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i think he just called you stupid

Thank you to reader Pearl for pointing out this gem.

Join U.S. military, degrade humanity

The author, Joe Zarro, uses several paragraphs to say something very simple: The soldiers of the U.S. military are gullible, stupid people who are being used for the grand plan of the United States taking over the world.

I've been hearing the argument loud and clear recently that most people who join the armed forces have no idea what they are getting into. They come from broken homes, poor neighborhoods. They are taken in by fight songs and commercials featuring rock bands and the grand prize of a free college education.

Again, I am only criticizing those in service -- not judging them as people. I understand many (far too many) are driven into service by social situations, and are there out of necessity, not ideals. Like most Americans, they are concerned about participating in society, not necessarily bettering it. The military provides economic incentives and job training in exchange for service, exploiting young people in need of a fair social structure.

First, yes he is judging them as people. Even though he goes out of his way several times to give the old "some of my best friends are soldiers" line, and points out that they are not stupid, the bottom line of this piece is that enlisted soldiers are too stupid to figure out why they are enlisted.

Like most Americans, they are concerned about participating in society, not necessarily bettering it.

Another baseless, wide-brush paint job. Most Americans I know work to better society. You don't necessarily have to be out on the streets picking up litter and taking in homeless people to better society. Some people do it just by the virtues of their jobs; police officers, teachers, even your local landscaper betters society by making it a more pleasant place to exist in.

Yet when you join the military, you give years of your life to corruption and death. Today's soldiers are not heroes deserving of unconditional respect -- they are enforcers of economic domination with blood on their hands.

If we didn't have such a large, powerful military, that corruption and death duo would be knocking on your door, Mr. Zarro. Without the U.S. being a police presence in the world, attacks like the ones that took place on September 11 would happen more often. The tyrants of the world would be breathing down your neck, just waiting to make you a victim in their jihads and missions.

I don't see Mr. Zarro putting himself out there on the front lines. I don't think he was in the Persion Gulf or in Afgahnistan, facing dangers and death so we here in the good old U.S. can live free.

The opening paragraphs to his article say it all:

Join the U.S. military and protect your country from itself. Go to distance lands and fight enemies engineered, funded and trained by your government. Mindlessly follow the orders to shoot slightly darker people from countries you know almost nothing about or fly really, really fast over a village and bomb women and children without slowing down.

Salute officers of the inner party who will pervert your sacrifices for profit. Answer to a bureaucracy controlled by politicians who use your life to pay back campaign favors to military insiders, who make huge sums from military spending. Risk your life so energy tycoons can have access to the second largest oil reserve in the world. And best of all, help maintain U.S. economic hegemony over the rest of the world, killing innocent people for your country's wealth.

In summation -- be a tool for imperialism and bastardize human life all around the globe.

He says nothing of the freedom that allows him to write this garbage without fear of being arrested for treason. He says nothing of the lives that were lost securing that freedom for him. His all about the oooooooillllllll rhetoric could lead one to believe that Zarro has been spending a lot of time hanging out with Babs and Michael Moore, or at least studiously memorizing their words and ideals so he can spout them off as his own.

I've seen a million articles, blog posts and message board rants just like this. Not one of these cowards ever thinks of what would happen if the U.S. just disbanded its armed forces and sat back and observed the rest of the world in action. They never think about the consequences of not going into these countries, of not fighting for democracy and freedom. They only think of what will look good on their protest signs. They think they are so brave and daring, but the real brave and daring ones are out their making sure that this country remains a place where dissent can be voiced without fear.

What about the terrorists - oh, I'm sorry, militants - who kill innocent people all over the world to further their religious or political agendas? Who is going to watch over them or go after them if not us? Who is going to go out there and make sure another skyscraper doesn't crumble to the ground or another embassy doesn't get blown to pieces?

And who is going to protect the asses of the these idealist fools marching in the streets when the bad guys come after us again? That's right - those mindless, gullible, ignorant, uneducated soldiers.

What have you done, Mr. Zarro, to better society? I mean, besides painting a few protest signs and cutting out of class to attend rallies shouting down the government? What are you doing to protect freedom and democracy and the future of our nation? The answer? Nothing. You are doing nothing but throwing verbal stones at the people who are out there protecting your rights.

I would really like to hear from my readers who are veterans or in the armed forces about Zarro's stance against the U.S. Military.

update Thanks to reader Dragon, we now know the true reason that Zarro wrote this article:

Everyone is missing the obvious point here. As a member of the US Air
Force currently in my 26th year of service I felt it was my duty to
show you all the true depths of Mr. Zarro's depravity. This isn't about
dissent, or free speech, or globalization or any of that stuff. It's
about tomorrow, 12 PM eastern time: the San Diego State Aztecs (3-8) vs.
the United States Air Force Academy Falcons (8-3).

I'll be checking ESPN for the game injury report.

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Comments

Christ how I wish Dan had time to respond to this before work... Ah well, perhaps at lunch time.

Give 'em hell Michele!

I've been called stupid before. Personally, I'm still waiting for the anti-war left like Mr. Zarro have an original thought between them.

It's not like we don't get called out to do things besides defend our countr-- er, I mean kill babies, eat dead burnt bodies, kill, kill and all that jazz. No, we don't fight out of control wildfires, or help with floods or pick stup--, er that is brave and courageous yet woefully unprepared hikers and mountaineers off of places like Mount Rainier when they've decided to get back to nature with no more equipment than say a pair of earmuffs, a GPS (which they can't adequately use since they can't read a map which they didn't bother to bring) and a cell phone. No, it's not like that at all. It's not like we don't mount search and rescue operations in floods for people that decide that the river that jumped its banks and washed out the highway is too deep. Nope, not like that at all. It's not like we don't build some, many or all of the buildings in the state school that the anti-war lefties learn their peculiar brand of vitriol in. Nope, not like that at all. And it certainly is not like we evacuate people from places outside the western world where the government has decided to piss off it's citizenry to the point of a coup and Americans and other westerners have suddenly come into season (limit two, don't poach now!). Nope, not like that at all.

Eh, he can call me stupid I guess. After all people have shot at me and tried to blow me up. I think I'll survive Mr. Zarro.

Ever hear that joke about the prison inmates that had heard the same jokes so many times that they just gave them numbers, so when anyone just wanted to tell one he just called out the number?

That's how I'm starting to look at these mindless diatribes from the Lunatic Left. After a sentence or two you can almost recite it from rote memory, like a liturgy you've heard for years. You'd think that if these self-congratulatory port-siders were as smart as they claim, they'd come up with some fresh material now and then.

That's a great idea, Jeff. (Can I call you Jeff?)

I think I'll just start assigning numbers to the lefty rants now. The Military can be Rant #1.

What can I say? Clowns like him will come and go, and you will never convince them that they are wrong. How could you? The only way to illustrate the need for the armed forces would be to actually take them away and allow chaos and tyranny to assert itself.

As for me, yeah, it was a job, learning a trade, and if I ever get the chance to spend it, college money. But it was also a hell of a lot more, and while it was also miserable at times, it was also some of the best times of my life. I did six years - one enlistment, actually - and got out. I've always said to anyone who asked me that it would have been a mistake for me to stay in, but that it wasn't a mistake to have served. Zarro can get bent over a speedrail and ass-slammed with a ford wrench sans the boy butter, for all I care about his opinion...

- an MM2, of late from the USS KAMEHAMEHA, SSN-642.

The wierdest part of this anti-military uprising is that we DID give non-interference a try. The Hutus and Tutsis in southern Africa went at it, and we sat back & watched - and THOUSANDS of people were killed by being hacked to death with MACHETES.

And we got shit on for not stopping the carnage.

So, which is it? Do we stop the carnage? Or "stop using our miltary from imposing our imperialistic hegemony over the earth" by allowing the carnage to continue? What do these anti-military lunatics want us to do?

I'm not a veteran, but my dad is, and my son is currently in the Navy. Neither is mindless, gullible or stupid. I suppose you could say my dad is uneducated, as he only finished through the eighth grade, but he's one of the smarter people I know. My dad was drafted, fought in Korea. He says that though he didn't want to leave his family, his country asked him to go, so he went. He felt it was his duty as a citizen.

My son joined for several reasons, education & training opportunities, travel, a chance to give his own son a better life than he could otherwise. And yes, because he saw it as a chance to give something back to a country that has given him so much. He gave it a lot of thought before making the commitment, and is glad he joined. So am I, though I worry about him, given the current conditions...I worry alot. But I'm also grateful that he & others like him are out there doing their damndest to protect me & mine.

So when I read such drivel, I try to shrug it off as rantings of those who don't know any better. And try to remember their freedom to say stupid things are one of the things our military is protecting. But for once, I'd like to see some of them say those things to my face. In fact, I double dog dare them to try.

It's the amazing wisdom of a 20 year old college sophomore in Southern Cal. Man, I wish I had had the benefit of his perspective before I enlisted. I would have realized how degrading I had been on all those missions where we kept the locals from killing each other. Please send cards to Mr. Zarro. He's made a critical error in his choice of major, and, from all indications, suffers from a terminal rectal-cranial impaction. Which is quite sad, if he were able to look back on this after he grows up, he might learn something about the nature of arrogance and condescension. I blather, need coffee.

Thanks, Michele!

I [heart] JoeScott.

I just have one question for Mr. Zarro...just exactly who's the tool here?

The kid fancies himself the second coming of Robert Fisk. Guess what he's gonna get?

I'm a Vietnam era veteran and I live in San Antonio, TX, which has a number of Air Force and Army bases in the surrounding area. From my perspective, the military is highly appreciated in these parts, and civilians let the military know how much they're appreciated and valued. There will always be drooling morons spewing uninformed hate against those who protect and defend our freedoms. I think it's best to simply ignore these ignorant fools and deprive them of any attention whatsoever. Ignoring their rants removes any potential for considering their vacuous opinions of having any coherence or legitimacy.

I remember being a college junior, and thinking I knew everything.

Hopefully one day a good dose of something I like to call 'reality' will slap ol' Zorro in the face.

Although him being an English major probably means he's relagated to a life of either learning 'higher education', or teaching it. That means he'll probably be ranting and raving against the military for years to come.

Sigh... what can you do?

Gee, I don't know. My younger brother, who has an IQ of nearly 150, graduated top of his class in college, and now does freelance writing for both the National Review and any number of major newspapers, and who has been the press secretary or assistant press secretary for 2 US Senators, is hardly what I'd term stupid, gullible, or naive. And yet, he did serve in the army. Army intelligence, in fact.

And then there's my good friend Fred - Retired Major USMC. Veteran of the Gulf War as well as of several smaller Middle East conflicts. Wounded in the line of duty. Possesses not only a BA from Cornell, but also an MFA from Penn State. Successful businessman, etc. Stupid? Gullible? Don't you wish.

And don't even get me started on the sheer volume of smart, cognizant, patriotic men and women in my family who have also served their country so that Mr. Zarro could fling his pathetic condescension hither and yon.

Perhaps Mr. Zarro is just one of those poor deluded folks who believe that anyone who would invest their time (and indeed risk life and limb) doing something he doesn't personally believe in or want to extend himself to do (or, dare I say it? Is too COWARDLY to attempt), must be stupid and misguided. Not simply differing in their beliefs, not just of a different world view, but stupid.

Hmm. Some folks call that bigotry and small-minded, Mr. Zarro. Have the balls to call someone 'wrong' or 'opposed to your viewpoint', by all means. But condescend to pat the them on the head for being gullible just because they didn't choose the path you would have?

Mr. Zarro, you can kiss my lily-white, Republican, pro-Israel, pro-military ass. I like to sidestep condescension and go straight for disgust, thank you.

What rock did this fuckpuddle seep from underf? Oh wait, he's an English junior from San Diego State U. This little snot nosed child considers himself so worldly that He Just Knows.

In the modern world of diplomacy and nuclear capability our need for physical defense is extremely less than the number of troops and size of our budget.

That's right, all we need just just the State Department and the nuclear saber. Let's not do things by half measures!

I joined the Army myself because college was boring. I got to do lots of things, see Germany, watch the Wall come down, play in the sand, get all paranoid when the Soviet Union came apart, fun things like that. But I guess I didn't see the invisible puppet strings that guided myself and my fellow soldiers to do the bidding if American Neo-Imperialsim. Naw, I wasn't ever part of a sophisticated speedbump to hopefully slow a possible Soviet advance, I was there to secure the region's resources and never, ever, clued in on the whole story.

Naturally, only this guy (and others like him, who are not Duped By The Establishment) sees the reality of the US military. Already assuming that the government is just wholly corrupt and out to drain the Third World of the last drops of oil and last bit of metal ores to fuel our society of consumerism (which, oddly enough, is despised for similar reasons) it is naturally assumed that any other agency associated with it must therefore share the same aims and goals...but the people playing parts in that show simply don't know it.

Such simplistic thinking. And he works at a school?

Michelle - you call me what you like, my dear.

OliverJ - you totally missed the point, lad, because you start from the facts and proceed to the conclusion. The Lefty starts from the conclusion (i.e. Amerikkka is evil, imperialist, exploitive, racist, etc., but always, always wrong) and then proceeds to collect the facts needed to support the conclusion. Stay out and we're indifferent to the suffering of dark-skined people - go in and we're just trigger-happy Klansmen aching to mow down the swarthy downtroddens of the world (no doubt for their oil, BTW).

Not to stretch analogies too far, but it's what I once read about left-wing critiques of the market: if prices go up, it's gouging; if they go down, it's cutthroat elimination of the competition; if they stay the same, it's price-fixing. Heads I win, tails you lose.

I urge everyone to deluge this twit and the staff at the Daily Aztec with emails. Everyone who reads this should link the article and email address of this moron. This fool is worse than Carter...and that is saying a lot.

Here is Joe Asshole's email:
Opinion Editor: Joe Zarro, opinioneditor@thedailyaztec.com

Managing Editor: Courtney Westerhof, managingeditor@thedailyaztec.com

Sent this morning:

Dear Mr. Zarro –

Is this what passed for reasoned discourse at Sand Diego State University? A snot-nosed twenty-year old who spits on the very people who make his bilious “dissent” possible?

“People in the military are not necessarily immoral, corrupt or stupid.”

Just most of them?

“I personally care deeply for numerous people in the armed services. In many ways the intentions of military personnel are noble and admirable. They hear songs of pageantry and believe they are protecting the safety of U.S. citizens. “

Right – and some of your best friends are black.

“In actuality, our military is designed for aggression. In the modern world of diplomacy and nuclear capability, our need for physical defense is extremely less than the number of troops and size of our budget.”

That’s right, either talk to people or blow up the world, there’s no need to have the capability of delivering a proportional response to aggression. I can’t understand why the State Department isn’t beating down your door.

I do understand why the tyrants, lunatic messiahs and thugs of the world aren’t beating down your door, though – because men and women with guns are willing to lay down their live to protect your sorry ass. Heard much about piracy in the news recently? I didn’t think so - most of the worlds sea lanes are kept clear of pirates by the United States Navy. I believe that stupid hat you’re wearing in your photo was probably made overseas and shipped here in a cargo container protected by the sailors you call “tools for imperialism”.

And if I could ask – what are you doing to protect and improve our America (besides being courteous enough to clean up the spilled bong water)? Oh, that’s right “Dissent is Patriotic!”

Big whack with the clue stick knucklehead – Dissent by itself is worth NOTHING, you also must have something to say. Judging by this article, your words are valueless.

Allen Rausch
Former English Major, SUNY Albany
Freelance writer, Los Angeles, California

Allow me to share my respone to the ASSCLOWN Zarro....If he follows my letter he will be wearing his ASS for a HAT for a LONG TIME...

To the Editors,

Please pass along the following to Mr. Zarro:

Mr. Zarro,

I am a Veteran 85-91. I served Overseas and in Combat.My Brother is a Veteran, he also served Overseas.Our Father was a Veteran. He grew up in London during the Blitz(39-41), while my Grandmother worked as an ER Nurse in downtown London. His Father, my Grandfather, served in the First World War and was gassed/wounded. He later served during WWII with The Royal Navy conducting Convoy Escort. My Father later served in Korea. My maternal Grandfather served as Bomber Pilot during WWII, Fighter Pilot during Korea and as a Weather Officer during Vietnam.
Allow me to assure you that WE ALL KNEW WHAT WE DOING! We had the Courage and Belief of our Convictions. The Fortitude to do what had to be done The intelligence to realize that what we were doing was important. The Privilege and Honor to Serve with Like Minded individuals. The Satisfaction of Looking at Our Flag and realizing that Our Family is a part, albeit small but like so many other American Families, of the fabric that makes us a Free People. A part of a Military that has Liberated the WORLD on Three Separate occasions. WWI, WWII and the Cold War.
Your commentary is ill-informed, insulting and reflects a childish view of the World and History. I hope that you exercise some effort during your remaining years at school to actually learn about the subjects upon which you offer opinions. Allow me to offer the resource of your local VFW Chapter to assist your understanding of the Military. I am sure they would welcome your thoughts warmly and contribute mightily to a spirited debate as to merit of your argument. Please feel free to drop me a line after your meeting. If you still need further calcification or amplification I will be more than happy to provide.

Sincerely

Russ

Michele, I can't thank you (and everyone else) enough for saying what I think and feel. And you did a magnificent job. I am a veteran of the U.S. Navy, my husband is a U.S. Army veteran and we're both DAMN proud to have served our country. After reading Zarro's drivle I'm just too angry for words. Thank to you and your readers for your support and kind words. It really does matter.

I love the First Amendment. Even for people like Mr. Zarro.

But. He is a fucknozzle (bless you for that word, Michele).

He could at least pick on the right people. Pick on our government. Rant about the bureaucrats. Freely criticize sleazy, lying politicians.

But don't beat the shit out of the brave, wonderful men and women who care so much about this country, and your sorry ass (and freedom of speech), Mr. Zarro, to risk their lives for it everyday.

I'm not much older than Mr. Zarro, and no, I'm not in the military. But several members of my family are veterans or on active duty right now - and one is soon headed into SEAL training.

So, as Rita said - I double dog dare this bastard to spout any of this drivel in the face of any of us.

It could be so much fun if he did.

Those who can, do. Those who can't or WON'T, spew.

As citizens, we (my family and I) have felt it our duty to put our money where our mouth is. It was and is our duty to serve, to protect our neighbors, our family, our friends. It was and is our duty to protect our nation, where people like Mr. Zarro have the right to be heard without being thrown in jail for treasonous dissent, the right to make unsupported generalizations as to the overall intelligence of those in our society who have a sense of responsibility, and the right to slander the motivations of those who act on that sense of responsibility.

Mr. Zarro enjoys the rights and freedoms of our society without accepting any of the duties for ensuring that those rights and freedoms are protected and preserved. I guess he doesn't feel the need to put his money where his mouth is. As such, his opinion in this area is worth exactly zilch.

I myself served for 6 years in the Army. My father has served for 32 years. My brother has served for 13 (so far) My two grandfathers, and a great grandfather have also served honorably and with distinction. We didn't do this as a way to get money, security, etc. We did it because it was our responsibility to do so. I guess Mr. Zarro wouldn't understand that, not having a sense of responsibility himself.

I'll tell you what. When Mr. Zarro (in his future position as a foreign correspondent for some daytime talk show) get his ass against the wall somewhere, I will happily tell him that since in our "modern world of diplomacy and nuclear capability, our need for physical defense is extremely less than the number of troops and size of our budget", I'll resource myself out to someone else who needs their ass pulled out of a fire, and he can consider himself downsized.

Everyone is missing the obvious point here. As a member of the US Air Force currently in my 26th year of service I felt it was my duty to show you all the true depths of Mr. Zarro's depravity. This isn't about dissent, or free speech, or globalization or any of that stuff. It's about tomorrow, 12 PM eastern time: the San Diego State Aztecs (3-8) vs. the United States Air Force Academy Falcons (8-3). Let's see if the Academy cadets riot and kill the SDSU football team becaues of what Mr. Zarro wrote...oh wait...that's the religion of peace.
The guys a jerk (I can't use Michele's word, but I like it too), ignore him. Cheers. Dragon, USAFA '77 :o)

I am not a veteran. I didn't have the balls to sign up out of high school. They probably wouldn't take me anyway with my allergies and asthma.

HOWEVER, I have the uptmost respect for those who do and did. They have allowed me to live in this country and not fear for my life. I am so thankful for the freedoms I have as a result of their sacrifices.

This guy is a jerk who doesn't fully know what he has or why he has it. I wish I had faith he'd learn soon, but I fear he won't.

And, as a result of what I've seen here over the last two days, I've bookmarked your site. I will return.

How to respond to Mr. Zarro's assertions?

Well, take myself for instance. I'm a veteran, and a Navy reservist.

You poor thing. You were forced into it by your social-economic conditions, right?

Er, no. I'm a middle-class white college grad.

Then you're an idiot. No intelligent person with alternatives would ever voluntarily serve in the military.

Wrong again. My IQ scores make me eligible for membership in MENSA, although I've never applied.

Oh, you may have "book smarts" then, but clearly you're incapable of rational, independent thought, otherwise you would never have joined up.

Have you visited my website?

We had a saying in the military --

We're out here defending the rights of fools like (Joe Zarro) to (insult our commitment to service).

Fill in the parantheses with your favorite idiotarian and their stupid statements -- and this can be applied to just about any similar situation.

Try it, it's fun!

This guy can kiss my USAF butt. I fed Kurds in Northern Iraq, spent more time in Bosnia than I care to say making sure they quit killing each other, and have been to more sad ass places than I can name all in the "humanitarian" mission mode. Anyone who does not belive the US military does not work to better the world and alleviate much suffering does not have a clear picture of our armed forces. I'll be writing a much more articulate letter to his paper mentioned in a previous post.
T.D.
USAF

dear mr zarro
i like pagentry too! it make my heart go "thump thump and maks me feal good. i onsce got money 5 dollars to kill it was extreemly fun then i ated it it taste'd good. my lutenant sais im funny and sweet and he buy's me budweiser and we get drunk and play twister id do any thing for him. i likes to salute him evry day! he say'z he lik'es to kill muslums becusaes they have oil i put oil in my 1969 camaro and it goe's fast! vroom vroom

do you hav a car mr zarroe? tee hee yur name sound's like zorro i like zorro but my favrite is the incredbl hulk. hes ha's green skin, you no.

-Jake

I know I'm showing up somewhat after the fact, but anyhow…

Sad to say, Zarro's contempt for the military and his overweening ignorance about US history and foreign policy is pretty much par for the course at many colleges. From the opening statement ("Join the US military and protect your country from itself") to the simperingly moronic, cliché-ridden closing line ("But all of them [military personnel] are active participants in America's neo-imperialism, whether they know it or not."), Zarro's puerile, intemperate rant is riddled with unsubstantiated "facts," fatuous hyperbole, Cloud Cukooland cant and flaccid attempts at cleverness. One goes away singularly unimpressed with his lame attempts to appear erudite.

Here are a few highlights, with my comments, of course:
"Risk your life so energy tycoons can have access to the second largest oil reserve in the world."
Kid, if this engagement were REALLY about oil, we'd be arming the Kurds and helping them figure out how to create an autonomous post-Saddam state. Come to think of it, maybe we are.

"In actuality, our military is designed for aggression."
And your point is…? What did you expect it was designed for, crocheting doilies?

"The average private's level of political knowledge about the institution they support is ridiculous."
In the sense that it is ridiculously more advanced than your political knowledge, you're right. By the way, Joey, you need to do something about that nasty pronoun-antecedent agreement problem you have. Even the National Enquirer has standards, you know.

"They may know technical jargon about equipment and the workings of the military, but few know about the social repercussions of their job."
And you know this for a fact? Oh, that's right; you "personally care deeply for numerous people in the armed services." I guess that means there maybe a couple of AFROTC guys on campus who hang out with you so just they have somebody to pick up the beer tab at Monty's. Just remember, Joe, they aren't laughing WITH you; they're laughing AT you.

"Again, I am only criticizing those in service -- not judging them as people."
Oh yes you are. In fact, you are doing both. And doing a piss-poor job of it, too.

"The military relies on youth who are poor and not nearly educated enough to make an informed decision on the institution they will uphold."
I see. Are you implying that poor people are always ill-educated? Isn't that a bit of an elitist outlook? Shame on you Joe; you'll never get into the Worker's Paradise if you keep that up.

"I don't know everything now."
Truer words were never spoken. But did you really have to waste all those column-inches just to state something that is so painfully obvious?

-- just enough to realize that most military recruits are being duped, and you're what the average person believes is the function of the military is bullsh**.
Uh…this is not a sentence, Joe. It's not even moderately inchoate gibberish. It's simply the editorial equivalent of a hairball. Get an editor, dude.

"Yet when you join the military, you give years of your life to corruption and death." Wrong word there, Joe. I think you meant "media," not "military."

And one last bit of advice, Joe…Lose the hat, schoolboy.

I work directly with about 30 to 40 vets and reservists and they are some of the smartest folk I have ever had the pleasure to be around. It is not just that they are intelligent, they are dedicated, caring, creative, loyal, politically aware, lucid and competent. I could go on and on but you get the idea. My vet teammates are the best of the best.

These folks chose the military, they chose the hardship, they chose the difficult road. They made that choice with their eyes wide open and with a hell of a lot better understanding of the price and reward than Mr. Zarro seems to be capable of.

To paraphrase Jimmy Carter:

"Michelle, I think he is having what we call a "bad PoMo trip". Now Mr Zarro, do you have any vitamin C? You do?... good. Take a few thousand milligrams of that Vitamin C and go back to your dorm room, turn the lights down low and play some music. Do you have any Allman Brothers? You do?... good, I've heard that Idlewild South is good for a "soft landing" from utter stupidity. Remember it's only a liberal education but it will wear off soon so relax and go with the flow.

Wait til he comes out into the real business world with the rest of us... I want to see the look on his face when he realizes that the person who will decide whether he gets that job/raise/promotion served in the military.

One more thing...
English Major = Didn't want to take any math courses because the logic made his head hurt.

We aren't fighting for the oilfield. If we did get it Mr.(abreviation used very lightly)Zarro and his kind wouldn't let us drill for it anyway.

I appreciate his right to say his piece, I just wish I had more right to not hear it.

USAF Firefighter (1983-1994)

Michele - thanks for the article. My$.02:

I think I will be forever insulated against such claptrap based on a single event that lasted about 30 seconds. My last semester in college I worked in one of the bookstores across the street from campus. One football weekend, the store was full of students and parents gobbling up shirts, hats, and everything else imaginable emblazoned with the school logo. I was behind the counter upstairs and struck up a conversation with an ordinary looking guy, probably the father of a brand-new freshmen. In the course of the idle chit-chat, he asked me what I was going to when I graduated in a few months. I replied that I was going to be commisioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force. He then took his hand out of his pocket, shook my hand, and said "thank you."

I remember it like is was yesterday (it was six years ago) and I am sure I always will. Hence, crap like this really doesn't bother me because of people like him...and you.

We have a harsh, but true toast in the Air Force:

"Here's to killing people we don't know, and protecting people we don't like."

I'll drink to that.

As to all the junk about supporting people one minute and killing the next. The world is a tricky thing. Sometimes we make a pack with the lessor of two evils that doesn't work out or makes things stable for only a little while. That's real life, where we can't see the future but can see the past with 20/20 vision. Deal with it.

here is my response. i agree that nothing he spews is new and it almost isn't worth fisking.. however.. the part about bastardizing human life pissed me off so much i want to hunt him down and give him a savage beating with a clue bat.. the kind of beating that people would say "what kind of animal would do this to another human being?"

Neal -

You said:

"We have a harsh, but true toast in the Air Force:
"Here's to killing people we don't know, and protecting people we don't like."
I'll drink to that."

I actually find that rather disturbing. Do the few Zarro's of the world really so poison a soldier's perception of their own contribution? For every Zarros, there are 100,000 Americans who genuinely appreciate and honor the service you render.

I'm originally from New York and I'm back here in Manhattan for a couple of days. When I was on the subway yesterday I had an interesting experience. All of us were riding quietly, minding our own business when the door opened and a Marine in uniform walked through the car. Literally every face lit up with a smile and don't think that that Marine didn't know it.

A little while later we had a Tranzi protestor come in handingout leaflets that told how this was "All about the Ooooiiiiiillllllllll!!!!!". "Get the fuck out of my face." was the kindest response he recieved.

It'd be really sad if jackholes like this poison the relationship our military should have with our civilians.

Allen Rausch

I will begin by saying I haven't read all of the responses posted to this rebuttal to my column, but I will try to find the time.

I sense a little hositility, but hopefully we can all be civil about this.

"He says nothing of the freedom that allows him to write this garbage without fear of being arrested for treason. He says nothing of the lives that were lost securing that freedom for him."

What this quote fails to realize is that the premise for my argument is that military conflicts are not securing my freedom, but rather securing finances. Afghanistan, Desert Storm, Kosovo and impending war on Iraq have done nothing to secure my freedom of speech. In fact, legislation passed during these periods has hindered freedom of press and speech. Desert Storm blocked the media from combat, learning from its "mistake" in Vietnam. I suspect many of you are in favor of the homeland security bill, which has added provision that limit the Freedom of Information Act, allowing government to be even more secretive than it already is. My ability, as a journalist, to keep an eye on government is significantly hindered thanks to these actions. Also, your duty as citizens to follow your government and maintain your republic is also affected.

For some reason I don't have the credibility to talk about the social effects of the military because I have never been "on the front lines." You don't have to be a part of something to know about it, or have an opinion on their actions. It is that attitude that limits free thought, and allows people to cast aside an opinion of somebody because you don't agree. You will never see me on the front lines -- I am in complete moral opposition to war, and would rather serve time in prison than spend time with a rifle. This isn't cowardice, a lack of sense for duty or hatred this country. Contrary to what many of you think, I do not hate America.

Although I feel like this is falling on deaf ears, I urge all of you to question the consequences of being a soldier. Try to realize that innocent civilians are driven from their homes, often stripped of their lives over complex issues that most of you obviously fail to grasp.

I never said it was all about oil. War cannot be reduced to "oil" or "freedom." They are geo-political struggles that have their roots in resources, politics, international power struggles, economic and physical security. What I try to point out is that today's conflicts are testimony to our imperialism.

If you want to write an appropriate response to this, you should argue that America is not imperialist.

Well this is all I have time for right now. Maybe I'll drop by for another visit. This is only the surface of my opinion.

Mr Zarro still doesn't get it. I wanted to comment at length but the following will suffice:
1. Most of the soldiers I work with are better writers than Mr Zarro. Many are better educated (think Cpl working on a Masters, through evening classes). And they generally have a much firmer grasp of the issues than Mr Zarro.
2. After a hard week of inflicting murder, mayhem and general destruction on the oppressed, soldiers spend time on activities such as building schools and distributing clothes to orphanages; they are refreshed ready for another week of mayhem.
3. My father is a pacifist; Mr Zarro does not understand the concept.

Cheers