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Soldier of Fortune Days
A Self-Indulgent Memoir
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Those were wilder times, hardier times, memorable and loose. The veterans of Vietnam were not yet aged and, as happens after wars, did not settle easily into selling air filters at the NAPA outlet. They had lain atop Amtracs in the tropical night, with star shells blazing white in the sky and the smoke trailing almost solid and the distant roar and thump of artillery. They had known the fast flight of helicopters over emerald-green dangerous jungle and the clotting dead and garish disemboweled and the crack of AKs. It was not preparation for the boredom of civilian life.

And so they came, we came, some of us, to work for Soldier of Fortune, dread magazine of purported mercenaries, in Boulder, to the horror of soft, nice liberals whose town it was. SOF was more a pretext and framework for international adventuring than anything else, although it was honest journalism. The staff were ballsy, uproarious, given to guns and motorcycles and skydiving and the holy god Adrenaline. Unconventional. I doubt that they had even heard of convention.

America was not then the pansy world of today. This was before our age of milquetoasts, sick-puppy transgenders who lop their willies off, and squishy delicates in panties who have never jumped from a high-wing Cessna or seen the eagle rays 130 feet down on Caribbean walls or even baited a fish hook. Because the nation’s vets subscribed heavily to SOF, the money was there for trips to the world’s war zones. We didn’t waste it. Staffers and freelances went in and out of Afghanistan, Laos, Israel, Africa.

SOF sold a sordid smell, sold dark dreams of sentries with their throats slit on night-time ops, and many came through the offices who had done these things. Yet the sordidness was mostly marketing. The staff were the most intelligent of all the publications I have worked for. There are men of high intellect who don’t want a life of faculty meetings or corporate law. Jim Graves, managing editor, a Marine of the Walking Dead in Asia. Dana Drenkowski, fighter pilot, later lawyer. Jim Morris, three-tour SF, one of the best writers I have read. (Above And Beyond) Bob Brown himself. Donna Duvall, not military but classy, Southern, and as bright as they come.Jim Coyne, two-tour door gunner and later pro photog. I’m not sure whether Kenn Miller, former LURP who reads classical Chinese like English, was in the group, but fit the profile. His Tiger the Lurp Dog is well worth a read. SOF was a ticket to ride, which is exactly why Bob Brown, retired Army colonel, had founded it. We rode. God, did we ever.

soldier of fortune web

I forget exactly where this was, but probably in El Salvador. I do remember the mosquitos. Enough photos of men crouching with rifles and you could begin to think the human race consists exclusively of idiots.

I became scuba editor. It was an excuse to go diving with spec-ops groups whenever I got the chance. Tourist scuba is nice with all the pretty fish, but deep and dark come to appeal. We were kind of cowboys about it.

And stories, thousands of stories. Our unstated motto probably was “He who dies with the most stories wins.” I remember one night diving with Force Recon off Vieques in Puerto Rico. The elite outfits dive without lights for obvious reasons, as the bad guys would throw grenades at glowing parts of the ocean. Not optimal. You follow the fins, like rubber bat wings, of the guy in front of you by the faint glow of infiltrating moonlight.

Anyway, one night I was aboard an insertion boat, a fair-sized fast craft laughably regarded then as stealthed, and we were pulling an RB-15 inflatable boat full of Recons. Warm wind, muffled engines, slap-slap of water, that sort of thing. The idea was that we would pull them to a hundred yards of shore and then pop a shuttered strobe to tell them to cut loose and paddle the rest of the way in.


From a couple of weeks in the Angolan bush with Jonas Savimbi. I like to call the photo “Carry a Fill Flash, Stupid.” On my return I once spoke to some really nice people about the difficulty of shooting blacks in Africa, thinking they would understand that I meant “photographing blacks.” They didn’t.

I had one of those high-powered Vivitar flashes to shoot some other things going on and asked the skipper if I could use it. Sure, he said. I did. The Recons being dragged behind thought it was the strobe and cut loose a mile and a half from shore and had to paddle…. No, they didn’t kill me, but probably considered it.


With the IDF somewhere in occupied Lebanon.

Again, it was a man’s world, a thing not in good odor today among the flowers and cup cakes and squealing little sweeties all worried about microaggressions. We would land in San Salvador and go around customs courtesy of the military authorities because some of us were carrying things customs wouldn’t have liked. By day we cruised the countryside with the military and by night ran the bars and whorehouses. For many of us this had been the drill over half of Asia. I know, your mother wouldn’t have liked it. There are many alive today who knew Linda’s Surprise Bar in Saigon, the Khemara in Phnom Penh, Lucy’s Tiger Den in Bangkok, and the Blue Fox in Tijuana. All very shocking, I don’t doubt.

On assignment with SOF in the Third World you met men who made Batman look like an accountant in tortoise-shell glasses. Some were legitimate: Mark Berent, Papa Wolf, who flew Fast FAC—forward air control—in F-4s over Indian country in Nam. Others were less wholesome. There was Frank, I’ll call him, a wee short guy who would kill you in a heart beat–.45 ACP was his means of choice–and had been involved in a helicopter jail-break from….well, he was Frank. Nobody at SOF committed murder, or did much of anything seriously illegal under US law, though it is possible that certain of the writers may have partaken of ganja, the herb, that evil marijuhweeny.



Partying at Soldier of Fortune. Left to right: Byron the Enforcer, Reg Hoolihan, Mary squeeze of Bob Brown, Bob Hisself, and Mouse. Not all of these were the men of exceptional intelligence I mentioned. Maybe you guessed.

Other countries’ laws were another thing. There were border crossings that occurred without notification of the national authorities. (If you are sneaking into Laos to look for POWs, which some SOFers did, you probably don’t call the Communist government in Vientiane to let them know.)

Even in America we saw a side of life that would send Ivy darlings running for Mommy’s apron, and perhaps reorder their social thinking. The cops in Denver thought SOF was a righteous mag, and so I got a ride-along with a couple of cops who regarded me as an ally rather than an enemy. It was on East Colfax, a bad-ass section. As tourism, nothing else, they took me to a squalid apartment full of scag-heads. The rooms were hot, stiflingly hot, and half a dozen black guys were nodded out, too much so to pay us any attention. The air stank of tuna fish, which apparently all they ate if they remembered to eat at all—and the walls were so covered in scurrying roaches that it was like living wallpaper. The cops didn’t do anything to them. What would have been the point? But it wasn’t the city that people think they live in. It was my introduction to police life.


Recons at Lejeune. Civilians usually haven’t heard of them. They say heartwarming things like, “Crush their skulls and eat their faces.” Not many transgenders.

Time went by, the vets got too old for SOF, and the staffers and freelancers moved on. Graves went back to school in computer science and built a career, Donna moved to Paladin Press as an editor, Drenkowski is a prosecuting attorney in California, and I turned into a respectable, if that is quite the word, reporter. While it lasted, it was a hell of a show.

(Republished from Fred on Everything by permission of author or representative)
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  1. […] Soldier of Fortune Days – The Unz Review […]

  2. Rich says:

    When I was in the Army there were always copies of SOF around and it was a great read. It’s very strange when you look at how the US and its military have changed in the last 30 years. Kind of like a revolution took place without anyone knowing it was going on. Open homosexual troops, now they want to allow transsexual troops, it’s crazy. I was in the military when they began trying to integrate women into support groups and the amount of affairs and favoritism that went on with that small group of women was ridiculous, wait until the homosexuals get control.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  3. I was in high school and college when SOF was popular. I used to see it in the magazine racks in stores and occasionally bought a copy. It was quite good. I always wondered what happened to it. Probably migrated to the internet.

    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
  4. @Abelard Lindsey

    I too remember reading SOF during college. I think that it went out of business after a lawsuit based on a classified ad that someone ran in the magazine; turned out someone responded to the ad and hired the ad runner to murder a third person. This somehow beame the fault of the magazine and I think that the judgment put it out of business. It probably wouldn’t be as much fun today anyway. Fred’s article brought back memories–oh, but I was a grand armchair warrior in those days–and Americans were still always the good guys!

    • Replies: @Chris Mallory
  5. @Diversity Heretic

    SOF is still around. They have a website and a Facebook page. Their website claims 40 years of publication.

    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
  6. guest says:

    Sorry, but this article led me to unsubscribe from Mr. Reed’s own site. He implies something valorous about US warring of the Eighties, but what’s the difference from that which he accurately condemns today?

  7. @Rich

    The problems with the military began when it stopped being an organ to defend the country to one that wanted to be “a global force for good” as the current bullshit has it.

    They are the useless clowns on the face of the planet: on $500,000,000,000 a year, they can’t defend their own headquarters against $12 worth of box cutters, or so we are told.

    • Replies: @Sean T
  8. gruff says:

    Sorry, but this article led me to unsubscribe from Mr. Reed’s own site. He implies something valorous about US warring of the Eighties, but what’s the difference from that which he accurately condemns today?

    I am very interested in Reed’s response to this question. What is the difference?

    • Replies: @guest
    , @Anonymous
    , @Fred Reed
  9. @Chris Mallory

    Thanks for the update. I doubt if the website accepts classified ads. I don’t think I’ll visit–I’m now an armchair non-combatant.

  10. guest says:

    Or, if not a response from Mr. Reed, then how about one from anyone else?

  11. Sean T says:
    @Bill Jones

    Your point is good, but when did the military ever exist to defend the country. There was the war of 1812, but we didn’t have a standing army at that time. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, but General Smedley Butler warned years before that we were actively provoking them into it. War is simply a racket, and SOF magazine is a glorification of it. Shame on Fred for this one. He is getting old.

    • Replies: @rod1963
    , @Clyde
  12. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    His memories is the difference. He is nostalgic for the old days when he was younger and did crazy things. Besides, one can be a valiant hero and yet fight for a rotten cause.

  13. rod1963 says:
    @Sean T

    Ohh get a grip.

    Fred isn’t glorifying war, he’s seen the downside up close and personal of what it does to men. Nor has he advocated it. He understands it far better than your average upscale peace activist whose idea of war is writing a edgy blog or doing a candle light sit in with Mattress Girl to score some social cred.

    No what he’s writing about men who acted like men and who didn’t quite fit in the land of cube farms and paper pushing and enjoying a adrenaline filled life something that is happening less and less today as the country become a giant short bus taking a bunch of pansies to namby pamby land.

    Face it the country is becoming a massive jack booted obscenity of sorts with the educated elite’s obsession with sex organs, cross dressers, buggerers, ponces and other assorted freaks/wimps who need feinting couches and safe rooms.

    • Replies: @Sean T
    , @guest
  14. Sean T says:

    Maybe you’re right. Maybe men need a war to feel like a man, BUT America has far more wars than any other country, yet we have the most feminized society on earth.

    It almost seems like the more wars we have, the more decadent the Empire becomes, and hence, the more feminized the culture becomes.

    War – Empire – Decadence – Effeminacy

    • Replies: @Ace
    , @George123
  15. guest says:

    Again, sorry, but in 30 years won’t there be “GWOT” vets and “mercs” telling themselves and each other how much tougher they were in their day, too?

    Perhaps this is a coping mechanism; I’m in no position to judge. Those of us blessed not to have been conscripted or gulled into “service” would just as likely succumb — Smedley Butlers are few and far between.

    Mr. Reed’s essay is contrary to his efforts to restore our founding principles.

    Happy Independence Day!

  16. Ace says:

    >> led me to unsubscribe <<

    I'm sure he cares.

  17. Ace says:
    @Sean T

    The treasonous left did its utmost to trash military virtues and celebrate the metrosexual and the “rebel,” non-comformist scumbag. It had nothing to do with military activities of the past.

    When you think about it, when did a country, let alone a civilization, face such a concentrated, well-financed segment of its educated elite who were fed such a distillation of lies and hatred for their own?

    Moreover, the pussies were already there in the population and well represented in the anti-war movement. Anti THEM in the war movement is more like it. When the draft lottery came in and the chances of being drafted diminished radically, lo, the legions of ardent, principled opponents of the Vietnam War suddenly lost interest.

    In a way, I can’t blame them. No leader of the time was willing to tell the real story of Soviet, Chinese, Cuban, or Khmer Rouge savagery. It took a solitary Russian to tell the story about the Soviets. The communists in the government did their utmost to see that the communists took over in China in the 1940s and Diana West has the story on just how much we were penetrated and neutered by communists in the government in general. When Maxwell Taylor spoke of an uncertain trumpet he had in mind what the leadership of the U.S. came up with post-WWII. As influenced by that penetration I rather suspect.

    • Agree: anarchyst
    • Replies: @Anonymous
  18. unit472 says:

    Yep, read SOF as much for the ads as the content. Made me wonder what I was doing in Panama when the real action was in Rhodesia with the Sealous Scouts! The most hideously politically incorrect publication one could obtain unless it was the North American Man Boy Love Association which I think not even they were prepared to sell in newstands… even in San Francisco!

    SOF made me more familiar with Soviet weaponry and tactics than the US Army and I was part of the ‘aggressor’ unit at the School of the Americas where US airborne units got their ‘jungle expert’ patch but that was a long time ago and the US Army not fit for purpose in the post Vietnam era.

  19. Maj. Kong says:

    In the 80s the ‘enemy’ in the brushfire wars were at least nominally Communist. While we know now that the USSR was ripping itself apart in the 1980s, it was not clear to Western eyes at the time. That’s how “Red Dawn” was considered remotely plausible.

  20. You’d be surprised how sadistic some of the freaks can be. LGBT’s are violently abused by their partners at a rate ten times that of straights according to their own social workers’ statistics. Anecdotally, we were horrified by the beatings and screams that went on in the apartment above. The police couldn’t do anything, consenting adults and all. The night came when the ambulance came to take one of the women away who’d had her bones broken by the other. Not as far from the old mainstream of humanity as you’d hope. Civilians – of fortune, or something. It might be that those who lop off others’ dicks are slightly less dangerous to themselves than those who do themselves. More dangerous to the rest of us though.

  21. I used to read Soldier of Fortune (bought it off news stands if there was a good article) in the 70’s and 80’s. They would have movie reviews occasionally. One of the most interesting was of the 1978 film, “The Wild Geese.”

  22. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The treasonous left did its utmost to trash military virtues and celebrate the metrosexual and the “rebel,” non-comformist scumbag. It had nothing to do with military activities of the past.

    Truth is this country needs the wimpy, nerdy males a whole lot more than tough guy, cannon-fodder warriors. Nerdy, high IQ, video game-playing beta males are the backbone of 21st-century American dominance and prosperity. Warrior tough guys are disposable and often a liability and drain in civilized culture.

    Just look at Fred Reed’s t-shirt in that photo. Supporting “Afghan freedom fighters”. Thanks you retarded bitch, you helped create Al Qaeda and the death of thousands on American soil and overseas.

    • Replies: @Ace
  23. George123 says:
    @Sean T

    “….BUT America has far more wars than any other country, yet we have the most feminized society on earth.”

    We are easily the least feminized developed country. Asia is way more feminized than us, and so is Europe.

    We would be a much better country if we were more feminized. We’re vulgar, low class, and macho.

    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey
    , @Sean T
  24. @George123

    Having lived in Asia as well as making several visits to Europe, you are correct in saying that both East Asia and Europe are more “feminized” than us. However, I’m not sure we would be better off being more feminized than we are now. I like Asia and Europe as they are. But I also like us as we are. I don’t think all of us should try to be the same.

    I will say that we have the strongest military culture of any industrialized country (except for Israel) and probably any partially industrialize country as well. Our national holidays and cultural regard for our military is evidence of this.

    • Replies: @George123
  25. Fred Reed says:

    In the first place, I implied nothing of the sort. In the second place, it is perfectly possible to be valorous in a stupid war. The Wehrmacht is a perfect example.

    • Replies: @guest
  26. guest says:
    @Fred Reed

    The question remains, “but what’s the difference from that which he accurately condemns today?”

  27. Sean T says:

    Low class; yes. Vulgar; certainly. Macho? If gun ownership, tattoos, and beer bellies are macho, then what does that say about our women folk? Are you saying our gun toting, obese, tattoo covered women are macho?

    Masculine = Slob?

  28. George123 says:
    @Abelard Lindsey

    I think we need to develop a better masculine ideal.

    For instance the way men dress in Sweden is in my view admirable. In America, dressing well is considered feminine, with the result that we are a nation of fat slobs.

    There is this mistaken notion in America that aesthetics is feminine, yet the worlds most aggressive warrior cultures were very aesthetically orientated, like Japanese samurai and European knights.

    America is perhaps the first culture in the world where the masculine ideal seems to be defined in hostility to culture and sophistication. Every preceding warrior class appropriated culture for itself. We are the first society where to be masculine is to reject culture and the aesthetic.

    The American masculine ideal seems to be derived from the values of lowest classes of European society. Its bizarre. We need a reformation.

    • Replies: @PB and J
    , @Ace
  29. Ace says:

    Nerdy, high IQ, video game-playing beta males are the backbone of 21st-century American dominance

    That’s not a description of the gents that went to work at the Skunk Works. If those video game-playing betas had anything to do with the development of heads-up displays, anti-missile stuff, and drone-against-drone combat then hooray for them. However, I’ve never seen the connection you make argued before so I have to say it’s a new one on me. No disrespect for serious people who fly drones from arm chairs in Nevada but that stuff is a side show to any serious military operations and, anyway, there’s always a chance that the sexy toys will run out of AAA batteries.

    Warrior tough guys are disposable and often a liability and drain in civilized culture.

    FM Haig, is that you?

    Incompetent civilian leaders are more of a liability and drain in any culture. Think LBJ, Bush ’43, Obama, limited war, and ROE. That’ll get you most any place you want to go.

    Fred’s t-shirt expressing support for the Afghan freedom fighters reflects his (and my) pleasure at seeing the Soviets get a dose of their own medicine. $100 cash wired to a Cayman Island bank of your choice if you can prove he had any illusions about what the Afghans were really like.

    Instead of the Soviets’ supplying and training enemy forces arrayed against our own guys in the field, flying MiGs against our pilots, torturing our POWs in their hands, and sending some of those POWs off to die in the Gulag after they were interned in the U.S.S.R., “liberated” from German captivity, or captured in Korea, they got to fight a war in which we cheerfully supplied and trained their enemies.

    If al Qaida morphed into something more deadly that plagued us outside Afghanistan, that has everything to do with that incompetent civilian leadership I mentioned. There’s not one pussy Western leader that can bring herself even to say that Islam is the enemy. No, we’re battling “terrorism.”

    I sincerely hope you are never in a position where you might need the service of those “warrior tough guys.” If you ever might, I know for a fact that you’ll be all “God bless you, Tommy Adkins.”

    • Replies: @Ace
    , @guest
    , @Anonymous
  30. PB and J says:

    The American masculine ideal is heavily influenced by our recent history of exploring the wild frontier (as is true for Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, maybe Argentina).

    We also have recorded history’s most heavily funded military machine (although maybe certain Roman periods could give us a run for our money if you made the proper conversions from denarii to fiat dollars). Lots of American men of middling talents have accrued lucre from military service, especially if they get into private military contracting. Contrast with some of those other British colonies…

  31. Ace says:

    I don’t know how Swedish men dress off hand. Any pictures of Sweden I see don’t show men dressed oddly to my eye. If they like carrying a purse these days, well then, I figure that’s silly, even indecent. Anyone who wants to flaunt basic cultural norms has a sick interest in newness and opposition for its own sake. Some of the schools want to force boys to dress like girls for some sick reason.

    I do not share your view that the American masculine ideal is low-class and philistine. Men I knew in the service were anything but that. Personally, I’d rather go to a dinosaur museum than the Guggenheim but that’s just me.

    In the Republic of China, I saw an example of calligraphy done by Ch’ing emperor Ch’ien-lung. It’s a difficult thing to do well but I am here to tell you it was perfection in every way. It didn’t surprise me that a man of that discipline and artistic skill could have helped conquer China. That said, I don’t expect Oliver North and such to match him brush stroke for brush stroke but they were part of an ethos that was just superb. Low class they weren’t.

  32. Ace says:

    Correction: Bob Brown and Reg Hoolihan were the ones with the T-shirt. Same offer.

  33. guest says:

    Name the author:

    “The pattern of loyalty inward to one’s pack and hostility outward toward other packs explains the peculiar morality of the military (and of most other people). A Marine colonel will be at home a good neighbor, civic-minded, honest, cut the grass and help old ladies across the street. Come a war and he will mercilessly bomb any city he is told to bomb, and after killing he doesn’t care whom on the ground, he will go to the officers’ club where there will be high-fives and war stories.

    We must not notice this, or the other feral dogs will turn on us. If you say that soldiers are morally indistinguishable from Mafia hit-men, you will arouse outrage—but there is no difference. A soldier who has never heard of Vietnam or Iraq goes when ordered to kill Vietnamese and Iraqis, and duly kills tehm. Guido and Vito, who have never heard of Hyman Blitzschein the store-owner who is behind on his protection payments, break Hyman’s leg when ordered to. What is the difference?”

    • Replies: @Ace
  34. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I sincerely hope you are never in a position where you might need the service of those “warrior tough guys.” If you ever might, I know for a fact that you’ll be all “God bless you, Tommy Adkins.”

    Look, all I see are these warrior tough guys fighting for everything that is antithetical to Western Christian civilization. I hear about all the bravado about clandestine operations to assist the Afghan mujahideen against the Soviets. Yeah, great, assisting a bunch of Koran-reading, Kalishnikov-toting Mohammedan mountain monkeys against a bunch of white guys who listen to Tschaikovsky, play chess, and build rockets to explore outer space. Or all the clandestine operations to assist the Albanian Muslims against the Christian Serbs. The poor, oppressed Muslims in Kosovo, who bombed churches, poisoned wells, and murdered Christian teens in bars prior to Milosevic invading. Even today we have US SF training “good rebels” in Syria. Yeah, I’m sure the Caliphate that replaces Assad will be more friendly than the Christian-slaughtering good rebels we see currently. Two ex-SEALs (and another State contractor and ambassador) where killed in Benghazi when they were part of an arms transfer to jihadis trying to overthrow the Christian-friendly secular government in Syria. Today as ISIS slaughtered innocent Christians, Yazidis, and Shiites, en masse, the West considers its biggest problem Russia, who didn’t take to kindly to another color revolution on its doorstep, instigated by a State Dept. official who holds dual citizenship with a certain Middle East county.

    • Replies: @Ace
  35. Clyde says:
    @Sean T

    War is simply a racket

    Oh, how clever and cool you are to regurgitate this. There are many just wars where this is not true. Thanks anyway for your useless Paulista POV.

    • Replies: @Sean T
  36. Sean T says:

    And how brave you are to personally insult someone through the internet! Why is that Americans are so tough through the internet or when wearing a uniform but are such incurable wimps in every other situation?

  37. Sean T says:

    By the way, name me one “just” American war. Please don’t tell me the “Good War” from the “Greatest Generation.” The one that we undeniably provoked and wouldn’t end until we had tested not one but two atomic bombs on the enemy.

    If you want to point to Hitler, then you’ll have to follow his financing back to Wall St.

    Sorry if you don’t like the tired old cliche that “War is a Racket”, but it can’t be overstated in a war worshiping country like ours.

    • Replies: @Ace
    , @Clyde
  38. Ace says:

    Except for the Afghan part, I could have written what you said word for word. You left out only the words Clinton, Clinton, Obama, Obama/Clinton, Obama, Obama, Obama.

    Any nation needs its military and ours, leaving out the homosexual, feminists, and affirmative action social work aspects, is decent, efficient and lethal. We can’t afford to do without it. In addition to the various hot wars that have broken out there is always the biggest cold war of all, the war of deterrence to any would be invaders. We want tough guys to join the military and we want a responsive machine in which orders descend instantly to field units. That just has to be and it’s no fault of the troops that that must be so. There is debate about lawful orders, just wars, and war crimes and that is as it should be. Wars are the ultimate blunt instrument. Some fools think it can be negotiated away forever. (Not including you in that.)

    America has been a force for good all told even if we have been led by contemptible prigs like Wilson and snakes like FDR at whose feet the destruction of our constitutional republic can be laid. Alas, Americans even now have the ability to call our government to account but we are too addled and feckless to do so. Today, the political lie is king and the elite throughout the West is engaged in studied, deliberate, vicious, mendacious betrayal of their fellow citizens on the issues of Islam and immigration (mass or otherwise). It isn’t the West that thinks Russia is the new enemy of all that is good, true, and half price, but Obama and his handlers. It’s just amazing to see that garbage struggling to be born. The bosom buddy of the lie is the wholesale flight from truth throughout our society. We live in the age of the fairy tale propagated by a government free of all constitutional restraint and certainly without any objection thereto on the part of the Rs.

    In this discussion of military purpose and ethics the grossest misuse of our military goes on on an hourly basis, namely, the use of them to fight thousands of miles away in those pointless modern Afghan and anti-Syrian battles while the borders of their own homeland are deliberately left completely undefended. There’s some kind of irony there. National suicide by irony.

    • Replies: @Chris Mallory
  39. At the end of the day, Fred defends the criminal element that were the small minority. Most of our era’s special operations people moved on to social reintegration and normal lives. His characterization of SOF personality is patent BS stereotype. He projects an unprofessional machismo element that in actuality would be slapped down HARD. My Special Forces colleagues who were veterans of S.E. Asia and Latin American operations were not only open minded, better educated than average, and more socially aware and tolerant than most, they were among the least prone to making some (or any) grand claims of valor. They were sober (that’s certainly not Fred), intelligent and in a sense, humble people. They know who they were/are among themselves and that was good enough.

    Fred stereotyping Blacks associated with cockroaches and bashing gays in juxtaposition to the American Special Forces veterans of my era, as far as I’m concerned, violates the concept of ‘espirit de corps’ and tarnishes the motto ‘de oppresso liber’

    Ronald West, Sergeant, Operations & Intelligence
    Detachment 1, Company C, 5th Battalion, 19th Group, 1st Special Forces

    • Replies: @David In TN
  40. @Ronald Thomas West

    A stereotype is based on reality.

  41. So you sold a truckload of bullshit that war was glamorous and your target audience was the subnormals who eat that garbage. Wonderful. And some of them actually believed this nonsense and went out and got themselves killed and or killed others. Stupendous. But hey, you and your buds were having a rousing good time acting out your phony manliness so its AOK.

    There were some good wars that had to be fought, at least by one side. But Soldiers of Fortune? Those guys , I’m talking the small minority that aren’t complete macho phonies, they were just violent assholes.

  42. Clyde says:
    @Sean T

    You forgot to mention the magic words, false flag!!! Hop to it paranoid Paulista!!

  43. @Ace

    If we stuck to minding our own business and only defending our own borders then we would need a whole lot less of our military. We should gut the US Army and replace it with citizen’s militias forbidden from every being deployed overseas. The Navy and Air Force should concentrate on defending the US from invasion and helping the Marines provide quick reaction and very limited operations.

    The last time American troops fought to defend American freedoms, their uniforms were gray and they lost the war.

    • Replies: @Ace
  44. @guest

    Bah, wuh? I might be mistaken here, but the article read like a personal memoir of days gone by (even curiously under the heading “Personal Indulgnce”). Reed’s current rants about misguided militarism usually side with state-directed activities, not bellicose mercenaries from 30 years ago.

    Besides, people do change. You can’t realistically expect anyone to maintain the same attitudes and thinking for…lol…3 or 4 decades. Those minuscule few who do are usually respected (or feared) for maintaining their integrity.

  45. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    We also paid for the highways the Soviet tanks used to get into Afghanistan in the first place. The USSR was the “Best Enemy Money Can Buy”.

    • Replies: @Ace
  46. Ace says:
    @Chris Mallory

    The idea of the American military confined to actual homeland defense is a novel one. It’s a refreshing change from the idea that it’s our job to do the heavy lifting for Europe. The rationale for so many bases around the world rises no higher than “because” and, given just the matter of cost, should be subject to new scrutiny.

    Agreed on the men in grey.

  47. Ace says:

    What? We didn’t pay for their tanks as well?

    I wasn’t aware of our financing the road but am hardly surprised. Anthony Sutton had the story on our financing of the Bolsheviks and wasn’t very popular after he published his book, I understand. Even as late as the 1980s, didn’t some reptile from Bank of America (?) make the comment that they didn’t care about what communists did so long as they paid their bills on time? Something like that.

  48. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I looked you up because my son so wants to buy your house, and was surprised to find we had such an interesting neighbor who would have been a pleasure to visit with. (We have lived at 804 South David since 1984.)
    We all love the beautiful period décor, and he wants to let it remain just as you left it. He is a psychologist working on his masters degree–but he is also an artist. He loves the feel of the house. I thought you would like to know the buyer love sit.

  49. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I recall visiting Linda’s Surprise Bar in Saigon. As I recall it was on a Christmas Morning and I was drinking a Tiger beer and bored shitless.

  50. JDLK says:

    The jungle expert patch came from JOTC not the SOA

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