Rand Paul, senator and GOP presidential candidate made campaign stump speeches in Minnesota today, including this 20 minute speech he gave in front of an enthusiastic audience in Rochester Minnesota
by Jeremy Griffith
American Millennium Online
Politico writer Kyle Cheney and his liberal news organization is receiving some heat today after fabricating a Dan-Ratheresque lie about claims made by Dr. Ben Carson, the African-American GOP presidential candidate. Caught in a lie meant to smear a minority that they fear, Politico editors are standing by their story despite the backlash from right wing blogs.
In a story published November 6th around noon and later updated, Politico claims that Dr. Ben Carson, once a junior ROTC cadet at the high school he attended, was offered an appointment to the prestigious Army Military Academy at West Point but turned it down. The author of the story states that Carson misled people about the appointment and full ride scholarship that didn’t really happen.
Says Politico: Ben Carson’s campaign on Friday admitted, in a response to an inquiry from POLITICO, that a central point in his inspirational personal story was fabricated: his application and acceptance into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Later on in the story, Politico states: When presented with these facts, Carson’s campaign conceded the story was false.
“Dr. Carson was the top ROTC student in the City of Detroit,” campaign manager Barry Bennett wrote in an email to POLITICO. “In that role he was invited to meet General Westmoreland. He believes it was at a banquet. He can’t remember with specificity their brief conversation but it centered around Dr. Carson’s performance as ROTC City Executive Officer.”
“He was introduced to folks from West Point by his ROTC Supervisors,” Bennett added. “They told him they could help him get an appointment based on his grades and performance in ROTC. He considered it but in the end did not seek admission.”
Conservative blog “The Right Scoop” get’s it right in exposing the hypocrisy in a great piece on this yet another political debacle perpetrated by a liberal news organization on a Republican political candidate. You can read the whole story at the link above. You’ll remember no doubt the political hack job done by CBS’s Dan Rather and producer Mary Mapes on then president George W. Bush stating that he had shirked his duties as an Air National Guard pilot to pursue a political career. That whole nonsense was made up based on clearly forged documents made up by another political hack meant to smear Bush. Today Mapes and Rather no longer work at CBS; having been forced into retirement in shame. Don’t worry for them though. Their Hollywood buddies have doubled down on that shame by making and equally fraudulent movie about them starring none other than Robert Redford, a great actor but yet another shill for the liberal left.
Rich Lowry talks about this strange development in his column for the New York Post entitled: Dan Rather’s Big Lie Hits the Big Screen.
Lowry poignantly writes: In their perversely titled film (Truth), Robert Redford plays Dan Rather, and Cate Blanchet plays Mary Mapes, the erstwhile CBS News anchor and producer who collaborated on a spectacularly flawed September 2004 story about George W. Bush’s National Guard service. Their report should be taught at journalism schools for a long time to come as an object lesson in how not to attempt journalism.
Their report should be taught at journalism schools for a long time to come as an object lesson in how not to attempt journalism. -Rich Lowry, New York Post
It seems to me that so-called journalists can’t seem to learn from the past mistakes of others. The Bush National Guard story where well-known and heralded journalists got fired for fraudulent and shoddy work you would think would be an object lesson. But apparently, Politico doesn’t get it.
Lowry’s genius continues later in the story where he writes: In a better world, the bloggers who exposed the malfeasance of these seemingly untouchable mandarins of the media would be the ones to get the feature-length film. Not only did they uncover the truth — to borrow a term — they were plucky underdogs whose exertions to prevail against a broadcasting behemoth signaled the beginning of a new, more democratic era in the history of the country’s media.
In a better world, the bloggers who exposed the malfeasance of these seemingly untouchable mandarins of the media would be the ones to get the feature-length film. Not only did they uncover the truth — to borrow a term — they were plucky underdogs whose exertions to prevail against a broadcasting behemoth signaled the beginning of a new, more democratic era in the history of the country’s media. -Rich Lowry, New York Post
Politico’s story, like the Dan Rather George Bush story, is yet another political hack job meant to scare voters away from a conservative political candidate that they fear. Far from attempting to demonstrate the real political view and facts of the candidates, the left and their media arm, the main stream press, is obsessed with smearing candidates on the right and provide cover for the candidates on the left.
We’ve seen this clearly in the last CNBC GOP debate in Denver where the moderators attempted to excoriate the candidates and where their efforts blew up in their faces when Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and others stood up to them and pointed out their bias to raucous applause. We can only hope that blogs on the right keep up the fight for the truth against these left wing smear jobs.
No less than Rush Limbaugh piled on to the Carson West Point story with his expert analysis on his radio show this week. A clip of what Rush said is available here.
As the political season continues to unfold, you can expect to see more personal attacks on the candidates on the right, such as Marco Rubio’s credit issues, or Ben Carson’s West Point non-appointment, and more fawning over Hillary Clinton and less about here e-mails, classified documents, Benghazi, or the $6 Billion in tax payer funds she lost while she was Secretary of State.
In the leftist’s militaristic fashion it should be pointed out how this story would have gone if we were talking about a right wing media outlet attacking a minority leftist candidate like Barack Obama. Claims of racism would be flying everywhere. Would it be fair to label Politico writers as racist for attacking Ben Carson in this fashion? How much traction would that get?
In the end, Ben Carson doesn’t need to cry about racism because he transcends the whole race-baiting scenario. He’s a world famous brain surgeon responsible for saving people’s lives, the lives of young children specifically. Carson is a hero and that scares the left. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realize that the leftist media is in panic mode in their efforts to discredit strong political opposition form the right.
Nobody likes the blinking lights in their rear view mirror as they are being pulled over by law enforcement; but when you call for help, you want an armed officer there yesterday. It’s time we say thank you to our local men and women, (and dogs) of law enforcement.
I live in southeast Rochester. In my immediate neighborhood, and the extended neighborhood, there is crime. So much so that it can be dangerous. I’ve been awakened at night by gunfire. Not every night, but once in a while. In a park not far from my house, in broad daylight, a thug gunned down other thugs who robbed him previously. Right next to my house, on my very street, an county sheriff’s deputy was assaulted when he stopped an alleged drug trafficker in a routine traffic stop.
This week a Rochester police officer had his legs pinned when a drunk driver who was thrown out of a local bar drove off, struck a couple of cars and smashed into the officer. Nice huh?
In this day and age, there is a lot of animus about police, black lives matter and all of that nonsense. The fact is there are some bad police officers out there, and the system will work to weed those out. But the vast majority of law enforcement officers are hard working, loyal and dedicated. We should give them the benefit of the doubt.
In the upcoming holiday season I suggest that we remember how hard it is to be a cop and keep the neighborhoods safe. If you see a police officer in uniform, waive to him or her and say thank you. If you are an officer, know that we are grateful for your service and we want you to stay safe. We are proud of you and we want you to know it. Feel free to tell us what you need so that we can help you to continue to do the very difficult job that we require you to do. Thank you, and God bless you all.
(Highlights of Fort Snelling CVA event. Video by Jeremy Griffith, American Millennium Online.)
by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online
This weekend my girlfriend and I attended an event in Minneapolis for veterans sponsored by Concerned Veterans for America. We had good food and entertainment, with a call to action at the end.
This was apparently the last stop of CVA’s Defend America 2015 Tour. Registration was free and they served hot beef and pork sandwiches and pop to those who attended. CVA’s Pete Hegseth headlined the event, flanked by Gold Star Mom Karen Vaughn, Army Ranger Captain Sean Parnell, Jason Quick, and popular musicians Ayla Brown and Madison Rising.
Hegseth interests me because we have somewhat of a shared story. We served in the Minnesota National Guard together in the same division around the same time. He served in Afghanistan while I served in Iraq. I met him one time when he was running for congress. I covered his campaign for this blog. He’s gone on from that loss to become an advocate for veterans and a successful radio and TV pundit, now contributing to Fox News on a regular basis.
Hegseth high lighted the recent failures of the VA and proposed a way to change it and hold it accountable. He handed out a proposal to those of us who were interested prepared by expert advisors called Fixing Veteran Health Care. The veterans he said have been the victim of a horrible government monopoly where the customers are not valued for who they are: heroes. The employees are secure in the knowledge that they can’t be fired or held in any way accountable for failing to provide adequate service. As I drove to the venue there at Basecamp, located on the unsecure side of Fort Snelling, I pondered this issue as I observed several signs posted right on Fort Snelling property addressing this very issue. They said, “The VA Lied, Veterans Died!” I didn’t get to see what group published the large billboards.
I’ve heard it said on Facebook and elsewhere that over a third of all veterans waiting for health care from the Veterans Administration have died while they’ve been waiting. Some of them, too many, suffering while they wait have chosen to commit suicide rather than wait any longer. This is unacceptable to me and many veterans and is one of the reasons I was curious about this rally.
Hegseth says their proposal is the beginning of a bill that will be presented to congress to hold VA employees accountable for providing inadequate, (or no) care, giving administrators the ability to fire those employees who under perform, providing the administration has the political will to do so. I’m not convinced that they do provided their history. So far the VA head has resigned, and two people have been fired but none have been prosecuted, problematic considering that administrators in the Arizona VA actually purged patients names on waiting lists so as to make their numbers look better.
The Defend America tour seems like a political rah rah rally to get veterans fired up to take political action on their own behalf. Interesting if true. Hegseth says he wants to create an Army of veterans who don’t hang up their uniforms and stow their boots after they leave the service, but continually serve their country in the interest of the nation. I have to admit, I’m intrigued by the prospect. I think a lot of veterans of my generation are not interested in the current veterans organizations, who offer a club to drink beer and eat burgers and pull on pull tabs while telling war stories with other veterans. We want something a little more involved. This might be it. I signed on for grass roots training later this month. I’ll let you know what I learn.
This week was the anniversary of 9-11 and many of us remember that fateful day with sadness and loss. I remember it for another reason. On this day last year, my girlfriend turned fiancé passed her test in Minneapolis to become a US Citizen. Emigrating from the Philippines 8 years ago, she has settled in to the American way of life such as it is. She often says, watching the news of the day, that America isn’t the America it once was and I agree. This was a good way for us to celebrate her anniversary. She was all smiles that evening and it was great to see.
We sat across from new friends we’d just made. She met a Filipina married to an American gentleman and they became Facebook friends on the spot. Across from me, talking about weird coincidences, sat John, a former Command Sergeant Major from my old unit. I retired in January of this year from 1-340th Training Support Battalion there at Fort Snelling. He had served as that unit’s Sergeant Major until his retirement in 2005. Small world. I think everyone enjoyed the show and learned something new.
Army Veteran Sean Parnell spoke with passion about his unit’s service in Afghanistan, telling about one harrowing day of battle there where everyone in his small platoon sustained injuries fighting off Al Qaeda forces. Parnell is the author of The Outlaw Platoon, which is now going to be on my reading list. His story of courage was very moving.
Country Singer Ayla Brown and patriotic rock group Madison Rising performed at the event. The most interesting moment however was when Gold Star Mom Karen Vaughn got up to speak. She is the mother of fallen Navy SEAL hero Aaron Vaughn, a member of SEAL Team 6 who died with some of his colleagues on Aug. 6, 2011. Her story of her son’s courage and determination was riveting and made everyone’s eyes water. You can watch her testimony on You Tube and see for yourself.
I actually had low expectations of this event but I was actually pleasantly surprised. I’m eager to learn more about this organization. I will let you know more as I go. Attached you’ll find links to the highlights I shot of this event plus You Tube video of previous events on this tour.
(Video from Concerned Veterans For America – Defend America Tour, Austin Texas 2015.)
by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online
Late last month supporters of Glenn Beck, the popular conservative radio host, marched in Birmingham, Alabama as part of his Restoring Unity Event. The march garnered over 20,000 participants. Beck spoke at a local church there and made an astonishing announcement: that he was seeking to raise $10 million to bring 400 families of Christians besieged by ISIS in Iraq here to the United States, thus saving their lives.You can read about the Restoring Unity Rally here if you missed it and here for yourself his astonishing claims.
The American Millennium is a small one man blog for conservative thought. We would like to do our part to add to the Nazarne Fund by raising awareness and funds on our own. All the proceeds of this fund will go to Mercuryone.Org’s Nazarene Fund where the money will be used to bring Christian Families who want to leave the war zone to come here to the United States.
American Millennium has one more call to action: that people of Rochester Minnesota take a copy of this blog to your churches and secure from your congregations a vow that you will voluntarily bring a Christian Family here to your community and sponsor them until they can get on their feet and support themselves. The issue of illegal immigration is a tender one right now. It is our view that if these Christians from the most ancient Christian communities are not brought out, then we will be giving tacit permission to ISIS to slaughter these people and wipe them out. I don’t want to be responsible for that genocide.
If you approach your churches and you receive permission from your church councils to adopt a family, we would like to hear about it. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know your intentions. And then donate to the campaign listed below, or go to MercuryOne.org and donate directly. All of the funds donated to NazarneFund-Rochester will go directly to Mercury One. Your efforts are appreciated. Pay attention to this blog and the Glenn Beck Show and the Blaze for more information about this issue.
Creator of The American Millennium Online
(Robert Reich on behalf of MoveOn.org on the US-Iran Accord.)
(Dennis Prager delivers a message on the US-Iran Deal.)
by Jeremy Griffith
Creator of The American Millennium
Robert Reich, a former Clinton Crony speaking on behalf of political action organization built by the Clintons, MoveOn.org, would like you to think that the current US-Iran Accord is a good idea, that it will lead to peace, and opposition to it will only lead to war. He’s wrong, dead wrong and here’s why.
Nations that want peace don’t call for the destruction of other nations. They try to work things out with other nations and find common ground. Iran, a Muslim Theocracy disguised as a Republic, has never done so. In fact, the sole aim of the Iranian Republic (Theocracy) is to dominate the Muslim World, destroy the Jewish State of Israel and then conquer or destroy the United States of America, who it calls, the Great Satan. Israel they call, the Little Satan.
From its inception, the Iranian nation has been opposed to a Jewish state and have fought for it’s destruction. They were involved in the Israeli war of independence, which Israel won handily despite overwhelming odds. They support terror organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas within Palestine, which constantly barrage Israel with rockets and car bombs, forcing the Israeli Defense Forces to retaliate in their defense. Iran has fought a proxy war in Iraq where they’ve tried to destabilize that nation’s provisional government and have been responsible for murdering over a thousand of our servicemen and women with their roadside bombs. The name of the nation, Iran, means Arryian in Arabic. Iran was a close ally with Nazi Germany and was all in favor of the destruction of European Jews at the hands of Hitler’s forces. They have one united worldview in that regard. Fortunately the Evil of Hitler’s Nazis has left the planet. But Evil still remains in the form of the Iranian government, led by radical Muslim cleric Ayatollah Khamenei.
People like Robert Reich believe you can make peace with these people. But they have no intention of honoring a peace. Like Britian’s Neville Chamberlain, Barack Obama and his allies go to make a deal with the devil that will all but assure the Iranians get the bomb, which they have stated they are more than happy to use. Winston Churchill, the next prime minister of Britain, that great leader, saw the danger of the Nazis and of Islam, and he fought against it his whole life. He steadied his nation and eventually led the way to ultimate victory against that Evil, with the help of the United States.
The world has a new Churchillian hero, the Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, who continually warns against the dangerous course the US is taking. They’ve ceded every point to the Iranians. There will be no rigorous inspections of Iran’s nuclear sites, Iran will be allowed to do their own. Iran will get 150 billion in assets unfrozen which they will inevitably use for terror around the world. Military leaders on house arrest in Iran due to previous harsh sanctions are now free to roam, to visit Russia and plot more mischief around the world.
Congress had a chance to oppose this terrible deal, but they chose instead to vote in favor, locking the US into inevitable war. Some have even surmised that such a deal would require that if Iran goes to war with Israel, which is it’s aim, that the US would be required to enter that war on behalf of Iran against our most loyal friend and ally Israel.
Reich is an intellectual. He’s very good at making his argument. He says the only course other than this deal is war. Well Dennis Prager thinks otherwise. The answer to war is to continue with the rigorous sanctions that kept Iran largely in check. Peace Through Strength as Ronald Reagan envisioned it is how to face Evil in the world and is the strategy Reagan used to defeat the Soviet Union without firing a shot.
Reich makes distracting arguments to confuse young millenials who are afraid of all out war. He says the 12-year war we’ve been fighting is too costly, to injurious, and the cost in treasure takes away valuable assets required to help the American people at home. If the liberal progressive governments would spend discretionary funds more wisely, our schools would not be so ineffectual, our streets and bridges broken, and our infrastructure in such dire need of repair. Indeed, the US spends billions on health care and social welfare on people who are here illegally, because they don’t believe it is necessary to defend US sovereignty.
In my view, Prager makes the better argument. We need to put Iran on notice, and reinstate the sanctions that will keep the monster in it’s cage. We need new leadership in Washington, not those who will rush off to war, but those who will not shrink form defending US interests and the interests of our allies around the world.
Check out some of Reich’s claims about the budget and discretionary spending here. And then decide for yourself who is right, Reich, or Prager.
by Jeremy Griffith
American Millennium Online
Dueling marches competed for media attention Saturday, one at the Minnesota State Fair in Minneapolis and one in Birmingham, Alabama; one conducted by #blacklivesmatter, the other by radio talk show host Glenn Beck.
The Black Lives Matter protest march clearly won the media coverage battle, but only garnered 300 or so actual participants. In contrast, the Glenn Beck #All Lives Matter march garnered 20,000-30-000 marchers while being largely invisible to the national media.
Along the mile and a half march route past the State Fair Grounds marchers enjoyed police escort while at the same time chanting the anti-police epithet “pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon”. In contrast, marchers at the Beck rally were peaceful and carried signs with slogans of peace such as All Lives Matter, God is the Answer and Love One Another.
There were no injuries or law enforcement confrontations at either march.
The Birmingham march drew such celebrities such as world famous star and martial artist Chuck Norris and Alveda King, the niece of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
For more on the marches in Minneapolis and Birmingham, go to the following links below.
By Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online
Many of you already know that yesterday a deranged young man destroyed the lives of two TV journalists in Virginia. It has been remarked that it is the first Social Media murder ever, since it happened on live TV.
Apparently it was the gunman’s goal to create horror and fear in people and to incite a race war. He deliberately destroyed the lives of his former co-workers and every life that touches theirs, who holds them dear.
Attempting to make sense of the senseless, I called my brother, a much wiser man than me. He put it to me in this way. He said, we all have to build the temple from our end.
It was like an experience he had in Bosnia in the service. There were people in tanks destroying a bridge. They were not able to appreciate the functionality and beauty of the bridge, were jealous of the artistry of those who created it, and in their jealousy and resentment, unable to produce a work of their own as beautiful, they chose to destroy and tear down that which others had built.
That is what I think encapsulated the mind of this person who murdered those innocent journalists in Virginia yesterday. A former TV journalist himself, he was never able to enjoy the same success as that of his coworkers. Unable to emulate their success, and unwilling to do the hard work on his own, he chose instead to tear down others.
The Bible tells us, “Do you not know that you are God’s Temple, and the spirit of the Lord dwell’s within you?” My brother put it to me this way. You have to do the work to build your life as a temple of God. You are building your end of a great extension bridge that leads to God. And God is building the bridge from the other end. It is futile to focus on the beauty of the bridges or temples of others. While you can appreciate the work of others, you have to work on your own. It is useless to try to tear down the bridges and temples of others and will only lead to your own destruction.
My brother’s daughter plays the flute, and plays it beautifully. He goes to her concerts and listens. He tells me he will never play the flute, but he appreciates the artistry and skill it takes to play a piece of music. I have seen some magnificent things in my life, the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in Israel, the Great Pyramids in Egypt, the Cairo Museum, Mesada. In Germany I walked through a great museum dedicated to work made completely of porcelain. I will never have the skill to create such artifacts of beauty. I’m not supposed to. But I can appreciate the hard work and skill of others. I’m supposed to be working on my own temple or bridge, such as it is.
In many ways the individual who committed those awful murders is not unlike the Taliban, or Isis today, who are tearing down the things that others have built. They don’t believe in the gods of others and so they cannot appreciate the artistry and beauty. In 2001 the Taliban destroyed the beautiful statues of Buddha in Afghanistan. Today Isis is tearing down the monuments of others in Syria and Iraq. Moreover, they are destroying the lives of others who are not like themselves, Christians, Yezidis, and even other Muslims. Unable to build the temple from their end, they have to pull down the walls of others. Ultimately they will only destroy themselves, as this young murderer has done.
In the Bible there is a story about the city of Jerusalem. There was no wall around the city to protect it from invaders, and so the people were instructed to build their own portion of a wall, nearest to where they live. Everyone pitched in and built the wall, and so it got done much faster than if it had built by a crew of workman, and everyone had a hand in its construction. We all have a role to play in building the wall around our city. We must each concentrate on doing our part.
In our lives we may only lay a few stones in our temple or bridge, and that’s ok, because God is doing the vast majority of the work anyway, from His end. We won’t meet him in the middle; we won’t even make it a quarter of the way. But we must lay as many stones as we can in our lifetimes, and allow God to do the rest.
If you are building a temple, why would you let things that are unclean enter? That is what this young man did. Described as a troubled gay, black man, he let hatred and envy into his heart. He was fired over two years ago because he was impossible to work with. Feeling he was wronged apparently, he chose to destroy the lives of those he perceived had wronged him. Unwilling to build his own temple and to continue to work to build his own life, he tore down what he had built and what others had built as well. Envy, hatred, a feeling of victimhood destroyed him. We shouldn’t let it destroy us. We have to make our own temples clean so that the Lord will want to dwell within us and complete the work that we are helping Him with.
I challenge you to build your temple and to hold in your heart the lives of the people touched by this tragedy. Pray for the families, friends and coworkers of the dead, so that they can feel our love for them, so they won’t be burnt up and destroyed by their grief.
This weekend Glenn Beck and company are marching in Birmingham, Alabama. They are marching for unity in a time when the whole country seems to want to tear it all apart. I think we should pray for him and for the people who march for peace and love that the people who want to tear down and burn and create enmity between us are not successful.
Build the temple from your end.
1 Corinthians 3:10-17 NIV
10By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.
16Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.
by Jeremy Griffith
American Millennium Online
I like documentaries, as everyone knows, and I came upon another one on Netflix that I wanted to review that was different than ones I’ve reported on in the past. This one is Road To Fallujah, a documentary by Mark Manning and it takes place in Iraq during the height of the war.
Manning reports that he is a retired underwater construction worker who worked on off shore oil rigs for some 20 years before finding an interest in documentary film making. He left his job, took a night class and armed with a camera, he left for Iraq to as he described it to discover the myths of why we went to war in the first place.
In the documentary, he follows a number of family members who lost loved ones in Iraq while they were working in Fallujah as contractors. A number of events were boiling up in the city of Fallujah and a couple of American contractors were caught up in the crossfire. The mob shot and killed the contractors, burned them in their car, then hung their bodies on nearby bridge. The event was well documented on news outlets at the time and led to the Marines’ eight-day invasion of the massive city. Reporters of every network, repeating what they heard from military sources, were calling the city of Fallujah a hotbed of insurgency and terrorism. And it was, but Manning and his team tell another story that has been overlooked. He tells the story of the suffering of the civilian population of that city who lived there at the time and were forced to flee the devastation.
The viewer will be bombarded with the stories of families who lost loved ones in that battle. The refugee camps in the surrounding hills were filled with the dispossessed who were living under the worst possible conditions, drinking foul water and finding little food or shelter. It’s heart-rending.
Manning and his team interview a number of former military members who were involved in the invasion to get their take, which I thought was fair. All agree that more could be done to protect and sustain the civilian population, but at the time, they complain that resources were being focused on Baghdad, and not on Fallujah. The people of Fallujah had to fend for themselves.
I liked this documentary in that it showed me a side of the Iraqi invasion that I hadn’t seen before, that is not often reported on, the civilian casualties. At the same time, I think it unfairly attacks the soldiers who fought there and their leaders who made decisions. Remember that Fallujah, while important and strategic was one eight day battle in a larger campaign to rid the country of insurgency. The reason why the battle was so brief was to prevent civilian casualties from ballooning out of control.
A lot of blame has been lain at the feet of the first American Ambassador to Iraq, Paul Bremer, who made the decision to disband the Iraqi Army and recruit a new army in its place. That put a lot of career government officials and soldiers out of a job, many of whom were Bathist party officials loyal to Saddam Hussein. Bremer worried that in leaving those officials in place, the future of Iraq would be jeopardized. Perhaps when the Americans were gone, another Bathist, perhaps a friend of Saddam, would rise to power and take over, governing much the way as Saddam did. Bremer hoped for better and that’s why he did what he did. Was it a mistake? Perhaps. But Bremer’s actions weren’t the only factors. The mistakes of Iraq were compounded by mistakes made by the Iraqi government, with president Al Maliki, who deliberatively separated Sunnis from Shia and alienated them from participation in their own government. In the film, Bremer gets all the blame. Maliki isn’t even mentioned.
And there are other factors. Fallujah didn’t happen in a vacuum. It was a hotbed of the insurgency and they were getting arms and munitions from the Iranian Quds force which they were using to kill Americans and members of the Iraqi provincial government. That had to stop. According to the film maker, American soldiers were terrorizing locals in Fallujah, taking over a local school as their headquarters and preventing school children from going to school. I guarantee nobody was going to school in that environment at that time. Parents and students would have been justifiably upset and would have wanted to protest. Which they did. But, it’s never a good idea to throw rocks at soldiers, they’re libel to fire back, and they did.
Manning and his team mates have done a relatively good job putting together this movie and showing that you can’t just paint everyone with the same brush. There was collateral damage with a face and Manning shows that face to you. I don’t like how he relies overmuch with war footage from the news sources, but I suppose it was necessary to tell the story. It would have been dangerous to get his own footage and he wasn’t imbedded with combat units. His safety would not have been guaranteed. It’s important to know what locals in Fallujah felt about the war. It’s also important that that may not have been the same in every area of the country. The Kurdish north for example would have a far different outlook then people living in the center of the country or the south.
Sure leaders have made mistakes in the war, but it was a complicated situation. If any one of us had been given the reigns of that operation today, would it have turned out as well, better? Who knows. It’s pointless to speculate. I think that some people would have liked never to have gone over there at all, which is the real point of this movie.
Fast forward to today. Whether it is former Saddam Bathists running the country or Islamic Jihadis, the result is much the same, suffering for the Iraqi people with no relief in sight. Someone should do a documentary on that.
Desmond Tutu makes a poignant appearance in this film. He says basically if you go to strike your neighbor ultimately you will be surprised that you will injure yourself, and I think that is true. Americans know this instinctively and that is why we hate war. We hate evil too and when evil rises we want to help, which is why we choose to keep our military strong. It’s not simply enough to refrain from striking, what if you see someone striking your neighbor, do you stop them? Or do you stand by and do nothing? We’ve done both. In Rwanda we refrained from action, in Bosnia we stepped in. In both we were criticized.
I would recommend this movie to anyone who wants to understand the human cost of war. I give it a 6 out of 10. I think the social political issues are bigger than this one film which is why I recommend you take it with a grain of salt.
Find out more about Road To Fallujah here at http://www.theroadtofallujah.com/.
By Jeremy Griffith
American Millennium Online
Last week, MTV released a one-hour special documentary produced and starring by documentarian and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas. The documentary, while interesting and technically well shot and produced, fell short of its goal in my estimation.
In the film, Vargas, an undocumented Filipino immigrant, flies around the country and recruits millennial youth to join in a group conversation about race, an interesting premise. In the process of these discussions, Vargas asked the kids to define their beliefs about the meaning of the term ‘white privilege’. In offering their definitions in this heavily edited film, it is not clear if they are just answering the specific questions or they are defining the way they actually feel about being white.
In one discussion, a young white college freshman expresses frustration in her efforts to obtain scholarships for her university of choice. The reason, she feels is that far too much emphasis is made to give people of color those scholarships that someone like her should get by merit. When Vargas points out documented evidence that no, whites still get more scholarships as a percentage of population than do people of color, the student became uncomfortable. “I feel like you’re attacking me, “ she confesses.
In other conversations it becomes clear that many of the students, especially young males, are unwilling to open up about their feelings of race. They parse their words carefully so as not to come off as being racist.
And, that is the over all problem I hade with this short documentary film. Vargas asks carefully crafted questions about race that the young millennials, who don’t have the intellectual tools to recognize the tactics and fight back, are unable to cope with. Vargas’s technique is subtle, but real. He lays all of society’s problems with race squarely at the feet of white people and their white privilege and the youth are unable to fight back because they don’t want to be labeled as racist.
The strongest moment in the film happens in a rural white home where a young man is an instructor on the topic of white privilege in schools. His stepfather is a staunch conservative who has no idea of the kind of instructional program his stepson is involved in. Vargas and the young teacher reveal this to the old man and his wife over supper at their home. You can feel the tension in this particular scene as the young teacher expresses his frustration over attempting to talk to his step-father topics where the two men have vastly different views. Any one who has a difficult relationship with his father knows how this feels. It is clear by the look on the older man’s face that he is surprised by his stepson’s comments, and though he doesn’t agree on much, he listens politely. One wonders what the conversation would have been like if the participants were not aware they were being filmed. I feel like this was a great moment in this film, but it is one of only a few. Vargas could have done so much more with moments like this.
I would have liked to have seen more interracial interaction. But Vargas chooses to interview young white people almost exclusively, which I think is an opportunity missed. There is one scene where he does have an inter-racial discussion as a white southern gay man invites his black friends home to his mostly white southern community. There is a discussion about race and the black guests react emotionally when some of the young white students cavalierly use the word ghetto in conversation. We’re meant to automatically connect with this emotional young black woman as this supposed ‘trigger word’ is used, but like so much of this film, it falls flat. The word doesn’t have the same emotional impact as the N-word and the filmmaker fails to give back story about why there is such an emotional tie in to this word for this person.
There is one more scene that I want to mention. A young man is attempting to organize a city block party in his community but is running into roadblocks. There is a city requirement for a certain number of neighbors to sign off before the party is authorized. Much of this traditionally white community has given way to a huge insurgence of Asian American immigrants. The new immigrants have a sort of closed off community and decline to interact to this man and his petition. “Do you mind that this community has changed so much?” Vargas asked, implying the influx of so many Asians, who apparently don’t speak English and don’t choose to interact with their white neighbors.
“No, this is my home. I don’t mind that it’s evolved,” he says.
Overall this is a well-organized, well-shot documentary worth seeing. But I think it falls well short of it’s goal of having a well thought discussion about race. The difficulties of race relations in America today are not clear cut and this film makes light of the complexities, unfairly putting most of the blame on white people and unnecessarily shaming white millennial kids who had nothing to do with racism in this country.
Ultimately I feel that we will have an end to racism if we just people in academia and the work place by applying the standard enunciated in Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream, that we all be judged not on the color of our skin but on the content of our character. In order to realize that dream we must do away with artificial programs of favoritism such as affirmative action and base our judgement for everyone on merit and hard work.
Watch the full episode of White People here.
A critique of Point and Shoot, a documentary film by rebel filmmaker Matthew VanDyke
By Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online
Recently I watched a war documentary filmed over five years by Matthew VanDyke. I’m a sucker for war films, but this one was way different that anything I’ve seen before, and definitely worth watching. You can find it now on Netflix.
The famous author Mark Twain is quoted as saying that the way to learn about a writer is to read his books. I think the same is true of the filmmaker. And so, even though I’ve never met Matt, I feel like I know him after watching this film. Here is a geeky guy from Baltimore, painfully awkward, looking for a “manly adventure”.
Most of us would join the military or something and go on deployment, but apparently for this guy, that never crossed his mind. I can see why. The guy is so tall and lanky, and painfully awkward as I said, the MEPS doctor would take one look at him and disqualify him as “unable to adapt to military life”, perhaps find a medical reason for doing so. One glaringly obvious reason to disqualify would be his OCD against bugs, germs, closed in spaces and other phobias that would be prohibitive for the life of a Soldier. And so, there is probably good reason this young man never darkens the door of a recruiter.
Instead he gets his Masters degree in Middle Eastern Studies or something and flies off to Africa with his Kawasaki bike and tours the country side for several years, filming himself as he goes. It’s kind of a Che Guevara type of motorcycle adventure, without the homicidal mania and the talk about communism. If that was the sum total of his adventure it would still be worth watching.
But the contacts and friendship Matt makes in Kaddafi’s Libya is preamble for the chapters that follow. Matt comes home to his girlfriend, wife? He never explains that part, and then the war in Libya happens and he’s drawn back to a war zone, this time to fight and not to document. In Iraq he embedded for a Baltimore paper to cover the war there from a Soldier’s perspective. They taught him how to load and shoot the various weapon systems. When he got to Libya, his experience handling weapons made him the SME, the subject matter expert, which is a frightening prospect.
In the midst of fighting that war he is captured in an ambush and spends a painful 5 months recuperating in solitary confinement in a Libyan prison. He goes a little nuts in prison, as one can well imagine and has visions about how the secretary of state Hillary Clinton comes to his aid and frees him. Of course he realizes after the fact that none of this is true. His release is secured because other prisoners riot and break out of the prison, and just happened to open the door of his cage on their way out the door. Matt is returned to the war and to his friends. He comes to realize that not all of his friends made it, having been killed in the ambush that landed him in prison.
Towards the end of the film, Matt describes how he participates in the final fall of the Kaddafi regime, fighting in a major battle. He’s not actually sure if he’s killed anyone, the enemy is always too far away and too impersonal. When he gets up close and personal with one sniper he fires, and misses his target. Then the end of the war arrives and Kaddafi is killed. Matt can take leave of his friends and go home.
Before the film wraps up, Matt meets up with his old Libyan friend Nuri. They go to the beach and go for a swim. It’s picturesque, very different from the conflict in the scenes before. Peaceful. There is nothing martial about Matt and his friends at all, they are all just peaceful people caught up in an ugly war for liberty. The videography is great and story is moving. I highly recommend it. Two thumbs up.
I’ve seen a few war documentaries in the past and I’ve enjoyed them. But this one is quite different. In this one, an awkward American turns from filmmaker to fighter in less than five years. If you met him on the street, you wouldn’t make him for a combat veteran, not like the ones I’ve seen. But in some ways he’s braver than many combat veterans I know. Courage is when you go outside your comfort zone and do the right thing even though it’s difficult. People who gravitate to the military and go on deployment are brave sure, but they’re built for that sort of thing. It’s not all that far out of their comfort zone. Matt is a fish out of water and yet he adapts. You won’t see him in a Navy SEAL bar acting all cavalier. He looks like a geek from Baltimore, a little more mature than when he left.
In some ways I admire this young man more than others who went with regular Army units to fight. When I went to Iraq, I was surrounded with the best trained, best equipped fighting force in the world. I felt pretty safe, having done some of that best of training myself at the home of the Infantry, Fort Benning Georgia. Matt and his friends had nothing; they were three men in a truck. That is a special kind of courage/slash foolishness, sometimes the distinction is too thin to really be sure.
“Matt and his friends had nothing; they were three men in a truck. That is a special kind of courage/slash foolishness, sometimes the distinction is too thin to really be sure.”
In a way I feel smallish following watching this film. I had all the best training in the world and in my retirement I watch angrily as ISIS takes over the greater Middle East, and Iraq where I was stationed for over 15 months. I could train, I could teach, I could mentor, and yet, here I am. I found myself yelling at the screen telling Matt and his friends, maneuver, don’t sit still, flank, find cover, return fire, go! But Matt and his friends didn’t have the training I had, just the availability. As the tragedy of the Christian and Yazidi genocide continues in the Middle East I wonder if more young men of little or no training will take up arms and join the “manly adventure” to liberate oppressed peoples. Maybe those few men and their truck will be more valuable than all the elite brigades the American Military has ever fielded?!
by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online
I’ve often felt that science class kills faith amongst today’s youth and 20-somethings, and that’s too bad because, while science is interesting and helpful in understanding our universe, it doesn’t even touch the most interesting questions such as, “who am I” and “why am I here?”
Many years ago now the Star Trek franchise explored this idea in their first motion picture staring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. Shatner played the often emotional hotheaded, hard-charging star ship captain, while Nimoy’s played the alien half-Vulcan character which was much more complex and interesting, complete with a struggle against unnecessary human emotion.
Kirk and Spock encounter an alien entity that is on it’s way to Earth, presumably to invade. The crew of the Enterprise must figure out how to stop what appears to be a vastly superior life form before it decimates the planet. They learn through exploration that the life form is something humans created many years ago, a living breathing artificial conscious that is exploring its own meaning and attempting to find it’s “god” or creator.
Spock risks his own life to conduct a mind-meld with the creature (don’t make me explain that to non-trekkers!) and discovers the entity’s ulterior motive. There is a touching moment when Spock is recovering in the sick bay of the space ship Enterprise where the Vulcan explains his Earth-shattering discovery to his captain and friend, Jim Kirk. “This simple feeling is beyond Veeger’s (the entity) grasp. No feelings, no hope, no answers. It’s asking questions!”
“What questions?” Kirk asks.
“Is this, ALL that I Am?” replies Spock, grasping his friend’s hand. “Is there nothing more?!”
Science classes in both high school and college kills any pursuit of this question by brain washing students into thinking they are just animals, though high functioning animals on the food chain with the rest of the animals. They are the results of millions, sorry, billions of years of mistakes and chance mutations unguided by any sentient being that eventually ends up in a complex world we live in. Any indication that all this complexity is the result of intelligent design is merely a mirage or coincidence.
Serious scientists deny the metaphysical as being non-existent or irrelevant, unless of course they need it to explain something they can’t explain. Frank Sherwin illustrates this phenomenon in his article for ICR “The Strange Metaphysical World of Evolution”. You can read the article here.
Sherwin states, “Secular colleges and universities, the media, and the Internet are alive with vitriolic accusations regarding the supposedly unscientific nature of creation science.
“But is evolutionary science itself “scientific”? In opposition to what is normally claimed, it would seem that when it comes to the supernatural, secular science not only believes in it—it also depends on it.”
Sherwin sites examples of when supposed secular scientists drift into the metaphysical.
Apparently, evolutionary scientists believe in ghosts. When tetrapod tracks are found in Earth strata far deeper than their fossilized remains, that causes a problem of dates for the evolutionist, a factor of 18 million years worth.
Of course, scientists who believe in abrupt appearance or intelligent design have a solution to this problem. There was a flood and all of these creatures lived around the same time and were buried and fossilized at the same time, a theory the evolutionist totally reject as fantasy. But we are expected to believe in “ghost tracks”?
Sherwin has another example. Evolutionary biologists explain away seemingly complex design as compatible with the evolutionary model by citing, “magic” as their excuse. What?
“Kathryn Applegate of BioLogos said, “The bacterial flagellum may look like an outboard motor, but there is at least one profound difference: the flagellum assembles spontaneously, without the help of any conscious agent.” Acknowledging that “the self-assembly of such a complex machine almost defies the imagination,” Dr. Applegate assures the reader that this is not really a problem, because “natural forces work ‘like magic.’”5
A little explanation may be in order. Some bacteria exhibit motility through a projection like a hair that moves in a rotary motion like an outboard boat motor, called a flagellum. It moves them forward and backward, at different speeds and is really complex, making it hard to explain away through evolutionary methods. If evolution were a fact, then any mutation to create such a complex motor would have to be made in one step, which is not what the evolutionary model espouses. Any half measures of evolution would render such a system worthless and would die off before the trait was passed on. And this is a one-celled organism we’re talking about, not a more complex life form like a dog, an ape, or a man.
When explaining the motion of the cosmos, and why it defies evolutionary computer models, evolutionists make things up to explain it away, conjuring up dark energy and dark matter to bridge the gap.
Frank explains, “evolutionists believe in mysterious powers, like “the 5th Force: a mysterious new power [that] is shaping our cosmos,” according to New Scientist. The article says, “A force that keeps changing its spots might explain the mysteries of dark energy,” although this cryptic dark energy “has never been seen or produced on Earth.”3
Sherwin continues, “Some evolutionists believe in invisible hands:
“Our findings confirm that cooperation does not always require benevolence or deliberate planning. This form of cooperation, at least, is guided by an “invisible hand,” as happens so often in Darwin’s theory of natural selection.4”
My millennial nephew would swear that his eyes will bleed if he hears one more time that it takes just as much faith to believe in “science” that it does for “religion” that is translated, “evolution” vs. “creation”. Well cover your eyes and ears young nephew because I would reply that it does, and while evolutionists don’t mention it in textbooks, they sure will cite their faith in candid interviews outside the classroom.
Churches help the evolutionists inadvertently by contributing to the millennial unbelief by being irrelevant to their needs. There are ways to reverse that but it will take effort, and that is that churches need to address the issue of science in a way that educates the student on the errors and shortfalls of evolution and presents scientific information about creation that isn’t insulting to the intelligence of our youth. That means that youth pastors will have to get science instruction themselves before they present to the youth. But that is a subject for another day.
Bottom line is this, science is great, but is only one leg of the three legged stool called truth. The other two legs are called religion and philosophy, both touching the metaphysical realm that scientists say don’t exist. Ignoring a thing doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. The problem of who we are, where we came from and what we might become are questions that are too weighty for science alone to answer.
by Jeremy Griffith
American Millennium Online
OK, so the above video is my response to the dopey celebrity gun grabbers in light of the recent events in Charleston. While we morn for the people who died and their families, we are not willing to sacrifice our constitutional rights to self defense because of any tragic event.
Have you noticed the common factor in all of these tragedies? Safe Zones! Safe or gun free zones are not safe. When law abiding citizens are deprived of their right to self defense, the psychopaths come out of the wood work and murder people in mass where they know there won’t be any resistance. There aren’t any mass shootings at police stations or gun shows.
Notice something else. Violence is not limited to guns. All over the world, violent mass casualty events happen in the absence of guns. In Great Britain, a soldier was murdered by a Muslim with an ax adjacent to his own barracks. In Japan, people with long knives murdered many people. In Boston and Oklahoma City, bombs made out of house-hold items were used.
It’s not a matter of the accessibility of guns. It’s the state of the heart and soul of people. And regular folks deserve a fighting chance. A society disarmed by the state is as safe today as a baby seal during hunting season, not very much.
Let’s stop the dopey lists and celebrity videos demanding that the rights of citizens who murdered no one yesterday be sacrificed because some knucklehead racist wanted to start a race war. Let’s use common sense. Bad guys don’t follow laws.
You want to stop these mass casualty events? Buy a gun, take a safety class, get your permit to carry. Don’t live in a state where you can do that? Change the laws or move to a state that recognizes your rights. End of story.
Watch the dopey celebrity gun grabbing video at the website below.
by Jeremy Griffith
American Millennium Online
Now I write a personal anecdote about a church experience I had as a young man attending the Infantry Officers Basic Course at Fort Benning Ga. I share this in light of the tragedy that is happening in Charleston North Carolina today.
A young white man in his early 20s went into a church and blew away nine innocent black people attending a Bible study. My heart goes out to the family and friends of these unfortunate victims. I am reminded of an incident that happened to me as I walked into an African-American church in Columbus Georgia over 20 years ago.
I was attending the Infantry School as a newly commissioned officer and I was looking for a temporary church home. I had attended a grandiose Methodist church in downtown Columbus with a huge chapel and large congregation and I was underwhelmed. I felt like a stranger in that church that was so cavernous and ornate. No one greeted me and I was alone in a crowd. I was looking for something else.
On a later Sunday I found myself in an African-American Methodist Church, much smaller than the one I had attended the previous Sunday. I didn’t know it was a black church. I have to admit I was very uncomfortable; I wasn’t sure how I would be received as a white person in that predominantly black congregation. I didn’t want to cause any trouble. The reaction I got from parishioners was very different.
A large black woman in a colorful dress and matching hat greeted me. She was bubbly and cheerful and welcoming. I found that her attitude was common to the people who attended that church, who didn’t seem to notice or care that I was a different ethnicity. I remember the service lasted 3 hours and the preacher was very dynamic. The music was loud and heartwarming. I never had the opportunity to attend again, but I always remember that day, when total strangers from a different state, a different race, welcomed me as if I was a brother.
How horrible for the people of Charleston today who grieve over their neighbors who lost their lives at of all places, a Bible study. A maniac with a gun attended with them for an hour listening to their words and study and interacting with them, before deciding to go ahead with his deadly plan, ending the lives of people he didn’t even know. It’s a shame. It’s worse: pure evil.
I know that many who hear about this news will grieve along with the people of Charleston, as I do. When I think of these events, I am reminded of the warm and loving Christians who welcomed me when I was a stranger. With that warmth in my heart, I embrace the victims of this tragedy and their families. I hope that God will embrace them as they cross over through the pearly gates.
The words of our Lord Jesus as they appear in the gospel of Matthew 25:35-40
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
by Jeremy Griffith
American Millennium Online
This is an update to the story I wrote previously about a Marine convicted for religious expression in the work place. I’ve obtained court documents posted by the Marine defendant’s lawyer posted on the website of Liberty Institute. You can view a story as well as get links to the documents here.
I’ve read the documents and they discuss the background regarding the Marine posting religious quotes on her workstation, and subsequently being ordered to remove them. Her refusal to remove the quotes led to her court-martial and discharge from the Marines. The original story from Fox News discusses the charge of religious intolerance, and briefly mentions the other charges in a paragraph or two lower in the story. According to Liberty Institute Attorney Michael Berry, the subsequent charges happened months later and in his view are trumped up to give the court-martial complaint added weight. Charges including dereliction of duty, disobeying a superior officer or failing to report to your work area as ordered.
Allegedly, the Marine did not report because of a hip injury and a restriction order from her doctor. If the doctor’s order conflicts with the order of the Marine’s superiors, making her unable to work, then the testimony of the doctor should reflect that and the Marine should be acquitted. If the medical orders do not conflict and the Marine disobeyed orders, failed to report and failed to report in proper uniform, then court martial may be justified. I just don’t know from these documents what the doctor told the court or if he even was allowed to testify.
I don’t like the fact that I did not see these facts presented in any of the original reporting. The documents presented by the attorney address the alleged religious intolerance of Sterling’s superiors, they do not address the other items except as a footnote. I share these details for a desire to establish fairness and to inform the reader. This story may be updated further in the future.
Read the original Fox News Story from Todd Starnes here.
I can’t remember a time when I have been angrier than I am today. I learned today that a Christian Marine was given a dishonorable discharge for placing Bible verses on her computer.
Read the whole story from Todd Starnes of Fox News here.
A staff sergeant who was her boss told her to remove the Bible verses, which might be in his words contrary to good order and military discipline and she refused.
The Marine represented herself at trial, a mistake, and was convicted and discharged, having been busted down to private and given a bad conduct discharge, which makes it difficult to find a job in the civilian world. Now she’s hired attorney Paul Clement from Liberty Institute and they are taking her case to the Military Court of Appeals.
It is my wish that everyone who reads about this will pray for Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling and her attorney that she may be successful in her lawsuit and appeal. What are we if not a people of faith as Americans. It is ingrained in our heritage. The motto of the Marine Corps is “Sember Fidelis” which is Latin for “Always Faithful”. What is the Marine Corps without faith? They should change their motto to “Numquam Fidos”.
I not only ask you to pray, but to act.
I am acting by writing this column. I am also sending a printed copy of this column to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, along with a Bible and the copy of my favorite Bible verse. It is an appeal that he do something, the right thing, to correct this outrage. If he does not, then shame him. He should resign. How intolerant is it to get rid of a servicemember because of her public proclamation of faith? Where is his Sergeant Major who advises the commandant, does he endorse this decision?
I encourage everyone to write to the commandant, as I am, and to express your displeasure, firmly but respectfully. Send him a copy of your favorite translation of the Bible and a Bible verse. If you are not a Christian, send a copy of your own Holy Scriptures, or some other token of faith. Let them see how displeased we are that this Marine was persecuted in this way.
What was the Bible verse on Sterling’s desk, “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.” A good one for a Marine if I might say. It is a variant of the verse in the King James Version of Isaiah 54:17 which reads, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.”
To the Marine Corps Commandant I’ve sent this verse, which is I think also very fitting for a Marine, from the NIV version: Psalm 144:1-2
“Praise be to the Lord my Rock,
who trains my hands for war,
my fingers for battle.
2He is my loving God and my fortress,
my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield, in whom I take refuge,
who subdues peoplesa under me.”
Shame on you Commandant, if you let this injustice stand. Shame!
I will be sending my messages to the following address listed on the Marine Corps website. I encourage others to do the same. Let’s fill up his office with Christian and religious texts and paraphernalia.
General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr.
Commandant of the Marine Corps
Headquarters, US Marine Corps
3000 Marine Corps, Pentagon
Washington, DC 20350-3000
Jeremy L. Griffith
CPT LG USAR (Ret.)
by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online
Dear potential employer, I am a Soldier, recently retired from military service. I have over 22 years of service, including many months in combat zones. I have sacrificed my future so that I can serve my country and preserve our freedom here at home. I have had many days of training, including complicated logistics and tactical training. I have a commission in the United States Army from one of the premiere leadership schools in the country, Army ROTC, the Reserve Officers Training Corps. I further tested my mettle at Fort Benning Georgia, completing the infamous Infantry Officers Basic Course, a course so hard not a single female peer has yet to finish. In my career I’ve worked with the very best of Army leaders, some of them who have graduated from West Point, Virginia Military Institute, The Citadel, Army Officer Candidate School and the various state academies. We all received the same pay upon commission, and had the same job requirements.
After service as a combat arms officer, an Infantry Officer, an accomplishment I am very proud of, I was asked to make the transition to become an Army Logistician, supporting the war fighter in battle. My work is not for the faint-hearted or the slow witted. It takes careful consideration and patience to provide the materials, parts, food, vehicles, fuel and other necessities to the war fighter to make him successful on the battlefield, and yet, I have competed every mission and task put before me flawlessly.
I put down my coveted blue Infantry Cord, pridefully displayed over my right shoulder of my dress uniform, for the red piping and the insignia of the Logistician. I did this because the Army asked me to. I have moved at least two brigades to the theater of war and back again, without losing a single piece of equipment under my charge. Flawless execution for countless 20-foot containers and many companies of rolling stock.
In my military career, I have held various challenging positions of leadership, often serving in positions above my pay grade since no other senior officers were available to serve in my stead, or because such an officer had shirked their duty when I did not. I was an anti-tank platoon leader, an Infantry Company Executive Officer, a support platoon leader, a light truck platoon leader, a Movement Control Team Commander, an assistant operations staff officer, an assistant logistics officer, a public affairs operator, and a trainer/mentor team commander. Often I served in these posts without having any training specific to the position I was required to fill. I had to learn the position OJT. I did this by listening to the junior and senior Non-Commissioned officers in my command, who had experience where I had none. That’s how I learned and how we were successful together.
In my civilian career I haven’t always worked in journalism, my preferred profession. Multiple deployments have made that difficult for me. When I received my commission, I also earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications, print journalism from St. Cloud State University. I did not sit on my laurels however, I also earned my masters degree in New Media Journalism from Full Sail University in Winter Park Florida. And though I haven’t always worked in journalism, I have had an unbroken period of employment, much of it serving as an IV Technician at the Mayo Clinic. I have run to the patients’ rooms and stuck sharp needles into their arms so that desperately ill people could receive blood products or medicine to save their lives. Most of the patients I’ve served are adults, but some were very young children, who don’t understand why you are hurting them, even as you try to help them. My heart has ached for my patients, especially for the very ill children. This I think demonstrates I have accepted work other people would avoid, because no job is too low for me, no task unimportant.
I see that you have proprietary requirements and software that you would like me to be familiar with; things like Photoshop, In Design, Adobe Premiere, Final Cut, etc. That’s nice. I am familiar with some of them, but not all. Most programs have instruction manuals and as a Soldier I have had to work with many proprietary systems that I was previously unfamiliar with and yet had to learn anyway, despite my lack of experience, or a validated trainer to mentor me. I dug into the manual and learned what I needed to to be successful. I’ve had to be flexible in that way. I’m sure if hired I will be able to quickly get up to speed on what ever processes and software you are currently using, and when technology forces change, I will adapt quickly yet again.
I’m sure that my qualifications can be intimidating for some. Very few in the private sector can boast of my experience. I know that I am overqualified for many of the positions I will apply for. Yet, don’t be anxious. I have been forced to work under substantial pressure with many different people from all walks of life and have still been a valued member of that team. I’ve worked with Iraqi contractors in operation Iraqi Freedom and Noble Eagle, I helped protect vital assets and air ports in Minneapolis-St. Paul for the 2007 Republican National Convention, working with local police, sheriffs, the Coast Guard, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI. I’ve provided informatics for the state Adjutant General in support of Operation Caregiver, in support of inpatient shut-ins during a state workers strike. I’ve dealt with the media as a public affairs operator as part of my extra duties as a staff officer, getting out to the public the message of what my unit is doing in the name of the citizens who are our bosses. As a reporter I’ve written many headline, front page stories of general interest to the community and I continue to share stories and commentary through my blog, WWW.AmericanMillenniumOnline.com.
I’m sure that if hired I will be an extremely important member of your team and an asset. If you choose to pass me over in favor of someone less qualified, I would appreciate a call of explanation.
by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online
The Minnesota legislative session has ended and the Governor has left in a tiff as he always does. This time he’s mad that there wasn’t mandatory pre-kindergarten funding in his new education budget, despite the fact that educators and administrators and practically no one else supports such funding.
Republicans from the district met with constituents this week to discuss the outcome of the latest legislative session, including the non-sensical veto of the education bill by the Governor. That budget provides $17 billion additional dollars to education to students and districts in the state. But because the governor didn’t get his pet project, mandatory Pre-K, he vetoed the bill, at the end of the session, without any discussion or negotiation with the legislatures.
Ultimately, the Republicans will no doubt be blamed for the shut down and the inevitable layoffs in the districts, especially the Republican Majority House of Representatives. But the fault is purely on the part of the democrat Governor Mark Dayton, who has no support from legislators on the right of the eisle, no support from educators and school administrators, and very little support from his democratic base. In fact, school administrators have called on the governor to abandon ideas of funding school mandatory pre-k because the districts have no teachers available and trained, no facilities and are ill prepared for adopting such a program.
The parents have their students in school already for 13 plus years from Kindergarten to 12th grade. Colleges and Universities have them for another four or more. But that isn’t enough time to indoctrinate students in the liberal world view. Which, in my view is another good argument for abandoning the current school system and asking for a program that involves homeschooling with after school programs, and vouchers for schools that are failing students in the inner cities.
Governor Dayton has listened to zero of his constituents in regards to his unreasonable desire for mandatory pre-K. It’s time that people started calling his office and telling him how parents really feel.
“The governor really doesn’t know what to do about phone calls from constituents,” said State Senator Carla Nelson-R. “He really doesn’t respond well to pressure, either from phone calls or at the negotiation table. Which, is really why people should call the governor’s office right away.”
Call the governor and tell him how you feel at 651-201-3400 or toll free at 800-657-3717.
A legislative special session is required in order to avoid a shut down of education in the fall. Only the governor can call for a special session, but he cannot end it, which is why local legislators have an opportunity to work on this and other legislative issues if such a session is called.
Read more about the Governor’s veto and impending education layoffs at the Daily Globe here.
by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium
Two thumbs way up for the first two episodes of The Fighting Season by executive producer Ricky Schroder. All through the two first episodes I was shouting at the TV non-stop and cheering the Soldiers and their leaders and booing their vile opponents. I felt like I was watching a melodrama, except the action was very real!
The Fighting Season is following elements of the 10th Mountain and the 82nd Airborne in Afghanistan as they have a two fold mission there, roll up the carpet and leave things to the local nationals, and continue to fight the enemy insurgents until their last day in country. I appreciated the vignettes transitioning from the warfighters on the ground actually putting rounds on target and taking fire from insurgents, to the American Colonel mentoring the Afghani National Police, to the officers and staff planning the operations. Every aspect of the war effort is covered in this documentary. It is taught and insightful and brutal.
I appreciated one scene early on that was part of an interview with a young captain who was the brigade intelligence officer. He was explaining that the fight we are involved in now in Afghanistan is not against an insurgency that wants to win back their nation and drive out invaders. These opponents are a brutal mob who wants to gain control of the country and restore the brutal regime that was in place before; the one that prevented girls from going to school, who had women in basic slavery day in and day out and would kill Soldiers and civilians, anyone that doesn’t bend to their regressive point of view.
Watching this extraordinary documentary had me emotional even as I think of recent events in Iraq where I served as part of the surge back in 2007. The fall of Ramadi in Iraq is a significant set back for the United States and the world. ISIS is now on the door step of Baghdad and as such, will no doubt take over the country very soon. It illustrates clearly how the successes gained through the blood and tears of our fighting men and women can be so easily lost by short sighted and arrogant politicians.
This is not about war, this is war! – quote from the Ricky Schroder made for TV documentary “The Fighting Season”.
But we are 14 years down the road, I get that, and people are tired of sending young men and women to die in foreign theaters. I get it. In the end of the day, Afghanistan and Iraq has to fight for themselves and maintain the gains that we have given them, we cannot safeguard them forever. So it’s heart-rending to watch the news as thousands of civilians flee ISIS on foot in the heat even as their military and police forces drop their weapons and run.
I think about and fear for the lives of three hundred plus Marines currently stationed at Al Asaad Airbase in Iraq who are there to train the Iraqi Army and police and find themselves surrounded by ISIS. I wonder if they will find relief soon, able to leave their mission before they are unable to leave and are overwhelmed by the terrorists, forced to fight to the last man. Remember that this administration has left people die before, abandoning Ambassador Stevens and four of his brave protection detail in Benghazi, Libya. Will this administration do that again to the Marines and other support personnel now in Iraq?
I worry about the 3rd BCT, 4th ID now stationed in Kuwait out of Fort Carson, Colorado. Is this heavy brigade going to go over the berm into Iraq to relieve those Marines? What dangers will they face? Or will Barack Obama keep them in Kuwait doing training exercises and watching over the berm with bated breath? Will Obama unleash the dogs of war or will he keep them chained?
Ricky Schroader and his team of producers and documentarians have in my mind created the greatest war documentary since Restrepo and Brothers At War. In the first and second episodes I could see, actually see AK-47 rounds pass between the Soldiers and the filmakers as they are taking cover behind thin trees and tall grass. Meanwhile, many miles away, an army Major and his staff at the tactical operations center is listening to radio traffic and watching the action through the eyes of drones even as they try to direct air support to relieve the besieged platoon on the ground.
“This is not “Call Of Duty”! -quote from “The Fighting Season”
In another Vignette, an Army Colonel mentoring the Afghan National Police is driving in convoy with his men and checking checkpoints to make sure the locals are executing their duties properly. Traffic is intense and the Soldiers heads are on swivels, looking out for trouble. The colonel gets out of the vehicle, to the chagrine and horror of his men and he engages local businessmen in the bazaar, buying fruit from the vendors and talking to them about local issues. The men chastise him, fearful he is putting himself at risk unnecessarily. The colonel just laughs them off saying, “you can’t do this job staying in the car! They have to see you doing the job.”
A female Army captain speaks at one point about her work with Afghan women. The strict rules of conduct in that country forbid men to search or even talk to strange women, so the nation is training women police officers and female Soldiers like this young Army Captain is mentoring them. The captain talks about her role as an advisor and shares her admiration for the leader of the local police, a woman of renown, who has championed women’s and human rights in the country.
Meanwhile, at one of the Forward Operating Base, the commander of a brigade combat team of the All American 82nd Airborne is planning an op in a beleaguered part of the country. The snow has melted in the mountains and foreign and local insurgents are returning to fight, the fighting season has begun. The colonel coaches his men through the Army’s military decision making process, MDMP as they come up with courses of action for the spring and summer campaign. He rejects the early COA he receives and tells the staff to go back to the drawing board. The colonel presents a final draft of the plan to his boss, a one-star general who is the deputy commander of the task force. Problems are found in the air logistics piece of the plan; the unit is taking too many turns, about 8 round trips, in helicopters to get to the objective. The brigadier is concerned that the unit might be telegraphing their intent and making themselves too easy a target for insurgents with rocket propelled grenades. The planners of the 82nd are pushed back to their offices to revise the plan once again.
Meanwhile, a female First Sergeant, in charge of logistics for the upcoming mission, is trying to figure out how to best provide material support. She’s loading containers of supplies and equipment for air movement and the containers have become too heavy. She’s got to double check the packing list inside to see what’s in there and what can be removed, and one of her knuckle-heads has misplaced the key to the container lock. She’s pissed, swearing up a blue streak to subordinates on the phone. They better get this right or there will be a woman’s wrath and Hell to pay.
I really like this series and I can’t wait to watch the last three episodes on this week on Audience on Direct TV. I highly recommend it. I covers all aspects of the operations, from the Soldiers on the ground to the planners and leaders, and to the logisticians who almost never get credit for their very important work in providing support for the meat-eaters and trigger pullers. I like how the filmakers are hardly ever heard from in the movie and they allow the stories to be told from the point of view of the servicemen and women.
Mr. Schroder and his small team took enormous risk with this documentary, putting themselves in harm’s way to film it. The film is beautifully shot and amazingly dramatic. This should win an award and I recommend anyone see it who has had a loved one in a combat zone and has asked the question, “what is it like over there?” This series answers that question beautifully and I can’t wait to see the rest. Huah!