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Thread: LTC Bob Batemen's EXCELLENT series on Gettysburg in Esquire

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post

    But I know folks like myself and LTC Bateman stand on firm because a lot of men like George Thomas faced those hard choices and made the right and moral call.
    The split went something like 60/40 so clearly opinion was divided. Winning by itself does not make something right and moral. We don't face the same pressures they do, outside of some nuts in Texas there is no national conversation on the right of secession. By the the thinking of a great many at the time, Virginia was no longer part of the US and Lee no longer an American when he became a confederate officer. He did not abandon his post, did not desert.

    I say save the treason label for those officers who abandoned and deserted, or those politicians who for personal gain created the situation in the first place.
    Last edited by zraver; 16 Aug 13, at 17:50.

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    But Z, that is exactly my point. Those officers who served for the Confederacy did abandon and desert.

    And actually it was 70/30. Of 925 USMA graduates who fought in the war 642 fought for the Union and 283 for the Confederacy.
    And 23% of USNA graduates served the CSN.

    The is not a knock on you but you were an enlisted man who honorably served. Trust me...it is an entirely different perspective as an officer. The lens I look through is completely different than yours. Not better or superior, different. Trust me, Bob Bateman. S2, Shek and I have more in common with the Colonel, Delta and Lemontree and the other commissioned members of the WAB than we do with the former/retired enlisted. Not better, different.

    I was enlisted before I was commissioned. I was stunned by the difference.

    So I guess we will respectfully agree to disagree.
    Last edited by Albany Rifles; 16 Aug 13, at 21:03.

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    The level of responsability,both in terms of money and human welfare is certainly something few folks will want to have once they get to know it,let alone handle.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    But Z, that is exactly my point. Those officers who served for the Confederacy did abandon and desert.

    The is not a knock on you but you were an enlisted man who honorably served. Trust me...it is an entirely different perspective as an officer. The lens I look through is completely different than yours. Not better or superior, different. Trust me, Bob Bateman. S2, Shek and I have more in common with the Colonel, Delta and Lemontree and the other commissioned members of the WAB than we do with the former/retired enlisted. Not better, different.

    I was enlisted before I was commissioned. I was stunned by the difference.

    So I guess we will respectfully agree to disagree.
    No, in the case specifically of lee, I owe you an apology. I thought he resigned his commission in Feb 1861 well before Ft Sumter and before Virginia secession. Had a big old case built up around that fact only to find out he resigned 7 days after the bombardment began.

    Though I maintain that officers who resigned prior to the firing on Ft Sumter cannot be traitors.

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    HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!

    I don't know LTC Bateman, so I take him and everyone else here at their word that he is/was a commissioned officer in the United States Army. I will also stipulate to the information that states that he is a professor of history at the United States Military Academy. It is important that those facts are established because they become somewhat problematic within the context of the VERY LARGE ERROR IN HIS ESSAY that he should never have put to paper, and Esquire editors, had they been worth their salt, should have caught, because frankly, he is hoist on his own petard through its use.

    To what am I referring? The passage in which he discusses the modern commissioned officers' oath of office, to wit:

    The oath I, and all modern officers swear, runs this way: "I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

    With all due respect to LTC Bateman, I did take that oath . . . when I was ENLISTED as an OCUI2 at the Naval Training Center San Diego. “OCUI” stood for “Officer Candidate Under Instruction.” The “2” meant that I was for pay purposes, a Petty Officer Second Class, or E-5 if one prefers. I was in fact “enlisted,” so that was the oath I took, and the simple fact, and glaring error in his argument, is that the Oath that LTC Bateman has presented for our perusal is the modern day Oath of Enlistment, and not the Commissioned Officers' Oath of Office.

    I have the Oath of Enlistment seared into my brain because as a young Ensign I watched as the CO, then Captain Leon A. "Bud" Edney (later Vice Chief of Naval Operations and Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic, Admiral Bud Edney, USN) re-enlisted one of Constellation's crew members on the bridge while we were operating in the Northern Arabian Sea during the Iranian Hostage Crisis. Afterward, during a private moment, Captain Edney told me never to read that Oath off some piece of paper whilst reenlisting some young person who has decided to give four or six more years of his or her life to the Navy. That one should understand the significance of that commitment and that when it was my turn to re-enlist someone, I should memorize that Oath, and treat the ceremony with the utmost gravitas, which in his view, was certainly warranted. It does indeed have that sense of gravitas in my mind to this day. It is an Oath that I do take seriously, but no more so than this one:

    I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

    THAT is the Commissioned Officers’ Oath of Office, and that one is actually special in ways that LTC Bateman has failed to note, which I find surprising given both his rank and his position. However, YOU will all note that there is no mention in the officers’ Oath with regard to obeying the orders of the President or the orders of any officer appointed over us. These Oaths are different for a reason. It is because as commissioned officers, we are supposed to THINK and not just blindly act like automatons. “I was only obeying orders . . .” was forever obviated by the results of the International Military Tribunal (IMT) held between 20 November 1945 and 01 October 1946. Commonly known as the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, the precedents that were set, and for which several men were hanged, means not only can we think for ourselves, but WE MUST THINK FOR OURSELVES.

    In fact, it is expected that an officer adhering to this Oath WILL NOT OBEY any order that is unlawful and/or unconstitutional. Taken in that light, LTC Bateman’s position is not quite as tenable as it would seem at first reading. Moreover, that he should make such a glaring error puts the rest of his scholarship in question. Just saying.

    Moving on to a tangential train of reasoning, I first took that particular Oath on 16 February 1979, and for the last time on 01 June 2000. There were five other times in between; four for promotions, and one when I was rolled over into the regular Navy as a LTJG from the initial USNR status under which all OCS graduates were commissioned back in the day.

    In looking back over the nearly 25 years of my career, I have come to the conclusions that we don't often think that when signing on the dotted line and saying, "I do" with the military, it really might mean "for life" down to the very essence of that term. It’s all fun and games until it isn’t, and God is good . . . until He ain’t. Have you ever noticed the way in which the terrorist attacks on 9/11 are sort of remembered with all sorts of solemnity regarding the World Trade Center, and even United Flight 93? Both are discussed and treated with great reverence as well they should. However, I sometimes feel as if the attack on the Pentagon is given short shrift. I’ve had others, unbidden, mention that perception as well, and you know how it is. Perceptions are reality to those who hold them. That being the case, every 9/11 passes, and flags are lowered to half-staff, and the various talking heads on the tube do their thing, and the Twin Towers and “Let’s roll” will get their due, and “Oh yeah, and the Pentagon too” will happen yet again (at least that’s how some see and “feel” it), and to those of us who were there, like me, it will be one more time when one is left with a unique feeling. “And what feeling is that Captain?” I hear you ask. It’s the feeling that the Pentagon is inconsequential compared to the World Trade Center and Flight 93, because WE, WHETHER OFFICER OR ENLISTED, TOOK THOSE OATHS, AND BEING WOUNDED OR KILLED IS PART OF THE DEAL! So it’s expected that we might die in the execution of our duties, even while seated at a desk in the First Floor, E-Ring, River Entrance Side.

    I wasn’t there long after the initial event, because I wore what we used to call the “Not Dead Man Walking Badge” and was transported quickly to “Site R” where I became part of the so called “shadow government.” What actually was the OSD and Joint Staffs executing the Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) we had been working together on for nearly three years for just such an occasion, worked as planned and the National Military Command Center (NMCC) never missed a beat at either location, because we were there under the mountain following right along with what they were doing Third Deck, D-Ring, Riverside Entrance where classic rock music is played rather loudly 24/7. They could have shifted operations to us in a nanosecond and no one would have been the wiser. Somehow, that capability, and the fact that the Vice-President was there was twisted by the mediots into something sinister instead of “a good idea to keep things going when something breaks or POTUS is out of the loop.”

    Well, I got off on a tangent, but one wonders just what constitutes a “traitor” or “treasonous” activity today? Personally, I believe there are a whole bunch of empty suits in DC that fit that mold. I believe they have not supported and defended the Constitution as they were sworn to do, and instead have done everything they can to trample that holy document under foot, and they have done it with malice aforethought . . . but that’s just me. They reside on both sides of the aisle politically and none of them are fit to serve in my opinion.

    Regardless, if they cannot protect the Constitution, then we should find some people who will. People who would work toward having far fewer of those laws created under the guise of “penumbras and emanations.” If you don’t know what that means, think of the 3rd Amendment and the quartering of troops, and what the hell does that have to do with anything? Ponder a while and you’ll figure it out, and it will be far more personally satisfying than me telling you.

    Perhaps I’m old fashioned, or “old school” and the rule of law and burden of proof, and the right to privacy, and to keep and bear arms, and to hang around with people I like without fear of being labeled a “hater” (the next 16-year old who uses that non-word within a three-foot radius of me will have to take his shirt off to take a shit after I get done kicking his ass), and other time honored concepts that I hold dear aren’t “new school” enough for the likes of “new school” geniuses like Rachel Jeantel, but I feel keenly that some of us “old school” people are needed to support and defend the Constitution. You know, when I was a young man on my first deployment just after New Year 1979, I knew who the foreign enemies were:

    Soviet Union – Check
    Iran – Check
    Cuba – (Giggling ) Check
    The Mama-san at my favorite bar in Olangapo - Check
    Warsaw Pact Countries Other Than Soviet Union – (What day of the week is it?) Check
    France – “Che . . . Oh . . . wait . . . never mind!”
    Libya – Check (I miss the dude in the ski suits and shades. Sigh, sob, sob, sniff, sniff)
    China – Not yet
    Vietnam – Not anymore; besides, they’re kicking China’s ass
    Mexico – Check
    Canada – Check, but only the French part

    As I said, I knew who the foreign enemies were; we all did. However, those domestic ones were kind of fuzzy, diffuse and out of focus. Seriously, I cannot think of anyone who I would consider truly dangerous were I to be transported back to that era. Today however, my cup runneth over, and it ain’t with love! I’m afraid that I cannot think of one who isn’t in government either, and I personally find that frightening. My own Senator McCain has totally left the ionosphere and is now about 4th or 5th stone from the Sun. Seriously, Republican or Democrat, they are all total wastes of human flesh. The thing is that some of these people are ruining the country just out of sheer stupidity or greed. I believe however, that some are purposely working to bring this country to its knees both economically and militarily. I’ll leave it to you to decide who that might be; it’s not hard to arrive at a conclusion.

    The problem is, how does one defeat such an enemy? I’m afraid that the answer is not something any of us wants to think about, and so I shan’t. Strangely though, someone else is thinking awfully hard about stopping such an effort. One wonders why that might be? Are “we” really that scary? Are they really that afraid of “us?”

    “You are babbling Captain!” I can hear you say. No, but I’m approaching things from very oblique angles. That’s because I’ve been there; done that. When I was at the Naval War College 15-years ago, I worked on a small (four person team) project to shape a proposed force to defeat an insurgency. So, big deal, lots of people have done that, I’m sure”, you say. True. It’s the “where” and “who” of the insurgency that got people’s attention. The good ole US of A, and borrowing from the old comic strip “Pogo,” we had met the enemy, “and he is ‘us’!!” The resulting report and proposal for force size, composition, Table of Organization and Equipment, etc., etc., etc. got slapped with a Secret classification and was archived in the vault without seeing much of the light of day. Got a good grade too, but clearly we had struck a nerve somewhere. The interesting thing is that we used open source material. Nothing was originally classified, but sometimes, with knowledge a priori, or unwittingly, connecting dots brings results that cause someone’s hair to catch on fire, so things get classified way beyond whatever is really required and one is left without the finished product to coo over and show friends, or even publish if you think it’s good enough (I did once; it’s shit but the Chinese seem to like it for some reason). Personally, I believe it wasn’t the proposed force size and shape, or the TOE that was the issue, but the “enemy” we dreamed up that the insurgency sought to dislodge, and the makeup of the insurgents themselves.

    It seems the enemy “looked” an awful lot like “us.” R/Mike

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    But Z, that is exactly my point. Those officers who served for the Confederacy did abandon and desert.

    And actually it was 70/30. Of 925 USMA graduates who fought in the war 642 fought for the Union and 283 for the Confederacy.
    And 23% of USNA graduates served the CSN.
    Only 16 USMC officers abandoned and deserted. (and around 100 enlisted)

    Their names were stricken from the rolls of the Marine Corps.
    Last edited by Gun Grape; 17 Aug 13, at 04:38.
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

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    If the South had won, this would have been a very different conversation.

    "Victor writes the history" or "Victor writes the rules". I view the Nuremburg trials as a sham because "I was only following orders" defense was held up in prior acts by Allied officers against Axis population and personnel and even before WWII, "I was only following orders" defense was held up. If it was not such a defense, then Gen. Dyer's actions would have been a war crime but yet he was celebrated in Britain.

    So I am sorry, but I view these kind of conversations re past actions with respect to ACW and Axis evil and actions such as the acts of Germany and Japan with associated evilness with disdain because these talkers conveniently ignored the actions of the Allies that would have been classified as war crimes under the Nuremburg Trials standards.

    The only true thing that comes out of it is that "the Victor write the rules" and the North won the war so it gets to say the South was wrong and immoral blah blah blah same way with WWII, blah blah blah.

    Do you know why I am cynical about this? It is because I have yet to see the Allied countries take up notice and take responsibilities for their past actions and acknowledge the truth of it but we never will, because allied countries won and get to write their own rules.

    By the way, I view slavery as one of the greatest evils that mankind ever perpetuated and that US did engage in a great evil on the same level that Nazi germany did with the Holocaust only that US is not made to feel that pain because it was not defeated by a foreign power and shown the "error of her ways". Same shit with Britain with its colonialism. I have seen posters here defend the virtues of colonialism even in India and other countries whereas the majority of the natives in such countries strongly and vehemently disagree with such notions.

    Sorry I don't prescribe to the Western way of group thinking.

    Enough of my rant.
    Last edited by Blademaster; 17 Aug 13, at 15:00.

  8. #23
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    And your view of the British Indian Army?

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    And your view of the British Indian Army?
    You already know my views on this. A choice between two evils and fighting for the crown was the lesser evil. I am proud that our Indian soldiers fought galantly in face of danger and death but I do not view the BIA as a glorious chapter in India's history, only something that we have to live with and that BIA was the means to an end, i.e., securing an unified army capable of unifying and controlling India and turn the tables back on the British occupiers.

    I will tell you this. If it wasn't for Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, British would have not cave into Indian demands for independence. It would have been far more bloodier. Eventually India would get independence but it would be a totally different outcome today.
    Last edited by Blademaster; 17 Aug 13, at 15:53. Reason: forgot to include Japan

  10. #25
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    If it would not have been the Brits, it would have been the Russians or the Japanese. India was far too rich ... and like China at the time, far too weak, not to invite plunderers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    If it would not have been the Brits, it would have been the Russians or the Japanese. India was far too rich ... and like China at the time, far too weak, not to invite plunderers.
    And that makes it ok? If so, the logic of it is astounding.

  12. #27
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    What's OK got anything to do with it? It was the reality. India got too fat and too lazy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    What's OK got anything to do with it? It was the reality. India got too fat and too lazy.
    So you are blaming it on the victim. What does that say about China who got raped and plundered by Japanese? China got too fat and lazy and therefore it must deserve what it got.

    I am just applying your logic at work here.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    So you are blaming it on the victim.
    This is world history. This is what happened.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    What does that say about China who got raped and plundered by Japanese?
    You can add the Aztecs by the Spaniards and the Ottomans by the Russians. It has nothing to do with blaming the victim but everything to do with not being strong enough to repel robbers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    China got too fat and lazy and therefore it must deserve what it got.
    Kung fu vs repeating rifles. What do you think? And may I remind you that India was in on the plunder of China.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    This is world history. This is what happened.
    You can add the Aztecs by the Spaniards and the Ottomans by the Russians. It has nothing to do with blaming the victim but everything to do with not being strong enough to repel robbers.Kung fu vs repeating rifles. What do you think? And may I remind you that India was in on the plunder of China.
    yes I am aware of all that so why the deep indignation against the Japanese when you and others are so quick to forget the acts of the western powers? was it because Japan was the last aggressor and until a new aggressor comes along, Japan will remain the bad guy?

    By the way, I place a lot of blame on the squabbling Indian kings and maharajas for allowing British to come in and plunder.

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