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Free Speech Abused

Another attack on an institution that has kept this country strong - UNC Chapel Hill's ROTC Armory was violated by those who are obviously under a misperception that there is both a draft and a war where we send cannon fodder (conscripts) - h/t Michelle Malkin. A few points for the perpetrator(s).

Assuming that it is our war - so what? We're fighting it clearly without your help and without needing your help. You are free to go on about your life as you wish, without any interference from the military.

Your right to free speech is defended by the very souls behind these doors. And you have your rights to speak out in protest for any issue of your choice. But that right does not extend to breaking the law. Painting graffiti is a crime - a misdemeanor, mind you, but still a crime. And since this is ostensibly a federal facility (rent paid by federal funds), then you may have committed a federal crime. If that's how you want your curriculum vitae to read, more power to you. Generally, convicted criminals don't do to well in the job market. Maybe you intend to join the Peace Mom's hug-a-thugathon and you would be welcomed with open arms.

You also have the right to choose in North Carolina - you can choose any course of action you deem best for yourself. But then you must be willing to accept the consequences of your actions, the result of your decision. The men and women in ROTC will risk their lives at some point during their careers - they've been informed of this on the way in. And they agreed to it - they exercised their freedom to choose. If they have to kill people in the line of their future duty, they'll also have to live with that for the rest of their lives. And they are willing to do this because they believe in the freedom and liberty that Americans enjoy. And you also believe this, otherwise you would not freely protest your point of view that a world without war would be a great world indeed.

If only you could guarantee that all others would so readily accept peace, but you cannot. The argument that peace starts at home is fallacious. What did some 2700 civilians who worked in the Twin Towers have to do with Al Qaeda out of Afghanistan? Governments are bad - not people. The international cast working in the World Trade Centers on 9/11 did not deserve their fate. The argument over Iraq is a wash at this point - we are there. A reasonable debate is what is best for the people of Iraq, the Middle East, and the world as a whole.

What is the real issue that causes you to paint such things on the ROTC building? Did you lose your girlfriend to a ROTC guy because he was more manly? Or are you jealous? Not everyone is cut out for the military - many are in who should not be. That's really okay. You can make the world a better place in your own way, without resotring to trying to tear down those who are comfortable with themselves and their decisions. In order to maintain the very high standard of officers - those who will take responsibility for the lives of those in their charge, the government needs to continue recruiting. If you don't like the recruiting, ignore it. Don't talk with recruiters or military people. That's the free choice these folks have given you. Enjoy it without breaking the law, though.

I was enlisted for eight years. I was selected for the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program and attended the University of Arizona as an active duty USMC Sergeant. We wore our uniforms every Wednesday. We were attached to the Naval ROTC unit. They wore their midshipmen uniforms. I was assailed on more than one occasion by anti-war students. One called me a baby killer. I retorted without thinking, "Too bad it wasn't you." I regretted it the second I said it. I confirmed his opinion of me and lost the intellectual battle. Later, I was spit on, in my USMC Charlie uniform. My response to this individual was much more thoroughly contemplated. "And I'll die for your right to do that." My personal experiences with these individuals was that they were not brave enough to be in the military, so they wanted to show how tough they were. The difference in maturity is that I knew who the enemy was - not these fresh-out-of-the-parent's home kids, but the enemies of America. At the time, it was still the Soviet Union, but the Soyuz was crumbling before our eyes. Saddam quickly rose to fill the void...

Recently at the University of Pittsburgh, I observed socialist youth preparing to march in support of Venezuela and Cuba. No problem - this is the way peaceful, law-abiding Americans demonstrate. But around the Pitt campus, there were also stickers dropping the F-bomb on the military recruiters. The gist was to keep the recruiters off "our" campuses. Excuse me, but these campuses receive significant funds from the U.S. Government - for those funds, the campuses agree to support Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity, non-discrimination, etc. and to allow military recruiters on campus to ply their trade. The USG bought and paid for this right and the Supreme Court recently supported it. If you don't want to see military recruiters, go to a completely private school. If you can't afford that, then you have to deal with what the USG has paid to help you with. Most disconcerting was an organization titled "Militant Labor" that seemed to be a bit more than just a socialist youth group. Another group supported the militaryfreezone.com (won't link to these folks - communist socialists. Their ignorance doesn't deserve a hit on their web page).

And a final note - the folks who love war the least are the ones who have to fight in it. But the bravery and yes, honor of this next generation of officers deserves your tolerance at the very least, if not your respect.