Tune in tonight to hear author Robert Patrick Lewis talk about Love Me When I’m Gone, the experiences of a Green Beret in Afghanistan, Iraq and Africa, USA Cares and all that we can do to help our vets.
Tune in to hear Author Robert Patrick Lewis on The Road Less Published Wed 2/6/13 at 5pm PST/8pm EST talking about Love Me When I’m Gone, the writing process and his upcoming series of new novels.
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As I tend to do from time to time, I’d like to start here with a few quotes which I think are applicable:
“He who forgets the past is doomed to repeat it.”
“One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.”
The issue at hand that has me all hot and bothered today is actually a conglomeration of several, so please bear with me, I’ll tie it all together at some point. For reasons that are becoming clearer every day, the media is neglecting to connect these, so hopefully I can do that for you here.
My first issue is with the sending of weapons, F-16’s and tanks to the Muslim Brotherhood which runs the vocally hateful- of-Americans, rapidly de-stabilizing chaos that is Egypt. It seems that regardless of the trillions of dollars of debt that we’re in, masses of taxpaying Americans (notice the qualifier there) up in arms about our growing debt, and despite the fact that this government is extremely vocal about their distaste for and distrust of America, we are sending hugely expensive weapons, and fighters planes their way…..as a sign of gratitude for standing against us?
My second issue, and I’ll tie these together shortly, is with our lack of support for the Syrian freedom fighters/rebels/terrorists, labeled as one of the above, depending on who you talk to (you can include the Bahrain fighters/rebels/terrorists who we did nothing to help as well). The only group in trouble RIGHT NOW in Egypt is the government; it’s pretty widely recognized that their election, bringing the Muslim Brotherhood of bloodthirsty Salafists into power, was a sham, made readily apparent by the massive protests and claims of election fraud that came the day after the announcement they had won.
But Syrian rebels are being massacred by their own government daily, as has been going on in Bahrain. When was the last time you heard about that in the main stream media? Check out former CNN Journalist Amber Lyon on the Joe Rogan Podcast for some really scary stuff about that and how she was censored and fired for trying to tell people about the Bahrain tragedies. Yet we act as if they need no help? But Egypt does? Why?
I understand Geopolitics about as much as a guy can without working in a think-tank in DC, and a lot of this has me truly perplexed. Adam Carolla has a bit he calls “stupid or liar,” and I don’t know which one to call whatever yes-man Generals advising the president right now, but either one terrifies me.
You see, this is one of the ways that terrorists are born. The Syrian people, at large, have been rather ambivalent to us. Iraq didn’t spill over into their country too much, we’re haven’t labeled them as enemies as we have with Iran (who’s younger generation actually loves Americans and the West…another thing you won’t see/hear in the main stream media), and so they never really had an all-out agenda towards us as many do and/or have.
But they do now. You see, even though most of the world will get mad at us for acting as “the world’s policemen” when they DON’T need it, they get very bent out of shape if we don’t intervene when they DO need it, and right now, they need it. And most likely our biggest problem is that our enemies who see that need will supply it, and in so doing, they will multiply our enemies.
The original decision to NOT put arms into the hands of the Syrian rebels was supposedly made because of fear that they would fall into the hands of our enemies, as happened in Libya, and would be turned against us. The actuality of what is happening is much, much worse.
Many of our enemies don’t have the conventional, large-scale armies to take us on head-to-head, or can’t risk the global political fallout of doing so, and have instead been playing the cat-and-mouse game of behind the scenes warfare and proxy wars that we started in Afghanistan vs Russia (by arming rebel groups or fighting us directly in the theatres in which we are engaged ie Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, Pakistan). I saw this first hand in Iraq and Africa, and althought many on the Left tried to play it off as conservative propoganda, I’m telling you from experience it’s real.
So in Syria, you have a conglomeration of enemies of America who saw our lack of involvement, used it as a “call to arms” for jihad, and are arming and fighting alongside the rebels. When, and there is no “if” here, the Assad regime falls, all of his weapons, from one of the most heavily fortified Army’s in the middle east, will go to those rebels, who will have a severe hatred of America. But why?
Because as we’re sending them food packages and a few bandages, we’re sending F-16’s, tanks and arms to Egypt. We are sending weapons to a government who openly mocks us, who is a step away from either folding or turning those same arms on their own people, while the rebels in Syria who are fighting for their homes and lives are massacred due to being severely outgunned.
But now the tides have turned, and those weapons and men that we should have supplied are being supplied by our enemies, along with a healthy dose of Anti-American indocrination. And from a guy who can tell you from experience, the bonds formed by fighting shoulder to shoulder with someone are stronger than any other in humanity, and they’re fighting with our enemies.
So let’s focus on Egypt again….what else could be bad about arming them with fighters and tanks? Hmmmm….what in the world would Egypt want to do with heavy weaponry like that. Who is our only lifelong ally in that region, one with whom Egypt shares a border, and the Muslim Brotherhood vehemently promises to rain fire upon? Israel. And if you don’t think those weapons are going to be used against our only true allies in the Middle East, the Israelis, I have to play the Carolla “stupid or liar” game with you.
I’m getting to the point at which I’m going to start breaking down into name-calling and insults, which is my cue to stop. Please share this, listen to Amber Lyon on the Joe Rogan podcast, and pay attention to many different news sources. The line that you’re getting from the White House is not accurate, and I would even go so far as to say that the Generals who are advising the President are either being completely ignored, or they are yes men who should be tried on charges of treason for the horrible decisions that they’re allowing to be made.
It is a long-held quote and truth that we know in Special Forces, one that I quoted at the start. I’ll close by quoting it again. Pay attention to what’s going on in the world around you, and decide on your own, not via the White House press secretary,what is what. And I remind you that: “One mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter.”
There are a lot of people in our society today who love to get up in arms about various military subjects, regardless of whether they know any of the boots-on-the-ground, battle-tested truth or not. Politicians who have never spent a day in combat boots but think they know how to control military spending or combat operations, journalists who think they have the truth about women in combat, and sideliners who think they have the answer on one of the biggest hot-button topic of our time, gays in the military.
From a man who’s served as a Green Beret on all of the fronts in which we’re currently engaged, I can tell you that, to my brothers and I from my ODA, we couldn’t care less. When it comes down to bullets on target, carrying your rucksack up that mountain, accomplishing the mission and watching my six, there are a lot of things that can mean the difference between life-or death for your entire team, but there are a few others that have no place in that equation: race, color, creed, and yes, sexual orientation.
I would consider myself very conservative on 99% of issues, but my belief that government has no part in telling Americans how to live their life applies here over my support for the RNC. I have many straight friends who chose not to join the military, and harbor no ill-will or doubts about them, but when I hear that people want to serve this country, put their lives on the line for my flag and swear the oath to defend the constitution and are denied because of who they love it really bothers me.
There is a quote that I feel applies greatly here, from the great William Shakespeare and quoted again in a rather famous movie: “We few, we lucky few, we band of brothers; for he who sheds his blood with me today, he shall then be my brother.” If you are enough of an American Patriot to sign up and put your life on the line to defend her, I don’t see how anything else matters, and I will consider you my brother.
Before the ladies start sharpening their knives and sending hate-mail, let me preface this; my wife is a better shot than me with a pistol (but I’ve got her with a rifle hands-down). After two kids, it’s an easy bet that she’s tougher than me. I can say without hesitation that she’s smarter than me. But, I can also say that I would go back to war 1,000 times so that she never had to see it for a second.
The word has just come out about allowing women into combat, and it seems as if the wrong questions and people are being asked their opinions in the media, and a lot of people have been asking mine, so here it goes if you want it.
Firstly, I don’t deny the fact that there are women out there who want to be on the front lines, or that there are many women who could do a great job there (see above). My main problems with this idea are the operational environments in which we are currently operating, and the effect this will have on general morale (keep reading….for different reasons than one would think).
From an operational environment standpoint, you have to realize where we are currently engaged in combat, and ostensibly will be in the near future. I’ve been to Afghanistan, Iraq and North Africa, and these battles and environments are much different than those you see in the typical wars from years past.
Namely, that all of these countries are Muslim-dominated and put women below cattle on their “respect” list. I’m not saying that all Muslims do or think like this, as you may very well have an American Muslim neighbor who is just as horrified by this as you, but from a guy who’s been on the ground in all of the places that we are engaged in combat, please trust me that this is the norm there.
In our current operational environment, our “hearts and minds” campaigns are fought on the streets and in the villages, where Infantry squad leaders and Special Forces ODA’s are routinely in Shura’s (meetings) with village elders, and much of our valuable on-the-ground intel comes from walking through villages and talking to locals.
If the “hearts and minds” COIN strategy is still our mission, how well do you think it’s going to go when we force a Muslim village elder in the mountains of Afghanistan to do business and negotiate with someone he sees as inferior and not worthy of talking to a man? How about when she says something he doesn’t like, and does what he’s done his entire life and reaches out to give her the back of his hand?
You see, Americans love to look at the world in terms of America, and many of those who have never traveled outside of this country and “smelled the dirt” in Afghanistan, Iraq and Africa, have no idea what the mentality is like there, yet love to make assumptions of what’s the best way to operate. Most of our current politicians can fall into this category, because landing at Bagram for an hour photo-op doesn’t count as “combat credit.”
It doesn’t matter how “progressive,” “PC” or “forward-thinking” we are; our enemy is not, and even our friends and allies over there are not. When you are a guest in a house, you follow the rules of that house, and if we are not there as occupiers then we are breaking the rules of the house. The locals became very upset when they were forced to speak with clean-faced American soldiers, and considered it an insult (we had a rather large loss of rapport ourselves in Afghanistan when our command forced us to shave our beards), and I can only imagine their reaction to this.
My second point has not to do with the toughness of women, but the hard-wiring of men. Unless we are going to make a 100% switch overnight to all-women in combat, I can tell you that this will end badly on the battlefield.
As a Combat Medic, one of your highest priorities when soldiers are wounded in combat is triage. It’s rare that only one person is hit, but not so rare that there is only one medic. If you’re in a situation with 5 casualties, just one medic and at least a half-hour until the MEDEVAC arrives, your priority is triage; save those you can, pray for those you can’t.
Israel has seen this before, yet we’re choosing not to learn from their lessons. They found that time and time again, in the situation I mentioned above, if there were both women and men injured in combat, the men (medics and Infantry alike) would spend all of their time focusing on the women, even when they were long gone. Time and time again the “savable” men would die because the others would try to save the woman even after she was far gone.
Again, it doesn’t matter how much you brow-beat the PC and progressive ideas into us, we are hard-wired as men to protect women….if you’re any sort of decent man, that is. We will focus all of our efforts on saving and protecting women, even to the dire consequences of losing others, sacrificing security, or neglecting other men that are injured with the “suck it up bro” mentality.
In closing, I just want to re-iterate that I’m far from anti-female, not saying that they can’t hack it, or are inferior in any way. I’m just saying from my experience, and the experience of other combat-tested troops, that this will not end well.
We have too many politicians focusing on polling data and progressive ideals, forgetting to ask the people who will be affected and who have played these games before. Open your eyes and ears, ask questions of soldiers on the battlefield, not those in the Pentagon focusing more on political gain that what’s going on downrange.
Like most of my blogs, this one is starting because of something that I heard (from a left-wing nut-job, of course) that has been bothering me quite a bit.
I was using Twitter in the way that most conservatives do….to find and pass along info the Main Stream Media glossed over or passed on entirely, and began my second favorite use of Twitter: arguing with a liberal.
The thing that really got to me was the way he wrote me off, as most Leftists and Liberals do when they hit a brick wall while in a discussion/argument with a Conservative; by calling me a racist Republican. Sorry, wrong on both counts, but good try. Do they not understand that most of the intelligent world has caught on to that cop-out and understands it’s the Liberal “white flag” meaning that you know you’ve been beat?
The argument which preceded my mislabeling was about Obamacare and the recent tax increases. Before it devolved into name calling, he asked what was to me a funny question: “How do you not understand that raising taxes on the rich and providing free care to everyone is needed for our economy? Don’t you know anything about Economics????”
Funny enough, yes. I have a Bachelors Degree in Marketing, owned my own business in college and am now working in the business office of one of the nation’s top 5 hospitals….I left the Army part of my resume out because, while the government spending side of the argument will play in here, my role as a Green Beret didn’t have much to do with spending decisions or economics. But based on the other experience, I’d say I have a little more Economics background, both Macro and Micro, than the average journalist writing for a left-wing online publication.
I was introduced to the “No Free Lunch” principle in Honors Economics class in High School. My teacher was one of my top 5 I’ve ever had, and she is probably the reason I never switched majors in college and knew Business was for me from Day 1.
There are quite a few places you can find this principle quoted and explained on the internet; basically, the principle says that nothing is free….and the principle can be applied to any tangible good, such as a lunch, or an intangible good, as the time taken to sit down to said lunch.
This is because even if you aren’t paying for it, somebody is. There is an entire supply chain that is required to turn grain into wheat, wheat into bread, package that bread, ship it to the restaurant, etc. Even if the restaurant bakes its own bread, chances are they got the ingredients from someone else, and even if it was at no cost, the time spent procuring these items is valuable.
There is another great example I read about Bill Gates online this morning; it is estimated he makes about $250/second, so if he were walking down the street and saw a $100 bill, would he bother to bend over and pick it up? If so, his opportunity cost in the 4 seconds it took him to pick up $100 would have lost him $900. Basic Economics and Business 101, although these principles should obviously be applied to things besides walking down the street and eating a sandwich.
So, now that I’ve scratched the surface and saved you a couple of grand on Micro and Macro Economics classes, back to my current job (besides author, which is why you’re probably reading this blog in the first place). My 9-5 is in the business office of one of the top 5 hospitals in the nation.
As such, I get a lot of notifications to changes in our contracts with many of our suppliers of medical devices. Health Care is a big business these days, and if you didn’t know that, you’re not paying attention.
I received a notification today that another one of our device manufacturers is increasing their prices and lowering services because they have to fire staff. Why? Because of the new 2.3% Federal Excise Tax on Medical Devices for Obamacare. I also have many sales representatives from these companies who are having their pay reduced, having the taxes taken out of their commissions, or are being required to pay in other ways.
But I thought Obamacare was the Panacea to end all of our ills? Isn’t it just a harmless ray of sunshine, made to spread love and care throughout the world with no unintended consequences or victims? And didn’t the President say it would come at no extra cost???
Well, that’s certainly how it was portrayed, but the answers to those questions is No, No, and NO.
Here’s the most basic thing I’ve learned through my time working on the business side of hospitals: insurance companies and medical manufacturers (you can even include Big Pharma in there) ALWAYS win, and they ALWAYS pass the bill along to the consumers.
One of my sales rep friends told me a funny story about a company trip to New York for a business conference last year. He had never been to Manhattan before, and he said he was dumbfounded the first time he saw it, especially working in the medical industry. Next time you’re there or see a picture, pay attention to who owns most of the tallest buildings: insurance companies.
I work for a teaching and community hospital; long story short, that means we provide top-tier medical treatment to anyone, regardless of insurance status. But I thought that didn’t exist and Obamacare was fixing that? Wrong again. We have multiple hospitals in our enterprise, and a number very close to 50% of our patients are either Medicare, Medicaid, CCS, International Clinic, Childrens Hospital, Veterans Administration, or no insurance at all. And Obamacare is going to hurt us.
You see, even though we see all of these patients on government sponsored programs, we are not a government-owned facility. And when we see a patient who is uninsured or under insured, the medical device companies and insurance companies don’t take it easy on us or give us a break; we get less back from the government than we would another patient, but pay full price to whoever supplied the required devices.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, here’s where the “Free Lunch Principle” concept kicks in; Obamcare was made to make it cheaper on you to get insurance or healthcare, but in no way is making it cheaper for hospitals. God forbid they reduce the litigious liability insurance that hospitals face against teams of ambulance chasers just waiting to take us down.
On the contrary, Obamacare is made to make it easier and give that lunch to some in the population, while taking a bigger bite of the sandwiches of those who work hard to pay for them out of their own pocket, with our own blood, sweat and tears.
I live in California, which already has the highest healthcare and insurance costs in the nation. Why? Because the Medi-cal (Medicaid) system here has become so overrun that those of us who actually work, pay taxes and act like responsible adults and take care of ourselves have to pay for those that don’t; and since this state takes it upon itself to welcome non-producers with open arms and give them welfare and medi-cal immediately, and ask nothing of them in return, it is only getting worse.
So who’s paying for the Obamacare lunch? If you’re reading this, probably you. If you are one of the declining number of Americans who actually work or do anything beneficial for society and earn money and pay taxes, you are paying for that lunch. Even before Obamacare starts, we are starting to see these taxes come on board.
The manufacturers aren’t eating that cost; the hospitals aren’t eating that cost; the insurance companies definitely aren’t eating it. But since the people getting Obamacare aren’t paying to begin with (or are paying well below its actual cost) guess who gets the tab after they’ve finished their meals and left the restaurant? Us.
The hardworking American taxpayer who is constantly hearing that they “aren’t paying their fair share.” As the unemployment, welfare and food stamp numbers skyrocket with people who aren’t paying ANY share, we are being called the bad guy and accused of trying to keep the money that we worked for while our tax burden and costs grow heavier and heavier. And don’t expect a thank you.
If I go too much further this will probably devolve into at least a baker’s dozen other tangents, so I’ll leave it there. I hope you enjoyed this Robert Patrick Lewis ECO 101 presentation; I hope you learned something, I hope you’re a little more informed, and I hope you understand that this will not end well…..as long as you’re the person paying for lunch.
Watch live @ YouTube.com/vpn Tuesday Feb 5th, or go to iTunes and/or AdamCarolla.com on Wed, Feb 6th to listen to author Robert Patrick Lewis on the #1 podcast in the world, The Adam Carolla Show talking about “Love Me When I’m Gone,” USA Cares and Trojan Warrior Summer Camp.
I’ll be in Las Vegas next Wed and Thurs for some media and USA Cares events; if anyone will be there and would like an autograph for their copies of “Love Me When I’m Gone” message me on the FB page (https://www.Facebook.com/LoveMeWhenImGoneBook) and we’ll try to arrange it!