Comments and My Reply

My last post brought a couple of thoughtful comments that deserve your consideration. I want to thank my readers for taking the time to write them. Government overreaching their authority to gain power is always a problem. I’m just not sure that this particular situation fits the bill.

I still think if you go to Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, join Al-Qaeda, make DVDs and magazines where you publicly advocate the bombing and killing of Americans, you have poked the bear. How was anyone supposed to capture them, extradite them, hold a trial? This is war in the 21st century. Non-nation state players, people with religious allegiance over national patriotism, modern surveillance, and drone weapons.

This does not suggest that I think a U.S. citizen in the United States, suspected of the similar activity, should be killed in a drone attack by the CIA. In that case, he should be arrested and given a trial. In fact, 2 days ago I posted about just such a situation and thought his arrest was the proper outcome. It is even further away from suggesting that a person who supports the rights enumerated in the Constitution and wants the government to stop spending money it doesn’t have is a terrorist.

On the primary point of my post, my search for a candidate to vote for next November continues. I want a social libertarian, fiscal conservative, with a strong sense of American exceptionalism and some idea how to deal with the national debt, Islamic extremism, and the ongoing economic depression. If you’re that candidate, or you know who that candidate is, leave me a comment. I held my nose and voted for McCain last time, but I will not do that again.

Scratch Ron Paul Off the Candidates List

I’m done with Ron Paul. If you don’t recognize that we are at war and we are going to be killing people for being the enemy, you don’t need to be trying to run for any elected office. Ron thinks we should be arresting them and putting them on trial. I think we should be finding them and killing them at every opportunity. If that is assassination, I’m in favor of it. They weren’t just Muslim terrorists, either. They were traitors. Self described “proud traitors” who had thrown away their citizenship in the United States to go and join al-Qaeda.

John Thomason, The Kipling of The Corps

John Thomason was an artist and writer in the early 20th Century. The Marine Corps was his subject. His knowledge was based on his experiences in WWI and his overseas service in the ’20s and ’30s. Wiki has a short bio and a list of titles. It misses how popular and widely read his work was.

Back in 1993, American Heritage Magazine had a long biographical article about him. It is now available online. Here’s a quote from the end of it.

John W. Thomason was the prototype of a vanished Marine Corps era; the Old Breed survived from the First World War until it was submerged by the hordes of new recruits in the Second. He was a hugely competent writer, if not from the top literary drawer, at the very top of the second. His characters were neither complex nor deep (with the possible exception of Praxiteles Swan), but they were alive, men (and women) of action, with no forced macho overtones, and their dialogue was vivid and rang true; for all his physical problems, Thomason never suffered from a tin ear.

His prose, moreover, is unique; he shares with Rudyard Kipling and H. H. Munro (Saki) the distinction of having stamped his identity on every paragraph. Nothing he wrote could ever be mistaken for anyone else’s work. His writing was lean and muscular (not always a favorite adjective with current critics), but it was also sensitive, and it carried his stories buoyantly, with never a word wasted. His values were clean and clear-cut; those aspiring to acquire the elements of literary style can do far worse than turning to his pages. His illustrations were equally unique; his simplest sketch can’t be confused with that of any other artist.

Few remember him now (there are, astonishingly, even Marines who can’t identify him), but for decades he stood for the Marine Corps, for the Old Corps and its old values, and for high adventure in distant and exotic climes.

And here’s an example of his sketches.

If you want to read something that captures what it was to be a Marine in the decades before WWII, rummage around some used book stores and pick up some of John Thomason’s work.

Massachusetts Man Islamist Arrested in Terror Plot

Making explosive detonators from cell phones. Planning to attack the Pentagon with a drone aircraft and explosives.

Is he a Tea Party nutjob? Perhaps a Christian fundamentalist angered by the end of DADT? No, it’s just what you expected. Rezwan Ferdaus missed the whole religion of peace memo and decided that some violent jihad would please his god.

Here the quote of the article for me:

Asked at one point about possibly killing women and children, Ferdaus allegedly said all unbelievers of Islam were his enemies.

Good job to the law enforcement involved in this one. And a note to the MSM, calling him a man from Massachusetts and a homegrown extremist, a U.S. citizen and Northwestern University graduate doesn’t change the source of his motivations. All those things are true, I’m sure, but they make his crime worse. He took an oath of citizenship but he is not one of us, he lied under oath, believing that to be acceptable, because he was only lying to infidels.