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More on Pat Tillman: When Idiots Attack

[ed. note: I mistakenly identified Gonzales as a woman. The post has since been edited to correctly identify his gender] Rene Gonzales is a graduate student at UMass. He is from Puerto Rico where, apparently, soldiers are pendejos or idiots. Rene wrote an editorial for the school paper, the Daily Collegian. The title: Pat Tillman is not a hero: He got what was coming to him. Something in that heading told me to just stop reading there. Click the X, close the page, hit the back button; do anything but read it. Of course, I read it. And I am left with the conclusion that Rene Gonzales is, for all intents and purposes, a pendejo. Mr. Gonzales makes a big mistake in his editorial. He confuses his anti-Iraq war stance with the war in Afghanistan. Oh, there are many other mistakes in his article, both of fact and judgment. But this line struck my as particularly ignorant: For people in the United States, who seem to be unable to admit the stupidity of both the Afghanistan and Iraqi wars... Mull that over a minute while I go back a paragraph or two. bq. You know [Tillman] was a real Rambo, who wanted to be in the "real" thick of things. I could tell he was that type of macho guy, from his scowling, beefy face on the CNN pictures. Well, he got his wish. Even Rambo got shot in the third movie, but in real life, you die as a result of being shot. They should call Pat Tillman's army life "Rambo 4: Rambo Attempts to Strike Back at His Former Rambo 3 Taliban Friends, and Gets Killed." Let's put aside the juvenile scorn heaped upon Tillman just for the way he looked in a some pictures on CNN. Rene seems to believe that somehow, Pat Tillman was directly involved in whatever past relationship the U.S. had with the Taliban. Or, perhaps he is not railing against Tillman himself, but using him as a symbol of the United States in general. What a disservice he does to Tillman by describing him as such. Sure, there are gung-ho soldiers, the kind who envision themselves as modern day Rambos but, as with any other career out there, you will find the ultra-charged, alpha-worker within any group of people. I bet there are even computer programmers who pretend they are deep in the jungles of Cambodia, knife clenched in teeth, as they write code for word processing programs. Apparently, Tillman's urge to defend his country isn't borne out of some sense of dedication or duty, but of testosterone and caveman-like stupidity. As he tries to explain this theory, Gonzales blows a hole in it himself. bq. But, does that make him a hero? I guess it's a matter of perspective. For people in the United States, who seem to be unable to admit the stupidity of both the Afghanistan and Iraqi wars, such a trade-off in life standards (if not expectancy) is nothing short of heroic. Obviously, the man must be made of "stronger stuff" to have had decided to "serve" his country rather than take from it. It's the old JFK exhortation to citizen service to the nation, and it seems to strike an emotional chord. So, it's understandable why Americans automatically knee-jerk into hero worship. [emphasis added] And that is where Gonzales's cause loses whatever sliver of credibility it had. Perhaps Rene needs a reminder of why we went into Afghanistan? Unless he's one of those people who think the Mossad blew up the towers with the help of George Bush (and it's not too far fetched to think that he is), then, in his effort to drive home his anti-war stance, he made a bit of an error by calling the Afghanistan war stupid. Is it stupid to want to hunt down and kill those responsible for committing an act of terror that killed 3,000 people? Is it stupid to want to avenge the death of those innocent people? Is it stupid to try to drive the enemy out of their little caves and holes and make them pay for they did? Does Mr. Gonzales not realize that what the Taliban did on September 11, 2001 was an act of war? One would have to believe just that in order to reconcile his feelings that Mr. Tillman went to Afghanistan out of some macho, macho man pride and the US going over to that country was stupid. Let's read on. bq. However, in my neighborhood in Puerto Rico, Tillman would have been called a "pendejo," an idiot. Tillman, in the absurd belief that he was defending or serving his all-powerful country from a seventh-rate, Third World nation devastated by the previous conflicts it had endured, decided to give up a comfortable life to place himself in a combat situation that cost him his life. This was not "Ramon or Tyrone," who joined the military out of financial necessity, or to have a chance at education. This was a "G.I. Joe" guy who got what was coming to him. That was not heroism, it was prophetic idiocy. Ok, Gonzales. I'll bite. What do you think going into Afghanistan was all about? From that paragraph alone, one might believe that Gonzales views Afghanistan as one collective victim, and we should never have gone over there to defend ourselves because, well, they're poor. So we'll just let them be. Again, we see the whole "soldiers are just poor folk" theory. In Rene's world, people who join the army are either too poor to do anything else, or they have an inate desire to swing from vines while slashing at the air with bayonets in their hands and bloodlust in their hearts. I guess Rene has never met anyone who actually joined the armed forces to serve their country. In the world that Rene inhabits, no such thing exists. For Gonzales and most of his ilk, when a person says they joined the army out of duty to country and freedom, they just assume the person has been brainwashed by commercials or recruitment officers. Ramon and Tyrone are poor and stupid. bq. Tillman, probably acting out his nationalist-patriotic fantasies forged in years of exposure to Clint Eastwood and Rambo movies, decided to insert himself into a conflict he didn't need to insert himself into. It wasn't like he was defending the East coast from an invasion of a foreign power. THAT would have been heroic and laudable. What he did was make himself useful to a foreign invading army, and he paid for it. It's hard to say I have any sympathy for his death because I don't feel like his "service" was necessary. He wasn't defending me, nor was he defending the Afghani people. He was acting out his macho, patriotic crap and I guess someone with a bigger gun did him in. Once again, Gonzales assumes that Tillman was unable to think for himself (despite the fact that he graduated from college in 3 1/2 years with a 3.82 GPA) and was coerced by the television monster and the evil movie industry into joining the Rangers. It wasn't like he was defending the East coast from an invasion of a foreign power. THAT would have been heroic and laudable. Well, that invasion already happened. They swooped in on airplanes and killed 3,000 of us. If I read Gonzales's words correctly, he believes that we had no right to invade Afghanistan because it's not like they were looking to attack us again. If Gonzales believes that Tillman wasn't defending him, then perhaps he should go back to Puerto Rico and rest easy in the comfort that if and when we are attacked again, his lovely island of tropical breezes will probably not be on the minds of the terrorists. bq. Perhaps it's the old, dreamy American thought process that forces them to put sports greats and "larger than life" sacrificial lambs on the pedestal of heroism, no matter what they've done. After all, the American nation has no other role to play but to be the cheerleaders of the home team; a sad role to have to play during conflicts that suffer from severe legitimacy and credibility problems. Pat Tillman wasn't a hero because he was a "sports great." He was a hero because he sacrficed his life to defend ours. That's something Mr. Gonzales would never know about because it takes a special kind of selfishness to have his mentality. I would like to engage Gonzales in a debate. I want to ask him how the conflict in Afghanistan - the country, by the way, in which Tillman was killed - lacks legitimacy and credibility. I would like to know what he believes the response to 9/11 should have been. Wait, don't tell me. He thinks we should find out why the terrorists hate us so much so we can work on being nicer towards them. bq. Matters are a little clearer for those living outside the American borders. Tillman got himself killed in a country other than his own without having been forced to go over to that country to kill its people. After all, whether we like them or not, the Taliban is more Afghani than we are. Their resistance is more legitimate than our invasion, regardless of the fact that our social values are probably more enlightened than theirs. For that, he shouldn't be hailed as a hero, he should be used as a poster boy for the dangerous consequences of too much "America is #1," frat boy, propaganda bull. Their resistance is more legitimate than our invasion.. I had to read that several times to make sure I wasn't misunderstanding. Our invasion was a result of their invasion on us. What part of this concept does Mr. Gonzales not understand? Tillman's willingness to fight had nothing to do with an America is #1 concept; we were attacked, he wanted to defend and avenge. Like thousands upon thousands of others, Tillman put on a uniform and put his life on the line for us and for people like Gonzales, who only piss on their graves. bq. Al-Qaeda won't be defeated in Afghanistan, even if we did kill all their operatives there. Only through careful and logical changing of the underlying conditions that allow for the ideology to foster will Al-Qaeda be defeated. Ask the Israelis if 50 years of blunt force have eradicated the Palestinian resistance. For that reason, Tillman's service, along with that of thousands of American soldiers, has been wrongly utilized. He did die in vain, because in the years to come, we will realize the irrationality of the War on Terror and the American reaction to Sept. 11. The sad part is that we won't realize it before we send more people like Pat Tillman over to their deaths. Who didn't see that coming? It's about the root causes! They killed us because we aren't like them, so therefore we should try to understand them. Let's sit down and have some group therapy with the Taliban and get a good feeling for why they feel like anyone who isn't a Muslim should die. That ought to clear things up, but good! I really want to know what he thinks the reaction to September 11th should have been. I invite Mr. Gonzales to pack up his bags and move to Afghanistan, where he can spend all his time making nice with the terrorists, getting to know what their jihad against Americans is all about and learning how a suicide cult is born. At night, they can sit around the campfire and call American soldiers pendejos. I wonder who the real pendejo is? The guy who put his life on the line so Mr. Gonzales can live free and worry less about future terrorists attacks, or the college student who stands over the grave of the soldier who fought for him and spits upon that grave? However warmed I feel by the comments left underneath the editorial by readers who also think Mr. Gonzales is a bit of a, how do you say it...idiot, I still feel that cold chill of the anti-war left running down my back. Ever since Pat Tillman was killed and he became the poster boy for the "soldiers are baby killers" crowd, I feel more than ever like our country is experiencing the cracking of a fault line in our emotional and political infrastructure that will never be mended. Mr. Gonzales is just another seismic shake on that fault line. Pendejo, indeed. Update: Jim at Right Thoughts has more on Rene Gonzales.

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» More on Pat Tillman: When Idiots Attack from Nobody asked me, but...
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» Wanna get angry? from Right Thoughts
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» Yay from Inoperable Terran
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Comments

Unbelievable. Michele, thank you for the proper fisking of this idiot.

Great post! I'm sure he was all Rambo-esque when he got his equally sports-minded brother to join up with him. Whatever.

Some people need to actually know what they are talking about before they write such things.

It appears that the editorial staff is running for the cover of the First Amendment.(linked to name).

"Through the Web site feedback, phone calls and e-mails we have received, it has become very obvious to us at The Collegian that Gonzalez's opinion has caused a lot of controversy and frustration. We cannot, however, compromise the mission of our publication for the sake of ensuring the constant happiness of our readership. Gonzalez has just as much right to the opinion he presented as anyone else does, and we at The Collegian hope that this incident will foster a relationship with our readers that shows we are open to all opinions, not only the ones many people agree with."

Tomorrow's guest columnist: David Duke.
In a pig's eye.

It's a well written piece - too bad it's fiction.

Perhaps Gonzales would feel Tillman was more of a hero if he defended her/him (are we clear on gender yet?) against one of the South Central hombres with a gun. Would he be a Rambo if he protected her butt personally?

Mweheheheheh.

Why am I laughing? Well, really, two things.

1) What an idiot that little Pendeja is. I thought Puerto Ricans were smarter than that!

2) Michele's "no more politics" pledge lasted, what? A week?

Love ya darlin', but I knew you couldn't hold out. ;-)

She's a he. You can follow his entire UMass career off the link in the comments to my entry. And Oh, what a radical lefty career it has been.

I can blow that "only the poor join" crap right out of the water. My son-in-law is in the Navy and just reenlisted. His parents have more money than you can shake a stick at. He has a educational fund that he could have PAID CASH to go to college AND graduate school. And he chose to join.

Up yours, Gonzales.

Elizabeth
Imperial Keeper

Where back to old style of blogging?

Outstanding fisking Michelle, but I'd like to add that a secondary error people make about the war in Afghanistan (and in Iraq) is that they are about vengeance, payback, justice, etc. The truth is that these wars aren't primarily about those things. The 3,000 who died on 9/11 can't be brought back, nor their ghosts avenged by these actions. Instead, these wars are about prevention. Trying to take the fight to the terrorists to ensure that such an event doesn't occur again. It remains to be seen if that effort is successful in the long run, but as long as the majority of militants are busily trying to hassle (kill) our soldiers in Iraq, they are not over here trying to blow up buildings and kill innocent civilians. The great thing about guys like Tillman is that they understand that purpose and are willing to place themselves between their beloved home and war's desolation.

You're absolutey right on that count, Andrew. It is about prevention. But I don't think that's something Gonzales would appreciate. He would claim that we were crushing the Talibab's dissent by not allowing them to bomb us again.

Too true, Michelle. He's the sort that just can't be reasoned with. I'd bet that Pat Tillman would have defended Gonzales' right to dissent to the death. Actually, he did.

Where I grew up, pendejo meant "asshole." It, along with culero and maricon seem to fit this guy really well.

Part of his problem may be that he gets all the benfits of American citizen ship with far fewer of the obligations since he is Puerto Riquense

"Rene Gonzales is a graduate student at UMass. He is from Puerto Rico where, apparently, soldiers are pendejos or idiots."

Actually, Rene is the pendejo. In Puerto Rico, where I was born, soldiers are heroes. My father-in-law died last October. He had the American flag draped over his coffin because he was a WWII veteran. The honor of having that flag draped over him words cannot describe. The person who gave his eulogy said, “Marcial fought during WWII for the United States. And, he did it with pride and honor because anyone who serves the United States, serves Puerto Rico.

Rene is a disgrace. He apparently is ignorant of the many sacrifices some of our fellow Puerto Ricans are making in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Tillman will long be remembered as a hero. Mr. Gonzales is a loser whom few will remember.

Y'know, I'm ashamed to admit that before the war, I kind of half-believed the "only the poor and/or uneducated join" myth, at least for enlisted personnel.

But I'm delighted to see that myth so decisively demolished, at least for anybody who bothers to open their eyes and look around a little. As for people like Mr. Gonzales, further proof there are none so blind as those who will not see....

Ana, I should have been clearer about that and made the point that Gonzales gives the impression that Puerto Ricans think soldiers are idiots.

I don't have that impression at all, I apologize if it came across that way.

Next to the fact that the paper actually printed that trash, the worst part of this fiasco is that little Rene won't get what he deserves.

As nauseating as the article is, in the long run, it may prove to have a significant upside. (See also: Rick Kahn et al. at Paul Wellstone's "memorial service.")

And now we're giving him his 15 minutes of fame. This article is all over the Internet, I've linked it, people will be talking about it.

On the upside, most of those people will be saying what a cowardly idiot he is.

Michelle, no need to apologize I understood what you meant, and I thought your fisking was great. You have no idea how shameful people like this Rene are to Puerto Ricans who believe that service to the US is an honor. Fortunately, Mr. Gonzales is a rarity in the Puerto Rican community. By the way, the governor of Puerto Rico (democrat) supported the President's decision to go into Iraq and Afganistan.

I was told (by a Puerto Rican) that the translation of "pendejo" is closer to "fucker". In any case, it's a much, much stronger insult than "idiot".

Oh, and hey - this is UMass we're talking about. The same University that has regular controversies over whether or not the Minuteman is an appropriate mascot. The whole Amherst/Northampton area out there in west-central mass is a cesspool of PC crud.

I would like to engage Gonzales in a debate

Debate assumes the existence of a rational being with whom to debate. This guy ain't it.

the Taliban is more Afghani than we are

What a turd. Yeah, the Nazis were more German, too. Root causes? Versailles, anyone?

Den Beste had some good stuff on the whole UMass Minuteman thing a while back. Of course, UMass is one of five colleges in Amherst, MA, and it's by no means the furthest left.

From J. Alexander Lollie in the comments at RightThoughts: "My God, it's the bastard child of Gilbert Gottfried and Janeane Garofalo."

[giggle]

My first thought was Jon Cryer. Perhaps there was a threesome.

You know I grew up not far from UMASS (my mom attended, and my gradfather was there when it was an agricultural college.) I'd like to add an addendum to the fact that this pendejo doesn't know anyone in the military.
There are plently of vets around. Quite a few of the local cops are vets, the guys I worked road construction in college with were vets to a man, and I'm sure some of the janitorial staff have kids in the military. The military is out there, it's just that the average UMASS undergrad doesn't talk to or notice them.

Jonah Goldberg on NRO's The Corner says that this paper refused to run David Horowitz's anti-reparations ad. So much for a commitment to free speach and unpopular ideas.

Asshats

Crank -

Indeed. I'm sure mainstream opinion at Smith or Mount Holyoke is even more represhensible.

The sad part about this is that there will be people reading this guy's article and automatically assume that he speaks for the entire Puerto Rican population.

Val -

I certainly wouldn't assume that. I've known too many Puerto Ricans.

I read the screed this pinche pinga wrote and then the "defending the First Amendment" malarkey the Collegian editors posted in today's edition and thought, "Yeah, stand by your convictions, but too bad about your servers. They're still gonna get burned to the ground."

"Only through careful and logical changing of the underlying conditions that allow for the ideology to foster will Al-Qaeda be defeated."

Anyone want to guess which ideology he is proposing here?

The compulsive need to tear down the Establishment is obvious. But it's still sad that he felt the need to go out of his way to insult the man while issuing his screed against the policy.

Here's the link to Goldberg's item. Typically, I'm sure the Daily Collegian's editors will never attempt to deal with the parallel between running this garbage and refusing to run Horowitz's ad.

They've posted a "counterpoint column" by a student named Matt Reid. It's titled "The extraordinary life of an ordinary man is remembered" (linked to my name). Money quote:

"If Pat Tillman were watching, he most likely would disapprove of the proposed plan to dedicate the entire upcoming NFL season to him. And he certainly would object to columns such as this, which make him out to be a hero. However, it's impossible to describe Pat Tillman without using some hyperbole. He is not a hero because he was an extraordinary man. He is a hero because he was an ordinary man that did extraordinary things. His heroism has nothing to do with his death, but with his life."

I'm leaving feedback for Matt thanking him for his article.

Being a soldier isn't idiotic. But passing up a multimillion dollar football contact to be a soldier sure as hell is.

Abe, Abe, Abe.

Friends don't let friends post drunk. You should just go and sleep it off. Then tomorrow when you log on and see what you wrote you can just claim to have been on a 3 day bender and beg for Michele's forgivness.

My suggestion is linking Rene Gonzalez with the word 'cocksucker' until that smirky picture of him becomes the No. 1 search on Google.

Something like Rene Gonzalez is a
cocksucker.

So, "Honest" Abe,

Do you think someone like, say, Kobe Bryant or O.J. Simpson are more admirable because they didn't turn down lots of money to sign up to defend their country during wartime? Just askin', ya know.

IB Bill, please choose a different word to link him with. I rather enjoy cocksuckers...in fact, I revere them and often seek their company.

I'm happy to offer alternative words. I know many, as I am a student of the English language and can be rather sly and witty. You might even call me a Cunning Linguist. [/subtlehintfortheladies]

I hope the whole island of Puerto Rico hears about what this guy wrote, say about 24 hours before he returns for a visit.

One little quibble, Michele. It is more useful to think in terms of the Iraq campaign>/i>, or the Afghanistan campaign, instead of the Iraq or Afghanistan "war". These things are all interconnected, and serve the same end. The war proper is probably going to take a decade or two to conclude, with any luck.

Aaarrghgh...

Gonzalez's article is like a bloody car accident on an expressway. You can't help but look.

His ignorance is boundless apparently. I considered knocking down the whole article myself, but why bother?

Tillman's actions ultimately come down to courage and self-sacrifice. Liberals generally do not identify with either, so it would be akin to speaking a foreign language.

Shame also on the Daily Collegian for an enormous lack of judgment.

Honest Abe signing in again:

In reponse to the earlier responses: no, I don't think that Bryant, et al are "admirable" for being highly-paid athletes. I don't necessarily think that being a soldier is inherently "admirable" either. Such things depend primarily on your value system. Kneejerk support of all soldiers is a pretty untenable position, people have all sorts of motivations for wanting to be soldiers. Admittedly patriotism, honor, etc. are amongst those motivations.

Nevertheless, given the choice between a lucrative football contract and a life of true danger, most rational people would choose the money. Is Tillman an idiot? I think so. However, that doesn't necessarily mean he's any less heroic or admirable.

Heroic and admirable is not equal to smart. Ok?

Abe Abe Abe,

Most people bought pet rocks. Does that make it smart? If most people jumped off a cliff to their deaths would that make them smart or Lemmings?

I do agree that most people would have picked the money and the NFL fame. I would have. But that don't make me smart. Because of it, I hold my manhood cheap by his standard.

Pat is a hero because he lived and died to a higher standard. Pat is a hero because, for his own noble reasons, he took the more difficult path. Because he took a path of danger and sacrifice when he could have been selfish and lived a life of ease. Because he is an example of what a man should be.

I see the Daily Collegian's site is down, poor babies. I bet the hardly know what hit them.

From the article:
This was not "Ramon or Tyrone," who joined the military out of financial necessity, or to have a chance at education. This was a "G.I. Joe" guy who got what was coming to him.

The leftist way of "supporting our troops". "We'll support you, unless you actually really want to serve your country in combat. If any of you joined just to go to college and don't actually want to fight, you guys are our heroes! Basically, we'll support you if you're disgruntled or regret your stupid decision to join the Armed Forces and fight imperialistic wars. Otherwise you get what's coming to you."

Pat is a hero because he lived and died to a higher standard. Pat is a hero because, for his own noble reasons, he took the more difficult path. Because he took a path of danger and sacrifice when he could have been selfish and lived a life of ease. Because he is an example of what a man should be.

Did you know the man personally? It's rather presumptuous to assume that he joined the Rangers for "noble" reasons. Sure, we'd all like to think so.

What's really stupid is thinking that everybody involved in this war is a bona-fide hero and magnanimous to boot.

And what's so great about taking a difficult path? And how is playing pro football easy? It's no guarantee of moral superiority.

I leave it at this: it's certainly impolite to call Tillman's integrity or intelligence into question, especially when he isn't around to answer his critics. (I am guilty as Gonzales in that regard.) But this knee-jerk hero worship stuff is pretty dubious.

Abe,
You obviously are oblivious to:

1) Tillman's educational record
2) Tillman's action and words on and off the field of football
3) Maslow' Hierarchy of Needs
4) Peggy Noonan's essay on Tillman almost two years ago

Otherwise, any logical person could not arrive at your conclusions. The evidence is there. It's disappointing that you equate a sense of honor and a commitment to the "greater good" as idiocy.

If you're young, you doomed to a sad life with your current attitude. If you're older, you must lead a bitter life (or will when you realize that security and meeting your most basic needs is no way to live life)

Michele, you did a fine job of fisking this.

"Al-Qaeda won't be defeated in Afghanistan, even if we did kill all their operatives there."

No, I'd say if they're all dead... they're pretty much defeated.

Obviously, they teach Chomsky at UMass.

And "Honest Abe", just because someone finds duty and honor a higher priority than money- it doesn't make them an idiot. I don't disparage those that choose not to serve; try to give those that do that same respect.

I just thought of something....is the viciousness of this article based on the fact Tillman was white?

If this had been a black or hispanic athlete would he have been so personally vindictive?

It's rather presumptuous to assume that he joined the Rangers for "noble" reasons. Sure, we'd all like to think so.

What's really stupid is thinking that everybody involved in this war is a bona-fide hero and magnanimous to boot.

It's been 2 1/2 years since Sept 11. In that time more than one soldier, marine, sailor or airman has enlisted or re enlisted. This also includes nat'l guardsmen and reservists.

Every one of them has their own reasons. I'm not naive, I've spent 15 years in the company of soldiers, from active duty through guard and reserves. There are some who have visions of Rambo, some who really don't belong in the job, but isn't there in every occupation? Of those I know and know well, money, lack of options or college education is not the reason behind why they do what they do.

What I hear most has to do with family, children and most often, protecting their country.

My husband re-upped 2 months after Sept 11. His ETS date will come again this year while he's in Afghanistan, the paperwork has already been signed. Contrary to popular belief, the Army is actually ahead of it's retainment goals in most areas, the only place they are behind in those goals is in mid career nco's, and even there it is by less than 2.6 percent. (figures from the Army Times 4/26/04 edition)

My husband is in the Guard. He's 36 years old, college educated, and while he's on active duty, he earns about half of his usual civilian salary. He is not unusual, I can name you more than 80 families in his company alone who are in the same position. This is the second time since 9/11 that he's been activated. We know how these activations affect our families, we know what the change will be to our family income,we know what the change will be to our husbands themselves, yet they still re enlist..why? It's sure not for the money, the glory, the living conditions in the field, or the great food.

They may not be your heroes, but they are mine. They reenlist knowing it will take them away from their families and put them in harms way, they reenlist knowing that it will affect their income and put their families through hardship. If they don't, who will? You may believe it's stupid to walk away from an easier life, what would happen if they all did the same? You may not appreciate them, but I do, each and every one of them.

Tink,
Thank you.

"This site is experiencing high traffic. Please try back later today."

Heh.

Not just money Abe. A family. Which I would bet was higher on Tillman's list of priorities than the NFL.

Stop denigrating something truly admirable by saying "he should have grabbed the 3M". You have no idea what you are talking about.

In almost every case where asinine comments like this are made, the culprit either has a college degree--usually a graduate degree--or is in the process of getting one. Those with high school and community-college degrees don't seem to usually say this kind of thing.

It seems to me that there is something about American college education today, especially in grad schools, which acts to disconnect people from ordinary concepts of decency.

Abe: Do you know what the First Rule of Holes is?
When you're in one, STOP DIGGING.
You've already made yourself look like a fool. Every time you open your mouth to defend your foolish opinion, you make yourself look MORE like a fool.
Stop digging, dude.

Via Drudge, from the Boston Globe:

"UMass president Jack Wilson issued a statement saying Rene Gonzalez' comments in The Daily Collegian 'are a disgusting, arrogant and intellectually immature attack on a human being who died in service to his country.'"

At least someone isn't hiding behind the 1st Amendment on this one. Gonzalez has the right to say any foolish thing he pleases, but that doesn't make him immune to criticism. Attaboy, Mr. Wilson.

I know two Puerto Ricans who have served in the US Army and think this guy is a complete tool. My father-in-law (Combat Engineer) and my wife (Registered Nurse).

The Daily Collegian can say what it wants to about protecting the First Amendment and free speech but last time I checked, that did not extend to personal attacks on the living or deceased nor does it cover discrimation against those people. That article was a personal attack on someone who the vast majority of Americans regard as a hero and it was hidden behind the veil of a leftist point of view.
I'll give an example. If, while at work, I verbally sexually harass a co-worker, I will get fired. I can't sue to get my job back claiming it was my First Amendment right to say the things I said.
That article never should have been published. A point of view can be printed without personally attacking another human being.
It is my sincere hope that someone out there gives this PoS a beating. I can not remember the last time I read something so insulting.

It is a damn shame to see this imbicile getting so much proverbial ink. This is exactly what he intended when composing such a ludacris article. Pat Tillman, along with every other U.S. and foreign soldier operating in the Middle East, is/was a much more admirable individual than one who can write such an article as this fool has. Lose your Monday morning quarterback/backseat driver ideology and be a man! An educated individual such as this fool is would be expected to be much more enlightened than this article portrays. Simply put, you're a massive tool Renee!

Here is Rene Gonzalez’s e-mail and phone number at UMASS:
Rene L Gonzalez rene@student.umass.edu (413) 253-9639

Something in that heading told me to just stop reading there. Click the X, close the page, hit the back button; do anything but read it.

Of course, I read it.

So why did you read it, Michele?

Serious question. I'm curious.

Honest Abe responds:


1) Tillman's educational record
2) Tillman's action and words on and off the field of football
3) Maslow' Hierarchy of Needs
4) Peggy Noonan's essay on Tillman almost two years ago

1) His educational record is irrelevant. People without college degrees do not have a monopoly on making stupid decisions.
2) This is begging the question. You seem to think that enlisting is de facto an admirable act.
3) If being a Ranger made Tillman feel good about himself, more power to him. It's nobody's business but his.
4) Noonan's piece contains nothing more than the same types of speculation you are making about Tillman's character.

So, Abe, care to speculate as to why Tillman joined up? You seem to be implying over and over again that his motives weren't necessarily noble.

That reminded me that I have not played 'bat the mouse' with that little gray fuzz ball here lately.

I'm not saying that Tillman's personal motives were anything less than admirable, I'm saying that I don't know what they were, and neither does anybody else, except for Tillman.

Perhaps it's because he had a spine. You know that thing that holds your head up. Perhaps he loved freedom and living in a free country. These are two things you take advantage of. But perhaps it's that you speak badly of a hero because you know you'll never be one. So sad to see yellow bellied idiots wallow in the their stupidity. Oh, well, enjoy.

This is the note that should be sent to anyone that thinks that Pat Tillman was not a hero.

This is the note that should be sent to anyone that thinks that Pat Tillman was not a hero.

Should we send it once, or twice, for good measure?

Abe, you are not worthy to scrub the chamber pot of the real Honest Abe. Like an automaton programmed to spew hatred, you assume that anyone who goes into the military must be a fool. Thank goodness we still have dedicated young men and women who love their country so much they will even defend clueless ignoramuses like yourself.

Yes, it's true - Rene L Gonzalez rene@student.umass.edu (413) 253-9639
is not typical of the Puerto Ricans I knew when I served in the Army. And anyone who uses the word "pendejo" to mean "fool" is only blowing smoke, as it has many other meanings, and most of them are vulgar. My comments are based on personal experience and observation, not on hate speech & propaganda.

Ummm, he joined the army with his brother after being affected by the tragedies of 9-11. Skipped out on $$$ and went to fight for his country. Honest Abe? He didn't want to be interviewed, or anything after he made his announcement. What's wrong with you?

Really, there's no need to respond to me anymore. You see, I was recently outed as an "automaton programmed to spout hatred."

I seriously don't know what your problem is.

To you, a hero, to me, a ham sandwich.

It astounds me how up in arms people get when one fails to parrot the platitudes of Peggy Noonan.


Honest Abe says:

1) His educational record is irrelevant. People without college degrees do not have a monopoly on making stupid decisions.
2) This is begging the question. You seem to think that enlisting is de facto an admirable act.
3) If being a Ranger made Tillman feel good about himself, more power to him. It's nobody's business but his.
4) Noonan's piece contains nothing more than the same types of speculation you are making about Tillman's character.

1) By all accounts, Tillman was a high GPA student who completed his degree in less than the four (five?) years that most students schedule for their education. He probably had a bit more going for him in regards to brains than you seem willing to credit him with.
2)Enlisting and re-enlisting are, in fact, admirable acts. Very few recruits wash out of their intial training (the military does a decent job of filtering the unworthy/incapable out via recruiters and MEPS personnel. Drill Instructors will ALWAYS catch the straphangers). The immediate reasons for an intial enlistment might be difficult to quantify: rarely is college money, "free" healthcare or the nifty uniforms enough to get a person to sign away 3-6 years of their lives. The thing people like you will NEVER understand is that the vast majority of young troops quickly find that they have invested themselves in something much larger than... well... themselves! And that's a damned fine location to find one's self. The problem, though, is that enlisting for the military automatically disqualifies the enlistee from enjoying the basic rights of every other American citizen; the Constitution does not apply to members of the US Armed Forces. "Selfless service to Country" is a core Army value. It's the premise of everything a soldier does and that, in itself, is an admirable endevor.
3)Being a Ranger is not about self-esteem. I'm sure you're not aware of this, but Ranger training consists of three distinct phases. At the end of each phase, every candidate can be "peered out"; that is, his fellow candidates can exercise a veto over his continued training, thus ending any hopes of being an Army Ranger. The two candidates I knew who had been peered received the distinction specifically because they were there to feel good about themselves ("Rangers get all the chicks, man."). Live, sweat and bleed long enough with someone, and you'll figure out pretty quickly whether or not he's there for the flashy Ranger headgear, or if he's there to learn to Lead The Way.
4)Let's see: NFL player walks away from multi-million dollar contract to sign up for some of the toughest military training in the world in the midst of war for the princely sum of $17K a year (and that "free" healthcare)... um... if not definitive, it's AT THE VERY LEAST a good indicator of the quality of Tillman's character.

Just a quick comment, I've never been on this site before today, as I was forwarded this link by a colleague. I'd like to throw my $0.02 in if you'd indulge me. As for this Gonzales character, he has no idea. I almost felt sorry for him when I read his piece, someone who is so clouded by their political beliefs that he will attack anything that does not support his beliefs. My bet is it stems from the fact that Tillman's character, selfless service and determination made his life pursuing his music degree or whatever it is look as silly and unimportant as it is. While he sits in his comfortable chair, taking cheap shots at a fallen soldier, Tillman's company is still duking it out in the Hindu Kush. And, for the record, I have a friend in Tillman's battalion, who says he was the finest example of an American and a Ranger as could be found anywhere. Both he and his brother left professional sports because they wanted to serve. I see no way that you cannot see that. Many soldiers join not because we want to be Rambos, or come home with a chestful of medals and cheering crowds filled with women running out to kiss us. When I got back from Afghanistan, we piled off the plane at 2AM, and being home and having done our job was enough. If Tillman were here to speak, he'd probably deny being a hero, although that's exactly what he was. Say what you will about Bush, Cheney and Rummsfeld running the country, but no matter what youre beliefs, a man who will lay down his life to protect yours is at least worthy of common decency to not attack him after he has died. If you want to pick on our leaders, so be it, but Tillman had no more to do with the making policy in Afghanistan than did Gonzales. He was just doing what he thought was right, and giving his all so that the freedoms of people like Gonzales could be preserved. Well that ended up being a bit longer than I expected, but I got about all of it out. Enjoy the rest of your discussion, and thank you for posting this Michelle.

I'm just a sports fan who came across this article by chance. Who knows? maybe it'll be front page news tomorrow. I think it deserves a good debate, none of which the likes of mr. gonzalez can argue. If you're going to argue how service men/women think, I'd read jb181's $0.02.

I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, therefore I am an American citizen by birth. I am American by choice: I live here because I truly believe this is the best country in the world. I also place high value on character, and on people like Pat Tillman who lived by their convictions. It is therefore twice as offensive to read diatribes such as this, and to hear Gonzalez talk of "my neighborhood in Puerto Rico", and watch him gasbag his way through some sort of tripe about "those living outside the (sic) American borders".

I am insulted, and angry to a point beyond words, to see the man who wrote this refer to Pat Tillman as a pendejo. While Gonzalez says it means "idiot", the word originally meant pubic hair, and its equivalent in English slang is a**h*le.

I am appalled that a college newspaper would not check the meaning of the word, and went on to publish "a disgusting, arrogant and intellectually immature attack on a human being who died in service to his country".

I am disgusted that people like Gonzalez can lead parasitic lives in freedom, benefiting from the guarantees of the American Constitution to free speech, simply because throughout our history heroes like Tillman have died for the cause of liberty. I am so disgusted that even when I'm aware that bringing to anyone's attention this "writer" glorifies him, I must comment on it.

Michelle, thanks for the additional material. until now, I didn't think much of the Tillman story. to me, he is one of many heroes, and we are a lucky nation to have them. often, gripers like rene only serve to point out that most people realize and appreciate this undeserved benefit of US citizenship.

but that top jock had a 3.82 gpa too? I worked my butt off for cum laude; I can now appreciate the man on a human, personal level.

Twice for good measure. I do agree with Bloodthirsty Warmonger that there's no way in hell I would let you scrub my toilet with your tongue.

I am a Puerto Rican female born here in the US. My parents and oldest brother were born on the island. My mother still lives there and in no way does the writings of Rene Gonzalez and his political views reflect any of our opinions. My uncles on both sides of the family served in the Korean War. My father was drafted during the Vietnam War. One brother served in the NAVY for five years only to enlist in the ARMY following his end of enlistment. My other brother enlisted into the Air Force. Neither did so for college money or because they were poor.

When I was 17 yr old 11th grader (1997), I tested and signed up for enlistment in the US ARMY. I was neither desperate nor poor nor did I need the college money. In fact, I joined because I knew I was not ready for college. I felt the military would allow me the time to grow as a person and travel the world and in return I could give back to a country that afforded me so many blessings. When I mentioned to my father of wanting to join the military, he told me he would rather see me finish college first but that in truth “the ARMY changed his life.”

7 years later, I sit here writing you (America) in my Army fatigues. My only "soldier's wish" is that my country, my fellow citizens, do not buy into the stereotypes of soldiers or other military members. We are not brain-washed idiots. We serve out of Love. Love for country, Love for our families and Love for our fellow soldiers. We have honor and selfless service and believe in those values. And when we die on the battlefield… we die for our families, our fellow and fallen soldiers and for you. We sacrifice not just our lives but our way of life, so you can enjoy yours and never have to endure oppression. My family will only know the taste of freedom, so help me God.

September 11, 2001 was an attack on our way of life. Do not wonder why American soldiers head so eagerly to the battlefield. We are protecting you, protecting your freedoms. We live outside the protective shell. We see the world for what it is: Cruel and harsh. Hatred that runs deep. Contrary to what many Americans believe, there are only a hand-full of countries that care to keep us around and mostly for protection as well. In the end, we will prevail and the truth will be known of all the collaboration between so-called friendly nations and the terrorist networks. After all is said and done, YOUR military will still be here defending your liberties.

I will defend my nation even though it includes defending the American air that traitorous weasel, Rene Gonzalez, is blessed to breathe. Not approving of the war is his opinion. He has a right to that opinion. Slandering the name and character of a fallen soldier that died for him, is not a right; that is a privilege that we’ve allowed Gonzalez and others like him to have. Why? Because we give no reprimand to citizens that lie and slander. I’m here to protect the honor and integrity of Pat Tillman and every other soldier that serves his/her country. People like Rene Gonzalez need to learn the hard way that our Bill of Rights does not give us the right to slander and in no way states you can not be held accountable for your action which includes cheap shots at war casualties for your 10 seconds of fame. He will get what’s coming to him.

Honor, Loyalty, Integrity & Selfless Service still exists.

Soldier's Code
I. I am an American soldier — a protector of the greatest nation on earth — sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States.

II. I will treat others with dignity and respect and expect others to do the same.

III. I will honor my Country, the Army, my unit and my fellow soldiers by living the Army Values.

IV. No matter what situation I am in, I will never do anything for pleasure, profit, or personal safety which will disgrace my uniform, my unit, or my Country.

V. Lastly, I am proud of my Country and its flag. I want to look back and say that I am proud to have served my Country as a soldier.

Arlene,

I couldn't have said it better. You've captured the essence of why a soldier serves. I am a soldier. Everyone who serves in the military is a hero in my book. I think I can speak for all my fellow soldiers when I post this quote:

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself"
-John Stewart Mill

I would first of all like to thank Michelle and all the others who have spoen on the side of reason. As a soldier i am appauled at the comments of this student. I am a veteran of both Afghanastan and Iraq. Pat Tillman is every bit the hero that the media has portreyed and then some. Every soldier who enlisted before and after 9/11 is a hero as defined by Websters, "an object of extreme admiration and devotion". Whether you agree with the the war on terror or not you cannot in good conscience beleieve that soldiers are just out for blood and glory. We do what we do not to seek fame and fortune but to protect the basic rights which our ancestors fought to attain. The same rights in which this publication is claiming to be the reason that this ridiculous article ran in. I am proud of each and every one of comrades and I am saddened at the loss of my fallen comrades. God help this misguided soul and God bless America.

So let me get this straight...

The Jihadis want to kill us because we're infidel. We're infidel because we're not fundamentalist Muslim. I'm not a fundamentalist muslim because my parents didn't raise me that way. They weren't raised that way by their parents, etc etc.

So the root cause of this terrorism is the existence of other religions.

Just how, exactly, are we supposed to address that root cause? We could all convert, I suppose. But I'm thinking a certain "a" word there and the infamous phrase "peace in our time".

When my BN Xo sent me Rene's article I was angered like most of my fellow officers who also read it. I was in Iraq and still have many frinds there. What Rene said was a slander on anyone who is/has served. I have written a two page respose to Rene and tried to eamil it to him but lo and behold both the adresses were gone. I even went to the UMass website adn he is no longer listed in the student directory. So i vented my spleen for nothing other than it made me feel good. I am a third generation EIB reciepient and am proud of my service even if it means protectingthe rights of cowardly scum like him. George Orwell descibed it best with " People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
Just my two cents

Hey Gonzalez:

besame culo, tu pendejo!

It seems Rene and Abe both criticize the memory of Pat Stillman because he gave up wealth to serve others. When (if) Rene and Abe mature, they will learn that self-centeredness is not an attractive trait in a person. They also embarass themselves when they criticize altruism in such extreme terms.

Elizabeth said: "I can blow that "only the poor join" crap right out of the water. My son-in-law is in the Navy and just reenlisted. His parents have more money than you can shake a stick at. He has a educational fund that he could have PAID CASH to go to college AND graduate school. And he chose to join."

The very same is true of my fiancé. He had a scholarship to USC, but he turned it down to enlist in the Navy. He did so because he wanted a life far different from his father's, whose side of the family have traditionally been doctors, not to mention extremely wealthy.

Here's the kicker: being a doctor sounds so noble, doesn't it? I'm sure Abe and Rene would consider them heroes (Abe especially, since they were wealthy). His father's family was anything but -- arrogant, selfish, emotionally cold. What's more, his father abused drugs and alcohol, and was a philanderer. He was a good doctor, but my fiancé informs me that a hero he certainly was not. Money has failed to make them happy or even content. They had nothing to live for save themselves, and it showed -- by the time my fiancé's father passed away several years ago, he had been married to his fifth wife and probably would have divorced her had he lived long enough.

My fiancé enlisted because he sought something greater than himself and wanted to serve his country. He wanted to experience the world, and he wanted to give back to this country. And the only reason he did not re-enlist was because he did not want to subject me and our family to Navy lifestyle (out to sea for most of the year) And incidentally, my fiancé is Hispanic.

There are those who probably wouldn't see him as a hero because he refused his family's money and career to avoid becoming a philandering parasite...but that does not change the fact that he's still wise for avoiding that lifestyle, not to mention worlds braver than Abe or Rene could ever hope to be. One day fools like them might realise that their opinions are only important to themselves, and that their perception does not define reality. The reality is that my fiancé is a hero...as is Pat Tillman.

I read the below quote today and find it suitable toward the current situation involving Rene Gonzales. I am glad to see that many of you were as appalled by Rene's article as I. Thanks and God Bless America. "It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves under the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag."

People, if you don't respect the soldiers who serve this great country than who do you respect because these people are at the top of my list when it comes to respect.

Rene is a fool!
I wish he would get thown out of school

Rene is a fool!
I wish he would get thown out of school

Rene is a jerk, worst than that he's givin Puertorricans everywhere a bad name.
No, we are not different that any of you, we're not idiots or stupid, in fact puertorricans are very smart people, and we also serve our country(USA), so I don't see the difference.
Unfortunately Rene is part of a small minority of P-ricans that think they can speak for all of us,they also think that the island can do better without the US, but ironically goes to school in the US. In Puerto Rico nobody would have pay attention to his stupid comments.
I don't know what neighborhood he's talking about because in my neighborhood I don't think he's welcomed.
Anyways, I'm proud to be an american, I work for the Defense Logistics Agency, and our main purpose is to buy the supplies that our troops need, I do my work as hard as I can everyday because I know they depend on me too, in that way I feel I'm doing my part.