No, of course we don’t need politics at TAH

| January 12, 2019


Another from our own Poetrooper. A couple posts in as many days and an e-mail I hope to be able to expand on soon, impressive. Seems to me Poe is making progress getting back in the saddle. I think it’s pretty safe for me to say all here are wishing Poe the best, and can’t wait until he’s hale enough to post VFR direct. That goes for me, too.

Without further nonsense, Poe:

By: Poetrooper
Well here we go, just a day or so after our discussion of the matter of political posts, with some perfect examples posted right here at TAH, proving the point of why you can’t separate politics from military activities. AW1/Ed’s post about the railroading of the MARSOC major and his troops and the comment-added case of the railroaded Navy SEAL chief for sexual assault both demonstrate conclusively that politics absolutely permeates military life and affects the lives of military members in countless ways; and in these two particular cases, in ways that do harm to good warriors for no other reason than corrupt politics being injected into war by venal politicians and enforced by politicized military leadership, all of them more worried about their public images and their promotions than about the troops.

I have read in the past that the COL Nicholson mentioned in the MARSOC article was a politically correct, political animal, which it pains me to say, as he appears to have been a lean, mean Airborne Ranger officer and a badass; but he was also a protégé of another politically favored, and political animal himself, Eric Shinseki and rose though the flag ranks quickly under Obama, getting his second, third and fourth stars in rapid succession from the most politically correct CinC ever, who must have been quite pleased with him. Anyone want to bet that Nicholson professed his belief in Anthropogenic Global Warming?

As for the rest of the military culprits who dishonored themselves in their treatment of the Marines, you must remember that they were being pressured constantly by their civilian bosses to avoid collateral casualties because it brought bad media coverage for the Obama White House. Remember, too, who it is in Washington who wets their pants every time the Taliban or Isis, aided by a compliant media, makes false claims about collateral civilian deaths. It is Democrats, like the dishonorable Dickless Durbin, who loudly defame our troops, calling them Nazis and baby killers, knocking down doors in the night for the bloodthirsty slaughter of civilians.

In the case of the SEAL Chief convicted of sexual assault, the convening/reviewing admiral now admits he was pressured by the then-Judge Advocate General of the Navy as well as her deputy, then-Rear Admiral Crawford, also Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and lastly, ta da! the Obama White House. Anyone besides ol’ Poe see a politically correct thread running through that bunch of female and minority officers and politicians? Here’s the money quote from Admiral Lorge:

“At the time, the political climate regarding sexual assault in the military was such that a decision to disapprove the findings, regardless of merit, would bring hate and discontent on the Navy from the President, as well as senators including Senator Kirstin Gillibrand,”
So by all means, let’s not discuss politics at TAH because it has nothing to do with our military mission, according, that is, to comments from several of you in the discussion of the direction TAH should go, right? So we should assume that means you’d rather not have had Ed post that MARSOC article, right?


Thanks Poe. You keep writing them, I’ll keep posting them.

Category: Guest Post, Politics

Comments (40)

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  1. JTB says:

    This political pressure gravitates all the way down to the local level (or did) when the last administration was in charge…Mainly centered around the shooting of Black criminals by Police…With the local D.A. filing charges before the investigation was even over…

  2. OWB says:

    It would be great if honor, integrity and all that good stuff so permeated the upper echelons of the military that no connection to politics could ever be found thus there being no need to ever discuss it here. Yes, that would be great.

    But, since that isn’t how things operate it is unrealistic for politics to be completely avoided. How would that happen anyway? How many valor thieves have also been political figures? Should no mention be made of their affiliation and/or the office that they hold? When some congress critter introduces a really stupid bill, should we avoid talking about it?

    All just to say that “politics” can’t and shouldn’t be avoided. Trying is a fool’s errand.

    Now, if we avoided highlighting all stupid moves made by persons of a particular ideology, that would be wrong. But we don’t.

  3. NHSparky says:

    While I did my best to personally remain apolitical while on AD, I was (barely) smart enough to realize the mission, whatever it may be, was driven by politics from planning to post-evolution awards.

    And yes, service members vote. Often with their feet, to the detriment of our national security.

  4. akpual says:

    Yep, it sure seems like politicians like to use military folks or cops as bus targets. Then they can wash their hands of things.

  5. streetsweeper says:

    Uh, yup. I remember when a certain Cobb County Public Safety Commissioner thought it was okay to blow up his resume with a butt load of stolen valor, exposed and fired. A county water board member that fluffed his resume so much, it led to the passage of the first SV law. Or the nurse that claimed Viet of the Nam service and was never in the military. OR a Connecticut Senator or any other politicians and civilians and veterans that fluffed their resumes for personal gain. So, lets leave politics out of the discussions, aight?

    • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

      Don’t forget about a couple of school board members/candidates that “fluffed” up their accomplishments.

    • Civilwarrior says:

      …which is exactly why every time…EVERY FUCKING TIME…I see a politician blast their vet cred out there to garner votes I become automatically suspicious of them. I’m proud of my service, but if I ever did run for office it would absolutely be the last thing that I talked about. I don’t give two shits if a politician was a Navy SEAL, or a clerk typist in a mess kit repair battalion; I want to know what they intend to do once in office. That is all.

      • AW1Ed says:

        The name Randall Harold Cunningham sound familiar? Navy pilot, call sign “Duke.” With his RIO he became the first “Missile Ace” in Viet Nam. Retired at Commander, went into politics, and shitcanned it all. Pled guilty to bribery, fraud, and tax evasion.

  6. Animal says:

    I know this post isn’t necessarily about politics being posted on TAH, but I’ve started avoiding the political ones. Invariably the post is hijacked by one person and rapidly degenerates away from any semblance of an intelligent discussion. I used to read them and sought out the ones that challenged my beliefs (LC). Recently, however, they are hijacked and turned into nothing that resembles a productive discussion by said hijacker.

    • akpual says:

      Do you speak of Lars/Cornholio? Don’t let them chase you, there are many thought provoking comments here that are well written. Hell, that’s one of the reason to serve, to promote allowing different opinions.

      • akpual says:

        That should have been to preserve allowing different opinions.

      • Animal says:

        I agree completely. It’s my own personal shortcomings that keep me from being able to sift through some of the posts. It’s not what’s being said, but how. I guess I didn’t do a very good of expressing what I was trying to say. One of the reason I have been coming here for going on 6 years now is the frank, no bullshit military way of discussing things.

    • Perry Gaskill says:

      Animal, this seems like a strange objection to me. If the problem is that the Commissar is blowing up political discussion threads, wouldn’t it make more sense to ban the Commissar instead of banning political discussion threads?

      • Animal says:

        I wasn’t advocating banning political discussion threads. Not everyone has the same reaction to them that I do and I’m not a fan of insisting accommodations being made for the few that affect the many. I know nothing about blogs and how they’re set up, but it would be nice if one poster really pushed your buttons you could opt to ignore them. Probably not feasible for a number of reasons. Other than that, I’m a firm believer in if you’re not challenging your beliefs, you’re being manipulated.

        • OWB says:

          Been a long time since I paid any attention to the admin side of blogs or discussion boards, but we used to have that capability, at least on discussion boards. It’s one of the reasons I didn’t like moderating – you HAD to read all the stuff. As a reader/commenter, you could elect to ignore whoever you wanted to ignore. It made for some funny moments, though, when you would read the responses to someone you were ignoring.

    • FatCircles0311 says:

      If you ignore trolls they lose all their power. Apparently the aarp regulars here though just can’t help themselves.

      I’ve stopped reading those dipshits posts and replies but you’re right about the mountain of bullshit replies you’re then forced to scroll through even if you want to ignore it. If the comment system was anything close to useful ou could simply outright ignore the post and continue on but with the extremely antiquated system being used still it’s an absolute mess.

      • Animal says:

        Yeah, it’s what to do with that mountain of bullshit.

      • Perry Gaskill says:

        I’m not so sure the problem is the “antiquated” nature of Word Press. Back when NNTP was used a lot, there were indeed news readers which provided a “plonk” filter controlled by the end user. If you got tired of a troll, you could filter out his comments with the settings stored at your own local machine level.

        Since Word Press is normally browser based, the same granular level of troll control is probably only going to be possible by granting admin access in the WP control panel. If there’s a mainly responsible party in this, it’s likely the nature of web browsers in general and the HTTP/HTTPS transport protocol. There’s also an RSS issue to consider. Although it might be possible to store, say, a persistent cookie to act as a plonk filter, I’ve never heard of such an approach in the open-source software realm.

        But I could be wrong, and it wouldn’t be the first time. Anybody who comes up with a solution to this probably deserves a TAH ‘leet haxor merit badge.

    • HMC Ret says:

      I understand where Animal is coming from. I first came here for the SV assholes but stayed for the politics as well. SV pisses me off, but I must be careful re politics. I genuinely get emotion when reading some of the political bullshit that passes for leadership in this country.

  7. HMCS(FMF) ret says:

    Love hearing from Poe… thanks for his opinion on the two links I submitted.

    • Poetrooper says:

      Sorry I didn’t give you due credit, Senior Chief. As you can see, most of what I write is opinion, my opinion based on someone else’s facts, yours in this case. I generally acknowledge my sources but do screw that up from time to time.

  8. Ret_25X says:

    If having military bling (wings, tabs, badges, medals) were an indication of integrity, honor, ethics, etc, there would be no veterans in prison.

    This is where we must all acknowledge a serious anchoring of our thinking around military personnel. The bling reveals very little about a person’s true nature. The ability to pass the ranger school or be courageous for 20 minutes when your own life may well depend on it are not in themselves revelations of character. Even true jackwagons can be good for a time.

    In the Infantry we had those joe shit the ragbag types who got their Expert Infantryman’s Badge. Normally, these soldiers could not pour piss from a boot without two NCOs coaching them, but somehow they can shine for a piece of bling.

    But senior leaders were dazzled by such bling. We call them badge finders.

    This may be what motivates potentially toxic political animals to demonstrate excellence to achieve a Ranger Tab, or EIB. They know it enhances their true ambitions.

    One other thing about military (particularly Army) culture is the need for a big, knock out, achievement every single year. This causes even those normally adept at serious thinking and long term success to focus on “quick wins” that may have terrible consequences for others and may haunt the environment for years. I see this every day in the IT environment where acquisition decisions are made not based on long term capabilities envisioned, but on short term delivery desires that provide that above center mass or top block eval.

    Which is all why politics are front and center of every veteran discussion. For many, their political ambitions–be they group ambitions or personal–generate the here and now decisions made. Which leads to an asshat like COL Nicholson. Driven by his personal loyalty to ambition rather than selfless service, he will gladly sacrifice a Major to further himself.

    • rgr769 says:

      Officers above the rank of O-5 are frequently motivated by the politics of their career advancement. Some become professional politicians who happen to wear a uniform. Many of our flag rank officers became corrupted and compromised by the likes of the 0bama regime. One thing I noticed from my service way back when was that the most senior ranks did not practice the concept that loyalty should run in both directions, both up and down the chain of command. Officers who felt loyal to their men after reaching O-6 were few and far between.

      • Civilwarrior says:

        That is also true of enlisted ranks once you get past the MSG/1SG level…become an SGM/CSM and…POOF…instant politician.

    • Angry B says:

      “One other thing about military (particularly Army) culture is the need for a big, knock out, achievement every single year. This causes even those normally adept at serious thinking and long term success to focus on “quick wins” that may have terrible consequences for others and may haunt the environment for years. I see this every day in the IT environment where acquisition decisions are made not based on long term capabilities envisioned, but on short term delivery desires that provide that above center mass or top block eval.”

      Ret_25X thank you for perfectly articulating what I have routinely observed in 20+ years with Dept of the Army. It’s at the point that when I hear someone in my office say “we need some quick wins,” the voice in my heads says “you mean some high-visibility mess that may not be in the organization’s best interest and which someone else will get to clean up after you’re gone.”

  9. Tallywhagger says:

    There was a recent post about Mueller having served during Vietnam. While it was interesting to learn, we might never have known had he not been politically engaged in a sanctioned political witch hunt.

  10. Poetrooper says:

    By the way, for those of you who decry the presence of politics and political discussions on the forum, may I suggest you re-read what our founder, SFC Lilyea, wrote on the matter? From his “ABOUT THISAINTHELL” section:

    “We’re known for our work in the Stolen Valor arena, but sometimes we talk about politics, most of us are supporters of Second Amendment rights and we talk about that.”

    Cited by Jonn as secondary only to Stolen Valor which was his and should remain the primary mission. But Jonn clearly had politics listed as his second priority. He also emphasized the importance of TAH content coming from combat veterans because Jonn well understood how combat experiences can influence your life views and particularly your political views.

  11. HMCS(FMF) ret says:

    If you look at the early history of our (and other nations) military, commissions were usually purchased or gained using political influence. Even a recent post by someone (forgive me if I can remember the perosn’s name) showed that Benedict Arnold, a man wounded in battle twice (at Quebec and at Saratoga) defected over to the British because he was unable to gain promotion due to his lack of political connections and infighting within the Continental Army and Congress.

    Unfortunately, politics and the military are joined at the hip… that’s how it’s set up.

  12. pookysgirl (WC wife) says:

    You might not be interested in politics, but they are interested in you! Military funding was a bargaining chip during sequestration, and things in my husband’s detachment got so bad I had to buy them office supplies. Also, his last deployment had to be less than 30 days because they couldn’t secure funding for longer than that.

  13. 5th/77th FA says:

    Well said Poetrooper. I always enjoy your insightful musing and to the point facts. Gives everyone something to think about.

    As a veteran interest site how could we avoid political discussions. I was very lucky during my service, for the most part the officers and NCOs that I was directly involved with, were men and mission focused. Look after the men and complete the mission. I was with troops from all backgrounds and ethnic persuasions. Had ring knockers, OCS, Mustangs, thru the rankers, shake and bakers. Saw more of “politicians in uniform” stateside than I did overseas. Going by the news reports, comments from you more recent servers, and my own observations, it appears as if this problem is worse lately than I lot of us dealt with back yonder.

    As was posted above, many times in the past, commissions were bought, sold, appointed, or swapped for constantly. Look at all of the officer political wrangling that went on during the War Between the States. Some of those epic battles were more bloodthirsty than Sharpsburg or Shiloh. History is eat up with examples.

    Most of us here have learned to recognize and ignore the more idiotic postings of the Larsi Bois/chucuntapotoies that seagull up the place. I no longer waste my keyboard ink on them. When one shows up, I head down to the basement & have a drink with charles w.

  14. Bly says:

    As any officer can tell you, your promotions (officer) aren’t final until Federal Recognition (FEDREC).

    So yes, politics are connected to the military. It sucks! But it’s worked for over 200 years. Kinda like insurance vs. Obamacare, insurance may not have been great, but it was the best in the world, now, well??????? Mine is twice as much and half as good!!

  15. Thunderstixx says:

    One thing nobody has mentioned in this post so far is that political leanings control the battlefield and the lives of those that are wrapped up in them.
    The oblowme administration set up more of the stupid ROE’s that plagued the military in Vietnam.
    There is no doubt in my mind that more military personnel were killed by the ROE’s from that clown show than were killed by enemy action.
    I’ve hauled lots of people in my time working for Uber and any of those that served under that bull shit crowd all said the same thing.
    They would practically had to call a lawyer in Florida before they could shoot some bastard that has just set his rifle down after killing an American.
    The same attitude that hamstrung our troops in Vietnam is also the reason that the Military has had such a hard time keeping people in their ranks.
    The sooner the better that they leave if they have to deal with that shit.
    And I damn sure cannot blame them for leaving either…
    God Bless all of them for showing up when their best inclinations tell them that they should run the hell away as fast and as soon as they can…

  16. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    Poly – Ticks

    Explains much