Saturday, October 10, 2020

Concerning the New York Post Piece; “Does Trump even want to win this Race?”

The deck has been stacked against Trump from the very beginning. The media is undeniably and eternally left-leaning.

Nothing is ever going to change that.


The true question is, are they against him because of his demeanor or because he is truly an outsider unwilling to play ball in their court, by their rules and yield to their masters?
Society continues its sluice ride toward totalitarianism/socialism/communism. It is the inevitable destination of an entitled, lazy, shiftless gaggle of cretins who choose "comfortable" slavery born of jealousy and covetousness over uncertain and thus dangerous Individualism; it is as certain as it is unfortunate;


History bears this out.


The only unknown is when the population will have gathered enough self-destructive steam to power this locomotive into the mountainside of obliteration.


The key component in this age old effort to destroy this Nation as enshrined in our founding documents, is the Education Establishment. Whether knowingly or unwittingly, Teachers and Professors have guided generations of students onto this self-destructive ride and made them soldiers in the effort - and those numbers are now past the tipping point. The Education system stopped teaching students “how” to think determining instead to teach them “what” to think, multiple decades ago. Anyone who sent their kids to college knows of what I speak, as they found out that the kids they sent, came back adults they hardly recognize sporting ideals they never learned at home.


Given that all Leftists show up at the Polls and that "Conservatives" have never been willing to circle-the-wagons and do likewise, there is apparently no way to civilly stop the transition from a society of Free Men, to a Gulag of Serfs governed by well-heeled Overlords.


This election is consequential because for the first time in my lifetime, the players on the Left have pulled back the curtain and made the details of their draconian plans known and laid bare their future vision. It is also consequential because for the first time, there is a preponderance of evidence indicating a majority of the electorate seems elated at the prospect of destroying what the Founders created 300 years ago.


We have been witnessing the entire machine of the movement in action; unfettered protests/riots, the full weight of the media, a virtual Gag on the Free Speech of those who oppose, the gaming of Presidential Debates by consistent use of Partisan "Moderators", the hijacking of Congress and it’s use as a bludgeon to destroy a sitting President, the infiltration of the Military O-Zone by Leftist Ideologues who are first trained in Leftist Colleges now openly seeking to unseat a duly elected President, et al, ad infinitum!!!
That American society is fractured, maybe irreparably so, is a given as we see families “torn asunder”, once again; the razing of civil discourse, the intolerance to competing ideas, the annihilation of customary societal mores, the unprovoked attacks on individuals in the street, the complete loss of fear/respect for Law enforcement, the lack of recognition of the sanctity of the Family and Life at all stages starting with the most vulnerable.


I have engaged in political commentary for decades, but not until these past 12 years have I become increasingly more concerned about the Voter, than the Candidates. We have arrived at a time when we can no longer assume the Voter(s) will display wisdom and good sense to arrive at the best Candidate to carry out the Oath of Office which first, demands they Support and Defend the Constitution of the United States.


Those days are apparently, gone.


The new Majority Voter Vision seems to be a rush to demolish the entirety of the Constitution and astonishingly, to their own peril.


So as I consider the New York Post piece entitled, “Does Trump even want to win this Race?”, I am keenly aware of two things; First, that the writer, editor and the paper, all lack any sense of reverence or respect for the Office of the Presidency and, Second, that I can’t help but think President Trump is fully aware of the insurmountable odds he is facing.
I wonder if Conservatives – of all stripes are yet ready to lay aside differences of opinion to join a united effort to delay what seems inevitable, and gain us a few more years living under the umbrella of Individual protection granted us by the men who preceded us; who sacrificed their families, their lives, their fortunes that their progeny might live as Free Men with the Divine Right to Self-Determination?


Elections past and conversations present do not give me any comfort as the divisions amongst us seem as unhealing as the division between Constitutionalists, and the Anarchists.


November 3rd and 4th, will be very telling. In the meantime I pray for that Businessman from New York with the crass manner and bully personality who thus far has thwarted the efforts of the DC machine to own him.


After all; that is why we voted for him to begin with!


Semper Fi;


John Bernard

Monday, June 29, 2020

Obama's COIN War on Americans versus Russia's Alleged Bounty

On the question of whether or not the Russians may have in effect paid a bounty to Afghans to kill American Troops; I find it incredibly convenient that Democrats in Congress have found a sudden sense of righteous indignation for the abuse, mistreatment and killing of American War Fighters that was entirely absent under the Obama Administration.

For his entire 8 years as President, Obama abdicated as CiC over our entire War Fighting community having forced the hand of his complicit Pentagon and Joint Chiefs; placing a priority on the lives of foreign mus-lims in the battle space while placing American War Fighters at undo risk to the point of death - and incarceration due to the unrealistic and suicidal application of the historically failed COIN Doctrine.

1.      COIN, is a self inflicted, fatal wound ordered by President Obama.

2.      Russian bounties, is an act by foreign actors not precipitated by President Trump.

3.      The former is an act of Treachery or even Treason committed by a sitting President;

4.      The latter is a hostile act perpetrated by foreign actors.

Democrats in Congress have once again proven their only concern is for the regaining of absolute political power - not the well-being of the American War Fighter - or that of the security of the Nation!

Anyone buying into this newest narrative is either astoundingly ignorant of recent history - or complicit in this latest act by Congressional Democrats to turn public opinion in favor of a full-blown Socialist take over of government.

But make no mistake; concern for the US Marine, Soldier, Sailor and Airman, is NOT part of this latest Democrat narrative!

History and a long list of people like me who wrote incessantly on the subject of COIN's unmitigated, colossal, absolute failure as a battle space strategy; our meetings with Congressional actors, attendance on radio shows, speeches, travels and endless efforts afforded these same treacherous, Democrat plants the opportunity to understand the horror and historical failures of this satanic and homicidal strategy but they remained silent;

Because they, did, not, care; in the same way they do not care by this sudden seeming concern, for the American War Fighter.

This is not even about using the lives of War Fighters as pawns - we do not even factor into any vile equation they have assembled to further their goals....it is only about spewing a narrative in an effort to raise a furor amongst the equally ignorant Electorate and turn voting efforts to their demonic and treacherous goal of obtaining absolute power; given to them by an all too easily manipulated voting base.

I do not know if the Russian government or some rogue element within Russian government orchestrated or indeed promoted the killing of Americans by way of a Bounty; time will tell.

But I do know that President Obama, with his Democratic Congressional allies coerced the Spineless Joint Chiefs and G-Grade community into relenting to his twisted loyalties to foreigners, to then implement a Battlefield Strategy that has failed every single time it has been employed and has as a bonus, increased the American body count, and lost us anything resembling a Victory - or Resolution!

If you vote for a Democrat, you are a part of the problem - and no friend to the American War Fighter.

It is time to consider exactly what it is you believe in and what it is you hope to achieve by the casting of your vote.

To all those self-righteous "Conservatives" who intend to not vote or write in some other name as some kind of perverse form of political protest; you too are contributing to the probable future destruction of the lives of American War Fighters.

The Political, Moral and Constitutional battle lines could not be more clearly defined than they are this year; there is no ambiguity. There is only clarity of vision. Lives and the continuation of this Nation as a Constitutional Republic lay in the balance. 

Congressional Democrats with their situational ethics on full display this week with this latest accusation have most clearly established the battle line.

Which side are you on?

Semper Fidelis

John Bernard

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Duty of the King

Below is the substance of a speech I delivered to an assemblage of those who support our War Fighting Community, Families and Gold Star Family members. The event was held at the Hillview Country Club in North Reading Massachusetts on Sunday, the 25th of September 2017....It was also, Gold Star Mother's Day. The substance of the speech is both timeless, and applies to every Mother's Son who claims American Citizenship.

The Speech: 

I struggled to come up with a topic for this speech and largely because I have sought to keep what little time and influence I am afforded on the very narrow subject of American War Fighter Welfare; but not as it pertains to medical care or pay or re-entry into society. Those things are covered by a list of dedicated people. 

For me the greater need is to insure when this nation decides to send American War Fighters into harm’s way, it is done so with a well-defined mission removing every obstacle that might prevent them from returning home victorious and alive.

This Nation has failed to do so since the end of World War II and every one of us who have studied this subject have done little more than increase our sense of frustration as we have watched incursion after incursion saddled with the insane application of Counter Insurgency doctrine (COIN) which gives ground to the enemy while hampering the efforts of the American Fighter.

COIN battlefield logic which has been with us officially since 1940, has been a disaster of epic proportions, costing this Nation trillions of dollars in war materiel and related expenses and costing this Nation in excess of 500,000 dead and wounded while failing to deliver a single definable victory.

So how can this happen: How can something so demonstrably ill-founded with a consistent record of abject failure be as consistently at the forefront of every Administration’s mind and of nearly every sitting politician with the possible exception of one Donald J Trump?

There are easily identified reasons why we have not been able to learn from the mistakes of the past 70 plus years and I want to visit just a few:

First, the American population has become exceedingly lazy. We are self-centered and delusional both about our intrinsic value and our belief everyone owes us something. I am not speaking about our waning sense of Nationalism; no, I am speaking about individuals and our perception of self. In fact, it is this endemic narcissism that has all but destroyed our sense of pride and support of this great experiment we call the United States of America.
Second, we have accepted the perverted notion of a fluid, transitional Constitution. This radical departure from the Founder’s vision is as anathema to Constitutional definition as the suggestion that 2 plus 2 can have any infinite number of correct answers.

What the Living Constitution crowd doesn’t understand is that any move away from the perfect and complete vision of the Founders Constitution is also a move away from the very concept of the pre-existent, inviolable and sacrosanct Rights as enshrined in the Bill of Rights; even as they lean heavily upon those Rights to shout down every dissenting opinion.
Third, the majority has lost sight of the fact that they remain Free through tireless vigilance both on foreign battlefields and here at home through simple, civic, maintenance.

And Fourth, they reject the notion that they must be personally invested; standing ready to bear the burdens and costs associated with the maintenance of Freedom or else suffer the consequences of slavery if they fail.

These then, comprise the most basic expression of failure by the population as we remain dispossessed of the traits of basic Character that were fundamental in the lives of our Fore Fathers and within the genetic makeup of the average Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps;

By the way, forgive me for the incessant use of “We” for I recognize that many do not fit this description of desolate character, but in truth, as a society, we are defined ultimately by our least common denominator.
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
As a young Leader in the Corps I learned early on that you should never offer a criticism without a recommendation and in the spirit of that axiom, I will tell you now what I truly believe needs to change.

First we must be consistent in our efforts to educate the young within our sphere of influence that from us they will hear the truth that is becoming increasingly rejected and worse, revised.

I personally impress upon young men that they are not ready for life or the solemn duty to protect if they have not studied, voted and prayed. And that they are not ready if they are not wearing boots. You see for me, our very Nature can be expressed by something as simple as our choice of footgear.

Second; Contrary to popular opinion it does not take a Village; it takes responsible Parents.
New parents need to be encouraged to take charge of the early education of their children and to be insistent in this. Parents do not need to beg the forgiveness or permission of those populating the indoctrination mills we call the Public education system; our Children are our own, our posterity, our legacy, our survival as a Nation.

These young stewards of our progeny need to learn to do what parents and the adult community once understood; that we are the early guides of our children, identifying their natural talents and gifts, encouraging them with observations and guiding them toward the one station in life that will best exploit those talents. College is not the beginning of every kid’s life – for some, it is to their very destruction as wholesome, productive, critically thinking Americans. For a few, following their natural talents and gifting will mean, swearing an Oath, signing a contract of service and donning a uniform.

Third; they need to teach and impress upon their children that being a citizen does not mean expecting to be bottle fed entitlements for the remainder of their lives but instead becoming responsible stewards of this magnificent gift bestowed upon all of us by God and the Founders.

It means recognizing the various challenges facing the Nation, facing those challenges with a set jaw and seeking solutions.

Lastly, accepting the fact that Life is Tough and that it doesn’t suffer Fools, the morally corrupt or those with weak character.

The Founding Fathers, in their wisdom and ten years of deliberation, penned the language we see enshrined in the Constitution. In it they redefined for all time, the concept and the very definition of the King.

For the first time in the History of mankind, they established the Citizen as the King. As such, we, collectively have inherited the same responsibilities for the Nation, it’s security, fields, schools, farms, factories and the people that any King would. As the King, we select from our number those who should do our Will in our stead because like the King, we must delegate authority to others when it is not practical for us to be there.

Should we shirk this most basic of duties, we are as guilty as any King or Tyrant who abdicates his responsibilities and leaves the Kingdom unprotected or the People unsecured.
The Citizen King is also responsible for the maintenance of the Nation’s History and foundational Documents; its Museums, Edifices and Statuary. These things are physical reminders of our History – the good, the bad, the unfortunate. History is not something to be ashamed of, it is something to learn from.

Additionally, he is responsible for the care of the cemeteries filled with the lifeless bodies of better men who died with the hope their sacrifice would secure the Nation for one more generation.

Not all Americans serve in uniform, nor should they. But all American Citizens can and must serve in another way;

There are three things the good Citizen King can and must do if he is to remain a good Steward of the Nation he bears the ultimate responsibility for;

1.    Remain Educated – not just in the sciences and literature but in history and civic responsibility. Study the history of this Nation as well as the history of failed governments. Learn and then know what it is you believe.

An uneducated Citizen King, cannot make intelligent or moral decisions and lacks the information necessary to cast a meaningful vote.

2.    Debate – We have become an entirely intolerant, ignorant and uncivil society. There are those among us who believe the First Amendment to the Constitution defines, codifies and defends the Right to take to the street like a gaggle of Anarchists to scream, swear, shout down, assault and destroy everything in its wake.

I have very sad news for those ne’er-do-wells; it doesn’t.

This kind of behavior stands unchecked while the balance of society has chosen to submit to the carnage in silence rather than chancing an unsavory interaction with the Anarchists.

Historically, this kind of posture becomes the pivot point upon which civilizations turn toward self-immolation.

Know what you believe, and determine to deliver those ideas to the National debate. Be prepared to have those ideas challenged and be willing to accept that you may in fact be wrong.

We need to teach children to be thoughtful, knowing and prepared to stand for what they have learned to believe.

3.    Vote – History and the various censuses conducted over our History shows that less than 4% of the US population has ever donned a uniform.

Additionally, an infinitesimally small number of people have served in the political arena. Another roughly 3% serve as First Responders.

Unfortunately, those same censuses also reveal that less than 50% of voting aged citizens in this Nation bother to extract themselves from the potato chip strewn couch sitting in front of the TV playing Dancing with the Stars long enough to mark an ‘X’ on the Ballot next to their choice for anything, much less President.

This is remarkable considering 100% of the American population seems to have an opinion.

When the King neglects to do his duty, it is said that he has abdicated the throne and when the American citizen refuses to do this least of duties, he is guilty of abdicating his inherited responsibilities.

By choosing to ignore these three minimum requirements of duty as the King of the United States, we doom the Nation to the same fate as others that have eventually been consigned to the dusty shelves in the Library of failed civilization.

The possible failure of the Nation is bad enough but there is another cost associated with refusing to do our least duty; we place the most vulnerable in our society at far greater risk of death, injury and personal destruction.

Now you might think I am speaking of the unborn child or even school aged children. Some of you might even think I am speaking of the elderly, the infirmed, the institutionalized, but you would all be wrong.

No, the most vulnerable among us are actually the most physically fit, the most focused and in many ways, the best educated.

They are selfless and determined but most of all; trusting. I am speaking of the American War Fighter; those United States Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and Coastguardsmen who share three things; a God-given compulsion to march into harm’s way, a signed contract to serve in that capacity for a specific period of time and who have sworn an Oath with no sunset clause.

Men and Women who are destined to serve in this way, willingly lay aside personal interests, the freedom to seek wealth, employment, a quiet life and in too many cases, even life itself; They sacrificially replace those things we take for granted and often with so little thankfulness, with one, simple thing; willingly giving over their very lives into the hands of Leadership – allowing both Civilian and Military Leaders to do with their lives as those Leaders deem fit.

When we choose not to vote or even to care enough to study up to the concerns of the day, we become complicit in whatever shenanigans government may choose to heap upon the War Fighter and here, I am speaking specifically, of COIN.

We allow men of low moral character and faulty vision to decide how America’s War Fighters can be forced to engage the enemy, governed by amoral COIN battlefield logic and Rules of Engagement that place them at undo risk. Too often, these Rules seek to defend those in the battle space who refuse to defend themselves.

I am neither conflicted nor ashamed to tell you I am first, an American.

For me, there are not 10,000 foreigners in the battlespace that are worth the life of a single American War Fighter and certainly not a United States Marine! And if there is a man seeking the Presidency who does not understand that, he is entirely unfit for the Oval Office!
This is my first motivation to vote.

I apologize for the deep nature of this message tonight, but as always, I believe it is from within the harsher messages that we can find personal redemption and National viability.
I will remain thankful, for the rest of my life, that God placed in me the burning desire to serve as a United States Marine.

There is still no other assemblage of men I would rather be surrounded by than a Company of tired, stinking, swearing Marines!

I will also spend the remainder of my life seeking the best representatives for this Nation and as a consequence, the best possible environment for those future generations of Marines to serve in.

I will end by saying this;

I have had two consistent prayers in the last several years and they have been this;

…That God would strike the heart of the electorate with an epiphany about the duties of the Citizen King; that he would burden him with such guilt for past neglect that he would not be able to sleep nor eat until he casts his necessary vote in the next election.

And lastly that God would grant me one final opportunity to fall while standing in the gap upon the wall securing this Nation; and as I lay mortally wounded upon the ground with my life’s blood oozing from my broken body, that it would be upon a bed of expended brass casings, surrounded by a sea of Digital Uniforms emblazoned with that blessed of all emblems, the Eagle Globe and Anchor!

John Bernard


First Sergeant, USMC retired

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Is the Selection of General Mattis a Signal for Us to Expect a Continuation of COIN Philosophy?

History can either be a Schoolmaster or a Mistress. It depends on the intent of the reader. It also depends on what the reader considers sacrosanct. We all tend to hold certain things as so inviolable as to make objective questioning that might breach that privately held trust, unacceptable.

This is all fine when the only thing that might be defiled is our personal conscience or even the feelings of another.

But when the thing or person questioned, has power and the ability to send men and women, who have selflessly granted those certain powers unfettered access unto death, those things and people thought to be untouchable, must be questioned. 

When President Elect Trump announced, he was selecting General Mattis as his Secretary of Defense I was simultaneously elated and troubled;

I will not apologize for applauding the selection of a Marine Corps General to the highest influential position for the Military especially given Mattis’s demonstrated love for Marines, and the Corps. At the same time, I reserve the right to criticize what I believe to be the single most destructive decision made in the past 15 years of war; the decision to shift from a Hunt and Kill strategy to the historically failed, Counter Insurgency Operation (COIN).

This move from the violent – and effective, hunt and kill strategy to COIN really made national headlines following the second Battle of Fallujah. The Media and certain Political types were quick to credit General Petraeus’s institution of COIN strictures in the years that followed, for pacifying Al Anbar Province but the truth is, it was most certainly the surge of US uniforms that forced the Insurgents to displace.

It is astonishing that Military Leaders, including Mattis and Petraeus would so willingly adopt a strategy that history teaches us, has not been successful in its 76 years as a formal battlefield doctrine. It has failed to produce the intended result in every single application while simultaneously producing a grotesque and vaulted pile of body bags filled with the lifeless bodies of America’s Best, who were tricked into believing that America’s civilian government and her upper echelon military staff actually cared about a successful, and victorious conclusion to the wars that ended their lives.

It is a damnable truth, that Marines and all American War Fighters win every battle we enjoin, and that the political and upper military strategists manage to lose the wars. 

This, is the true legacy of COIN warfare.

All the major conflicts we have witnessed since the publication of the Small Wars Manual in 1940 and with the notable exclusion of World War II which was not governed by this insanity, have failed to produce a Victor or a repentant enemy.

Following World War II, there were several major shifts in the geo-political landscape, the first being the establishment of the United Nations. The Charter literally placed a perverted choice before each member Nation; accept the Charter, or retain complete National autonomy.

Many will argue with this assessment but in truth, a Nation and its leadership cannot serve two masters; the National people it represents or its allegiance to an outside entity which does not share the concerns of that Nation. The UN was the Orwellian concept made manifest and placed all member nations on notice that the needs of the “world”, outweighed the needs of the individual nations. While that concept may play well on the big screen depicting non-existent alien beings and a fanciful future galactic societal construct, it is a pitiful and treacherous way for a Nation’s Leader to treat the people he has sworn to protect.

The second major shift following World War II, was a general move away from colonization. Britain and France would be the first to experience the difficulties of navigating through the messy business of maintaining peace in their respective territories while being pressured by the UN to relinquish control of those territories to the indigenous peoples. Those existential pressures were exacerbated by both the French and British populations who were growing weary of war.

What precipitated these shifts, was a shared revulsion at the prospect of a third world war. All parties were determined to never see another global conflict like World War I or II. The 1940’s Small Wars Manual became the source document for what would become known, alternately as the Counter Insurgency Operation, Police Action or Peacekeeping Operation. These efforts identify three main elements within the Battle Space; a fledgling but legitimate government, a besieged civilian population and an unwanted insurgent element.

The grand powers-that-be, would determine if a Nation was experiencing an insurgency that rose beyond what its Law Enforcement agencies could contain and then offer assistance to that Nation – or that Nation could request help from the world community. The Military deployed to aid that Nation really acts more as an international police force than a conventional military even though, its members, are trained as hunter/killers.

Insistence on inserting the Armed Forces of your Nation into a country that is experiencing a hostile insurgency requires agreement between the besieged nation and the nation providing the military aid and just a little bit of arrogance and insanity.

No nation seeks to do battle – even limited battle unless it can be shown that the problem presents an existential threat to its own security. And given that every single COIN Op effort has failed since the formalized, modern expression of COIN in 1940, it is impossible to understand the justification to commit to yet one more incursion within its strictures.

We have seen several notable examples of the institution of COIN since 1940; The Malayan Emergency, the Indochina War(s), The US in Vietnam, the Korean War, Somalia, Bosnia, the Russians in Afghanistan, the US in Afghanistan post June 2009 and Iraq. As I write this piece, we are witnessing another slow build-up of US troops in Iraq, and on the Syrian border, presumably, to expel ISIS.

The Malayan Emergency – 1948 - 1960

The British found themselves embroiled in Malaysia from 1948 – 1960 to dislodge some 2500 Chinese Communist insurgents who crossed the Thai border into Malay at the behest of Mao Tse Tung. Those 2500 Guerillas, exploited the dwindling economy in Malay; stirring up feelings of resentment amongst the expatriated Chinese living in the largely pluralistic Malay. This was but one of many efforts by the Chinese Communists to spread their philosophy throughout the region.

By 1960, the British and their Malayan counterparts had suffered some 4271 dead and wounded with another 2400 civilians killed and 810 missing. The result, was the British giving up Malaysia which they had controlled for some 135 years. The relationship between the Malayan people and the British was truly symbiotic with British owning the plantations and hiring the Malayans. The society flourished. By 1967, the Insurgency was rekindled and troubled Malaysia until 1989.

The First Indochina War – 1946 - 1954

While the British were mired in Malay, the French were having their own troubles in what became, North Vietnam. An anti-French insurgency formed, instigated by the Chinese and led by the newly constituted Viet Minh. Further aggravating the situation was an influx of arms by the United States and Russia. By the 1st of August in 1954, the French had suffered a resounding defeat at Dien Bien Phu and racked up 76,000 Dead, 64,000 Wounded, 40,000 Captured and their Vietnamese counterparts had lost another 59,000 Dead and Wounded. The result? The French were forced to withdraw from the region with no resolution.

The Vietnam War – 1954 - 1975

The United States entered the region following the Geneva Accord in July of 1954 and we stayed embroiled in a largely unpopular and frustrating conflict until our shameful and final Operation of the war, Operation Frequent Wind; a massive Helicopter evacuation of some 7,000 personnel – American and Vietnamese collaborators from throughout South Vietnam and from the very roof of the US Embassy, in Saigon, 29-30 April 1975. This was 21 years after we took over from the French.

Our Cost? 58,315 Dead and another 304,000 wounded. The aggregate totals of other friendly nations who supported the effort are, 750,000 Dead and another 1,185,000 Wounded.

The Result? After a combined total of 29 years of combat via COIN, the Chinese Communists had their way, and the mission to keep Vietnam a Democracy – Failed!

The Korean War – 1950 - 1953

The Korean War was the UN’s first foray into battle and they chose to do it within the COIN paradigm.  The Mission was again, to keep South Korea Free.

By the end of that conflict, the United States had suffered 37,000 Dead and another 104,000 Wounded. The aggregate total of other friendly nations who participated are, 1,217,000 Dead.

The Result? South Korea remained free by Armistice; but at what cost? To this day, there are United States Service members standing guard on the 38th parallel and we will, into the unforeseen future. South Koreans are largely living in house arrest and continually threatened by a mad man raised by another mad man, who is quietly supported by his Communist neighbor, China.

The other dubious and failed efforts at COIN include Russia’s attempt in Afghanistan from 1979-1989 yielded them 84,000 Dead, Wounded and Missing without a single thing to show for their trouble.

Somalia, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq and a growing commitment to the circumstances in Syria have done little more than activate a beehive of terrorists while creating even more friction with Russia and Islamic regimes in the area.

Recommendations

Years ago I was instructed to never offer a criticism without a solution and I have endeavored to live up to that rule ever since. So here is my vision of how combat and our exposure to the Battle Space should look:

1.    If you have an enemy that needs to be killed; kill him! Hunt him down with ferocity and unyielding determination. Deliver him such a level of unrelenting violence that his children’s, children will tell tales of the carnage you leave behind!

2.    If a Host Nation reaches out for help with an insurgency, it should be impressed upon them that every Mother’s Son of the indigenous population had best be personally invested in the effort to the point of death. The old axiom “Freedom isn’t Free”, is not just for America’s Sons and Daughters who serve in the polluted sands of the Middle East – it is for all who dare claim they want freedom!

3.    When you have the enemy bottled up like we had the ideological murderous Taliban in Tora Bora in 2001, finish the job! We could easily have killed everything in the region with FA Ordnance and simply left the sandy nation of Afghanistan the very next day and with a stiff warning, rather than spending the next 15 years floundering through the insanity of COIN and filling another 4,500 body bags plus, with American Warriors and years of broken promises!

I don’t know what the future holds and I certainly cannot say with certainty how General Mattis will advise President elect Trump in future considered campaigns. But he has shown a robust support for the Counter Insurgency Operation and an uncomfortable admiration for Islamists who inhabit the Nations we have been operating in. We have knowledge of the perverted practices of a troubling percentage of Afghan men who abuse their Bacha Boys; of devout Muslim men who brutalize and torture women and little girls. Those Generals who held Command in Afghanistan saw fit to follow COIN theory to the letter and turned a blind eye to those vile practices while ordering United States Marines to remove their protective glasses so “the people could see their eyes”.

Field Grade Officers who had the mission of meeting with village leaders were also ordered to remove their protective armor and leave it outside the meeting house along with their weapons; all in a misguided effort to win the hearts of a people whose hearts belong to a religious system that orders them to kill Infidels.

There has been a presumption of guilt and a legion of JAG Officers, giddy at the prospect of trying War Fighters for infractions of the artificially applied nonsensical rules promulgated by a strategy that is self destructive.

I do know, President Elect Trump, likes to win and by his own words, doesn’t like a loser.

I wonder if he is prepared to go toe-to-toe with some of his advisors who see the world differently? I hope so because, the American War Fighter has a right to expect his Leaders to make decisions that give him the best opportunity for victory – and life!


Semper Fidelis;


John Bernard

Thursday, November 10, 2016

What Should We Learn from the Tuesday Election?


I arrive at my opinions the way most critical thinking people do. My opinions are derived from the study of History, the search for truth in the midst of clutter and personal experience.

Sometimes those opinions do little more than guide me from one decision to the next, and at times, they help me determine how I will react to a current event but again, not much different from anyone else.

Elections do a lot more than simply determine who will be filling a soon to be vacated seat, they tell us a lot about the electorate. Every once in a while, the results are so astounding and the reaction to those results so volatile that we get a peek at what truly motivates each and every one of us.

I recall sensing more than a little trepidation when I awoke after the election in 2008 to find out the most Socialist President in our History had just been elected.  I felt betrayal, anger, and concern for the future of my family, business and most of all, for the Nation.

Having spent a significant percentage of my life, living under the shadow of the Oath I had taken to safeguard the Constitution, I was now faced with the real possibility that in one day, all that I held dear could be threatened and the Constitution so fundamentally changed as to render it unrecognizable to those who fought for it.

Those were real concerns, about real, physical and ideological things; foundational things upon which the United States was anchored.

I remembered that overwhelming feeling of dread that all I had sacrificed for might be swept away by a flood of emotionalism which selected a man who would now occupy the White House for four, if not eight years; a feeling I carried again, all night Tuesday, the eighth of November 2016.

I recall the relief, the next morning when it was finally revealed that I would not have to endure the same sensations I had felt 8 years prior. I also began to consider how the other fifty percent of the electorate must be feeling having had their visions of a continuance of policies they wanted squashed, in one day.

That is truly the extent of my empathy however; simply understanding that when people lose something that large, what follows is a hollowed out feeling. And so, I resolved not to jamb my rhetorical or metaphorical finger into the collective eye of those who List a good deal further to Port than the Victors do. They will need time to come to terms with the loss, and time, to realize their lives will not change and certainly will not be as dramatically affected as our would have been, if Clinton had won.

It should also be a wake-up call to those who lost to consider what the 2008 loss meant to us and to remember that the Sun does not Rise and Set on one political ideology; it does so for all of us.

Collectively, we need to work a lot harder at remembering that we are all American Citizens from a wide spectrum of ideology and we still must learn to live together because there are real threats out there who do not care where we sit on the political spectrum; all they know is we are Americans and they want us all, dead.

To my fellow Christian Brothers and Sisters I would say this; we fell on unanticipated and opposite sides during this election. Maybe I was living in a bubble in 2012 – or even 2008; assuming we were all thinking together. This election taught me a lot, about how little I actually know about some people I simply assumed to know. I hope the rift I observed open up, is temporary because we, more than any other class of Americans, have more in common. We have watched this country move God further away from the Public Square than at any point in our History. Convincing people of that error will take more than high-minded shunning; it will take interaction and a willingness to accept that everyone has a history and sometimes, a lot of spiritual scar tissue.

Personally, I feel hope for the future because even though I tend to be that curmudgeon who hates change, this time around, I truly feel like there is a chance to dig our way out of the pit we have watched widen, these past 25 years. It is going to require that we all think differently than we have been – not like some hyphenated variety of organic cucumbers but an actual definable, like-minded, concerned, industrious, caring people.

You know; Americans!


Semper Fi;

John Bernard



Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Speech Transcript, North Reading Veteran's 09/25/2016

I was privileged to be invited to give a speech to an assemblage of 158 Veterans and family members at an event hosted by the North Reading Veteran's Office in North Reading Massachusetts through the tireless work of Susan Magner, the Town's Veteran's Office Representative.

The event is held annually and seeks to show support for the Veteran community in the area with a dinner, guest speakers, Honor for the Fallen and the presence of a Marine Corps Color Guard and more.

It is a classy and well appointed affair held in a room filled with like-minded Americans who are concerned for the welfare of the Nation and most importantly, the welfare of the Veterans who have paid the price to secure the freedoms this Nation has enjoyed for 240 years.

Here is the transcript of the Speech without additional commentary:

* * * *

The origin of this quote is suspect, but it's value as a truism, is not;

“People sleep peacefully in their beds with the knowledge that Rough Men Stand Ready to do violence on their behalf.”

I went into a publi-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
May God always keep a hedge of protection around the American War Fighter and protect him from Friendly, and Foe alike!

I was just ten years old and attending Miss Doucette’s 5th grade class at the Swain School in Wilmington when BLT’s 3/9 and 1/3 disembarked the USS Henrico, Union and Vancouver at 0815, 08 March 1965.

They made their way ashore just north of the Da Nang Air Base. The mission was straight forward; take over security of the air base and relieve the South Vietnamese Army so they could return to the battlefield.

I don’t recall the particulars of the mission from the memory of that 10 year old child but rather as a United States Marine some years later and having studied the history of the Vietnam War. However, as a child who grew up during that time, I was bombarded with stories of the conflict on TV which included casualty lists, negative reporting and the souring of US opinion.

I recall the facts, figures, battles, names, weaponry and highlights of the ten years that followed; information lived out by men, some of whom are in this room today. Men who swore an oath, followed orders and shipped out to the tiny country that became a focus of effort in the greater region of Indochina where the Chinese Communists were attempting to spread the ideology of Communism to the entire region. Talking heads have since renounced the Domino Theory, but there is far more evidence supporting it, than not.

I also recall listening to students in my High School class disparage the very existence and character of the uniformed men some of whom were not much older than they and in some instances, former neighbors. I was both ashamed and frustrated by the anti-war movement of the day and left cursing the day of my birth because it left me too young to join in time to share in the hardships being experienced by men I already considered Brothers.

For those of you who fought in the jungles and rice paddies of Vietnam, your return home was not to the sound of Brass Bands and the sight of unfurled Flags but to the ranting of the undisciplined, the uneducated, the amoral segment of society that all too often is offered both the microphone and the camera without scrutiny. You deserved far more for the indignities you were asked to endure; the loss of Brothers you still mourn, the wounds you suffered. There was little I could do as an underage school student appalled by what I was witnessing but I can certainly pause now and Thank you for the Courage and Commitment to the Oath you displayed and say Welcome Home!
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As far as the average American citizen is concerned, that fateful day in March of 1965, marked the beginning of US involvement in Vietnam; a war that most school books say lasted 10 years.

In truth, US involvement began in earnest on the 7th of May 1954 with the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu at the hands of the Viet Minh. The French had been fighting in the region since 1946; that conflict became known as the First Indochina War. When they withdrew under the influence of the 1954 Geneva Accord, France had suffered 76,000 dead, 64,000 wounded and another 40,000 captured.

By the time Operation Frequent Wind was complete on the 30th of April in 1975, WE had suffered the loss of 58, 315 American War Fighters and 303,644 wounded.

Sadly, history does not record a single positive thing to come from so costly an effort.

Not many miles away on the tiny Peninsula of Malay, the British were mired in their own unfortunate campaign to oust 2500 Chinese Communists who had crossed the Thai border with orders to destabilize the British backed Malay Colonial government and to build support for a replacement Communist regime.

The Malayan Emergency commenced in 1948 when those 2500 insurgent Chi-Coms murdered several Rubber Tree Plantation owners and their workers sparking a request for intervention by British forces. The British remained on mission in Malay until 1960 when it was believed the last of those insurgents had been eradicated or displaced. The experience cost the Malay people and the British some 12,000 dead, 5,000 wounded and Britain, control of Malaysia and this, after a 135 year symbiotic relationship with Malay as a colony of the Crown. Tragically, the Chinese inserted more combatants in 1967 and Malaysia continued the fight to extract them until 1989 when the Berlin Wall fell and left the Communist effort disillusioned.

The history of war in that region, from the end of World War II until the disgraceful extraction of those last Americans and Vietnamese informants from the roof of our Embassy in Saigon on the 29th and 30th of April in 1975, was due to the misguided efforts of several retired Military Officers and a war weary Washington DC determined to never again see a world at war.

Their creation was a manual of strategic operations known as the Small Wars Manual published in 1945. That manual lays the groundwork for the worst possible strategy for operations in the battle space ever contrived by the mind of men; the Counter Insurgency Operation.

We called the Vietnam War, a Police Action. In the last few decades we have referred to these small wars as Nation Building Operations but by whatever name men choose to cloak it with, it is in fact, a Counter Insurgency Operation.

COIN ops put two dynamic pressures on American War Fighters that are unique in the Annals of History; first, it places a premium on the lives of non-combatants in the Battle Space while exponentially increasing the responsibilities placed on the shoulders of the PFC’s and LCPL’s forced to operate within its strictures.

It also scrubs from the vernacular the very definition and use of the word, Victory. It imposes artificial constraints on dynamic entities and demands all those working with those entities to treat them accordingly.

This is the environment into which those Marines were thrust, in 1965 as well as those of all Branches of the Service who followed. They fought for land that our leadership never intended to hold, forced them to endure patrols through jungles laden with booby traps, engaging villagers whose loyalties could not be ascertained; to be led by soft-handed politicians with no vision or publicly specified purpose only to then return home to a nation that seemed filled with hate for the war and warrior alike.

In the years that have followed, we have seen an unending list of operations forced into the COIN paradigm by politicians with no basic understanding of honor, of courage or commitment and who lack the basic character traits which are prerequisite for Leadership. These politicians dictate a need for Military force without an associated Mission Statement and no detailing of goal or mission conclusion.

Malay, Indochina, Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and the list goes on…. Are all failures and all drenched with the innocent blood of the Honorably serving Military Forces of America and her Western Allies…all, prosecuted within the framework of the most reviled strategy in the history of warfare; COIN. What a dismal tally.

In fact the only accountable victory since the Japanese surrender in September of 1945, is the defeat of Saddam’s forces in Kuwait, in 1991. We won in Kuwait, because the Kuwaiti government gave us carte blanche to enter Kuwait and to use whatever force was deemed necessary to destroy infrastructure and anything else to accomplish one thing; extricate the Iraqi Forces that had attacked and occupied Kuwait.

However, no matter how inept and vile this Nation’s politicians can be; no matter how lacking in basic intestinal fortitude, void of vision, uncaring, amoral and hamstrung; no matter the lack of any sense of righteous indignation for those intent to do us harm, there is one thing that remains certain….

No man or woman who has ever sworn the oath of enlistment should ever feel the least bit of shame or responsibility for the epic failures of the Political animal to provide a simple Mission Statement and to give the War Fighter every single weapon necessary to secure a victory for his Nation.
We are not responsible for the inanity emanating from the lesser creatures who occupy Washington DC. We who have sworn oaths to defend our Nations and Constitutions; our very cultures since time immemorial, do so understanding and living the concepts of Personal Honor, Personal Courage, Commitment to the Mission and the need to develop those character traits necessary to embody those Virtues..

The responsibility for the indignities we suffer on the Battlefield, the carrying of the memories of lost Brothers and families, lost Sons; blood shed on foreign lands at the behest of the political machine in DC, rests at the feet of the politician and the voter who put him there.

I would like to leave you with a quote from a Rudyard Kipling Poem entitled, Tommy Atkins which has given me comfort for all the years I served and all those years I watched the Vietnam Veteran serve. It is a metaphor for all of us who have carried water in the politicians sieve and gives me a comfort that can only come from knowing I have been numbered among men and women I hold in my heart as Brethren of the Sword. It is a reminder to me that we first, Serve. It is a reminder to me now, that I am served by those who have followed and that they are the best of their generation.

Now, for those of you who don’t know; Tommy Atkins is the British GI Joe. Rudyard Kipling served in his Majesties Forces and this is how he saw what we have been talking about:

The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
    O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
    But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
    The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
    O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play

Thank you;