“Gas, gas, gas!” Fumble for your mask. “Not fast enough, idiots! You’re all dead! We can do this all day, people!” Anyone who served in the U.S. military during the great fun-for-the-whole-family of the Cold War will surely remember NBC training. See, “NBC” stands for Nuclear Biological Chemical warfare which is what this was called until the government gussied those weapons up as “weapons of mass destruction. Thus, by swapping the initials of NBC for WMD, it sounded nicer. Who could forget the heartwarming military NBC training films that included the cheerful footage of test shots at the Nevada Test Site? Who could forget the charming “pigs in a blanket” scene where the army tried out a tinfoil “nuclear protective suit” on tethered pigs during a nuclear weapons test? And why? Because the Soviets were surely going to use NBC weapons against us during the war we knew was coming. That’s what we were told.
Why this trip down memory lane? Because to hear the liberals today talking, you’d swear these chuckleheads were there with us, scrambling into MOPP4 (chemical weapons protective masks and suits), and training to fight off the automaton-like Soviet hordes. I hear people foaming at the mouth about “the Russians” right now that I know darn well had those mouths wrapped around bongs back in the era they could have lent a hand and frickin’ enlisted. Right, and what did those people think of we who did put our lives where our mouths were and served? We were suckers, of course. Couldn’t afford college, or too dumb to go. “Had no other choices”, was another familiar refrain. Or, “couldn’t do anything better…” This was the era before supporting the troops became a fad and sold lots of bumper stickers.
Look at all these liberals demanding “action” against Russia because Russia “hacked” the election. And: “We need to stand up to the Russians and Vladimir Putin!” Also, “Trump wants to talk to the Russians which proves he’s not a good American!” Who are these people?! Democrats, Green Party members, and various other lefties who were certainly NOT there in the mix to actually fight the Soviets back in the day. No, these were the people who were firmly opposed to the very idea of doing anything whatsoever that might provoke the Soviets. And what is the motive today? Number one is that they basically believe anything Obama tells them. The self-professed champions of “critical thinking” have all the critical thinking of a block of granite. And an equivalent number of brain cells, I hasten to add.
These are the same people who, when we came home on leave, laughed at us and ridiculed us for being stupid enough to enlist instead of going to college and partying every night. Indeed, our “parties” were “GI parties” where you spent all night getting the barracks standing tall and looking good for another inspection. In hindsight, yes, we were stupid but our stupidity was that we believed the government. We were being trained to shoot and kill people who had done nothing to us. Later, after meeting former Soviet soldiers after the Cold War, I finally realized how brainwashed we were about “the Soviets”.
These are the same people who, off the post, cheated and despised us when we went into their pizza joints and bars. Whose cops harassed us just as much as they did. And now these jokers want to play the tough guy about the Russians? Excuse me, but where were you idiots during the Cold War? If you feel the Russkies are such a threat, where were you during the time the rest of us held the line so you could go sit your squeaky-clean butts in college? Not that we were really defending you, but that’s what we were led to believe by the SAME government you fools now applaud in war-mongering against the Russians.
Right, back then, you all sat whining about the possibility of being vaporized in a nuclear war. And you blamed us for that, which is why you despised us every time you saw us. Don’t deny this. The first time I saw this “support the troops” shindig manifest, I laughed out loud. These were the same people that threw bottles at us from passing cars in town. Yes, you all sat there whining and moaning about Reagan and saying, “He’s going to get us all killed!” Yeah, well, I served under the man. You didn’t. So how about a nice tall glass of shut up?
Do I sound angry? That’s because I am. I hear liberals on public radio talking about Russia that make Reagan sound more liberal than they are. Why? Because the story has gone around, courtesy of the government, that the Russians “hacked” the election. Where is the proof?! Where is the concrete evidence?! Now here goes the Green Party pounding the podium about “the Russians” as if these were not the SAME people marching against Reagan in the 1980s and demanding a mutual disarmament pact with the Soviets! People in the Democratic Party demand action against the Russians. Since they, too, are against nuclear weapons, what do they propose? Take away Russia’s carbon trading credits? Give me a break. Stop the presses. We’ve got whole new definitions of hypocrisy for the dictionary.
To hear the Democrats talking, you’d think it wasn’t them who continually badgered Reagan over his military spending. Which he allegedly did to counter the “Soviet threat”. But here go the Democrats blathering on about “the Russian threat” and Vladimir Putin. As if Putin went up to the UN, pounded his shoe on the podium, and swore to bury the United States under a heap of radioactive ash. All because their candidate lost the election. People used to say they weren’t willing to die in a nuclear war just because Reagan didn’t like the Soviets. Yeah? Well, I’m not willing to die in one because Hillary lost the election.
See, those of us WHO WERE THERE trained to fight on a nuclear battlefield. That’s what we were doing while you clods were in college stoned to the gills and marching in anti-nuclear protests. It wasn’t lost on us that many of you protested at the front gates of our bases and blamed US for the policies of YOUR government. Remember, we were the ones too dumb to get into college who “had no other choices”, so what were you blaming us for? We were just the dupes who fell for the sales pitch from the recruiter and had no other options. If you people were so much smarter than us, how come you never solved the problem of war and created world peace after all these years? So that young men and women do NOT have to be trained to kill other human beings? Care to answer that question? Because you all pontificate that you have the answers.
I would have imagined you world-changers would have created a lasting peace by now. Isn’t that what you all said you were going to do, what with all your smarmy 1980s pop anthems about it? But, no, instead you have delivered us into another Cold War! So everything we did and sacrificed for when we served was for nothing and in vain. Thanks. And you are the people who were supposed to be smarter than that! You were the people who said we just needed to TALK to the Soviets and badgered Reagan until he did. Now when Trump wants to talk to the Russians, you act like he’s committing treason. Everyone’s a tough guy once he or she is past enlistment age and does not have the PROVE it.
I could respect you people if you were just opposed to Trump. But when you start hectoring and badgering a nuclear-armed nation in this debate, I have zero respect for any of you hypocrites. Let me spell it out for you. You were not trained in what happens to human beings with radiation poisoning. We were. Let me spell it out for you. You puke constantly, all your hair falls out, you cannot keep anything in or down, and that’s just for openers. Russia still has all the nuclear weapons that the Soviet Union had, give or take a few warheads. But it really doesn’t matter because a nuclear weapon detonated in just ONE American city would overwhelm the burn units in every hospital in the United States. And if—if—the dead could be buried, it will be with a backhoe and a bulldozer. Those who were not reduced to ash and were floating around in the upper atmosphere, that is.
So don’t sit there and act like you were there. You weren’t. I bet Obama was probably smoking and joking back on the block the whole time and he’s going to sit up there and hector Putin? Huh. How genuinely touching. His patriotism is peerless. None of you people has any idea what, exactly, you are fooling with. That’s because of the whole concept of “war” and, specifically, nuclear war, never touched you. You don’t know what is the blast radius of a five megaton thermonuclear weapon, or how big the fireball from it is. Because if you did, you’d crawl on hands and knees to kiss Putin’s posterior and beg forgiveness. Since you all want to keep whining about who is or is not kissing up to Putin.
See, I expect this type of war-mongering crap from the Establishment Republicans. These were, after all, the same idiots that put jam-prone M-16s into our hands and had us squat behind the Berlin Wall to scare the Soviets back in the day. Or sat on rotational alert in the joke of a “Rapid Deployment Force” so we could be rapidly deployed into a war that would have already been over by the time we drew our weapons from the arms room. At least these Republicans are being true to their bloodthirstiness. These are the dummies that told us “the Soviets” were going to come over here and confiscate American flush toilets and force us all to eat cabbage soup daily. “They hate our freedom…” Gee, where have we heard that one once again? So, yes, we expect this type of crap from them. But what excuse do you liberals have? Again, you were the great thinkers and dreamers who imagined a world of peace, right? Except when your candidate loses an election and then it’s all-out for the fallout shelter, correct?
So, no, I do not care what the Russians do in Russia, Ukraine, Crimea, the Baltics, Syria, or Democratic Party computers. You want to “stand up to the Russians”? Then gear up and go over to Ukraine and leave the rest of us out of it. I’m old and tired of the “enemy-of-the-month club” and am canceling my subscription. You people were not worth the time I spent serving. My wings and awards are in a junk box and will probably be thrown away when I get around to it. All you liberals are the SAME war-lovers as the conservatives. All that differs is the motive for hating the Russians. That’s the only “change we can believe in”: The motives for the war mongering.
There. I said it. Sign me off as one who’s tired of Green Party and Democrat tough guys who WERE NOT THERE when the Cold War was being waged. These were passive spectators. And that’s all they are now. But too stupid to realize that nuclear weapons don’t distinguish between political affiliation. Democrats and Green Party members throw threats because of politics, but everyone shall surely die in earnest.
Jack Perry [send him mail] is a writer living with his wife in the Sonoran Desert where he writes, reads, bakes bread, makes arrows, walks, and documents the foolishness of government itself. When the government is speaking or acting, Jack observes his own Rule Number One: Always Assume It's A Scam. A perennial desert rat, wayfarer, and path pilgrim, Jack also enjoys silence---especially from the government.