One Couple's Stumblings Through Parenthood and Marriage

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Some Highlights from Oliver North

Last Thursday I was at an 'evening with Sean Hannity,' with Oliver North as a guest speaker. He made some really touching and interesting points in his speech.

1) In January, 2005, just prior to the elections in Iraq, North interviewed one of the governors of a southern Iraqi province. North asked the governor whether or not he thought the elections, and resulting government, would work. The governor replied, "Yes, because women are going to vote. No woman who endures nine months of pregnancy, gives birth to a child, then feeds that infant at her breast will vote for a government that will teach her child to blow himself up. She will vote for a government that will give her child something to live for, not die for." That gave me goosebumps when I heard it.

2) We shouldn't say that our dead soldiers have given their lives. No, their lives were taken from them. Our soldiers aren't out there to die; they want to live and come home to their families. That is what makes their supreme sacrifice that much more important.

3) He showed a photo he had taken with his own camera. It was taken in April, 2003, as U.S. troops were moving into Baghdad. In the photo we could see Baghdad in flames in the background, with U.S. Marines and tanks heading toward the city. North took the picture from the inside of the helicopter he was riding in. It had just been forced to land due to heavy damage taken by enemy fire. In the foreground of the photo, a Navy Corpman was carrying a wounded soldier over his shoulders to the medics inside North's helicopter. North described the situation as follows (paraphrasing, of course): "This Navy Corpman was carrying his fourth wounded soldier into the helicopter; the other three he had already rescued were lined up on the inside of the aircraft. As he set down this last soldier, the medics forced the Corpman to sit down as well, and gave him an IV. The corpman had been in combat for over three weeks, with little sleep, only one ration a day, drinking 3-year old bottled water, in 110 degree heat." At this point North said, "Look at the soldier the Navy Corpman is carrying. What do you see?" We looked closer and saw that the wounded soldier was wearing black jeans - he was an Iraqi soldier. "Yes, that is an Iraqi soldier he just rescued - one of the enemy. Well, we got our chopper fixed and headed toward the nearest trauma hospital. As the Navy Corpman carried the wounded Iraqi soldier out of the helicopter, he was spotted by an embedded reporter from another platoon. The reporter called out, "Can't you see, idiot? That's an Iraqi." The Navy Corpman, after days of exhaustion, reached his boiling point. He shouted to the reporter, "Can't you see, @$$hole that he's wounded? We're Americans. That's what we do." " Oliver North had it all on tape. It was amazing. He wanted to highlight how profoundly compassionate and giving our troops are - how unique they are in human history.

4) Oliver North also gave some funny advice. He wrote up some 'rules of engagement' for men who would date his daughters and for new son-in-laws. Here were some of the funnier ones:
- Husbands, decide now. Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?
- Use tender and sweet words - you never know when you will have to eat them.
- There are two rules when it comes to arguing with women. Neither of them work.


Oliver North said...

Glad you liked my talk so much Justin. It's great to talk to a young person who is so darn smart. If you ever need any m-249 squad automatic weapons, please let me know. I take cash!

Raging Wombat said...

Thanks, Mr. North. I'll be sure to keep you up on that. I think it's great how you don't hide your past. The fact your home URL has your mug photos is very ... endearing.

oliver north said...

When you are the chief coordinator of an illegal sale of weapons to Iran (with the profits being channeled to the Contra rebel group in Nicaragua), you like a little picture of yourself to remember it by.

Was it fifteen or sixteen felony counts? I think it was sixteen.

Thank goodness (or whatever) that I was granted limited immunity for my own congressional testimony, and this testimony was deemed to have influenced witnesses at his trial. Yay me!

Raging Wombat said...

Mr. North, you seem to have taken quite a biased view of yourself! You also seem to have read your own Wikipedia entry as your only source of autobiographical information.

Why didn't you mention that you are a highly decorated combat Marine, who achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel? Why didn't you mention your many years of public service? What about the fact that you may have been the fall guy and scapegoat for Ronald Reagan in Iran-Contra?

Really, you should have also mentioned that you have set up a wonderful charitable program to provide college scholarships to so many children of killed or disabled veterans. What about the books you have written, and the show you host, in which you reveal all of the wonderful things our military, and especially our soldiers, are doing?

But if you don't some comfort and pride in that, oh well.

P.S. I am wiring you the money for the guns through my off-shore account. Be sure to use the money to overthrow the Davis City council. Thanks!

oliver north said...

It's true. Doing good stuff always makes up for selling weapons to the enemies of America for personal gain. Your the best! I feel so much better.

I also like how you side track the whole innocence/guilt thing too. So unimportant in the long run. Whats more important is thugs getting guns and me getting to write books. Plus I am very good looking.

Anonymous said...

Well, Mr. North, it is interesting that you don't think that doing good deeds can make up for bad ones. If I'm not mistaken, you're alter-ego is an agnostic who is quite skeptical. However, the philosophical point you just made is only supported by one religion in the world: Christianity. Every other philosophical system (in one form or another) would indicate that you can atone for evil by doing good deeds. You had better be careful, or you will transition from agnosticism to a system of morality in which you believe there is no amount of good deeds humans can do to make up for their past evils - all you have to do after that is add a Deity into the world-view, and you have most of Christianity (except of course, the sacrifice of a Savior to pay for the evils that all those humans can't pay for through their own good deeds). Watch your step!

Ian said...

I think it's funny too. So many Christians makeing an "I did some bad things so then I did some good things to balance it" arguments. Pretty inconsistant if you ask me, wich was sort of my point. You should know it looks a little silly to the outside world is all:)

P.S. once again, no one will say "I think it was cool that he illegaly sold weapons to Iran and used the money to pay for his kids college and finance the Contras". I would respect that.

Anonymous said...

Which Christians are these? I'm honestly interested to know. Just about every Christian bumper sticker says something to the tune of, "Christians aren't perfect ... just forgiven." This alludes to the fact that they still make mistake but count on divine forgivness that is not based upon any self-perfecting process derived from their own good works.

I honestly find your claim to be strange, though that doesn't mean it's wrong ... yet I have never once heard a Christian say, "Well, I did some evil things, but then I did some good ones to make up for it." That concept is espoused by certain Hindu sects, and at most some Roman Catholic Christians are accused of doing penance to make up for past evils. Deep down, even the most devoted Catholics I have met still ultimately feel there is nothing they can do to make up for their past mistakes, hence they fall back on Christ's sacrifice ...

The usual criticisms of Christianity come along one of two paths: (1) if a Christian does lead a good lifestyle, he/she is condemned as being self-righteous, oppressive and uptight (holier than thou); or (2) if he/she makes public mistakes (adultery, whatever), he/she is criticized for hypocrisy, and "skeptics" use that Christian's hypocrisy to bolster their long list of reasons not to be religious (which technically all amounts to an Ad Hominem attack, a common philosophical fallacy, on a grand scale). It's pretty much a Catch-22, though I'm sure members of other world-views have a long list of complaints about unfairness too ...

Honestly, it's usually the criticisms of Christianity that are incosistent. For example, one Neo-Pagan (Wickan) I met in Austin went through a sob story about how strict his Christian parents were (indicating that his parents fell into the "uptight and living-so-holy-it's-sick ... but not hypocritical" category). But then he turned around and started whining about the whole "salvation by grace" concept, because he thought it gave Christians too much leeway to throw out the excuse of, "Well, I did stuff wrong, but Jesus died for me, so I won't worry about it." He couldn't make up his mind about from which angle to attack Christianity - either strict self-righteousness or religious hypocrisy.

I just wish skeptics would be consistent. If they whine about how strict Christianity is, then they should never complain about the liberating "salvation by grace alone" doctrine. And if they whine about "salvation by grace" because it doesn't put enough pressure on people to be goody-goody, then they need to never whine about strict Christians who put intense religious pressure on people to be "righteous".

Regardless of whether some Christians are inconsistent or not, what matters is whether or not the actual religion/philosophy of Christianity is incosistent ... which is, of course, a lengthy discussion.

Anonymous said...

You guys are way too serious about this stuff. What you need is some good lovin'! Big Momma's got good lovin' fo' ya, baby! Big Momma's got EVERYTHING you need.

Ian said...

Sigh. The whole point was to show that the implied statement "Ollie North is good because his good deads balance out his treasonous deads" is inconsistant with Wombats Christian worldview. That was the whole point.

Again, Im down with the Christianity. I think it's swell. My critism is of Ollie North and his use of Christianity as a marketing tool. Illegally selling weapons to the middle east is not in my view compatable with Christianity. But I am not so expert in it as some. Perhaps their is a part in the Bible I am unfamilier with where Jesus says "Yah, and sell lots of weapons to Iran...they probably won't use them for anything bad...take the money, thats what I say".

Anonymous said...

That's OK, Baby. Big Momma's still got everything you need. Don't you worry 'bout a THING!

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm not sure who Big Momma is, Ian, but thanks for clarifying. However, I think there needs to be a distinction here. I am not quite sure Justin was actually trying to say that Ollie's good actions atoned for his bad ones. He might very well have been trying to say that since no one is perfect, we need to take a look at people's good points in addition to their bad ones, not in terms of saying good deeds make up for bad ones, but in terms of adequately analyzing the whole package. J-Dogg, feel free to weigh in here.

It can be a fine philosophical line to walk, but I think it's possible. For example, the Ad Hominem attack is a fallacy, but it is perfecly OK to attack people's hypocrisy! Let's say Bill Clinton catches a man cheating on his wife and says to that man, "Adultery is bad, and you should feel bad for doing it." Naturally, the man would be tempted to shoot back something like, "Silence, oh heinous adulterer!" This could or could not be an Ad Hominem attack:

1) If the cheating man is trying to discount Clinton's argument against adultery based solely on the fact that Clinton is an adulterer, this would indeed be an Ad Hominem attack.

2) But if the cheating man was naturally resentful of and trying to attack Clinton's hypocrisy, it would not really be an Ad Hominem attack.

Once again, a fine line to walk.

Raging Wombat said...

I presented some of the 'good' parts of Mr. North's resume as an exercise in intellectual honesty. Ian (aka North) had, good-naturedly, only referred to the negative, and I offered a balancing view.

It was not my original intent to make a larger philosophical or religious point, but it is fun to see where the conversation has gone.

Ian said...

Yes it's been a magical journey for me as well, filled with wonder and joy. But seriously, what is it with Ollie North? I just don't understand. I get that he is charming. But to me, illegally selling weapons to Iran was a pretty big deal. Now days it would be a Homeland Security matter. And it's not a right or left thing, it's more of an American thing. It's just really really illegal as I see it.

Ian said...

Long's been so long...Wombat not...posting...need content soon!