Another Must Read – Part III

By Major Dennis Copson, USMC (Ret)

In Parts I and II, I reported on the terrorist attacks in Paris, wrote of ISIS–a bit about who they are, what they intend, and their threats to America–and discussed the Syrian refugee crisis as part and parcel of the overall terrorist problem and the potential danger of their immigration here in great numbers.

In Part III, I will further, more closely examine the current situation of Syrian immigration, especially the vast political divide it has caused on both sides of the political spectrum–from Presidents Obama’s stubborn refusal to accept any limits on his intention to allow tens of thousands into the United States over the next few years–10,000 in the next year alone–and the opposite extreme of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ben Carson to either allow no immigration, or, at least, very minor numbers–preferably Christians. Trump proposes a registry of sorts of all Muslims immigrants to the country.

On Thursday, November 19th, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan introduced and got passed legislation, the American SAFE bill, to ban Syrian and Iraqi refugees from entering the United States until tougher screening measures are in place. Democrats–at least the most liberal of Obama supporters–criticized the legislation as giving in to xenophobia after the Paris attacks. However, it passed overwhelmingly, 289 to 137, with support from 47 Democrats.

“Today is not the day to share our territory,” Congressman Jeb Hensarling, 5th District of Texas, told colleagues. This seems to be a growing sentiment not only in the halls of Congress, but also on the streets of Everytown, USA.

House Democrat Jerrold Nadler, 10th Congressional District of New York, liberal extraordinaire, expressed astonishment that lawmakers would “seek to block women, children, and seniors fleeing violence in Syria and Iraq from entering the country as refugees.”

“We might as well take down the Statue of Liberty,” the portly progressive proclaimed.

Others disparaged what they labeled a reflex response to the Paris attacks, which harms those fleeing Islamic extremism.

“Where is our mercy?” Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, 18th District of Texas, another of the Obama worshippers in Congress, implored. (Congresswoman Lee, of course, expects a return–political favors down the road somewhere, sometime–for her fierce allegiance to Obama.)

The bill is now in Senate hands where Harry Reid is mustering Democrat opposition. At a press conference, when asked about the House bill, Reid curtly responded, “Don’t worry, it won’t get passed. Next question?”

Obama has said he will veto any such bill if it came across his desk. Why? Because, in his opinion, the legislation would not improve the country’s security. Of course, anyone could counter by asking, “Well, what’s your plan to do so?” His critics–including former Defense Secretary and CIA director Leon Panetta–say he really has no plan to speak of, just waffling back and forth and piecemeal acts of little consequence.)

In a White House statement clarifying Obama’s message: “(The bill) would unacceptably hamper our efforts to assist some of the most vulnerable people in the world, many of whom are victims of terrorism, and would undermine our partners in the Middle East and Europe in addressing the Syrian refugee crisis.”

No mention of any anxieties for our safety, no recognition of the potential for terrorists to slip by our immigration screening and enter our country intent on bringing a “Paris” to New York City. Or Los Angeles. Or a city near you.

There are varying opinions by officials in almost every city, every state. Currently, more than thirty states’ governors have issued bans on accepting Syrian refugees. Critics of that move claim they have no Constitutional standing to do so. The President (Federal government) determines who comes here, where they are settled, and when according to these detractors.

In New York City, target zero of the 9/11 attacks, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton seemed at odds with the mayor when he stated the immigrants could pose “a potential risk.”

While contending he is on the same page as Mayor de Blasio, in a cover-my-derriere statement if ever one was tendered, said he was just facing reality. “I’m speaking to the reality, in terms of that, we’re going to have to continue to allow immigrants from all over the world to come in,” Bratton said.

“But in some areas of the world, it is difficult to validate their situation. We have pretty high standards of documentation to come into this country. And in some instances, it’s going to be very difficult to validate, and if you can’t validate, a decision’s going to have to be made that we can’t let them in.”

Just prior, de Blasio, another kumbaya-type liberal, in somewhat stark contrast to Bratton’s position, reminded New Yorkers of the merits of allowing Syrians and others into our country and the evil of religious prejudice.

“Some voices in this country are playing right into ISIS’ hand, calling on us to close the borders and start discriminating against certain religions,” he said.

No mention of potential peril, or of another “Paris” on 42nd Street, or of terrorists in our midst. While ISIS releases new videos portraying an intended attack on Times Square, the mayor of Gotham City reveals he has a clouded recollection of the events of 9/11.

Closer to home, in California, Governor Brown says he will not be one of those governors refusing Syrians, but stressed vetting as a requirement. On Monday, Brown advocated preserving “America’s traditional role as a place of asylum… ” Knowing “Moonbeam” Brown through the years, my guess is California will get thousands of Syrians, and whomever else Obama is passing out. Senator Diane Feinstein also says, “California will not be one of those states” that turns away refugees.

Politically, the liberals are far out on a losing limb in their stance supporting Obama and his “admit them all–especially Muslims–it’s the American way” philosophy. Chris Cilizza of the Washington Post: “The political upside for Republican politicians pushing an immigration ban on Syrians and/or Muslims as a broader response to the threat posed by the Islamic State sure looks like a political winner.”

On the “American Thinker” blog on November 18, Thomas Lifson writes: “Oops! Smarter lefties realize they have a losing hand on Syrian ‘refugees.'”

“Fellow progs (progressives) are not reacting well to this dose of reality (but then, when has reality ever been a major factor in prog thinking?) Ryan Cooper, writing in “The Week,” goes for outright denial of the threat of Islamic terrorism.”

Islamist terrorism is a fairly minor threat. Yes, the Paris attacks (like 9/11, Madrid, Mumbai, and countless atrocities in Iraq and Syria) were a terrible tragedy. But we need to be realistic about how strong ISIS really is. It’s true that decently organized young men with simple explosives and cheap automatic weapons can easily massacre hundreds of civilians and terrorize millions. But that is not even close to a “an organized attempt to destroy Western civilization,” as Jeb Bush ludicrously claimed. Compared to Nazi Germany, or the Soviets with their hundreds of long-range nukes, ISIS is pathetically weak.

Personally, I am not convinced of that assessment. I am included in the recent survey where 83% of Americans believe another major attack will happen here in the United States; more than 50% in this survey fear they or those close to them will be victims; 16% are certain they will be harmed; 53% believe no Syrian refugees should be admitted to the United States. There is a sense of anxiety, fear just under the surface of our everyday existence. The reality of terrorism as part of our lives in modern times has itself become reality.

The peril to the United States is now predominantly from persons arriving from overseas. We, the West, are now fighting in a new type of warfare–a global threat posed by a virulent, radical proponent of Muslim extremism recruiting from the disaffected youth of Europe and even here in the United States. An estimated 350 Americans have made the pilgrimage to Syria or Iraq to fight with ISIS; the number is in the thousands in Europe–more than 1000 in France alone. Many of these European Islamists are free to travel throughout Europe and even to the United States. The current tactic of ISIS is to incite and radicalize these individuals to strike in place–where they are living.

In this global threat of terrorism, America’s borders are of renewed importance, and especially our immigration system allowing refugees in legally and in large numbers in a short period of time as Obama proposes to do. Tying this to the Syrian refugee crisis is rather elementary–simply this: if the terrorists cannot enter the country, they won’t be able to commit an attack as they did in Paris.

ISIS has vowed that the intent is to use the Syrian refugees in their overwhelming numbers to infiltrate ISIS agents into their midst for immigration to the Western countries now vying to accept them in the pretext of “humanitarian relief”–this includes the United States.

ISIS’ latest videos show attacks planned for New York City’s Time Square and Washington, D.C. in the foreseeable future. They usually are not bluffing when they launch such a propaganda effort. They do not want to lose face with their supporters if they put out these videos and nothing happens. It’s all about their credibility.

Mark Krikorian, Executive Director, Center for Immigration Studies, as presented at the hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, on November 19, 2015, and entitled “The Syrian Refugee Crisis and Its Impact on the Security of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program” has provided me a good conclusion to Part III:

“A wise man once said “The supreme function of statesmanship is to provide against preventable evils.” Halting refugee resettlement from the Middle East would be just such an act of statesmanship.The starting point of any policy debate is that the government of the United States has no responsibility to anyone but the citizens of the United States… the president and members of Congress must necessarily put the interests of the American people before the interests of foreigners.

This means the United States government has no responsibility to refugees; they have no claim on it and no right to demand anything of it. If, nonetheless, we decide as a matter of policy to devote resources to humanitarian refugee protection… then we should base our decision-making on two principles: 1) Such policies must not pose a threat to the American people, and 2) the funds taken from the people through taxes for this purpose must be used to the maximum humanitarian effect.

Officials have assured us that refugees “are subject to more intensive security than any other type of traveler to the U.S. to protect against threats to our national security.” There is no reason to doubt this.

But this misses the point. The problem with trying to screen candidates for resettlement from Syria – or any other failed state, such as Somalia, Libya, Yemen, or Afghanistan – is not a lack of resources or commitment.

The problem is that it cannot be done.

And yet, Barbara Strack, Chief of the USCIS Refugee Affairs Division, told the Senate hearing last month that more than 90 percent of Syrian candidates for resettlement were being approved. How stringent can the vetting of Syrian refugees really be when almost all of them are accepted?

In discussing the costs to taxpayers of bringing in the refugees, something politicians avoid addressing to us, Krikorian points out that the better solution is to provide for them there in their own environment, close to where they came from:

The Center for Immigration Studies has calculated that it costs 12 times as much to resettle a refugee in the United States as it does to care for the same refugee in the neighboring countries of first asylum, namely Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon.Given these limitations on resources, I submit that it is wrong– morally wrong –to use those resources to resettle one refugee here when we could help 12 closer to their home.

We will be following the argument for the near future to determine how our elected leaders solve the dilemma of the Syrian refugees–and even, maybe, at long last, address the problem of immigration overall.

Am I hoping for too much from them?

Major Dennis Copson is a retired United States Marine and resides Oceanside, California. He is a freelance writer and editor.

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Birthday Ball 2015

Arrived home on Monday, 16 November from a very enjoyable and rewarding weekend. Nancy and I flew out Friday (have I told you how much I HATE flying?) to Austin, TX, rented a car. and drove to Round Rock, TX. We attended the Williamson County, TX Marine Corps League Birthday Ball on Friday evening. Our platoon Corpsman in RVN 1966-67 John (Doc) Weed is the Commandant of the chapter and he had invited me to be their guest speaker. We had a grand time. It is so rewarding for a ole warhorse like me to be around Marines for a night of commiserating and sharing stories. I don’t get the opportunity to be around Marines that often; therefore, when I get the chance to do so, it is such a rewarding and invigorating experience for me personally. Of course, Nancy has heard all my stories too many times, but she still laughs at them as though it were the first

Our XO at RS Chicago, then Major David Young (now Col, USMC retired) and his beautiful bride of eight weeks, Kristie drove over 200 miles to attend the ball. I had not seen Dave since 2003, which added so much to the night’s festivities.

I also was able to see LCpl Brian Martin, who was the navigator for our Super Squad (E 2/7) who won the Marine Corps Rifle Squad competition in 1971 — their photo and story are in the book. It still amazes me just how small this world is and especially our Corps.

Then on Sunday, we spent the day with Doc and his lovely bride, Carol. They took us to the Georgetown square for some shopping, which was a joy for Nancy, then on to their beautiful home in Sun City for some serious commiseration (war stories).

From a Fellow Marine

I have known Col. Jim Bathurst since we served together at 8th & I during 1968–69. After reading his book, I better understand who he is and why he did the things the way he did. I know him far better now than I ever did before. The book is about a young kid, a dropout from high school, and his journey through life. It is more than a simple chronology but a lesson about how blessed we are in this country that someone with Jim’s background can end up accomplishing as much as he did. The harder he worked the luckier he got.

I have read many accounts from authors who have paid painstaking attention to detail in writing about their life experience. So much so that one has to question as to how much is made up and how much is fact. One does not gain that feeling while reading this book. It is a story about life and how hard work can pay dividends.

In one chapter, Jim speaks of the moment when he came to the realization that he was not “dumb” but possessed a high level of intelligence and common sense. That comes in the later part of his book. As I read the passages, I felt his concern that he was not formally educated and considered it a draw back to his possibility for advancement. Yet my interpretation based on his writing was that he was always very intelligent displaying the ability to analyze a situation and arrive at a logical solution, one that worked. His demonstrated ability to train and motivate Marines is testimony to his innate leadership ability.

He does not dwell on success as much as he does how he got there. He gives credit not to what he did but what he was able to get his Marines to do. He uses plain language that even a civilian can understand. One cannot write a book about nearly 36 years with the Marine Corps and not use some of the jargon that accompanies one through active duty. Yet he provides an explanation at every turn so that the reader does not lose interest.

As I read passage after passage, I reflected on my career as an officer of Marines and found myself transported back to some wonderful memories. For example, when Jim explained his “ass chewing” from Col. Paul G. Graham I was right there with him as I had the same experience. Well, maybe some not so wonderful memories.

I believe that the one enduring message I took with me was his unbridled love for the Corps and of Marines. It is something that those of us who were fortunate enough to experience do not have to explain to each other, and it is something that you can never explain to someone who never shared the experience. Men do not talk about loving other men, but in the final analysis Jim, and all of us so fortunate enough to have experienced it, loved more men than women. We all loved our Marines. I consider myself most fortunate to be able to call him a friend and that at least some small part of his story is also mine.

Ronald S. Neubauer
LtCol USMC (Ret)
Chief of Police St. Peters, MO (Ret)
Executive Director, Eastern Missouri Police Academy

Something is Rotten at Fort Benning

Just another of example of the self-centered, scared-to-death, Kool Aid drinking flag officers (generals and admirals) populating our military services today. One has to be living under a rock (or a flaming liberal) to actually believe the Secretary of the Army. The big question remains, can we as a nation handle fourteen more months of that Chicago Street Hustler’s leadership. Gee, I hate using the word — leadership — in the same sentence with him for he hasn’t a clue what it means. The following is a must read for any loyal, dedicated, patriotic American. Then write your elected officials and ask them to explain all this to you. I’d guess that many, especially my two senators here in the cesspool of politics, won’t have a clue what the article is talking about.

Something is rotten at Fort Benning

Gunny Grump


I don’t know if any go back as far as you and I do.  Jan 1966 we were in Camp Pendleton  in route to RVN then our ocean cruise to DaNang. The next time I saw you, you had the drill team at 8th& I .

The next time was after 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines came back off of a Med deployment and we shared coffee and  sea stories at Camp Geiger. I met your wife at my bank and went to her every time I went there .

One day she wanted my address with no explanation; only to receive  an Invitation to your Retirement  which I was proud to attend.

Then nothing for years until I saw your name on Way-Mor’s web site. The rest is history and that covers soon-to-be 50 years of Brotherhood..

Semper Fidelis my Brother

Gunny Grump