. Two of these candidates want to bring all the troops home within six months. McCain is not as vocal about his intentions. But the point is here that if the troops are brought home in six months; they are denied their victory. Each soldier who has taken life will return with the question "why did we go there?" "What was all the death about?" "Why did I take those lives?" "What good did it do?" The absence of troops in Irac after the six month window will result in a blood letting to rival that of South Vietnam and the Cambodian slaughter of Poe Pot's regime shortly after the U.S. pulled out her troops. Do these candidates for President of this country realize that? Of course they do. They are going to do the popular thing right or wrong. Can Mrs Clinton imagine what it's like to put the cross hairs on the face of an enemy? How about Senator Obama? He seems really experienced. Was he ever in a military service? Don't know. Then there's Senator McCain. He's a patriot for sure. He wants to get along and join hands across the "aisle" as I have heard. With any one of these three in the oval office; there will be many returning trooper's with a bundle of social problems. They were once soldiers. They were once soldier's with a mission. They were once soldier's who did what was required, some gave it all up, some were lucky, and then they were told it's over. Have you ever had the hot water shut off while you were in the shower? It's gonna be something like that for our sons and daughter's when any one of these three "leaders" take the helm of this country's military. I don't know why I even wrote this. Really!