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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Behind the scenes

Unusual changes in the Corps:
The commander of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit was removed from his position on Wednesday, less than a week after the force’s subordinate units were first brought together to deploy in 2014, Marine officials said. Col. James Christmas was relieved of command by Maj. Gen. Raymond Fox, the commander of II Marine Expeditionary Force, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., after the general lost confidence in Christmas’ ability to continue commanding the Marines and sailors of the 22nd MEU,” said Capt. Binford Strickland, a Marine spokesman. No additional explanation was given for the decision....

At least six other Marine officers have been removed from command since mid-March. In each case, Marine officials have provided little explanation for why the decisions were made, saying a general officer had lost confidence in that commander’s ability to lead his personnel.
I don't even have a crazy conspiracy theory here, I just know that seven reliefs of command in four months appears to be out of the ordinary.

UPDATE: Talk of "purges" is considerably overblown, in my opinion.  Now, this is a purge: "Of 90 generals arrested, only six survived the purges, as did only 36 of 180 divisional commanders, and just seven out of 57 army corps commanders. In total, some 30,000 Red Army personnel were executed."

It occurs to me, however, that there is one time when it would make very good sense to replace MEU commanders, and that is when new military action is at hand.  When one considers how the Syrian rebels appear to have failed in their bid to overthrow Assad and the recent army coup in Egypt, I find myself wondering if this might be an early sign of expanded American military intervention in the Middle East.

Labels:

108 Comments:

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother July 21, 2013 1:09 PM  

Purge.

Anonymous The other skeptic July 21, 2013 1:11 PM  

Perhaps he made it too clear that he would not order his men to deploy in the US.

Anonymous The other skeptic July 21, 2013 1:12 PM  

I am reminded of Stalin's pursuit of ideological purity in his military.

Blogger RobertT July 21, 2013 1:19 PM  

They should be doing this to he police force, instead they're doing it to the military. Which proves they are more afraid of us (gun packing conservatives) than they are of them (the real real bad guys).

Anonymous The other skeptic July 21, 2013 1:20 PM  

Could it be that the elites think that the most important thing to do at the moment is re-arrange the deck chairs?

They did a lot of that prior to 1453 in Constantinople, although perhaps they are right. I can't quite see any modern-day Turks.

Anonymous GreyS July 21, 2013 1:34 PM  

I'd guess the govt is reading their emails and listening to conversations with family members and reporting things to people who want all possible ideological strayers out of the picture.

Anonymous Storm Saxon's Gall Bladder July 21, 2013 1:48 PM  

"Lost confidence in that commander’s ability to lead his personnel" into what? It does suggest the general has lost confidence in the seven commanders' willingness to obey certain orders. Maybe it's the "fire on U.S. citizens litmus test" or maybe they got poor reviews on their Sensitivity classes, but i am confident it's nothing to do with these officers' ability to effectively lead.

Anonymous Dr. Idle Spectator, NYU Art Historian July 21, 2013 1:49 PM  

Like I said, we're approaching a time like the Italian Renaissance.

Not only a time of immense technological and social change, and inspiration for ridiculous virgins dressing in colorful costumes to go to a Renaissance Faire, but of plots and intrigue abounding in every direction.

If you look at the portraits of the Medici you can see where they were wearing cloth-covered armor. They were worried about being stabbed to death in the streets.


The plot thickens.

Anonymous JI July 21, 2013 2:01 PM  

These days in the military, it all comes back to sexual harassment. If you're a commander who doesn't buy into the program to spend most of your time simultaneously promoting homosexuality and anti-sexual harassment policies, then you're done. The commenter who mentioned Stalin ideologically purifying his military has it right.

Anonymous Anonymous July 21, 2013 2:06 PM  

"Like I said, we're approaching a time like the Italian Renaissance."

If only. Niggers are running all over the place, the music sucks and the art" is shit.

- Foggia

Blogger Penrose July 21, 2013 2:10 PM  

One day they'll push too far and some young man with ambition will realize he has no hopes of obtaining the rank he deserves through merit. He'll split off and take a lot of other angry young men with him. There's only so much transgender and gay praise a southern boy can take before he's had it and realizes that the military and the nation he believed in no longer existed. Then things get interesting. Real interesting.

Anonymous Susan July 21, 2013 2:24 PM  

Yep. They are purging the command rank of all who will think for themselves if they receive what they consider to be illegal orders. We here at Vox's house are not the only ones who are offering the 'will you shoot on your fellow citizens' litmus test theory.

It is not paranoia if they really are gunning for you. It is the wise person who pays attention to events. And the well-read person knows where to find the sources reporting such events.

Penrose, I would add to your list, attacking of his religious beliefs by having Islam toleration forced on him. Other than that, I agree with your other points.

Anonymous Dr. Idle Spectator, NYU Art Historian July 21, 2013 2:26 PM  

If only. Niggers are running all over the place, the music sucks and the art" is shit.

And you think the Renaissance was stable? Remember the sack of Constantinople? Mercenaries were everywhere.

Plus you're looking in the wrong place.

Anonymous frenchy July 21, 2013 2:40 PM  

In the military, when someone of high rank is relieved of command...

"Lost confidence in that commander’s ability to lead his personnel."

is usually a euphemism for saying someone's dick got him in trouble.

Anonymous Ben-El July 21, 2013 2:41 PM  

First Maj. General Carter HAM, and now Col. James CHRISTMAS. Obama is not only a secret Muslim, but a schizo.

Anonymous Anonymous July 21, 2013 2:45 PM  

"And you think the Renaissance was stable? Remember the sack of Constantinople? Mercenaries were everywhere.

Plus you're looking in the wrong place."

Yeah, and Florence is just like Detroit.

- Foggia

Anonymous ENthePeasant July 21, 2013 2:47 PM  

He was suspected of a dual crime: Heterosexual sex and enjoying it, and not believing women make good infantrymen. Starting in 2014 under the provisions of Obamanocare he will be flayed in public. They actually did him a favor.

Anonymous J July 21, 2013 2:48 PM  

Yep. They are purging the command rank of all who will think for themselves if they receive what they consider to be illegal orders.

Nah.

is usually a euphemism for saying someone's dick got him in trouble.

Most likely it wasn't even the Colonel's dick.

The Navy has been relieving lots of ship's captains because men and women under their command do what men and women do... and I'm not even talking "harassment" -- I am talking about subordinates having consensual relationships about which their commander is not even aware, and still the commander's head goes on the block.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza July 21, 2013 2:59 PM  

Another wait and see sitch.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza July 21, 2013 3:03 PM  

Hey, if the ship is going to function properly, x amount of voted on civilian women should be there to assist the men Not hookers or part of the Navy, they should be there to serve the men (lay back), to serve their county. Just like any other military outside of nursing or doctoring, women are needed to assist the men thus serve the country.

End of story. Rabbits freak. Winning war$, peace sells.

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother July 21, 2013 3:04 PM  

J is right, that is usually the cause. Military Corruption is usually right on top of these cases when they occur. Nothing on this situation yet, but MCC has a lot of contacts in the military, so something will bubble up soon.

Anonymous mattos July 21, 2013 3:08 PM  

Most likely violations of the USMC forum confidentiality policy.

Anonymous Godfrey July 21, 2013 3:16 PM  

Maybe they were unwilling to fire on civilians?

Anonymous Idle Spectator July 21, 2013 3:16 PM  

Yeah, and Florence is just like Detroit.

That's an excellent comparison. Did you think of that yourself?

Anonymous Augustina July 21, 2013 3:19 PM  

Idle Spectator, I do wonder what you are looking at. We are in a time like the Renaissance? Really? There are no Michelangelos, no Da Vincis, no Boticellis, no Shakepeares, no Rembrandts. Nothing but a vast cultural desert out there.

Our chattering classes are letting women take over, and what do they choose to do? Post pictures of their vaginas on the internet while whining about how they don't look as good as other ladies lady parts. They have taken navel gazing to a new low.

We are not at the cusp of a new outpouring of civilizational productivity. We are running on the fumes of what came before.

No, the purging is of those who dare to disagree no matter how mildly with the new regime. A regime that is not democratic, cares nothing for republican virtues, and seeks only to impose its sordid will on the populace. It wishes to get rid of the remaining remnants of those who it suspects will not get with the program. Par for the course of leftists everywhere.

Now that the great cultural purging is nearly complete, the leftist power base feels capable of running rampant over any remaining remnants of those who are inspired by the old ways, the truth, honor or beauty.

I suspect those being purged show no signs of wanting to lead the great fag army of the 21st century. In the near future, I suspect that all men who wish to rise in rank in the US military will have to present themselves for surgical removal of their balls. And their brains.

Anonymous Anonymous July 21, 2013 3:20 PM  

"That's an excellent comparison. Did you think of that yourself?"

Yep. And Camden is just like Milan.

- Foggia

Anonymous Anonymous July 21, 2013 3:25 PM  

Defense Sec Hagel has announced a
20 percent reduction in the officer
corps. Do you think the generals
are the first to go?

Anonymous Desiderius July 21, 2013 3:30 PM  

Penrose,

"One day they'll push too far and some young man with ambition will realize he has no hopes of obtaining the rank he deserves through merit."

This is what happened with Washington and the British Army.

Don't think this isn't already taking place.

Anonymous leap of a beta July 21, 2013 3:33 PM  

Army guy I work with said this particular one was adultry and abuse.

Whether thats true or not is another issue

Anonymous Desiderius July 21, 2013 3:35 PM  

"If you look at the portraits of the Medici you can see where they were wearing cloth-covered armor. They were worried about being stabbed to death in the streets."

The Pope sent assassins to kill Lorenzo and his brother in the main Florentine cathedral. On Easter Sunday. They got his brother, but Lorenzo escaped and proceeded to lead the people in hanging several church big-wigs on gibbets in retaliation.


Anonymous frenchy July 21, 2013 3:42 PM  

@ Ben-el

"GEN" Ham was not relieved, or even fired. not even told to leave prematurely.

@ Anon @ 1523: There was an Army Times I believe that did say they are looking at getting rid of some brass at the top.

Blogger Penrose July 21, 2013 4:08 PM  

When most people hear of secession and civil war they have an image of dumb rednecks with shotguns lead by Alex Jones. Then they say how impossible it is for citizens to fight the military which may or may not be true but the more likely scenario is of a schism within the military of highly trained, heavily armed soldiers performing a coup or going rogue against the military. So when the leftists imagine a revolt they always envision the military on THEIR side when any real civil war will have a military, political leaders, and infrastructure on both sides.

Considering that the majority of the military are all white, male, christian, conservatives who are being oppressed with leftist tolerance, the splinter faction scenario is possible. Another possibility is that the white christians simply stop joining the military and as diversity becomes the norm within the military we go the way of Rome and fill up the rank with foreigners and aliens. Similarly as Rome, once the decline accelerates the foreign born military will not hold loyalty to anyone and will turn to looting and piracy once the .gov checks stop rolling in.

Anonymous geoff July 21, 2013 4:13 PM  

no story here... yet

Anonymous Sojourner July 21, 2013 4:23 PM  

So they're driving away men who basically NEED the sort of outlet for their...mentality that the military traditionally supplied and where do they expect them to go? Do they somehow think there will be "re-education" of these men? These men won't disappear and neither will their spirit. You have to focus that energy somewhere and I can't see that energy being focused ANYWHERE liberals like.

Blogger Eric July 21, 2013 4:39 PM  

Most likely it wasn't even the Colonel's dick.

This is probably true. For awhile military people in theater were forbidden from having sex except with a spouse. Of course commanders looked the other way if people were being discrete.

Now sex between single people "not otherwise prohibited" (no locals, subordinates, or married people) is allowed but highly discouraged. This still leaves all sorts of room for people to get into trouble.

It may also be that commanders are getting into trouble for the same reason McChrystal did - their subordinates are being openly dismissive of civilian leadership.

OpenID rufusdog July 21, 2013 4:53 PM  

I don't even have a crazy conspiracy theory here,

Well I am shocked.

Anonymous Idle Spectator July 21, 2013 4:53 PM  

Yep. And Camden is just like Milan.

Here's a thought. How about we compare cities that worked to cities that work.

Like comparing turtles to turtles. Try it. Anything clicking?


Are you really this fucking stupid?

Anonymous Idle Spectator July 21, 2013 4:55 PM  

Idle Spectator, I do wonder what you are looking at.

It's right in front of you... Give up?

Anonymous DonReynolds July 21, 2013 4:58 PM  

Penrose...."So when the leftists imagine a revolt they always envision the military on THEIR side when any real civil war will have a military, political leaders, and infrastructure on both sides."

Depends on whether you are looking at the Soviet experience or the more distant American experience.

The regular military was not a factor on land during the American civil war, the war being between the states. The regular Army was out west fighting Indians and both sides had plenty of veteran officers to lead the armies back east.

But the Soviet experience, and Obamba and his tribe may be more familiar with this example, was defined by Lenin.....and you can see this in Obamba's own actions. The Soviet experience was a top-down takeover of society, what Lenin called the "commanding heights". Much of the Czarist military was too conservative to be on the side of the Reds during the civil war, but even with massive amounts for foreign intervention on the side of the Whites, the Red Army managed to survive for several years. Yes, and for decades afterward, repeated purges of the Red Army officer corps reached down to the rank of Major. The Reds are even more suspicious of professional military than freedom-loving conservatives.

Anonymous CLK July 21, 2013 4:59 PM  

There is new directive since April under Gen Dempsey that requires commanders reviews include review of commanders competence and character...

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/14/us/militarys-top-officers-face-review-of-their-character.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Anonymous Anonymous July 21, 2013 5:00 PM  

"Are you really this fucking stupid?"

I am able to read cursive, Jeantel...Maybe we could compare Rhodesia to Zimbabwe?

- Foggia

Anonymous Idle Spectator July 21, 2013 5:03 PM  

I am able to read cursive, Jeantel...Maybe we could compare Rhodesia to Zimbabwe?

Now are Rhodesia and Zimbabwe cities?

Come on, I'll guide you along...

Anonymous sprach von Teufelhunden July 21, 2013 5:04 PM  

22nd MEU? I was about to be augmented into that unit, back in the summer of '83 (right before Grenada and Beirut bombing), when we called them MAUs. Instead, I got cut along with 5500 other personnel, with no incentive whatsoever for reenlistment.

If there is any real concern here, then Gordon Duff and Jim W. Dean will certainly keep you informed. In the meantime, and I do wonder if this has something to do with it, even in indirect measure, we all need to learn and start to fully comprehend a new word (if it is indeed new to you):

Exopolitics

The Vatican is very well versed in this term. Perhaps it is time that all other well read and educated folk do the same.

A new Renaissance on the horizon? Just dare yourself. In one sense, we are about to pull the veil away from a comparative era of dark ages. Technology has advanced far more than most realize. It has been going on right under our collective noses. We are soon to find out just who Leonardo Da Vinci really was/is. Dialog from Close Encounters of the Third Kind:

Scientist 1: Einstein WAS right!

Team Leader: Einstein was PROBABLY one of them!

Anonymous Randall July 21, 2013 5:14 PM  

Oathkeepers? Just a wild guess.

Anonymous sprach von Teufelhunden July 21, 2013 5:21 PM  

for the same reason McChrystal did

It is much, much more than that. There is a literal civil war going on between the branches of the U.S. military. And, even within each branch, factions in all of them. There is a "purging" going on, but it is much more than you realize.

Harris and Dr. James discuss McChrystal, Michael Hastings, and Pat Tillman. (previous link)

No need for conspiracy theories here. We are dealing in established circumstantial evidence. Substantial evidence available to be admitted in a court of law (federal grand jury). Where there is a lot of smoke, there generally will be a fire ...

Anonymous VD July 21, 2013 5:29 PM  

The question is who is purging whom. I suspect, based on his USMC pedigree, that Christmas was one of the good guys, but I could easily have it backwards.

Anonymous Idle Spectator July 21, 2013 5:32 PM  

Thank you, Dreaden-Spach

Internet = the new printing press.


And the light bulb finally comes on.


Our chattering classes are letting women take over, and what do they choose to do? Post pictures of their vaginas on the internet while whining about how they don't look as good as other ladies lady parts. They have taken navel gazing to a new low.

Mistresses and feminine bullshit like that was common during the Renaissance.


We are not at the cusp of a new outpouring of civilizational productivity. We are running on the fumes of what came before.

Half right. All the old structures are running on fumes. The new ones are just now being created on the internet. You have not seen anything yet.


No, the purging is of those who dare to disagree no matter how mildly with the new regime. A regime that is not democratic, cares nothing for republican virtues, and seeks only to impose its sordid will on the populace. It wishes to get rid of the remaining remnants of those who it suspects will not get with the program. Par for the course of leftists everywhere.

That happened during the Renaissance as well. Violence and purges were extremely common.


The Pope sent assassins to kill Lorenzo and his brother in the main Florentine cathedral. On Easter Sunday. They got his brother, but Lorenzo escaped and proceeded to lead the people in hanging several church big-wigs on gibbets in retaliation.

Devious.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza July 21, 2013 5:36 PM  

Pre-story, pre-scandal. Recently, a local kid returned home from the Navy b/c the Navy is cutting back but more importantly the young man said that while he was debriefed and told not to make a public spectacle of himself, many active duty military men no longer want to be part of corruption, gatekeeper games, peace keeping missions, guarding dope, playing games with drones or tolerating lesbians or tolerating culture training. Along with him and others, the military discharged with good marks and full GI bills and loan forgiveness on any prior student loan debts.

Anonymous VD July 21, 2013 5:43 PM  

No, the purging is of those who dare to disagree no matter how mildly with the new regime.

Wait, are we talking about the SFWA again now?

Anyhow, when one recalls the reason for Petraeus's dismissal, it is entirely possible that the various dismissals are simply the result of various sexual pecadillos being exposed. I have the feeling that the Petraeus incident made the generals realize that they can't get away with looking the other way when their subordinates are having affairs anymore.

Especially in light of the way the Petraeus affair came to light.

Anonymous Anonymous July 21, 2013 5:49 PM  

"Come on, I'll guide you along..."

No thanks, I'm happy right here in Chappaqua. Now back to texting, Jeantel.

- Foggia

Blogger Doom July 21, 2013 5:52 PM  

Mostly likely, in off the record discussions, it was deemed unlikely that the commander would fire on civilians according to orders regardless of the situation on the ground. US civilians.

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother July 21, 2013 5:55 PM  

Oath Keepers is a very good guess.

Vox, USMC can be good or bad. Read Smedley Butler's book for a good guy, James A Baker III for the opposite. We might have more good guys proportionally since we are so history focused.

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother July 21, 2013 6:01 PM  

Membership in Oath Keepers is highly discouraged at the lower levels of the military. We are regarded as "Un American" and having suspect loyalties. We just put up a billboard in the DC Metro Subway urging NSA employees to report unconstitutional behavior. He he he.

If a Colonel was a member, that would probably be the end of his career, since his boss would lack confidence in his ability to lead Marines against Americans. We are actually succeeding in our prime mission, which is to sow doubt and fear amongst the perfumed princes that their precious orders might be disobeyed.

Anonymous Idle Spectator July 21, 2013 6:08 PM  

No thanks, I'm happy right here in Chappaqua. Now back to texting, Jeantel.

- Foggia


Says the guy who compared Florence : Detroit.

I can typing.

Anonymous Anonymous July 21, 2013 6:11 PM  

"Says the guy who compared Florence : Detroit."

A shame you don't get it, Jeantel. But you'll get your Skittles anyway.

- Foggia

Anonymous VD July 21, 2013 6:14 PM  

Stop cross-posting, gentlemen. This doesn't concern Detroit, Firenze, or the Zimmerman trial.

Anonymous The other skeptic July 21, 2013 6:16 PM  

When one considers how the Syrian rebels appear to have failed in their bid to overthrow Assad and the recent army coup in Egypt, I find myself wondering if this might be an early sign of expanded American military intervention in the Middle East.

What would the US get out of further adventures in the ME?

Is it just a case of doing Israel's bidding?

Blogger Scott Shafer July 21, 2013 6:20 PM  

"Considering that the majority of the military are all white, male, christian, conservatives who are being oppressed with leftist tolerance, the splinter faction scenario is possible. Another possibility is that the white christians simply stop joining the military and as diversity becomes the norm within the military we go the way of Rome and fill up the rank with foreigners and aliens."

Well, not true, and this is not my experience. Incredibly diverse and tolerant environment that is typically focused on getting the job done.

"Anyhow, when one recalls the reason for Petraeus's dismissal, it is entirely possible that the various dismissals are simply the result of various sexual pecadillos being exposed. I have the feeling that the Petraeus incident made the generals realize that they can't get away with looking the other way when their subordinates are having affairs anymore."

Possibly...just lost USFJ Army General for covering up possible rape.

"Christmas served this spring as both the commander of the Marine Corps’ new crisis-response unit, Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response, and as the 22nd MEU commander, according to a previous Marine news release. The 550-Marine unit deployed for the first time in April to Morón Air Base in Spain, providing the U.S. with a new option to respond to emergencies in northern Africa. Christmas became the commander of the 22nd MEU on June 28, 2012, replacing Col. Eric Steidl."

What time frame does this cover? Would the AOR possibly have included Libya? You all are pontificating about cultural indicators, which some of you know nothing about, while not saying anything regarding the location and responsibilities of the unit that this man was commanding.

Remember, the Army rarely fires COs. The Navy does it all the time, though it waited for too long to get rid of the drag racing coffee mug thrower Holly Graf. The USMC? They don't do it as often as the Navy, but more than the Army. It is my guess that this is a significant uptick. But without information as to the specific units involved you cannot draw conclusions.

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother July 21, 2013 6:33 PM  

Scott,

We are speculating, not declaring anything. The possible causes are good debate fodder. No one is unequivocally saying why the Colonel has been relieved.

As far as cultural indicators we know nothing about, I recommend you spend some more time here before you make that claim. There are quite a few active duty personnel and veterans that comment here.

Anonymous Augustina July 21, 2013 7:13 PM  

Idle, technology /= culture. The internet? It is merely a way for people to communicate, like the printing press. The printing press did not cause the renaissance. Shakespeare did not write the plays he did because of the printing press.

Point me to the great renaissance occurring on the internet. Where are the Michelangelos, the Shakespeares?

Yes, I am certain that there were lesser lights during the renaissance who have faded into the dark. But there were the geniuses, and I don't see any great geniuses in our culture any more. What I see instead is ridiculous navel gazing on the part of our 'literati' magnified to hideous proportions by the internet.

That there are remnants out there, yes, I agree. But our culture is wholly given over to people who wish to destroy thousands of years of culture. They will have to fall before we can begin to rebuild. Until then, we are nothing but flies to be swatted at, purged, spied on by the NSA, shunned and ostracized. There are no Medicis to support us. Banksters these days have no taste.

Blogger Eric July 21, 2013 7:29 PM  

When one considers how the Syrian rebels appear to have failed in their bid to overthrow Assad...

I don't think that's an accurate portrayal of the situation. The rebels will win - it's just a question of time.

Anonymous Idle Spectator July 21, 2013 7:39 PM  

Stop cross-posting, gentlemen.

How dare you call me a gentleman.

Anonymous Harsh July 21, 2013 7:39 PM  

Colonel Christmas has to be one of the most bad-ass names I've ever heard.

Blogger tz July 21, 2013 7:44 PM  

Quandoque fi!

Blogger Bard July 21, 2013 7:48 PM  

I am active duty military. Can almost guarantee it has something to do with: 1) women in combat, 2} homosexuals, 3} sexual assault /harassment or 4) Christian principles.
I saw a young female patient in clinic the other day. As I left for lunch, she was still sitting in the lobby over an hour later. I asked her what she was still doing sitting there. She stated her ride had car trouble. Now keep in mind this soldier is in my battalion. I wanted to give her a ride back to the unit as I was heading that way anyway. However, there is no way I was willing to do that alone. How disturbing is that? A commissioned officer no longer able to assist one of his soldiers. I am still going to let the BC know about this incident and how far we have fallen.

Anonymous DonReynolds July 21, 2013 7:50 PM  

Eric.....I gently disagree about the "rebels". You do understand that these "rebels" are not a single group or command, many of them do not like each other, and this is in Russia's back yard....and they are backing Assad? Historically speaking, rebellions seldom prevail, even with the backing of Washington. Too much intervention by the Turks risks a wider war with Russia and NATO. (Yes, Turkey is a NATO member. Isn't everybody?....except Israel.)

Blogger TontoBubbaGoldstein July 21, 2013 7:52 PM  

It occurs to me, however, that there is one time when it would make very good sense to replace MEU commanders, and that is when new military action is at hand.

Maybe the NSA found they had Googled David Shoup and/or Smedley Butler.

Anonymous Idle Spectator July 21, 2013 7:56 PM  

Idle, technology /= culture.

Correct. But it directly influences it. See also: Arab Spring and the internet. Boats, cars, and airplanes.

The internet? It is merely a way for people to communicate, like the printing press.

And the atomic bomb is just another bomb. Right.

Point me to the great renaissance occurring on the internet. Where are the Michelangelos, the Shakespeares?

Be patient. They being born right now. It takes time.

Anonymous The other skeptic July 21, 2013 8:07 PM  

I am active duty military. Can almost guarantee it has something to do with: 1) women in combat, 2} homosexuals, 3} sexual assault /harassment or 4) Christian principles.

Hmmm, I think I understand the rationale.

We have too many women in college and they are never going to be able to pay back that debt. We need to get them into combat. However, if they get injured, male soldiers will not perform their duty. They will be distracted preventing the female soldiers from being strong, independent soldiers.

So, the CiC has come up with a plan to stop male soldiers from helping female soldiers by pushing all this sexual harassment stuff.

Seems like a plan he would come up with.

Blogger tz July 21, 2013 8:10 PM  

They were discussing if the Renaissance was stable - Detroit has the renaissance center.

Scalzi allows cross dressing, so shouldn't Vox allow cross posting?

(He's not a true scotsman, and that isn't a kilt. The same thing comes between a Scotsman and his kilt as Brook Shields and her Calvins. There is a Calvinism pun somewhere in here.

Anonymous Papapete July 21, 2013 8:15 PM  

I must disagree with you about the advisability of replacing a commander just before the outbreak of hostilities. Admittedly my knowledge is secondhand but everything I've heard and read about command indicates that a commander and his staff have to have a period of settling in and learning about each other to operate at peak efficiency. In addition if the commander Is new to his job he needs to learn how to perform and manage his responsibilities. Replacing a commander just before conflict is a last resort and should only be used if the commander is unreliable or incompetent.

Anonymous The other skeptic July 21, 2013 8:39 PM  

Replacing a commander just before conflict is a last resort and should only be used if the commander is unreliable or incompetent.

And they likely knew this for a long time beforehand.

However, the decision to get active in the ME again might only have been recently made, requiring some housekeeping.

Anonymous Fred July 21, 2013 8:47 PM  

http://academywatch.blogspot.com/2013/07/a-hostile-work-environment.html

Blogger Scott Shafer July 21, 2013 9:07 PM  

"I am active duty military. Can almost guarantee it has something to do with: 1) women in combat, 2} homosexuals, 3} sexual assault /harassment or 4) Christian principles."

I will respectfully disagree. A SPMAGTF is a specific entity that could have been put to good use in an emergent combat situation. Given the assignment and the location, this bears looking into. This proposed list is speculation. I have seen #3 happen, because a CG covered up a rape rather than have it properly investigated. The CG's inaction warranted dismissal.

Blogger Scott Shafer July 21, 2013 9:09 PM  

"I saw a young female patient in clinic the other day. As I left for lunch, she was still sitting in the lobby over an hour later. I asked her what she was still doing sitting there. She stated her ride had car trouble. Now keep in mind this soldier is in my battalion. I wanted to give her a ride back to the unit as I was heading that way anyway. However, there is no way I was willing to do that alone. How disturbing is that? A commissioned officer no longer able to assist one of his soldiers."

I give rides to my Sailors and Marines. If they need help, I am stopping.

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother July 21, 2013 9:13 PM  

Scott,

How do you know? Looks like you are doing the same thing you told us not to do.

Nowadays you are risking trouble by giving rides to solo subordinates of the opposite sex and orientation.

Blogger Scott Shafer July 21, 2013 9:21 PM  

You risk trouble for any action. So what? Anything can strip rank from you. Anything that you do or you don't do. So what do you do? I'm supposed to sit in the corner and be afraid? F-em!

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother July 21, 2013 9:34 PM  

I would leave the women high and dry. They don't belong.

Anonymous The other skeptic July 21, 2013 9:40 PM  

There is additional info out there, if you search for it:

Christmas was named commanding officer of the 22nd MEU in June of 2012.

The Department of Defense previously announced the 22nd MEU would be deploying in 2014.


So, it seems that there will be six months for the new CO to settle in, and this deployment has been known about for a while.

Some more here: 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit

Anonymous DonReynolds July 21, 2013 9:50 PM  

Egypt has 83 million people and 390,000 square miles of land area. Which is bigger than Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas combined. If anyone is thinking of invading Egypt, they need to reconsider. And add to this that it would effectively bankrupt this country and the American people are not in the mood for any more Middle Eastern adventures.

Blogger Celia Hayes July 21, 2013 10:01 PM  

Bard, I am so sorry that you felt that way. Probably wise, given some of the circumstances that I have heard about ... and some of the personnel that I dealt with, on active duty. There was a young female troop that our unit had to deal with, leading up to Desert Storm, overseas in Spain. Gosh, this was in 1990, thereabouts? As it turned out later, she was a pathological liar. Our det chief - a guy, told me categorically, that he never wanted to be alone with her for an interview. I (as senior female NCO) and our 1st Sgt should always be there, also, as witnesses. And we should take notes and independently file a memo.
I hate to hear that the active duty has come to this routinely, instead of just special cases like our unit problem child. She disrupted and caused dissention and demoralization in the unit - just when we needed not to be disrupted and distracted.

Blogger Scott Shafer July 21, 2013 10:01 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Scott Shafer July 21, 2013 10:03 PM  

"I would leave the women high and dry. They don't belong."

With all due respect,..horse crap!

You do not know my Sailors and Marines...

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother July 21, 2013 10:12 PM  

Scott,

Is your command composed solely of female soldiers and Marines? Wash the sand out of your clit.

Anonymous The other skeptic July 21, 2013 10:19 PM  

You do not know my Sailors and Marines...

We probably don't.

What is the weight of the basic load for female marines and how does it compare with males?

How many females on the sharp end and how many only in support roles?

How many female marine officers do you have?

How far do they have to carry a can of 100 50 cal rounds? How high do they have to lift it off the ground?

I am genuinely interested.

Anonymous The other skeptic July 21, 2013 10:28 PM  

Wash the sand out of your clit.

Since the clitoris is anatomically equivalent to the glans penis (and both develop from the same tissue) it probably more appropriate to say:

"Wash the sand from around your clit"

or

"Wash the sand out of your vulva"

Assuming that your interlocutor is female, of course.

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother July 21, 2013 10:33 PM  

Skeptic,

It is a Marine Corps expression. Not necessarily anatomically correct.

Anonymous The other skeptic July 21, 2013 10:55 PM  

It is a Marine Corps expression.

Ahhh, I see. Local color. If your interlocutor is a marine they will understand.

Blogger Scott Shafer July 21, 2013 10:58 PM  

And where did you read this? Never heard that particular expression.

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother July 21, 2013 11:04 PM  

I didn't read it anywhere, Captain White Knight. I used it for nine years.

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother July 21, 2013 11:11 PM  

Skeptic,

The word "Marine" is capitalized.

Thank you for your support.

Anonymous DonReynolds July 21, 2013 11:22 PM  

Speaking of Marines, I saw an interesting newspaper item from Augusta, Georgia. It seems one of the customers of the Best Buy there was observed to put a laptop computer under his jacket. When confronted, he became irate, knocked down an employee, drew a knife and ran for the door.

Outside on the sidewalk were four Marines collecting toys for the Toys for Tots program. The Marines stopped the man as he left the building, but he stabbed the Marine corporal in the back....but the injury did not appear to be serious.

When the ambulance arrived to take the shoplifter to a local hospital, he had two broken arms, a broken ankle, a broken leg, several missing teeth, possible broken ribs, multiple contusions, assorted lacerations, a broken nose and a broken jaw.....all injuries he sustained, according to the police report, when he slipped and fell off the curb after stabbing the Marine corporal.

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother July 21, 2013 11:25 PM  

Don,

That is an urban legend that has been rolling around for years, but keep spreading it!

Anonymous DonReynolds July 21, 2013 11:31 PM  

There are so many urban legends, we cannot count them......but I do have the newspaper article. My nephew sent it to me.

Anonymous DonReynolds July 21, 2013 11:34 PM  

Of course, Thomas Jefferson said......the only truth in the newspapers is the advertisement.

I have never known young Marines to get that rowdy, since they put a big emphasis on discipline in the Corps. Sailors are another matter and the Army might be almost as exciting off base.

Anonymous The other skeptic July 21, 2013 11:54 PM  

Contrary to Vox's claims about purges, some paragraphs on the Great Purge seem familiar to us today:


He began to plan for the preventive elimination of such potential recruits for a mythical "fifth column of bitter clingers". (modified for effect)

Anonymous The other skeptic July 21, 2013 11:55 PM  

The word "Marine" is capitalized.

You are correct. I will not make that mistake again.

Anonymous J July 22, 2013 12:48 AM  

there is one time when it would make very good sense to replace MEU commanders, and that is when new military action is at hand.

Nah.

There is little reason to think those Colonels could not do their military jobs. If you want someone to lead a MEU in combat, they could undoubtedly do that.

Replacing "difficult" generals for disagreement with national strategy might make sense before a new military action, but in the grand scheme of things a Colonel is not that important. They do not make strategy, and if you tell them to invade Syria tomorrow, they will salute and say "yes, sir!"

Blogger AdognamedOp July 22, 2013 12:54 AM  

The Soviet officer purge came after the opening stages of "Barbarossa" so it was pretty brutal. The military situation is alot different now, and the marxism is of a lighter shade; but still evil. The long term goal of destroying the US military from within has been made easier thanks to our failed foreign military policy. The flag waving, jingoistic set have quietly retreated into the shadows, now that our nation building actions in Afghanistan and Iraq have proven to be fail.
The reason for the purge doesn't really matter now because any reason could be given and no one will give a damn. It's too late in the game.
The idea that this has something to do with some new action in Syria is just plain silly. You only need watch what the media is reporting on to guage administration intentions. And right now, they're slinging skittles. Talk of chemical weapons use and civilian casualties has itself been purged from nightly news reports, where Syria is concerned.
I've no doubt Putin and perhaps Snowden have something to do with that.

Anonymous J July 22, 2013 1:12 AM  

This article explains some of the reliefs.

http://www.armytimes.com/article/20130517/NEWS/305170019/Marine-Col-removed-Pentagon-s-non-lethal-weapons-directorate-chief

"Commandant Gen. Jim Amos relieved [Colonel] Stillings as the commanding officer at Officer Candidates School on April 22, after three Marines died in an apparent murder-suicide on the school’s campus on base in March.

Earlier this month, Brig. Gen. James Lukeman, commanding general of 2nd Marine Division, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., also relieved three officers, including a battalion commander, from their jobs in the wake of a training accident with a 60mm mortar system at Hawthorne Army Depot that killed seven Marines and wounded eight other service members."

OK, so that doesn't sound like they were fired for any of the, um, highly speculative reasons advanced in this comment thread...

Anonymous J July 22, 2013 1:12 AM  

No doubt unrelated heh heh

Commandant apologizes for Marines' behavior
Marine Corps Times...Dan Lamothe
The Marine Corps’ commandant apologized to Congress Tuesday for “the shameful behavior of
my Marines,” as the Pentagon released new statistics outlining the military’s growing sexual
assault problem.
Gen. Jim Amos said at a House defense appropriations subcommittee hearing that “the stark
reality” is that 10 percent of all female Marines could experience some form of sexual assault or
harassment. Some 334 sexual assaults were reported in the Corps in 2011, and the actual
number is likely four or five times higher, he said.
“I’m determined to change our culture, and I apologize to this committee for the shameful
behavior of my Marines,” Amos said.Meanwhile, a new Pentagon study released Tuesday shows that the number of sexual assaults
reported by members of the military rose to 3,374 in 2012, up from 3,192 the previous year. The
department estimates that as many as 26,000 service members were assaulted — up from
19,000 in 2011 — based on anonymous surveys, officials said.
The Marine Corps is actively engaged in trying to curb the problem, Amos said. He didn’t offer
specific numbers, but said the number of sexual assault convictions in the Corps has doubled in
the past 12 months.
Amos came out forcefully on sexualt assault last year, with rhetoric forceful enough that some
have questioned whether it could prejudice military juries against those charged with the crime.
“Sex assault is an ugly mark on our proud reputation; it goes against everything we claim to be
as United States Marines ... it is a crime,” he wrote in a May 3, 2012, White Letter.
During a visit to Parris Island, S.C., in July, Amos blasted a culture that tends to blame the
accuser, estimating that 80 percent of all sexual assault reports were legitimate.
The Corps reported 333 cases of sexual assault in 2011 and 346 in 2012, though Marine
officials have said the increase could show an increase in personnel being willing to report the
crime.

Anonymous J July 22, 2013 1:13 AM  

The Soviet officer purge came after the opening stages of "Barbarossa" so it was pretty brutal.

Nope. The Soviet officer purge was 1937. Barbarossa was 1941.

Anonymous Stilicho July 22, 2013 8:19 AM  

It is a Marine Corps expression. Not necessarily anatomically correct.

Sandy clit is a common condition which can be cured by a course of treating the Ma Deuce as a man-portable weapon. That tripod gets heavy. Fast.

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother July 22, 2013 8:42 AM  

Unfortunately, and some individuals, the tripod can actually inflame the condition, rather than alleviate it.

Scott Shafer, if I had a nickel for every time someone told me "You don't know my females. They're tough!" I'd be rich.

Anonymous The other skeptic July 22, 2013 8:56 AM  

Gen. Jim Amos said at a House defense appropriations subcommittee hearing that “the stark reality” is that 10 percent of all female Marines could experience some form of sexual assault or harassment.

Someone forgot the script. It's one in four women, at least that's what feminists have been telling me for ages.

Anonymous The other skeptic July 22, 2013 9:03 AM  

How does the media not know the difference between a tank and an armored vehicle

That story is incredible, but come on people in the media. A tank has tracks and a big gun barrel sticking out in front.

Anonymous Harsh July 22, 2013 10:15 PM  

Someone forgot the script. It's one in four women, at least that's what feminists have been telling me for ages.

The obvious solution to the problem is get rid of all men in the service and only allow women.

Anonymous WaterBoy July 23, 2013 2:54 PM  

DonReynolds: "There are so many urban legends, we cannot count them......but I do have the newspaper article. My nephew sent it to me."

According to Snopes, there was indeed a newspaper article...but it didn't include the paragraph detailing the thief's injuries.

It's still funny, nonetheless.

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