Home The Friend and the Foe
Home The Friend and the Foe

The Friend and the Foe

On Memorial Day, the flowers bloom. A dozen towns in a dozen states all claim that it began there when after the long weary struggle of the Civil War, the mothers and sisters of the lost and the fallen brought fresh cut flowers to bring a touch of life to the dead men entombed in the cold, gray stone.

"From the silence of sorrowful hours, The desolate mourners go, Lovingly laden with flowers, Alike for the friend and the foe,” reads the famous Francis Miles Finch poem which helped popularize the practice.

Today the wars are no longer fraternal. The First World War is the last war that had anything brotherly in it. It was a war where soldiers from both sides could observe a Christmas truce and hurl nothing deadlier than snowballs at each other. The end of that terrible war on the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" became Armistice Day and then, when the “war to end all wars” did not end them, but instead gave way to wars fought against terrible evils, Nazism, Communism, Islam, it became Veteran’s Day to remember those who would go on sacrificing in this eternal struggle against evil.

But while wars are no longer fraternal, the flowers are laid now on the graves of foes, not friends.

The men and women who die fighting for the cause of freedom are not accorded a fraction of the tender affection from the press that it lavishes on a single imprisoned Al Qaeda terrorist. We live today in an America in which the butchers of the Jihad in Guantanamo Bay receive better medical care than veterans waiting endlessly at the VA. While Obama cut off hot meals for Marines in Afghanistan, Islamic terrorists in Guantanamo Bay were enjoying lemon baked fish, honey glazed chicken, lyonaise rice, tandouri chicken breast, okra, hummus, dates, honey and seasoned lentils.

While veterans died at the VA, the men they had fought and helped capture were gifted with a $750,000 soccer field. This treatment is an obscene echo of the days of segregation when German POWs were allowed to sit inside at eateries while the African-American soldiers who guarded them had to wait outside. This segregation no longer occurs by race, but by patriotism and creed.

Obama denies that Islamic terrorism exists and suppresses any training materials about the role of Islam in Islamic terrorism while his administration warns of domestic terror threats from veterans. Muslim migrants from Syria receive lavish social benefits while health care for veterans is slashed. The Muslim migrants, many of whom support Islamic terrorists, benefit from job programs while veterans head for the unemployment line. This hatefully discriminatory attitude has become pervasive on the left.

Hollywood bends over backward to avoid accurately portraying Muslim terrorists, but depicts returning veterans as unstable killers and ticking time bombs. The media gushes over each petty Islamophobia grievance, like Tahera Ahmad, who claimed that she didn’t receive a Diet Coke can on a plane only because she was Muslim, while sweeping the sweeping the thousand veterans who died because of the VA scandal under the progressive prayer rug. A Muslim Diet Coke matters more than a thousand dead veterans.

When Secretary of Defense Ash Carter was slow to release Islamic Jihadists from Guantanamo Bay, Obama summoned him and personally chewed him out over the delays for his beloved terrorists. His predecessor, Secretary of Defense Hagel, said, “I’d get the hell beat out of me all the time on this at the White House.”

Does anyone imagine that Obama summoned the VA secretary to yell at him over the treatment of veterans? Instead he initially backed former VA Secretary Shinseki. And it’s doubtful that current VA Secretary Bob McDonald will be getting personally yelled at by Obama for comparing wait lines at the VA to Disneyland.

33% of veterans who have served since September 11 suffer from a disability. Their unemployment rates are higher and both poverty rates and food stamp use continue to rise. Behind these tragic facts is the tragic truth that we have forgotten how to honor our veterans. Worse still, the country’s leaders go out of their way to actively diminish the respect due to their courage and sacrifices.

On his visit to Vietnam, Obama referenced veterans only to praise John Kerry while insisting that “the courage to make peace” is more important than the courage “to fight”. The old-fashioned kind of veteran who fought in Vietnam, who earned his Purple Heart honestly and came home wounded in body and spirit, who is not interested in pretending that the Communist death squads he fought deserve his tribute is, according to Obama, lacking in courage. True courage is appeasement while the courage that stopped Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan is truly something closer to cowardice.

In his apology speech at Hiroshima, Obama cynically equated American and Japanese soldiers, as he had both sides in Vietnam, dismissing World War II as being fought out of a “base instinct for domination or conquest”. This is how the left sees war and soldiers. There are no good wars. Therefore the only good veterans are the ones who transcend it by recognizing that they made a mistake by fighting. That war is a misunderstanding to be resolved by the truly courageous diplomacy of men like John Kerry.

Is it any wonder that an administration which views the military as an evil to be abolished, which sees the war against Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany not as proof of our moral convictions, but as an outgrowth of our ancestors “having learned to make blades from flint and spears from wood, used these tools not just for hunting, but against their own kind”, has such contempt and hostility for veterans?

And is it any wonder that this contempt trickles through the institutions of the left, from entertainment to academia, and that in the shadow of these institutions, the honor due to the men who fought for our freedom, those still living and the dead, from the birth of our nation to its present crisis, is lacking?

Is it any wonder that veterans go hungry while lavish feasts are thrown in the institutions of government? Once we remembered that our freedoms come from the willingness to fight for them. Not with campus activism or empty words, but on the battlefield against those totalitarian enemies, whether they wear the death’s head, the red star or the crescent, which come to deprive us of them.

But our enemies today are as likely to come from within as without. We are in the midst of a quiet civil war and our veterans have become its first casualties. The heroes of today’s ruling class are racist rabble-rousers who tear down the flag for which so many of our soldiers died and replace it with their own militant banners of identity politics. The privileged leftist activists who once chanted "Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh, the NLF is gonna win", who even attempted to murder soldiers to aid the enemy, are in charge of the country, while Vietnam veterans sleep on the streets and groan in prisons.

Obama’s disrespect for veterans and the military is only a symptom of a deeper rot. Once again a civil war is underway between those of us who love this Union and those who seek to divide it. It is a conflict fought with words and laws, rather than bullets, but it has its casualties who are all around us. It is not only the veterans who have died at the VA who are its victims, but those who have long slept under green grass and gray stone, whose graves wait to be decorated, whose courage waits to be remembered and whose cause waits to be fought once again.


  1. Anonymous1/6/16

    While depressing and sad, this is beautiful because of its cold, hard truth. What a miserable group of politicians run our country.

  2. I've been struggling to make sense of everything that's been going on on this year. I think I'm ready to pronounce my verdict: this election is between the people who work and fight for our country, and the people who don't work and don't believe in our country. That's the stark distinction, and the one the politicians, media,and academic don't want to talk about... because (despite their verbose protestations) THEY THEMSELVES DON'T WORK. Who wants to be seen as a fool? Who wants to be seen as a parasite? Who Wants to be seen as a pathetic wordsmith? Hell, who wants to be seen as a worthless scalawag, bloviator or foolish professor? No one. That's why they resist everything that's going on. They're scared. They can't figure it out. They're terrified. Not my problem. Please... Let the band play on!

  3. Just a common 'tater2/6/16

    You have really described in great detail and accuracy how our supposed Commander in Chief views his own citizens, especially those that made great sacrifices for and have suffered much for this country.

    And this is the tip of the iceberg. Our fearless leader, who never served, now pushes the idea (not supported by history, previous attempts, or scientific double blinded studies), that women are the same as men. So now, all specialties, including combat roles are open to women. I certainly believe there are many roles that women can do well, not just driving and nursing. However, when it comes to a slugfest, slogging through the mud, and carrying heavy loads, most women cannot perform at the same level as a man of the same stature and weight.

    Speaking of weight, the man in the oval office has now weighed in on the toilet issue. The great, pressing concerns that have puzzled us since we started to walk upright. Who can use what bathroom? What is gender? Is it something innate we are born with, or something in our head? Well, now we know, it is just in our head, just a perception. I can be whatever I feel I am today, and use the appropriate restroom. I guess I will rush to tell my wife it is time for me to have a baby. Next time, she can just "reverse the charges" and we will all be happy in our new roles!

    BHO has also made it clear he has great contempt for law enforcement, those that prefer the Bible to the Koran, and those that think the 2nd Amendment means what it says.

    What is most worrisome though, is how BHO, Hillary, Pelosi, Feinstein, Reid, and the rest of that crowd have been put into office. Despite evidence of vote fraud, nothing is done. The list is long.

    However, in closing (finally), there are some that have voiced the opinion that our military should mutiny and we should revolt against our leadership. Certainly, the founders of our republic recognized that sometimes this must be done. However, history shows that such a process usually does not end well. If we cannot reclaim and rejuvenate this country via the ballot box, it will not be easily done by force of arms, and may take us into a direction not intended and not desirable.

  4. Anonymous2/6/16

    In The Fraternal War, where officers were nobles and enlisted were commoners, it was just good taste to show a fellow officer on the other side every kindness. He was likely a graduate of the same academy had a cousin or two in common. Jolly good, old boy!

    Any wonder why the Swift Boat Vets have such contempt for Kerry? How long before Bergdahl runs for office?

  5. Anonymous2/6/16

    Beautifully written bit that speaks eloquently about Obozo not having one red-blooded American bone in his disgusting body. He can't even throw a baseball for goodness sake! It really says something to attend one of best law schools in the world ??, study the US Constitution and not marvel at the brilliance of this body of work by a few good men who wanted to have freedom from tyranny. Anyone with an ounce of art appreciation would get it. And to be in charge of such a country for so many years to not be moved by it, it's people, and it's history, and it's place in history must be demented.
    That so many people would be deluded into voting for this clown not only once but twice makes it all the worse for that is the true tell about the sad state of the union. That they would want to continue down this path with another of the same cloth is maddening.

  6. Anonymous2/6/16

    There is a belief that all people were created equally. One could argue that all people are separated by certain hard-wired advantages and disadvantages at birth according to genetics, brain power, physical condition, etc., but in general people start out life with a fighting chance to achieve and to do good if they so choose.
    However, not all belief systems were created equally. Some are good, others are bad and a few are in between. People on the Left believe that others are superior to us (us being Westerners under democratic rule). The “others” also believe they are superior to us and are intent on displacing or subjugating us kafirs. The Left have twisted reality by thinking that good is evil and that bad people can be made good by following their every demand and respecting beliefs which happen to hold the seeds of our own destruction.

    There is no longer a team effort to build a great nation which America represents and which the world has looked to for hope, guidance and support. We are becoming more like the third world and that is what trump is saying – it is one of several truisms coming from that unfortunately flawed character. At least his flaws do not naturally side with terrorists and give them the advantage at every opportunity to come to America, make demands from us on behalf of their belief systems and then target our civilians in heinous and grotesque acts of terror while people like Clinton and Obama look the other way and find fault with good people who dare protect the values and the great country, America, the Left has abandoned to the “multicultural” elites and those who demand society give them all they want while they take everything they can get and then spit on us.

  7. I have talked about this for years. Those who held the military in contempt and protested during Vietnam, all the "anti-establishment" crowd... Have become the establishment. They bring their hatred, elitism, naivete and contempt along with them to the halls of government. What you describe is a natural outcome of those attitudes.

  8. We will be fighting these same battles over and again at the brink of the abyss until we take back the minds of those who have not learned the lessons of history; the young. I do fear that we are near the tipping point where history has been re-written forever, setting a course for us to repeat it.

  9. And let's not forget the malicious vandalism committed on monuments and memorials to vets in Kentucky, California, and Virginia. Perhaps that's occurred elsewhere, as well, and the Left media just hasn't reported it.

  10. Anonymous2/6/16

    "In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to."

    Theodore Dalrymple

  11. I'm tired of hearing the word "sacrifice." The vets who died did not have "sacrifice" in mind. They risked their lives to gain or keep values, which would be their relatively free country, their comrades in arms, or to oppose with unfettered hostility the foot soldiers of evil, enslaving, destructive ideologies. One can say as an afterthought that they "sacrificed" their lives, but a willingness to "sacrifice" could not be their motivating character. Their actions were "pro-life," in a manner of speaking. One must fight for something, and not just against something.

  12. Daniel, you say these truths poetically and with eloquence but even your unique abilities cannot diminish the force of the blow you describe. Hope for the future of our Republic is running thin. I'd never have believed that it could come to this. It's far worse than the inmates running the asylum.

  13. Anonymous2/6/16

    As a combat veteran Of Vietnam, I read this with tears and thanks.

  14. No, we are the ones who must thank you for your service

  15. http://thefederalist.com/2016/06/03/why-all-the-hippies-morphed-into-campus-fascists/#disqus_thread

    This explains the behavior of our current leaders quite well. Their beliefs about government and the military were shaped by campus politics of this era. The anti-establishment have become the establishment, but they are still "fundamentally" anti/against our culture. Except now, they are in positions of power. They loathed and spit on soldiers returning from Vietnam and now they spit on them figuratively in the treatment of our veterans and now we have a president running around apologizing and creating moral equivalence to our veterans with our enemy combatants. War is bad, no matter the reason, right? It's all hippie talk.

  16. I've been writing a print newsletter for combat vets since 1994 called The S-2 Report to help veterans through the complicated VA system. I've always operated at a loss. I even wrote the original booklet on PTSD claims that was eventually approved and used by the VA. The VA system is adversarial and geared to bog veterans down with the claims process, often by people who spent their entire lives in school before working for the VA, and they know nothing about service to their country. These were the same people who shouted "Draft Beer, Not students." They didn't care about anyone else like truck drivers or laborers, only students.

  17. Well officer, ya see uh, the thing is, I used the ladies' room because I identify as a woman. Yeah, that's the ticket, heh heh, heh heh.

  18. Thanks Daniel - well spoken!

  19. Anonymous4/6/16

    True leftists don’t even love their loved ones, Their true love is that ersatz apocalypse called Marxism: Everything must succumb on its altar. Why? Because my country is aggressive, my family is patriarchal, my money is the fruit of exploitation, my house is white privilege, my car is killing the planet… Are they tiresome or what? Let’s hope president Trump can deliver on his promises regarding vets.

  20. Anonymous6/6/16

    I am sharing this word for word on my blog. It hit a nerve with me. My husband is an Army veteran who served with honer and pride. And our idiot of a President is doing only harm to our Armed Forces and our Veterans. I appreciate the truth in this post. Please advise if you want this removed from my blog.


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