TW: We were disappointed to hear that your Afghan visit with the troops has been cancelled. Any chance it will be rescheduled any time soon?

It’s not gonna happen anytime soon, I’m sorry to say. The Navy postponed. Something about visas and paperwork. As you know, activity has increased over there, with concerns for security. You can’t just walk into that zone without everything being squared away. They promised me this year. In the meantime, I’ll continue to spend a lot of time with the troops right here at home. And most of the ones I talk to have been over to Iraq and Afghanistan—some of them several times—fighting the war. With their feedback, I’ve got a good mental picture of exactly what’s going on over there.

TW: When we get our [additional 30,000] troops in there now, we’ll have 100,000 there. Do you think they can do any good, training Afghan Police and Military while fighting the Taliban?
We did it in Iraq. And now we’re going to do it in Afghanistan. But I don’t think it’s going to happen in two years. I agreed with the way Obama took his time to make that decision, but three months from the first request for more troops was too long. While he was stalling, the Taliban was able to recruit and set up more forces. Now the President is trying to please both sides of the fence. He’s trying to feed the hard-core leftists, telling them we’re going to start pulling out of there in two years, and then he’s trying to feed the more conservative people of his party, by telling them that we’re going to be there for two years. He’s all over the place. He’s trying to make everybody happy. And you know as well as I do that you can’t make everybody happy.

TW: Marine reconnaissance unit Task Force Raider recently took to the offensive on a big sweep behind the lines in Taliban country. They were dropped in by Osprey aircraft. Sounds like we may be going on the attack instead of just defending.
I hope so. You know over this past year we’ve basically had our hands tied. We weren’t allowed to attack them—unless we were attacked. We could never be the aggressors. That is no way to fight a damn war. As a matter of fact that’s why we lost in Vietnam. And now they’ve been doing it to us again with our troops in Afghanistan. They’re afraid to pull their guns. Look at these three Navy SEALs that captured the “Most Wanted” terrorist in Iraq, the supposed mastermind taking out those Black Hawk guys. They’re up for court martial right now. Because the asshole got punched in the gut. I got worse than that in Marine Corps Recruit Training.

TW: We’re having trouble in Afghanistan with that Pashtunistan border to Pakistan. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban just go back and forth between Afghanistan and Pakistan. There are even reports now saying that Bin Laden may be alive and moving within that corridor as well. What are we going to do about it?
Oh, he probably is. We need to reassess our Rules of Engagement. We need to find and attack the Taliban wherever we can. Our troops are now afraid to shoot their weapons, for God’s sake. What the hell is going on? We’re being attacked, and the next thing I know is that we’ve got kids going up on charges for punching some idiot in the stomach. They’re afraid to defend themselves. It’s going to cost us lives is what’s going to happen…or is happening.

TW: What is on your schedule now? Visits to Marine bases?
That’s it. I’ll be doing what I always do. I’ll be going to the bases, things like that. I’m doing the Toys for Tots program right now, and I just finished up going to eight Marine Corps Birthday Balls, as a guest speaker.

TW: In your speeches at the Birthday Balls, what do you tell them? Anything you can share with us?
My main message this year was the simple fact that the Marine Corps is just as good, if not better, today than it was back in my time. The individual Marine, most certainly, is just as good, if not better. Stronger, smarter…well, I can’t say “smarter.” Smarter than me? Come on…give me a break! Well, it’s said that they’re stronger and smarter. And I think they’re probably right. Really, the only difference of the Marine Corps today—now that the Marine Corps is 234 years old and 200,000 strong—and the Marine Corps of my era, back in the 60s, is the simple fact that they’ve got better toys. Yes indeed, for instance they’ve got the Mark19, which takes the place of the Blooper. The Blooper (M79) was a single-shot grenade launcher. Now, to replace that, we have the Mark19, which launches grenades just as fast as you can pull that trigger. It’s a thing of beauty. I mean you can hurl some serious hate and discontent downrange. Back in my days in the field, I was the B.A.R.-Man on our Fire Team. The Browning Automatic Rifle. Today they’ve got all kinds of replacements that just dance circles around the B.A.R. For Air Support, we had Corsairs prop fighters overhead; today they have all kinds of jet firepower.

TW: We’ve being hearing more about the Fort Hood act of terror. And now we know for sure that everybody knew about this Muslim officer and was watching him—and doing nothing. Now 13 soldiers have lost their lives for the sake of the officials there being PC.
Somebody said the other day that we seem to have become a nation of Enablers, enabling the enemy to kill us. It’s just a damn shame. We’ve got a bunch of people running this country that have never been in the military. These people always want to turn the other cheek… Be politically correct at all costs. We’ve just got to vote these idiots out of office so that we can get our country back before they destroy it.

TW: You said you had a special message for our readers.
I want all our readers to do me a favor here. I’m trying to get something passed and would appreciate your help. You know, the Marine Corps falls under the Department of the Navy. You also know there is a Department of the Air Force, Department of the Army, and Department of Homeland Security—I believe that’s where the Department of the Coast Guard falls under. The Marine Corps doesn’t have a Department. We fall under the Department of the Navy. Do you think that’s fair? I’m trying…and I’ve got a couple of Congressmen that are right there with me…to get it changed to Department of the Navy and the Marine Corps. I need support. The Navy loves the idea. The Navy has no problem. We in the Marine Corps love our brother and sister sailors. And when our paychecks come, it says right up there on top, “The Department of the Navy.” Why can’t it be called, “The Department of the Navy and Marine Corps?” The Marine Corps is 200,000 strong. We feel like an unwanted stepchild. I just want the Navy and us to share. The Navy and the Marine Corps. That way, at least we get honorable mention, for God’s sake. I would like people to go to Lend us your support. Stand up and be counted. At least give 
me a break and go to the site to see what it’s all about.

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TW: We were disappointed to hear that your Afghan visit with the troops has…