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A Veterans Day message to my brothers and sisters

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I’ve spent more than a month thinking about what I wanted to say this Veteran’s Day. I thought perhaps this year would be less contentious than last, but it doesn’t seem that way. Our politics and culture is as divided as ever.

I hope that at least on the issue of our nation’s veterans we can all agree to set aside politics and division for just a little while. I maintain a Facebook account just to keep in touch with friends and relatives, and rarely, if ever, debate politics there. Others don’t seem to feel the same.

I’ve watched comrades I’ve been to war with savage each other over issues of race, guns, taxes, and even things as silly as the NFL. It has saddened me to see men and women who served side by side in the darkest of times forget that they are friends and comrades and assume the worst about each other. I’ve watched silently, reading their posts, replies, and counter-replies, but not commenting myself.

My heart is heavy as those who happen to be of a different race savage each other over the issue. I never considered it before, simply because it didn’t matter to me. They were my comrades. Most served with me as subordinates, a few others as superiors or peers. All were, and still are, my brothers and sisters.

I’ll put things in a larger perspective that most people can understand. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is someone whom I find politically reprehensible, as he runs as a conservative every six years, and behaves as no such thing while in office. Yet I find any attack upon his years spent in a North Vietnamese prison camp as disgusting. McCain was given the opportunity to go home early, yet refused to go without his fellow prisoners. If one cannot respect that service, in and of itself, how can you respect anything?

Kurt Schlichter and I have disagreed on Twitter often enough, usually over candidate, and now President Trump. I disagree with some of Kurt’s support for Trump as unwarranted, but I’ve never lost respect for Kurt’s long and honorable service in the Army. He’s a good man, and his service should be honored.

A man I almost NEVER agree with is Montel Williams. The former talk show host and Naval Academy graduate and I have sparred often enough over a variety of issues. We’re about as far apart on the political spectrum as it gets. And yet we follow each other on Twitter, even giving each other a hard time over each other’s branch of service like vets tend to do. Montel is my brother, and always will be, no matter how much we fight over politics.

Sure, there are those that were and still are in the military I don’t respect, but that come from what I know about their behavior in the military, not because of political beliefs. But those I just disagree with politically don’t stop being my brother or sister because of that.

I hope those I served with, and others, will come to that same place at some point. I frankly wish ALL people could serve in the military simply so they could find that same bond that I value so much in my fellow veterans. If we could at least have that level of respect for each other, I wonder if perhaps our political discourse might in turn become more productive?

At any rate, I hope that everyone, everywhere in the United States, will at least set aside politics for the weekend and honor this nation’s veterans who have sacrificed so much. Many of us are still sacrificing. We live with the nightmares of the dead we carried to their final flight home, or with the fact that we lost families in part due to our service. Please consider that this weekend, even if you can’t consider it all the time.

To those I served with, I begged you to remember the things we went through together, and that bond should be enough to help us keep our respect for one another, even when we vehemently disagree.

Benjamin Wilhelm served as a commissioned officer in the United States military for 10 years, serving one combat tour in Afghanistan. He is a recipient of the Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge among other military awards. Ben has worked in a variety of private sector businesses both large and small. He is a former military and civilian firearms instructor and an advocate for veterans issues. Ben is a strict Constitutionalist who sees the Federal government as an out of control leviathan, and the federal debt as a burden that will break the country. Ben is a divorced father of two boys.

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Foreign Affairs

Being American doesn’t mean ignoring facts. Ron Paul right about Trump-Putin meeting.

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In the era of torn Russian relations, Ron Paul takes a step back and views more information than almost any pundit on air or on twitter. It’s bipartisan to hate Russian, and that causes many Americans to hold inconsistent views on foreign policy issues related to Russia.

The media’s coverage on all things related to Russia was bad before it’s terrible coverage of Trump. We need a balanced factual approach to foreign relations with Russia. Not everything is Russia’s fault. America needs a new approach to Russia, and Trump can bring that.

John Kerry spent so much time picking losing battles with Russia and the United States needs to move on from these geopolitical skirmishes. Part of this means throwing the Obama administration under the bus. Between John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, US interests in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe faced setbacks. Only then can we have a better relationship with Russia.

I appreciate Ron Paul’s perspective because, in an era of hot takes and the political popularity of Russia hating, he maintains a just perspective that embraces facts.

US Russia Factsheet

US and Russia

  • These two countries have the largest nuclear arsenal
  • US military currently miles ahead of Russia
  • Relations have ever been good
  • Both (sort of) friends with the Kurds
  • Russia largely used as scapegoat, punching bags in American politics
  • Trump administration upped military spending
  • US through NATO still practices a containment policy with regards to Russia
  • Both countries have issues with Islamic terrorism
  • Working together on North Korea issue

Russia

  • Is not a free country
  • Does not pretend to be a free country (like Europe)
  • Its people largely view the break up of the Soviet Union as a tragedy (regardless of feelings about communism)
  • Actually likes Putin, a lot (strangely)
  • Has had Putin at the helm for decades

Iran

  • Putin came out in affirmation of the Iran Deal
  • Trump remained opposed
  • This point of contention was largely ignored by the media
  • Russia and Iran are allies
  • Iran taking control of Iraq through Shia paramilitaries
  • Backs Houthi rebels in Yemen

Iraq

  • Invaded by the US in 2003
  • War lost when the Obama Administration refused to negotiate a status of forces agreement
  • Iraqi military fell apart to ISIS when they invaded from Syria
  • Iranian backed militias filled the vacuum
  • Status of Kurds unclear

Syria

Ukraine

Turkey

  • Turkey is a member of NATO
  • Turkey opposes Israel
  • Turkey provoked war with Russia by downing Russian jet
  • Turkey becoming increasingly Islamic under neo-Ottoman regime
  • Kemalism was killed in the attempted coup
  • Ergodan held a referendum to grant himself more power
  • Russia and Turkey have an arrangement in Syria to not fight each other
  • Turkey performing land grab in Syria
  • Turkey killing Kurds in Syria
  • Turkey backing its own Islamist in Syria

Israel

  • Trump administration the most Israel-friendly administration in US history
  • Russia opposes Israel on a geopolitical level (along with most US allies)
  • Russia backs enemies of Israel
  • US backs enemies of Israel (Saudis)
  • Israel believed to have nuclear capabilities

Libya

  • US and Russia back differing factions
  • US played large role in destabilizing region during the rebellion
  • Terrorist that America aided attack a US consulate and murdered four people, including Ambassador Stevens

2016 Election

  • US has long history of meddling in foreign elections
  • Russian meddling had no effect on the outcome of 2016 election
  • DNC never handed over server to investigators
  • Indictments are not convictions, not even close
  • Russia should be embarrassed if that was their attempt to interfere in a US election
  • Media overplaying story because they dislike Trump

US Agencies

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Culture and Religion

Video Double play: Busting the gun grabber’s musket myth.

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Gun confiscation bingo

Two videos that eviscerate the Liberty Grabbers ‘One shot’ musket myth.

It is a bedrock principle (if they have any) of the Liberty grabber Left that back during the ratification of the US Constitution the only weapons in existence were flintlock musket that took 5 minute to reload. Thus there wasn’t any school violence because it would have taken too long for the perpetrator to kill anyone.

As it typical of the lore of the national socialist Left, this is a lie of the first order. A previous video celebrated the “Assault Weapon” tricentennial, which was bit of the tongue in cheek variety since there were other repeating “Military Style” weapons in existence before this time period. These will be detailed in future articles. Meanwhile we present two videos that also bust the ‘Musket Myth’, one a short presentation from the Royal Armouries on the Jover and Belton “Flintlock breech-loading superimposed military musket”

Royal Armouries
Published on Aug 30, 2017
Curator of Firearms, Jonathan Ferguson, gives us a peek at the Flintlock breech-loading superimposed military musket, by Jover and Belton (1786)

This is a very relevant piece since the inventor Joseph Belton corresponded with the Continental Congress in 1777:

May it Please your Honours,
I would just informe this Honourable Assembly, that I have discover’d an improvement, in the use of Small Armes, wherein a common small arm, may be maid to discharge eight balls one after another, in eight, five or three seconds of time, & each one to do execution five & twenty, or thirty yards, and after so discharg’d, to be loaded and fire’d with cartridge as usual.

“It was demonstrated before noted scientists and military officers (including well known scientist David Rittenhouse and General Horatio Gates)”

This destroys the mythology that the founders had no knowledge of this type of repeating firearm technology that existed already.

The second is a humours dissertation on the subject from video raconteur Steven Crowder https://www.louderwithcrowder.com/

from a few years ago that also eviscerates this bit of Leftist mythology.

Published on Feb 10, 2015
People have been telling us for years that the 2nd amendment was written in a time of Muskets, and that it doesn’t apply to the evolved weapons of today. Is it true?

So why is this important?

Two primary reasons. One that these factual examples demonstrate that the founding fathers knew of these technological advances. Therefore, they destroy any Leftist pretences that the 2nd amendment be confined to muskets. Second that, school violence is something other than an issue of guns.

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Military

Memorial Day – Remembering those who gave their lives for freedom

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As Americans, it’s important to acknowledge the sacrifices of the men and women in uniform that died to defend her. Civil society only survives in a world of violence and tyranny if there are those willing to do violence on our behalf.

In his 1982 Memorial Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery, President Ronald Reagan reminds us of the ultimate cost of freedom:

“Yet, we must try to honor them—not for their sakes alone, but for our own. And if words cannot repay the debt we owe these men, surely with our actions we must strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led them to battle and to final sacrifice.

Our first obligation to them and ourselves is plain enough: The United States and the freedom for which it stands, the freedom for which they died, must endure and prosper. Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply. It has a cost; it imposes a burden. And just as they whom we commemorate were willing to sacrifice, so too must we—in a less final, less heroic way—be willing to give of ourselves.”

Scripture tells us in John 15:13 (New Living Translation), “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” While Memorial Day is considered the official kick-off of summer, I hope you’ll take a moment to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives to protect and defend our liberty. Freedom only exists in America because of them.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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