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Memories. And Being There.

I see people learning in books things that happened before they were born, things that I saw. They are learning what I lived. And a bunch of what they read is total nonsense.

Through the lens of Revisionist History, Ronald Regan was a crazed warmonger and Bill Clinton was happy-times sugar-daddy. I was there.
In 1995, the Clinton Administration gave China advanced missile technology through a transfer with a US company named Loral. Some high-ranking Chinese donors just happened to line the pockets of the DNC at the same time. Coincidence, right? Prior to the technology transfer, about 9 out of 10 Chicom rockets blew-up on the pad. A year later, that number was reversed with a less than ten percent failure rate. Miraculous, no?
And when I say "rocket", that includes nuclear-capable ICBMs. Thanks Bill, good times indeed.

I'm not sure what the politically driven narrative is today regarding the North Korean threat. In reality, Clinton, Bush and Obama all dropped the ball.
We know that China sells military hardware to just about anybody. Many of their "circle of friends" (Iran, Pakistan and North Korea) trade amongst themselves in UN controlled / prohibited technology. Did North Korea get help, indirectly, from China? I don't know.
I'd love to hear from anyone that does know. But all we're likely to hear is the sound of brooms covering tracks. You won't read nada.

A couple weeks ago, I was talking with a group of my co-workers. We're all veterans. The one Air Force vet we all pick-on, in good fun. He was lamenting the stupidity of so many folks thinking that if you're in The Air Force, you fly a plane. We all exchanged moronic misconceptions by civilians about our services. One co-worker (Old Dave) was a Vietnam era Marine. He knew a few guys that died while serving. Everyone would ask Dave the details, expecting a war-story regarding Da Nang or something. Nope. Dave explains that they died in car wrecks.
Yep, most that serve cook, drive trucks and push papers. Boring support stuff. Doesn't make it any less important. I can say that, because I was one of the trigger-pullers. And I always appreciated a ride and a hot-meal after shootin' stuff.

Things were more coarse and less refined back then, compared to today. But, it wasn't the horror that all the revisionist would like to wash your brain with. There were A-Holes that I served with, and probably a higher concentration than the general public. That said, I never saw, heard nor can attest to rampant bigoted, homophobic sexist behavior. Well, a bit of the sexist... quite a bit. But, we were all "Green". It bothered me that maybe I was "whitewashing" my memories, so I did a quick poll in our break-room. None of the other veterans (serving from 1975 to 2015) remembers any prosecution or persecution based on race or orientation. There was no "gay-bashing", no race-riots. There was tension, but when you take people from all over a nation of 300 million, you get some of that.

Memories can be faulty, but if you write, I'd encourage you to seek out as many primary sources as possible. I wasn't with the Loral lobbyist in 1995. But at least I was alive and following the events at the time. And you can read as many peer-reviewed sociological reports about military service as you like, but you should talk to folks (plural).

The truth is out there. And neither the New York Times nor your professor have it.


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