Sauce For Goose AND Gander

So here’s this report:

Retired generals urge Pentagon to take steps to avert ‘civil war’ after 2024 election

“The Defense Department should war-game the next potential post-election insurrection or coup attempt to identify weak spots. It must then conduct a top-down debrief of its findings and begin putting in place safeguards to prevent breakdowns not just in the military, but also in any agency that works hand in hand with the military.”

I’m all over that thought.  But I should caution these old assholes that as usual, they’re preparing to fight the last war, not the next one.

You see, there will be no problems among military or even among ex-military, as they seem to be so nervous about, because the outcome of the next election is likely to be a resounding Republican victory.

But amongst all their little wargames, I hope these guys actually implement their action plans for when the Left starts an insurrection after Election 2024.  That, my old Rockjaws, is the more likely prospect.


I yield to no man in terms of my respect for Victor Davis Hanson, but I’m afraid the worthy professor is extremely late to this party.

Losing Confidence in the Pillars of Our Civilization
Millions of citizens long ago concluded that professional sports, academia, and entertainment were no longer disinterested institutions, but far Left and deliberately hostile to Middle America.
Yet American conservatives still adamantly supported the nation’s traditional investigatory, intelligence, and military agencies — especially when they came under budgetary or cultural attacks.
Not so much anymore.

He then enumerates said institutions:  the FBI, the military (senior officers), Big Tech / Woke journalism, federal health agencies, and the criminal justice system in general.

I will admit that the above are relative newcomers to the conservatives’ hall of shame, but as we all know, we’ve always loathed and distrusted the alphabet soups of the IRS, ATF and DHS, as well as Cabinet departments like the EPA, Energy, Interior and Education — to name but a few.

Wake up, VDH:  they’re all on the shit list.  They are very close to being — and in some cases very much already — not the “pillars of our civilization”, but active destroyers thereof.

And if you Readers want proof of this, ask yourself this question:  would you rather deal with your local law enforcement, or the FBI?  Your county tax office or the IRS?


Veterans II

From Longtime Reader Dave L:

I come from an Army family. My dad traveled across France as a medic with the First Infantry Division. My step brother served as an infantryman in Vietnam with the same First Infantry Division. He came home in 1969, just as I graduated high school and said that the best thing I could do was to stay out of the army. Back in those days there was a government job program called the draft and I knew that they were going to get me. I thought that the Navy might give me a chance to travel, wear a very cool looking uniform, and maybe learn some technical stuff that I could use later in my life.

I also thought that I would be able to stay out of VietNam. However Uncle Sam’s plans weren’t the same as mine and I ended up there anyway. About all I have to show for it is a baseball cap that says “US Navy Veteran” – and I had to buy that.

So today my thoughts are for all of the old men in baseball caps.

Some years back I was honored to call an older English gentleman my friend. He served in the British Army in WW2 in North Africa and on the island of Crete. He was captured when the Germans invaded that island and spent almost three years as a prisoner of war. He remained in the army after the war to retire as a senior NCO with over 25 years of service. My English friend sent me pictures of their yearly veteran’s ceremonies. Every vet put on a blazer, wore his regimental tie and beret, and pinned his decorations to his jacket. They made their way to the local veterans’ memorial and laid a wreath in memory of their absent comrades. Then they retired to the local pub and lifted a glass to honor those who had gone on to report to a higher power. The men who chased Rommel across the desert and went ashore in Normandy are still be a bit thirsty.

We Americans don’t wear our ribbons. Mine are on the wall in a shadow box, faded by time. Most of us don’t wear ties except for weddings and funerals and berets are only worn by Frenchmen.

So what do we wear? Baseball caps – that great American invention. We mark our caps with our heritage – the Big Red One, the First Marines, the Strategic Air Command. The navy men wear blue caps with the names of proud ships – USS Enterprise, USS New Jersey, Lexington, Newport News. Unless you’ve been there you don’t know a CVA from a CA or a BB from an FFG, but we know.

The old men see fire and rain and Thuds and Phantoms in the hazy sky. They still hear that distinctive rotor beat of the Hueys. They see long gray ships silhouetted against the horizon and remember the days when they were dirty and tired and hungry. They remember playing rock and roll out to the tree line in 7.62 NATO time They remember the catapults throwing Skyhawks into the air. plane after plane, and doing it all again the next day and the day after that.

They were bored and tired and sometimes frightened, those old men who wear the hats. They came home to a country that didn’t understand and really didn’t care what they had done. Today they fight the diseases and the ghosts of those far off days. They will tell you where they’re going, but don’t ask them where they’ve been.

The old men in hats shake hands when they meet. They ask “Where were you?  What did you do?” and they sometimes say “Yeah I was there too”. Mostly they understand. For that minute in the middle of WalMart they’re nineteen years old again and tired and scared. Then they thank God that they made it home and they remember those who didn’t.

And the old men get into their cars and go about their business. If you look closely you might see the smoke and the tracers and the dead men behind their eyes. Sometimes they won’t hear you because their ears have rung since those days of steam turbines and jet engines and heavy artillery.

They stand and salute when the flag passes by because they learned of respect and honor in a hard school and that education has never left them. Sometimes the old men wake in the middle of the night and hear the band playing The Stars and Stripes Forever and they smile just a little and whisper to themselves “I’d do it all again.”

God bless the old men who wear the hats.

Reprinted with permission.

Officer Class

To Americans, who unlike the Brits are self-consciously class-indifferent, this piece might be a load of old nonsense, but here we are:

When your job involves abseiling out of helicopters, kicking down doors and taking out the bad guys, you might be forgiven for thinking that it doesn’t really matter what school you went to.
But the SAS is getting worried that not enough posh officers are applying to command its high-stakes operations.
The elite regiment has typically been led by former public schoolboys whose privileged education is said to instil the leadership skills and poise required.
‘The typical SAS officer is confident, relaxed, bright and unflappable,’ said one of the regiment’s warrant officers. ‘Many of the most successful officers have been to the top public schools, but recently we have seen a number of guys coming forward who just don’t cut it. It’s a shame, but they are just not posh enough. The bottom line is that the officers shouldn’t be speaking like soldiers. We don’t want officers who are shouters or know-it-alls.’

Former officers of the SAS include General Mark Carleton-Smith, the head of the Army, and Major Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, a former Private Secretary to Princes William and Harry, who one source described as ‘the archetypal SAS officer’. Both were educated at Eton, while other recent commanding officers attended Winchester and Harrow.

Over There, the term “officer and a gentleman” used to be something of a redundancy — one could only become an officer if one was of the privileged class — but it seems like it has been somewhat undermined, and not to everyone’s liking, either.  Imagine taking orders from this guy

Round about now, Mr. Free Market (who was an officer in the Paras under the old regime) is chuckling into his whisky.