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Paging Chesty Puller

26 May 2010 @ 08:30

Last Thursday, Victor Davis Hanson made the Marines the subject of his syndicated column.  He begins by noting this fact:

Over the last two centuries, two truths have emerged about the Marine Corps. One, they defeat the toughest of America’s adversaries under the worst of conditions. And two, periodically their way of doing things — and their eccentric culture of self-regard — so bothers our military planners that some higher-ups try either to curb their independence or to end the Corps altogether.

VDH then recounts a few of the many attempts to strip the Corps of it’s independence or eliminate it entirely [don’t get me started on Harry Truman].

The last section of his column reports on a potentially disturbing item [worth quoting at length]:

We are once again seeing one of those periodic reexaminations of the Corps. This time, the old stereotype of the lone-ranger, gung-ho Marines supposedly doesn’t fit too well with fighting a sophisticated urban counterinsurgency under an integrated, international command.

After all, America is fighting wars in which we rarely hear about the number of enemy dead, but often hear a great deal about the need to rebuild cities and infrastructure. In Afghanistan, there have been rumors about a new medal for “courageous restraint,” which would honor soldiers who hesitated pulling the trigger against the enemy out of concern about harming civilians.

The Marines are now starting to redeploy to Afghanistan from Iraq and are building a huge base in Delaram. They plan to win over southern Afghanistan’s remote, wild Nimruz Province, which heretofore has been mostly a no-go Taliban stronghold. While NATO forces concentrate on Afghanistan’s major cities, the Marines think they can win over local populations their way, take on and defeat the Taliban, and bring all of Nimruz back from the brink — with their trademark warning “no better friend, no worse enemy.”

So, once again, the Marines are convinced that their ingenuity and audacity can succeed where others have failed. And, once again, not everyone agrees.

The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, retired three-star Army general Karl W. Eikenberry, reportedly made a comment about there being 41 nations serving in Afghanistan — and a 42nd composed of the Marine Corps. One unnamed Obama-administration official was quoted by the Washington Post as saying, “We have better operational coherence with virtually all of our NATO allies than we have with the U.S. Marine Corps.”

Some officials call the new Marine enclave in Nimruz Province “Marinestan” — as if, out of a Kipling or Conrad novel, the Marines has gone rogue to set up their own independent province of operations.

Yet once again, it would be wise not to tamper with the independence of the Marine Corps, given that its methods of training, deployment, fighting, counterinsurgency, and conventional warfare usually pay off in the end.

The technological and political face of war is always changing. But its essence — organized violence to achieve political ends — has not changed since antiquity. Conflict will remain the same as long as human nature does.

The Marines have always understood that. And from the Marines’ initial mission against the Barbary pirates to the battles in Fallujah, Americans have wanted a maverick Marine Corps — a sort of insurance policy that will keep them safe, just in case.

We’re going to have to keep an eye on that little jug-eared, nancy boy man-child in The White House and that milquetoast bureaucrat in The Pentagon.  I wouldn’t put it past the Dali Bama, as part of his quest for peace, love, and understanding [ie: totalitarianism], to try to do something about what he sees as ‘the problem of the Marine Corps’.  We’ve got to watch closely just in case he and his toadies are smart enough not to advocate outright elimination of the Corps, but work to emasculate it. 

We’ve got to pledge to be always faithful to the Marines, because they have always been faithful to us.

We’re a maverick nation.

We need a maverick fighting force. 

We need the Marines.

  1. 26 May 2010 @ 09:05 09:05

    My father in law is a Marine. He’s one bad mamma jamma.

    Seriously, the toughest man I know.

    • bobbelvedere permalink*
      26 May 2010 @ 09:53 09:53

      Without them where would we be?

  2. 26 May 2010 @ 12:09 12:09


  3. Lipton T. Bagg permalink
    30 May 2010 @ 13:35 13:35


    Noted and linked with gratitude by Teddy:

    Happy Memorial Day!

    • bobbelvedere permalink*
      30 May 2010 @ 17:46 17:46

      Thank you very much. I am honored.


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