Saturday, February 25, 2012
"Don't Confuse Me For a Dirty Hippie." Ron Paul is the Choice of the Troops
If you heard about the recent march on The White House by 544 veterans for Ron Paul and their family and friends, chances are you've seen Zak Carter's handiwork. As the man charged with media and promotion, he personally handed press releases on the event to various mainstream media outlets. A few of them even covered it.
The rally and march were impressive and triggered mixed emotions. The veterans were elated that Ron Paul's ideas are getting so much traction. They're devastated for their fallen comrades, their families, and for the sacrifices active duty military members continue to make overseas without, they feel, true moral imperatives.
The reality of senseless and endless war must be weighing heavily on returning soldiers. The veterans for Ron Paul stood at attention for more than eight minutes with their backs turned toward Chancellor Obama's District of Criminals' residence. The time spent saluting represented one second for each active duty military member who has committed suicide while Obama was their commander-in-chief.
I don't know if you've ever held your arm in the air for eight consecutive minutes, but it ain't easy. Veterans from the Korean War stood next to active duty military members. Both walked with similar limps. Both helped each other march in formation, working through the pain. Both care enough about our country's future that they made it a point to take a public stand in a highly surveilled city.
Zak Carter served his country by deploying to Kosovo and also to Iraq. He had three years of active duty in the Army with an honorable discharge, followed by four years as a Reservist, before he was kicked out of the Army for endorsing Ron Paul and his foreign policy in his military uniform on YouTube.
I spoke with Zak about the conversion process he went through between willingly following Army orders while deployed and realizing the extent of the foreign policy disasters he helped create. He said that he first started to "wake up" on the way home from serving in Iraq. He landed in an America airport and was met by the TSA, only to be treated like a common criminal.
After that humiliation, he began to learn about the situation on our Southern border with Mexico. Familiar with border security procedures while patrolling the Macedonia / Kosovo border, he was shocked to learn that the rules of engagement change when it it our own troops defending our own border. It made no sense to him that our military stationed on the border is issued no ammunition, must retreat when fired upon, and does not have the authority to apprehend anyone. They are simply sitting ducks in what is arguably a war zone. Yes, our federal military personnel is not allowed to enforce the laws of the land. (Posse Comitatus Act) Yet, Zak realized, the Border Patrol, the FBI, the DEA, and many other federal law enforcement agencies have free reign on the border. The difference seemed negligible. 'We're all paid by the same guy," Zak said.
The straw that broke this young man's back was when Zak's wife showed him this video on YouTube. "It forced me to look at everything I'd done in Kosovo and Iraq. I couldn't pretend anymore." he said.
Zak believes former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker when he says that if we don't get our spending and entitlements under control, the United States will be in the throes of another Great Depression by 2016 or 2017. In his own words: "We need Ron Paul. He’s the only one addressing these issues. He doesn’t want to keep papering over the problems. I loved being a soldier. I miss it. The friends that I made are more than friends--they’re brothers and I love every one of them. Many are still active, almost all of them support Ron Paul. They stay in the service because of our brothers, and don’t want them to go into harm’s way without being there for them. It’s a voluntary army, yes, but that doesn’t mean we agree with the missions. We’re not anti-war hippies because we support Ron Paul. Do NOT confuse me for being a hippie!"
For information about the upcoming march and rally at the RNC in Tampa this August, check out http://www.facebook.com/VetsforRonPaul or http://cvrp2012.com/