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Beret lieutenant colonel, Gordon Cucullu is now an editorialist,
author and a popular speaker. Born into a military
family, he lived and served for more than thirteen years in East
Asia, including eight years in Korea. For his Special Forces
service in Vietnam he was awarded a Bronze Star, Vietnamese Cross
of Gallantry, and the Presidential Unit Commendation. After separation
from the Army, he worked on Korea and East Asian affairs at both
the Pentagon and Department of State as well as an executive
for General Electric in Korea. His first major non-fiction work,
at Birth: How North Korea became the Evil Twin, is
based in large part on his extensive experience in
Korea and East Asia as a governmental insider and businessman.
[go to Cucullu index]
Speaks for the Dead?
[Gordon Cucullu] 10/14/04
It is presumptuous
for anyone – me included - to elevate
themselves as spokesman for the soldiers, sailors, airmen and
marines who have given their lives for our country in current
wars or past conflicts. Nevertheless, with humility I’m
attempting to do so. The reason that compels me to this step
is the profanity with which our lost heroes are being treated
by America’s enemies at home.
As repugnant as enemy behavior has been with
beheadings, bombings and terrorist acts against civilians,
it outrages me equally
to see enemies at home – the ‘blame-America-first’ and ‘hate-Bush’ crowd – profane
our casualties. They display photos of flag-draped coffins being
evacuated in military aircraft – it’s the latest
gimmick - in an attempt to shock America into pulling out of
Iraq and abrogating our responsibility in the War on Terror.
Don’t kid yourself. Using dead soldiers is no accident.
The same mentality – in many cases by the same people are
behind this who led and participated in the anti-war movement
during Vietnam, who paraded for unilateral disarmament in the
face of the Soviet Union and who regularly criticize America
and blame our country for every one of the world’s ill.
These photos are displayed on the Internet, in magazines, and
crudest of all - on T-shirts! All done in a mocking display of
concern for our soldiers.
get something straight immediately: these people hate our soldiers
with the same passion that they hate this country.
Maybe they hate themselves too. Maybe their potty training went
awry. I’ll leave that for someone else to figure out. For
me – as an old infantryman with muddy boots – I see
things on more basic terms. Consequently I’ll address these pinheads
‘You, who call yourself war protestors, are not fit to
speak for these honored dead. You dishonored the memory of Ranger
Pat Tillman. He was a ‘dumb jock,’ you said, who
stupidly chose service to country over money. You said he got
what he deserved when he died in the barren mountains of Afghanistan.
You meant what you said about him and you refer to all the men
and women who paid the ultimate price to keep us free in the
same disparaging terms. They died for all of us – including
you! But you are too arrogant and self-absorbed to appreciate
‘You attack the wounded. You impugn their courage and
motivation, and try hard to diminish their sacrifice. You slam
those who volunteer on active duty as being too stupid to get
any other job, while assiduously avoiding any service yourself.
You denigrate the status and service commitment of our Reservists
and National Guard as somehow cheap and insincere. But you are
willing to lie, cheat, steal, burn and destroy property and people’s
character in order to promote your shoddy hate-America agenda.
‘You, who have spent a lifetime in pampering yourself
and blaming the world for your own ineffectuality, incompetence
and unhappiness are unfit to speak for any of our military, living
or dead. You do not even share the values that they hold precious
enough to die for. You are, in the blunt words of an old soldier,
not good enough to be a pimple on their posteriors. And if you
find these terms offensive, good. I’ve made my point. You
know where to find me.’
Naturally the temptation for someone who feels
strongly about this reprehensible behavior is to rip off the
the photos from being misused and profaned, and censor the photos
- period. Certainly those who use them don’t consult with
the families and request permission. Michael Moore in his atrocious
propaganda piece even had the audacity to film a funeral at Arlington
and use the film without family permission. And you wonder why
I use harsh language with these people? They demean scum.
But because of the amazing nature of our country – precisely
because of the importance of our basic freedoms of speech, press,
religion, belief, assembly and expression – I would insist
that the photos - if in the public domain – are released,
even to profane use. Censorship would mean that the soldiers
who paid for our basic freedoms with their lives would be even
more dishonored. We should not use loss of our soldiers to diminish
our precious freedoms.
Soldiers know that when America goes to war not all of our countrymen
will appreciate us. Ask any Korean, Vietnam or more recent warrior
and they will tell you the same story. As a people we seem to
have short memories and even less gratitude. But that comes with
the profession as much as boots and bayonets. Take one, take
These dedicated troops who risk all for us don’t ask for
our gratitude. They don’t look for appreciation and certainly
don’t expect any honors. But what they demand – and
what is absolutely required of us as a country and a people – is
our respect. And that is especially true for those who can no
longer speak for themselves.CRO
Gordon Cucullu 2004