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Opinion

Opinion: We were winning when we left

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By Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush

As former Presidents of the United States, we feel obligated to address President Donald Trump’s sudden and reckless decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan after a mere seventeen years of combat operations. We are not sure how the war could have gone so wrong in just the two years he has been president, but rest assured that we were winning in Afghanistan when we left the White House.

In October 2001, the United States launched Operation Enduring Freedom, sending American Soldiers and Marines to drive the Taliban out of Afghanistan. By the time Trump was inaugurated as president, we had managed to retake all of Afghanistan’s provinces from the Taliban, some as many as six times.

In January 2009, at the end of the Bush presidency, we had 30,000 Americans deployed to Afghanistan. Security had improved, shops were reopening, elections were being held, and the Afghan army was learning how to fight. In January 2017, at the end of the Obama presidency, we had 8,000 Americans deployed to Afghanistan. Security had improved, shops were reopening, elections were being held, and the Afghan army was learning how to fight.

It is hard to argue with this continuous record of success. Any decade now, the people and government of Afghanistan will stop relying on U.S. soldiers and U.S. aid money to defend their homes.

We are also alarmed at President Trump’s comments about our allies, especially Pakistan. When President Trump said, Pakistan “doesn’t do a damn thing for America,” he neglected two decades of Pakistan sheltering and arming America’s enemies. From Mullah Omar hiding out in Quetta in 2001 to Osama bin Laden in Abottabad in 2011, there has never been a better friend to America’s enemies than Pakistan.

Why President Trump would only give a measly $200 million to Pakistan this year, why President Trump would want to negate the sacrifice of the 2,500 Americans who died in Afghanistan by not sending another 2,500 Americans to die there as well, is beyond our understanding.

He has also made no effort to consult the defense industry or the international heroin industry, both of which require our military presence in Afghanistan if they are to turn a profit.

We urge President Trump to reject his failed policy of withdrawing from Afghanistan and instead embrace our failed policy of remaining. After all, it’s not like any of our kids will be going.

George W. Bush served as the 43rd President of the United Sates. In the eight years he was president, 641 Americans died in Afghanistan. Barack Obama served as the 44th President of the United Sates. In the eight years he was president, 1,747 Americans died in Afghanistan.

Opinion

OPINION: We shouldn’t build any new nuclear weapons until we use the ones we already have

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By Senator Tad Raskill (I-Ill.)

President Trump has called for upgrades to our existing nuclear warheads as well as production of new nuclear weapons. This is a mistake. America should not produce any new nuclear weapons until we have used the ones currently in our stockpile.

To that end, I’m calling today for the immediate nuclear bombing of all of our enemies, past, present, and future. From England and Germany, to Iraq and Syria, to China and the Maldives, we should spend our arsenal, which until now has been one enormous waste of money.

Democrats should embrace this plan to fight global warming, because the eradication of billions of polluting, gas-emitting humans (and cows!) will certainly help prevent the eventual global warming apocalypse—some good ole nuclear winter may even reverse some of the present effects. Since Democrats love helping the poor, they also should be happy with an unprecedented and merciless donation of billions of dollars worth of highly-enriched uranium, plutonium, and other rare fissiles to the world’s poorest inhabitants. A more dollars-to-product efficient foreign aid program, there has never been. It will also act as the mass, retroactive abortion of billions at once, so Democrats should love the idea.

Republicans should embrace this plan if they really are in favor of foreign intervention (especially if they’re really the vicious racists their opponents and the entire American media complex has spent the last 20 years making them out to be). They also should welcome the opportunity to ensure that the US government is being fiscally responsible and making sure the billions of taxpayer dollars spent developing these really neat weapons do not go to waste. It will also prevent any further abortions taking place in the targeted countries—another plus for the GOP.

It will create jobs in America as we ramp nuclear production back up at places like Oak Ridge, Sandia, Lawrence Livermore, and Pantex to replace the completely empty stockpile with newer, cooler and bombs more badass than ever before. Less bombs means more bombs, and more bombs means more jobs. These jobs will likely be union. So the pro-jobs, pro-union voters should welcome it.

Let’s not just increase and re-invigorate the nuclear stockpile, as President Trump’s National Security Strategy called for. Let’s use the bombs we have before we make new ones, and make America radiate greatness again.

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News

Opinion: Once again, my shithead husband will be deployed for the birth of our child

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pregnant woman with a headache and pain

Samantha Pourier is the wife of Army Maj. Paul Pourier, who is preparing for a deployment to Iraq later this year.

Well, it’s that time again. I’m three months pregnant, which means my idiot husband is getting ready to go to war.

Sometimes he jokes that all he does is come home, get me wine-drunk and squirt a kid into me, and then go off to war again, to come home in a year or two to a new baby who can already walk. Our friends laugh and laugh.

And I have to physically restrain myself from stabbing him in the eyeball.

Because it’s pretty true. All he does is deploy, come home, get me knocked up, and then deploy again.

Other people are out building a life. They work for real companies that accomplish things. You don’t see Amazon or Google or Wal-Mart re-invading the same region every five years or so, to no discernible national end. Their investors would eat them alive if they did that.

But for some reason, our generals and politicians find it perfectly acceptable to keep sending my husband to dirty sandboxes once every couple of years.

I’m not griping about the conquest. We are an empire, after all, and it’s kind of our imperative to keep subjugating people who are different colors than us.

All I’m saying is, it would be nice if my husband got a break from enforcing peace onto hapless wogs to see one of his children being born, just for once in his frickin’ life.

Because if he isn’t here to see this next one born, honestly, the next one might not be his.

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Miscellaneous

Opinion: If you call your spouse Household 6, I get to call your divorce a change of command

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veteran

By: Sgt Daniel Marks

Look, I get it. You love the Army and you want to bring everything about it into your daily life. I’ve been there. When I was in high school I got way into “Trainspotting” and started calling my friends “mates.” I was like 14, but whatever, I’m not here to judge. What I’m saying is we all do stupid stuff we aren’t proud of later.

So if you want to call your wife Household 6 you go right ahead. If you want to talk about needing to check “the training schedule” when someone asks you what you’re doing this weekend or discuss an “exfil plan” from the bar, that’s your prerogative. I won’t even call you a douchebag for it. At least not loud enough that you can hear me.

But you need to know that the use of military lingo doesn’t end when the good times in your marriage do. You need to know that if you call your spouse Household 6, I get to call your divorce a change of command.

Not only that, but I am going to ask you questions like whether she’s “already checking out a new unit” or “hopped on some Rear-D while you were deployed” or even if I can get a video of her doing some “partner assisted PT.” It’s only logical for me to deal with your loss by throwing something you did that annoyed me back in your face, and the commander of your household leaving the scene is a perfect opportunity. So I’ll ask you these things and more because the opportunities are pretty much endless no matter the reason you and your significant other elected to cut slingload on holy matrimony.

And let’s be honest, the first time I ask you if she used to be a drill sergeant because I hear she’s been smoking privates, you’re going to get mad. That’s natural. But I hope you can appreciate the fact that I put up with you and your slang equivalent of a high and tight by telling me you “take all commands from the tower” when talking about your wife.

Also, don’t be surprised if I insist on treating your divorce like an actual change of command ceremony. If I know the time and place you’re getting this done, you had better believe I’ll print out programs, and that I’m going to be there in uniform, with the guidon, 30 minutes early. And you absolutely need to be aware that I’ll be expecting to hear a speech, eat some Costco sheet cake, and get released for the rest of the day.

I’m not trying to be unreasonable. I won’t insist we sing the “Army Song” together to close out the ceremony. I just want to make sure we understand each other before you come at me all angry because I’m asking who your little fire team of kids is going to live with now.

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News

Opinion: Hey wait, no one ever thanked me for John McCain’s service either

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veteran

By a concerned, underappreciated American citizen

It has been 208 days since Sen. John McCain died and enough is enough. The reaction over the past few days by the “lame stream” media over comments President Donald Trump made regarding McCain are a constant, painful reminder that I have not yet been thanked for John McCain’s service either.

You might be asking yourself why I feel entitled to a thank you. Did I know McCain, or do my accomplishments in any way mirror his own?

I’m going to stop you right there and tell you no. And not just no but no and you’re asking the wrong (stupid) questions. The important questions, the ones you should be asking, are am I aware of McCain’s accomplishments and do I like thank yous to which I will answer sort of and absolutely.

Sure, I wasn’t in Vietnam when McCain was shot down or when he was tortured for five years or when he refused early release to keep faith with his fellow POWs. But I have news for you: lots of people weren’t there when that happened. Some of us weren’t even born yet. Some were never called to serve, and others didn’t really feel like going. Does that somehow make us less deserving of praise?

I also did not receive either an invite or a thank you for McCain’s funeral. While I wasn’t directly involved in the planning or execution of said funeral, I was generally aware of it. Also, and I can’t stress this enough, I love it when people thank me for stuff, especially when those thank yous are heartfelt, genuine, and unrelated to any of my words or actions.

It is for those reasons and more that I stand with the president and demand a thank you from the McCain family. They lost a husband, father, mentor, and friend on one day in August. I’ve had to live without completely undeserved praise for 200 something days since and counting. Do the right thing.

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Marine Corps

Opinion: Jerkin’ it at sea is a lot like jerkin’ it while not at sea

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By Sgt. Steven Mode, flight equipment technician

Sometimes things in life are the same, and other times things are different. One thing that is the same for me everywhere is wacking it.

On a train or in Bahrain, on a float or off the boat, masturbating is about the same wherever I go. Sure, sometimes I have to worry about getting knocked around if the seas are rough, or passing out if the porta-shitter is really hot, but generally speaking, the experience of jerking it has been pretty consistent. For example, one time I was beating it on the USS Bonhomme Richard, and another time I was beating it not there. See? Exactly the same.

Others may disagree, but nothing I’m saying is too wacko. People often ask me, “Hey! Don’t you think that masturbating on the USS Bataan is different from masturbating when you’re not on the USS Bataan?” But my answer is always a flat “NO! It’s the same for me everywhere.”

Think about it, what’s so different about rubbing one out in an unlocked quadcon on the USS Wasp versus doing it in another place? First of all, they shouldn’t have left the quadcon unlocked, but isn’t that basically the same as tugging it in the IPAC bathroom on Pendleton? My point exactly.

Last year, I was doing it when I was on watch in Iraq, and I was like, “Hmmm. This is about the same as that time I was doing it on my rack on the Green Bay, and I was right!” For me, it’s like going to McDonalds. No matter where I am, I know what to expect.

The only time it was different was when I was beating it back home in Michigan and my bathroom caught on fire because a rat got stuck in the space heater. Never had an experience like that before. Talk about crazy!

In conclusion, jerking it is something I do a lot and is about the same wherever I go. Thank you.

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Army

Opinion: General standing in front of us with hands on hips isn’t really making an impression

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(Photo: Defense Dept.)

By a grunt

I don’t mean to be disrespectful. I’ve been in for three years, and I understand the chain of command as well as customs and courtesies.

But who the hell told general officers to always put their hands on their hips whenever they open their soup-coolers?

What does that signal? When I put my hands on my hips, I’m usually contradicting something a barracks lawyer just said, or else I’m fighting my bar tab at the Buckhorn Saloon. Which general has to fight a bar tab? They make so much money they just fart rainbow-colored fifty dollars bills and the bar staff run around picking them up like looters after an earthquake. Those generals leave the Buckhorn like nothing happened. Me, I’m talking to the cops.

So what is it with hands on hips?

I can see Adm. Halsey with his hands on his hips, directing naval combat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean — there was a real war on back then! But mostly, I see my grandmother with her hands on her hips, scolding me for doing something wrong right before she spanks my hide.

So, to me hands on hips equals a paddling a’coming. I’m PTSDing here watching this general move his hands from his hips to putting his thumbs just inside his trouser pockets, and back again while using words I never heard before.

Does he want to inspire me or punish me? I don’t know. I don’t even know his name. Maybe it’s Gen. Grandma.

I bet there’s a course in that knife-and-fork school that I heard new generals go to. I bet it teaches them to appear confident whenever they talk. I think that whole course is about how to properly put their hands on their hips. Lord knows the field graders I see can’t do it because when they talk they don’t inspire a damn thing in me except to not become a field grader. They constantly move their hands from their hips to the inside of their trouser pockets where it’s like they’re jiggling change or wangs. Generals and grandmothers are a lot better at this, but still.

Honestly, general, would you please take your hands, your hips and your entourage of POGs and just get the fuck out of my battle?

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Opinion

Opinion: I secretly want you to pet my service dog

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The following is an opinion piece by the disabled veteran whose service dog you are about to pet despite the clearly printed warning against that on his harness.

Pay no attention to the large embroidered letters that read “SERVICE DOG: DO NOT PET” on my dog’s blood red vest. I want you to pet Max. Go on, do it.

It’s fantastic when you distract him from his one job, making sure I don’t lose my shit in public. The truth is, I desperately want you to pet my service dog so that I can just melt down in this grocery store while you block him from getting to me. I come alive when anxiety floods my veins, sweat pours down my IED-kissed back, and my highly-trained service animal’s face is being lovingly smooshed by a stranger in a “Support the Troops” shirt. Don’t mind Max’s squirms to get away from you and back to his job. He’s just excited to get manhandled for the fiftieth time today.

I get it — Max is so cute. He can pick up my dropped pills when my nerve damage kicks in or plop his heavy head in my lap to lower my blood pressure. But his true purpose in life is to respond to you cooing at him and announcing that he looks just like your dog Charlie.

If service dogs really weren’t designed for petting, disabled vets like me would hobble around with a honey badger or chihuahua — anything but an adorable black lab.

Also, I am so grateful you donated to Hero Dog that one time (I got Max from Puppies Behind Bars, but whatever, they’re all the same). It’s almost like you paid for him. Max is practically your dog! Get a selfie! Or better yet, just let me take the picture for you.

What kind of selfish prick would I be to deny you? Your tax dollars paid for my military service, injury, and delayed VA benefits. Max is our service dog. So go on, scratch his ass. You’ve earned it. I’ll just be over here riding this panic attack alone until you’re done.

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Army

Opinion: Are we dead or just in Kuwait?

An existential op-ed written by your squad leader in Camp Buehring, Kuwait.

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kuwait

Guys, I have to come clean: I don’t think we survived this past deployment. I don’t really feel anything anymore. The color has run out of the world. All is awash in browns, grays, dust and burning, stifling, ball-sweat inducing heat. We must question our purpose, the point of it all. Are we dead or just in Kuwait?

Why are we here? Is there nothing other than absurdity in this bleached pan of our waking nightmares? Is there nothing more than watching how many Kuwaiti soldiers it takes to devour that foreign delicacy chocolate cake?

Has life been reduced to watching other living, breathing service members — not merely our own, but the entire Western world’s — go on real deployments? This can’t be Hell, can it? Hell does not have a gym or an MWR. (Or does it?)

I’m certain Hell has better chicken wings.

Was it Kierkegaard who once said, “we shall not decide which life fights the good fight most easily, but we all agree that every human being ought to fight the good fight? Unless of course they’re sentenced to this godforsaken desert by the Military Intelligence Readiness Command?”

Trust me, that was purely rhetorical.

I’m pretty sure this place was the last thing Camus saw flash in front of his eyes before the crash. We are condemned to be free, but what is the nature of this freedom? Condemned to roll our laundry into balls repeatedly, like some modern Sisyphus?

The freedom to complain about internet lag or the sheer lack of Black Panther on haji disk? Was life ever more meaningless?

Wait. That’s why I can’t remember Iraq. That was a lifetime ago, when we believed in COIN and David Petraeus. We are assigned here. This is life now. Somewhere between smelling a burn pit here and the meth back in Fort Huachuca.

We aren’t dead, but we are in hell.

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