Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Imperial Gangbangers


 Florida Republican congressional candidate Allen West has been accused of consorting with bad company, in the form of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club. Whatever else can be said about the Outlaws, they are a far more reputable outfit than the gang Lt. Col. West used to hang with -- the armed forces of Washington's empire. 

For the most part, the Outlaws MC consists of hard-living but essentially decent people. Some of the club's members have used and dealt drugs -- which is foolish and self-destructive, but shouldn't be a crime. Others have been sent to prison for actual crimes of violence; those who have been incarcerated are numbered among the highly esteemed "One Percenters."

The important fact here is the Outlaws have never invaded and occupied a distant country, terrorizing innocent people and killing upwards of 100,000 of them. Allen West cites his participation in a world-historic crime of violence against Iraq as his chief credential for elected office.


West was reprimanded for an incident in which he terrorized an Iraqi detainee by discharging a firearm next to his head. West insists that his action was justified in order to protect the men of his unit, who faced the kind of dangers that should be expected by any armed gang that storms into a neighborhood where they're unwelcome. Though that action earned him a rebuke, a fine, and an early forced retirement from the military, it enhanced West's standing among the military-worshiping statists who compose the Republican Party's core constituency. 

At some public gatherings West has relied on bikers --including Outlaws -- for "security." This led to an incident straight out of Weimar-era Germany in which a group of leather-clad bikers -- acting on West's instructions to "escort" a videographer from a public gathering -- surrounded and threatened the young man, forcing him to leave:




In early September, West was a featured speaker at another biker-themed gathering, the "L10 Freedom Ride" rally in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. That event was held to express support for ten members of the U.S. military who have been incarcerated at Ft. Leavenworth prison for individual crimes committed within the context of the immeasurably larger state crime called the Iraq War. (One of them, Evan Vela Carnahan, is the son of a very close friend of mine from High School.) 


"We are going to free these men," West told the assembly. Expecting troops deployed on imperial errands overseas to exercise restraint is "political correctness," West insisted, since they confront "an enemy that has no respect for human life." 

It's a continuing source of wonder that the Empire always confronts enemies of that kind. From the Philippines to Vietnam to Iraq to Somalia to Afghanistan to Iraq once again, Washington's benevolent armed emissaries have always confronted the grim necessity of slaughtering countless thousands of barbarous people who have no respect for human life. 

Barbarians! How dare you resist the march of civilization?










Surveying the wreckage of a bombarded town in Iraq, a Marine Lieutenant commented to war correspondent Evan Wright that the carnage was produced by a new breed of nihilistic warriors.


"Did you see what they did to that town?" the officer asked Wright. "They f***ing destroyed it." Unlike the American fighting men during WWII, the fighters who had laid waste to that Iraqi city "have no problem with killing."


That is to say that they, unlike their forebears, were not inhibited by respect for human life. It must be remembered that the Lieutenant was describing, with obvious admiration, the Marines under his command, not the Iraqi "terrorists" who were fighting back.


The mindset Wright describes in his book Generation Kill is displayed in much greater detail in Hard Corps: From Gangster to Marine Hero, the battlefield memoir of Iraq veteran Marco Martinez. 

 A product of a military family from Albuquerque, Martinez enlisted in Latino street gangs as a teenager. He was "rescued" from a life of private-sector gangsterism through a federally funded, police-supervised school program called GREAT (Gang Resistance Education and Training), which eventually led him to enroll in the ROTC program at his High School. This curriculum prepared Martinez for a career as a state-authorized gang-banger.


"Salvation from a civilian existence is through these doors, boys," Martinez and several other enlistees were told as they assembled at the local recruiting station. Like most gang-bangers, Martinez was susceptible to an appeal based on tribal and territorial loyalties, so he was an apt pupil at boot camp. Discipline refined his instinct for violence; training enhanced his capacity to inflict it; and the potted platitudes of nationalism sanctified his urge to kill into something he believed was noble.


Reciting the Rifleman's Creed "got me so fired up that it put me into a blood lust," Martinez recalls. "I wanted to kill America's enemies. I could see and taste it."

That opportunity came in April 2003, one month after the Idiot King ordered the assault on Iraq. Corporal Martinez was part of a 42-man Marine platoon that was dispatched on a "contact patrol" in the town of Al-Tarmiya, a predominantly Sunni town about sixty miles north of Baghdad. 

A "contact patrol," Martinez explains, "is the most coveted of infantry patrols.... Marines on contact patrol become human wrecking balls, leaving maximum carnage in their path, as any person encountered, armed, is to be considered hostile and killed at will.'"

This was not the first time Martinez had carried out a mission of that kind. As a street thug, he and his buddies would often go out on "contact patrol" by rolling into a rival gang's turf, seeking to provoke a firefight by throwing gang signs and calling out their "sets" at their enemies. 


"You are to take out anybody displaying any type of aggression toward U.S. forces," explained the lieutenant commanding Martinez's platoon prior to the mission in Al-Tarmiya. How residents of a neighborhood could be guilty of "aggression" by displaying hostility toward armed invaders, the lieutenant didn't explain. In any case, the rules of engagement were clearly intended to bring about the result Martinez described: The Marines were being sent into Al-Tarmiya to provoke a firefight and kill as many people as possible. 


Shortly after the platoon was deployed, Martinez's squad was ambushed by a group of guerrillas. The squad leader was severely wounded. Martinez identified the source of the gunfire, threw a grenade into the nearby building, then stormed in and gunned down four Iraqis. 

That this was an act of individual courage is impossible to deny. Martinez's actions saved the life of his squad leader (who was left crippled by his injury, and actually became a public opponent of the Iraq War after leaving the military). But the word "heroism" isn't appropriate here -- unless we could apply it just as accurately to similar actions taken by a street-level gangster in an inner-city turf war. 




"I was glad we were in this firefight because to me, the more enemy you eliminate the easier it gets farther down the road," Martinez later commented. "I had such deep hatred for the cowards that did what they did [on September 11th] that you could say it was a joyous occasion for me because I was able to do my job and eliminate the enemy."

Of course, the Iraqis Martinez killed were his "enemy" only because the criminal Regime he served sent him to invade their city. Martinez and his fellow Marines had no legal or moral right to be where they were, and the Iraqis who ambushed them had every moral and legal right to do so. 

But for Martinez, and others who celebrate the Regime's killing apparatus, such acts of gang violence writ large are sanctified by the State's imprimatur. 




"All those times that I'd carried a gun as a teenager had been for sh*t," writes Martinez in Hard Corps. "My friends at the time and I were prepared to shoot and get shot at over girls, cars, money, or something as stupid as the way somebody looked at us.... But my Marine buddies and I carried weapons to defend our nation against its enemies. We, like millions who came before us, used the awesome might of America's military power for liberation, not conquest.... Terrorists knowingly and intentionally target civilians, people who never signed up for battle or chose to enter a military conflict. But every Ninja-pajama-wearing motherf***er who ambushed us that day had entered the battlefield with the full and complete knowledge of the consequences."

Of course, those people didn't "enter the battlefield"; they were on their home soil when they engaged an enemy who invaded their town.

In his memoir Martinez describes how, after returning to Albuquerque, he was invited to tag along with a Marine recruiter on a visit to his old high school. Spying a young gang-banger who resembled himself a few years earlier, Martinez tried out a sales pitch not all that different from the one used to entice youngsters into less murderous street gangs: Look at my bling, look at my cool ride....

"The Marine Corps has a lot of things to offer," Martinez told the teenager. "Look, man -- I got a Rolex, a nice car.....  You could get out of this place and see the world, bro."

"I don't want to go to war," the young man quite sensibly replied.

Martinez's profane, abusive reaction was precisely what one would expect from a street thug:

"I thought you were a straight-up gangster, homeboy. You're just a f*****g p***y." When the teenager took offense, Martinez decided to stage his own one-man "contact patrol": "What the f**k you going to do? I'll f**k you up in a quick second."

Such was the behavior of what the Navy Times describes as "a gangster turned hero," an individual who had been a "small-minded, petty and violent criminal" before experiencing "the redemptive power of military service." Somehow the "before" and "after" portraits of that supposedly dramatic transformation don't strike me as all that different.

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Dum spiro, pugno!

21 comments:

Kam said...

Powerfull William.

I must admit that portions of this piece made me uncomfortable. Something I had yet to experience in reading your work. Having read this I see contrast from your earlier commentary, which originally brought me here on a regular basis.

This one stirred some very dense themes. Provoked thought. Your efforts are appreciated.

Anonymous said...

You have a winning way of stating facts Brother. No mincing of words, no euphemistic politically corrected descriptions, I like it. If I'm any judge of a mans' scholarship William is a prodigy. You have clearly done your homework and know exactly what you think when you post. Your conclusions about the state of America are not comforting for truth and freedom lovers, are they? Not long now eh?

Anonymous said...

Little "gangstas" taking their orders from the chief Gangstas in DC. If any one is a p**** it has to be Martinez and everyone like him.

jurassicpork said...

"Using and dealing drugs" shouldn't be a crime? Where are you getting this? It's been said that a libertarian is just a Republican who wants to smoke pot but I thought you were better than this, William.

It ought to be noted that your good ole boys in that biker gang of West's also don't allow black people, which West even mentioned. That means they wouldn't have you or, ironically, West among their number because, Vietnam vets or no, they're racists.

How can one be a racist and not a thug? And how can a black man not only downplay their racism but completely gloss over it?

These guys are thugs, William, and they're no better than Rand Paul's or Eric Cantor's supporters or Joe Miller's faux Blackwater mercs. Or didn't you see the video shot by Klein's videographer? They took a swing at the kid and took down his plate number.

If that isn't thuggery, then I'd hate to see your definition of the word.

William N. Grigg said...

JP, on my Facebook page I've made pretty extensive mention of the detestable Kentucky curb-stomper and Joe Miller's Freikorps. Thankfully, Miller looks like a declining stock. I've not been impressed by Rand Paul, so if he loses I won't be upset.

Not all thugs are bikers, and not every biker is a thug. As I point out above, there are plenty of nasty people in biker gangs, including the Outlaws. But on the basis of more than a little personal experience I'd far rather deal with bikers than with cops.

I'm neither a Republican nor a drug user -- lapsed, current, or aspiring. I do believe in the principle of self-ownership, however.

Our pious forebears of a century or so ago lived in a country in which there were few if any laws against drug consumption. Cocaine was advertised as a topical analgesic and available in apothecaries and at soda fountains.

It wasn't until Nixon that drug prohibition became institutionalized as a national priority, as a cynical political ploy: Nixon wanted to exploit a cultural fault line by rallying blue-collar Democrats against them damn dirty hippies and their disreputable black friends.

"The whole problem is really the blacks," Nixon said in a 1969 drug policy briefing. "The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to." (CF Ben Ehrenreich's superb piece in the current London Review of Books.) So it is that today we have wildly disproportionate rates of incarceration for black and "Hispanic" drug offenders. This is a far nastier form of racism than anything practiced by even the most loathsome white supremacist gangs.

Anonymous said...

"But on the basis of more than a little personal experience I'd far rather deal with bikers than with cops."

No doubt.

When I've written elsewhere that American's don't live here anymore, I was wrong, some still do, and William N. Grigg is, to me, an American. The others, eh, I don't know wHAt they are, but they sure as heck ain't Americans.

Hats off, I wish there were more people like you in the USA.

Let Freedom Ring!

Anonymous said...

The Rolling Stones used bikers as security at Altamont. It didn't work out too well for the guy that was stabbed. Oh well this ain't the summer of love as Blue Oyster Cult said in a song. *Winstone Smithy aka Anonymouse*

Chris Mallory said...

The woman who was supposedly "curbstomped" was disguised and carrying false ID in order to conceal her identity. She had already assaulted Dr. Paul a few seconds before she was restrained and was charging him again when she was stopped. Her head was not stomped, a foot was put on her back to hold her down. Who knew if she was armed? The men who stopped her were defending Dr. Paul from what could have been a serious assault.

As for Martinez, how long before he is no longer Marine Martinez and is Officer Martinez out on contact patrol on American streets?

winston smith said...

i like your website. and i've included some of your articles in my blog. of course naming you as the author and posting a link.

i don't believe those were Outlaws because the wasn't any hard core violence. photographing bikers is a no-no. Outlaws are a Hell's Angel's style of biking. not your small town biker club.

William N. Grigg said...

Chris, as you point out, police are already doing "contact patrols" here in the U.S. In fact, this stuff actually started here before it was used in "counter-insurgency" overseas.

The woman who was supposedly "curbstomped" was disguised and carrying false ID in order to conceal her identity. She had already assaulted Dr. Paul a few seconds before she was restrained and was charging him again when she was stopped.

When did that assault take place? I've not read or heard anything from the campaign to that effect, and if this had happened they really should publicize the fact.

This account --

http://wizbangblog.com/content/2010/10/29/double-standard-3.php

-- says that Ms. Valle (who is a paid political agitator, who are common enough both on the Left and the Right) was trying to pull a James O'Keefe-style piece of street theater by getting photographed next to Dr. Paul's vehicle. This is a stupid stunt, but it's not an "assault."

By the time Valle ended up on the ground with a boot on her neck, it was clear that she wasn't wasn't "Squeaky" Fromme.

I don't think there's anything wrong with barricading Dr. Paul from a known troublemaker, but throwing a woman to the ground and, yes, stomping on her neck should be seen -- at the very least -- as a really stupid thing to do.

Travis said...

When did that assault take place?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiLeud-sxrM

William N. Grigg said...

This is a better view of the stomping incident, which happened after Valle made her second attempt to get photographed with Paul:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJ1nniVAsss&feature=related

Valle's actions were stupid, obnoxious, and disruptive. It takes the same kind of dishonesty that police routinely employ in official reports to say that she attempted to "assault" Dr. Paul. He didn't make any mention of an attempted "assault" in his post-debate comments, and he had a better view of the incidents than anybody else.

By the time Mr. Proffitt shows up to stomp (no other word applies) Valle, she had been surrounded by no fewer than four men, and she was prone and helpless. Paul wasn't in any conceivable danger, and people were running to get the police.

How can waving a sign at Dr. Paul be considered an "assault," but stomping on a prone, helpless, surrounded woman be dismissed as a mere "shove"?

Yes, Valle is a professional agitator, but there are some things that simply aren't done, and putting a foot on the back of a woman who's face-down on the sidewalk is pretty high on that list.

Jerri Lynn Ward said...

Why does it seem that an increasing number of men (cops especially) think it is ok to get so physically rough with women?

Also, I wanted to relate that, years ago, when Cindy Sheehan went to Bush's ranch in Crawford to protest, I misguidedly went to protest her. (that was before my enlightenment)

I immediately felt frightened around my cohorts. At one point the Protest Warriors walked across the grounds with one of their ironic signs. Our crowd misread them and 5 men rushed and tackled the unfortunate young men.

There is thuggery on both sides.

Anonymous said...

I saw the clip and to be honest it is ridiculous that someone should be pushed to the ground and then a foot shoved down to make their point. First I see the goons in Alaska do their bit and now these idiots. Next time just dress up in SA uniforms and do it right! Why pretend.

liberranter said...

Why does it seem that an increasing number of men (cops especially) think it is ok to get so physically rough with women?


Very simple answer to that. It's because most of them, especially those who are cops, are weak, cowardly, amoral, insecure pieces of excrement who are incapable of interacting with women (or indeed any decent human being of either gender) on a functional adult level. The fact that so many Amoricons not only excuse, but indeed glorify these pathetic thugs as "heroes" simply means that said thugscum are a direct reflection of the culture that spawned them.

Again, there is NO hope...

Chris Mallory said...

Shoving a sign and your hands into an open truck window is clearly assault. Note, I said assault rather than battery. Assault is the threat or attempt to commit battery or unwanted physical contact.

Could you say that the disguised woman did not have a gun or a knife inside her coat? Keeping her face down with minimal force was the smart thing to do. Yes, it was minimal force, she didn't sport any black eyes or broken teeth in any of her press interviews. She got off much easier than she would have if she had charged Obama or even the governor of Kentucky.

Anonymous said...

It ought to be noted that your good ole boys in that biker gang of West's also don't allow black people, which West even mentioned. That means they wouldn't have you or, ironically, West among their number because, Vietnam vets or no, they're racists.

Will isn't black, he's a Mexican. Most biker gangs admit Mexicans. But that's neither here nor there.

In any case, I had a run-in with one this these new breed of Marines a few years back, and was absolutely disgusted with his attitude. He seemed to think he was better than everyone and had a right to insult anyone for no good reason. I never met a more disgusting piece of work in my entire life. The only reason he's still alive is because it was illegal for me to kill him.

liberranter said...

In any case, I had a run-in with one this these new breed of Marines a few years back, and was absolutely disgusted with his attitude. He seemed to think he was better than everyone and had a right to insult anyone for no good reason. I never met a more disgusting piece of work in my entire life. The only reason he's still alive is because it was illegal for me to kill him.

You really have to cut Marines some slack. Most of them have IQs lower than the beach sand on which they train for amphibious landings. Many moons ago, right before I made one of my life's greatest mistakes by signing on the dotted line for the first of my enlistments in Uncle Sap's Imperial Navy, the recruiter who conned me into the deal told me that years earlier he had been turned down after trying to enlist in the Marine Corps. The reason? According to the grunt Gunnery Sergeant at the recruiting station, he was "too damned smart. You'll NEVER make it as a Marine because you're the type who'll question orders and be thinking all the time." Sounds reminiscent of the applicant to a Connecticut police department who was turned down for being "too smart to be a cop."

In short, most Marines are belligerent bullies because 1) its expected of them, 2) to not be a belligerent bully would get them the same treatment that honest, ethical cops get in most metropolitan PDs or that weak wild dogs get when the rest of the pack senses their weakness, and 3) they're simply not smart, talented, or motivated enough to do or be anything else.

Anonymous said...

@ liberranter:

Your account of the Marine recruiter brought to mind one of my experiences at the LA MEPS as I was foolishly signing myself up for a four-year stint in the Army. I had maxed the ASVAB an hour or so before. The guy that was responsible for helping me pick my MOS said I could pretty much pick any job I wanted, and started listing a bunch of smarty-pants strategic jobs. I told him I wanted to jump out of airplanes, not realizing that this was a qualification and not a specific job. He then offered me a cook's position in the Rangers. He said that I could "learn how to cook large quantities of delicious food like (pause) macaroni and cheese..." I guess the irony of the seamless transition between satellite technician and beef grenade slinger was missed by the recruiter, but I got it.

Yeah, I know, that has nothing to do with anything. Hopefully somebody got a laugh.

@ Will:

I was gonna say "keep up the good work," but on second thought, I'm gonna ask you to stop, because one more of your posts and I'm going over the edge. What planet am I on, anyway? And how the hell did I get here?

Fred said...

Don't ever forget. At the end of the day the troops, who we are supposed to worship without queston, are just another bunch of government workers.

Sean O'Donnell said...

Come on, William Grigg. Head stomping?

Valle intentionally caused a ruckus, knowing at least one person in the grass roots, frustrated, often maligned, inexperienced Rand Paul crowd would react, overreact or even react appropriately. With basic editing skills, any such an event can be used to frame Rand Paul as some sort of libertarian, lawless, civil-rights-hating hick.

The 50-something year old man who "stomped" her head looked afraid and a little freaked out to me. Hardly a deliberate act. He was REacting.

I promise you...given my background, life experience and personality...if I had been in that crowd and some sort of ruckus was happening behind me...and one of my own said "stop him/her"...and the 'perpetrator' had on an identity-obcuring wig (and short hair beneath which appears masculine), I would have dropped that person quickly in self defense and would have been totally justified.

Crazy people exist, and they show up at rallies, etc...to do harm, start fights. A friend that was there told me she was very confused and scared. That was Valle's goal. She plowed into people's backs and was taken down with minimal force...as she should have been. Notice, the other people in the group QUICKLY called for that "stomper" to stop (and he did stop), and for cops to be called in.

I'm a big fan of your stuff, Grigg. But on this one - characterizing the scared, confused victim of Valle's stunt a stomper - you're way off.

One more thing. You're a darn good guitar player. Please post more. And I'm wondering if your son is coming along as well.