The first time I ever heard of him was with the publication of Keeping Faith, a book he co-authored with his son, Frank, who turned his back on his East-Coast, prep-school pampered way of life and his parents' wishes to join the Marine Corps and serve two tours in Iraq.
The book focuses on the elder Schaeffer's transition from knee-jerk, jerk opposed to the military and virtually any war, to an understanding parent and supporter of the American military. I was encouraged by his transition and his having "come around", but my hatred of the elitist, spoiled and morally bankrupt attitude of my generation has diminished little over the last 35 years. Welcome to the band wagon, John.
Since then I've softened toward Schaeffer who seems to have turned his conversion into a sort of cottage industry of books along the same line. His latest, AWOL, has real merit and is probably the best of his four books on the same theme.
The military draft in the U.S. was initiated back in 1917 as much for an equalization of the classes within the ranks as it was for manpower reasons. The elites, the upper crust, the sons of high society and students and grads of our best universities were enlisting in such numbers that the government feared we just might lose most of the so-believe best and brightest to the roles of the honored dead.
The response to WWII was not a great deal different, though draftees outnumbered enlisted by a three:one margin. But by the time the Vietnam War stormed into view my generation somehow deluded themselves the craven notion that it was beneath them to serve their nation. Many, including friends and family members of virtually any Vietnam veteran, shirked their duty... any kind of duty except to themselves... that which they held and continue to hold most sacred.
From AWOL: "Not so long ago our great universities provided countless officers and enlisted troops. They took their training and insight and later became leaders in the larger society. In the 1950s, half (emphasis mine) the graduates of the nation's top schools served. Our schools believed that their best and brightest would bring the spirit of free America to the field, and bring the lessons of the field home to inform the next generation of policy makers. Harvard University pioneered ROTC, the same school that now bars it from its ranks. The Ivies now send less than one percent of their alumni to serve."
And what if this cannot be changed? Schaeffer and his co-author, Kathy Roth-Douquet observe: "We believe that the increasing gap between the most privileged classes and those in the military raises three major problems: It hurts our country, particularly our ability to make the best policy possible. It undermines the strength of our civilian leadership, which no longer has significant numbers of members who have the experience and wisdom that comes from national service. Finally, it makes our military less strong in the long run."
So, good for Frank's Dad...better late than never. But, I'm sorry to say, I don't think it can be turned around this time as long as even some parents continue to raise their children on the believe that in America it's "all for one... and all for one."
As expected, it didn't take very long... the first charges of abuse of a corpse in the killing of al-Zarqawi have been leveled by no less an authority than "an Iraqi man"... he was dutifully quoted by the anti-American Associated Press and picked and repeated by the usual suspects: ABC, CBS, WasPo, NYT.
Some reports had US troops "jumping on the chest" of the latest big-time raghead subhuman to bleed out. Another report had it that the troops were beating on Zarqawi.
There was a time when American reporters vetted their sources and possessed an atom-sized bit of common sense that would let them know when they were being used.
Quite frankly I wouldn't mind if someone did Hollywood his ass, but it's enough to know that the last thing the bastard saw was an American flag patch on one of our guys' uniforms.
Marine Corps turn coat and blatant opportunist, Cut and Run John P. Murtha is as responsible as anyone for boosting al Qaeda's propaganda war, having proclaimed our Marines guilty of "cold-blooded murder" before any were even charged in the Haditha incident.
The other combat boot dropped earlier this week as Murtha announced his intention to run for House Majority Leader should the dem wits take the House and the plastic surgeon's dream... Nancy Pelosi, is elevated to speaker.
I know... dreams come in sometimes odd and very large dimensions, but this certainly exposes The Murtha Plan for Self Advancement.
Virtually unknown until he woke up long enough to attack President Bush, the war in Iraq and now slander the Marine Corps, Murtha is using his new celebrity to be sumbody.
Here's to the Dixie Bitches and their dwindling ability to put butts in the seats: According to Billboard.com, four dates on their current tour have been canceled due to slow ticket sales. Fans in Indianapolis, Memphis, Houston and OKC apparently told them to shut-up and sing.
Ticket sales have fallen drastically since its last tour -- which was the top-grossing country tour in 2003, but there's a silver lining for the trio that thinks C&W fans are dumb-ass rednecks... a second Toronto (Canada) show had to be added after the first show sold out in eight minutes.
Yeah, the anti-American, socialist slackers up North love 'em.
I also read that three of the DB's fans, whackjobs detainees at GitMo hanged themselves the other night in an obvious coordinated suicide lynching.
We should hand out five-foot sections of rope with each prayer rug.
There were immediate calls for AN INVESTIGATION... the basic political position of the dem wit party on everything. And George Bush immediately chimed in with promises of a really, really BIG Investigation and that the bodies would be handled with respect and adherence to all Muslim religious law.
Yeah, just like the respect the ragheads gave American bodies which were dragged through the streets and strung up to bridges.
George, shut up and sing.