NYT resurrects the racist violent veteran meme

 
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NYT resurrects the racist violent veteran meme

I feel like I have to write this story twice a year.  It's like some zombie that can't be killed. Some lunatic will do something violent, insane, horrifying, and then NYT or WaPo or someone else will pour through his history and find a military connection.  Boom, case solved, military service either caused it, or trained him to do it.

I've been avoiding this NYT piece hoping it would die on its own, and also I was more interested (and worried) about Special Forces/MMA fighter Tim Kennedy's match last night.  Now that Tim has won, I figured I go after the NYT story.  Frankly I wish Tim were in a ring with the entire editorial staff of NYT, but I guess that might prove their point.

Nonetheless, to what the NYT published in an OPED from some better than us academic:

WHEN Frazier Glenn Miller shot and killed three people in Overland Park, Kan., on Sunday, he did so as a soldier of the white power movement: a groundswell that united Klansmen, neo-Nazis and other fringe elements after the Vietnam War, crested with the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995, and remains a diminished but potent threat today.

Mr. Miller, the 73-year-old man charged in the killings, had been outspoken about his hatred of Jews, blacks, Communists and immigrants, but it would be a mistake to dismiss him as a crazed outlier. The shootings were consistent with his three decades of participation in organized hate groups. His violence was framed by a clear worldview.

OK, seems clear so far.  Crazy white supremacist acts exactly how one suspects a crazy white supremecist (or any supremecist would act).  Then it goes downhill:

The number of Vietnam veterans in that movement was small — a tiny proportion of those who served — but Vietnam veterans forged the first links between Klansmen and Nazis since World War II. They were central in leading Klan and neo-Nazi groups past the anti-civil rights backlash of the 1960s and toward paramilitary violence. The white power movement they forged had strongholds not only in the South, but also in the Pacific Northwest, Colorado, California and Pennsylvania. Its members carried weapons like those they had used in Vietnam, and used boot-camp rhetoric to frame their pursuit of domestic enemies. They condoned violence against innocent people and, eventually, the state itself.

Um, ok, gonna need some specifics, but let's press on to your central thesis.

The report singled out one factor that has fueled every surge in Ku Klux Klan membership in American history, from the 1860s to the present: war. The return of veterans from combat appears to correlate more closely with Klan membership than any other historical factor. “Military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists carrying out violent attacks,” the report warned. The agency was “concerned that right-wing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities.”

The report raised intense blowback from the American Legion, Fox News and conservative members of Congress. They demanded an apology and denounced the idea that any veteran could commit an act of domestic terrorism. The department shelved the report, removing it from its website. The threat, however, proved real.

There it is.  You always know that this canard foisted on us by the SPLC had to make a showing.  That report was a disgrace from jump street, and in the time since it came out (and was then quashed) nothing has changed to make it any more scientifically valid.

My friend Jonn stated it best I think:

Miller left the military in 1979, so somehow I don’t think that 35 years later, his service as a company clerk in Vietnam had much to do with what he did last Sunday. Timothy McVeigh was a Bradley gunner in Desert Storm. Since I was trained in the same specialty, I can attest with some measure of authority that nothing he did that day in Oklahoma City was part of his training in the Army.

Much to the chagrin of the Southern Poverty Law Center and it’s adherents, the military doesn’t teach soldiers to be terrorists as a general rule. As Ms. Belew carefully points out, most veterans are not a danger to the general society and their only real example of one who was, is McVeigh and it’s fairly tiring that they drag out his rotting corpse and wave it like a bloody shirt.

I don’t know of one veteran who defends McVeigh and his actions. I served in the same division with McVeigh during Desert Storm and, as I said, I went through some of the same training and I have never plotted in my head or out of my head to do what he did. I take offense at being compared to him, as I’m sure all veterans take offense.

SOFREP also laid the smackdown on this piece of excrement:

Kathleen Belew is obviously an intelligent woman but she would be smart to “check fire” when casting a wide stereo-type on the veterans of America past or present. The seeds of racism were likely planted long before Glenn Miller joined the Army, and we should remember, as Belew herself points out, that the veterans mentioned in the article represent a tiny minority.  Any psychologist will tell you that the character traits in men like Glenn (and others mentioned in Belew’s article) aren’t learned in the Army or any other branch of service, they are learned long beforehand.

One of the greatest gifts of military service is being thrown into a melting pot of different cultures and classes of all types. Human beings adapt to their environments, and in military boot camp (or officer candidate school) you are forced to put aside prejudices and to work as a team with your new family.

That was certainly true of my service.  When I was deployed my squad came in all colors, socio-economical backgrounds and personalities.  While my three best friends happened to be Massachusians in a Virginia guard unit, when I came back I also had been close friends with guys that I might never have met.  In fact, the first thing I did when I came home was to head to Hawaii on vacation with two guys from my squad, one an African American who was WELL to the right of me on the political spectrum, and the other a guy of Ecuadorian descent who worked as a mechanic.  It never occured to me about our racial make up until one of them quipped in a bar one night to a young lady that she could choose between dark chocolate, mocha caramel or the plain old vanilla.

It didn't matter to me then, and it doesn't now.  Nor did it to any other guy I ever met in the service.  In fact, if someone ever did say or do something racially insensitive, it would have been the quickest way to destroy every social circle he had, in an already small pool of comrades.  In fact, it would simply be unfathomable.

The gratuitous shot at the Legion was really what angered me.  As someone internally at The Legion reminded me yesterday in an email,

The American Legion has long shared Ms. Belew’s concern about white supremacist and radical groups. In 1923, when the Ku Klux Klan still yielded unspeakable influence in this country, The American Legion passed Resolution 407. It resolved, in part,…“we consider any individual, group of individuals or organizations, which creates or fosters racial, religious or class strife among our people, or which takes into their own hands the enforcement of law, the determination of guilt, or infliction of punishment, to be un-American, a menace to our liberties, and destructive to our fundamental law…”

 

So historically The American Legion was cognizant of these groups and the threat they posed to America long before it hit the general consciousness of the media or society at large. 

 

Reaction from the Veteran World was fast, and fairly angry, as this article from Military Times makes clear.

 

Kerry Patton, a former Air Force staff sergeant who writes for Ranger Up’s blog “The Rhino Den,” said stories like Belew’s opinion piece are typical of how the media and academia view veterans.

“As veterans, we need to be concerned that this is unfolding, that people are talking like this, in this nature, about us when the great majority of us are the epitome of upstanding citizens,” he said on Wednesday.

My friend Paul Szoldra, who along with Alex Horton and J.R. Salzman were all over the PTSD/Ft Hood issue makes an appearance again:

 

Marine veteran Paul Szoldra, who writes for Business Insider, said he feels veterans are the last group in the U.S. that can be stereotyped.

“I think a lot of it has to do with misunderstanding,” said Szoldra, who left the Marine Corps as a sergeant. “What’s happening in these recent pieces is basically you have some journalists who aren’t covering the beat; they don’t really know what’s going on in the military; they just see a statistic and they are kind of like, ‘Oh, there’s something here; here’s a story; it’s a really interesting story.’ They don’t even realize just how terrible a story like that Huffington Post [story] looks.”

 

He's absolutely right.  If you want to know what is going on in the military, you could start by hiring some veterans and asking them.  But instead the media resorts to the path of easiest pursuit: scours the record anytime there is a heinous act, and if there is a hint of military service, immediately assume that was the cause.

It's lazy.  It's wrong.  And it does a great disservice to all of us who served and consider anyone who wore the green or tan with us our brothers or sisters.  No matter the pigment of their skin. 

Posted in the burner | 80 comments
 
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Comments

Typical NYT-Editorial Board-Socialist-LEFTWING-Thinking...
They won't be happy until Maoists-Salinsky Types take over this country and they can then build their North Korean fashioned Gulags and put all moderate and conservative Patriots in them. Of course, not realizing they will be the first to enter those 'august' Arbeit-Macht-Frei gates!

Who reads the NYT anyway. Give me the WSJ!
LTC-FA, USA Retired

I only remember one guy who was sure everyone who was white was racist, and he was a Captain. In 12 years in the Army, I worked with lots of men and women, all of whom were good solid soldiers and people. It was one Captain who really bothered me, but we enlisted all got along with each other. We knew, we needed each other when the going got tough. When we left service we worked hard to get back into civilian life, I am a PUFL and proud to serve still with my sisters and brothers in the legion.

Had a 1LT in my unit in Korea some years back, and he was the most racist jerk I think I ever knew. A black man, the first time we went to the field, in the teeth of a frigid winter storm, he was kicked out of his platoon's tent by his fellow officers by the end of the second day and spent the rest of the exercise in a pup tent.

Sadly, and significantly, especially in PA, much of this anti-everything attitude is caused by early life isolation from other socio-economic groups and fear-mongering by fundamentalist clergy in those isolated areas.

We who have served with others are not likely to hate them.
Hatred is a crime of ignorance.
We are not ignorant once we have served with those who trust us and whom we trust.

I have an immense disdain and complete lack of use for the current occupant of the Oval Office. Not because he's half black / half white, but because of his extreme left wing policies. I served with Men of Honor who weren't white, proud to call em my bros. In the Corps we had one color, Marine green !

Today, while it seems that things are better for veterans as far as the general public attitude towards us, there's still the attitude of " crazy war nut " that trails us at a distance. The prevalent attitude reminds me more of " dogs and soldiers keep off the grass " as far as the lamestream media is concerned.

OoooRah!

Can someone explain what the boogeyman left wing policies are? I truly have to wonder what is meant by that other than some underhanded disdain for the POTUS and the rational that if he ain't one of us he's agin us!

In my time were the creeps and the freaks. The creeps did their duty; the freaks went to Canada, found a friendly doctor, became teachers or in myriads of other ways sniveled. Ever since, the freaks and their offspring have tried to create a rationale that Oks their conduct. In doing so, our conduct perforce condemns us. No surprise here. Consider the source.

I resent the comment "became teachers". I was drafted 3 days before my second wedding anniv. and just before I was to begin my teaching career. On the 14th of March 1971 I was sent to Vietnam and served my tour. In fact, halfway through my R&R with my wife that I mentioned that I had put in for an extension (not a pleasant response from her). I returned to teaching and retired after a teaching career of 30 years. I have spent the last 5 years as a commander of a local VFW post and continue to work to help veterans.

I enlisted at the opening of the war in Korea.After I was discharged (4 yrs).I worked and went to school.I hate to say it but I met many men who braged about becoming teachers to beat Nam.When the draft ended the many of them left teaching to go to private companies many went to Wall street.But Its not fair to paint all teachers with that brush.I retired after 22 yrs teaching.

My issue is not only with the blatant misinformation Ms. Belew is presenting in news??? articles, but rather that we have U.S. Senators and U.S. House of Represenatives going out of their way in declaring that Veterans are mentally ill, or ultra-violent or potential terrorists. I speak of Sen. Diane Feinstein of California and Rep. Maxine Waters. Of course we are going to have people like Ms. Belew jumping on any story such as this horrific act committed by Miller, going after Veterans, when she/they see their own government elected officials doing exactly the same AND NOTHING is done regarding it by ANYONE of influence within our Congress or our White House Administration or even taken to task by the voters within the State of California. Another big factor that allows for this very FALSE perception of any and all Veterans is the lack of a DRAFT. Without the draft, we, as a Nation, have lost our collective knowledge of what exactly it is the military member is and why they do as they do. When you have barely one percent (1%) of the American population entering or serving in the Armed Forces, you actually get what you are seeing in the reports the Ms. Belew and those like her report.

I found the op-ed very distateful. As a Soldier who has deployed six times, I think I speak for most combat vets when I say that violence is the last thing we want to participate in. I sent an email directly to Dr. Belew and asked that if she wants to present accurate information that next time she interview normal vets, not the few whack jobs who make the news.

What about their heroes? If you begin with FDR (as I did) and count his service as assistant Navy Secretary as military service before becoming CINC (as I do), then the only non-veteran president we've had in 80 years is the current WH occupant. Enough said.

You overlooked the womanizer, Slick Willy Clinton. He ran to Canada.

When journalists make the quick connection between military service and training without showing any clear cause-and-effect they show a professional laziness that should get them fired. It is logical to think that someone trained as a sniper who served as one in combat might choose to use a long-range rifle to commit murder and might find it easier to pull the trigger but that would not be the logical source of his motivation. If he is a racist and chooses his victims based on their race, the military connection is no more relevant than if they discover he hunted rabbits as a boy.

The NYT article is typical of the way the media takes unverified facts and rumors and twists them into whatever BS they are trying to make the public believe.

We have hundreds of thousands of honorably discharged veterans in this country since Vietnam. I myself am a 6 year USAF veteran, Gulf War vet and a Legion member in good standing. I along with the vast majority of my fellow vets did our service and when we got out became productive citizens in our communities. We became cops, firefighters, doctors, nurses, teachers, contractors, business people and many other professions. We volunteer with local charities, our kids schools, our churches and at homeless centers. We look out for our neighbors, we help out people in need and we take pride in our families and communities. We are the fabric that strengthens our nation and the backbone that holds together the freedoms we all cherish.

What we are not is the out of control, hate mongering killers that Ms. Belew paints us to be. The Boston Marathon bombing was an act of terrorism, and one of the many people who rushed to help was Bruce Mendelsohn a US Army veteran. When the Oso mudslide devastated Oso, WA one of those who came to help was Matt Pater, an Iraq war veteran. And these are just two examples of how we are positively impacting our communities every single day.

Ms. Belew needs to stop sifting through stories and highlighting only the occasional bad incident with marginal ties to the veteran community and start focusing more on what Vets do to make their communities better and safer. But of course, that would not be in keeping with her fear-mongering agenda. And since we can't trust the press to report on these positive incidents we as Vets need to start making sure we spread the word as best we can through our communities and social media and counter this biased, anti-Veteran reporting.

Nothing new here the mainstream media has been the soldiers enemy since Nam. They have labelled us Baby Killers, junkies, pot heads and God only knows what else. I stopped listening years ago. They lead the charge of disrespect and humiliation of veterans. However if the bad guys are shooting holes in their cameras they look to us to bail them out.!

I find it remarkable that so many people can miss the point of the NYT article. No one is saying that the bulk of veterans are racists or joining hate groups. The articles, and research prior to this, do indicate that a small minority of service members and veterans, for various reasons, gravitate toward hate groups. The fact that some of the recruiting occurs amongst active duty members or veterans who have valuable training for these groups makes this a critical issue. It does not take more than a very small minority of a larger group to make this an issue that needs to be addressed. This is not the media targeting veterans; this is not the government casting aspersions on the people who have served in uniform; this is a problem of a small minority of veterans and service members misusing their training, becoming agents of hate, and attacking the pluralism that makes this country strong. And that makes it important to all of us.

I remember on the military base 1968 how mean spirited people attacking our father coming home from Nam. Never forgetting how my daddy was upset distract from war anyway. We were embarrassed as children it hurts today they made us feel like criminals back then here it goes again. Kathleen Belew herself sounds like a racist she is a disgrace to all of America. Some people did not come from rich families only the poor ones forced under the draft laws back then. Congress/Senate made law or go to prison unless you were in College. One can not compare racist to military or veterans final black white Native Americans stood by each other suffered as one race was not an issue living life was going home to families. But a bigot is a racist including the dirty mind/mouth which Kathleen Belew has proven she is well versed in strange in itself? This article brought back sad times for us I"M crying for our children of military veterans families and/ including military/vets. But what does Kathleen Belew care making money off children's suffering. I'M hurt over that article terrible racist mind Kathleen Belew has.

The NY Times editors do not write the OP ED pieces, nor do they necessarily approve of the writers' opinions. The editors select the pieces to reflect what some members of the public are thinking. Those of us who are outraged by this piece can write a letter to the editor, which might be published. But a better approach, I think, is for the Nationalcommander to sit down with the Legion's public relations staff and draft an appropriate response within the NY Times guidelines for OP ED pieces, then pressure the NY Times publisher to consider that as a justified response to a blanket smear on honest veterans. Come on, guys!

Maybe veterans just get old and dumb. My legion, 1976, has members that either really never served or have forgotten their service. President Clinton and now, Obama show such disdain for the military and our flag, and yet, legion members support them. I do NOT understand that. Am a Bush supporter, NO...we should not have got into a war in the Middle East....let them kill each other....... But Clinton and Obama send our men/women into conflicts also for NO reason. And they both hate them.
I am saddened at the state of the Legion........I know, no politics as we will lose our tax exempt status...but, we stand by and watch this country die and dishonor our military dead and us.

What world are you living in? Pres.Clinton sent military support to NATO trying to stop genocide in the Baltics and as an obligation to NATO which we are a member of. Current Pres. Obama has not started any conflicts anywhere. Pres. Obama is actually withdrawing our troops from conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Pres. Obama is saving our young men and women from further needless bloodshed. I think it is treasonous for any President or Cabinet official to lie to the people in order to start a war.
Now in addressing your " never really served " comment. Exactly what is that supposed to mean? I believe anyone who steps up to the line and volunteers their life and limb to their country is a honored veteran. Once you sign that paper you really have no choice in deciding where you want to serve. In my case I was sent to Little Creek, Virginia to serve in the amphibious arm of the Special Warfare Group along with about one third of our recruit unit. The other guys were assighned to the west coast which pretty much meant Vietnam. Am I one of those that you consider "didn't really serve"?
Do you really think that Presidents Clinton and Obama "hate" our American Fighting Women and Men? Quiet the contrary, my friend, they honor and cherish them enough not to waiste thier lives on a trumped up worthless cause.
I could go on and on with the truth but Right Wing people don't really want the truth. Randall, I honor you as a "brother in arms" and I hope that I did not insult you in any way..

Sure, after the Civil war the KKK formed, but not originally as a racist organization, but as a means to kill Southerners who had supported the Union (seen as traitors) and Northern carpet baggers. Many in the South didn't feel they lost the war, their leaders surrendered them, but they were willing to fight on. Most of the notorious gunmen such as Jesse james were veterans, but the Civil War was a very messy business with many personal grudges and a harsh occupation of the beaten South which bred the violence. America didn't have a major war again until 1898 SPAN AM War. No violence came out of that one and veterans didn't attempt to sieze control of the country.
WWI and WWII vets weren't extremists, but in a military that takes on millions from acroos the nation from every race, ethnicity, climate, and living condition, you're bound to get a few bad apples, it's inevitable. Put millions of people together and your bound to get a crack pot. A guy whose a thief before he joins the army will probably be a thief in the army and still be one when he gets out. To blame the military for the conduct of the guy is wrong. To use Civil War data to label modern day soldiers is wrong. After WWI there were racial tensions in several cities due to the large influx of Black southerners to find war jobs in factories, but again that was a hundered years ago and groups like the American Legion were quick to condemn those acts and also to condemn class warfare, and to "combat the tyranny of the classes and masses" which translates to opposing Marxist agitation. That is what the NYT is engaging in, marxist agitation. Why can't they spotlight the veterans that have been POTUS and famous Hollywood Stars, creators of industry and business, authors, statesmen, and good hardworking family men/women. After all some of America's most famous tv dads were veterans and made mention of it on the show, Ward Cleaver(Leave it to Beaver) Fred Sanford(Sanford and Son) Jack Arnold(Wonder Years), mr Drummond(Different Strokes) Howard Cunningham(Happy Days. Yeah okay, Archie Bunker, Mr. Matthews(Boy Meets World) and plenty of others.

The NY Times attack on the military is but one of the many ways our military are disparaged. Another canard is that the military is full of rapists who get away with their crimes because of a good old boy network. I wonder whether these attacks on the military are intended to discourage young men and women from volunteering for military service or staying in the military. And if so, I can only speculate on the reasons as I see our military forces and capabilities cut in the face of more and more aggressive actions by potential adversaries.

A few years back a documentary was done on returning Nam Vets...The regular station affiliates wouldn't show it...Why you ask?? It was proven that statistically, Nam Vets were more productive, less likely to be divorced , and more successful then those that fled to Canada ... They per capita, were more successful then there pier age group at home ...Many became great leaders of this country...Many became and still are in the police force or fire fighters...Over whelming lee of benefit to this great nation...The politicians of today have not served, including our Commander in Chief ...I would never be so presumptuous as to tell a Dr. how to operate ...How can an opined paper journalist castigate any soldier...Walk a few hundred miles in our shoes...

To the writer of this article, I would like to commend you as a human for your bravery and your attitude on life. Thank you for your service. I would like to be a good friend of yours. I am so sick of all the garb about people and their religion, nationality, etc, etc. They are humans just like any other person. Some people need help and others just need to be straightened out. I am what used to be named a middle class person and I served with many people in the service that I am proud to say, they were all my friends and became a tight nit family. If some of the family went down the wrong path, it wasn't the military training or the family they had in the military that caused it. It started long before the military. The media has always been at fault in the way they present and word their commentaries. It is to bad the general public bases their thinking from all the bad mostly one sided articles. We need to look at each other as humans only and put aside the one sided beliefs of a phew. Everyone should look on their own and not from the words or printed words of a phew.
Thanks to all that have served and all that have supported.
Viet Nam Vet,
Jerry Young

It's a shame, but the NYT article writer's entire career is based on fabricating and furthering this myth. If anyone has biases, it's her, toward Veterans. To think we serve or served to protect her First Amendment rights to spew forth such rubbish. Gah.

"Kathleen Belew (Ph.D., Yale University, 2011) specializes in the history of the United States after the Vietnam War, ... Her first book...will trace the circulation of violence from the Vietnam War ... following a small but influential group of veterans who became mercenary soldiers and then joined racist right groups at home. Their movement united Klansmen, neo-Nazis, skinheads, proponents of Christian Identity, and more; declared war on the government in 1983; and reshaped itself as the purportedly nonracist militia movement in the 1990s. (From her faculty profile at Northwestern University)"

There are racist in the military. There racist's in every aspect of society and they come in all colors. They have low IQ's and have been taught this behavior. having served in Combat Arms for 7 years active and a total of 12 in the guards and reserve's I know you will not be the Military long if you are. i have great respect for the Vietnam Vets. They were my DI's and Senior NCO's". they taught me my Battle skills. Yes they should be feared by our enemies both foreign and domestic. this guy was not a Honorable Man and his actions I am sure are disdained by these honorable people.
I guess my message is " Your Veterans and Active Military are probably the most accepting and tolerant people in this Country". We do not accept this man as one of ours.

Red8

Well, Guys and Gals: Dr. Belew, the trigger for much of your angst is undoubtedly an intelligent young lady. But, I doubt she knows squat about the military and would be surprised if she had any close relative (perhaps a grandfather who served in WWII?) who has experienced the um, er "inconvenience" of military service and thus been able to provide her with some perspective on such a life chapter.
I decided to look up her curriculum vitae (i.e. her 'resume' in academia) and found no surprises. Enroute to earning a B.A. in 2005 and a Ph.D. in 2011, she has spent an assumed 10 years as a higher education student and the last approximately 15 years nicely immersed in academia. She is listed as a Postdoctoral Fellow within the Department of History Faculty at Northwestern University. Nothin' wrong with that, but she ain't exactly a bona fide 'professor' at this point in time. She obviously is a prolific writer/author and has delivered many invited talks and presentations. And, she has received many honors and awards over the last several years; much to her credit in academia.
That's all to the good, but I suspect she probably lacks very much, if any, knowledge of "the real world"; especially the world of work via part time jobs while attending school. Some real eye-openers such as a server/waitress, retail clerk, customer service rep, or even (perish the thought) something involving manual labor? I very much doubt it. I'll bet she was parentally "well protected" from having to suffer the indignity of any of those life experiences.
So, we shouldn't be surprised if this nearly 100% academic probably has a rather skewed (and naïve?) perspective on "the military." Whenever I've seen someone suggest that service in the Peace Corps should be equated the same as military service when distributing government funds for "tuition assistance" or other "college financial aid" program proposals, my immediate reaction is "You gotta be kiddin' me! You consider military service and Peace Corps service to be equal in service/inconvenience?" And then, I jerk myself back to reality with the realization that only about 1% of our citizenry now have much - - if any - - "connection" to our military and thus an understanding of or real appreciation for such "inconvenience" in one's life.

After the shooting at Fort Hood, (I don;t know how people got on the Bundy ranch issue) racism should have gone right out the window, Lopez could hardly be ascribed as a white supremacist. Is the NYT trying to convince us that his "eruption" of violence was caused by racism racism is a mitigating factor? Is that the mitigating factor in ignoring Hasan's self-created Islamic terrorist identity? That is the question. Meanwhile the shrinks who apparently are ineffectual and are not successfully able to diagnose or treat these "disturbed" people are offering conflicting views on the topic. You can wax on all you want about whether or not Bundy should have paid 1.3 million to graze his cattle over 10 years, and whether or not Harry Reid is trying to get people off the land because his son has a 5 billion solar panel deal with the Chinese or the 100 some mines are exploitable for minerals needed to make computer chips and are itemized on some web sites, also connected Reid and the Chinese. What the hell does that have to do with this article!
Doesn't anyone remember how even some AL's and VFW's used to treat Vietnam Vets? That is water under the bridge but the radical left with its control of power is trying to sow discord about military service, their intent is to make us believe that veterans are tainted, can not be trusted and that war is the evil anything to do with waging war personifies evil in a person that can only be remedied by confessions in public like Kerry and Hagel have done, Winter soldiers, The phony and falsely researched books like Healing and Resistance by the Bruderhof among others that are extremist Marxist Christian groups who are so anti-war they believe any thing to do with making war requires a confession. The racism issues are moot points they simply do not have the data to substantiate their claims, it is easier to attack us as people and our humanity by qualifying warriors are evil. That is what the NYT article truly advocates as its doctrine and why Obama wants to turn the US military into the peace corps.

I served in the 101st Airborne Division during the Vietnam war. It was also a time of severe racial tension and unrest on the streets of America following the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. There were days I returned to my barracks after a long day of training on how to kill people and destroy things to I witness on Television the beating of men women and children, as they were sprayed with powerful streams of water, and attacked by trained and vicious dogs, simply because they wanted to exercise their right to vote and participate in a free and participatory Democracy. After all I and others pledged to give our lives if necessary to protect the freedom to participate. Did get angry? Yes! Did I take our my anger on innocent people? No! I decided after my military service to become politically active and aware as a way of making meaningful and lasting changes in a society that only saw things in black and white. For nearly forty years I committed myself to public, community and political service and I continue that service to this date as a member of the American Legion. I am proud to have my Honorable Discharge on wall of my home, and I am proud of my service to the people of this nation and I have no desire to use the training I received as a Paratrooper to harm my fellow citizens. Eugene Anderson, Arthur Gossett American Legion Post 273, Wichita, Kansas

If Ms. Belew had drawn any other correlation about F. G. Miller, such as he was a member of a 'righteous' minority, you can bet it wouldn't be paraded out there. If he had been Hispanic, or African-American, or any other designated ethnic group, that connection wouldn't have been published as a possible motive for the violence, or if it was, she may have 'justified' it because of past discrimination. So much for fair and even-handed journalism. It is more like yellow journalism that most intelligent people sneer at. I don't know how intelligent Ms. Belew is, but she has chosen to pick some low-hanging fruit, because it was easy, not that it was true, could be proven or even legally tortable. Shame on you Ms. Belew. It is because people are willing to serve in the military that you are afforded the opportunity to publish your tripe. And for your information, Ms. Belew the three people killed were all Christians -- 2 Methodists and one Catholic. Do you want to draw the conclusion that white supremists hate Christians? When you write garbage, people will eventually realize you have nothing intelligent to contribute to society. Find a job where opinions are valid, like maybe an opinion poll worker. You have embarrassed the third estate with your half-baked editorial masked as news.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.